theatlantic:

The Swift Justice of the al-Qaida Messenger Trial

With jury deliberations now underway, Suleiman Abu Ghaith’s case is proving to be a textbook example of why civilian courtrooms work better than military commissions.

Read more. [Image: United States Attorney, SDNY]

theatlantic:

War on Terror Hawks Cannot Fail, They Can Only Be Failed

Questioning the claim that Americans now are more vulnerable to terrorism, and probing its implications.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.

Juan Cole, 08/09/2012   (via thepeacefulterrorist)

Juan Cole actually wrote this 4 days after a white terrorist, yes, terrorist, murdered 6 and injured 4 people at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin. The terrorist who committed said crime spoke of an impending “racial holy war” beforehand and was a member of white supremacist/neo-Nazi hate groups.

(via mohandasgandhi)

ataxiwardance: I’m not always a fan of Juan Cole, but his point about disparate popular representation of terrorist violence is as obvious as it is worth repeating.

(via jacobjangelo)

letterstomycountry:

jasencomstock:

letterstomycountry:

Woops.

h/t Rocky Anderson

remember that time President Obama ordered the military to fire indiscriminate missile attacks on populated areas?

LTMC: Frankly it would be better if it was indiscriminate, given that Obama has ordered the military, quite discriminately, to “double tap” drone targets by shooting missiles at civilian rescue workers attempting to tend to the wounded from drone attacks in Pakistan.  I suppose this could somehow be justified in a Machiavellian paradigm if we were killing lots of terrorists.  But America currently kills 49 people with drones for every known terrorist in Pakistan.  And that too, quite discriminately, it would seem.  

The whole thing is made even more grand by the fact that Pakistani political leaders have asked Washington to stop doing this.  But they haven’t, despite the fact that the Pakistani government publicly opposes the program, which the State Department’s top lawyer says may make U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan an act of war under international law.  

Oh, I forgot to mention that a 2007 report by the Homeland Security Institute called the “double tap” a “favorite tactic of Hamas,” and the FBI considers it to be a tactic chiefly employed by terrorist organizations.  I suppose it takes one to know one, in the War on Terror.

Pete Seeger- Rainbow Race

Norwegians to protest Breivik, singing song he hates

(Reuters) - Thousands of Norwegians will take to the streets of Oslo on Thursday to sing a children’s song calling for peace and fraternity, in a protest against mass killer Anders Behring Breivik who has called it Marxist brainwashing.

They plan to sing arm-in-arm a few blocks from the courthouse where Breivik is on trial for the killings of 77 people in a gun and bomb rampage last year. “I grew up with this song and have sung it to my child,” said Lill Hjoennevaag, one of the organizers of the demonstration.

"Everybody I know feels strongly about this song and we need to take it back," she told public broadcaster NRK. Lillebjoern Nilsen’s "Children of the Rainbow", a Norwegian rendition of American folk singer Pete Seeger’s 1971 "My Rainbow Race", is a popular song in Norway.

Man. Norway. You are wonderful.

mohandasgandhi:

dez-ray:

magnolius:

highly controversial photo series by Canadian photographer Jonathan Hobin titled “in the playroom” which consists of children reenacting major current events such as 9/11,  The Abu Ghraib Torture Case, Hurricane Katrina, the North Korean Missiles, and the Jonbenét Ramsey trials. You can check out the full series HERE

Whoa. WHOA.

Well.

Any time a photo makes me immediately say “OH SHIIIIIT” …  You’re doing something right. mohandasgandhi:

dez-ray:

magnolius:

highly controversial photo series by Canadian photographer Jonathan Hobin titled “in the playroom” which consists of children reenacting major current events such as 9/11,  The Abu Ghraib Torture Case, Hurricane Katrina, the North Korean Missiles, and the Jonbenét Ramsey trials. You can check out the full series HERE

Whoa. WHOA.

Well.

Any time a photo makes me immediately say “OH SHIIIIIT” …  You’re doing something right.

mohandasgandhi:

dez-ray:

magnolius:

highly controversial photo series by Canadian photographer Jonathan Hobin titled “in the playroom” which consists of children reenacting major current events such as 9/11,  The Abu Ghraib Torture Case, Hurricane Katrina, the North Korean Missiles, and the Jonbenét Ramsey trials. You can check out the full series HERE

Whoa. WHOA.

Well.

Any time a photo makes me immediately say “OH SHIIIIIT” …  You’re doing something right.

“While Brazil and European countries are much freer than the US concerning behavioral things like alcohol and sexual behavior, the US has much more economic freedom than Brazil and a lot of European countries. But is liberty in economic exchanges offensive for the jihadists? If so, Hong Kong or Switzerland will suffer terrorist attacks soon? And why not Bahrain, ranked 12 in the index of economic freedom, and also an Islamic country!?

Are the underlying causes for radical Muslim groups’ actions restricted to religious and lifestyle disagreements? Why are they not aiming at the Vatican or trying to kill the pope?

Finally, if for some obscure reason the terrorists wanted to attack the US, why didn’t they attacked Las Vegas, the only place in the US where people drink alcohol openly on the streets, gambling (another offensive behavior for Muslims) is everywhere, and is, in fact, notoriously known as the Sin City? […]

The answer to all these questions is plain and simple: the war propaganda is an overt lie. The motivation for terrorist attacks has nothing to do with some anti-Western ideology. “They hate us because our freedom”? What freedom?”

stfuconservatives:

fuckyeahdrugpolicy:

Wasn’t the PATRIOT Act Supposed To Be About Stopping Terrorism? | Techdirt

The PATRIOT Act was all about stopping terrorism, right? We were told that special provisions that ate away at our civil liberties were needed specifically to catch dangerous terrorists — and that the reason for such an abdication of our rights had nothing to do with simply giving the government more useful surveillance powers. Aaron DeOliveira points us to a fascinating chart that shows how often law enforcement has been using “sneak-and-peek” warrants. These warrants let officials search private property without letting the target of the investigation know. Again, we were told that these expanded powers were needed to stop terrorism. So what have they been used for? Take a look. +

via New York Magazine - 

Before 9/11, when politicians spoke of “patriots,” they usually meant soldiers. Now prosecutors and the FBI were reaching for the same vanity—that they were the hard tip of freedom—and the same license to pursue enemies without much oversight or meddling. When it was signed into law six weeks after the attacks, the act made it easier to wiretap American citizens suspected of cooperating with terrorism, to snoop through business records without notification, and to execute search warrants without immediately informing their targets (a so-called sneak-and-peek [P2]). Privileges once reserved for overseas intelligence work were extended to domestic criminal investigations. There was less judicial oversight and very little transparency. The bill’s symbolism mattered also, signaling that the moral deference previously given to the Special Forces would be broadened until it encompassed much of the apparatus of the American state. Local prosecutors, military policemen, CIA lawyers—these were indispensable patriots too. +

If you thought for a second that the PATRIOT Act wasn’t just an opportunistic measure to make it easier to violate your right to privacy and civil rights, you are shockingly naive.

-Joe

(via jacobjangelo)

Last year, the FBI subjected 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud to months of encouragement, support and money and convinced him to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas event in Portland, Oregon, only to arrest him at the last moment and then issue a Press Release boasting of its success.  In late 2009, the FBI persuaded and enabled Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian citizen, to place a fake bomb at a Dallas skyscraper and separately convinced Farooque Ahmed, a 34-year-old naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan, to bomb the Washington Metro.  And now, the FBI has yet again saved us all from its own Terrorist plot by arresting 26-year-old American citizen Rezwan Ferdaus after having spent months providing him with the plans and materials to attack the Pentagon, American troops in Iraq, and possibly the Capitol Building using “remote-controlled” model airplanes carrying explosives.

None of these cases entail the FBI’s learning of an actual plot and then infiltrating it to stop it.  They all involve the FBI’s purposely seeking out Muslims (typically young and impressionable ones) whom they think harbor animosity toward the U.S. and who therefore can be induced to launch an attack despite having never taken even a single step toward doing so before the FBI targeted them.  Each time the FBI announces it has disrupted its own plot, press coverage is predictably hysterical (new Homegrown Terrorist caught!), fear levels predictably rise, and new security measures are often implemented in response (the FBI’s Terror plot aimed at the D.C. Metro, for instance, led to the Metro Police announcing a new policy of random searches of passengers’ bags).

(via sweatydeath)

Great article from Žižek on Anders Breivik

A vile logic to Anders Breivik’s choice of target

Like Pim Fortuyn before him, Breivik embodies the intersection between rightist populism and liberal political correctness

In Anders Behring Breivik’s ideological self-justification as well as in reactions to his murderous act there are things that should make us think. The manifesto of this Christian “Marxist hunter” who killed more than 70 people in Norway is precisely not a case of a deranged man’s rambling; it is simply a consequent exposition of “Europe’s crisis” which serves as the (more or less) implicit foundation of the rising anti-immigrant populism – its very inconsistencies are symptomatic of the inner contradictions of this view.

The first thing that sticks out is how Breivik constructs his enemy: the combination of three elements (Marxism, multiculturalism and Islamism), each of which belongs to a different political space: the Marxist radical left, multiculturalist liberalism, Islamic religious fundamentalism. The old fascist habit of attributing to the enemy mutually exclusive features (“Bolshevik-plutocratic Jewish plot” – Bolshevik radical left, plutocratic capitalism, ethnic-religious identity) returns here in a new guise.

Even more indicative is the way Breivik’s self-designation shuffles the cards of radical rightist ideology. Breivik advocates Christianity, but remains a secular agnostic: Christianity is for him merely a cultural construct to oppose Islam. He is anti-feminist and thinks women should be discouraged from pursuing higher education; but he favours a “secular” society, supports abortion and declares himself pro-gay.

His predecessor in this respect was Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch rightist populist politician who was killed in early May 2002, two weeks before elections in which he was expected to gain one fifth of the votes. Fortuyn was a paradoxical figure: a rightist populist whose personal features and even opinions (most of them) were almost perfectly “politically correct”. He was gay, had good personal relations with many immigrants, displayed an innate sense of irony – in short, he was a good tolerant liberal with regard to everything except his basic stance towards Muslim immigrants.