Category Archives: War On Terror

Horrible Ideas, Vol. Eleventybillion

The Trump regime actually thinks this is a good idea?

Miller also noted on Saturday that Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry. Sources told CNN that the idea is just in the preliminary discussion level. The social media posts calling for jihad by San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik — made under a pseudonym and with strict privacy settings — are part of this discussion. How such a policy would be implemented remains under discussion.

Jesus ever-loving Christmas Tree, you’d think 9/11 had just happened again. What fresh stupidity is this? And can I point out that Tashfeen Malik was born in Pakistan and spent most of her life in Saudi Arabia — two countries not on Trump’s “target list”? This kinda makes Rand Pau’s hissy fit over getting a TSA pat-down look even more childish.

Who would submit to having their social media posts and cell phone contact lists perused by the U.S. government before being admitted into the country? Not me. How would this even work? Will tourists all have to take pre-emptive screen shots of them “liking” Despot Trump’s latest Tweet in order to get entry into Disney World?

Trump’s Muslim ban has been a disaster. But this is what you get when you put the Celebrity Apprentice in the White House. Someone with no knowledge or respect for how government works is not going to be able to craft or implement logical policies. The result is chaos, confusion, anger, you name it. You thought the TSA lines were awful before, just wait until a TSA agent has to check some hapless visitor’s Twitter feed before allowing him through. God, this is incredible.

Somehow “we told you so” just fails to convey sufficient despair this moment requires.

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Filed under Donald Trump, immigration, War On Terror

The News Is Different When You’re On Vacation

DSCN4621

Somewhere not too far from where the above photo was taken there is an organic olive oil farm for sale. Cheap, too, as these things go — under $1 million. In my dreams I win the lottery and say goodbye to Nashville and start my organic olive oil operation, all sustainable, off-grid, and solar-powered.

I know a lot of you will see this picture and think, “Ick. Too scorched.” This is the landscape I grew up with, though, and to me it’s the prettiest place on earth. And if the nation is going to get embroiled in another military adventure in the Middle East, what better place to hole up than an organic, sustainable, off-grid, solar-powered olive oil ranch? Y’all come. Harvest is in November. Democommie, you can even bring Buddy.

So, I don’t confess to be any genius about Syria, or what Russia and China have to do with it, or any of the larger issues involved. I don’t have a private Joint Chiefs to advise me. I am reflexively anti-war, but I trust President Obama in a way that I didn’t trust President Bush, in part because of the massive Neocon-War-Machine-Halliburton-Blackwater-Big Oil rip-off behind the Bush-Cheney-Rummy cabal. That said, I remain reflexively anti-war, always.

As I sip my chardonnay from a vacation la-la land, I have to say: watching the war dialogue this time — a tad more than 10 years after the Iraq invasion — is an amazing thing to see. Remember when the media lost its collective mind? Remember when we were told, ad nauseum, that Saddam Hussein “gassed his own people”, and so an invasion was justified? Remember when not supporting/trusting the president’s war judgement was tantamount to treason? My, what some distance from 9/11 brings.

I heard today that Britain’s Parliament has voted against military involvement in Syria. Are we going to dump English breakfast tea in the gutters? Will English muffins be renamed “Freedom Muffins” in the Congressional cafeteria? No? Why not?

Just curious: is this reticence to rush to war because we’ve learned some lessons after the Iraq debacle? Or is this just more reflexive If-Obama-Wants-It-We’re-Against-It stuff from the GOP?

These are interesting times, indeed. The United States is now a major oil producer, for the first time in decades. It’s safe to say, oil embargoes are not the threat they once were. Surely that plays into the mix, yes?

I am reflexively anti-war, always. I’m also on vacation and haven’t been watching the news 24/7 as I usually do. From the snippets I’ve received, I’m not hearing “let’s invade/occupy” from the President. I’m hearing, “let’s take action.” I’d like to know more what that means.

I’m also hearing more questioning than I heard in the run-up to Iraq. I’m seeing a news media behave a tad more responsibly. I observe these things and am glad that we’re not so gung-ho for war, but really questioning the motives behind all of it.

I probably shouldn’t look these gift horses in the mouth. I probably should retire to my olive ranch and just breathe deep and go about my business.

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Filed under peace, travel, war economy, War On Terror

Memory Hole

I really am sick and tired of conservatives calling for the fainting couches over stuff happening under Obama which they actively defended when Bush was in office.

Seriously, I’m super busy today, guys? So look, if you want to know what I think about all of this NSA spying crap everyone is acting like is some new thing? Just click on the little tags and categories thingies below? Because I’ve been talking about this since I started blogging, which was like six years ago. It was bad under Bush, it’s bad under Obama, but no one wanted to listen to any of us hippies on the left (and some on the right) who were crying “civil liberties! civil liberties!” back in the day. So stop your fucking whining and Obama blaming now.

Here’s a nice little trip into the memory hole for y’all:

U.S. President George Bush called on Congress Monday night to broaden protection for telecommunications carriers that helped the government monitor phone calls and e-mail.

The Protect America Act, which allows the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists without first obtaining a court warrant, is due to expire Friday and Bush called for its extension as part of his final State of the Union address.

“To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning,” he said in the televised address. “Last year, Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, Congress set the legislation to expire on Feb.1. This means that if you do not act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted.”

Failure to extend the legislation won’t just hit the NSA. The telecommunications carriers that worked with the agency despite the lack of court warrants also face privacy lawsuits and an extension to the legislation would provide them legal protection. Bush touched on that point as well.

“Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We’ve had ample time for debate. The time to act is now,” said Bush to applause from mostly Republican members of the audience. Vice President Dick Cheney, seated behind Bush, also applauded the call.

Cheney and the White House last week pushed Congress to extend the act and provide protection for telecom carriers. AT&T and other carriers are facing lawsuits in San Francisco by civil liberties groups and individuals who allege that the surveillance program is illegal.

Earlier Monday, efforts by Republicans to curtail debate in the U.S. Senate and force a vote on an extension to the act failed, and debate is due to resume Tuesday.

Got that? This isn’t some new thing under Obama, it’s something we’ve been talking about for about 10, 11, 12 years now. Since 9/11 at the least. And by the way, that article above is from January 29, 2008. Not only did they want the NSA wiretapping without warrants to continue, the Republicans in the Senate tried to ram it through and were thwarted thanks to the Democrats. As I wrote at the time:

I’m sure the Republicans will be up to their usual screetching about terrorists, but we all know this has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with protecting corporate cronies at Big Telecom. Liberals refer to it as telecom immunity, neocons as “liability protection,” but it all comes down to protecting AT&T and Verizon Wireless from scores of lawsuits because they knowingly broke the law.

Please. Y’all are getting on my last nerve with this IOKIYAR shit. Knock it off. We’re not that stupid.

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Filed under corporations, FISA, FISA. telecom immunity, NSA, telecom, telecom immunity, War On Terror, warrantless surveillance

WTF Are We Doing In Afghanistan?

Stephen Colbert nailed it last night. Again, WordPress won’t let me embed Comedy Central videos, but hit the link and watch Colbert’s classic depiction of our complicated relationship with Pakistan. It’s another one of those sad-but-true satirical moments which have made Colbert famous.

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Filed under Afghanistan War, Stephen Colbert, War On Terror

>Please Pay Attention, v. 2.0

>Hey, you!

You Tea Shouters in the tri-corner hats yammering about how your freedom is slipping away because your health insurance company can no longer deny you coverage due to your pre-existing condition. You’re all idiots, following the trail of breadcrumbs left by Dick Armey and other tools of big business.

Instead, if you really want to crap in your knee-britches consider that President Obama has ordered the assassination of a U.S. citizen:

Reporting from Washington — After concluding that he has taken on an operational role in attempted terrorist attacks, the Obama administration has authorized the capture or killing of a U.S.-born Muslim cleric who is believed to be in Yemen, U.S. officials said.

Anwar Awlaki, 38, who was born in New Mexico, recently was added to the CIA target list after a special government review of his activities, prompted by his status as a U.S. citizen, one of the officials said.

Oh, I know he has a Muslim-y name and lives in Yemen and is suspected of being a terrorist and all but Christ on a cracker, he’s a United States citizen! And he’s been added to the CIA’s “target list” without benefit of trial, without formally being accused of a crime, without any of the benefits our Constitution affords us all– the very same Constitution you assholes claim to hold so near and dear that you’re going to go all Tenther over healthcare? Seriously, if there was ever a more useless “grassroots” movement, this is it.

This is some serious, serious shit, people. The government cannot just assassinate U.S. citizens, even Muslim ones, okay? Even ones we think are terrorists. That’s not cool. That’s not how we do things.

This story was bubbling under the radar all week, with lefty bloggers like Glenn Greenwald raising alarm bells, and a few conservative ones, too. Some conservatives, like Andy McCarthy at National Review say this is “obviously the right call,” once again showing how intellectually bankrupt that side of the aisle is. You cannot bitch and moan about government’s overreach into people’s lives and then say it’s OK for the government to kill a U.S. citizen without benefit of trial.

It is not legal, people. It’s not legal just because you’re really, really scared. It’s not legal because we’re at “war.” It’s not legal because you are a Christian and don’t like Muslims.

Spencer Ackerman explains why. Glenn Greenwald explains why.

Cripes, even George W. Bush didn’t go this far.

This is why we need a real opposition party. A real grassroots movement. We liberals cannot do this heavy lifting alone. Folks, there is some real serious shit going on, and we are trying to raise the alarm bells, but you folks need to pay some fucking attention here. Quit listening to Victoria Jackson and Michelle Bachmann and other folks who haven’t a clue. They are steering you in the wrong direction.

The government has issued the death penalty on a U.S. citizen without benefit of formal charges, without a trial. Without any due process at all. This scares the crap out of me. If y’all had any sense at all it would be scaring the crap out of YOU.

Fit that on a rally sign and shout about it.

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Filed under President Barack Obama, rants, Tea Party, War On Terror

>Harry Reid, NIMBY Du Jour

>You know, it’s really hard to feel all hopey-changey when Senate Democrats do stupid shit like this. Take this asshattery from Sen. Reid:

“Democrats and Republicans do not want terrorists to be released in the United States,” he told reporters. “Part of what we don’t want is them being put in prisons” in the U.S., Reid said. “We don’t want them around.”

Well, boo fucking hoo. You voted to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the “war on terror,” so you better sign on to dealing with the war’s prisoners.

The entire argument is completely dishonest. First of all, no one is talking about “releasing” these people into the United States. Second of all, they are not terrorists, they are suspects. Since they haven’t been tried, they haven’t been found guilty of anything, therefore they are not “serving time.” They are in limbo.

Maybe that’s exactly what Reid and the other Senate Dems are afraid of: if Gitmo detainees are brought to the U.S., they will actually need to be charged with something, and there will be trials. Some icky stuff might come out that a few folks would rather not have revealed.

Why not just say that, Harry? Instead of picking up stupid Republican talking points?

Aw, crap. I’ll just post this Jon Stewart clip from way back in January. He makes the argument for how stupid this all is way better than I ever could.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Guantanamo Baywatch – The Final Season
thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:216571
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis Political Humor

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Filed under Guantanamo, Sen. Harry Reid, War On Terror

>License Plate Madness

>Look, it’s terror porn in Oklahoma! Doesn’t it make you want to thump your chest and invade Iran or something?

This is the height of wingnut idiocy and it deserves to be mocked. Anyone who shells out $37 for this license plate is a moron.

What I want to know is, why did they choose to put the World Trade Center on this license plate? Why not the Murrah building? After all, that terror attack actually occured on Oklahoma soil. Oh, wait, I forgot .. domestic terrorism doesn’t count! It’s not terrorism when it’s perpetrated by white Christian men.

Silly me.
(h/t, ThinkProgress.)

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Filed under Oklahoma license plate, War On Terror