State of the Union Commentary: Mastery of Manipulation - MOM
State of the Union Commentary: Mastery of Manipulation - MOM
By CAMILLE GIGLIO, Legislative Analyst
January 30, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - President Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday night was a MOM moment. It reminded me of a dinner menu - an appealing pre-entree, a nice dessert and a lot of gravy to cover up the main course in the event it was hard to swallow.
Convincing the public to swallow the main course - centralized management and direction of everyone's life, is Obama's goal. Like a rich meal that clogs the arteries, this main course could clog your cognitive ability, rendering you incapable of recovery.
It was a masterpiece of psychological conditioning regarding the government's role in social and political activities. It fit the out a template offered by Paul E. Rondeau a noted researcher in the subconscious marketing and delivery of change. [see, www.culture-of-life.org]
Rondeau lists three stages of manipulation:
3. Conversion of the mind
Desensitization: Obama started off, as usual, by suggesting that people are suffering the current setbacks because the government, especially the Republicans, in the last 10 years, stopped assisting the people. He, Obama, would restore the necessary government assistance.
Obama went so far as to openly criticize the U.S. Supreme Court in its latest decision regarding campaign contributions, while SCOTUS members were in the chamber. He received a small standing ovation from the Democrats for that. That's a form of public humiliation which is a part of desensitization.
Jamming: This was the main event for Obama. He blamed everything on the private sector, offered a picture of a better world brought about by "green" jobs, clean air, world class education i.e., global citizenship and re-building the infra structure order of our country. Big-Banking is now the enemy of the people so they will be taxed and the money realized will be given to small banks [now the good guys] to be given out to the little guy to grow small businesses which, by the way, will be directly under the watchful eye of a nanny government.
Obama's emotional appeal created by a softening and huskiness of the voice - the gravy's seasoning - was created by saying he didn't want our country to "become a second place country."
Whatever that means.
His idea of improving education is to install the feds Race To The Top education mandates across the country, denying local involvement to parents, creating consortia of states [regionalization - Executive order Order 13528, signed 1/14/2010] providing a world class education which will bring success to every child, allowing them to be productive.
Our idea of a world class education and Obama's idea are not the same. He spoke of a child's success as being tied to a child's potential, not a zip code. This is a good example of conscience clogging. We all want our kids to be successful, but the future approach to school placement according to abilities may mean separating the child from the family. For example, California's recently passed state Race To The Top legislation calls for open enrollment in any school across the state, where they might be housed being left unsaid. Heavy emphasis being placed on science and technology training and health care, reflecting the UN's core standards for education. Another bill calls for giving the school officials the final word on where a student will get his education.
Conversion of the mind: This will remain to be seen, but political correctness, silencing the opposition and forced compliance through legislating change is the whipped cream on top of the dessert. One of the results of conversion will be removal of all conscience clauses from the health care field, a paramount feature in a California bill introduced by San Francisco's Tom Ammiano, AB 535, Death Review Panels.
Like the high calorie dinner consumed too quickly, the voting public is displaying a massive case of indigestion after indulging in an unhealthy meal, one that ends up costing too much money as well. Since it is the rare restaurant patron that doesn't have a word with the management over a disappointing meal, it should be even more important for the citizen taxpayer to complain to the management over a badly prepared and managed administration.
Have a word with your congressman, or senator and remember the response when November 2010 rolls around.[Read More]
Failure To Break Abdulmutallab - Amidst Unraveling Administration, MSM Comes To Bat For Obama's Terror Policy
Failure To Break Abdulmutallab - Amidst Unraveling Administration, MSM Comes To Bat For Obama's Terror Policy
January 27, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a January 27 piece published in the WashPost [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012604239.html] the author, Dana Priest, tried her hand at countering the increasing criticism of team Obama's nonsensical anti-terror efforts, declaring, "The collaboration with Yemen provides the starkest illustration to date of the Obama administration's efforts to ramp up counterterrorism operations, including in areas outside the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones."
So that the correct interpretation would be drawn, that Mr. Obama leads a vigorous and effective policy to defeat the violent proponents of radical Islam - and to the detriment of Obama's critics - in a heavy handed manner she quickly followed with the obligatory dig at the GOP and the left's satanic über-villain, Dick Cheney, "Republican lawmakers and former vice president Richard B. Cheney have sought to characterize the new president as soft on terrorism after he banned the harsh interrogation methods permitted under Bush and announced his intention to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
One small fact escaping mention in Ms. Priest's journalistic spoon feeding is that until just a few weeks ago, the terror fighter residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was taking incarcerated terrorists from GITMO and releasing them directly to Yemen, whereupon of course they once again joined up with the local al-Qaeda jihadist cells.
Looming even more menacingly in any discussion of this administration's terror policy vis a vis Yemen is Obama's complete failure to aggressively debrief the Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Fact: It was reported by ABC [see, Terror in the Skies, Suspects Family Speaks Overnight, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/abdulmutallab-yemen-northwest-flight-253-terror-suspect/story?id=9430536] a month ago, that Abdulmutallab was absolutely babbling, upon being detained, about his training in Yemen and that there were others who were trained at the same time and were on their way to the United States who would soon strike.
"American fears of a sustained terror campaign have been stoked by reports that Abdulmutallab told investigators there were more "just like me" who would soon strike. ABC News cited FBI sources as saying that the Nigerian had spent a month in Yemen, where his training had included lessons in how to detonate the device, and how to evade airport security screening procedures by sewing the explosive PETN into the fabric of his underpants. He managed to penetrate all devices and modern advanced technology and security checkpoints in international airports bravely without fear of death,' the al-Qa'ida statement said. He had been 'relying on God and defying the large myth of American and international intelligence, and exposing how fragile they are. As well as claiming credit for the Detroit plot, the statement. urged the killing of Western embassy workers in the region as part of an 'all-out war on Crusaders."
[source, UK Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bomber-warns-there-are-more-like-me-in-yemen-1852092.html]
"American fears of a sustained terror campaign have been stoked by reports that Abdulmutallab told investigators there were more "just like me" who would soon strike.
ABC News cited FBI sources as saying that the Nigerian had spent a month in Yemen, where his training had included lessons in how to detonate the device, and how to evade airport security screening procedures by sewing the explosive PETN into the fabric of his underpants.
He managed to penetrate all devices and modern advanced technology and security checkpoints in international airports bravely without fear of death,' the al-Qa'ida statement said. He had been 'relying on God and defying the large myth of American and international intelligence, and exposing how fragile they are. As well as claiming credit for the Detroit plot, the statement. urged the killing of Western embassy workers in the region as part of an 'all-out war on Crusaders."
Unbelievably despite this direct forewarning by the terrorist himself, that perhaps waves of Abdulmutallab clones had been similarly groomed and were now poised to hit the U.S., team Obama - 50 minutes into a non-confrontational debriefing - the DOJ read him his "rights," thus ending any pursuit of the lead.
While Ms. Priest and her media cohorts continue to spin the bad news to best effect, there is a growing realization that the failure to break Abdulmutallab via an enhanced interrogation may well be the most serious mistake that Mr. Obama will ever make.[Read More]
Organize Now For November 2, 2010 Congressional Election!
Amended document reproduced in its entirety below [source, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-amending-executive-order-12425 Amendment to Exec. Order #12425].
We find it unusual for this administration to amend an Executive Order that had been in effect through 4 presidencies, Democrat and Republican, over a period of 25 years. Why the hurry and why now?
These changes - "immune from search," "archives...inviolable" - seem to clearly place Interpol above the reach of American law and immune from the reach of FOIA , Congressional oversight and media inquiry
Since Interpol performs various investigative duties including those related to the International Criminal Court, the changes in 12425 seem to clear the way as a first step to placing the United States under the jurisdiction of the ICC [as noted by Threats Watch] allowing Interpol to without restriction conduct investigations of U.S. citizens, organizations, etc.
We tend to agree that this move apparently clears the deck if, as some are speculating, the Obama administration broaches the very sticky issue of signing the Rome accord, which would place the U.S. under ICC jurisdiction.
Though this matter seems to be fraught with serious implications, among the MSM, only Jake Tapper at ABC News has shown any interest.
He notes on his Twitter page [see, http://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/7167692544] that he repeatedly raised the question with the WH Press Office, to no avail until, it seems that they had no choice but to deal with it, "i've asked the WH twice now about the executive order the president signed exempting Interopl from certain laws. No response."
According to Tapper's account [see, http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/12/just-what-did-president-obamas-executive-order-regarding-interpol-do.html Just What Did President Obama's Executive Order regarding INTERPOL Do?] the WH considers the issue a non-story, simply legal housekeeping correcting an alleged mistake made in 2004 when Interpol allegedly opened its "first permanent office" in the U.S.
This reasoning is flimsy at best.
If this matter is simply housekeeping, and the problem which amending 12425 now supposedly corrects was of such concern, why did it take 5 years for it to be recognized and dealt with, and why by this administration - especially given the myriad of security issues it is unconcerned about, not the least of which is the continuing policy of sending Yemeni nationals directly from GITMO detention back to the fray in Yemen, whereupon they will have the opportunity to link up with a newly invigorated al-Qaeda?
Moreover if the issue is so mundane and easily explicable why did it take multiple requests for information by Mr. Tapper before the WH responded?
As former Fed prosecutor Andy McCarthy notes in National Review, "Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize?" [source, Why Does Interpol Need Immunity From American Law?
We will therefore continue to pursue this matter, assuming the WH is willing to go on the record, something - judging from Tapper's experience - not entirely in evidence.
Text of amendment:
December 30, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf yesterday, again called upon the Obama administration to immediately halt all further transfer of Yemeni detainees being housed at GITMO back to their native country of Yemen.
About the matter, Mr. Wolf stated, "I implore you again to immediately halt these releases and answer the questions of the American people about your policies and who you are releasing. They deserve to know...It is inconceivable that you would release terrorist detainees to Yemen and Afghanistan at the same time you are launching missiles at terrorist targets. Please stop these releases."
The Congressman is the ranking GOP member of the House Appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the DOJ. Earlier this year he offered legislation mandating notification regarding impending detainee releases which was defeated in committee on a party-line vote.
This is the sixth time that Mr. Wolf has requested that detainee Yemenis not be repatriated back to their country of origin. The question of what to do with these detainees looms even larger now with the recent terrorist attack on Northwest flight #253, seemingly with the perpetrator having obtained the explosive device from an al-Qaeda cell in Yemen.
Mr. Wolf has also repeatedly requested that the administration publicly release the contents of the updated Defense Intelligence Agency report on terrorist recidivism.
December 28, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - One of the most significant aspects of 2009 is the tremendous increase this country has seen in Islamic jihadist activity.
Below a few of the key cases over the last 12 months.
December 26, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Suspected terrorist Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight #253 represents at least the 10th domestic Islamic terror plot this year.
Though Abdulmutallab had apparently come to the attention of U.S. security officials earlier, he was not on any known "no fly" list.
More shocking however, Abdulmutallab's father Alhaji Umaru Mutallab a former Nigerian banker, is said to have notified U.S. officials that he felt his son represented a threat to the United States because of his Muslim extremism and that he was surprised that his son was allowed to enter the country under any circumstances.
The younger Abdulmutalab's country of origin Nigeria, the most populous in Africa has been the scene of long time tensions pitting the mostly Muslim North against the Christian South.
December 24, 2005 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On December 22, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated the Iraq-based insurgent group Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi [JRTN] for threatening the peace and stabilization efforts in Iraq. JRTN has committed, directed, supported, or posed a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces and is being designated today pursuant to Executive Order [E.O.] 13438, which targets insurgent and militia groups and their supporters. Today's designation freezes any assets that JRTN may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the entity. The U.S. Government has no information indicating any tie between JRTN and the Naqshabandi Sufi order of Islam.
About the announcement, U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Affairs, Stuart Levy stated, "Today's designation is an important step in protecting Coalition troops, Iraqi Security Forces, and innocent Iraqis from insurgent groups like JRTN that use violence to undermine Iraq's progress toward a more democratic and prosperous future."
December 22, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Despite numerous warnings from knowledgeable national security professionals, members of Congress and a concerned public that the Yemeni terrorists currently being detained at GITMO should not be released back to their native land, yesterday's Washington Post broke the story that the Obama administration will imminently release these dangerous al-Qaeda linked individuals back to Yemen, which has seen a huge al-Qaeda resurgence over the past year.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) is again asking the Obama Administration to rethink its plans to release Guantanamo Bay detainees back to Yemen, particularly in light of the recent tragedy at Fort Hood where the alleged shooter reportedly has ties to a radical cleric now living in Yemen.
By CAMILLE GIGLIO
December 22, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The headline of this piece was duplicates that of the of a page 3 article in the 12/20/2009 edition of the San Francisco Bay Area's Contra Costa Times newspaper.
It was about culling trees unworthy of life from a grove of more desirableand stately oaks. It could have been a metaphor referring to what is arguably the most despicable piece of legislation since Roe v Wade - Democrat "Health Care."
In holding out till the last for maximum leverage, Senator Ben Nelson betrayed his pro-life supporters and all babies waiting to be born, choosing instead special monetary perks for his state with the same cavalier manner as the tree cutters culling certain trees - sorry, baby... you gotta go.
December 21, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLinenews.org - As part of a continuing effort to ascertain why Holder's DOJ dismissed the voter intimidation case against the Black Panther Party which took place in Philadelphia during the 2008 November election, Congressman Frank Wolf [R-VA] has announced legislation which would force the House of Representatives to deal with the matter and break the logjam of stonewalling by team Obama on this serious matter.
The legislation was announced on Wednesday and is now in the House Judiciary Committee, where it faces an uncertain future.
Wolf has submitted language in the annual spending bill that funds DOJ forcing its Office of Professional Responsibility to provide the results of the investigation it is conducting surrounding the dismissal the case to the House Appropriations Committee.
In these efforts Wolf has been joined by Rep. Lamar Smith [R - TX], the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.
Wolf has petitioned AG Holder six times already demanding answers, so far to no avail.
Rep. Wolf's statement follows:
"I regret that Congress must resort to oversight resolutions as a means to receive information about the dismissal of this case, but the Congress and the American people have a right to know why this case was not prosecuted...
By WILLIAM MAYER
December 17, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The response to president Obama's much delayed announcement regarding increased troop levels in Afghanistan has been predictable, with opinion divided predominantly along ideological lines and less concern devoted to matters of military necessity.
Generally, the left hates the idea of committing as many as 30,000 additional troops to the Afghan theater by next summer with many on the political right, though basically supportive of the mission, in large part demanding the full complement of 40,000 troops that Gen. McChrystal had originally requested [that number did not represent the upward limit of the General's most ambitious plan which took form in a much larger surge, comprised of possibly 85,000 troops].
But warfare is more than a game of numbers, depending on many less quantifiable and sometimes more important factors.
Among those which are deservedly receiving much greater prominence now is the matter of the critical guidance issued to U.S. forces that serves to define what constitutes the appropriate use of force when engaging the enemy - the Rules of Engagement [ROE].
The issue comes under scrutiny now that the decision has been made to substantially increase U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, but with the daunting caveat that they will only be allotted about a year to prove their effectiveness before the withdrawal process is set in motion, in July of 2011, not surprisingly in consideration of the 2012 presidential election.
The exact content of U.S. Rules of Engagement are necessarily classified, but can be stitched together and approximated with a reasonable degree of accuracy from various sources, media and otherwise. The most trustworthy of these come from statements - seldom for attribution - made by active U.S. combat forces and returning vets.
The military itself will comment, with a certain sense of vagueness, about the general outlines of the ROE, but will not address specific elements of the directive.
To those who believe that the West is embroiled in an epic conflict between civilization and Islamic jihad, the ROE loom large. If the rules are overly restrictive, U.S. combat efficiency will be negatively affected and American casualties will quickly rise. On the other hand if the ROE are too wide open then they might well serve to quash popular support for the mission among the Afghani people, a matter of prime concern in counterinsurgency warfare.
There are two official military documents which provide relevant guidance on the use of lethal force.
At the beginning of December, PipeLineNews.org opened a line of communication with a senior ISAF spokesman in Afghanistan in order to more fully understand the ROE. What follows in this section is a verbatim transcript, our questions appear in bold. The response begins with a general statement of policy; we made the decision not to attribute the comments to a particular individual, though that was not part of the ground rules going into this process.
By EMERSON VERMAAT
December 15, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - 'All rise!' This is the first thing one hears when the judge enters a courtroom. It is a traditional sign of respect for the court's impartiality and wisdom, indeed for the rule of law. But in Holland, Mohammed Faizel Ali Enait, a Dutch Surinamese Muslim defense lawyer, refuses to rise when the judges enter the courtroom, even though this is normal practice in Muslim countries such as Turkey and Morocco. The Dutch Disciplinary Court recently said they did not object to Enait?s point of view. They also allowed him to wear his traditional Muslim headgear in court.
The Netherlands Bar Assocation was not happy about the decision by the court but they will have to abide by it. They had lodged a complaint with the Disciplinary Court in September 2008. Willem Bekkers, President of the Netherlands Bar Association, said then that Mr. Enait was not justified in arguing that his faith compels him to so. 'There is separation of Church and State in Holland,' Bekkers said. What he probably meant to say was that people like Enait want to impose their own so-called Islamic rules and dress code on the secular Dutch court system. The court?s lame decision has serious legal implications. How can one now prevent a female Muslim defense lawyer from wearing an Afghan Burqa in the courtroom if she claims it is a religious obligation for her?
December 9, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The U.S. DOJ Reported on Monday that, "new federal charges filed today allege that a Chicago man, who was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees, also conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 terrorist attack on India's largest city that killed approximately 170 people, including six Americans, and injured hundreds more.
The defendant, David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen, earlier this decade allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by Lashkar e Tayyiba (Lashkar), and conspired with its members and others in planning and executing the attacks in both Denmark and India, federal law enforcement officials announced today.
Also today, a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Chicago charging Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), a retired major in the Pakistani military, with conspiracy in planning to attack the Danish newspaper and its employees. Another Chicago man, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan, was arrested in October on federal charges filed in Chicago relating to the Danish terrorism plot.
Through his attorneys, Headley has authorized the Justice Department to disclose that he is cooperating in the ongoing investigation of both the Danish and Indian terror plots. He has remained in federal custody without bond since he was arrested in Chicago on Oct. 3, 2009. No date has been set yet for his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Headley, 49, was charged in a 12-count criminal information with six counts of conspiracy to bomb public places in India, to murder and maim persons in India and Denmark, to provide material support to foreign terrorist plots, and to provide material support to Lashkar, and six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of U.S. citizens in India.
The charges were announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California and the FBI's offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are also participating in the case.
By CAMILLE GIGLIO
December 9, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Two words seem to dominate our lives these days. Those words are universal and health. Do we have a clear understanding of these two words as they apply to health care legislation in Congress?
According to Wikipedia1," in 1948 the World Health Organization, WHO-submitted the definitive understanding of health as it relates to human beings. Health is: ?a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.?
They further provided definitions for the words physical, mental and social. Social determinants of well-being are ?economic and social conditions or lifestyle choices of individual human persons.?
See also the WHO Healthy Cities Project http://www.euro.who.int/healthy-cities which states that:
December 4, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - As previously noted on these pages [see, Uncritical Pursuit Of Diversity Prevents Calling Hasan's Ft. Hood Attack Islamic Terrorism] all branches of the federal government, including the top brass at the Pentagon have been infected with the twin doctrines of diversity and multiculturalism, to the extent that they apparently value fealty to those self destructive notions more than the lives of the men and women under their command.
"I think those concerns are real and I, and I will tell you ... that they're, they're fueled partially, at least, by the speculation about - based on anecdotal evidence that people are presenting. I think we have to be very careful with that. Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse"
"I think those concerns are real and I, and I will tell you ... that they're, they're fueled partially, at least, by the speculation about - based on anecdotal evidence that people are presenting. I think we have to be very careful with that. Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse"
With that level of dysfunction in mind it is still shocking to see the Army's latest blunder in the Ft. Hood matter, that being Louay Safi an Islamist of the first order being allowed to essentially preach from that venue to soldiers on their way to the Middle East.
As notes National Review's Andy McCarthy:
Understanding, just for starters, that ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation, the country's largest successful prosecution of the Muslim terrorist network and that the organization is widely believed to be closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood [the Egyptian group which created Hamas and serves as the intellectual grandfather to nearly all Islamic terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda] should have dashed any inclination by Ft. Hood's commander of even allowing Safi on the base.
Ft. Hood Study - DOD's Shocking Whitewash Of Major Hasan's Jihad
Ft. Hood Study - DOD's Shocking Whitewash Of Major Hasan's Jihad
January 26, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Released last week with little fanfare, the Department of Defense's "Independent Review Relating To Fort Hood" demonstrates in a startlingly clear manner, the self-destructive mindset which has often plagued our national security apparatus since the inception of the war on terror, and which has gained serious momentum over the last 12 months.
Some key observations:
The 86 page study [Get Full Report Here] reflects nothing so much as the product of multiculturally biased self-censorship - an unwillingness to pursue the obvious connections because of offending protected classes. As a result it's really hard to imagine this document being taken seriously anywhere outside of government. In this case "close enough for government work" doesn't work. Major Hasan's case is unique - 12 soldiers were killed and dozens wounded, some very seriously, yet the emphasis in the study stresses prevention of all violence in general, including sexual predation, when dealing with Hasan's specific act and his motivational factors should be of prime focus. Though the report is claimed to have been prepared independently, how can that be so? The over 100 team members [this is really a case of a horse being designed by committee] seem to be almost entirely military, defense establishment or related types. They are entirely too close to the problem, reducing whatever value their analysis might provide because bias under such circumstances is a reasonable concern. The text of the analysis was clearly stripped of any possible reference that might in any way point to the religious motivation of the alleged perpetrator. There are no references, no mentions, as to what one might assume would be key words in analyzing this unprecedented breach of security - al-Qaeda, jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic radicalism, fanaticism. Islamic extremism appears in a single place, unfortunately only as a footnote and there referring to the title of a 2007 FBI report, "Countering Violent Islamic Extremism." Causes of domestic terrorism are intentionally made overbroad, with the inclusion of motivators entirely absent from this case, "Motivation for domestic violence are diverse, and include animal rights, environmentalism, nationalism, white supremacy...right-wing politics." Key statements are transparently false "...Religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor; most fundamentalist groups are not violent and religious based violence is not confined to members of fundamentalist groups." [p 80-81]. Perhaps a new methodology is in order, stripped of bias after contemplating passages such as, "...Researchers have yet to develop a single model that can estimate who is at risk for any kind of violence...no single variable has been identified that can predict violence..." [p78]. It certainly strains credulity that serious observers would have any trouble seeing the connection between Hasan's acts, his interpretation of Islam, constant proselytizing on the base, bizarre Islamist lectures which he delivered to medical professionals at Ft. Hood during which he justified suicide bombing, business cards emblazoned "Soldier of Allah" among other tellltale aspects of his behavior.
The manner in which the federal thought police controlled every aspect of this document's drafting indicates they hold the intelligence of potential readers in contempt, designing it for consumption by a nation they must deem clueless. As a result, what the report doesn't say is far more important than what it offers.
Rather than deal with the specific and unique set of problems posed by Major Hasan's jihad and the possibility that other sleepers might be ready to pull the trigger at any time, the study instead takes a shallow, overbroad approach, much of it devoted to such ancillary matters as preparations for cleaning up the mess should one of these incidents happen again, mundane bureaucratic organizational point sand the like.
If is any indication how far DOD is willing to go to undermine the truth regarding the theological linkage to terrorism, and we believe it is, then American security interests will continue to be ill-served and mole like jihadists such as Major Hasan will find few impediment to waging holy war from the inside out.[Read More]
Ft. Hood Study - DOD's Shocking Whitewash Of Major Hasan's Jihad
January 26, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Released last week with little fanfare, the Department of Defense's "Independent Review Relating To Fort Hood" demonstrates in a startlingly clear manner, the self-destructive mindset which has plagued our national security apparatus since the inception of the war on terror.
Some key observations:
The 86 page study [Get Full Report Here] reflects nothing so much as the product of multiculturally biased self-censorship - an unwillingness to pursue the obvious connections because of offending protected classes. As a result it's really hard to imagine this document being take seriously anywhere outside of government. In this case "close enough for government work" doesn't work. Major Hasan's case is unique - 12 soldiers were killed and dozens wounded, some very seriously, yet the emphasis in the study stresses prevention of all violence in general, including sexual predation, when dealing with Hasan's specific act and his motivational factors should be of prime focus. Though the report is claimed to have been prepared independently, how can that be so? The over 100 team members [this is really a case of a horse being designed by committee] seem to be almost entirely military, defense establishment or related types. They are entirely too close to the problem, reducing whatever value their analysis might provide because bias under such circumstances is a reasonable concern. The text of the analysis was clearly stripped of any possible reference that might in any way point to the religious motivation of the alleged perpetrator. There are no references, no mentions, as to what one might assume would be key words in analyzing this unprecedented breach of security - al-Qaeda, jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic radicalism, fanaticism. Islamic extremism appears in a single place, unfortunately only as a footnote and there referring to the title of a 2007 FBI report, "Countering Violent Islamic Extremism." Causes of domestic terrorism are intentionally made overbroad, with the inclusion of motivators entirely absent from this case, "Motivation for domestic violence are diverse, and include animal rights, environmentalism, nationalism, white supremacy...right-wing politics. Some statements are transparently false"...Religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor; most fundamentalist groups are not violent and religious based violence is not confined to members of fundamentalist groups." [p 80-81]. Perhaps a new methodology is in order, stripped of bias, "...Researchers have yet to develop a single model that can estimate who is at risk for any kind of violence...no single variable has been identified that can predict violence..." [p78] It certainly strains credulity that serious observers would have any trouble seeing the connection between Hasan's acts, his interpretation of Islam, constant proselytizing on the base and the bizarre Islamist lecture he delivered to medical professionals at Ft. Hood during which he justified suicide bombing among other troubling statements.
The manner in which the federal thought police controlled every aspect of this document's drafting indicates they hold the intelligence of potential readers in contempt, since it was seemingly designed for consumption by a nation they must deem clueless. As a result, what the report doesn't say is far more important than what it supposedly offers.
Rather than deal with the specific and unique set of problems posed by Major Hasan's jihad, the study instead takes a shallow, overbroad approach, much of it devoted to such ancillary matters as preparations for cleaning up the mess should one of these incidents happen again, mundane bureaucratic organizational point and the like.
If is any indication how DOD is willing to go to undermine the truth regarding the theological linkage to terrorism, and we believe it is, then American security interests will continue to be ill-served and mole like jihadists such as Major Hasan will find few impediment to waging holy war from the inside out.
The Wake Up Call That Never Comes - Why The Latest Bin Laden Message Should Be Of Special Concern To Obama
The Wake Up Call That Never Comes - Why The Latest Bin Laden Message Should Be Of Special Concern To Obama
By WILLIAM MAYER
January 25, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - With the arrival, via the reliable al-Qaeda courier service al-Jazeera, of another warning from Osama bin-Laden occurring just a few days before Mr. Obama's first State of the Union Address, it's an opportune time consider just what al-Qaeda has been demanding from the United States as a condition for bin-Laden to call off the dogs of holy war.
Likewise an assessment of how successful this administration has been in understanding and dealing with the terrorist threat is in order.
Generally it has been the position of the left, subscribed to by Mr. Obama, that the current iteration of terrorism, rather than finding its genesis in an interpretation of Islamic theology, is in large part fueled by righteous enmity against the United States and the West caused by the way these comingled entities have historically dealt with the Muslim world.
It follows from this proposition that if the United States takes a more conciliatory approach, while at the same time helping to address the relative impoverishment that the overwhelming majority of Muslims must endure, that the defusing of these supposed root causes of radicalization will largely end that which motivates the jihadists.
Thus the origin of Mr. Obama's Muslim outreach, most forcefully detailed in his June 6, 2009 Cairo speech [see, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Cairo-University-6-04-09/], with the below statement, emblematic of this approach.
"More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam. Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims."
It must be remembered that the Cairo speech was only part of a grander apologia - offered in a particularly supplicating manner - to atone for [what the president perceives to be] America's past history of oppressive actions.
Judging by the recent domestic al-Qaeda inspired attacks - Sgt. Hasan at Ft. Hood and Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab on Christmas day as well as the rapidly escalating violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama's efforts appear to have not only gained him nothing of a tangible nature but seem to have precipitated an increase in the type of activity the effort was supposed to ameliorate.
Osama Bin-Laden, through his terrorist organization al-Qaeda has a near 15 year history of delivering major threats to the United States. His first fatwa [an official judgment based upon Islamic law] was issued in 1996 [see, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html].
In this document, a declaration of war, his justifications were as specific as they were catholic.
By orders from the USA they also arrested a large number of scholars, Da'ees and young people - in the land of the two Holy Places- among them the prominent Sheikh Salman Al-Oud'a and Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali and their brothers..."
"... It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq. The horrifying pictures of the massacre of Qana, in Lebanon are still fresh in our memory. Massacres in Tajakestan, Burma, Cashmere, Assam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia, Erithria, Chechnia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world watch and hear, and not only didn't respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear conspiracy between the USA and its' allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend themselves.
By orders from the USA they also arrested a large number of scholars, Da'ees and young people - in the land of the two Holy Places- among them the prominent Sheikh Salman Al-Oud'a and Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali and their brothers..."
A similar document followed in short order, two years later in 1998 [see, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1998.html] prominently mentioning.
"First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples." and second the supposed predations created by the "crusader-Zionist alliance."
Four years later, in 2002 another threatening document arrived, with a substantially broadened indictment [see, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver]
(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all. It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions (2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you. (a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest. We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached. (b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind: v(i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire..."
(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all.
It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions
(2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.
(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest.
We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached.
(b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind: v(i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire..."
And now the latest in these seemingly never ending and expanding justifications for jihad has arrived, in which contrary to the best judgment of many terror researchers [who point to al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb or possibly al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula as being the most likely perpetrators] we find Osama bin-Laden taking credit for the Christmas airline bombing, while stating his continuing enmity towards Israel, which from previous al-Qaeda literature they assess as being nothing but a U.S. puppet state. "In the name of god the most passionate, the most merciful. From Osama to Obama. May peace be on those who follow the light of guidance. If our messages to you could have been carried by words we wouldn't have done that by planes The message I want to convey to you through the plane of the hero Umar Al Farouk reaffirms a previous message that the heroes of 9/11 conveyed to you and it was repeated frequently. The message is that America will never dream of living in peace unless we live it in Palestine. it is unfair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly therefore with god's will our attacks on you will continue if you support Israel. Peace be upon those who follow the light of guidance."
"In the name of god the most passionate, the most merciful.
From Osama to Obama.
May peace be on those who follow the light of guidance. If our messages to you could have been carried by words we wouldn't have done that by planes
The message I want to convey to you through the plane of the hero Umar Al Farouk reaffirms a previous message that the heroes of 9/11 conveyed to you and it was repeated frequently.
The message is that America will never dream of living in peace unless we live it in Palestine. it is unfair that you enjoy a safe life while our brothers in Gaza suffer greatly therefore with god's will our attacks on you will continue if you support Israel.
Peace be upon those who follow the light of guidance."
Now, with the hindsight of a decade and-a-half and dozens of communiqués, the demands which the terrorist leader makes to the United States [and by extrapolation to the Western World, bound by deep cultural similarities and bonds] are supported by a critique that is total, a civilizational indictment impossible to comply with, even if that were his desire.
His perspective is black and white, with no room for equivocation, dividing the world into two parts, dar al-harb, Arabic for the land [or abode] of war and dar al-Islam, the land of Islam or alternatively, dar al-Salaam, the land of peace.
These concepts have a long and established place in Islamic jurisprudence [see for example, http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503544498] which sees these two lands as engaging in continual warfare until the dar al-harb ultimately accepts Islam, becoming part of the Muslim Ummah [the entire body of Islamic peoples].
Though motivated by well-established and long-standing religious principles, since Islam's founding, the ferocity with which this warfare has been waged has waxed and waned depending on the relative strength or weakness of the Ummah at any one time.
In modern times, the final defeat of the Ottoman empire at the end of World War I outwardly signaled a time for pulling back and quiescence, however during this same historical period, the hoped for, future course and direction of Islam was being planned in Egypt, at the hands of the newly created organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Founded by Hasan al-Banna, but inspired by the intellectual prowess of Sayyid Qutb [who had studied briefly in the United States, declaring it decadent], new life was breathed into the combative elements contained in traditional Islamic theology, adopting the position that it was time for a purified Islamic resurgence with which to confront the Western non-Muslim world and especially the "secular" Middle Eastern states [whose leaders had been declared apostates].
Qutb's interpretations were bolstered also by the writings of the Indian theorist Abul Ala Maududi [especially in Jihad fil Islam, an exploration of holy war] who saw Islam as nothing less than a revolutionary ideology, akin to communism in its breadth.
It is these writings providing Quranic justifications for jihad that not only underpin bin-Laden's organization, but serve as the basis for much of modern jihadism.
Seen in this light, the bin-Laden's of the world are the personification of what are colloqially referred to as fundamentalist religious fanatics and their challenge is really a simple one - become Muslim, submit to a second class life of dhimmitude [also a long standing principle of the Shari'a], or be subjugated.
This is an opponent with which compromise has no meaning, leaving capitulation the only option viable to the commencement of outright hostilities.
For its part the Obama administration has pointedly and at times comically [DHS Chief Napolitano characterizing terrorism as "man-made disasters"] avoided any reference linking terrorism with Islam, presumably to avoid in their minds anything which might further infuriate the already restive Ummah.
Now of course Mr. Obama's administration is not alone in its abstemiousness when broaching this subject, just the most transparently contrived and ham-fisted. The previous administration also engaged in an on-again-off-again effort to cleanse official DC language of whatever descriptors that might prove useful in coming to terms with the terrorist phenomenon.
However GW Bush, while claiming that Islam was a religion of peace, actively engaged Islam's radical exponents, domestically and internationally in a myriad of prescriptive actions, not to mention two hot wars. To whatever degree the current administration attempts to actively thwart Islamic terrorism [regardless of what they publicly call it] the entire substance of their template for active engagement [mostly Predator missile attacks at this point] was provided courtesy of Mr. Bush.
As Wednesday evening's address approaches this administration's national security/intelligence policies have been in very large part found wanting a defining statement of purpose as well as [not surprisingly] a reasonable game plan for action.
As the latest bin-Laden video reverberates around the 'Net, the civilizational challenge this theologically based ideology represents demands a complete rethink on the part of Mr. Obama's administration. To continue down this path means at best additional delay in engaging a supremely serious antagonist, at worst leaving the United States ever more vulnerable to increasingly deadly consequences.[Read More]
San Francisco Walk For Life Sends Powerful Message
San Francisco Walk For Life Sends Powerful Message
By CAMILLE GIGLIO
January 24, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The day was quite rainy, but not too cold. Though it may have discouraged a few people from coming, there were still an estimated 25,000 in attendance. Their presence attests to the staunch and determined Pro Life community willing to endure some discomforts to send a message to the elected officials of this state and country, that Pro Life people still have a conscience and intend to advance their cause.
I especially liked the comments of one 5th grade young man from Sacramento, there with his grandmother. He attends public school and often gets into trouble with his teachers and school officials he said, because he tries to tell his schoolmates that abortion kills babies.
The sight of hundreds of young parents with baby strollers, heavily protected from the elements, was encouraging. The many members of religious communities that were there from as far away as Los Angeles, was heartening along with groups of teenagers from Bakersfield and Modesto.
During a morning Mass held at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, there were as many as 8 Bishops presiding.
This day's event will be worth holding in memory when we are confronted with the reality of conflicted priests and religious who insist on supporting President Obama's health care program and, in fact, lending their names and their church's name to letter's in support of Obamacare.
It can be a discouragement to hear priests declare that they only support the health care delivery part of the agenda but declare that they make sure that groups like PICO and ACORN understand that they don't support that group's abortion agenda. One pro abortion protester said it almost right in a sign he carried. The sign said: "abortion is health care." Turn the words around and you see the truth - healthy care is abortion. Obama's plan for healthcare is the numbing of the mind and conscience which is why all legislators who support it must be rejected.
Many pro life people are concerned, and rightly so, about the loss of a conscience clause protecting them from having to participate in abortions. What few understand, however, is that when we sit back and accept sex education in the schools, federal control of education, school programs like "Character Counts" and health care that is total manipulation of the conscience, we will soon be a country no longer in need of a conscience clause because by then all will be in lockstep with whatever politically correct mantra of values that might then be in favor.
Friday's March for Life in Washington, D.C. and Walter Hoye's demonstration for life in Oakland, along with Saturday's Walk For Life in San Francisco shows that there are significant numbers of people who still possess properly formed consciences regarding life - please God we can keep it.
ray for all those who are succumbing to the morals neutral conscience of anything goes as long as it advances my cause and may God protect all who defend human life.
"Bo" from Folsom
This man, his wife, on the left, and a friend came from Modesto with about 300 others
Brian Johnston, President, California Pro Life Council, state affiliate of Nat'l Right to Life Sacramento. He would like to remind the people that messages must be sent to Speaker Pelosi [nominally a Catholic] urging her tochange her position on life issues, stating, "Life matters. People of faith need to work to change public policy."
When asked for his thoughts on the the health care bill, Johnston replied, "This health care bill is diabolical. It expands the culture of death."
David Bereit of Forty Days For Life, from Washington, D.C., one of the speakers.
Ashley, a college student from the Peninsula said, "It is very important to be here to show respect for life."
San Francisco Walk For Life Marchers Undeterred By Inclement Weather
January 23, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Not even constant showers which drenched many, could keep West Coast pro-life forces home today as tens of thousands streamed into San Francisco to bear witness to the personal, moral and societal damage caused by abortion.
Coalescing around the idea that Women Deserve Better, the 6th annual "Walk for Life" was by all accounts a successful demonstration that not even San Francisco, perhaps the most liberal city in America, could escape a call to public accountability over this serious issue.
With an estimated 23,000-25,000 braving the elements, young, old and in between gathered at the foot of Market St. at Justin Herman Plaza, scene of innumerable leftist demonstrations through the years. The mood was light yet reflective as an army of busses ferried the faithful to the site.
Speakers at the event coming from as far away as Paris, France, delivered enthusiastic and uplifting speeches as the crowd huddled together to stay warm.
A two mile march to Crissy Field followed the rally, where, with the Golden Gate bridge as a backdrop, busses were waiting for the return trip to Northern California parishes.
Though most of those turning out were Catholic, numerous other faiths were also represented in this multidenominational, multiethnic outpouring of hope and concern. Counter-protesters were almost nonexistent and trouble was nil. Perhaps a dozen hard-core Stalinists were gathered nearby, obviously cowed by size of the pro-life crowd.
Amidst steadily falling public support for abortion, the ability of this growing movement to turn out so many willing to brave inclement weather should not have been that surprising, yet the sight of so many gathering today under these conditions sent a powerful message that the United States has come a long way back since the dark initial days after Roe vs. Wade countenanced this tragic procedure.
Effective Interrogation Of Christmas Bomber Blocked By White House - National Security Team Cut Out Of Process
January 22, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - It's clear from recent Congressional testimony by the Obama administration's national security team, led by John Brennan Deputy National Security Advisor, that there was nothing that even approached a reasonably thorough interrogation of the Nigerian Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before he was read his Miranda rights, allowing him to lawyer up, effectively silencing him.
Reading between the lines - not so difficult with this administration - it appears that the WH in conjunction with the DOJ simply made the decision on the matter - granting Abdulmuatllab the same rights which accrue to American citizens - only then informing the agencies which should have been consulted well before such a decision had been rendered.
That the need for an intensive interrogation of Abdulmutallab was required, should have been obvious to anyone even marginally well-versed in intelligence matters. With the bomber's well know direct links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, he could have provided vital intelligence - regarding most critically - the existence of further bombing plots. That information which now, due to this national security team's incompetence, we will never know.
The number of lives potentially threatened by this serious breach is impossible to gauge at this point, leaving the United States in a reactive, rather than aggressively pro-active , wide open for whatever lingering plans might still be operative.
Speaking to this spectacular intelligence failure Congressman Frank Wolf [R-VA] has addressed his concerns to Mr. Brennan, noting - unbelievably - that five months into the process, the administration is still refusing to provide lawmakers with any information regarding the profound changes that have been made to the previous interrogation policy, the one mind you that countenanced in the enhanced debriefing of KS Mohammed, revealing the existence of numerous ongoing terrorist plots.
Below from Mr. Wolf's letter, revealing an administration whose anti-terror policy is in disarray.
"I am deeply concerned about the conflicting information that members of Congress have received about the interrogation of the alleged Christmas Day airline bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. I would appreciate your help in clarifying these conflicting reports and explaining our interrogation policy.
It is becoming clear to me is that there was no coordinated interagency management of the Abdulmutallab interrogation before he was read Miranda rights and provided an attorney. In light of recent intelligence reports indicating other potential terror plots against the U.S., this haste may have cost the U.S. Government and our intelligence professionals critical information that could have helped to uncover and disrupt future attacks.
Last August, the Administration announced a major change in our Nation's interrogation policy based on the recommendations of the Interrogation Task Force. At the time to policy was announced, the Congress was told that the President had approved a series of policy changes. It is now five months later and the Administration has not provided the new policy to the Congress. Can you please provide me with a copy of the Administration's interrogation policy approved by the President in August, 2009, classified as appropriate? Can you also please provide me with a copy of any final memorandum of understanding related to implementation of the new policy? In addition, the Administration reports that the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) envisioned in the new policy is not yet operational. How will the HIG operate, and what is the timeline for the HIG to begin operations?
Despite the fact that the HIG is not yet operational, a cornerstone of the new interrogation policy was that the "principal function" of interrogations of High-Value Detainees would be "intelligence gathering rather than law enforcement". It is therefore very troubling that in the case of Mr. Abdulmutallab, it appears that key entities of the intelligence community were not consulted or involved in the interrogation or the decision to forego extensive interrogation and treat this as a case for Federal prosecution. Was anyone in the intelligence community, outside of the FBI, consulted regarding this interrogation?
A report published yesterday by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff cites unnamed officials as stating that the HIG was specifically envisioned to handle the questioning of high-value Al Qaeda leaders captured overseas. This assertion is contrary to briefings I have received from administration officials. Does the new policy give the HIG or any other entity the authority to interrogate terrorists detained inside the U.S.? What is the definition of "High-Value Detainee", and did Mr. Abdulmutallab fit that definition? Regardless of where a detainee is apprehended, if the person has intelligence value, the underlying purpose should be to get as much information as possible.
Finally, I remain concerned about the length of the interrogation of Mr. Abdulmutallab. By all accounts investigators spent only a few hours with him, at most. It is troubling to think that an opportunity to gain critical intelligence may have been lost because we did not put the right people in place, consult the intelligence community, and give interrogators the necessary time to conduct an effective, intelligence-driven, interrogation.
These are critical questions that must be answered to ensure proper congressional oversight. Last week, I sent you the enclosed letter with a series of additional questions pertaining to this terrorist plot and the developing threat from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. I would appreciate a prompt response to these questions as well. I urge you to work with members of Congress to provide a clear picture of the events of December 25, 2009 and to ensure that our federal interrogators have the support and resources need to secure necessary and timely intelligence from detained terrorists."
Team Obama's record of responding to such Congressional inquiry has been abysmal, with long standing demands for information routinely being ignored in matters as disparate as the Black Panther vote suppression case, the threat assessments of GITMO detainees and other questions regarding the release of terror suspects to foreign countries such as Yemen.[Read More]
Supreme Court Affirming First Amendment, Overturns Key Aspect Of McCain-Feingold
Supreme Court Affirming First Amendment, Overturns Key Aspect Of McCain-Feingold
January 21, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a remarkably powerful way the U.S. Supreme Court has struck a huge and far reaching blow in support of the First Amendment, overturning significant aspects of previous "campaign finance reform" legislation, declaring it unconstitutional.
The 5-4 Decision written by justice Kennedy struck down a key provision in McCain Feingold, the onerous legislation passed during GW Bush's first term, which many on the right considered unconstitutional at the time as well as the 1990 Austin decision.
The specific case deals with a campaign documentary generated by the non-profit Citizens United which was critical of then candidate Hillary Clinton.
Fearful that the campaign piece might be violative of McCain Feingold, Citizens sought declaratory and injunctive relief to avoid potential criminal and civil penalties.
The DC District Court decided against the plaintiff and from there it was appealed to the SCOTUS which today ruled in favor of Citizens, overturning the District Court decision.
In order to deal with the core issue - the ability of corporate entities to exercise free political speech - it was necessary for the decision to go farther than that however, "this case cannot be resolved on a narrower ground without chilling political speech, speech that is central to the First Amendment's meaning and purpose." [source, Citizens vs FEC, pg. 3]
In doing so the court overturned the 1990 ruling, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which held that prohibiting political speech by a corporation was constitutional..."This Court is confronted with conflicting lines of precedent: a pre-Austin line forbidding speech restrictions based on the speaker's corporate identity and a post-Austin line permitting them. Neither Austin's anti distortion rationale nor the Government's other justifications support...The First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech, but Austin's anti distortion rationale would permit the Government to ban political speech because the speaker is an association with a corporate form. Political speech is "indispensable to decision making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation." [source, ibid, pg. 5]
Demonstrating the unconstitutional nature of Austin and hence the operative section of McCain Feingold, the court declares:
"The law before us is an outright ban, backed by criminal sanctions. Section 441b makes it a felony for all corporations including nonprofit advocacy corporations either to expressly advocate the election or defeat of candidates or to broadcast electioneering communications within 30days of a primary election and 60 days of a general election. Thus, the following acts would all be felonies under §441b: The Sierra Club runs an ad, within the crucial phase of 60 days before the general election, that exhorts the public to disapprove of a Congressman who favors logging in national forests; the National Rifle Association publishes a book urging the public to vote for the challenger because the incumbent U. S. Senator supports a handgun ban; and the American Civil Liberties Union creates a Web site telling the public to vote for a Presidential candidate in light of that candidate's defense of free speech. These prohibitions are classic examples of censorship." [source, ibid, pg. 28]
The court affirmed the right of free political speech as necessary to a functioning democracy, "Speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, for it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people. See Buckley, supra, at 1415 ("In a republic where the people are sovereign, the ability of the citizenry to make informed choices among candidates for office is essential"). [source, ibid, pg. 30]
More importantly for this case, it applies the long decided principle that corporations have similar rights to individuals, largely because they are associations of individuals, "Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints...Under the rationale of these precedents, political speech does not lose First Amendment protection "simply because its source is a corporation." Bellotti, supra, at 784; see Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. Public Util. Comm'n of Cal., 475 U. S. 1, 8 (1986) (plurality opinion)("The identity of the speaker is not decisive in determining whether speech is protected. Corporations and other associations, like individuals, contribute to the 'discussion, debate, and the dissemination of information and ideas' that the First Amendment seeks to foster" (quoting Bellotti, 435 U. S., at 783)). [source, ibid, pg. [source, ibid, pg. 33]
The court reasserts the First Amendment rights of corporate entities, "The Government contends that Austin permits it to ban corporate expenditures for almost all forms of communication stemming from a corporation. See Part IIE, supra; Tr. of Oral Arg. 66 (Sept. 9, 2009); see also id., at 2631 (Mar. 24, 2009). If Austin were correct, the Government could prohibit a corporation from expressing political views in media beyond those presented here, such as by printing books. The Government responds "that the FEC has never applied this statute to a book," and if it did, "there would be quite [a] good as applied challenge." Tr. of Oral Arg. 65 (Sept. 9, 2009). >b>This troubling assertion of brooding governmental power cannot be reconciled with the confidence and stability in civic discourse that the First Amendment must secure.... There is simply no support for the view that the First Amendment, as originally understood, would permit the suppression of political speech by media corporations." [source, ibid, pg. 40-44]
This leads to the kernel of today's ruling, "We return to the principle established in Buckley and Bellotti that the Government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker's corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations...Austin is overruled, so it provides no basis for allowing the Government to limit corporate independent expenditures." [source, ibid, pg. 57]
Just for the record, the self-proclaimed "wise Latina," voted in the mionority [concurring with Justice Stephens' dissent], against the free expression of political speech inherent in the First Amendment...exactly what you would expect from a radical activist.
One additional point to contemplate is the sheer audacity with which the minority in this case, who have traipsed all over the principle of stare decisis [settled law] - inventing new rights at will, most recently and egregiously in Hamden [awarding the full rights of U.S. citizens to foreign terrorists] out of thin air - now hide behind the same principle which they routinely spit on.
"...The final principle of judicial process that the majority violates is the most transparent: stare decisis. I am not an absolutist when it comes to stare decisis, in the campaign finance area or in any other. No one is. But if this principle is to do any meaningful work in supporting the rule of law, it must at least demand a significant justification, beyond the preferences of five Justices, for overturningsettled doctrine." [source, ibid, pg. 104]
The 31 GOP Senators who voted against this hack, should take comfort this evening, confident it was they who exhibited wisdom and courage in bucking the call of the herd in this matter.[Read More]
Mist Upon The Mountains - The Escape
By A.H. Watson
Chapter I - The Emancipation
The fire had burned to glowing embers. Its dying warmth matched the glow from the evening's cocktails, which filled Henny's body. The warmth was further banked by the enduring warmth these men felt for each other and filled the crevasses worn deep in each mans soul.
Nothing teaches like survival. Little endures that is not won on the field of battle or in the trenches of hard labor. To these men knowledge, trust - even love - was built on their common experience. Both failure and success each had known, individually and together. Indeed it is the glue that binds each to another...to a view of life and how it should be lived
Just as Henny believed in the commonality of mountain and Charleston men, the varied lives that these men had lived drew, in Henrys belief, from a common well. As such, the three of them reacted similarly to many different stimuli. Each man had been tested in his loyalty to the institution or the group. None had come up wanting. Had they been found wanting, they would have also been found jailed.
Several years ago, when they all still believed that a little more freedom would bring so-called justice to the Negro community, when they felt that just a few more years of equal education would help them over the hump - they had faced a challenge that almost destroyed them. One that, if not in the end left to that trust, could have destroyed Henny and even the Judge.
By 1985 the country had made great strides in making room for Negro in American society. No nation has ever done more; from today looking back, perhaps too much, with too little asked in return.
They had not been at the cabin on the stream that trip but at the house on the lake. Henny's home place, the farm his great grandfather had left from for the city, and hopefully a better life for his family. No family could attest to the value of education more than that of the Mayor's. As the Judge had often pointed out, Henny had moved from mountain poverty to government imposed poverty, all in four generations. The farm remained as it had been established, but with one glaring exception. The most valuable asset, the thirty acres of lowland, rich in nutrients washed from the surrounding hills had been converted into a lake. The creek traversing its center was dammed, destroying for future generations the sight and source of the blinding sweat and grubbing nature of mountain farming.
Little did the locals or the Mayor realize that the lake would, in the future, soon become an asset that the arriving stock mongers, asset managers, and e-mail wranglers would refer to as God Sent" as in ;" why Mr. Penny this lake is just a" God send" isn't it?" Those words only brought to Henry's thoughts the extreme guilt he felt for having destroyed the land that his kin had carved from nature or the left hand of God", as the local preacher often said. Several thousand stumps were hand dug and pulled from the ground, the largest burned in place by series of fires set over the two years taken to clear the land. It was all there in the family bible for any that cared to read. But so few did in this age of reason. With computers who needed to read any longer, it sufficed to merely point and click.
Henny loved his lake, and the many friends that joined him in its enjoyment. When he sat in the evening he looked upon its beauty, the circular ripples moving apart, caused by some unseen critter practicing Darwin's plan, or perhaps an evening swallow dipping its last drink. The low call of the whippoorwill that, unlike like the many children's tales, actually lived in the hollow besides the house and called every evening.
Owl, deer, bobcats and bear all converged on this place at their appointed times. Henny saw them all.
It brought him peace.
Even with this, Henny told the assembled crowd one evening while in his cups. "We sit here day after day looking at the water, fishing its depths. I hope you see what is screaming at you my fat and complacent friends. The lake is a metaphor for the differences in the generations. The thing that separate us from our past .their work is our play. Our work would be of no consequence to them.....considered mere child's play, not worthy of an adults time or thoughts. We call our selves men, while we are but simple children in the sight of our past. Actors upon a stage feinting and braying, hoping that no one will notice the paleness of our souls, the shallowness of our plans".
Everyone soon retired for the evening - guilt is a taskmaster that offers little solace.
Chapter II - Visitors
The Judge and I had arrived the day before, which was often the case when others had been invited. The house needed a good cleaning and the beds required their coat of sheets before the weekend. He and I enjoyed the evenings before the visitors came, discussing our friends and the coming events as we had often done in the past. I emphasize weekend as most were still hard at work and had only those days to devote to pleasure. It is strange that here were the Judge and I, footloose so to speak, not counting the impediment or fortunes of marriage, depending upon ones view of things at this stage of life.
We shaped our pleasure to the structures of the week.
Isn't this the way of the human animal though? One spends a lifetime wishing and waiting for the freedoms from five or six-day week, only to find that without thinking most enjoyable plans are centered around the weekend. As Orwell said, All pigs are equal, some are just more equal than others."
And so it must be with days of the week, Saturday and Sunday blocked out for rest, with Friday the day looked forward to with the zeal of a young lover seeking more. Thumbing back through my day calendar I notice that almost all movements were made on Fridays and Sundays, with a few Thursdays, such as this week, pushing the curve. Man was indeed tied to his experiences, and seldom ventured far from them. I believed that .at least until this weekend had unfolded and slipped into the mist of theJudge and my shared history.
"What time did they say they would come?" ask the Judge slowly building a case of indignity he could use upon Dick's and Earls eventual arrival.
Earl Robinson was a friend of our childhood. A talented man known throughout the country for his knowledge of the world of water, where it should go where it shouldn't, and most beneficial of all, how to keep it where you wanted it!
As with Earl, Dick too was a man of our youth, known from the day he moved to Hennyville when he was around nine. What is it the Catholics say? "Give me a child until he is eight, then you may have him the remainder of his life." Well, they should have had a shot at Dick, it would have not hurt. But come to think on it for a moment, I don't believe the Catholics advertise that statement any longer....least not since the Mother Church, like all the rest, has come to believe in relative goodness.
I have hesitated to pronounce on Dick. He is a member of the group in good standing and accepted by all as one of the crowd. That is he is accepted, but with some deep and lasting reservations about his track in life.
Like The Judge and myself at one time, Dick is a lawyer. But there the semblance ends. Dick practices with some white shoe firm in Atlanta and is powerfully successful. Yet Dick has never been able to explain to many exactly what he does to earn his chop each month. Most of the old time white, Caucasian only" firms in the city have changed.
They said it was social justice and responsibility that drove them.
The Judge and myself, knowing many of them, believe that it was that Atlanta had slipped away, had become a black city - headed the way of Washington D.C. - a town run by the incompetent for the useless and utterly clueless.
Dick was a leader of that pack.
In lieu of blackness, which not even Dick could do - though like a lizard I had seen him close his eyes and squeeze as though he were trying to change color he gave cover and advancing fire to the troops of blacks rapidly looting the city far worse than Sherman and his misbegotten gangs of hired hands had ever done.
Dick threw himself into the fight to destroy any and everything white people had built, not just in Atlanta but the country at large. Coupled with Morris Dilbert, from a so-called civil rights law firm, and a few others funded not only by the city coffers but by the federal taxpayer as well, Dick and Morris had succeeded far beyond where their limited imagination carried them.
After one such battle, I believe it was to change the name of the Birch Street School" to Fumhe Moo Me Interdisciplinary Educational Institution", Doc Mel remarked Shit Henny, if those little tykes can write the name of their school they won't need a year end test."
Dick had told me one night right after the school board had indicated their willingness to make the change," Jesus Hen, just think of the power to make change that I have. Would you have every thought society would have stood still for this kind of act." As I remember my answer had been a simple," No, Dick I wouldn't, but then I would not have expected you to feel so good about it." His last word that night as I rounded the corner for bed," well, Henny you and the Judge are just jealous of the power and responsibility I have."
Earl is the salt, the most reliable man I know; quiet, awkward at public speech, yet sure of his abilities and unwilling to show you up in public or in private. When they arrived, some two hours late, as Dick had a meeting that he just could not escape and kept Earl outside for some two hours.
Earl had white spots around his mouth, those that knew him took warning as it meant he may blow, at best a semi-annual occurrence and one that could be brought about only by something big. The Judge, who had been ready to pounce the minute they arrived, took one look at Earl and headed instead for the bar.
Hurrying into the house, Dick had tried to hug me while explaining his lateness as being required by the necessity of solving all of the problems of Atlanta before they left town for the day.
Keeping Dick at bay with my out thrust hand, he accepted a shake as I looked over his shoulder at Earl whose eyes stared upward at the rafters as he shook his head. "God Damn it Dick! You can tell them all later. I have had to listen to your shit for 125 miles, and believe me that is 124 too many.....just shut the fuck up."
Dick turned as if struck, Well, buddy boy, next time catch your own ride, some of us have real jobs."
Earl, who had accomplished more that morning that Dick had since the Doctor whacked on his foreskin, said nothing, but turned and followed The Judge to the bar, where they embraced and began to talk about the trout both had hooked, but neither had landed. The yellow-rock trout they called it. Each time the story became more unbelievable.
If the fish became any larger in telling, somebody was going to have to re-size the stream.
"You know Hen, you really should have done something with your legal abilities, you should get out of Hennyville and live. Look at me, did you ever imagine that life could be this way. If you hold your tongue a bit, I'll bet Morris would use you to help on some of our cas..."
"That was when I hit him, your Honor," I thought to my self, as I looked at this man standing here lecturing me on life.
Has life become this fucked up? Are these people really in charge of the asylum? Well yes, but surely not forever and assuredly not in here in my house. And that is when I did hit him - hard, and on the nose. Remembering what Daddy had always said - "What worth doing, is worth doing well."
Chapter III - The Cup Reneth Over
Dick didn't appear for dinner. The Judge started some crap about hitting being the child's solution to problem solving and was starting to recommend anger concealing when he finally broke down and laughed.
Earl, as was his nature, said he felt responsible. He mentioned that He should have hit the bastard earlier, but that after all he was driving, and the mountains were curvy. "Henny, you know its funny really, there was once in the car when I actually visualized MY driving, Dick sitting in the right hand seat, and my leaning over and punching him right smack in the proboscis."
"You reckon I have that what'cha'ma call it?"
"You mean you think it was a case of Déjà vu?"
"Pre-cognition," the Judge snapped."
"God damn it Earl, it don't take no mind reader to predict Dick getting hit in the nose. Good Lord man, half the state of Georgia would pay for the opportunity and here Hen goes and does it for nothing. Do either of you realize what we could have auctioned off that pop in the kisser for?""
For those of you that don't keep up with the Judge and Henny, the Judge was referring to an opportunity to get funds for a small tax-free company they managed. The motto of which is Do good by doing great!"
"Earl, when you fly off all over hells half-acre, do you actually use words like curvy in your speeches? .No, it doesn't matter, just wondering .Why? I'll tell you why. It makes you sound like all engineers are candidates for hair dressers school....that's why, you big oaf."
Henny was still keyed up or' jammed' as the younger crowd might say and spoiling for a fight. Earl, who had missed the Olympics his sophomore year in High School in the 20' rope climb by .00010 of a second , and some NCAA politics, was not a victim of choice - it only showed that Henny's juices still ran warm.
Turning to the Judge, Earl spoke.
"All the way up here Judge, the prick talked about all the things he had been able to do to upset the balance of power and even the practice religion and education in Atlanta. He was boasting that Christmas would never be the same, that crime would never be punished in the same way, or even that some things such as dope or simple theft would even be handled as crimes in the future.
That is if he and Morris Dilbert had their way.
Is that right Judge? Can one man change all the laws in the nation just because he declares them not to be the ones he likes?"
"It would seem so Earl. It started with property rights, the right of an agency of the government to make its own law; to change 200 years of rules and regulations to meet their own view of today. Once America gave up the Constitution as designed by the fathers of this country, it was bound to happen. They had seen it happen before, that is why they were here in America. One of them even said, we have given you a republic, if you can keep it." We didn't son, we simple gave up to the Dilberts and the Hesters of the world."
The Judge shook his white hair and moved to the bar.
When the three looked up from small fire, Dick had entered the room and stood next to the Judge at the bar, fixing a stiff drink. Across the lake a blue light glanced from the surface and skidded into the living room of the house changing everyone's skin color to that of an impressionist painting. Colors not seen in day bathed the faces in the room, each with a different highlight, depending upon the angle and closeness to the glass doors overlooking the lake. Dick a wan purple, moved to the door as we all heard the light rumble of tires on the gravel road across the lake.
Soon it was apparent the car, a Sheriffs no doubt from the flashing strobe light, was coming here to the cabin. Sheriff Hall never arrived in such splendor, reckon Dick called him and he was coming to the complaint of assault? I hit him hard enough, but if this is to be the result, it should have been with a little more authority. Henny looked at Dick but his face, still a light purple- his forehead marked with red, seemed as confused as were the Judge and Earl's standing beside him.
It was two cars in fact, the Sheriff's and that of a Deputy Sailor, an old mountain name not always attached to the better angels of the local community.
In fact it was well known that his being a Deputy was no more than a political plum paid for favors rendered. For the past two years Hooter" had been forced to ride herd on the fellow. His gun was much too large for the mind and nature that controlled it. Deputy Sailor was both a coward and a bully; the most dangerous mix in a society that allows its law enforcement to normally be given the benefit of doubt, and assumed to be right in those cases where words were in conflict or down right at cross-purpose.
"Evening Hoot, little late for social calls, isn't it?
Henny smiled at his old friend. "How about a cold one, or did you come to arrest me?"
"Not all in all a bad idea Mr. Mayor, the arrest I mean. As for the drink, I would love it, but can't, not with this little shit with me." He nodded at Deputy Sailor, hand on his gun, standing at a distance, astride the walkway to the house.
"It's not a social call I'm making, came to warn you that there has been a break out at the work camp over the river, well hell, you know where it is."
Before the Sheriff could elaborate on the situation, Deputy Sailor added his opinion with out being asked." Don't you never mind Mr. Penny, I know these fellas and never seen a nigger yet that would cross a river on even a bus, if'n he could help it. Just y'all go on drinking your liquor and telling tales, those boys long gone South of here. We are just wasting our time, but the Sheriff here thinks you girls need protecting, being citified and all."
The Sheriff turned to say something to the Deputy, but felt my restraining hand and relaxed. " "Thanks Jr." I said, ""we need all the looking after we can get. Some of this crowd was shooting 'Cong out of trees at night; while the best part of you, was running down your Daddy's leg. Get off my fucking property and don't ever come back unless you have a warrant. And if you do, you best bring someone that can enforce it.""
Turning to the Sheriff, "Hooter, "I'm sorry, I just hate that word nigger". I use it from time to time, yes, and I don't like myself much better when I do .but I am not going to have it used by trash standing in my yard.""
Sailor stared at me with the pure hate, the hate only the classless can muster.
"Well Sailor, see you made another friend. I told you that you just had a way of endearing yourself to the customer. Go over to the # 64 bridge and set up surveillance."
"You have given me all the help I need here."
Swaggering, again as only white trash can do...remember how Clinton walked?
Sailor left the lake...but not our minds.
When he had backed out, Hooter looked at me and shook his head.
"I know Henny, but you don't need an enemy like that. You have just given me something else to do. Now not only do I have to worry about the election and the breakout, but covering your sorry butt."" He went on to tell us the peculiarities about the escape and the serious nature of at least one of the missing men. They had killed a workman at the prison, seemingly needlessly, and not been missed till lock down at 10 pm.
Chapter IV - The Last Drop
I cannot ever remember these men being this quiet before. Each lost in their own thoughts, it was minutes before anyone spoke.
Dick broke the silence.
"Well, they were being mistreated; we have all heard about the horrible conditions at these camps. Just last month Morris and I started a task force on prison cruelty. He seems to think there are millions to be won in suits against county prison farms just like the one the Sheriff runs. Think I will get my briefcase and make some notes, my pistol might make some of you feel better as well."
"You do that Dick, I know it will make me feel better knowing you are carrying a gun", The Judge called after him.
Henny looking at Earl said, "well, it won't hurt to get out the shotgun, I expect they did go south toward Atlanta, there isn't much up this way to entice them. Did you hear what Hooter said? The one black wasn't suppose to be there. He was far too dangerous, a stone killer I believe he said, with a long record of violence in prison as well. His papers were delayed and he was put up over night at the farm. Ain't that always the way, no matter what. A train accident, boats running into each other. All this mayhem and most of it caused by two mistakes colliding with each other. You know Earl, sometimes I wonder how in the hell we ever got to the moon."
"Henny, my wonder has always been, how in the hell did they get off. Ninety-nine percent of America can't back into a parking space, and that cool bastard backed down a jet of hot gasses, slowly reducing the power until he touched the moon. Then he said, "I believe we have touch down Houston".
Earl was interrupted by the Judge, highly unusual for him.
"Earl's right Henny, by God that was the defining moment in the history of man. From my perspective it has been all down-hill since. That pilot, and that what he was, a flyer, should have said."Houston by God I did it! - this piece of fucking tin, put together by the cheapest goddamn contractors you could find, is on the ground by God,.....'old terra moona'. Pay up you motherfuckers! I know your control group had a 'pool' on our ever making a radio call from the surface fo the moon. Call in that prick that pays us our 30k a year and let's negotiate a deal to get this crate back. Talk to my agent, and my tax attorney."
Hey Ma, look at me, I am on top of the world."
Henny looked up from wiping down the shotgun, the shells arrayed in front of him."That's the way it would be in 2001, now that we have crossed Clintons bridge. But let me suggest also that if it had been today with all the forced hiring, demanded equality of outcome, the dependency on lies and cover up for obvious mistakes and sins of commission and omission, the poor bastards would have never made orbit, much less the surface."
"And you know Dick would say that's all right, as long as at least one that died was a Negro, and a Mexican." the Judge added frowning up at the door.
Dick had returned with his pistol, but it was pointed at his head, and held by, excuse me, the biggest nigger any of them had ever seen. There is simply no other way to describe him in a way you would understand or feel in your bones and gut. The man was massive, muscled to the point of awe, and black as Clinton's soul. There was, even among hardened vets, never a thought that this man could be rushed or taken by surprise.
It seemed death could come easy at the hands of this man and was not a stranger to him. Calm as the man on the moon ship, no panic, no hurry.
The black turned immediately to Henny."I heard what you said in the yard, we was in the trees near that Deputy. other wise you'd be dead, killing don't mean nutt'in to me. Its all the same now. They gonna kill me if'in they catch me, an' I suppose they will....soon enough. But they gonna kill my boy hea' cause he be wit me, and all dis fancy nigger ever done wuz to git cross wise wit that damn deputy."
For the first time the other intruder was put in frame. The dominance of the big black had been so complete none had noticed the other colored fella standing there, looking rather nonplus.
I thought considering the situation. and considering that if something wasn't done,four friends could become four corpse rather quickly.
"And who are you may I ask", looking at the slight young man standing just inside the door. The man, around 22 years, looked at Henny, then the Judge and smiled, "That there is John Henry, I'm Willard Howard of Atlanta." I came into this County yesterday morning a college student. I stand here now a man wanted for murder....evidently."
"Murder is not a charge one smiles about," the Judge saw fit to interject, some how feeling that he was back in his court room in Hennyville.
I know that mister, but being jailed and charged with resisting arrest is not a smiling offense either, that is precisely what that damn Deputy Sailor did to me. He grabbed me out of the car and said no nigger in this county ever drove a Corvette he didn't steal."
When he found out it was registered to me he changed the ticket to resisting arrest, and said well I wouldn't own it for long; they would repossess the car before I got off the work gang.
Daddy told me that if I drove a car above my station, something bad was liable to happen."
For one second, fleeting though it was considering our plight, I found my self more in tune with this slight, coffee colored, student than the man directly across the table from me now.
Dick who had been pushed into the chair across from me by the giant John Henry, looked up at the the large man as said, I think I can help you, I spend my time helping the poor and unfortunate of your race. There is no reason I can't be of service to you - my name is not unknown in legal circles. Yes I am convinced I can help."
"Me too, the black slowly agreed.
Dick smiling for the first time looked at me with a vindicated look. The giant went on,"if I hold your scrawny ass....just so" - with that he reached one hand around Dicks neck and actually held him at arms length above the chair. "If you wus thicker you could stop more bullets but I guess this will just have to do."
With that he dropped Dick.
He hit the chair and sprawled helpless under the table. Neither moved in the few moments I had available to watch.
I heard what that pussy," nodding at Dick, didn't say out there in the dark as well." John Henry announced, seemingly to the room at large, then spitting toward the prostrate figure of the man.....
A man suddenly...not as well know in legal circles.
"Willie, get that gun the fellow is so love'nly stroking. I'm gonna find a drink."
With that the big man moved to the kitchen and begin opening cabinets searching for a bottle.
Looking down, I noticed that in all the imploding madness, I had never stopped slowly rubbing the gun stock. The shells awaited Willard's seemingly hesitant hand. Listening to Henry destroy the kitchen, searching for drink, Willard had moved to the bar standing open at the end of the room, lifted several bottles inspected their label and poured a stiff three fingers....in the proper glass.
With a slight smile, he tipped the glass to me and watched me over it's rim as the liquor disappeared down his 'au lait" colored throat.
Funny what one will think at stressful times. I remember being pleased that he had picked the single-malt in the eighty-dollar bottle. It would have been my choice also.
Grabbing a quart of Wild Turkey, Willard then headed toward the kitchen, calling out is this what you are looking for big'un?"
I could see the Judge bristle in the semi dark - and again funny what you will think at the time - but thinking, the Judge is pissed that he didn't take him the Early Times.
It had been the big man's intention to kill us all, steal the cars, and make a break. The key to a criminals, success as well as their many failures, is the straight line thinking employed.
Girl....sex - money....sex - Car....sex.
Their success is in their willingness to just take what they want. Their failure is to plan events far enough in advance as to avoid situations such as this.
Henry did not want to kills us....he did not want not to kill us .Henry had no fuckingopinion on the matter.....
We of course did.
They did know that daylight was going to bring a killing field. If they could not break out of the rings thrown around the county and roads leading out....they were done, and by extension, and my certain belief in Henrys word, so were we.
Willard guilty only of speeding, landed more in our court, as he knew that Henry wouldwaste no thought on saving him at his own expense. In fact he was here only because Henry forced him to come not wishing to leave him behind to raise the alarm.
Henry explained the death of the construction worker as a necessity as he had seen them once-over the fence, and he to could not be trusted to keep it quiet. Willard said he had spoken quite eloquently in his own behalf, just before Henry had broken his neck.
Searching his face, it seemed that this was a warning to us all; even himself.
While Henry drank, Willard and myself plotted a trip that could break the bounds of the county net and give Henry and him a chance to reach freedom. Road maps were consulted and a possible route established that would give the maximum opportunity to reach freedom.
Henry was not a happy sort of escapee. Drink had helped, and sullied his more murderous intentions, but the thought of leaving anyone alive was a pill he was having a hard time swallowing.
When all was set and as time worked against us all, Henry was willing to leave me here; based he said, on what he had heard me say to the Deputy not an hour before. But the fact that he would have my friends under siege and gun, was the final nail.
Henry believed that the ability to kill was the greatest of powers, and who could argue.
Earl was to drive, Dick to ride shotgun. He had been told that if stopped they were to floor-board it or Dick was to be the first to be listed in the morning headlines.
Dick believed it.
The Judge was to ride in the trunk with them; the opening from the trunk to the back seat all but closed. If they were stopped say they were going home, Sheriffs orders.
Dick would throw a legal fit if they were to try to search. If all that failed, they were to hit the gas, and hope for the best.
No one liked the plan - what was to like - but Henrys had, while being less complex, been weighed and found wanting by the group.
Even Dick knew if he were the one to be left behind, it would be dead, and protested not one whit.
The Judge had looked at me deeply, said nothing, though he knew I had put him in the most dangerous of places, in the trunk with John Henry and he then moved to the rear of the caddy.
Moving to the front of the car, I told Earl, drive normal. If you are stopped you will have to play it by ear, but remember John, hell, remember both of them.
Walking in front of the car, there was no tell tail list to the Caddy giving things away. I went to the right hand window and told Dick that I was sorry I had hit him, that friendship was deeper than that and that I really was counting on what he could do to help this work out. I think he mumbled back that I could count on him, but to remember this was not his idea that he would not take the blame.
Earl fired up Patsy Cline on the tape and they moved off to an uncertain future, but with my hopes for their safety foremost in my mind.
The telephone line having been cut, the car disabled and a 10 mile walk to the road to be considered .the bar seemed inviting.
Chapter V - The Cup Breaks
Earl knew he had been picked to drive because he drove in the back woods often. His job with the Corps of Engineers required his driving under just such conditions - well, almost these conditions, a trunk full of angry and dangerous Negroes was not in the Federal Manual.
Thinking on this line for a moment, He could not help but smile at the thought of some Federal Employee some where in the future, telling all the Negroes to pile in the back of the car because they needed to practice their defensive driving skills.
Dick noticing the faint smile and said that he saw no reason for levity. A sound mind and a plan was required at the moment, not some stupid belief that things turned always for the best.
The roads around the lake and streams of the area were familiar to Earl. But this one, the one that led over the mountain, was rough and unused now that the logs had been cut and snaked slowly to the trimming mill set up in a near-by valley some years ago.
Looking at Dick, Earl wondered if he actually thought a plan was even of use in this case, in all his years Earl had never seen a situation as hopeless and as immune to planning as this. Dick's words had been those of a fool or a very scared man. Looking again sideways, Earl changed his mind.
Dick looked both.
This road had not been on the map, as actually it was a logging trail, considered unable to sustain traffic. Only those familiar with the area, locals, law enforcement, federal game and park employees were aware of its existence. Even the locals would be limited to those that hunted and fished or perhaps made liquor for a living deep in these mountains.
Neither Henny or the rest of us had thought the meandering path to be covered by the local police. Their ranks would never be swelled enough to cover this trail. The bad point had been our being unsure that we could actually drive its entire length with out some misfortune.
Two hours and 14 miles north of the cabin the Caddy emerged into relative civilization; a black top that carried a four digit county number # 1066. Left on this road would take the car and its occupants some eight miles back to the intersections with highway # 64 about half way between Murphy and Hayesville N.C. Right would, in a few miles, cross the bridge at the county line and be in sight of a road intersection that offered several options for the now weary travelers.
Earl had taken the right turn and slowed at a highway rest stop just short of the river. He pulled in, the rough gravel sounding like random shots in the night as caught by the tires it peppered the undercarriage. As the car stopped Earl turned to Dick to suggest that they tell the passengers that a decision was needed as to what to do at this point. Dick sitting quietly was in an instant flooded with light. The wood surrounding the parked care seemed alive with light, but actually it was only the headlights from two patrol cars, doors open, the black silhouettes much like birds of prey awaiting their meal.
Dick bolted from the car shouting, don't shoot, the niggers are in the trunk. They made us bring them don't shoot me....please".
I sat tongue tied as usual, though Dicks words were one of a smarmy, gutless soul .they echoed my sentiments unspoken but burning in my brain. Not now .not over this .Dear Lord.
The voice from the glare behind the lights wrote in cold fingers on my soul, "Well bless me if 'n it aint the high flaluten city boys from the Lake....You take'in your nigger buddies for a spin or was you double dating or some'thn? Lookie here Harold, we done caught us som nigger loving , city-bred, race mongers and the Sheriff ain't here to make excuses for them."
Dick through out this had been pointing to the trunk of the car like a damn bird dog setting the biggest covey in history....an maybe it was. "So that's where they be",Sailor said winking at the other Deputy.
"How about you niggers stepping on out, might be careful if I was you. There are about a hundred guns trained on the car and your sorry black asses." Pulling his own gun a 9mm Glock model 17, the Deputy casually shot the tire of the Caddy and the left tail light and fender." Get the keys Harold, and open that thing"
With out waiting I reached through the window and pulled the keys from the ignition, taking time to whisper. God damn it y'all stay down till its open. Don't give them no excuse to shoot anybody!" I tossed the keys to Harold, he caught them in his gun hand, amazingly with out shooting anyone. With his other he tossed his cigarette, and leaned over the trunk.
I didn't see any flames at first. It was a large whump! .more a feeling of air pressure than heat.... but that changed rapidly. Around the Deputy, the fall leaves begin to curl and shrivel, the grass in the ditch seemed to melt and the car color begin to change for shinny black, to gray and then rust. There was another whump! and the back window blew and the heat begin to take on a color orange, then black, then gray, and orange again. All the time twisting and turning as if in a rage and hurry to take the life of my friend and the men that had helped kill him.
I would like to say that I threw myself on the flames, that I sustained fourth degree burns trying to open the trunk. but sadly that is not true, it was too fast, too fierce. The car was there and then it wasn't. But one look at Dick and I knew.....that he knew.....his life would never be the same.
Shakespeare said it all speaking in Julius Caesar and those lines came to me at that moment looking at Dick.
Cowards die many times before their death, the brave but only once." Dick had read History at Davidson, I could but wonder what great philosopher he could find to sustain him in this.....his defining moment.
There was no actual hurry to open the trunk. Waiting for it to cool, Deputy Sailor had ordered Harold to place Dick and my self under arrest. We were in the back of the patrol car, Harold had not thought to cuff us, and I pledged to myself that I would not be hand cuffed and placed in the Car Sailor was driving.
Sailor was a study in paranoia. One moment slapping his fist together and even saying "Yes" the next mumbling about the bad break in the fire and how It was Harold's fault for being a smoker. I was determined to explain to Harold just who was going to foot the blame for the three death should something happen to us, but Sailor never left us alone, not for a moment.
Finally, Sailor had Harold pry the trunk up. there were what looked from our position like bodies and even parts of bones shining in the light from the car. Sailor poked around for a moment, grabbed Harold and yelled for him to get us in jail and keep quiet. And with that Deputy Sailor roared off into the night.
Chapter VI - The Sheriff
Samuel Hooter" Hall had been born in the bowels of the earth in Hall County. His father, Smithy, a farmer, mule-trader and sometime preacher had been a taciturn and serious man, as most mountain men were. All forms of life - as he once said - lived too close to extinction, on these cold windy mountain sides, to hold much to frivolity and unkempt ways. Even the bear knew when to give up for the winter and await a better more propitious time.
Samuel had learned much for this hard but fair man. His education had been sparse, but like men the world over, those that have the will will find the way. Like any good mind he learned from the mistakes of others, and boosted his knowledge in those areas he felt necessary to move ahead in this limited world.
In his late teens, regular school far behind him, Samuel spent the winter evenings for several years at the home of those he felt could give him the knowledge he needed. He read, much seemed of little practical value, but he read on and found himself caught up in the stories that look him far from these Appalachian valleys. The war in Asia had swept him up and given him the travel he had long dreamed. Unlike many who returned, Sam had no bad feelings. His war had been rough, but not much rougher that holding on to the chilly side of Harper Mountain. As for being trashed or spit upon it had only happened once in the bus station in Atlanta on his return. he had left two young students from Morehouse college, broken and in real pain in the commodious urinal that served the traveling public.
At six foot three, and two hundred and twenty pounds, It look a daddy bear to tree this boy that had grown into a fine man, even while at war. On the bus to Clayton Sam had smiled at the name the two colored boys had called him,"baby killer".
If they had known .if it had just been babies.
But war is the great leveler and it had taken all - babies, mothers and young men.
Lord the young men that had fallen, trying to save a people that evidently didn't want to be saved. It was like his 'Lootenant' had said one day in a fire fight."Sam, I know why I am here, you know why you are here, you reckon any of these other fuckers shooting at us will ever know or care? Hell, will anyone ever care? Sam if we could just turn loose the tigers tail, we could get out of this muddy, flea filled land. You and me buddy, we will go see Paris, get drunk like my old man did and piss in the Seine."
The next time Sam saw the 'Lootenant' he was picking him off of his jacket, gristle and hair, strangely very little blood. Blood just doesn't travel well at high speed, it atomizes and has no carry.
Why am I thinking of the 'Lootenant' now, crawling into bed, Hooter thought.
Is it the impending day, or is it that damn Henny? God how many times had he wanted to face off Sailor. Hen took it right up his tailpipe, didn't waste a word. But now he would have to watch Sailors every move. Mountain trash hated long and hard. Henny should know that by now, but unless you saw it every day no man could believe what even a small slight could build.
Henny's was no small slight, he had called the man what he was and for the moment made him like it. But that wouldnt last. He hoped Henny knew it. With all that in mind, Sheriff Hall reached for the phone to call the office. Deputy Harold didn't know what to do, the phone rang but he didn't answer. What could he say, that he was holding two men on the orders of deputy Sailor who had told him that he would be the one blamed for the fire and the deaths of all those people. He knew Sailor well enough to know that he would damn well try. But the Sheriff knew Sailor too and he wouldn't believe him if the city fellows vouched for him. But then while he studied on the facts, he heard his name on the base radio. It was Sailor asking that he bring the detainees", as he called them, out to the lake.
Chapter VII- Back At The Ranch
Dawn would break in a little over two hours Henny thought, as he staggered back down the trail that led to the cabin on the lake. What the fuck had really happened? Feeling the large fiery lump at the back of his skull, Henny tried to re-assemble the last several hours.
As he and The Judge had planned, with the car barely out of sight, the two convicts shouldered the Mayors light-weight canoe and started the thousand yards that separated the cabin and the lake from the valley and the fast flowing Hiawasssee River. People coming to the lake rarely realized its closeness to the river, having crossed the river several miles back, in their travel to the lake. In fact, Henny himself had only approached the river this way a few times in his own time on the lake.
The trail, a path really, rose abruptly from behind the cabin some several hundreds of feet to a narrow ridge where someday Henny hoped to build another group of cabins for sale to an ever-clamoring public.
This ridge would need to be approached from several miles north as this present grade was too steep to ever be graded into serviceable road. The top of the ridge lay an equal distance from the river and the cabin, a thousand yards or so but straight up. It was twelve steps across, then a steep fall down to the river.
Convincing the big convict to leave the judge here at the cabin, and alive, had not been as difficult as it might seem. The black man had personally cut the phone and destroyed the car as to immediate use. His fellow convict had suggested that this was the right thing, and if I was to be of use to him, he knew that killing the Judge would not aid in that effort. Then, there was of course the judge himself with his gold cane and slight limp. A limp, I might add, that had increased greatly since the black giant had arrived. I could not help but think of the acts of a brooding sage hen or other protective animal trying to distract the prey from a nest of young. Yet, in this case the beneficiary seemed to be singularly the Judge himself, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by the every vigilant Henny..
There were no other cabins on this part of the river, nor was there accesses to the river except by a trek through brambles and wilderness for far greater distances than those we had just traveled.
Once on the river and headed down stream, the escapees faced no crossing bridge or road for approximately 12 miles. I assumed this distance would be beyond the perimeter, given the number of men, available to the Sheriff until morning.
All of this led to the urgency of purpose, and the unifying reason the large black could not escape, even in his own mistrust, when it came to agreeing with my plan. I in turn was not at all afraid of turning these two loose on an unsuspecting public. For one, I was not at all sure they could keep the canoe upright and afloat; if they didn't, the steep mountains and rough land offered poor prospects for their eventual escape. Secondly, I knew the Sheriff would be back early tomorrow. He seldom missed a breakfast while we were at the cabin. Further I felt that he had been off put by something and would find his natural inquisitive nature bringing him back. I was sure that he picked up on me offering him a drink in front of his employee, and with his quick mind would hurry back to ask the right questions, as he must have know that I would never perform such a profoundly ungracious act.
The last reason was the most serious of all. Should Hooter return, his car would be heard long before he arrived and the murderous Henry would be waiting .waiting with no love lost for a man of the law, and no reason to be taken alive. I feared for my friend....I feared for us all.
Chapter VIII - Blood of the Lamb
Reaching the edge of the river,and after a short rest, I gave them some basic ideas as to how to proceed from there, as well as a tip or two on how to stay dry. If they followed my instructions both would be floundering in the water, well before dawn most likely, at the first fast water some two miles down stream.
Raising Dicks gun, Henry told the young Negro to "git the shovel", a small folding affair I had brought myself to make it look as though I thought they had a chance. One they could us to bury their old clothes when they reached the road. Instead, I had been carrying my own tool of destruction.
At that moment I knew I was going to die.
Read all you wish, plan in your mind what you might do In circumstances such as this. I wish you well. Maybe your mind, your internal workings are such that in that moment you can salvage victory from defeat, I pray that they are. However, may I suggest that your plans also contain counter measures for potential bowel difficulties.
An athlete from youth, a man of some measured intelligence, I might as well have been a cow being led to slaughter.
He shoved me roughly toward a flat spot back from the stream edge, and pushing my face against a large poplar tree that grow rapidly in these dark spots - hurrying to reach the sunlight.
His grip lightened and my shoulders scrunched together in reflex.
How many times, I ask again, have you told yourself that you would never "go down with out a fight"? Don't believe it for a moment.
Bravery and reasoned decision have no part in being killed. The mind closes down. Reflexes are not those you anticipate. In fact they operate in a way that is the antithesis of those needed to fight. Could a mind and body learn to operate differently? Yes, I have seen it.
Men exposed daily to the threat of death in battle, even Henry standing now behind me, in the constant fear one must feel in prison, have in a way already died. At least that is what they have told me, that their bodies continue to function normally. Their minds,however, have ceased to work, to notice the danger or the never failing horror.
The men you see running from pill box to pill box, pulling the pins of grenades and taking no prisoners, are for the most part men in which no feelings remain, if present they would be shitting along the way.
I heard no shot. I felt the brush of air and Henrys's grip on my neck loosen....then nothing, just like the day I had my tonsils out I remember thinking.
One of us awoke, it was me. The best I could tell the only difference was I was alive, Henry was dead.
Don't let the poets fool you death diminishes one, not true.
Henry was still one very large Negro, vertical or horizontal. The best I could tell, that which explained Henry's and my different approach to life was that he had been hit with the edge of the steel shovel, lucky me only with the folded flat portion.
Stopping to refit my shoe, it had been some how pulled from my foot....one evidently develops this battle field syndrome quite readily as I noticed upon rising that I had used unfortunate Henry as a stool.
I don't think that could have occurred at say .4 pm.
Cold, damp and hurting all over, the last hundred yards to the cabin were excruciating. My right arm had begun to throb, not a good sign for someone recently shoveled in the head. Speaking of which, I could imagine no aspirin of sufficient size to remove my pain.
Scotch, lots of it.... that's the ticket! Then I remembered Willards gift to me, a shovelin the head and a bottle remaining half full to relieve it. All in all, not a bad trade.
Turning the corner of the cabin and into the light from the flood for the first time, I heard a distinctly nasal voice. One that, minus the slap on the head, I would never have forgotten. "Well, if it ain't the cute one. Seems I got me here a wanted felonresisting arrest." Raising his rifle there in the shadow of the large white pine atthe front corner of the driveway, was Deputy Sailor "where is that cripfriend of your'n, he needs to be in on this " said Sailor as he tightened hisfinger on the stock and trigger. " You don't seem so brave right now, cat gotyor' tongue boy? Never mind no pleading, yor' citified ass is dead"
This time I swear, I was moving, he would have to hit a dashing Henny.
A red spot appeared near the center of Sailors under slung chin.
"Right here you miserable fuck."
This time I heard the shot as it rang down the small valley. "I'm standing right here you shit, but your miserable hate blinded you ".
If the Judge had been wearing his cape, if the wind had just been blowing thatdamn cape....
But hell, its still a beautiful picture that I will never forget. The Judge standing at the back corner of the cabin in the half light .the Marlin 30 cal. still bleeding smoke from its barrel.
The Judge and I talked it over, examined all the options that seemed available and opted for the one that seemed to meet the most needs.
Dumping Sailor in the boat, we motored to the dam and wrapped in a shower curtain, slid him down the bank, along the old log railway right of way and slipped him into the river. His rifle was left down stream a ways and the 30-30, centered in the lake when we returned.
We didn't try for perfection, that no longer exist in crime - or even cover-up of legal acts. But we did not go out of our way to look stupid either. The dirt at the white pine was removed to the lake and pine needles spread. Sailors patrol car was nowhere to be found.
The boat was returned to its locked and upside down position some yards from the lake and the electric motor returned to the basement. Could have the two escapees have been brought to the water this way? Of course, but I knew if the access to the riverhad seemed too unguarded, getting them to use the canoe would have been problematical.
I kept watching the Judge fearing his eventual reaction to the life he had been force to take in order to save mine. The man kept his own council, and showed surprising strength when it had been called for.
But why had that surprised me? He always had.
In the end we could only hope that he brought no other deputy or conferred with others. But if you believed most lawmen honest, his act precluded that, he would want no witnesses.
We returned to the cabin and made coffee.
Chapter IX - The Scarlet Leter
We had talked until daylight, worrying about our friends. We had thought to call, but should they have not been stopped, it would have only ended with more questions....questions for which we had no clear answers. We tried to remember just what Sailor had said, but between us we were not sure that he had not merely asked about the state of our mothers health.
Even the judge said that with all his jury testimony, he had never been aware just how unreliable eyewitness accounts could evidently be. That he would never feel the same about such evidence. I am sure that there are other memories about which he will never feel the same as well, but we left those for happier times.
I guess we both dozed, for when I was fully awake hot coffee was in the pot.
Hooter and the boys were sipping their coffee and staring at the two of us. Sam was wearing his normal sheriffs pants, but on his feet were some L.L. Bean moccasins, given him years ago by a friend.
His demeanor, dour to disgusted.
"Well, yor buddies here have had a night of it, seems they were on their way back to Atlanta, but managed to burn up their car and kill three sets of nice golf clubs on the way. They say my Deputy Sailor stopped them and did all sorts of mayhem to their car. My other Deputy cannot decide exactly what he saw, and keeps asking me to ask deputy Sailor what happened. Seems Deputy Sailor has gone missing with the car. But all is not lost."
"In my own bumbling way," Hooter said, looking at me and frowning, "I have made some progress. For those that didn't already know it, the most dangerous of the escapees has been found."
Pausing to see if any one had anything to add, and when everyone looked blankly at him, the sheriff then continued ."I am a simple country man, and that's why I am here alone this morning and not with the damn state police, the GBI and NCSP, FBI, and all other sundry outfits that hope to make their bones by breaking mine today. I have known most of you since your pecker developed its own soul. I break bread with you and and for some of you, feel like a brother. But I swear to God, if you try to run with the rabbits on this one, I will shoot you myself. You won't have to worry about any "big black motherfucker" as my man said this horses ass kept saying early this morning while attending the golf club barbecue," pointing at Dick as he spoke.
"As if you didn't know it," looking then toward the Judge and myself, not realizing that we had bigger and deeper secrets to hide. "The black, Henry Delamaine, is dead, dropped like road kill, below your dam on the river.
Looked like some Indian had taken after him with a tomahawk. Jesus, now that is all we really need,a damn Indian uprising. But I guess none of you know anything about that? Do you?"
"I thought not."
With disgust Hooter kicked the screen door open and said,"Henny out here."
"Henny I'm gonna talk, I don't want to even hear from you unless I ask. No need to tell the others right now. I found Sailors body early this morning down stream. His car if you didn't know, is in the cut below the dam near the path up to the cabin. He had been shot by a pretty good shot, or a lucky one I perhaps. That lets you out on both cases I expect, I just don't know if you could pull down on someone. I'm gonna have to study on that for a spell.
By the way, didn't see that old Indian canoe you keep out back.
While we are at it, the jon boat out front, strange, but its got dew under the boat. Don't see that much in these parts, dew falling under boats. I know, you and the Judge got so worried about the boys.... you went fishing, about four I reckon....No, don't bother answering, can't make a case on dew, even if I wanted. Upstream, at the body of Henry and even down stream a bit near the dam, there are a lot of foot prints.
You just can't get them all in the dark, can you?
To an old mountain man it was plain, Henry was standing behind some one just before he was killed, less one of them had their shoes on backwards. Up stream the same prints, I went to the car and got mine Henny, just like the ones you have on now. The ones you gave me five years ago, the Moccasins."
"Well, what would that TV lawyer that wears the frilly jacket say?", I ask Hoots, "they must make ten thousand of those shoes a year."
"True Henny, but I had to cut a slice in mine to even get them close to looking like yours."
"Get these guys packed up and y'all get out of here by noon. My Deputy has larger things to worry about that some citified ass standing around a burning car yelling "nigger." Sailor for all his failings knew a citified ass when he saw one. But what Dick is isn't a crime .least wise not yet, anyway."
"Sam," Henny started, but Hoot waived him off.
"Later Henny, we will have a long drink you, the Judge, Earl and I and thresh this out. But tell the Judge, I know it had to be done and I think I know why. We will chew on that when we have more time.
By the way, in your hurry, one of you, I expect it was you Hen, can't see the Judge lifting the thing, hooked the battery to the charger backwards.
Better change it before you leave.
With that .Sam 'Hooter' Hall, Sheriff of the county of Hall, placed his large rough hand on my shoulder briefly, and was gone. His blue light flashing the urgent message that help was on the way.
Chapter X - Rememberances of Things Past
Most things were left in place, food not used was frozen or thrown away, the water cut off at the pump and fishing tackle hung from hooks along the wall. There besides the rods, hung two horse shoes welded in to a gun rack. Standing empty for the world to see, screaming seemingly of guilt, pleading for their recent occupant.
Hooter had been staring at the wall when he yelled at me to follow him out side.
Had he known all along?
Had he seen as well, his friends committing murder and then like practiced hit men, deconstruct the scene; only implicating themselves further in the eyes of any called mountain jury?
Did we give the Sheriff no choice but violate every principal he held.....in order to protect us?
The trip to Atlanta, was short. The conversations muted once Earl and Dick had provided entirely different descriptions of the past evening and early morning activity. Both the Judge and Dick became quiet. The Judge lost in what ever thoughts a man must feel after killing another. Dick was another case .Before our very eyes, we were later to agree,
Dick had started his journey .to hell.
Dick's physical being began to take on the cast of his soul. He seemed shriveled and small. The few words he spoke were muttered as though they had no rite of passage in the world of men of honor. Perhaps they didn't, but we added nothing to Dicks own grief and punishment. It seems mean and perhaps petty to say, but we had known Dick most of his life and in discussing it later, none of us were surprised by his acts.
It was as though his life had prepared us for them. As such we were willing to forgive. Other than practically signing the Judges death warrant with his callow cries, cries that led only to the death of my golf clubs, Dicks act affected himself, and himself alone.
Dicks one saving grace, one you no longer see in the young......was shame.
A deep and abiding shame that never left him.
His practice faded. Most work like his depends on bullshit and the ability to fool ones self into believing acid is ice water.
Dick could no longer do this - Lord knows he tried for a while.
But even to him, I guess especially to him, the evening news cut through him showing a man naked to the weakness of his position and beliefs. His black buddies soon found others to do the heavy lifting of racist turmoil, and Dick was left with little legal business.
I find myself often using our recent President as an example of the differences between a failure of character, and the absence of character and honor. No example is more glaring that Dicks fall from grace and the penalty it imposes on a man raised right, but failing in duty. A duty he knew .a shame he could never erase.
Shame comes from the acknowledgment of a duty not borne....an admittance of poor behavior.
Is there one person you know....an honest person, one you feel comfortable with and honor as a friend....just one, that believes for even a moment that the trash that occupied the highest position in this land....ever once .felt shame or remorse of the quality the preachers mean when they speak of redemption?
I would be surprised, totally surprised, if your answer was yes.
Dick no longer came to the lake in Hennyville, calls went unanswered.
When finally cornered he would mumble that he tried to call back, but that business prevented it.
Dick drank, hell we all in our crowd drank more than what was good for us. But Dick now drank with a purpose, but nothing could drown the searing image of standing out side the car and shouting 'kill that nigger' while believing his friend inside, in danger.
Fear comes to us all. and we like to think we will overcome it when it does.
In the safety of my den, I can think of perhaps five things I could have done to improve my chance at life there on the river. If not my life perhaps I could have saved another by when and how I died.
But there I stood like some Jew in the cold black rain of Poland long years ago. More willing to die than trying to live.
The seeds of that fear lurk in us all
Time alone will judge, we can only be ready for the call.
I have not written of the young man that escaped. He saved my life, that is all I know.
Later that month Sam called and I returned to the mountains. Driving to the bridge Sam said little. There we took a trail that led to the water.
Some ways down the trail there was a hole. A little further up against the bank, its nose shoved under a log and filled with good sized rocks, was my canoe - about two feet under the surface.
Sam, sitting on his heels, as I can't do but everyone in these hills can, looked at me and smiled. "Hen, pretty good work for a city black, don't you think?" If Foo May Foo is teaching survival skills like this, none of us white guys got much of a chance, you reckon? We didn't find this, a fisherman found both yesterday.
You knew we had your cabin covered and that we thought the canoe just a dodge.
Why didn't you tell me Hen?"
"You didn't ask me Sam, If you had I would have never lied to you, you know that. Don't you? I didn't know what the fellow did, he killed the man that was about to kill me then slapped me up side the head with that shovel. What the hell did I know?"
"What damn difference does it make, you worried about some damn trophy on the wall?"
The minute the words were loose, I regretted them.
"Sam, I didn't mean that."
But I was talking to his back as he had immediately turned and headed back up the trail.
"Sam, I meant all he did was speed, not that you were looking to put him away forever."
"I know what you meant you little pain in the ass", Hooter said over his shoulder.
If I hadn't jumped into the car, I have no doubt that he would have left me twelve miles down that lonely road.
Before Christmas, before the snow had started falling, the poets would say. Dick killed himself.
The town was mystified, the coffee shop buzzed with speculation, all the standard guesses. None even came close to the truth shared by the three of us.
Dick had committed what he thought was an act of bravery, others might argue the opposite. But none could argue that he had found redemption in the only act he knew for sure would bring it.
It was in truth, really his apology to us, his friends.
Those long months before, as Dick had stood in the door way, the blue light flashing, it had seemed a small red letter danced across his forehead, and disappeared. Later, as I saw him briefly across the street or in his car, it seemed to have returned.....brighter to my eye.
But at the funeral none was there.
I asked the others...but they seemed only puzzled by my question.
Mist Upon The Mountains - The Judge And I
By A.H. Watson
We were beating up the road, the Judge and I, fleeing Charleston as many do, tired, confused, shop worn and even a little miffed at our own awareness of a sense of unworthiness.
Is this possible in this world today?
One in which the barber or yardman feels no compulsion to avoid using your Christian name. It is one thing to be called Henny" by ones yard man, it gives....what? A seeming sense of fairness, a oneness with humanity. Yet when the yard man continues with criticism of your latest stock purchase or choice of fly rod, the communal life may have drifted to new unexplored areas; Such it was with the Judge and Charleston.
Charlestonians are a wonderful, arrogant, oft times diffident people. Though wealthy again for the most part, many of the old and best families lived for years, as was said in Savannah on their looks". The loss of income due to war, insect, and changes in markets, by the early 1900s had brought many of the families to the brink of disaster. While some met this fate with full face and fact, many others like Charlotte" drew the drapes close about their shoulder and danced on, into the night, their heads hearing only the music. Many a Charlestonian ran foxes in the day, yet was forced to eat with the dogs at night.
The Judge though he disliked that particular breed of Charleston man found instead, despite his best intentions, that he admired their cool, singular ability to overcome adversity or apparent failure that would choke another man. He was wont to say that if a Charleston man fell into a open outhouse, as he sunk he would, with a deep bow, doff his hat to any and all passing ladies .if of the evening"....all the better.
Yesterday, after the hospital event, we were invited to Dicks home on the Sound for dinner. The Judge, usually the big pig, was out of his element. The house was filled with Doctors, high-ranking members of the staff and some of the better looking nurses. Dicks wife Hulda, an ex-OR head nurse, feared neither man nor beast. Hulda had married Dick early in his practice and hence iced all competition. She was tall, red headed, smart as a whip, and would melt an igloo by merely sitting in it and letting her motor idle. Hulda, if you didnt follow me, is one hell of a woman.
I dont know just when it was that the Judge made a run at Hulda. Hell, everyone has at one time or another. I guess it was when she gave him the note and told him to meet her at the pool house. Boy I wish he hadnt done that...It was bad enough me looking at all the sweet young women knowing that I was just a dirty old man to them, not even on their screen. For all you women looking for pay back, getting old....for men at least. is the bullet that kills. You know its over, but the thought of never turning a head or having yours turned, is a sad time in a mans life. Especially so because you dont feel that your life is over, yet you know that relationships that dont contain either money or power are lost.
I never thought I would say this, but it is even worse than loosing a good dog.
As we sped north heading for the wayward trout - as I believe Sir Issac Walton called them, the Judge told me what had happened last night before I found him in the pool house.
I dont know about your town, or you for that matter, but in Hennyville sex is just sex....pretty much. Most marriages last a lifetime, though I doubt if there is much less hanky panky in Hennyville than in other similar towns. I really dont know what it is exactly, but the women for the most part have never thought that they were sitting on the mother load or the kingdom of perfect happiness. I guess the attitude of many in town would be echoed by the statement of Mrs. Henderson upon finding that her husband, the school principle was having a heave ho" with the new, young, not particularly bright kindergarten teacher.
Now written large in the minds of all Hennyvillian men is the womans definitive statement on hearing of her husbands infidelity The are, are they? My heart goes out to the poor thing. Just think how lonely she must be. to put up with Henrys bad breath, poor technique, and missionary zeal. I must do something for that child....to be so desperate!"
You dont need for me to tell you the end of this affair, do you? I will note, however, that over at the drug store it was remarked that they had never sold as much mouthwash as they have since her announcement.
Henny", the Judge said looking at me for the first time since last night, I just will never understand women". I didnt say anything, I could think of no way to decrease the Judges embarrassment and sense of low esteem. It would do no good to tell him that last night people were operating on different planes....at the same time, in many cases. The Judge if I read him as usual, had mentioned to Hulda that he really wou
ld like to jump her bones that she was a mighty fine looking woman and deserved better that that little dried up, lime coated, butcher. Hulda it seems (all I have is conjecture at this point) then whispered to John telling him to meet her in the pool house in thirty minutes .to be ready and waiting. Some hour later, as I was looking for the Judge, Hulda smiled gaily and told me she had just called him and he was in the pool house, that he seemed a little out of sorts....then laughing with other guest disappeared toward the bar. It was dark when I entered the pool house; a screened gazebo really. In the ample light from the three quarter moon, there sat the Judge. The light filtering through the screen showed two thin tracks from the edge of Johns steel blue eyes, tracking down his fine featured face to disappear below his cheek.
You all right?"
No, god damn it, you know what Hulda just told me?" His anguished face looking up. She called, laughed, and said she couldnt come, but if she ever wanted to fuck a fool she would give me a call".
Hulda would never hurt the Judge as some deliberate means to a joke or to even over his remarks about her husband. She had assumed the Judge to be semi-joking and her remarks, I imagine, were similarly meant to tease an old friend. I had sensed that something was amiss even before I reached the pool house, as Hulda seemed to have noticed that the Judge had not understood. Her laugh as I remembered was too light, too gay, too fragile.
Sex, even taken lightly, can be a powerful weapon. The Judge in playing so lightly and kidding Hulda....Had never considered that someone else could play the same game, or that they would with him. Oh, how the mighty fall....and the Judges was complete and for a short time devastating. In the end there are no free dances whether you dance to the tune of either love or just a simple sports fuck.
In the end we all must pay.
As we sped toward the mountains of North Carolina I thought of the Judges ultimate humiliation, one that only the two of us shared, thank god. One I knew I could never bring to bear in any argument. The Judge, like Little Giffin of Tennessee - Out of focal and foremost fire...out of hospitals walls as dire" needed time to heal and chasing trout is the greater force - as no time remains to think of other things, other times - other foolish mistakes.
My last words in the pool house had been, Hey big fellow, get your clothes back on and lets travel, we got places to be".
Trout 1 Judge 0
I have owned a home in these mountains for close to forty years. Will I ever be one of these people?
No, the times were too hard, and the fight too fierce.
The families that established themselves in these hills came to America with nothing. They had been moved along to these beautiful, but hard scrabble lands, by a population that had arrived earlier on the fallow plains of the eastern seaboard. Unable to buy, and too late to homestead these lower lands, the new-comers were pushed to the marginal and unfriendly lands of the mountain frontier. Up the hollows of Towns County and those of Hall and Habersham you could, on this afternoon of June, year of our Lord 2001, still find English spoken much as it was in the day of Dickens and Melville. Blood runs deep, family, then kin, then friends, little love or understanding is reserved for the outsider. Little from the outside has been given, over the years, to these wonderful, persnickety, cautious clans.
Friends for life and enemies unto death.
In so many words, much like Hennyville or many other southern towns, the mountain people remember those that have been their friends and even better remember those that have not. Unencumbered by too much activity or yearly change, these slights fester spread and wait. Wait the new season, the New Year, the new venture, the next visit to town.
We have arrived. Helen Georgia, a town removed by light years from the activity, bustle and richness of Charleston. Yet, to the eye of a man familiar with both, the towns could be sisters, populated by men that have seen tough days, hard times - men that would find more in common than historians or their own women would suspect.
We are not at the lake house, but rather at a small cabin in a high meadow at the fringe of a small trout stream. The porch overlooks a bend in the stream. Standing you can see into the middle of the creek. Looking up to your left at ten oclock you can see straight up the stream for a quarter of a mile. Looking straight over the creek there are a series of open fields working their way into the distant tree line. That tree line is the bank of the creek as it moves from the left to cross the pasture in the distant mist. Behind all of this is the mountain that provided the headwaters of the stream babbling at our feet, a mountain that had once almost caused my death; its remoteness belying the activity that took place there.
At my insistence, John, the Judge no longer in command of all he surveyed, limbered a fly rod and left to attack the stream and its inhabitants. No fool I, steaks awaited in the refrigerator. The stream was barren water it seemed to me. The last few years had brought prosperity of a sorts to the area. With such bringing came the locust, the pest, the interloper from the flat lands that stretched toward Atlanta and south to the swelling and sweltering state of Florida. Many of these people had found the hills and valleys of the mountain counties to be a God send", as they phrased it time after time to the local movers and shakers. Puzzled by such remarks, locals began to refer to the, hither to miserable, winter months in the coves and niches of the mountain, a time when all Jewish realtors, box manufacturers and computer salesman returned to all points north of Miami, as a God send".
The stream was not devoid of fish, but ten years of the God-sent" rambling up and down the middle of the creek, with untold millions of dollars of fishing equipment, had left the fish both bruised and battered. I am even certain that like many of the locals, some fish had simply opted for the hook, rather than suffer the continual abuse.
I sat on the porch testing the liquids to be served later to the Judge. I watched as he worked his way slowly down stream toward the cabin. The stream, a little dirty, the Judge had elected to fish a double wet rig. One a stone fly, the other an emerging caddis. They were being fished down stream - the proper way. As I have said before, trout fishing precludes other thoughts. It is simply not possible to fish, walk the stream, and live to tell about it, if your thoughts are elsewhere.
Climbing the bank in front of the cabin, the Judge bellowed over the sound of the brook, My man , I stand before you a humble empty handed fisherman. Would it be possible for me to have one of those things in your hand?" - nodding toward the drink.
Hand .handy .wha?"
Well, my empty headed frien, the creek must be hurting your hearing" the Judge interrupted.
Well, whatever, but I am not through testing this one, if you wish to take the risk you may fix your own." I said smiling. Looking hurt beyond all measure, the Judge stripped his waders and felt covered boots and stomped into the house.
Thats better! I thought to myself, he is now worried more by being abused by me and the fish than Hulda. The poets are right I guess, Love hurts" .but just not for as long as they say.
The Ice Man Cometh
We sat on the porch, the Judge and I, speaking of many things in our life. The things that had drawn us together and those things that at times seemed to drive us apart. We did not speak of Hulda or current events. This was usually the case between us. It is not that we feared the confrontation, we knew and trusted each other too much for that. The Judge just needed time to get his arms around what had happened. In the end he would look as squarely and as dispassionately at the events as I, and draw conclusions similar to mine, of this I was sure.
Just as the evening turned to dark - that time you could no longer distinguish colors - there was noise and a small light in the stream in front of the cabin. Who is out there?" the Judge inquired, but never moved. I arose from the chair, moved to the stream and encountered a young man seemingly in his twenties standing near the bank. Are you lost?" I inquired . Not sos you could tell it, Im just on my way home from fishing" the voice called over the short distance. Well, come on up and lets see you and your catch," I called smiling to my self thinking of the empty pools we always encountered on this stretch of stream. Well, just sos you would know Id be fishing," he allowed. I moved to the bank to help the young man up, but before I could reach the bank, he had deftly jumped from rock to rock and was advancing up the path toward me. Striding easily the young man climbed the porch and stood in the faint light from the kitchen.
His equipment was rudimentary and not geared for trout but rather for throwing plugs perhaps at a fat dumb Bass. It consisted of a cheap Zebco reel, you have seen them, a stainless steel cone with a small hole in the middle and a crank on the side . The rod. plastic, non descript and approximately four feet long, dangling from the end a simple bream hook and small sinker. The total outfit at Wall-Mart, brand new, perhaps twelve dollars.
The faint light showed my apparent mistake, the young man, a boy really, had decreased some ten years for my earlier estimate and was 12 to 15 years of age. Yet, his gaunt and seriousness of nature had clouded his age, as it does many in these hills. You are the Joabe boy, Sams youngest, arent you? I questioned, not sure of my guess. I be a Joabe all right, and I best be getting home Well thats a long way by stream to the top of the mountain, I think I best take you .did you have any luck ?"
A few," the young man said, standing there in overalls, no shirt and barefooted as the day he was born, I caught a few". Removing his old army gas bag cover, now used as a fish creel, he dumped it on the table. A profusion of fish tumbled and slid over each other and the snacks arranged there. Mostly Rainbows, some few Browns and three rare Brookies caught near the home place at the top of the brook. Some twenty five in total, most small, 7 to 10 inches; one nearly 14 inches and two around 11 inches.
Though separated by some fifty years, a lifetime of experience and education he would never see; the three of us bonded. A taciturn young man, never prone to boast, or make promises he could not fulfill, for one moment in his eyes I saw the pride of accomplishment, the knowledge that he was a better fisherman . That he saw our efforts as a joke, a futile effort at playing provider. That with equipment like ours he would run even larger rings around us. All of this in a look, a quick appraisal of these two old men and their toys. Dumping those fish on the table was something he would never do again; never have the occasion to measure meatso to speak, with men such as the Judge and myself. Pride can be found in all men, at all times, and at all occasions.....just ask the Judge.
I arranged with John Joabe to purchase some of his fish for our breakfast and even swapped for some bacon. When I left to take him home I gave him ten pounds of flour, butter, sugar and several other bulk items we had bought that day. When he protested, I told him that for years we had an arrangement with his mother that she would return the favor by baking some biscuits and a black berry cobbler for the Judge and myself.
When I returned the Judge had fixed me a drink, and was pointing at the porch floor now stained with water dripped from Joabes overalls. Amid that stain was another, one of blood, blood that had flowed from an open cut on the boys toe. A toe most likely jammed between two rocks as he had jumped from rock to rock at my request. I can tell you how much it hurts having done it so many times myself, but I cannot tell you how he stood for twenty minutes and never complained or mentioned it
We spent the morning in town. There were a few business calls, to pay the yearly insurance, taxes and a special trip to the town square. All summer for the past few years, a open market is held on Saturday at the square. Farmers bring garden vegetables, the women sell baked goods and hand made dolls and other things carved or sewn over the long winter.
In the cold, dark coves of the southern Appalachians, winters were not wasted with dreams or reveries. Crops were canned or dried, farming gear and the accoutrements of farm labor, horses harnesses oiled, hoes sharpened and fences - both physical and mental - mended and reshaped for the coming spring.
As the Judge and I stood among the summer throng, we could not help but think back upon another time. There were days not far past when such a mingling of Summer people" and the inhabitants of this tight community would have been impossible. Nothing in 1976 could have pried these mountain folk from their hills and hollows to the town square of Hayseville. Yet here, some twenty-five years later, they mixed and mingled with the alligator and loafer" crowd from the cities of the south. Is it the result of the common leveling of the television or an opportunity to separate the fool from his money, before the snows come again? I like to think it is the latter.
One day several years ago, I read in the local paper that a Juabe child had found a pocket book on the side of the road. In due course the pocket book had been returned to the owner. Intact and unopened in the purse was a bank envelope containing some four hundred dollars and several rings and other womans jewelry worth in the gross, some five thousand dollars.
I need not point out that such money was more than that family would have at their instant disposal in a normal lifetime, as most did not take or expect welfare.
When I ask my friend and fishing companion, the Deputy Sheriff about the affair and just how they could be that honest in the world in which we now live. He said several things you might ponder, as I have from time to time when I hear that certain people"just cant help what they do cause it is not their fault".
He said Henny, one, these people dont live in the world you live in. thank God. Two, I would doubt that they even looked in the pocket book other than to get the name of the owner simply because it was not their property" Hooter then looked at me and said , is it so hard for you to credit others with your own worthiness? You are a good man Henny, but I swear, there ARE other people that know how to do the right thing". But for the record old friend, I will tell you what Sam Juabe told me when I ask how he raised his chillen to be so all fired honest".
Deputy, the boys aint that all fired honest I dont reckon. Its just they have to, living on top of the mountain, walk so damn far to steal something thats worth anything and then bring it all the way home .I guess they is just more lazy than honest."
That afternoon when we returned to the cabin, on the back porch were two coffee tins covered with pasty and the deep purple stain of butter and berries that had bubbled from the cobblers center. Along side was a loaf of fresh made bread, crusted with black walnuts lovenly and meticulously picked from the unforgiving hulls that littered the road to the cabin. But aside, separate from the rest, was an oil-skin wrapper tightly covering four small trout, gutted and filled with sweet mint and grass. The damp tracks and beads of water upon the fish signaled their recent arrival.
Deep In The Mountains
John had smiled at me the other night when I gave the Joabe boy most of our ready food. After I had returned the Judge ask me straight out. Does he really believe all that about the pies and such?"
Judge I dont know that he actually believes it, in fact, I suspect that he doesnt. That small lie will allow him to accept the gift, not for himself perhaps, but for his mom. It gives him a reason to take it home."
Well Hen, when he gets there surely his mother will tell him I isnt true. Then where will you be?" The Judge, had then picked up my empty glass and disappeared into the kitchen.
He returned soon with a full glass and continued his thoughts. She wont tell him its a lie will she? For the same reason, pride. She will not lie to her boy, she just wont say anything,will she?
Hell, fellow I dont know. I just went with what was available at the time", I told him, somewhat at odds with his dead on thinking on the matter. This was so unlike the Judge, to follow acts with reasoned thought. I wasnt sure I liked his new-found involvement in life. A selfish, self-centered Judge was my lifes burden. I was not at all sure I could take this change late in life. But having him actually get up and fix someone else a drink could become a habit I could well abide.
It is said that the biggest Christian of all is a recent drunk, converted and saved .all in the same day. His fervor and commitment are unrelenting and loud.
I thought the Judge was going to burst into tears when he saw the cobbler and bread. The fish? I swear, he could have blessed them and fed thousands, should the need have arose. Those damn trout did bring him to tears.
I had made the mistake of pointing out, to the self-serving prick when he mentioned that the boy had kept the bigger fish for himself last night, that the boy had not, like the judge, been sports fishing that day, but rather for food to feed his family....most likely that very day.
Later, as the evening moved into those hours where one is hard pressed not to deal with old shadows, old thoughts. A point is reached where a friend is required to help sort the reality from that which is only imagined, yet held as truth. My near death and disappearance on this very mountain, is one of those points.
I arose to get one last nightcap before sorting the mental pictures I still held of the afternoon the Joabe boys uncle planned to kill me. Henny while you are up would you freshen this for me?" Sure Judge, you sticking with scotch?"
What I have neglected to tell you about the converted Christian is it is usually over about the same time the hangover ends; the way the Judges new found humility and agape seem to have to have ended. Hulda had called John to apologize for her joke", that may have been it.
With any luck, the old goat will never see my telephone bill and the lonely call to Charleston that it contains.
Into The Lions Den
For those of you that have followed the travels of Henny and the Judge, It comes as no surprise that they, along with the Deputy Sheriff Hooter Hall have fished the streams of northern Georgia and North Carolina since the dawn of man. Each of them had lived long enough to have seen the mountains and their streams become crowded and a faint shadow of their former state of remoteness .even danger.
Nineteen Sixty had dawned a good time in the history of the country. Wars ended forever, prosperity growing, a chicken in every pot, promised by a socialist president but being delivered by the last of the true Southern" democrats the nation was to ever see.
Even the families and clans of these remote mountains were beginning to change. If you have noticed, in the jungles of South America it is always the natives that live closest to progress that change first. No great breakthrough in this pattern. But as today most wish to be just left alone to raise and teach their families, many of the remote clans and people hove even closer to the old ways" and old rules".
Complexity in society never bodes good for it - dont ever believe that.
Now, all of this seems right and expected. But then, I was unaware of the animosity and even hate building in the dark recesses of MY mountain.
Even then, to protect ones self from the herd of flatlanders arriving daily to buy land in the mountains, it was necessary to buy all one could see (or afford) in order to keep the God-sent" at bay. I had bought the eight hundred and forty acres that comprised the stream and most of the fertile pasture that led to the highest peak. I was to later remember that the first deed in the county books had been to a family named Joab. But at the time the knowledge was .what is it they say? a dollar late and several dollars short"
That fall day in 1960 I fished the upper reaches of my own home stream. Alone for the weekend, tired of business and with some now forgotten squabble at home , I came to our newly purchased land," To rest and gather my diminished resources as they would say today." But for me, at the time, I felt a need to be on the land, working with my hands at something. Fishing is the answer to most of lifes ills. It provides the time to clearly see other events in a prospective that will never be achieved by the false science of psychology.
There is no weight, length of beard or diploma that will ever give psychology the innate ability to see ones own reasons for acts committed.
Fishing can do that.
Alone, and to this day, I cannot tell you if I had even turned a trout to this point in my trip. I reached a branch entering the stream I was fishing. As this branch was the true headwaters I turned up it to hopefully catch a unthinking Brook trout, despite what the Wheaties box says, the true Breakfast of Champions", at least in the league I played.
We have all felt the uncommon queasiness of feeling ourselves watched, its needless to describe. As My Daddy said about gout, if you have suffered it, you need no description of its anguish, If you have not, no description will suffice or make you understand.
So it is with feeling yourself watched, carefully, by those that do not wish to know you, or have you know they are there. Let me add only this - land and stream that you know and love, become strange. The cool mist of damp waters become cold and foreboding. The rocks, over-hanging Rhododendron and Laurel change from inviting respite from rain and sun to dark impenetrable caves hiding the deepest secretes and evils of man.....all in the blink of an eye.
Standing deep against the shadows, only seen because of shifting clouds, not some error on his part, was a man. I remember thinking, how in the hell can some one hide in blue overalls and checked shirt? In his hand was a stick, a stick with a hole the size of a milk bottle, for those of you old enough to remember them.
As I fell I remember thinking, Stephen Crane was right, bout how is it you never hear a thing? All that smoke and all you feel is the air pressure of the bullet as it strikes.
Sliding into unconsciousness, two brief unrelated flashes; whywere Rosalie and I fighting? and Joabe ...Juabe what the hell is all that about?
Mist Upon The Mountains - Expiation
By A.H. Watson
I awoke surrounded by both angels and archangels, a black pain hurrying to fill my brain and connect it to my weirdly shaped ankle. The angels slowly morphed into the strangest group of desperadoes ever devised by man.
All in overalls, all of the same build - with similar, almost carbon, faces as if carved from the same root and branch.
That long thin face, protruding chin and sallowness gave no hint to thankless hours spent pulling stumps trying to eke out a living from a callused, unforgiving land. Their one differing feature was age; youth and the seasoned, and therefore height.
Peas, if not from the same pod, at least from the same plant.
John had never heard this story in its total. Sheriff Hooter knew only due to being kin by marriage. Even he did not realize, for several years, the story told by his kin over the church picnic table or revival supper, was about me. Even among their own family mountain people were remote and aloof at times, especially so if one of your kin was the law.
Seated comfortably in the warm cabin, as even in June a small fire burned briskly and was welcomed, Hooter Hall and the Judge asked about the long ago event. I thought for a moment, then said, Hoot I will tell you what I remember, if you will tell the Judge and me what the Juabe clan said and did during those critical days after I ran up on their liquor still."
Our bargain sealed with scotch, forty years of friendship and the knowledge that all parties were either dead or too damn old to care.
The real story finally unfolded. Some of it new to me, as I had expected it would be.
"Henny do you remember that it was a fall afternoon, the leaves had just begun to turn. Early Juabe was the youngest of the clan they let up on the Mountain when they were close to running off the whiskey. It was Early's job to guard the stream. He was told to let no one up the creek. It was never explained how he was to stop them, but unnecessary as they gave him the old .44 caliber single shot to carry."
"Hoot, I don't even remember if I caught a fish going up the creek, I was just thinking about that and I flat can't remember. You know I can sit here and remember ten different fish I caught under the yellow rock, but damned if I can remember what I caught that day."
"If you fished like you usually do, your creel would have been be full of alder branches and twigs", the Judge mumbled as he waggled his glass for another drink.
Amazed I watched as Hoot got up grabbed the glass and headed for the bar, thinking to myself - Jesus, now the old fart has Hooter trained.
"Was the boy trying to kill me, Hoot?"
In a measured way and after a few seconds, Hoot said, Henny, I'm going to tell you a couple of things that I think you know about us mountain folk now....after some forty years. Things you didn't know then, things that made you one large, unappetizing, son of a bitch."
You were young, you had money, no bad thing in its self, but it gave you the feeling world was yours .and I guess in a way it was - right up until that moment you endangered several families of people."
Judge, tell Henny about corn, about how it relates to the people in these hollows.
"Oh, Henny knows this now Hoot, you know that .you are just polite enough to invite me in to, what up til now, was a closed conversation. But I will say this, for those that don't know or even care in the larger sense, as it affects their OWN lives in no way .that is unless one is about to be shot .eh, Henny?"
The judge smiling at Henny, spoke.further.
"In the mountains there is little room for more than subsistence farming. The flat land is at a premium and changes hands rarely as it is the key to a family's ability to grind out a living on the side of these rugged hills. The crops are grown to feed the family and to provide feed for the meager livestock around the farm. Corn is the only crop that contains residual value that can be used for money. Kept in the corn bin all winter, value is lost to mice and rats. The excess is not of sufficient quality to sell or of sufficient volume to be traded on the market.
Liquor made from corn is the only way to receive full value for the effort expended . It can be kept, traded, sold for actual cash, the only money a mountain man might see for several years on end, unless he comes off the mountain and works for others in lumber or manual labor."
The Judge paused, looked at Hooter, and continued.
"The government in all its wisdom found no need to chase real criminals in the cities and the financial institutions, but instead, much like today at WACO, found it easier to chase and gun down those who's only crime is one of nonconformity. The Feds filled these hills with informers, they moved people into the towns to befriend the people, then turn on them. They passed special laws that required that store-owners tell to whom they sold sugar and glass ware. Can you see this if the people were Black or Mexican? - but alas, they were White and could be exploited at will."
I remember them standing, squatting on their heels around a small fire, gesturing at me and arguing. In the end I remember two men that smelled like sour food left far from the fridge.
Standing above me. Two rancid "peas" leaned forward frowning .toward me.
I awoke at the cabin, in bed, clean, food beside the table .don't know how long I was out, the days were stretched, then shortened.
"Hooter did that boy try to kill me?" I asked again.
"Henny you came up their branch the day they were bottling the whiskey.
This collection of men, all kin, had put every nickel of their cash together, along with their extra corn from the years harvest. The man moving up the creek was young recently moved to the valley. By the way did you know the land you bought had been in their family till after the War?
Its owner and his only son had been killed within sight of each other at Shilo. The land lost for lack of cash to pay the taxes. You would have thought their deaths would have done that wouldn't you Henny?
To lose that still, and it product would endanger the lives of all the men you saw and their families."
"But, they took me home, cleaned me up, and saw that I was fed."
Did you ever see any of them again, the Sheriff asked.
"Well ,no but I was probably asleep when they came."
"Henny, they brought you home to die - they wanted you well away from the place they were making whiskey. They knew if someone started looking they would come up stream. So it made sense to take you back to the cabin. Did your car work when you finally left ?"
"No, but it was just the battery, it had shorted out, as I remember."
Hooter Hall looked at Henny for a minute, paused, then changed the subject - how could you explain to a man such as this, that thinks he has lived on looks and virtue, that what saved his sorry ass was two things.
First, one of the women had disobeyed her husband or father and looked in on Henny. No man would admit that it happened, even within the clan, but he bet the poor woman paid a pretty penny for her act.
Secondly, the men finished the workings of the still, bottled the whiskey, and dismantled the still within two days of Henny having found their camp. Had Henny been one week earlier .well, why think further on these matters. No one could ever be certain, could they?
"I have decided that the boy didn't mean to shoot me Judge, Hoots is just fooling with a old mans mind"
Henny nodded toward the Sheriff.
"Henny, I just can't ever fool you can I?"
Hoots smiled as he remembered, Early had sold that rifle two weeks later at the county swap meet. At the turkey shoot that followed, the damn gun not only missed the bird, the bullet all but "killed" a Ford pick up .3 yards to the left of the target.[Read More]
Dems Immune To "Getting It"
Dems Immune To "Getting It"
January 20, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The realization had to come sooner or later, the signs were everywhere.
Congressmen running from town hall meetings as the Tea Party movement shattered the echo chambers from which they normally plied their trade.
The presence of a million angry people descending on the capitol steps in September, expressing outrage over the growing acquisitiveness of a state out of control.
The back-to-back losses in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections.
Even the completely tone deaf could have heard the shot reverberating across America from the heart of liberalism last night...right?
Nope, not even close.
Consider these comments made late last night and early this morning.
"I think that it would a terrible mistake to walk away now. If we don't pass the bill, all we have is the stigma of a caricature that was put on it. That would be the worst result for everybody who has supported this bill." - David Axelrod, Obama Sr. Advisor
"I'm very confident we can pass health-care reform." - David Plouffe, Obama campaign manager.
"We will get the job done. I am confident of that. I have always been confident of that...Massachusetts has health care and so the rest of the country would like to have that too," Pelosi said, referring to the state's health care program. "So we don't [think] a state that already has health care should determine whether the rest of the country should." - Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House.
One might hope that this is all just false bravado, the defensive, nearly involuntary reaction one might expect after a quick succession of unexpected disasters.
But again...nope, not even close.
What has been demonstrated now over the space of nearly a year is that those running the Dem party - and this includes their critical funding/support structure in Soros fundies such as MoveOn - have taken collectivism into their bosoms so thoroughly that in a de-facto manner it has become their religion.
I had a vision...
The year was 303, the location Rome, the emperor Diocletian, Christians the target. It was in this period - before Constantine and his conversion - that persecution of the followers of Christ flourished in large public spectacles of unimaginable brutality.
Rather than submit, these believers would rather die, their faith inuring them to the whispers of the rational mind that temporal salvation lied in the mere rejection of their beliefs.
The apparition rippled, then once again came into focus...the year was 2010...the jailed and torn apart had become the masters.
Among this class a new priesthood of metaphysical jailers and torturers arose, this time refined, expensively coiffed and clad in Armanis.
The aching in their souls, that dark chasm into which most dare not look, still clawed from within, papered over now not with a salvific message, but with arrogance, they had become god unto themselves.
Instead of the ceremonial execution of theological dissidents, the soft persecution of total control loomed.
Such is the faith of Mr. Obama and his backers, they can't turn away from the abyss, even with the portents clear to all - perhaps even themselves - that destruction awaits.
Though the dream has broken, the image remains...then the revelation that while the faith given testimony to by the victims of Diocletian still flourishes today, gently guiding lives rightly, strengthening and providing hope, the counterfeit religion of utopianism has and will forever only resulted in misery and in its most extreme form, the deaths of tens of millions in the gulags of Siberia and the ovens of Buchenwald - a feat unattainable even by a Diocletian.[Read More]
"Race To The Top" - Education Reform Or Bribery?
"Race To The Top" - Education Reform Or Bribery?
By CAMILLE GIGLIO, Legislative Analyst
January 19, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - "It's time to stop just talking about education reform and start actually doing it. It's time to make education America's national mission." - President Barack Obama, November 4, 2009
With the coming of a new administration the G.W. Bush education reforms [the promotion of national educational standards - No Child Left Behind] are now history.
In their stead, "Race to The Top," is the current catch phrase for the legislation supporting the Obama administration's nationwide educational goals. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [ARRA] provides about $100 billion for education K-12.
California's budget is in the red, its schools are being closed and teacher's jobs are being eliminated and the Governor has gone to Washington to plead the case for an infusion of federal funding.
California, New York and Florida [Texas, originally slated to participate, has withdrawn from the program, concerned over it's invasive nature] are now leading all states in the race to receive$350-700 million of the $4.5 billion available to these states in the federal Race To The Top K-12 program. [source, ContraCosta Times, http://www.caracetothetop.org/cs/rttt/print/htdocs/intent.htm]
Apparently it all hinges on the ability of these states to prove to the feds that they willchange and reform the their educational programs, models and testing standards toalign them with the Obama agenda.
Taking advantage of the current cash strapped economy, the Obama administration has succeeded indangling billions of our tax dollars in front of state and private sector businesses, in essence bribing them to submit to federal management of local employment and educational matters.
While these programs may have some ameliorative effect in the immediate future, the administration and it's communitarian supporters don't merely want immediate relief, additionally they seek permanent change bringing about greater federal oversight of the focus and outcome of education and job programs.
They plan to gain that power by taking over control of education. To firmly establish their communitarian goals they must gain control of input into the minds of children and out-of-work adults.
How do they get that control?
They pay for it, with our money of course. They can't however, just come in and throw money at the communities. They have to make it appear that school districts, governors and legislators and, moreimportantly, parents, are pleading for this money, competing for the privilege, if you will, to become dependent upon federal largesse to save the people.
While the RTTT's proponents make grand claims as to the benefits of reformingeducation they are still engaged in rounds of talks and meetings about what to include in the rules governing how states compete for these funds. Meantime some states are anxious to beamongst the first to show their willingness to conform to the federal offer.
California's Governor recently signed Democrat legislator Gloria Romero's Race To The Top bill, SBx 45 [not too obvious there, Gloria] clears the way for the state's entry into the national competition for the federal tax dollars. Today 804 individual schools or County School Districts in California have applied for the RTTT funds. Of this number 104 are charter schools.
So much for local autonomy.
The bill includes accepting national core standards of education as well as an Open Enrollment policy. This Open Enrollment is designed with the lowereconomic child in mind, but would allow any student, dissatisfied with his/her education,to enroll in any school in the state offering a program even if that program is across thestate.
Senator Mark Wyland, [R-38, Carlsbad] co-authored this bill and a majority of Republicans voted for it. Unfortunately no one from the Wyland office was willing to speak on record as to what Mr. Wyland saw as so worthy of crossover support.
There are some things which we can state with certainty regarding the intendedpurpose of this reformation of education. Those who are working on setting thestandards represent a broad spectrum of community interests ranging from unionsand businesses to think tanks, community groups and social/behavioralorganizations and educators. Also, the fact that parts of these grants to states comeunder the federal economic-stimulus law enacted last year all point to reforming theschools to produce national standards, national tests and a national curriculum.Recently I had an opportunity to interview certain well placed members of the statelegislature on this subject. My question was why were the Republicans so anxious tosupport this obviously Democrat agenda bill?
We prefer to think of it as the ability to bring much needed change to education inCalifornia, was the response that I got.
This implies that no one currently working in California's educational industry is capable of correcting its deficiencies. Not surprisingly, no one at the federal level has even gone to the trouble of providing an in-depth explanation of what they feel is wrong with California's schools.
When I posed the question of what was really meant by Open Enrollment I got somestrange answers. If fourth grade student A is not thriving (pardon me Kaiser Hospitals) inschool A, but might have a better chance in school B which is three counties away, doesthat mean that boarding schools will be created for distance learners? Or will this student stay home and get his or her education over the computer? Or, will they be assigned amentor who is, in reality a Home Visitation worker? If student A comes from a poor familywill the state pay for that child's room and board ?
Sources in the Sacramento are rather cavalier about that possibility. With a shrug of the shoulders it was explained that parents will have to make those arrangements if that is the option they choose.
The question to be asked now is who will actually benefit? Is it the child who is valued or is it their productivity? The vast majority of articles I have read on thissubject coldly refer to citizens as "human capital." By point of reference, here's the Wikipedia definition, "Human capital refers to the stock of competences, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. It is the attributes gained by a worker through education and experience. Many early economic theories refer to it simply asworkforce..."
In order for states to be eligible to apply for this funding they must achieve inphase 1, a total of 500 points, according to the "US Department of Education, November, 2009 Executive Summary of the Race To The Top Program."
A brief overview of some critical elements in the program:
If they fail to achieve these points they may try again in phase 11.
"A. State Success Factors - 125 Points," - demonstrating the state's willingness and ability to speed-up initiating change. I think that means ram-rodding through legislation.
"B. Standards and Assessments - 70 points," - developing and adopting common standards [of educational goals]. Further on in the summary this is defined as a "set of content standards that are substantially identical across all States in a consortium."
These are the exact words used by the aide in Sacramento. He referenced the term, consortium of states, which he thought might be 5 or 6 contiguous states without the reference to regionalizing education.
"C. Data Systems to Support Instruction - 47 points. This entails the collection of a broad spectrum of student and family information, placing this in an electronic data collection system and analyzing the data to further improve the delivery of education in the core programs of math, science, technology,and social/emotional development."
Sacramento has several of these bills on its docket.
"D. Great Teachers and Leaders. - 138 points," - This entails the re-training of teachers in all these fields to meet the national goals of student preparation. Several bills showed up in Sacramento during 2009 that mandated retraining of math and technology teachers.
An article which appeared in the 1/7 edition of the San Jose Mercury unveiled a new Obama initiative to train teachers. It seeks a public-private partnership to give Intel Corporation of Santa Clara $250 million to "train thousands of math and science teachers and raise student performance in technical fields... [which] is seen as key to the country's global competitiveness."
Excuse me? I thought we were talking about improving education for students?
"E. Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools - 50 points," - this reflects the goals created by a series of 7 federal pieces of legislation known collectively as the America Competes Act passed during the Bush administration and now being implemented under Obama. The lead bill is Harry Reid's S. 761, "Invest in Innovation and Education to Improve the Competitiveness of the United States in the Global Economy." H.R. 2272 by Bart Gordon of Tennessee urges creation of government employee involvement with students in the Science, Technology, environment and math.
Possible areas to address include, "...lengthening the school day or year if necessary as well asencouragement for an expanded program of after school activities which would provideassistance with homework or other social emotional needs."
"F. General Selection Criteria - 55 points. This makes education funding within the state a high priority, ensures successful inclusion of 'high-performing charter and other innovative schools'"
There is a final 15 points given for what they term a "Comprehensive Approach toEducation Reform."
So, there you have it - an offer that can't be refused - the states get an infusion of taxdollars, the feds get the schools and the students, the United States gets to compete fortop dog spot in the global economy and parents get to feel the pride in offering the future of their children up for the benefit of the state.
What's not to like?[Read More]
Organize Now For November 2, 2010 Congressional Election!
November 18, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Today, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions [R-AL] the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, charged the Obama administration's decision to try 9/11 terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his associates in a New York civilian court, as being "dangerous" and "misguided."Sessions' remarks were delivered at the Department of Justice oversight hearings, which featured AG Eric Holder.
"On September 11, 2001, our nation was attacked by a savage gang of terrorists. Their intent was to kill innocent Americans and bring ruin to the United States.
November 14, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Congressman Frank Wolf [R-VA] on Friday blasted team Obama's decision to prosecute 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorists in a New York civilian court proceeding.
Wolf expressed concern that the terror defendants, "will push for the release of sensitive intelligence and defense information in an effort to disclose U.S. anti-terrorism tactics to their terrorist brethren abroad," further stating, "this is just a bad decision."
By WILLIAM MAYER
November 13, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - At this point, less than a quarter into this sorry administration's first and hopefully, last term, it's getting increasingly difficult to summon the amount of outrage any of its actions might seem to demand, no matter how egregious the offense might be...the supply of bile and angst allotted to each individual being finite.
Be that as it may, today's announcement by the U.S. Justice Dept. that it would bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [KSM] and four of his brethren to New York to stand trial in federal court, afforded the same rights as any American citizen, represents a threat that justifiably can be called existential to this republic.
What could possibly motivate Obama to make such a move? Doesn't he have enough problems on his plate already without opening what might prove to be the mother of all cans of worms?
As is usually the case, when Andy McCarthy [the former federal prosecutor who put away the "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the first (1993) plot to bomb the World Trade Center] weighs in on topics concerning terrorism he invariably provides a level of insight only available to those who have been in the trenches with the jihadis.
McCarthy reasons that the DOJ's decision is all about paying deference to the hard left [with whom both Holder and Obama are ideologically aligned] by eschewing the military tribunal proceeding [where KSM and his cohorts were ready to plead guilty] and instead treating the terrorists as if they had been caught holding up your corner 7-11, rather than having planned and executed an act of war which killed 3,000 Americans.
What could be better for the most committed leftist administration in American history, than to have the opportunity to not only expose the government to an onerous and extraordinarily dangerous discovery process managed by attorneys acting on behalf of self-confessed terrorists, and then have that information showcased in what will become perhaps the most watched circus trial of any recent century, knowing that information will reverberate throughout Europe, feeding the various legal proceedings which are already well in motion against former Bush administration officials?
November 12, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Consider the following as Obamacare labors through Congress.
In April, the Center for Disease Control [CDC] stated that 600 million doses of swine flu vaccine [enough to treat the entire U.S. population, two doses are required to provide immunity] would be available, "In April, an official with the agency predicted that as many as 600 million doses could be available by January, if all went well." [source, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/health/26flu.html]
All has [predictably] not gone well...surprised?
In July, the administration was forced to make a huge downward revision to its original estimate of 600 million doses, then promising to deliver 160 million doses of swine flu vaccine, "THURSDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. officials hope to have 160 million doses of injectable swine flu vaccine on hand by October, with more doses coming in the form of a nasal spray." [source, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=8161141&page=1]
In August the administration revised, downward, the number of doses of the vaccine that would be available, down from 600 million originally promised, [and the previous month's promise of 160 million] to 120 million, "Citing delays in manufacturing and packaging the vaccines, the Department of Health and Human Services said only 45 million doses of the new H1N1 vaccine would be on hand in mid-October, instead of the 120 million previously forecast." [source, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFluNews/story?id=8346897]
Now the estimate has been further revised to about 5% of the original estimate of 600 million, "Earlier this month, the government was forced to announce that only about 28 million doses would be available by the end of this month [October]..." [source, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/health/26flu.html]
The critical time line:
Over the period of 6 months this administration has been caught in lies regarding provision of the H1N1 vaccine so numerous that it is getting difficult to keep track of them. Currently - in a best case scenario - it will deliver less than 1/20 th [< 5%] of the original promise.
Consider this is an omen, a real-world demonstration of how Obamacare will work, stripped of this administration's lies.
How's that change working out for you?
Are you concerned about that fever junior started running last night?
November 12, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Representative Frank Wolf [R, VA] has for the second time demanded that the Obama administration not send GTMO detainees to Yemen which harbors a growing al-Qaeda presence.
Wolf made the following statement regarding the matter.
"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) is again asking the Obama Administration to rethink its plans to release Guantanamo Bay detainees back to Yemen, particularly in light of the recent tragedy at Fort Hood where the alleged shooter reportedly has ties to a radical cleric now living in Yemen.
In a letter today to the president, Wolf implored the administration not to send any more detainees back to Yemen, or any other unstable country. He also requested that fact sheets and threat assessments on each detainee cleared for release be made public.
The American people have a right to know who these detainees are and what acts of terror they were engaged in, Wolf wrote. If the public had this information, they would never tolerate the release of these men back to unstable countries with a sizeable al Qaeda presence.
This is the fourth time since October 1 that Wolf has asked the Obama Administration to rethink its position on sending detainees to Yemen.
If the administration does not halt these pending releases immediately, it could be responsible for creating a new revolving door of terrorism that will cost American lives, Wolf wrote today. The security of the American people could be at risk because of the administration's relentless pursuit of a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay by January 22, 2010.
Why has the administration made basic information about these dangerous detainees so highly classified that it cannot be shared with the American people or the media? Wolf asked. I have reviewed the materials. These are dangerous individuals. To release committed al Qaeda terrorists back to Yemen under these conditions would be an act of gross malfeasance that undermines the safety of the American people.
By WILLIAM MAYER
November 10, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - I had the opportunity to hear Frank Luntz, noted polling guru and Fox News commentator, at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last Friday.
A kinetic presence in the room, shuttling about the small raised stage and darting into the audience of approximately 100, Luntz was quick to establish his mastery of opinion polling and marketing while pushing his new book, "What Americans Really Want...Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears."
Aside from the nuts and bolts of his solid presentation, Luntz revealed a side of his overall political perspective not on display during his numerous Fox appearances.
My guess is that some of Luntz' Fox fans might have found this not-so-television-friendly side a bit troubling, or at least giving pause for concern.
Luntz is obviously highly intelligent, if you can't grasp it from his encyclopedic grasp of political arcana you will be informed of his PhD obtained at Oxford, his entry into the world of high-level politics as a 17-year-old phenom and his work with Newt Gingrich on the "Contract with America," the vehicle upon which rode the GOP's 1994 political ascendancy.
He is obviously an impressive guy.
What this writer found troubling, and I will freely admit some of this was inferred by the presentation and not specifically stated by Mr. Luntz, is that he looks at politics in a very non-traditional way.
He views political contests not necessarily as a battle of ideas but a duel involving sloganeering, where the well turned phrase or adroitly expressed concept often trumps the rightness or wrongness of the idea or philosophy itself.
November 9, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - General George William Casey Jr., Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army made a completely ignorant, self-serving and ultimately indefensible statement Sunday on CNN's "State of the Nation."
"I think those concerns are real and I, and I will tell you ... that they're, they're fueled partially, at least, by the speculation about - based on anecdotal evidence that people are presenting. I think we have to be very careful with that. Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." [source, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/11/08/restraint_urged_in_fort_hood_s.html?wprss=44]
The U.S. Armed Forces are charged with defending the national security of the United States, that is General Casey's primary responsibility.
Diversity is an artificial creation, an impediment intentionally created by the left to bring about exactly what Gen Casey has apparently committed the full authority of the Army, and we must assume, the Obama administration, to enforce. Some call this political correctness, which is simply a nicer sounding term than thought control, which is what diversity is really all about.
This nation is and always has been diverse, it doesn't have to be enforced in an artificial manner. America's naturally occurring diversity has always been a source of great strength.
Diversity in the General's context however, creates the conditions under which the obvious can't be stated. It sets parties up who speak obvious truths as bigots. It allows the Islamist enemies of the West to label critics Islamophobes, a charge which carries considerable weight in the current state of our culture.
What is painfully obvious to all who have not willingly blinded themselves to reality in this case, is that Mr. Hasan's attack at Ft. Hood was an act of Islamic terrorism. He justified his actions according to numerous press accounts, across all media, mainstream and alternative, on the basis of his interpretation of Islam. At the point which the attack commenced, Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" [God is great].
"Pvt. Joseph Foster...heard a shout quickly followed by a burst of gunfire...'I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled 'Allahu akbar' in Arabic and he opened fire," Foster said Monday on CNN's 'American Morning'" [source, http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/09/fort.hood.foster]
The Arabic term "Allahu Akbar" is the traditional Muslim war cry, that is a fact and is not debatable.
By CAMILLE GIGLIO
November 9, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - "Now on to jobs and quality of life." [source, Barack Obama following the House vote on HealthCare. 11/07/09]
Flowery talk about improving our quality of life may sound nice, but what is reallyimplied? Yes, government can improve the quality of our lives it just requires every U.S.resident to surrender certain of our freedoms to the government. Is that what we aredoing, accepting third party control over our lives, our destinies at the cost ofsurrendering our freedom of choice over our own lives?
Barack Obama and the House leadership are acting, for the "public's benefit," as though this health care legislation is over and finished.
It isn't, it's just the end of the beginning.
Further legislation must be enacted to address all the issues contained inthis purposely vague and generalized health care legislation. There are commissionsand boards to be authorized, oversight committees and staff to be established, the fullspectrum of just what is meant by health care has not even begun to be addressed.
President Obama has provided us with hints as to what is ahead. He said it againfollowing the passage of the House version of the health care bill in the deep of night.Jobs and Quality of Life are next on the agenda.
In the mind of the Democrat bureaucrat one can't have quality of health without asupervised, mandated quality of life - a Master Plan - to direct the shaping of the new citizen of the global world.
HR 3962, by Cong. John Dingell, Affordable Quality Health Care for All People,www.gop.gov/policy-news/09/11/02/new-federal-bureaucracies-created-in. creates one hundred and eleven of these quality of life oversight boards, committees, commissions, etc. just at the federal level. This will generate creation of regional and local bureaucracies. Workforce Development, referenced 6 times in this bill is already active in every county in California. This legislative term the Governor has signed AB 271, Youthbuild with several more such bills still pending and referred to as Career Technical Education. CTE uses the classroom to prepare students to be future workers in our planned Sustainable Community society. Everyone who cooperates with the system will have a guaranteed job.
November 5, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Breaking News: ABC made the following claim a little over an hour ago, "The suspected gunman was identified by ABC News as Major Malik Nadal Hasan. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, told Fox News that military sources informed her that the gunman was about to be deployed to Iraq." [source, http://abcnews.go.com/WN/soldiers-killed-fort-hood-shooting/story?id=9007938]
According to the latest tally 12 are confirmed dead, 31 wounded.
This afternoon, president Obama made some initial and bizarre remarks at the Tribal Nations Conference, regarding the tragic shooting today at Ft. Hood, Texas.
Behold, your president reacts after learning of the news, below from the Fox News website [http://whitehouse.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/11/05/president-obama-remarks-on-shooting-at-fort-hood/], it seems the WH blog [http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog] has already been scrubbed of Obama's offensive and incredibly cavalier statement.
I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It's good to see you. (APPLAUSE) My understanding is is that you had an extremely productive conference. I want to thank all of you for coming and for your efforts, and I want to give you my solemn guarantee that this is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a process and that we are going to follow up. (APPLAUSE) We are going to follow up. Every single member of my team understands that this is a top priority for us. I want you to know that, as I said this morning, this -- this is not something that we just give lip service to. And we are going to keep on working with you to make sure that the first Americans (ph) get the best possible chances in life in a way that's consistent with your extraordinary traditions and culture and values. Now, I have to say, though, that beyond that, I had planned to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead for Native Americans as well as collaboration with our administration."
I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It's good to see you.
My understanding is is that you had an extremely productive conference. I want to thank all of you for coming and for your efforts, and I want to give you my solemn guarantee that this is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a process and that we are going to follow up.
We are going to follow up. Every single member of my team understands that this is a top priority for us. I want you to know that, as I said this morning, this -- this is not something that we just give lip service to. And we are going to keep on working with you to make sure that the first Americans (ph) get the best possible chances in life in a way that's consistent with your extraordinary traditions and culture and values.
Now, I have to say, though, that beyond that, I had planned to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead for Native Americans as well as collaboration with our administration."
Note: Eventually Obama gets to the matter at hand, 43 dead or wounded at Ft. Hood, Texas, America's largest and most important military base, the central site for force projection to the Middle East.
"But as some of you might have heard, there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. We don't yet know all the details at this moment. We will share them as we get them..."
Great job Mr. president [a "shout out?"], you immediately slid into the jocular, smirking tone that we have come to expect from this administration in matters pertaining to national security and the Armed Forces of the United States.
How's that change working out for you America?
November 5, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - [via U.S. DOJ] Laura Wang-Woodford, a U.S. citizen who served as a director of Monarch Aviation Pte Ltd., a Singapore company that imported and exported military and commercial aircraft components for more than 20 years, was sentenced today in federal court in Brooklyn to 46 months in prison for conspiring to violate the U.S. trade embargo by exporting controlled aircraft components to Iran. Wang-Woodford was also ordered to forfeit $500,000 to the U.S. Treasury Department.
Wang-Woodford was arrested on Dec. 23, 2007, at San Francisco International Airport after arriving on a flight from Hong Kong, and has remained incarcerated since then. She and her husband, Brian D. Woodford, a U.K. citizen who served as chairman and managing director of Monarch, were originally charged in a 20-count indictment returned in the Eastern District of New York on Jan. 15, 2003. Brian Woodford remains a fugitive. A superseding indictment charging Wang-Woodford with operating Jungda International Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based successor to Monarch, was returned on May 22, 2008.
According to the superseding indictment, between January 1998 and December 2007, the defendants exported controlled U.S. aircraft parts from the United States to Monarch and Jungda in Singapore and Malaysia and then re-exported those items to companies in Tehran, Iran, without obtaining the required U.S. government licenses. As part of the charged conspiracy, the defendants falsely listed Monarch and Jungda as the ultimate recipients of the parts on export documents filed with the U.S. government. The aircraft parts illegally exported to Iran include aircraft shields, shears, "o" rings and switch assemblies. The superseding indictment further charged that the defendants arranged for the illegal export of U.S. military aircraft components, designed for use in Chinook military helicopters, to Monarch in Singapore.
GOP Win Of Epic Proportion, Rise Of The New Republican
Dead Fail To Turn Out In New Jersey
Clinton Fails To Address Release Of Lockerbie Terrorist Megrahi
November 4, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a press briefing en Route to Cairo, Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs made a curious reference to Secty State Hillary's Clinton's meeting with Libyan Foreign Minister, Musa Kusa.
Mr. Kusa seems to have a rather notorious reputation, as noted in today's Wall Street Journal, Clinton, Libyan Spy Chief Meet in Marrakech.
"Clinton, attending a regional-development conference in Morocco, met for 10- to 15-minutes with Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa, according to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
We include the full text of the relevant portions of State Dept. spokesman Crowley's remarks dealing with Musa Kusa.
MR. CROWLEY: "...On Iran, I think it was mostly the Secretary just reporting on our view of the current situation, and quite honestly, it tracked, in fact, very directly to what she said to you all last night.
And then she met with Foreign Minister Musa Kusa -- M-u-s-a, K-u-s-a - who's a - he's a graduate of Michigan State University. At one point, he said, Spartans and gave a thumbs up.
QUESTION: Wasn't Musa Kusa indicted for terrorism at one point? Can you check, because was the intelligence chief before he became the foreign minister?
QUESTION: I thought he was indicted for killing Americans.
QUESTION: Were you going to tell us about this? Can I have the next question?
QUESTION: Why was this not on the schedule and why was there no photo opportunity of this?
MR. CROWLEY: The short answer is it happened almost - let me back up. I mean, we had a limited time and we had a number of potential candidates for bilats. And in some cases, there were a couple countries that we were looking at bilats. And for example, and - but the Secretary was able to have pull-asides during the GCC meeting, for example. I mean, Libya is a country that we are - we have an emerging relationship with. And we think it's best to continue talking to them and seeing where we can continue to advance the relationship.
And that - but I mean, it was something that - this was just a - kind of like a target of opportunity where the ministers found themselves with a similar hole and they got pulled into a room and sat for about 15 minutes.
QUESTION: Did they discuss the Lockerbie bomber's recent release back home?
MR. CROWLEY: I was in the meeting; that did not come up. They --
Israel Seizes Huge Arms Cache, Purportedly Having Originated In Iran
November 4, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - [via JPost] According to a story carried by the Jerusalem Post Defense officials say weapons bound for Syria, Hizbullah, IDF forces interdicted a huge cache of weapons, believed destined for use by Hezbollah. The weaponry was seized 100 miles West of the Jewish state.
"Hundreds of tons of weaponry...Thousands of Iranian mortars, rockets, grenades found aboard ship. The transfer of such large amounts of weapons, "is done in order to create a balance of terror with Israel," said Brigadier General Rani Ben-Yehuda, deputy commander of the Israeli navy, at a press conference."
November 3, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th, VA) today again implored the Obama Administration to rethink its position on releasing detainees from Guantanamo Bay to unstable countries like Yemen.
In a speech on the House floor, Wolf said the administration should "immediately terminate" the return of any detainees to Yemen. Wolf said the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, where al-Qaeda operates freely, raises serious questions as to whether the detainees could be properly monitored by the government of Yemen.
Wolf reminded his colleagues that known al-Qaeda terrorists, including some of the USS Cole bombers, have escaped from prison in Yemen and returned to terrorism. He also pointed to recent media reports of a foiled terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia where one of the alleged terrorists was a former Guantanamo detainee who entered the country from Yemen, "The release of any detainee to Yemen represents a potentially serious threat to the United States and U.S. citizens, both military and civilian," Wolf said.
The Congressman also asked for congressional hearings on the administration's plans, saying Congress should be "directly involved in the oversight of detention and release of dangerous detainees held at Guantanamo Bay."
"As of now, the administration is going down a dangerous road, and Congress is idly allowing them to make these misguided decisions," Wolf said.
On October 1, Wolf, the leading Republican on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking that all transfers of Guantanamo detainees be stopped until it is clear that the receiving country can properly monitor anyone who is released. Wolf has yet to receive a response to his letter.
Wolf sent copies of his remarks today to President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Attorney General Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
In the letter he pointed out that in September 2008, al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen attacked the U.S. Embassy with car bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. Ten people were killed in the attack. He also asked for an update on any potential transfers.
November 3, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a move certain to increase angst on the left, the U.S. DOJ is moving aggressively to support the Bush era policy of national security wiretaps coordinated through the NSA.
What follows is the latest DOJ statement, accompanied by the relevant court document.
[source U.S. DOJ] "The Department of Justice asserted the state secrets privilege in a case today to protect against a disclosure of highly sensitive, classified information that would irrevocably harm the national security of this country. I authorized this significant step following a careful and thorough review process, and I did so only because I believe there is no way for this case to move forward without jeopardizing ongoing intelligence activities that we rely upon to protect the safety of the American people.
Last month, I outlined new policies and procedures containing a system of internal and external checks and balances that the Department will follow each time it invokes the state secrets privilege in litigation. We designed those procedures to provide greater accountability for the use of the privilege and to ensure that the Department invokes the privilege only to the extent that it is absolutely necessary to protect national security. The procedures require a thorough, multi-stage review and rely upon robust judicial and congressional oversight.
The present case was reviewed under this new process. The Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the National Security Agency certified to the Department that disclosing information at issue in the case would jeopardize national security and provided classified information to support that conclusion. A review committee of senior Department officials, the Associate Attorney General, and the Deputy Attorney General all reviewed that information. Based on the recommendations from this review process, as well as my own personal review of the information provided, I concluded that we had no alternative but to assert the privilege to prevent the exposure of intelligence sources and methods.
As part of our internal Department review, we specifically looked for a way to allow this case to proceed while carving out classified information, and ultimately concluded there was no way to do so. Much like previous litigation in which the government asserted the privilege, the core claims in this case involve questions about ongoing intelligence operations, and allowing it to proceed would disclose critical activities of high value to the national security of this country.
We are not invoking this privilege to conceal government misconduct or avoid embarrassment, nor are we invoking it to preserve executive power. Moreover, we have given the court the information it needs to conduct its own independent assessment of our claim by filing a classified submission outlining the underlying facts and providing a detailed record upon which it can rely.
The assertion of the state secrets privilege presents one of the most difficult challenges in balancing the American people's right to information about actions their government takes and the government's need to protect vital information that would compromise national security. Making the government more transparent and accountable is one of this administration's top priorities, which is why my Department has issued reformed guidelines to govern Freedom of Information Act practices, released previously undisclosed Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memoranda, publishes on an ongoing basis this Department's OLC memoranda whenever possible, and, indeed, adopted our more restrictive state secrets policy..."
Note: the remainder of DOJ's statement may be obtained at the above headline hyperlink.
The following links to the Bush administration's original motion to dismiss Shubert's class action suit which has been archived at the Electronic Frontier Foundation DEFENDANTS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISMISS OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
By VINCENT GIOIA
November 2, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - America became a great country by letting its people be all they can be without interference from government. In just less than a year all this has changed. We have seen the government dictate everything from toilets to light bulbs and take ownership interests in private enterprises in major segments of our economy. The formerly largest auto company has been taken over by the government and major banks now have the government sitting on their boards. The free market is no longer free and government expansionists are not through yet. We are looking at the one-fifth of our economy in the form our health industry becoming under the control of those running the government and under the guise of controlling alleged pollution virtually all the remaining remnants of the free market will be subject to bureaucratic regulation.
How did this happen and how does the government take over our lives? The answer is simple, with our own money ? money earned under what once was a free market system and confiscated by tax laws.
Since the 1930?s under four-term President Franklin D. Roosevelt the government has spread tax money around beyond its constitutional role and infiltrated state governments and private enterprise. Under current President Barack Obama and with the aid of a virulent uncontrolled congress, government expansion has grown like an atomic mushroom cloud. By distributing tax payer money, often without being asked by recipients, the government has used this largesse as reason enough to dictate what those getting the money may or may not do.
Historically private enterprise has answered for the most part only to its owners, whether privately or publicly owned. However today we see and largely accept that if tax payer money finds its way into free enterprise in what should be a free market, the government which distributes the money can say how the business can be run, even to the point of dictating salaries and employee compensation.
By: DENNIS T. AVERY
November 2, 2009 - Churchville, VA - PipeLineNews.org - The leftish Brookings Institution and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce basically agree that the energy taxes in the House Waxman-Markey bill could total $9 trillion over ten years. As an economist, I look at these forecasts and wonder "How can we possibly know?"
These estimates cover only the costs of the "user permits" that companies will have to buy. They don't even try to measure the massive reduction in our economic output as energy costs double and triple with scarcity.
Let's look at a couple of "case studies":
First, we use a lot of natural gas to make fertilizer, pulling 90 million tons per year of natural nitrogen from the air (which is 78% N). The world has only about one-third of the cow manure needed to nourish today's crops, so nitrogen fertilizer is feeding 2 billion of the world's 6.5 billion people through higher food yields per acre.
Imagine that ten years from now the carbon taxes have eliminated half of the nitrogen fertilizer: global food production has fallen massively? say by 25?30 percent; world food prices have tripled; and storage bins are empty. What price would we pay to keep the other half of the nitrogen fertilizer so our kids won't starve?
Would farmers and the public defend the remaining fertilizer factories with roadblocks?or even firearms? Will governments overcome the "fertilizer fanatics" with force? How would the governments convince troops to fire on their own people? By giving the troops food the public can't get?
Moreover, the BBC has just admitted what careful observers already knew?the planet hasn't warmed since 1998! Many climatologists say we're in a 30-year cooling driven by Pacific Ocean cycling. Will "global warming" come to be viewed as just a "weapon of mass taxation"?
November 2, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - [via U.S. DOJ] Six detainees who are Chinese nationals of Uighur ethnicity have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the control of the Republic of Palau.
Ahmad Tourson, Abdul Ghappar Abdul Rahman, Edham Mamet, Anwar Hassan, Dawut Abdurehim and Adel Noori were resettled in Palau earlier today.
These detainees, who were subject to release from Guantanamo Bay as a result of court orders, had been cleared for release by the prior Administration, which determined that it would no longer treat them as enemy combatants.
As directed by the President's Jan. 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force subsequently conducted a comprehensive review of each of the detainees. As a result of that review, these detainees were approved for transfer or release from Guantanamo Bay.
In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the Administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer each of these detainees at least 15 days in advance.
These transfers were carried out under an arrangement between the United States and the Republic of Palau. The United States has coordinated with the Republic of Palau to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with the Republic of Palau regarding the individuals.
November 1, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - [via CNN] According to CNN, al-Shahab, a Somali-based terrorist group, has threatened the state of Israel. The group is believed to have ties to al-Qaeda.
The threat actually came from what is apparently a splinter group of al-Shahab, calling itself the al-Aqsa mujahideen, and has charged the Jewish state with attempting to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque.
The mosque, a sacred site for Muslims, lies within the Temple Mount and has been the scene of confrontations betwee the Israelis and Palestinians for many years now.
Note: Douglas Farah is Senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. He testified on October 27, 2009 before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on the Western Hemisphere The Middle East Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade
November 1, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - "I think the growing alliance of Iran with is a significant and under-reportedpart of the equation that is driving the instability and uncertainty in Latin America...
There is broad agreement that Iran's expanding ties with Venezuela, forged by thepersonal friendship between presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chávezrespectively, anchor the relationships in the region...Iran, facing broad internationalsanctions because of its non-transparent nuclear program...
Venezuela had sought a uranium enrichment technology transfer from Brazil inOctober 2005. The prospect of Iranian involvement led Brazilian officials to retract anyinitial enthusiasm for the deal...a primary, andperhaps sole real point of convergence between Ahmadinejad and Chávez in forging theirrelationship is both of these leaders' openly declared hostility toward the United Statesand its allies in the region...this common desire to build an alternative power structure free of theperceived dominance of the United States is one of the few reasons that populist and selfdescribedrevolutionary, staunchly secular governments in Latin America (many whohave been directly at odds with the Catholic church, the main religious force in theircountries) would make common cause with a reactionary, theocratic Islamist regime....Since 2005 Chávez has rewritten Venezuela's security doctrine to scrub it ofall outside, "imperialist" influences. To replace the old doctrine, Chávez and theVenezuelan military leadership have focused on developing a doctrine centered onasymmetrical warfare, in the belief that the primary threat to Venezuelan security isa U.S. invasion.17One of the main books he has adopted is Peripheral Warfare andRevolutionary Islam: Origins, Rules and Ethics of Asymmetrical Warfare (GuerraPeriferica y el Islam Revolucionario: Orígenes, Reglas y Ética de la Guerra Asimétrica )by the Spanish politician and ideologue Jorge Verstrynge.18 Although he is not aMuslim and the book was not written directly in relation to the Venezuelanexperience, Verstrynge's book lauds radical Islam (as well as past terrorists like IlichRamírez Sánchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal)19 for helping to expand theparameters of what irregular warfare..."
End note: Please take headline link for .pdf file containing the complete text of Mr. Farah's troubling testimony.
Pakistan's ISI Intelligence Service Implicated In Afghanistan CIA Bomb Attack
Pakistan's ISI Intelligence Service Implicated In Afghanistan CIA Bomb Attack
January 18, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In an item which has received far too little attention, we note once again how central Pakistan is to a successful effort in Afghanistan. This was unfortunately demonstrated - to tragic effect - on December 30 when Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, believed to be a Jordanian, detonated a powerful explosive device, killing 7 CIA operatives in Afghanistan's Khost region.
The precision with which the bombing was carried out and the type of explosive used points in the direction of outside assistance having been given to the operation, " The speculation about a possible ISI hand in the suicide attack is being traced back to U.S. and Afghan government sources who said in the analysis of explosives used, it was found they were of standard military grade which points to the ISI. [source, The Hindu, http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article79491.ece]
Downplaying the possibility of state level ISI players having been involved in the costly incident, Stratfor, a U.S. based intelligence think tank, however does not discount that lower level ISI operatives could have assisted the attack, "The possibility that jihadist sympathizers in the lower ranks of the Pakistani intelligence complex may have offered their services to the TTP cannot be ruled out, however. Given its history of dealing with Islamist nonstate proxies, the Pakistani intelligence apparatus is penetrated by the jihadists, which partially explains the ability of the TTP to mount a ferocious insurgency against the state." [source, Stratfor]
A video, obviously put together before the attack, but released thereafter, shows Balawi claiming credit for the bombing. Also in the video was new Pak Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud - his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, former Taliban leader, was killed in a U.S. drone attack in August.
Pakistan's ISI is widely understood to have been central to the rise of the Taliban, having given much aid throughout the 1990s. At one point, then prime minister Benazir Bhutto's government is believed to have provided funding for the group.
The ISI has also been implicated in other serious terrorist incidents including India's Mumbai bombing. As we reported in an October 1, 2006 piece [see, Musharraf's Pakistan Express Going Off The Rails - India Charges ISI With Collusion In Mumbai Bombing, https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=mumbai100106.htm]
On Saturday Indian security officials revealed the most ominous aspect of this story, stating that Pakistan's ISI was responsible for the planning of the July 11 Mumbai commuter train terror bombing which killed over 200 and injured upwards of 700 people.
As the Times UK is reporting in its Sunday edition: "We have solved the July 11 bombings case. The whole attack was planned by Pakistan's ISI and carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operatives in India," AN Roy, Mumbai's police chief, told a packed news conference." [see, India Blames Pakistan Spies For Bombs, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article656626.ece ]
It seems clear, now approaching ten years into the war against radical Islam, that unless or until the ISI's links to jihadi violence can be addressed, a key strength of al-Qaeda and the terrorist network will remain unchecked.
So too the realization that as significant as the U.S. drone attacks have been, without boots on the ground taking and holding the real estate from which the attacks are launched, the net effect will merely be to cycle through jihadi commanders as they are occasionally taken out, while little affecting the overall thrust of their combined efforts.
For additional perspective on these issues also see our November 7, 2007 piece U.S. State Department Delusional If It Sees Bhutto As The Answer.[Read More]
Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula Issues Threats Against U.S.
Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula Issues Threats Against U.S.
January 18, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Following close on the heels of the December kidnapping of Spanish aid workers in Northern Africa by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, we find another splinter group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, operating out of Yemen issuing a broad series of threats against the United States and Arab states hostile to the Salafist/jihadi movement.
"The duty of our Muslim nation is to declare jihad against the infidels and their agent helpers, not only on the ground, but in the sea and air as well as their Crusader warships in the Gulf of Aden," according to the statement. "As they declared it to be an open war on the people of Islam, we must declare an open war against [them]." [source, Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703626604575010851735076606.html]
Though all of these groups are either loosely or more closely affiliated with the main branch of al-Qaeda, they have assumed distinctly local characters as they seek to take advantage of local conditions and populations in an effort to extend their reach, while frequently cross-pollinating, "Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM); AQIM is an offshoot of the Algerian Salafist Group for Combat and Preaching which declared allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2003." [source, Moroccoboard, http://www.moroccoboard.com/viewpoint/68-hassan-massiki/830-al-qaeda-in-the-islamic-maghreb][Read More]
Obama Heckled In Massachusetts, Exposing Him As An Embarrassing, Unnerved Pretender, Lost Without His Teleprompter
Obama Heckled In Massachusetts, Exposing Him As An Embarrassing, Unnerved Pretender, Lost Without His Teleprompter
January 17, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - President Obama stumping in Massachusetts today for floundering Dem Martha Coakley was completely taken off his game plan, and worse, off his teleprompter by the presence of a pro-life protester.
In the ensuing 5 minutes, while security hustled the individual out of the hall, the president seemed thoroughly confused, uncomfortable and unable to effectively deliver the speech he hoped would benefit Coakley's chances on Tuesday.
Below the video:
The incident served to unmask both the growing anger against team Obama as well as to expose the president as a bumbling, foolish looking pretender who appears to be incapable of defending his policies in the face of any criticism.[Read More]
Massachusetts Senate Race - Martha Coakley: Catholics "Probably Shouldn't Work In The Emergency Room"
Massachusetts Senate Race - Martha Coakley: Catholics "Probably Shouldn't Work In The Emergency Room"
January 16, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Martha Coakley, The Democrat candidate for "Ted Kennedy's" seat in the U.S. Senate continues to make a fool of herself whenever she is forced to answer questions of importance to the state's electorate.
In a January 14 interview conducted with WBSM's Ken Pittman, Coakley expressed a belief that healthcare workers have no right to the free exercise of their conscience.
Please note the below video.
When people come together to discuss what has come to be called Obamacare, what often get's lost in the process is the understanding of just how injurious these proposed regulations are - aside from their obvious deleterious effect on the American healthcare system - to American civil liberties, a point to consider as Massachusetts voters go to the polls on Tuesday.[Read More]
Militarization Of Police Powers In US? - RAND Study Says Maybe
Militarization Of Police Powers In US? - RAND Study Says Maybe
January 16, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a September 2008 stump speech, then candidate Barack Obama advocated the establishment of a national security force.
Since then various alternative media sources [the subject is radioactive as far as the MSM is concerned] have explored the meaning of Obama's words and what they might ultimately portend.
Below the relevant portion of the speech given July 2, 2008. "Obama, July 2, Colorado Springs, CO: [As] president I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots [from 75,000] and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals, like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their effort connected to a common purpose. People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem they are the answer. So we are going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We'll call on Americans to join an energy corps, to conduct renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country. We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We need to use technology to connect people to service. We'll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where American can browse opportunities to volunteer. You'll be able to search by category, time commitment and skill sets. You'll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities. This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up."
[sources, Fact Check - almost always aligned to the left - http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/is_obama_planning_a_gestapo-like_civilian_national.html and the Wall Street Journal, which carried the campaign's pre-speech release, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/07/02/obamas-remarks-on-service/]
"Obama, July 2, Colorado Springs, CO: [As] president I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots [from 75,000] and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals, like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their effort connected to a common purpose.
People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem they are the answer. So we are going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We'll call on Americans to join an energy corps, to conduct renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country.
We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set.
We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We need to use technology to connect people to service. We'll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where American can browse opportunities to volunteer. You'll be able to search by category, time commitment and skill sets. You'll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities.
This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up."
Obama delivering the controversial section of the speech below.
It seems fairly clear that what Obama was referring to - in laundry list manner - though dealing generally with domestic service, was directed at a civilian, but highly trained quasi-military force capable of being inserted into hot spots to handle law enforcement duties professionally so that the responsibility wouldn't have to fall on the over burdened military.
That seems a reasonable idea...however...
Recently  the RAND think tank produced a monograph on the subject titled rather suggestively A Stability Police Force for the United States. Justification and Options for Creating U.S. Capabilities
The following section clearly envisions the possibility of such a force being used domestically, mentioning the Posse Comitatus Act which prohibits the military from carrying out domestic law enforcement. Actually the study mentions the Act 16 times.
"In particular, for theMP option to be as cost-effective as possible, relief from thePosse Comitatus Act would be required to permit its membersto perform domestic law enforcement functions." [source, RAND Study pg. 105, http://wwwcgi.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG819.pdf]
The juxtaposing then of Mr. Obama's speech against the hard reality of the RAND study does indeed give pause for concern, not in the conspiratorial sense that some publications suggest, but from the standpoint of the potential misuse with which such a force might be used.
That is a question that requires the widest public scrutiny and public debate well before legislation might be considered.[Read More]
Google vs. China - Obama AWOL
Google vs. China - Obama AWOL
January 15, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In many ways the clash between Internet giant Google and the communist Chinese government is demonstrative of the administration's flawed foreign policy approach - walk and talk softly while brandishing an olive branch.
The matter front-and-center here involves a sophisticated Internet attack, taking place in mid December, launched against the prominent search engine with the apparent ultimate intent of accessing data on Chinese dissidents, housed on the company's Gmail servers. Upon investigation, the company discovered, alongside hacked email accounts, that a considerable amount of intellectual property had also been stolen.
At the same time as this was taking place, possibly as many as two dozen similar attacks were being launched against various other American companies doing business in the country, including defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman.
Initially Google challenged the Chinese to cease and desist its fishing operation, however in the face of the country's intransigence, the company stated that it would no longer comply with Chinese directives to filter content on the Google.cn web presence, and was willing to take the extreme step of closing its offices rather than subject itself to further predatory practices.
"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China."[source, Google, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html]
In throwing down this cyber-gauntlet, Google has admirably distinguished itself in this confrontation, first in the forthright manner with which it has admitted to having been targeted, and second, having responded in such a robust manner. Other companies have been reticent to even identify themselves as having been subject to these high-level hacks with G.M.'s China group president Kevin Wale indicating that the U.S. government owned company's appetite for such abuse was apparently endless, "They're not causing us any major impact at the moment." [source, Yahoo, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100113/ap_on_hi_te/as_china_google]
G.M.'s tepid response was strikingly similar to team Obama's - they now being cut from the same cloth.
At first Secretary of State Clinton issued a reasonably worded statement expressing the serious nature of the controversy, "We have been briefed by Google on these allegations, which raise very serious concerns and questions. We look to the Chinese government for an explanation. The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy. I will be giving an address next week on the centrality of internet freedom in the 21st century, and we will have further comment on this matter as the facts become clear," [see, http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/01/135105.htm].
Later her legs were cut out from under her, with WH flack Nick Shapiro backfilling and downplaying aplenty, "The recent cyber-intrusion that Google attributes to China is troubling, and the federal government is looking into it," [see, Washington Post, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34855470/ns/technology_and_science-washington_post/].
Even more telling was the final, again-amended wording by the State Department seeking to defuse the matter entirely characterizing the unprecedented Chinese actions as being within, "the range of issues" that normally define U.S.-China relations, adding that it "is a broad, it is a deep, it is an expanding and durable relationship." [see, Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748703414504575001363855180520.html]
Nothing here to see, keep it moving...
The rising sense of cultural assertiveness by the Chinese in this matter is instructive, especially that of the People's Army, which seeks to extend its heavy hand to one of the 'Net's central players, intent upon strangling the fragile network of pro-democracy advocates who dare speak out against an iron-willed government which tolerates zero dissent.
So committed, in fact is China to this policy of clandestine 'Net based warfare that it has assembled at its beck-and-call a veritable cottage industry of private hackers with which it can direct at will against targets of opportunity.
Team Obama's timidity in face of blatant provocation is painful to watch - a distressingly similar replay of his refusal to meet with the Dalai Lama on the eve of his visit to China. That behavior was in stark contrast to that of the previous administration - "The Dalai Lama has described a meeting in Washington with U.S. President George W. Bush as "excellent," much like "when two old friends" get together for a reunion...The meeting with Bush was held despite angry complaints from China. China sees the Dalai Lama as a supporter of independence for Tibet, which it regards as Chinese territory." [source, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/east/05/23/dalai.bush.02/]
The performance of team Obama here mirrors the now familiar template of its foreign policy - reluctance to assert itself against any substantial challenge, as it strays over-the-line towards appeasement.
The fact is that Google is perhaps America's most prominent example of its high-tech prowess, yet in Mr. Obama's view it's apparently not worth defending, even verbally with any sense of resoluteness, proving that he would rather see the company abused and slowly twisting in the wind - its intellectual property up for grabs - rather than challenge Chinese aggressive triumphalism head-on.
One year into this failed gambit, such behavior has gotten the now not-so-young administration nothing internationally, not in the Middle East nor in Iran, Russia, Venezuela or North Korea.
Yet the president persists in pursuing this classic [read W.J. Clinton] - and discredited - foreign policy equivalent of the prevent defense, seeking to run out the clock rather than having to take a stand with potential public relations complications - thus sending a terrible message of weakness, that America can be rolled at will.
Until these amateurs can summon at least as much bile as they hurl daily against the weak and disorganized nincompoops at the GOP against America's real enemies, they can look forward to the Chinese and similarly motivated hard-asses upping the ante until a real and even more serious crisis becomes unavoidable. At that point no amount of false belligerence will override the sense that Obama's America is unwilling - and even more seriously - unable to defend its interests.
That is a supremely dangerous message to send.[Read More]
Rep Sue Myrick Warns Of Homegrown Terrorism, Ft. Hood Jihad Explained
January 9, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a new YouTube video, Representative Sue Myrick [R-NC] draws attention to the rising danger of homegrown terrorism, domestic jihad.
About the threat she stated, "...but there is one challenge that you haven't been hearing about, because your government hasn't been informing you and that's the rise of homegrown radical extremism in our country. The Ft. Hood shooting brought it back into focus."
Congresswoman Myrick relied upon 4 respected terrorism experts to provide expertise in helping her understand the matter in depth, including Steven Emerson and Walid Phares.
Below, the video.
Turning Tail in Yemen, will Obama Now Admit the Failure of his GITMO Repatriation Policy?
January 4, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Well in advance of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's fortunately truncated Christmas Day terrorist attack on Northwestern flight #253, in an October 2, 2009 piece [see, Congressman Frank Wolf Demands GITMO Terrorists Not Be Sent To Unstable Countries] we drew attention to the critical breach of national security the Obama administration had created via its policy of releasing GITMO detainees, many of whom were gathered on the battlefield as mujahideen, back to their countries of origin, including Yemen, home of a newly resurgent al-Qaeda.
For months now, Obama's ruinous amateur hour repatriation program has been slammed by a small coterie of national security hawks in the House of Representatives, led by Frank Wolf:
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Wolf wrote that the administration should halt all transfers until "evidence is provided to this Congress demonstrating that the detainee can be properly received and monitored in the receiving country." Wolf, the top Republican on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, cited a number of recent press reports detailing the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, including a piece in this week's Time magazine, headlined, "Is Yemen the Next Afghanistan?", as the reason for asking for any transfers to be stopped."
"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today urged the Obama Administration to reconsider sending detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to unstable countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan or Algeria.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Wolf wrote that the administration should halt all transfers until "evidence is provided to this Congress demonstrating that the detainee can be properly received and monitored in the receiving country."
Wolf, the top Republican on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, cited a number of recent press reports detailing the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, including a piece in this week's Time magazine, headlined, "Is Yemen the Next Afghanistan?", as the reason for asking for any transfers to be stopped."
Throughout this time and despite numerous requests for information, Obama, Eric Holder and the Dept. of Justice have stonewalled all attempts made by Congress to determine the extent and the degree of threat repatriation represents.
We call upon the administration to immediately halt this injurious program and suggest that a full review by Congress, as part of their oversight responsibility, is in order to determine how deeply this long standing policy has damaged the national security interests of the United States.[Read More]
Obama Confidant Bill Ayers Joins Pro-Hamas Demonstration In Egypt
Obama Confidant Bill Ayers Joins Pro-Hamas Demonstration In Egypt
January 4, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On New Years' Eve, Bill Ayers, the unapologetic Weather Underground domestic terrorist who launched Barack Obama's political career, his wife, the equally notorious Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn, Jodie Evans - Code Pink bigwig and a major Democrat Party funder with over 22k in donations reported to the FEC in 2009 - and a gaggle of other Jew hating leftist bigots gathered in front of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to join in solidarity with the terrorist group Hamas.
In a December 31 posting to a weblog [see, http://www.theittlist.com/ittlist/ind/gaza_freedom_march_dispatch_3] Ayers wrote, "The GFM wanted to enter Gaza 1,400 strong to express solidarity with civil society, witness their struggle for survival and self-determination, and join in a massive peace march."
"Civil society" in this case being that fostered by Hamas in Gaza.
Protest observers said the crowd numbered less than 500, far below the organizers' rather generous estimate.
The event was so beyond the pale that Egyptian authorities decided to break it up in a manner befitting a totalitarian Middle Eastern Islamic state, "Members of the Gaza Freedom March are being forcibly detained in hotels around town as well as violently forced into pens in Tahir Square by Egyptian police and additional security forces. Reports of police brutality are flooding a delegate legal hotline faster than the legal support team can answer the calls. The reports span from women being kicked, beaten to the ground and dragged into pens, at least one confirmed account of broken ribs, and many left bloody." [from GAF PR blurb, see http://www.france24.com/en/20091231-foreign-activists-hold-freedom-march-protest-against-israeli-blockade-gaza-closure]
Three cheers for Mubarak on this one.[Read More]