Tag Archives: terrorism

An impartial jury for Boston bomber? Not possible.

Whatever the final outcome of our usual silly round-robin of indignity about which set of laws to use when prosecuting the surviving Boston bomber, whatever that outcome, one thing seems obvious to me.

After nine full days (so far!) of near full-time television coverage of the event, prosecutors will not be able to seat an impartial trial jury.


Twelve attacks on US embassies – 2001 to 2008

Attacks on US embassies from 2001-2008 killed a total of 35 people. Of course they weren’t Americans so it doesn’t matter. Plus, Bush. From here.

Paris, France, September 13, 2001: Four men were arrested in Rotterdam on conspiracy to plant a suicide bomber in the U.S. embassy in Paris. The NATO headquarters in Brussels was also targeted. The plot was discovered in July 2001 when a conspirator named Djamel Beghal was arrested in Dubai for passport fraud. He confessed after an interrogation. All the conspirators were part of a small satellite of Al-Qaeda.

Karachi, Pakistan, June 14, 2002, February 28, 2003, March 15, 2004, and March 2, 2006: The string of bombings and attempted bombings outside the U.S. consult in Karachi were thought to be in retaliation for the War on Terror in Afghanistan, and later Iraq.

  • The first bomb in June 2002 was a suicide bomber, who killed 12 and injured 51 people.
  • In February 2003, a gunman killed two police officer and injured five others outside the consulate.
  • In March 2004, an attempted bombing was stopped when police discovered 200 gallons of liquid explosives in the back of a truck.
  • In March 2006, another suicide bomber killed six people outside a nearby Marriott Hotel.

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, July 30, 2004: The U.S. and Israeli embassies were targeted by suicide bombers. Two security guards were killed.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, December 6, 2004: Militants breached the outer wall of the U.S. consulate and began shooting, but did not enter the consulate. Five civilians and the gunmen were killed. Ten people were wounded.

Damascus, Syria, September 12, 2006: Three gunmen were killed after they tossed grenades over the embassy’s outer wall and a car bomb exploded outside the embassy. A Syrian security guard and a Chinese diplomat also died.

Athens, Greece, January 12, 2007: A rocket-propelled grenade was fired into the front of the U.S. embassy around 6 am in the morning. No one was killed or hurt. A Greek terrorist group called “Revolutionary Struggle” claimed responsibility.

Istanbul, Turkey, July 9, 2008: Kurdish Turks open fired around 11 am, killing six people and injuring one. The three men had suspected Al-Qaeda links, but this was never proven.

San’a, Yemen, September 7, 2008: 19 people died and at least 16 were injured when a group of men disguised at police attacked the outer security rim of the U.S. embassy. Al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic Jihad of Yemen claimed responsibility.



What’s in the waffles?

First there was this:

In Carson City NV, a man shot seven and killed four people at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP).  It was tragic and he was crazy.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A man who stormed into a Carson City IHOP restaurant with an assault rifle . . . . he killed four people before ending his own life . . .

Then came this – Not tragic, but comic:

Four Georgia men were arrested this week in connection with a scheme to conduct an attack with explosives and the deadly toxin ricin . . . Federal investigators said they had them under surveillance . . . infiltrating their meetings in a Waffle House.

[I chuckled at this part] “The four gray-haired men [in their late 60’s and 70’s] appeared in federal court Wednesday . . .  apparently had trouble hearing the judge, some of them cupping their ears.”

I’m jaded, I know, but don’t these events beg the question – was it the waffles?

Oh. Great.

We really need this?

Oslo Terrorist Anders Behring Breivik Manifesto


Via LiveLeak.com, this video was sent to his friends on Facebook , along with a massive 1500-page manifesto.  You may have to hit Play more than once to view it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“It’s not the Norweigans who are doing this . . . “

Shep found  this 2010 jewel in the wayback machine. Such good times.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Nine-eleven, nine years

Nine years since Al Quada took down the Twin Towers. Not a day any of us is likely to forget ever, especially if we were able to watch it happen in real time on teevee. I was in my office at the theatre that morning – no online live streaming then, at least not at my company – and at the first word, we all raced to a break room where there was a television. And we watched – about a dozen of us. And we didn’t speak. We just watched. Our building had by then  become a no-smoking building. But we smoked – for hours. No one said a word. About an hour after the second tower fell, we began going home. And didn’t come back for a few days except to staff the evening performances – the show always goes on. But during the day, no one came in. The phones had stopped ringing. The box office was silent. No one answered email. So we stayed home and watched New York and called friends and family.

Less than a month later, U.S. forces were in Afghanistan. And we have been there for eight years and 338 days.

It’s hard to know what’s been accomplished. The purity – don’t know if that’s the right word – the purity of our cause was soiled by the diversion to Iraq. The capture of our actual enemy was thwarted by the diversion to Iraq. The support of most of the rest of the world began evaporating in distaste after the diversion to Iraq.

Our leaders served us badly. And now I expect they’re somewhere playing golf. There should be a price to pay, but the only price being paid is by our troops.

  • In Afghanistan 2071 coalition troops have died and many many more have been casualties. Those might be acceptable numbers were it not for the fact that half of the deaths have occurred in the last 19 months.
  • In Iraq  4800 have died (over 30K seriously injured), but at least there the fatality numbers have gone steadily down since the civil war abated. And with the implementation of the (Bush) Status of Forces Agreement, there are fewer troops in the country, none of whom are designated combat troops. (They’ll all be going to Afghanistan soon.)
  • Since 2001 we’ve spent over A TRILLION DOLLARS on our wars – 800 billion in Iraq, and 300 billion in Afghanistan.

And after all that, we’re scared to death of shampoo bottles and our shoes. We Americans need to do some very serious soul searching before we’re ready to go in grace into this new century and this new millennium.

At the very least, we need to stop amusing ourselves with trivial nonsense. But we are what we are. Aren’t we.

Your tax dollars at work

Again, Harpers Index April 2010:

Average number of arrests made each year since 2001 by all 4,000 Federal Air Marshalls combined: 4

Federal spending- per- arrest that this represents: $200,000,000.

Terrorists terrorize John McCain. Again.

John McCain is already throwing wild accusations at the NYPD and the FBI apparently. He’s afraid that police agencies followed police procedures. The Miranda thing you know. Plus, they’re not doing what he would do.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly today:

” . . . this Miranda-related demagoguery is growing stale.

“Najibullah Zazi was Mirandized, and the entire case went beautifully. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was Mirandized, and the results have been excellent. When shoe bomber Richard Reid was taken into custody, the Bush/Cheney administration read him his rights five minutes after he was taken off the plane he tried to blow up, and McCain never said a word. It’s been standard practice, especially with American citizens upon their arrest, for years — spanning administrations of both parties.

“Can’t McCain just let the grown-ups do what they do without offering suggestions from the peanut gallery? The Joint Terrorism Task Force caught the suspect 48 hours after the attempted bombing; the frequently-confused Arizonan should probably trust them to know how best to proceed.”

It’s still astonishing

. . . that a former Vice President of the United States would go on the air and say that a sitting President is basically a traitor. Back on  March 15, Cheney said the President “is making some choice that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack.”

By ‘another attack’,  I assume he was counting the one that occurred while he was Vice President, and when he couldn’t be bothered to schedule a single Principles meeting of the counterterrorism task force of which he was Chairman until exactly one week before on September 4. And this in spite of the pleadings of the people in government responsible for counterterrorism. In his book “Against All Enemies”, Richard Clark tells us he had been briefing at lower levels (known as Deputies) since January of ’01, but could not get any action at the Principles level until the September meeting. (Condi Rice didn’t even know who Bin Laden was and had never heard of Al Quaeda till Clark told her early on in the Administration.)

That of course, was NOT putting the nation at risk. What that actually was? That was hubris, incompetence, blinders on. They couldn’t see past Iraq; they really really wanted Iraq from Day 1.

And almost as soon as they hit Afghanistan, they abandoned it and turned those blind eyes toward Iraq.

And as for Afghanistan, today is the 207th day of the ninth year of the War there.

And we never got Bin Laden. And Al Quaeda has spread to North Africa and even Indonesia. And they don’t care.

Nowhere left to hide

Who knew the Christian Science Monitor was a shrill lefty rag? You may expect to hear that charge shortly, because following up on Friday night’s attempted one-man attack at the Pentagon, their story leads off as follows:

John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?

Authorities have identified John Patrick Bedell as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting. He appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings.

As you can see, it is now clear that the CSM can no longer be trusted.

It really depends on what religion you are

Just a few bizarre comments from our political class regarding the Austin Texas suicide bomber who flew into an IRS building.

Texastrailerparktrash at I Tried Being Tasteful brought my attention to this yesterday. She’s especially interested since she lives in Austin and is paying a bit more attention than the rest of us might.

It seems Governor Tim Pawlenty “took up the theme of violence against the State”, wading into it with a comparison to Tiger Woods wife. He said, among other stupid things “[we should] take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government in this country. We’ve had enough.”

Or an airplane if the tire iron doesn’t do it.

Then, we have Rep. Steven King going at it with his own thoughts (He sits in the US House of Representatives.) Try this one on for size:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a crowd at CPAC on Saturday that he could “empathize” with the suicide bomber who last week attacked an IRS office in Austin, and encouraged his listeners to “implode” other IRS offices, according to a witness.

And yesterday Andrew Sullivan pointed to this from a Catholic blogger he follows. The subject was comments by the daughter of the IRS bomber; she thinks her father is a hero and a Patriot.

” . . . if this woman were Muslim, the Rubber Hose Right would be demanding that she be subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques in order to determine who else she may know who might be about to fly a plane into a building as an act of terrorism.”

Oh, here’s the beef

I was born in New York City.  My nieces lived there in September of 2001 and were both within a very few miles of ground zero. One niece had an office in Building #7. She’d worked into the wee hours the night before and decided to go in late. At nine a.m. that day, she was dressed and about to leave her apartment.

I have an acquaintance whose father was an engineer for the Port Authority and was involved with developing and building the twin towers. He worked on it for 18 years. She said he wept for days. He was born in NYC too.

And twice now, I’ve heard Jon Stewart passionately tell his guests where he wants Kahlid Sheik Mohammed to face a jury. Same as me. Same as Laura’s dad. I want him tried in New York City where he can be stared down by the people he did this to. Every day. From every direction.

But Mayor Bloomberg is a friggin’ coward and I’ve no idea whose pressure he’s bowing to. His flip flop does no service to his town.

There is hardly a city in the world better equipped to handle security and crowds. And there isn’t a police force in the world more willing to do the job. (Police commissioner notwithstanding.)

Moving the trial out of New York is wrong. It sucks. Big time.

But that’s different!

IRA bomb London 1993

As the serene republican congressman from N.Y. Pete King “bellyaches about insufficient response to terrorism”,  Charles Pierce (in Part the Penultimate) at Altercation reminds us:

In the 1980s, King frequently traveled to Northern Ireland to meet with IRA members.[5] In 1982, speaking at a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County, New York, King said: “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.”[5][6] A Northern Irish judge ordered King ejected from the former’s courtroom, describing him as “an obvious collaborator with the IRA”.[5] He became involved with NORAID, an organization that the British, Irish and US governments accuse of financing IRA activities and providing them with weapons.[5][7][8][9] He was banned from appearing on British TV for his pro IRA views and refusing to condemn IRA activity in the UK.[5]

Here. That “IRA activity in the UK” referenced above? That would be stuff  like bombs in the subway.

At least he may be leaving Congress

It’s a very good thing for Michigan and this nation that the always-wrong Rep Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) may may be out of office after this year’s election. According to Talking Points Memo, Hoekstra – as they put it – “failed online Politics 101″. The damn fool didn’t bother to register ‘hisname.com’. That’s a new level of carelessness for a guy with his eye on the Statehouse in Michigan. Political opponents snapped it up immediately after he sent out a Dec. 30 fundraiser letter berating Obama for letting Flight 253 happen. Hoekstra was sure sending him money make America safer. I guess Rep.”didn’t-know-the-internet-matters” planned to keep us safe by building walls of dollar bills everyone.