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Archive for May 22nd, 2009

N.Y. Terror Suspects Were ‘Homegrown’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:43 am by HL

N.Y. Terror Suspects Were ‘Homegrown’

The four men arrested Wednesday night for allegedly planning to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and gun down military planes were “not connected to another terrorist group,” New York Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement Thursday.

Bloomberg:

The suspects, residents of the upstate city of Newburgh, were apprehended in a sting operation about 9 p.m. [Wednesday] in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. They were seized after planting what they believed to be bombs in cars outside the Riverdale Temple, a Reform synagogue, and the nearby Riverdale Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue, [New York City Police Commissioner Raymond] Kelly said.

The FBI had rendered inactive the 37-pound bombs, which contained the plastic explosive C4. After [James] Cromitie placed the devices in two cars, officers in a small armored vehicle called a BearCat swept in, blocking the path of the suspects’ sports utility vehicle.

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Huff TV: Arianna On CNN, Discusses Cheney’s Speech: “Same Delusional Stuff He Believed When He Was Vice President”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Huff TV: Arianna On CNN, Discusses Cheney’s Speech: “Same Delusional Stuff He Believed When He Was Vice President”
Arianna appeared on CNN’s s”Situation Room” this evening to discuss the day’s news along with Tony Blankley. They discussed whether Nancy Pelosi has anything to…

Julie Menin: A Dangerous Day for War On Terror
Today was not a great day for the war on terror. Hearing these two dueling speeches by the President and former Vice President did…

Obama Curtails Bush’s ‘Preemption’ Policy
President Obama continued to reverse his predecessor’s policies this week by undoing a controversial Bush administration rule known as “preemption” that used federal regulations to…

Scritti Politti: May 21, 2009
When I first heard the news that the authorities had thwarted a terror plot in New York, I was deeply pleased, wholly relieved, and singing…


Couric, Gibson falsely claim “no member” of Congress offered to take Guant?namo detainees

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Couric, Gibson falsely claim “no member” of Congress offered to take Guant?namo detainees

During the May 20 broadcasts of the CBS Evening News and ABC’s World News, anchors Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson, respectively, falsely claimed that “no member” of Congress wanted detainees being held at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, transferred to prisons in their districts. In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, at least two congressional representatives have offered to hold detainees from Guantánamo Bay at prisons in their districts.

During the broadcast of the CBS Evening News, Couric stated, “The Senate today followed the House in blocking the president from closing the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay because no member wants any of the detainees there sent to his or her home state or district.” Similarly, on World News, Gibson said of the detainees: “No member of Congress wants these guys transferred to prisons in their districts.” Chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos responded, “That’s right.”

In a May 9 op-ed in The Washington Post, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) offered use of the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse and Detention Center in Alexandria, Virginia. In the op-ed, Moran noted that “the ’20th hijacker,’ Zacarias Moussaoui, who participated in planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, was held and prosecuted in the Alexandria courthouse” and stated that “should President Obama determine that Alexandria needs to play a reasonably limited role in a nationwide effort to bring justice to the Guantanamo detainees and close this unfortunate chapter of American history, I am confident that Alexandrians will stand strong as they always have.”

Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) has also said that he is willing to house detainees from Guantánamo Bay at a prison in his district if a maximum security prison were built, according to a January 21 FoxNews.com report:

Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., says he’d be willing to house prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in his congressional district if President Obama makes good on a plan to close the U.S. prison there.

[…]

Murtha only has a minimum security prison in his district. But he says he’d have no reservations about holding detainees there in a maximum security prison.

“Sure, I’d take ’em,” said Murtha, an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. “They’re no more dangerous in my district than in Guantanamo.”

Murtha added that there was “no reason not to put ’em in prisons in the United States and handle them the way they would handle any other prisoners.”

Additionally, as the blog Think Progress noted, during a May 20 speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said:

And, yes, we have maximum security prisons in California eminently capable of holding these people as well, and from which people — trust me — do not escape. So, I believe that this has really been an exercise in fear-baiting. I hope it’s not going to be successful.

On the CBS Evening News, chief White House correspondent Chip Reid aired a portion of Feinstein’s floor speech in which she said that the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado — the so-called “supermax” prison — “has 490 beds. They are reserved for the worst of the worst.” But Reid did not air her assertion that “maximum security prisons in California” are “eminently capable of holding these people as well.”

From the May 20 broadcast of ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson:

GIBSON: But, George, what’s the problem here? We have, as Jake [Tapper, senior White House correspondent] mentioned and Senator Feinstein said on the Senate floor, we have terrorists in U.S. prisons, so why not the guys from Guantánamo?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Charlie, I think this is one of the ultimate NIMBY issues. You’re right on that point. On the other hand, the senators have not yet seen a plan. And you’ve got the FBI director out there saying he’s not sure it’s going to be safe, either. Senate sources I’ve talked to today and the administration believe there is a chance they’re going to be able to get the Senate to agree to having some detainees come into prisons later this year, once the plan by the president is released. But there is no way they’re going to approve release of any prisoners in the United States.

GIBSON: And when you say it’s a NIMBY problem, you mean —

STEPHANOPOULOS and GIBSON [in unison]: Not in my back yard.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely right, Charlie.

GIBSON: No member of Congress wants these guys transferred to prisons in their districts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s right.

From the May 20 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

COURIC: Well, if you’re still counting, it happened on Day 121 of the Obama administration, right behind me at the Capitol: the new president’s first major legislative defeat. The Senate today followed the House in blocking the president from closing the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay because no member wants any of the detainees there sent to his or her home state or district. The vote in the Senate wasn’t even close, 90 to 6.

Chip Reid is at the White House, and Chip, all but six Democrats abandoned the president on this one.

REID: Well, that’s right, Katie. Democrats weighed appeals from the president on the one hand against anger from their constituents on the other, and the president lost in a big way.

[…]

REID: The prison houses 240 suspected terrorists. If it’s closed, many could be transferred to the U.S., including about 20 high-ranking members of Al Qaeda. But the president’s supporters say critics are fearmongering.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): The reality is, we are holding some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world right now in our federal prisons.

REID: Like the Supermax Prison in Colorado, which holds, among others, shoe bomber Richard Reid and Al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui.

FEINSTEIN: It has 490 beds. They are reserved for the worst of the worst.


Feds: “It’s Hard To Envision A More Chilling Plot” Than One Involving Stoner And Schizophrenic

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Feds: “It’s Hard To Envision A More Chilling Plot” Than One Involving Stoner And Schizophrenic
OK, this really puts the nail in the coffin of any claims that those four guys arrested last night in connection with a plot to bomb two New York synagogues were some kind of highly dangerous terror cell. Calling the…

What Did Cheney Mean That Obama Has Reserved Right To Torture?
We were struck by one excerpt from Cheney’s speech: This might explain why President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is…


Beware of the Terrorist Supervillains!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Beware of the Terrorist Supervillains!


Why Goldman Sachs Is the Greediest and Most Dastardly of the Wall Street Pigs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Why Goldman Sachs Is the Greediest and Most Dastardly of the Wall Street Pigs
Goldman holds billions in taxpayer cash, plans for billions in exec bonuses this year, and has powerful friends in Obama’s govt. up the wazoo.

Obama Makes His Case on Bringing Detainees Home, Cheney Sounds Like a Right-Wing Culture Warrior
Cheney made clear in his speech that his war isn’t against terrorism. It’s against Obama.

Fake Boobs, Donald Trump and Miss USA: Why Do Trashy Beauty Pageants Still Exist?
The latest tabloid controversy over the Miss USA pageant yet again begs the question: Why is anyone taking this stuff seriously?

Fake Boobs, Donald Trump and Miss USA: Why Do Trashy Beauty Pageants Still Exist?
The latest tabloid controversy over the Miss USA pageant yet again begs the question: Why is anyone taking this stuff seriously?


Pattern Recognition: Why Israel’s favorite rhetorical device is no longer effective

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Pattern Recognition: Why Israel’s favorite rhetorical device is no longer effective
As a former pawn in Israel’s foreign ministry, stationed in New York, the one thing I miss most is not the diplomatic visa, the corner office overlooking the United Nations, or the ability to park anywhere in Manhattan with impunity….

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TPMCafe Chat Room
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Cheney: Concern About Torture Is ?Contrived Indignation And Phony Moralizing?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Cheney: Concern About Torture Is ?Contrived Indignation And Phony Moralizing?
Today, Vice President Cheney gave a speech at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute in response to President Obama’s speech on human rights. Cheney launched an aggressive defense of the Bush administration’s torture program by saying that it was necessary after the 9/11 terrorist attacks: In the years after 9/11, our government also understood that the […]

Today, Vice President Cheney gave a speech at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute in response to President Obama’s speech on human rights. Cheney launched an aggressive defense of the Bush administration’s torture program by saying that it was necessary after the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

In the years after 9/11, our government also understood that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. And in a few cases, that information could be gained only through tough interrogations.

In top secret meetings about enhanced interrogations, I made my own beliefs clear. I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program. The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do.

Cheney also criticized critics of the Bush administration’s program, calling it “feigned outrage based on a false narrative. In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists.” He then claimed that these critics are attacking intelligence officers for trying to “avenge the dead of 9/11″ through torture:

I might add that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about “values.” Intelligence officers of the United States were not trying to rough up some terrorists simply to avenge the dead of 9/11. … We sought, and we in fact obtained, specific information on terrorist plans.

Watch it:

Cheney has set up a straw man. Critics are not upset at intelligence officers for trying to “avenge the dead of 9/11″ by “rough[ing] up some terrorists.” People are upset at top Bush administration officials for authorizing human rights violations in order to pursue a political agenda.

As the 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee report made clear, interrogators at Gitmo were under “pressure” to produce evidence of ties between Iraq and al Qaeda, even though they were ultimately unsuccesful. “The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link…there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results,” said former U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Charles Burney.

In his attempt to justify torture because of the constraints the Bush administration was facing after 2001, Cheney referenced 9/11 25 times. “Iraq” was mentioned just twice.

When Cheney claims that he is speaking for the “little guys,” just keep in mind how popular he really is. Matt Yglesias has put together this helpful comparison:

cheneyapproval


U.S. to Steer GM Toward Bankruptcy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:32 am by HL

U.S. to Steer GM Toward Bankruptcy
The Obama administration is preparing to send General Motors into bankruptcy as early as the end of next week under a plan that would give the automaker tens of billions of dollars more in public financing as the company seeks to shrink and reemerge as a global competitor, sources familiar with the…


Washington Sketch: Obama vs. Cheney
Dick Cheney came out swinging. He had been forced to delay his speech attacking President Obama by 48 minutes yesterday morning because the cable networks were carrying a dueling speech by Obama himself. “Well, good morning, or perhaps good afternoon,” the former vice president growled when he…


In the Loop: A Gay Pride Party at the Baghdad Embassy
Change has certainly come to Baghdad. And it appears that includes the U.S. Embassy, where they are holding what the invitation says is the first-ever U.S. Embassy Gay Pride Theme Party next Friday at Baghdaddy’s, which is the embassy employee association’s pub.


Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Some Now at Guantanamo
President Obama acknowledged publicly for the first time yesterday that some detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have to be held without trial indefinitely, siding with conservative national security advocates on one of the most contentious issues raised by the closing of the military prison in Cuba.



Pelosi’s Struggle with Truth Exposes Deeper Problems

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Pelosi’s Struggle with Truth Exposes Deeper Problems

Are Men the Second Sex Now?
Christina Hoff Sommers, Double X

The Meaning of Michelle Obama
Nancy Gibbs & Michael Scherer, Time