#TortureReport: I look forward to the Republican report of how much Democrats knew

December 15, 2014
What did she know?

What did she know?

Setting aside for a moment the questions of what constitutes “torture,” when are harsh methods justified in interrogation, and the effectiveness of such methods, one of the most galling aspects of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s majority report is its raging hypocrisy. Feigning a shock and outrage that would make even Captain Reynault blush with shame, Senate Democrats lead by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) loudly denounced the CIA (and by extension the Bush administration) for employing tactics that amounted to torture.

Funny how they’re outraged now, when they’ve known for years:

Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s point man for counterterrorism between 2002 and 2004, told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday that Democratic lawmakers now accusing the CIA of keeping Congress in the dark on some interrogation methods “knew exactly what we were doing.”

“I remember very clearly briefing [California Democrat] Nancy Pelosi in September of 2002,” he said, claiming he “briefed her specifically on the enhanced-interrogation techniques of Abu Zubayda. So she knew, back in September of 2002, every one of our enhanced interrogation techniques.”

“These people were fully aware of all of the techniques that were given to us and approved by the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice,” Rodriguez continued, saying that neither Nancy Pelosi nor other Democrats — with the exception of then–California congresswoman Jane Harman — “ever objected to the techniques at all.”

Senators knew, too; the article mentions Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in particular. But I’d like to know just how much Senator Feinstein knew and when she knew it. She’s been on the intelligence committee for years and was surely briefed. But it’s only now, with Democrats soon to lose control of the Senate and Feinstein her chairmanship of the committee, that she decides to rush out this hack-job of a report. I’ll repeat what I wrote in 2009, when Nancy Pelosi was the one screaming over harsh interrogation methods:

You want a truth commission, Mrs. Pelosi? Fine. Bring it on. Let’s have that full-throated discussion of “harsh” interrogation of terrorists who believe they’re doing Allah’s work when they carve off heads or fly planes into buildings and who’d dearly love to set off a nuclear weapon in the US. Let’s clear away the cobwebs of convenient amnesia to let the world know just how much you and your party members supported those same techniques, funding them year after year and even wondering why we weren’t doing more. Let’s bring out all the details of how those techniques saved Americans from horrible deaths and find out what the American people support: a government that recognizes that its highest, first duty is to protect and defend its citizens, or one willing to gut its intelligence service and put the people at risk, all in the name of a preening sanctimony that’s nothing more than a cover for a partisan hack job.

So, let’s have that truth commission, Speaker Pelosi. Just remember, truth hurts.

Let’s see if they can handle the truth.

RELATED: For a much more sensible critique of the interrogation program, read counterintelligence specialist John Schindler’s post “CIA Torture: An Insider’s View.”


Conspiracy Craziness: John McCain created ISIS, and the “Caliph” is a Jewish agent

December 13, 2014

tinfoilhat_thumb.jpg

We’ve long known of the Muslim world’s fetish for conspiracy theories, but this one is a real gem. On an Egyptian television show last November, Jamal al-Din Ibrahim (1) claimed that the Islamic State was a creation of John McCain and that its leader, the “Caliph” Abu-Bakar al-Baghdadi, was trained by Mossad. And, if that wasn’t enough, he involved British Intelligence (an old bugbear among Middle Eastern conspiracy fans) and American traitor Edward Snowden.

Professor or not, Mr. al-Din is an expert in nuttiness:

Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: ISIS has two meaning – an over meaning and the true meaning. On the face of it, ISIS means “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”

Interviewer: This is how they called it at the beginning.

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: Yet the same acronym can stand for “Israeli Secret Intelligence Service.”

[…]

This information comes from Edward Snowden, who is now a wanted man…

Interviewer: That’s the guy from the NSA…

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: Exactly. He said that this was a means to drag the Arab world into a quagmire, and at the same time, to get rid of all the terrorists in a clever way, in keeping with the ways of British intelligence.

…and…

This is a picture of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, right? That’s his picture with John McCain, right?

Interviewer: Exactly. Oh my!

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: And that’s his picture with various Arab organizations… Isn’t that his assistant, Muhammad Noor?

Interviewer: Yes, on the right.

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: Show us the previous picture again. There’s something fishy there. That’s his meeting with John McCain.

Interviewer: Yes, from about two years ago.

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: The guy with the camera is [Baghdadi’s] assistant, Muhammad Noor.

Interviewer: Right.

Jamal Al-Din Ibrahim: This proves that John McCain was establishing ISIS two years ago, when the Syrian revolution started. That’s him over there. ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi…

There are many annoying things about Senator McCain, but, somehow, I don’t think establishing a head-chopping Islamic revival movement is among them.

Sadly, this kind of thinking is all too common in the Muslim world, which wallows in a blame-others victim-hood.

 

Footnote:
(1) Who claims to be a former University of California. If so, it was probably at Irvine, where the anti-Israel and antisemitic craziness is strong.

via MEMRI


Mosul physician says ISIS profits from organ trade

December 9, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Is there no depth to which ISIS won’t sink? Don’t answer that…

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

Arab surgeons have moved into Mosul to remove patients’ organs for follow-on black market resale according to an Iraqi ear, nose, and throat doctor interviewed by Al-MonitorAl-Monitor characterizes organ trafficking as one of several funding sources for the Islamic State, and reports that revenues are “allocated to local and foreign fighters, to encourage them to join up and continue fighting.”  Hat tip to El Grillo:

…The third funding source was exposed by otolaryngologist Siruwan al-Mosuli. He said that lately he noticed unusual movement within medical facilities in Mosul. Arab and foreign surgeons were hired, but prohibited from mixing with local doctors. Information then leaked about organ selling. Surgeries take place within a hospital and organs are quickly transported through networks specialized in trafficking human organs. Mosuli said that the organs come from fallen fighters who were quickly transported to the hospital, injured people who were abandoned or individuals…

View original 81 more words


Pearl Harbors then and now

December 7, 2014

In the last surprise attack on American soil before 9/11, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor:

The end of the USS Arizona

(Credit: Aviation History)

My grandfather was a Petty Officer aboard the USS Nevada during the battle. Below are a couple of pictures of his ship under attack, the only battleship to get underway that day:

…and…

Grandpa was having a bad day

(Both photos credit: Naval Historical Center)

As you can see, they had been hit pretty hard. Thankfully, Grandpa survived.

Thirteen years ago, we were hit by another fascist enemy, Muslims waging “jihad fi sabil Allah,” with casualties 25% higher than Pearl Harbor:

(credit: September 11th News)

…and…

(Credit: Aspersions)

…and…

(Scene at the Pentagon. Credit: US Navy via Wikimedia)

Our grandfathers finished their job. Let’s not do any less, shall we?

RELATED: The story of Lt. John William Finn, the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from Pearl Harbor.

NOTE: This is a republishing of a post I put up each December 7th.


(Video) The most persecuted religion in the world

November 10, 2014

No, it’s not Islam, despite the claims to the contrary of those who like to shout Islamophobia. As Raymond Ibrahim (1) argues in the video below, the most persecuted religion in the world is Christianity, which is being driven to extinction in the Middle East and North Africa wherever Islam dominates, lands in which Christianity has existed for over 2,000 years.

And I suspect Raymond is right: If the persecuted were any of any other religion, the religious “cleansing” that’s going on would be front-page news. But, well, it just doesn’t fit the Left’s narrative — Christianity is an “Establishment religion” in the West, and Islam is of the Third World, while sharing the Left’s animosity toward Western, liberal civilization. To criticize Islamic nations for the persecution of their Christian minorities would cause them too much cognitive dissonance.  Better to not say anything and just keep condemning Western imperialism on cue.

I’m not a religious person, but I do hold dear the American commitment to religious freedom: As long as you don’t persecute or oppress others for their faith (2), then you should be free to worship as you see fit (3). It’s a shame we don’t have a leadership willing to speak more loudly –or at all– in its defense.

Footnotes:
(1) Author of the Al-Qaeda Reader, which is essential reading for those seeking to understand jihadist ideology.
(2) Which makes Islam at best a difficult fit in the West, especially in America, given its imperative to dominate and impose sharia law on everyone else.
(3) Within broad bounds, of course. Even the most tolerant society shouldn’t tolerate human sacrifice, or the selling of sex slaves in the name of religion.


The 1st Amendment prevents the government from attacking ISIS ideologically? Really?

October 8, 2014
"But don't criticize them."

“But don’t criticize them.”

This is why the Left cannot be taken seriously on constitutional matters: they don’t even understand the basics. Via Power Line:

Bill Gertz has a lengthy and fascinating piece in the Washington Free Beacon about what he calls the Obama administration’s failure “to wage ideological war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists.” Gertz attributes the failure to “fears that attacking [ISIS’s] religious philosophy will violate the constitutional divide between church and state.”

It seems difficult to believe that the First Amendment explains Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge, for example, that the Islamic State is Islamic. Gertz cites James Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. Glassman seems to rely mainly on what he hears coming out of the State Department.

For the record, here’s what the 1st Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t see anything in there about “the government may not criticize the religious doctrine of an enemy organization,” do you?  Perhaps our constitutional law professor-president can explain it to us.

Gertz calls this a “surrender in the war of ideas,” and he is right. It’s a pathetic bit of hand-waving to hide the fact that the administration desperately does not want to deal with the Islamic doctrine cited by ISIS as the justification for its jihad. For whatever reason –political correctness, a leftist reluctance to criticize “victims of colonialism,” a fear of upsetting allied Muslim states, or even a secular inability to deal with minds operating on a religious paradigm– the Obama administration (and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration before it) will go to any lengths to deny the truth: we are in a global conflict with an Islamic supremacist/revivalist movement that, while having many sometimes fractious elements, is united by a largely common and mainstream understanding of Islamic texts and doctrines. And until and if (1) we can get imams willing to go public with their criticism in Islamic terms of the doctrinal arguments of the jihadists, we will continue to surrender in this war of ideas and the jihadists will continue to attract recruits.

Footnote:

(1) Which is problematic, because a) I think the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and other jihad groups have a very good understanding of Islamic doctrine, and imams critical of them have trouble finding counter-arguments; and b) critics of the jihad who do come forward often put their lives at real risk.


ISIS fighters caught sneaking into the US?

October 8, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

That’s the explosive charge made by Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) last night on Greta van Susteren’s program:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?

Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren And the border patrol just let’s ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That’s how you know. That’s where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don’t have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam — Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that’s where the major threat is here, that’s how these guy guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.

If Hunter is right (as Jim Geraghty points out, he’s not known for being a hysteric) that ISIS terrorists have been caught at the border, then he’s also right to point out the risk that others have gotten through whom we don’t know about. At least, we the public don’t know about them. If they exist, I hope to God the FBI knows about them and is tracking them and about to make arrests. If they don’t know where they are –again, assuming Hunter is right and they exist– things could well get awfully scary, awfully fast.

It’s a given that jihadists from ISIS, al Qaeda, and other groups want to attack us, and our borders, particularly the southern one, are a huge weakness. Gee, maybe those of us calling for stiffer border security weren’t just a bunch of racist, nativist nutjobs after all.

PS: See Jim’s post for a worrisome quote from a Democratic congressman.


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