Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Terrorism

Supreme Court Refuses to hear case on Reporter’s Privilege

 

Cover of "State of War: The Secret Histor...

By refusing to hear an appeal from New York Times’ investigative journalist James Risen last week [not to be confused with Fox analyst James Rosen] that his sources for a controversial chapter in his book State of War are protected under the First Amendment and reporters’ “privilege”, the Supreme Court has de facto endorsed its controversial decision from 1972. In that decision, the Court determined that the First Amendment does not give reporters like Risen any reportorial “privilege” in protecting their confidential sources.

If the government moves ahead with its subpoena of Risen to testify or be held in contempt in its case against former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, Risen said he would go to jail rather than reveal his sources.

In a strange comment following the Court’s decision not to hear Risen’s appeal, Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the department bringing the suit against Sterling, said:

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Supreme Court Refuses to hear case Against NDAA Unlawful Detention

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within days of Congress reauthorizing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in January 2012, Brian Trautman summarized it perfectly:

This pernicious law poses one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in our nation’s history. Under Section 1021 of the NDAA, foreign nationals who are alleged to have committed or merely “suspected” of sympathizing with or providing any level of support to groups the U.S. designates as terrorist organization or an affiliate or associated force may be imprisoned without charge or trial “until the end of hostilities.”

The law affirms the executive branch’s authority granted under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and broadens the definition and scope of “covered persons.”

But because the “war on terror” is a war on a tactic, not on a state, it has no parameters or timetable. Consequently, this law can be used by authorities to detain (forever) anyone the government considers a threat to national security and stability – potentially even demonstrators and protesters exercising their First Amendment rights.

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Pulitzer Prize Award Over NSA Revelations Generates Vitriolic Criticism

The Pulitzer Prize gold medal award 한국어: 퓰리처상 ...

The Pulitzer Prize gold medal award (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Washington Post’s Executive Editor Martin Baron anticipated that there would be strong criticism voiced when those opposed to Edward Snowden’s revelations learned of the Pulitzer Prize Committee’s decision to award its prestigious Public Service award to his paper. He may not have estimated the degree and extent and especially the vitriol of that criticism.

Said Baron:

Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA’s surveillance network absolutely was a public service. In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate…

[Without Edward Snowden’s disclosures] we never would have known how far this country had

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Islamist Front Group CAIR moves Against “Honor Diaries” film

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The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) exhibited its considerable and growing clout by forcing the cancellation of at least two showings of the film “Honor Diaries”, one scheduled for last week at the University of Michigan, the other at the University of Illinois. The film, a 2013 documentary that explores violence against women in “honor-based” societies (read: Muslim countries) through the eyes of nine women with personal experience with that violence, premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival in October 2013. One month later it won the Interfaith Award for Best Documentary at the St. Louis International Film Festival. In December it was featured on DirecTV’s Something to Talk About film series on its Audience channel.

The film focuses on three major crimes of violence committed by those societies, including

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In death, as in life, the truth about Nelson Mandela is overlooked

With the widely anticipated passing of South African revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela late Thursday, December 5, presidents and dictators from around the world — as well as everyday people, and especially the press — are in mourning. Lost amid the tsunami of praise and adoration, almost canonization even according to some of his supporters, however, is the truth about the man himself, who was, after all,

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“Historic Deal” with Iran met with praise, grave concerns and sadness

Early Sunday morning, following four days of heavy negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the US, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France – plus Germany), an agreement was announced which was touted as lifting sanctions against Iran in exchange for a reduction in Iran’s efforts to build their nuclear capability.

The deal was praised as a breakthrough 

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Mexican citizens are forming self-defense groups against drug cartels

Exasperated at failed attempts by the Mexican government to neutralize the drug cartel that virtually owns the Michoacán state and especially its principal city, Apatzingán, farmers and lime growers and other citizens are banding together into fuerzas autodefensas – self-defense forces – to accomplish the task.

Recruiting for those forces has accelerated thanks to

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Spending on Surveillance by US Spy Agencies is Vastly Larger than Previously Thought

Thanks to the efforts of whistleblower Edward Snowden and the reluctant cooperation of the Washington Post, American citizens are now able to see just what their half-trillion dollars have bought them over the last ten years:

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Costs, Frustrations Mount as Fort Hood Shooter Trial Opens

After nearly four years of delays, the military trial of Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused Fort Hood Shooter, begins today with Hasan representing himself against charges of 13 counts of premeditated murder and another 32 counts of attempted murder stemming from the attack on November 5th, 2009.

The costs, estimated to be $5 million and counting, are compounded by the

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Backpacks, Pressure Cookers and Baloney

When Michele Catalano blogged yesterday using the title “Pressure Cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!” it didn’t gain purchase until it was picked up by the Guardian. From there the story jumped to The Atlantic which, 24 hours later, had more than a third of a million views.

Catalano used to be the music editor for Forbes but now

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Blurring the Line between Police and Military

The Mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Cheye Calvo, was taking a shower in his home late Tuesday afternoon, July 29th, 2008 in preparation for a meeting he had that night. He heard a loud explosion at the front door of his home followed by the screaming of his mother-in-law who

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Surveillance State to be Extended Nationally if NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly Replaces Napolitano at DHS

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013:

 

Although President Obama says he has many strong candidates to replace Janet Napolitano as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, it’s clear that NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly has the inside track. If Obama is determined to complete building the surveillance state nationally, Kelly is just the man

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NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on Inside Track to replace DHS Napolitano

Within hours of Janet Napolitano’s announcement of her resignation as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security names of people to replace her surfaced, but none with the credentials of NYPD Commission Raymond Kelly. Or the political connections. Said Senator Charles Schumer:

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New Revelations about NSA Spying Abroad Enrage European Officials

Saturday’s revelations by the German newspaper Der Spiegel that the US placed bugs in European Union officials’ offices in New York and Washington and hacked into EU headquarters in Brussels have ignited a firestorm of indignation among German and European officials. Coming on the heels of the FISA court’s ruling in April that Verizon must turn over telephone records to the National Security Agency and Edward Snowden’s exposure in June of PRISM that has been vacuuming up American citizens’ internet communications for years, expressions of outrage were heard from German and European Union politicians.

Martin Schulz, head of the European Parliament, said:

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The Establishment’s Response to Edward Snowden’s Disclosure of PRISM is Predictable

Now that the source of the leak published last week in the Washington Post has identified himself, the response from defenders of the surveillance state was immediate and predictable. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, hoped that with the election of President Obama in 2008 the erection of the surveillance state in American would at least be partially dismantled. When it was clear that the infrastructure of that vast intelligence community and its increasingly threatening capabilities was

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The Boston Bombers have a very nasty background

I’ve seen precious little about this in the MSM and no wonder. These boys come from Chechnya which has a history of unspeakable violence for years. If I can find out about this, why can’t they?

Last Friday David French exposed the connection and I tracked down his sources just to confirm. Wrote French:

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Furor over new Colorado law giving Secret Service agents police powers continues

The furor over the signing into law of Senate Bill 13-013 earlier this week by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper went viral following the publishing of an article by Mike Opelka at theblaze.com. Opelka suggested that the new law could be “used to

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Rand Paul ends filibuster, begins the conversation

I watched with fascination and admiration not only at Senator Rand Paul’s message but his stamina! I used to do some public speaking and once in a while I was allowed to say what I came to say without a time limitation. Those were rare occurrences indeed,

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Inspector General says Much of Taxpayers’ Money for Iraq Reconstruction was Wasted

In his final report on how $63 billion of American taxpayers’ money was spent in reconstructing Iraq after the end of the Iraq war, Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen asked two questions: “What happened to the money?” and “What effect did it have?” The next 185 pages of his report reviews

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Obama Spokesman Suggests the End of the War on Terror?

In a speech characterized by The Washington Post as “thoughtful,” Post writer Fareed Zakaria was inordinately hopeful that it signaled the beginning of the end of Washington’s 12-year-old War on Terror. He wrote that:

For the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, an administration official has sketched a possible endpoint…

Phasing out or modifying these emergency powers should be something that would appeal to both left and right.

Zakaria invoked the warning James Madison gave about the dangers of unending eternal warfare:

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes…

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Zakaria reviewed, perhaps too hastily for complete accuracy, some of the impact the war has had on America: bloated military budgets, new unconstitutional agencies (especially the Department of Homeland Security which now employs a quarter of a million people), the building of 33 new intelligence facilities in the Washington, D.C. area alone (equivalent to three Pentagons), an Afghan war that has cost trillions of dollars and nearly 60,000 American casualties related to the war on terror.

Zakaria was hopeful that Johnson’s speech was a turning point, that it signals the end of the war on terror, and that life in the US can return to normal:

It is a good idea that the United States find a way to conduct its anti-terrorism campaigns within a more normal legal framework, rather than rely on blanket wartime authority granted in a panic after Sept. 11.

That “blanket wartime authority” which was granted 7 days after the September 11 attacks, made passing and twisted reference to the Constitution, and then gave the president virtually unlimited power to prosecute the war. From that Joint Resolution:

Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens, and…

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled…

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

What Zakaria saw in the speech which Jeh Johnson, the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, gave at the Oxford Union, Oxford University on November 30th, was this snippet:

But, now that efforts by the U.S. military against al Qaeda are in their 12th year, we must also ask ourselves: how will this conflict end?…

I do believe that on the present course, there will come a tipping point – a tipping point at which so many of the leaders and operatives of al Qaeda and its affiliates have been killed or captured, and the group is no longer able to attempt or launch a strategic attack against the United States, such that al Qaeda as we know it, the organization that   our Congress authorized the military to pursue in 2001, has been effectively destroyed.

At that point, we must be able to say to ourselves that our efforts should no longer be considered an “armed conflict” against al Qaeda and its associated forces…

And from that Zakaria concluded that this was “the possible endpoint” of the war on terror.

Unfortunately he didn’t read the rest of Johnson’s remarks. The essence of those remarks was that the war on terror was going to continue indefinitely, but without the name. In fact, less than two months after his first inauguration, President Obama ordered the Defense Department to refrain from using the phrase “War on Terror” and instead start calling it the “Overseas Contingency Operation” (COC).

Johnson’s credibility came into question within minutes of his opening remarks when he noted that he favored a quote from the pro-war Brookings Institution that motivates his public service: “The Founding Fathers believed in a democracy…”.(emphasis added)  From there on out his speech was a celebration of the success the military has had in putting into effect that “blanket wartime authority”:

We ended the combat mission in Iraq.

We increased the number of combat forces in Afghanistan and have reversed much of the Taliban’s momentum in the country…

We banned “enhanced interrogation techniques,” consistent with the calls of many in our country, including our own military, that great nations simply do not treat other human beings that way…

And, finally, we have, in a manner consistent with our laws and values, taken the fight directly to the terrorist organization al Qaeda, the result of which is that the core of al Qaeda is today degraded, disorganized and on the run. Osama bin Laden is dead. Many other leaders and terrorist operatives of al Qaeda are dead or captured; those left in al Qaeda’s core struggle to communicate, issue orders, and recruit.

At this point in his speech, Johnson might have suggested that it was time to pack up and go home: Job One is Done.

Not a chance.

There is still danger and there is still much to do.  Al Qaeda’s core has been degraded, leaving al Qaeda more decentralized, and most terrorist activity now conducted by local franchises…

So, therefore, in places like Yemen, and in partnership with that government, we are taking the fight directly to [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], and continually disrupting its plans to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. and Yemeni interests.

We have made clear that we are not at war with an idea, a religion, or a tactic. We are at war with an organized, armed group — a group determined to kill innocent civilians.

The war on terror, or the Overseas Contingency Operation, or whatever Johnson now calls it, will continue:

Al Qaeda’s radical and absurd goals have included global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate, terrorizing the United States and other western nations from retreating from the world stage, and the destruction of Israel. There is no compromise or political bargain that can be struck with those who pursue such aims.

In the current conflict with al Qaeda, I can offer no prediction about when this conflict will end…

It’s too bad that the writer from The Washington Post didn’t read the rest of Johnson’s speech. It was hardly a signal that the war on terror was ending. It was instead a confirmation that it will continue indefinitely into the future.

 

 

 

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.