International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

Osama Bin Laden Dead

Good.

Bush has issued a statement:

Former President George W. Bush, whose entire presidency was defined by the September 11th attacks, said in a statement tonight that President Obama called him to inform him of the news of bin Laden’s death.

Bush called the operation a “momentous achievement” that “marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

“I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude,” the former president said in a statement. “The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

It’s just a shame that he had to wait until now to get the result. But a win is a win – and Obama should be congratulated for standing up to his far-left base and making the right call.

Yes, It’s Terrorism, but where from?

No Right Turn lashes out at the Obama administration for not calling the attack on the IRS “terrorism”.

This morning, a man crashed a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. He left behind a manifesto, an angry rant which made it clear his actions were based on libertarian / [tea party] ideology.

US Law defines “terrorism” as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents”. International law defines it as violent acts motivated by a political, religious or ideological cause carried out to coerce, intimidate or influence a government or population. This act meets either definition. But the White House is saying its not terrorism.

The message is clear: crazed right wingers who murder because they hate taxation aren’t terrorists. Instead, you’re only a terrorist if you’re Muslim. Its a disgusting double-standard, and another example of US bigotry.

Right. So the left-wing Obama white house is really reluctant to label a crazy “right winger” as terrorist.

Sure, that makes complete sense.

Patterico agrees with the “he’s a terrorist” thesis, but has another point.

I don’t even see how this is a political issue. Sure, if I were Scott Eric Kaufman, and therefore prone to making cheap political points about the effect of strong political rhetoric on unstable people, I would note Stack’s criticism of Bush:

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

And his ranting about health care:

Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And his other expressions of opposition to capitalism:

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

But while it’s good to note how Big Media tries to pretend these facts out of existence, it makes no sense to politicize this as a left-right thing. Any more than it makes sense to blame Rush Limbaugh or any rational conservative for the murder of George Tiller, as SEK does.

Ranting about George Bush, believes the current health care needs reformed, hates capitalism. I’d also add he rants about organised religion too – mainly their tax breaks.

That’s hardly “tea party ideology” (note that I/S used the disgusting sexual term that the left have adopted in the US) – their beef is big government, and big government spending, particularly on health care. It’s yet another in a long list of flimsy charges against the Tea Parties. (Apparently dissent was only patriotic under Bush – who lest we forget “was” Hitler.)

This guy was just all round crazy.  He acted alone. There’s no one to interrogate about future attacks for that reason, so whether this is called terrorism is neither here nor there.

But if you can connect him to a legitimate political protest like the Tea Party movement….

Crowder on Gitmo

Don’t agree with everything he says by a long shot, but near the end he makes a good point: that almost everyone who’s been opposed to the prison who has actually visited has changed their mind about it.

Funniest part is when he’s looking at the rafts that Cubans have made and wonders where the ones are made by Americans to get Cuban healthcare!

HT: Patterico, who’s RSS feed is completely screwed.

Evil Interrogation

It’s all over the news today – the USA was mean to terrorists!

The gun and the drill were brought into an interrogation session of suspected USS Cole bomber and alleged al-Qaeda commander Rahim al-Nashiri, according to US reports says BBC News….

The CIA report says the drill was held near Saudi-born Mr Nashiri’s head and repeatedly turned on and off, the reports said.

The agents showed him the gun and tried to frighten him into thinking he would be shot says BBC News.

In another case, a gun was fired in another room to lead a detainee to believe another suspect had been killed the broadcasting station reports.

So they scared them, without harming them. An this is somehow news? What exactly do people think is supposed to happen to terrorists who are interrogated? This isn’t some guy who was accidentally picked up off the streets, he’s someone they hunted and captured, someone who may have had information that could have saved thousands of lives.

I knew western society was soft, but this is unbelievable.

I’d say we’re seeing another case of what I will call “yes vote syndrome” – a very small group making a very loud noise while everyone else ignores them.

Unfortunately, those people are in charge both here and the US.

Chose your weapon.

Geneva Conventions’ myths strike again

Seems that the left is never going to understand what the Geneva Conventions actually say. They’ve got this fantasy that George W. Bush decided to throw them out, and by golly they’re going to stick with it.

In February 2002, following extensive discussions about what to do with prisoners captured in the US’s (then) new war in Afghanistan,

Well, the US’s involvement was new. Afghanistan was in about the 20th year of war.

President Bush issued an order [PDF] declaring that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to captured Taliban soldiers on the grounds [PDF] that Afghanistan was a “failed state” and the Taliban was “not a government but a militant, terrorist-like group”.

All of which were perfectly correct statements.

It then proceeded to detain Afghan prisoners without trial, render them to Guantanamo and its network of “black sites”, photograph them for the purposes of public humiliation, and torture them.

Ah, “Afghan prisoners” were “rendered” to Gitmo and “tortured”. Top marks for maximum use of weasel words.

In reality, suspected Taliban and  leaders were taken to Guantanamo and subject to interrogation and detention.

Which makes the US’s current complaint that the Taliban parading a captured US soldier on camera violates international law just a bit rich. Having denied the protection of international law to their opponents, they can hardly claim it for themselves.

Actually, it’s futile but not rich at all. The Taliban are operating as a terrorist group and aren’t (as previously mentioned) protected by international law. The US (believe it or not) does operate within international law in the sense that it’s solders are wearing uniforms that identify them as solders so are entitled to be treated as POW when captured. But since the  Taliban don’t respect the law in the first place they’re not about to start following it when they capture someone.

The US has every right to demand their solders rights be respected, and every right to deny those same rights to the Taliban. But whether or not the US grants those rights, the Taliban are going to be as brutal as they want.

Now that’s just pathetic

Apparently the Democrats can’t even remember which secret programs the NYT has alread blown the cover on.

Threatening to investigate a “secret” program that was outed in 2002 is getting pretty lame. But it’s a PR tatic that’s fooling a few on the left.

It’s Rush’s fault, clearly

Today there was a tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

The left are already finding ways to associate this to Rush Limbaugh.

There is a very disturbing and disturbed element of political discourse. And I would, I would throw in Rush Limbaugh. Not blaming him, but when you say that our President is more dangerous than al-Qaeda you’ve gone off into crazy nut job land. You are off the charts crazy. And you are, you are whipping people up.

They have a point, I mean Rush is always going on about stuff like

For example, he unleashed his hatred of both Presidents Bush and other “neo-conservatives” in online essays. As even some “progressives” such as the influential Adbusters magazine publicly admit, “neoconservative” is often used as a derogatory code word for “Jews”. As well, even a cursory glance at “white supremacist” writings reveals a hatred of, say, big corporations that is virtually indistinguishable from that of anti-globalization activists.

He’s a left wing crazy? How could that be?

After all the left is always a model of moderation and decency.

Not.

Stop the Real Torture

I blogged the other day about real, actual torture.

torture

I said:

If you asked me in a survey if this was acceptable treatment of suspected terrorists, I would say no – absolutely 100% not. … And we live in a world where the same term that describes this treatment is used to describe depriving a mass murderer of a little sleep.

And here’s an example of how that’s done, with music.

Human rights activists seeking a ban on the use of loud music to exert psychological pressure on detainees in US custody are appealing to Bruce Springsteen and Eminem to join their campaign against music as torture.

Sorry, but I don’t see that playing music 24/7 is against the rights of someone who is letitimatily suspected of terrorism. Not using harsh interrogation techniques on such a person to me is abhorent and morally wrong, as it may be the only way of saving lives.

According to Reprieve, music that has been used ranges from heavy metal such as AC/DC, Aerosmith and Metallica to the theme tune from the children’s show Sesame Street.

I’m sure there are many parents who would agree with an assessment of those tunes as torture, but only in a tounge-in-cheek sense. I would suggest that if AC/DC or other heavy metal bands want to stop their music being used as torture, they stop playing it completely, but that’s a whole other post.

But when you put the tearing strips out of people’s legs in the same category as playingSesame Street over and over, you can begin to see why I have real problems with surveys about “Torture” that don’t define exactly what they’re talking about.

Real Torture

From Gateway Pundit.

This is real torture.

torture

There were gasps in the audience at a press conference by female North Korean defectors in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday when Bang Mi-sun rolled up her black skirt and showed the deep ugly scars in her thighs. The event was part of North Korea Freedom Week.

As soon as she was asked to recount her life in a North Korean concentration camp, Bang (55) stepped on a chair and roll up her skirt. Various parts of her thighs were sunken as if the flesh had been gouged out. She also walks with a limp.

If you asked me in a survey if this was acceptable treatment of suspected terrorists, I would say no – absolutely 100% not. Yet, North Korea does this to it’s own ordinary citizens who simply want to leave the country – something that people both here and in all western countries take for granted.

And we live in a world where the same term that describes this treatment is used to describe depriving a mass murderer of a little sleep.

Shame on us.

Torture and Church Attendance

NRT enthuses over a survey that confirms his view of religion.

This is scary: according to a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the more often you go to church, the more likely you are to support torture. Conversely, those who seldom or never attend religious services, and those who classify themselves as “unaffiliated” … are least likely to support torture. So much for the old claim that morality cannot exist without religion – instead, it seems the opposite is the case, and that religious fanaticism undermines morality.

Really?
Well, not necessarily.

First, I/S conveniently misses out the actual survey topic: the use of torture against suspected terrorists. This is not about forcing the local vicar to talk, it’s talking about hardened, ideological terrorist who are highly likely to have knowledge of future plots, knowledge that in the hands of law enforcement will almost certainly save lives. So it’s not quite as cut and dried a moral issue as all that.

In fact, this survey may simply show people’s opinions on what a suspected terrorist is. The left (who generally don’t go to church) spend much of their time emphasizing those caught by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the right, those hardened thugs who have spent years planning mass murder.

Second, what is torture? The big problem is the vast gulf between what people mean. The Bush administration put some considerable effort into desigingin limits to their interrogation techniques to ensure they stopped just short of it, but Democrats have gone balistic on those guidelines. So what was meant here?

But to the data.

torturestats

What immediately struck me was that there was no “always” or “frequently” category. No one is supporting the regular and routine toture of supected terrorists.

So the worst is “Often”. That term is vague, and once again, depends on your worldview of what a “suspected terrorist” is.

My second observation that “sometimes” and “rarely” aren’t that clear either. Both really mean the same thing – that person thinks torture can be justified in some circumstances, but not in most cases.

Now, if your definition of torture is sleep deprivation and some tummy slapping, this is common sense. If it’s an hour of electric shocks, no one would tick either of these two boxes.

The only category that really means anything certain (outside the all-consuming uncertainty of the definition of torture), is the “Never” category. Now, my statistics are a bit rusty, but I’m picking that the margin of error for a survey in the USA (pop. approx. 304M) with a sample of 750 people is a heck of a lot more than the 1% difference shown here.

Not exactly strong grounds to decry that “religious fanaticism undermines morality”. (But again, is taking tea and cake with the vicar every week really religious fanaticism?)

Interestingly, one thing that does jump out is the 3% difference in “Don’t know/Refused” between those who regularly and never attend services. This suggests that religious people have spent more time thinking about their moral position and/or are more prepared to give it. Which doesn’t surprise me at all.

But even there, it may simply have been that the non-religious were less keen to answer a vauge survey.

In fact, the more I think about this survey, the more I think it shows nothing at all.

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