Monday, 18 October 2010
Al Qaeda on the move?
Al Qaeda plots to attack Europe may be just a prelude to new strikes in the U.S.
After nearly a decade, the men and women fighting off terrorist attacks on the homeland are tired and worried. Take a recent breakfast I had with an old friend: I'd asked him why all the alerts and warnings of late (including the one reaffirmed on Thursday by the State Department) have centered on Europe. Not the United States? "Because we're missing something," he said as we waited for our coffee in a diner last week. "Because we're blind." As our custom has long been, he wouldn't let me quote him by name or position or even the precise place, but he's a seasoned veteran of the netherworld of counterintelligence and counterterror. He's been following the development of Al Qaeda since the early 1990s, and he wanted to be very clear about his own sense of alarm.
"I remember just prior to 9/11," he said, lowering his voice a little. "You kept hearing 'The drums are beating,' and 'Something's coming!' And it was always supposed to be coming 'over there.' And then ..." He didn't need to finish the sentence. "This could end up with an attack in Europe," said Mr. Netherworld. "But Osama bin Laden could care less about Europe. His ultimate goal is to come back here."
In fact, warning signs about new attacks on the United States are now readily on display. They're in full public view, in what spooks call OSINT, or "open-source intelligence." Articles in the news media, court documents, diatribes on jihadi Web sites-there are lights flashing red all over the place. If the Obama administration is not issuing warnings for Americans in America right now, maybe that's because it doesn't want to heighten anxieties in already troubled times, or be accused of political opportunism in the run-up to the midterm elections. But more frightening is the possibility that the Obama White House suffers from the same sort of myopia as earlier administrations, believing that the only really valuable information is the intelligence it's paid millions, even billions, of dollars to obtain. It's at that high-tech level that we seem to be clueless, if not indeed blind. Here is what's right in front of our noses: Read more here.
Germany: Probe links Europe terror plot to 9/11 attacks
German terrorist Naamen Meziche killed by US drone missile in Pakistan linked to latest European terrorist plot as well as to September 11 attacks on World Trade Center. Despite nine-year probe, German authorities failed to indict him
Despite an investigation spanning nine years, German authorities have failed to indict Naamen Meziche, a radical Islamist and a European citizen believed to be linked to major terror plots.
A US drone missile killed Meziche last week near a terror training camp in Pakistan. He was suspected in being involved in the latest terror plot in Europe as well as the September 11 attacks.
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that al-Qaeda operative Ramzi Binalshibh, who is suspected of coordinating and funding the 9/11 attacks, phoned Meziche on September 5, 2001 in what was his last phone call before fleeing Germany.
Binalshibh was meant to be among the 9/11 plane hijackers but failed to obtain a visa to the US. He was arrested in 2002 and detained at the Guantanamo prison.
Meziche denied having received a phone call from the al-Qaeda operative or maintaining any contact with another 9/11 suspect despite evidence linking the two.
The phone call suggests a possible link between the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the travel advisory to Europe recently issued by Washington.
A senior official with the German intelligence agency said that three of the eight victims of the US drone attack were members of a radical group that left Hamburg for Pakistan in early 2009. The eight underwent military training at a camp belonging to Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda. Read more here.
Al-Qaeda on Capitol Hill
When a report challenging our national security policy of ignoring Islamic supremacism through Islamic law, "Shariah: The Threat to America," was released during a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday (disclosure: I was one of the co-authors of the report), among the chief critics were representatives from the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA).
This group, which has been briefing both Democratic and Republican congressional leadership in recent months that there is nothing inherently violent in Islamic law, has a poor history of embracing Islamic radicals and even al Qaeda terrorists.
Immediately after 9/11, the CMSA began holding Friday afternoon prayer services on Capitol Hill. Who did they choose to lead them in their prayers? Al-Qaeda Sheikh Anwar al-Aulaqi, who is currently subject to a kill or capture order issued by President Obama. In fact, video of Aulaqi preaching to the CMSA was included in the 2002 documentary, "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet". That video clip is available to view by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Identified in that clip listening to the al-Qaeda cleric are Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); then-CAIR communications specialist Randall "Ismail" Royer, who is currently serving a 20-year federal prison sentence on terrorism charges; and sitting directly beside Royer is CMSA founder and former President Jameel Alim Johnson.
The invitation to an al-Qaeda cleric who already had been tied to two of the 9/11 hijackers (as reported in the 9/11 Commission Report) to lead CMSA prayers is not the only troubling aspect of Jameel Johnson's congressional record. In December 2007, I reported on an Islamic conference on Capitol Hill that had been scheduled by Johnson as chief of staff from Rep. Gregory Meeks. The conference was cancelled at the last minute by the House of Representatives Sergeant-at-Arms when it was discovered that the conference scheduled by Johnson was to feature a long list of Islamic radicals, some of whom were known to be on the terror-watch list.
So when the CMSA leadership squeal to the media about anyone offering an alternative view to our failed foreign and domestic policy of submitting to Islamic radicalism, we only need look at the record of CMSA as an organization, and its leadership as individuals, giving radicals and terrorists, such as Anwar Al-Aulaqi, their voice on Capitol Hill.
But the infiltration of our highest government institutions is not limited to the CMSA. In 1991, the first Muslim cleric to deliver opening prayers for Congress was Siraj Wahhaj, who two years later was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial, and who also served as a character witness for the defense of terrorist leader Omar Abdel Rahman. Wahhaj has openly called for the destruction of American democracy to be replaced by an Islamic state governed by shariah. Read more here.
Posted on 10/18/2010 7:04 AM by Bobbie Patray
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Is Human Life Special and Sacred?
COMMENT: It started when the US Supreme Court made LEGAL the killing of unborn babies. (Before someone responds that abortions were done prior to that, in fact, abortion was already legal in a few places -- that is correct. However, abortions were not legal nation wide and abortion proponents now admit that they lied through their teeth about the number of abortions being done as well as the complications that were linked to illegal abortions. In addition, do not dismiss 'the law as teacher'. Many folks will not do something that is illegal. Therefore, whatever you legalize you get more of.)
We were told abortion would be just for the 'hard cases', but of course abortion soon became a form of 'birth control' -- about 98% of abortions are performed for convenience sake. Imagine that -- killing an unborn baby for 'convenience'. We were also told that abortion would cut down on child abuse preventing the birth of 'unwanted' children and child abuse has gone off the charts. We were told that mother's lives would be saved by legal abortion; however, women are still dying from abortion, to say nothing of the long term emotional damage (and sometimes physical damage) being done.
If you can kill babies before they are born why not after? And what about babies with disabilities? Dr. Peter Singer thinks they could be killed and states that "there is no sharp distinction between the feotus and the newborn baby. It seems that a lot of folks agree as about 80% of unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. (BTW, my only granddaughter, Caitlin, has Downs so I find this particularly offensive.) Abortions are being performed for numerous 'disabilities'.
If we can abort babies with heart beats, brainwaves, fingers and toes, why can't we destroy an embryo? Obviously many folks do not have a problem with that. The truth is that once conception takes place NOTHING happens after that except time and nutrition until the baby is born nine months later. Destroying an embryo is no different than aborting a baby except size and location. Using embryos for research or, worse, creating embryos for research or cloning ventures is destroying a human being.
Over time we have seen the 'culture of death' develop in this country -- at both ends of life -- pre-born babies and the elderly. The good news is that science is on our side -- the ultrasound gives us a 'window into the womb' making it hard to convince mothers that the baby is just like a 'blood clot' or 'clump' of cells and pregnancy help centers are saving thousands of babies while helping the mothers prepare to raise the baby or to make a plan for adoption.
We MUST do our part to turn our culture back to one of LIFE. One of the ways to do that is to KNOW where every candidate stands on the LIFE issues before you support them. And once again, I urge fervent prayer for November 2.
Voter registration ends on October 4; early voting is October 13 - 28.
The 2010 election will take place in just over a month. This is our chance to make a huge impact for LIFE.
GOOD NEWS FLASH: Awesome Video of Pre-born Baby from a Surprising Source
Click HERE to see a beautiful two-minute video of a pre-born baby. And guess where it comes from - not from one of our pro-life organizations (although we are glad to share it), but from the Pampers diaper people. Thanks, Pampers!
NEWS FLASH: Mexican Pro-Family Groups Protest Release of Women Convicted of Infanticide
MEXICO, September 3, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A coalition of Mexican organizations focusing on human rights and life and family issues is protesting the recent decision by the governor of the state of Guanajuato to dramatically reduce the maximum sentence for infanticide.
Abortion Practitioners Storing Dead Babies in Jars Shows Fascination With Death
Governor Juan Manuel Oliva has announced the new legislative initiative following a massive national campaign by pro-abortion organizations to gain the release of seven women convicted of infanticide. The groups claimed the women were really incarcerated for spontaneous "abortions."
According to the Mexican newspaper Milenio, the groups warn that the governor's measures "open the door so that mothers can murder their newborn children and be freed with a fine, as if it were a minor infraction and removing all importance from life, especially from the defenseless."
The organizations observe that in all of the seven cases, medical and criminal experts determined that the children were born between 38 and 40 weeks of gestation, measured between 48 and 54 centimeters, and weighed between 2.5 and 3.6 kilograms - all normal measurements for healthy, full-term babies.
Moreover, they contend, investigations by prosecutors produced photographic evidence in one case that the baby was physically assaulted, with multiple facial wounds and a broken nose, and had died of asphyxiation. Read more here.
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Abortion practitioners who have recently come under fire from state health departments for violating health and safety codes have an odd similarity. They both were found, after investigations of their abortion centers, to have kept the bodies of dead babies from abortions stored in jars.
As LifeNews.com reported last week, the Maryland medical licenses of George Shepard, Jr., of Delaware and Nicola I. Riley of Utah, were suspended.
They worked for abortion business owner Steven Chase Brigham who runs abortion centers in four states -- including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The Maryland Board of Physicians and Elkton, Maryland police compiled documents unveiling numerous problems and conducted a raid of his Maryland abortion facility. Authorities who raided Brigham's abortion center discovered the remains of 35 late-term aborted babies in jars.
As Matt Archbold, a National Catholic Register columnist, noted in a post today, "This would be a strange and horrible story if it had never happened before. But, just a few months ago, another abortionist, this one in Philadelphia, was discovered to be keeping aborted babies in jars."
In that case, officials investigating an abortion business in Philadelphia after a woman died from a botched legal abortion last November made a grisly discovery. They found dozens of apparently late-term unborn children who were killed in abortions as long as 30 years ago.
The "Shop of Horrors" case involves the West Philadelphia abortion center Women's Medical Society run by Kermit Gosnell.
State Licensing officials and DEA agents who searched the Women's Medical Society found the dozens of unborn children killed in abortions who were frozen for decades. CBS 3 indicates they are now determining whether or not they may have been victims of illegal late-term abortions.Read more here.
| Implementing and maintaining "special respect" for humans will require that we recognize all humans as having innate human dignity that must be respected and that we regard as unethical interventions on humans that contravene that dignity, such as designing our children, making a baby from two same-sex people, creating human-animal hybrids, cloning humans, using human embryos as a "manufacturing plant" to produce therapeutic agents, euthanasia, and, with the new neuroscience, perhaps most worrying of all, designing, controlling or intervening on our minds.
Human = animal = robot
Wrestling with difficult questions is routine work for ethicists. But some are much more difficult than others. MercatorNet's question, "What did I believe was presently the world's most dangerous idea?", falls in the former category. My response, "The idea that there is nothing special about being human and, therefore, humans do not deserve "special respect", as compared with other animals or even robots", might seem anodyne and a "cop out", but I'd like to try to convince you otherwise.
Whether humans are "special" -- sometimes referred to as human exceptionalism or uniqueness - and, therefore, deserve "special respect" is a controversial and central question in bioethics, and how we answer it will have a major impact on many important ethical issues.
Although I will frame this discussion in a very limited context of whether humans merit greater respect than animals and robots, it should be kept in mind that not seeing human beings and human life as deserving "special respect" would have very broad and serious impact far outside this context. It could affect matters that range from respect for human rights, to justifications for armed conflict, how we treat prisoners, how we run our healthcare and aged persons' care systems, the ethical and legal tones of our societies, and so on.
Although all living beings deserve respect, which certainly excludes cruelty to animals, traditionally, humans have been given "special respect", which brings with it special protections, especially of life. In practice, we have implemented this "special respect" through the idea of personhood, which embodies two concepts: all humans are persons and no animals are persons. But the concept of "universal human personhood" - the idea that all humans deserve "special respect" simply because they are human - and excluding animals from personhood are both being challenged.
Some philosophers are arguing that at least certain animals should be regarded as persons in order to give them the same rights and protections as humans. Alternatively, they argue that humans should be regarded as just another animal, which results in the same outcome, a loss of "special respect" for human beings.
Princeton philosopher Peter Singer takes this latter approach. He believes that distinguishing humans from other animals and, as a result, treating animals differently, is a form of wrongful discrimination he calls "speciesism." In short, he rejects the claim that humans are special and, therefore, deserve "special respect". Read more here.
Artificially created cell called a scientific feat
Molecular biologists say they have created the first bacterium controlled by synthesized DNA. The research, a major step toward artificial life, is called a 'tour de force.'
In a major step toward the creation of artificial life, researchers announced Thursday that they've created the first cell controlled entirely by DNA assembled from laboratory chemicals.
Molecular biologist J. Craig Venter, the primary author of the report detailing the findings, described the converted cell as "the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer."
The achievement is notable both from a scientific standpoint and from a practical one, said microbiologist Clyde Hutchison of the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, a co-author of the paper. "From a practical aspect, this should enable building cells that have things added that will help with a variety of social needs."
The institute is already working with funding from BP and Exxon to create biofuels that would reduce our dependence on petroleum. It is also trying to develop bacteria that could gobble up oil spills like that in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts speculate that it may be possible to develop organisms that produce vaccines, pharmaceuticals and other desirable chemicals.
Other researchers have made microorganisms that can achieve such feats by tweaking existing microbes with one or two added genes. But a purpose-designed organism created from scratch would presumably be much more efficient, and it should be easier to control its products.
Experts said, however, that it would be at least five years before such organisms could be created. "There are major hurdles that need to be overcome first," said molecular geneticist Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University. The most serious one is getting all the added genes to work together. The genome Venter copied "was already a product of millions of years of evolution, and nature had already tweaked the interactions between genes."
"This is a tour de force and a landmark paper ... that is akin to Jurassic Park or Frankenstein," said Dr. Anthony C. Forster, a molecular biologist at Vanderbilt University who is an expert in the field of artificial life forms. "I think it will probably be regarded as the dawn of synthetic genomics."
Read more here.
Scientists Hope to Create Human-Animal Embryo
[Note that this article is three years old] September 5, 2007
British regulators decided Wednesday to allow, at least in principle, the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos for research into degenerative diseases. The move came despite fierce opposition from some church and ethics groups.
Two teams of British scientists had applied to Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for permission to create what are known in Britain as cytoplastic hybrids, or cybrids, in order to overcome a shortage of donated human eggs.
The process involves injecting human DNA into an animal egg cell from which the nucleus has been removed.
Researchers hope to use the hybrid embryos, which must be destroyed after 14 days, which would create stem cells. The stem cells could be used to help find new medical treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's, and Parkinson's.
The chief executive of HFEA, Angela McNabb, says the legal and ethical pros and cons were weighed very carefully. Read more here.
Posted on 10/07/2010 7:07 AM by Bobbie Patray
Saturday, 2 October 2010
OTMs Crossing the Southwest Border
COMMENT: OTMs - Other than Mexicans - are crossing our borders. With the election looming, illegal immigration is another issue that you will want to discuss with the congressional candidates. One of the highest responsibilities of the federal government is the security of this nation. Our borders are 'swiss cheese' and it is their DUTY to stop it. Another important issue to keep in mind when choosing who you will support.
Atlanta - Don't miss this three minute video to understand the threat:
Channel 2 Investigates Border Security
OTMs Crossing the Southwest Border
Via Dittos Rush! comes this video from WSB Atlanta. Reporter Justin Farmer reports on the OTMs ("Other Than Mexicans") coming across our southern border.
Farmer says thousands cross who are from places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq among others.
One Arizona rancher found a Muslim prayer rug on his ranch. Justin Farmer examined a Congressional report from 2006 entitled "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border" (PDF - 39 pages) which confirmed members of Hezbollah have crossed the border. It also contains photos of military jackets found on the border, one in Jim Hogg County, with Arab insignia praising martyrdom and depicting pictures of planes flying into the Twin Towers.
In 2005, Border Patrol apprehended about 1.2 million illegals and of those about 165,000 were from "countries other than Mexico." All of this traffic includes human smuggling, drug smuggling, and "special interest" individuals coming into the country and creating a threat to not just those border communities but to the nation as a whole.
The report also reveals the route taken by the Middle Easterners from Europe to the tri-border region in South America. Then they learn Spanish, trel to Mexico, blend in with other illegals and come on in. Read more here.
Our Border is a Moving Sidewalk
Posted 06/28/2010 ET
NEW YORK - While Americans march against Arizona's new restrictions on unlawful immigration, hundreds of illegal aliens from countries awash in Muslim terrorists tiptoe across the US/Mexican frontier.
According to the federal Enforcement Integrated Database, 125 individuals were apprehended along the US/Mexican border from Fiscal Year 2009 through April 20, 2010. These deportable aliens included two Syrians, seven Sudanese, and 17 Iranians, all nationals from the three Islamic countries that the US government officially classifies as state sponsors of terrorism.
Federal authorities also track "Special Interest Countries" from which terrorism could be directed against America. Over the aforementioned period, 99 of those nations' citizens also were nabbed on the border. They were: two Afghans, five Algerians, 13 Iraqis, 10 Lebanese, 22 Nigerians, 28 Pakistanis, two Saudis, 14 Somalis, and three Yemenis. During FY 2007 and FY 2008, federal officials seized 319 people from these same countries traversing America's southwest border.
Some such characters were confined in Arizona, which recently adopted a controversial law that lets cops ask the citizenship status of those they suspect of other possible violations. Atlanta's WSB-TV recently publicized an April 15, 2010 "population breakdown" of immigrants detained at a Florence, Arizona facility. While 198 of the 395 males behind bars there were Mexican, 18 hailed from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
Perhaps these gentlemen simply want to pursue the American dream. Worrisome signs suggest, however, that some may have arrived via blistering, cactus-adorned deserts so that they could blow Americans to smithereens.
Besides Iranian currency and Islamic prayer rugs, Texas Border Patrol agents discovered an Arabic clothing patch that reads "martyr" and "way to immortality." Another shows a jet flying into a skyscraper.
"Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered the United States across our southwest border," declares A Line in the Sand, a 2006 report by the House Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee, then-chaired by Rep. Michael McCaul (R - Texas). Read more here.
Looming threat from illegals: terror
Arizonans will be grateful for some extra help from the National Guard, starting Sunday, in protecting the border and fighting drug violence -- especially now that a federal judge has blocked key parts of their recent illegal-immigration law. But there's a more pressing border issue that goes beyond Arizona: the alliance between drug cartels and groups that aim to smuggle terrorists into our country through the Mexican border.
Last week's detonation along the Texas-Mexico border of an Improvised Explosive Device similar to those used in Iraq and Afghanistan strongly suggests that Hezbollah is working with the drug cartels -- and that America is unsafe. Law-enforcement officials and intelligence analysts believe that terrorist groups like al Qaeda have been working with such gangs as the ruthless MS-13 to smuggle terrorists into America.
Intel briefings and other sources suggest that al Qaeda spends as much as $50,000 to smuggle in a single terrorist, while Hezbollah, funded by Iran, pays as much as $10,000.
Indeed, some analysts estimate that thousands of terrorists have already been smuggled into the United States through the Mexican border since 9/11. Last year, a worker at the Mexican embassy in Beirut was caught selling visas to enter Mexico for $3,000 apiece. Hezbollah terrorists know that once they get to Mexico they can make their way here through our southern border.
A congressional report on homeland security acknowledges this threat. The report, "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border," addresses the alarming rate at which the number of aliens referred to as "other than Mexican," or OTMs, are crossing the border. Many OTMs are nationals and terrorists from countries such as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Our biggest threat is that a nuclear, dirty or biological bomb could be smuggled by OTMs into America soon.
Hezbollah, the most sophisticated terrorist organization today, trains al Qaeda members in centers in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley before they leave for terror destinations via Syria, my sources there report. The organization manufactures IEDs in Lebanon and has perfected their use since the 1980s. Read more here.
Posted on 10/02/2010 2:41 PM by Bobbie Patray