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: War on Terror

The Supreme Court Passes on an Opportunity to Defend Freedom

Call to Action! National Defense Authorization...

Call to Action! National Defense Authorization Act (S.1867) Makes America a Police State! (g1a2d0077c1) (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 2, 2014: 

Rarely does the Supreme Court have the opportunity to rectify major wrongs and mend egregious infringements coming from an out-of-control federal government: wrongs so outrageous that they threaten the very basis of society, so extreme that they risk emasculating and eviscerating the legal basis of an ordered existence, so far-reaching that they neutralize major amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.

On Monday, April 28, the Court had that opportunity, and they whiffed.

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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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Lifting the Curtain on Booz Allen Hamilton and its owner, the Carlyle Group

According to writers Thomas Heath and Marjorie Censer at the Washington Post, The Carlyle Group and its errant child, Booz Allen Hamilton, have a public relations problem, thanks to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. By the time top management at Booz Allen learned that one of their top-level agents had gone rogue, and terminated his employment, it was too late.

For years Carlyle had, according to WaPo,

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Newsweek’s last Print Issue is December 31st

The Wall Street Journal noted the end of an era with the final print edition of Newsweek magazine coming out on Monday, December 31st. It will transition to an online-only format with plans to charge subscribers for its content after the first of the year.

The end has been coming for some time. On October 18th, Tina Brown, Newsweek’s editor, announced the change on the same day that she

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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.

 

 

 

Don’t Bother Seeing 2016: Obama’s America?

I lost an hour and a half of my life Sunday at a matinee showing of the sleeper-hit documentary “2016: Obama’s America.” But I kept the stub for tax purposes, and you get to read this column. With luck, we’ll both end up just slightly worse off for the experience.

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the Hous...

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the US Capitol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gene Healy is a VP at Cato, one of my favorite think tanks, but I think he has successfully missed the main point of the movie: Obama is a mystery, and D’Souza is trying to figure it out.

Healy uses the rhetorical device of belittlement to misdirect the conversation:

D’Souza, “2016′s” narrator, stresses his commonalities with the president: born the same year, both with third-world parentage, both steeped in an anticolonial tradition. “I get it,” D’Souza assures us, which is why he alone has the secret decoder ring that can explain Obama’s positions on the war on terror, Israel, the Falkland Islands and much else besides.

This even applies to Obamacare:

Then there was the health care bill” D’Souza segues. But who needs a decoder ring to explain why, like every Democratic president of the post-WWII era save Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama pushed for universal health insurance? Does “anticolonialism” explain Obama’s embrace of a plan cooked up in a conservative think tank and first implemented by his 2012 Republican opponent?

This is misdirection of the first order. Just because Obama (more accurately, Nancy Pelosi and her thuggery) got Obamacare passed by Congress when other presidents couldn’t, doesn’t diminish the impact of it on

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Kim Dotcom of Megaupload Fights Back!

The Daily Bell: Kim Dotcom Resists, Pussy Riot Protests and the Insane Clown Posse Sues … Internet Reformation Rolls

As the power elite that wants to run the world continues to race against time more and more brutally, what we call the Internet Reformation becomes ever more visible.

It is becoming more visible because as the elites shove the world toward global governance, people being shoved, some of them, push back.

In the past week, we’ve seen three high-profile instances of this sort of resistance. Kim Dotcom, CEO of destroyed Megaupload, has launched a website to proclaim his innocence and begun releasing surprisingly tuneful pop music to plead his cause and shape his public image.

Megaupload and the Twilight of Copyright

Megaupload and the Twilight of Copyright (Photo credit: mikesolita)

Sometimes Anthony Wile goes on a tear, trying to cover way too much to support his point: the internet is generating pushback. But his reference to Kim Dotcom is useful.

Kim’s arrest by police on January 20th this year made headlines around the world. The excessive use of police power simply went beyond describing. Wikipedia’s brief mention of “armed officers arriv[ing] in helicopters and dropp[ing] into the Dotcom mansion courtyard” just barely suggests the ferocity of the attack on him. And for what? Copyright infringement!

But he is fighting back. Having secured a judgment from a New Zealand High Court judge that the warrants used in this raid were unauthorized—see this from Wikipedia:

On June 28, 2012, New Zealand High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann found the warrants used did not adequately describe the offences to which they were related. “These categories of items were defined in such a way that they would inevitably capture within them both relevant and irrelevant material. The police acted on this authorization. The warrants could not authorize seizure of irrelevant material, and are therefore invalid.” Justice Winkelmann also ruled the FBI’s cloning of the seized hard-drives invalid. This judgment calls the admissibility of the evidence in later extradition hearings into question. (My emphasis)

Dotcom is fighting back. He has launched a website proclaiming his innocence in advance of his trial, hoping to influence public opinion in his favor. And the PTB (Powers That Be) can do little to stop him.

And that’s the point of Wile’s article:

But as we long ago predicted, the Internet Reformation is fairly unstoppable at the moment. The European Union is falling apart, the global warming scam is unraveling, the war on terror has not gone as planned in Afghanistan and many other elite promotions have been exposed in detail on the Internet.

The ancient power elite, that evidently wants to run the world and uses its control of central banks to fund its mania, is in no sense defeated but it is facing challenges that it has not faced since the Gutenberg Press itself began exposing the power structure 600 years ago.

May those challenges, like those of Mr. Dotcom, continue and multiply.

Osama bin Laden: A Critical Look at the AP’s Top Story of 2012

English: Osama bin Laden interviewed for Daily...

The killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in May is the top story of the year according to the Associated Press’s annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors, ABC News announced on Saturday. That story received 128 first-place votes out of 247 ballots cast for the top ten stories. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami was second while the Arab Spring uprisings were third and the financial turmoil in Europe was fourth.

In fifth place was the US economy, the Penn State sex abuse scandal was seventh, Moammar Gadhafi’s death was number seven, the fiscal showdowns in the US congress was number eight, while the Occupy Wall Street protests and the attack on Gabrielle Giffords rounded out the top ten.

The death of Osama bin Laden has generated much controversy as a result of the lack of forthrightness of the Obama administration in answering a number of questions from the very beginning. But the announcement by the AP made no note of such controversy:

He’d been the world’s most-wanted terrorist for nearly a decade, ever since a team of his al-Qaida followers carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In May, the long and often-frustrating manhunt ended with a nighttime assault by a helicopter-borne special operations squad on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot dead by one of the raiders, and within hours his body was buried at sea.

Paul Craig Roberts was one of the first creditable commentators to ask the most pertinent questions

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Romney’s Advisors Are Leftist Elites

Mitt Romney

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Late last week GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney released the names of his foreign policy and national security advisors just in time for his Friday address on America’s foreign policy. He effused over his selection:

I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st Century is another American Century.

His campaign continues to be plagued with an increasing chorus of doubters about his conservative posture. His claim to have balanced the budget of Massachusetts without raising taxes was

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CFR: Tea Party Dangerous, Obstructive

Walter Russell Mead

Image by New America Foundation via Flickr

When the internationalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) decided it was time to take a hard look at the growing influence of the Tea Party movement in America, it selected “one of the country’s leading students of American foreign policy,” Walter Russell Mead, to do the study. Appearing as the headline article in Foreign Affairs for March/April 2011, his article is entitled “The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy.”

Mead’s credentials for representing one of the leading lights of the Anglo-American Establishment are impeccable:

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