Tag Archives: War On Terror

Some Words On “The Bowling Green Massacre”

Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre” oopsie is ironic on so many levels. Let us count the ways that using this incident to justify a Muslim ban is completely wrong.

First, a recap of the incident in question: two Iraqis were arrested, indicted and convicted for a plot to send high-powered rifles (the kind available at any gun shop in the South) and money to Al Qaeda overseas. The weapons and money would have been used on Western targets overseas. The plot was uncovered by the FBI within months of the men’s arrival in the U.S. No weapons were ever sent overseas, and no terror attack occurred thanks to these two, either in the U.S. or anywhere else. The part that involves refugees is here:

Although both Alwan and Hammadi had been arrested by Iraq security forces, in 2006 they were allowed to enter the United States as refugees in April and July 2009, respectively. Asked why officials and Homeland Security had not properly vetted or reviewed the men’s records, a Homeland Security official said, “This case demonstrates specific gaps that were present in the screening process that was in place in the beginning of the administration. Once the administration became aware of these gaps, it took immediate steps to fill them. Today our vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years.”

The specific “gap” revealed by this case is that in 2009, fingerprints found on IEDs in Iraq weren’t being matched with those of refugees seeking entry into the U.S. Under George W. Bush, the IED fingerprint data base wasn’t included as part of the refugee screening process. That flaw in the vetting process was corrected by President Obama as soon as it was revealed by this case. So using this specific case to say “we need to fix the vetting process” is wrong because Obama already did that.

Even funnier is Trump’s claim that his bigoted Executive Order is “similar” to Obama’s “2011 Iraqi refugee ban.” Actually, no: Obama never banned Iraqi refugees, temporarily or otherwise. He did order refugee’s fingerprints be checked against those in the IED database. That caused some seriously big delays in the processing of applications as thousands of applications had to be reprocessed. It was not a ban, it was addressing a security issue that Trump now claims he’s addressing.

So just to review our “Bowling Green Massacre” incident:

1- The plot exploited the country’s lax gun laws;
2- The men were under FBI surveillance almost as soon as they entered the U.S.;
3- There was no plot to launch an attack inside the U.S.;
4- No weapons or money made it to Iraq because of the FBI’s undercover investigation;
5- Flaws in the refugee vetting process revealed by this case were corrected by President Obama years ago;
6- Claims that Trump isn’t doing anything that Obama didn’t already do are wrong.

Why do I know this and the president’s top advisor does not? I’m no expert, I don’t work for the government. I’m not involved in the security services. I don’t have top-level security clearance. I’m just a dang housewife in Tennessee who reads the New York Times instead of listening to Sean Hannity and watching Fox News. Is that all it takes to make someone knowledgeable about the world?

11 Comments

Filed under immigration, terror alerts, terrorism

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.

16 Comments

Filed under Donald Trump, immigration, War On Terror

Refugees Are Not The Problem, You Jackass

From the conservative Cato Institute:

terrorists-chart

I’ve already written about this enough. This is beyond shameful. Right now, refugees who have been through years of vetting, sold all of their possessions, and boarded airplanes to arrive in the U.S. are being turned away. They now have literally nothing.

Meanwhile, countries conveniently left out of this ban all seem to have one thing in common:

President Trump’s most recent executive order effectively bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days — but some Muslim countries were spared from the order’s blacklist, even though they have deep-seated ties to terrorism.

Conspicuously, Trump doesn’t hold any business interests in any of the countries on the list, but holds major stakes in several of those excluded from it, records show.

Friday’s executive order, signed at the Pentagon, suspends the issuing of U.S. visas or travel permits to people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Not a single American was killed on U.S. soil by citizens from any of those countries between 1975 and 2015, according to statistics tallied by the conservative-leaning Cato Institute.

Coincidence? Maybe if we knew more about his business interests we’d have a better handle on why Saudi Arabia, which contributed 15 of the 9/11 hijackers and gave us Osama bin Laden, was not banned, but Sudan was.

Donald Trump is a monster. There is no logic to this action except his desire to make an easy scapegoat of the world’s most vulnerable. He is not a Christian. He is not making America great. We were in every single way a greater country 10 days ago than we are now. We were a safer country 10 days ago.

Make no mistake, Republicans: Donald Trump is going to be the villain of your children’s and grandchildren’s history books, and a big majority of you will be there right alongside him.

And all of those people who told us we had to stop taking Trump literally? Fuck you. He has literally done every horrible, inhumane, immoral thing we said he would do. So please shut up.

How to help: find a local organization near you. Reach out. Donate. Here are some ideas:

Legacy Mission Village
• Tennessee Immigrant And Refugee Rights Coalition
World Relief
International Rescue Committee
Nashville International Center For Empowerment

8 Comments

Filed under immigration, terrorism

About That Terrorist Watch List

Guess what, everybody! The parents of the San Bernardino gunman have just been placed on the Federal terrorist watch list. Which means they can’t leave the country but they CAN buy guns!

So we have a (potential) terrorist trapped inside the U.S. and able to buy an AR-15. This makes sense, how?

I’m not agreeing with the Trump crowd, who want to ship the Muslims home (that’s what someone at his S.C. rally said, at least) and keep anyone else from coming here. I’m just pointing out an inconsistency in the argument.

Also, their argument always seems to go back to the idea that the terror watch list is flawed and that there’s no due process. I’m not challenging that notion at all, but I haven’t heard any Republicans (or Democrats, save far left Progressives) call for fixing it. Can we not add a due process element to the watch list? So citizens who find their names on the list in error can mount a challenge? Can we not improve the list or the way it’s compiled?

It all seems very phony to me. Republicans don’t want to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of people who may erroneously find their names on the list, but they sure as hell don’t mind barring those same people from travel. Isn’t that interesting?

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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, terrorism

Stop Attacking Refugees

[UPDATE] : 2

German security believes the passport found at the scene of one of the Paris attacks was a plant to turn Westerners away from refugees:

PARIS (AP) — Germany’s top security official says a Syrian passport found with one of the Paris attackers may have been false flag intended to make Europeans fearful of refugees.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, told reporters in Berlin that it was “unusual that such a person was faithfully registered in Greece, Serbia and Croatia, even though we’re usually pressing for registration to take place and lament that it isn’t always done properly.”

He said the multiple registrations by a person using the passport were “evidence that this was a trail that was intentionally laid, but it can’t be ruled out at the moment that this was an IS terrorist who came to France…via Germany as a refugee.”

I suspected this all along. Too weird that a passport would be found at the scene, too neat and convenient.

[UPDATE]:

Republicans, useful idiots all, are playing into the hands of ISIS DAESH:

 

Building new barriers to keep them out with the absurd argument that Muslims are inherently dangerous could provide propaganda benefits to the Islamic State. The group, also known as ISIS, has drawn recruits around the globe by offering a cause and a home to Muslims who feel marginalized and scorned.

I just thought that stated the argument really well.  Meanwhile, did you hear about the crazy lady in Michigan who said we should fuck up Dearborn to teach ISIS a lesson? She’s really sorry, you guys.

I’m sure she’s not representative of white Christian ladies or any other group. Right?

———————————————-

Who were the Paris attackers?

While Republicans argue about nonsenscial semantics, authorities are starting to identify those who planned and orchestrated the attacks. And, welp, looks like it was mostly French and Belgian citizens. One of the attackers was born right there in Paris.

So naturally Republican governors have vowed to reject Syrian refugees. Yes that makes about as much sense as invading Iraq after America was attacked by Al Qaeda.

Slow clap, Republicans. Always wrong. Never change!

President Obama, as always, remains the voice of reason:

He said people must “remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves.”

“That’s what they’re fleeing,” he continued during a press conference in Turkey.

“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”

Saying no to refugees is exactly what ISIS wants. Reject the refugees so they can be exterminated at home! But hey, it’s not like Republicans care about human life or anything.

I must say, there’s an eerie familiarity to all of this “close the borders” handwringing and fearmongering. It reminds me a lot of last year’s ebola crisis (remember that?) Back then, Republicans attacked Obama for not instituting a travel ban, Boehner was going to bring the House back into session to address the Ebola crisis, and even Marco Rubio jumped into the game, in an effort to look like a problem-solver and “presidential”:

Mr. McConnell, said a spokesman, Don Stewart, was “using shorthand” last week when he said, “It would be a good idea to discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world.” He, too, supports a temporary suspension of visas, a position put into legislative language on Monday by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who vowed to press visa-suspension legislation when Congress returned in November.

Snort. Got that, everyone? Mitch McConnell “was using shorthand” by saying he wanted to “discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world,” instead of the much longer and more cumbersome, “suspend visas.”

/sarcasm

Because these idiots didn’t know before they opened their fat yaps that there are no direct flights to the United States “from the part of the world.” So there are no flights to suspend.

That was then, this is now. But while the cast of characters has changed, the play remains the same:

In reality, Republicans are not planning a legislative response, at least for now, Republican leadership aides said Monday. They merely want their voices heard.

God, they never fucking shut up! They have their own news network and they still never shut up, but “they want their voices heard.” No, they don’t! They want to spread fear and grandstand and point fingers at “the other.” Ebola, terrorism, refugees, it doesn’t matter. They want to close our borders by hook or by crook.

These Republican governors can’t refuse Syrian refugees. They have no authority to do so. You can’t say, “bring me the blond-haired, blue-eyed refugees from Sweden not the swarthy bearded guys from Syria.” That’s not how it works, and they are powerless so they’re gonna resort to type and just tamp their feet and say scary things.

They never change. They’re always wrong. They’re still wrong.

16 Comments

Filed under Current Events, immigration

Brilliant War On Terror Idea!

Here’s some stupidity straight out of — where else? — Florida:

A Florida gun maker is marketing an AR-15 carbine that he says will be “Islamic-free” because of the Bible verse he etches on each rifle. It’s aptly named “the Crusader.”

Each Crusader coming out of Spike’s Tactical in Apopka, Florida, is laser-etched on the right side of the rifle’s lower receiver with Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”

On the left side, a cross and shield are etched.

Ben “Mookie” Thomas, spokesman for Spike’s Tactical, told Tampa Bay CBS-TV affiliate WTSP 10 News what led to the development of the Crusader:

“Right now, and as it has been for quite some time, one of the biggest threats in the world is and remains Islamic terrorism,” Thomas, who is a former Navy SEAL and former Blackwater security contractor, told the station. “We wanted to make sure we built a weapon that would never be able to be used by Muslim terrorists to kill innocent people or advance their radical agenda.”

This idiot might do better to inscribe his guns with an incantation I mean Bible verse keeping them away from toddlers, wife abusers, and garden-variety criminals.

FAIL.

9 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Guns, Islam, religion, religious right

As Seen On TV

Truly the tackiest, most tasteless piece of commemorative War On Terror porn I’ve seen yet. When I saw the ad my jaw literally dropped to the floor. Seriously: what the hell is wrong with you people?

This is just begging for an SNL parody.

7 Comments

Filed under 9/11, advertising