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Friday, September 30, 2011

Anwar al-Awlaki, American-Born Qaeda Leader, Is Killed in Yemen

SITE Intelligence Group, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Anwar al-Awlaki is seen in 2010 in a still from video.
SANA, Yemen — In a significant and dramatic strike in the campaign against Al Qaeda, the Defense Ministry here said American-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the group’s outpost in Yemen, was killed on Friday morning.
In Washington a senior Obama administration official confirmed that Mr. Awlaki was dead. But the circumstances surrounding the killing remained unclear.
It was not immediately known whether Yemeni forces carried out the attack or if American intelligence forces, which have been pursuing Mr. Awlaki for months, were involved in the operation.
A Defense Ministry statement said that a number of Mr. Awlaki’s bodyguards also were killed.
A high-ranking Yemeni security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Awlaki was killed while traveling between Marib and al-Jawf provinces in northern Yemen — areas known for having an Al Qaeda presence, where there is very little central government control. The official did not say how he was killed. 
Mr. Awlaki’s name has been associated with many plots in the United States and elsewhere after individuals planning violence were drawn to his engaging lectures broadcast over the Internet.
Those individuals included Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas in which 13 people were killed; the young men who planned to attack Fort Dix, N.J.; and a 21-year-old British student who told the police she stabbed a member of Parliament after watching 100 hours of Awlaki videos.
Mr. Awlaki’s death could well be used by beleaguered President Ali Abdullah Saleh to reinforce his refusal to leave office in face of months of protests against his 30-year rule, arguing in part that he is a critical American ally in the war against Al Qaeda.
Earlier this year, the American military renewed its campaign of airstrikes in Yemen, using drone aircraft and fighter jets to attack Qaeda militants. One of the attacks was aimed at Mr. Awlaki, one of the most prominent members of the affiliate group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Awlaki’s death seemed likely to be welcomed in the United States, where Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said in July that two of his top goals were to remove Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s new leader after the death of Osama Bin Laden in May, and Mr. Awlaki.
Word of the killing came after months of sustained American efforts to seriously weaken the terrorist group.
In August an American official said a drone strike killed Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan who in the last year had taken over as Al Qaeda’s top operational planner after Bin Laden was killed.
In July, Mr. Panetta said during a visit to Kabul, Afghanistan that the United States was “within reach of strategically defeating Al Qaeda” and that the American focus had narrowed to capturing or killing 10 to 20 crucial leaders of the terrorist group in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
A month earlier, an American official said the Central Intelligence Agency was building a secret air base in the Middle East to serve as a launching pad for strikes in Yemen using armed drones.
The construction of the base was seen at the time a sign that the Obama administration was planning an extended war in Yemen against an affiliate of Al Qaeda, called Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has repeatedly tried to carry out terrorist plots against the United States.
The American official would not disclose the country where the C.I.A. base was being built, but the official said that it would most likely be completed by the end of the year.
Last year, the leader of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen sought to install Mr. Awlaki as the leader of the group in Yemen, which apparently thought Mr. Awlaki’s knowledge of the United States and his status as an Internet celebrity might help the group’s operations and fund-raising efforts.
Mr. Awlaki was accused of having connections to the Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a former engineering student at University College London, who is awaiting trial in the United States for his attempt to detonate explosives sewn into his underwear aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it landed in Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009. The bomb did not explode.
Mr. Awlaki has been linked to numerous plots against the United States, including the botched underwear bombing. He has taken to the Internet with stirring battle cries directed at young American Muslims. “Many of your scholars,” Mr. Awlaki warned last year, are “standing between you and your duty of jihad.”
Major Hasan, the American Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood had exchanged e-mails with Mr. Awlaki beforehand. Mr. Awlaki’s lectures and sermons have been linked to more than a dozen terrorist investigations in the United States, Britain and Canada. Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in May, 2010, cited Mr. Awlaki as an inspiration.
Laura Kasinof reported from Sana, Yemen, and Alan Cowell from London. Eric Schmitt contributed reporting from Washington.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 30, 2011
An earlier version of this article said that Yemeni forces had carried out the attack. The circumstances of the operation remain unclear.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Darrell Issa caught with pants down over green energy scandalmongering

WED SEP 21, 2011 AT 09:31 AM PDT

Share202  31 
Issa and Arnold
Darrell Issa endorses Arnold Schwarzenegger,
who pushed for approval of the Solyndra loan that
Issa now condemns (Robert Galbraith / Reuters)
If you listen to what he says in public, Darrell Issa believes President Obama's "Green Energy Agenda" is a job killer:
Tomorrow, Issa is conducting a Congressional oversight hearing called: ”How Obama’s Green Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs.”
And it's not just a job killer, he says. It's a backdoor to corruption:
“There’s been this attitude that somehow the government can weigh-in with loan guarantees and money and pick specific company winners and losers,” Issa said yesterday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program. “We see that as a backdoor, easy way to end up with corruption in government.”
As a result, Issa says, he'll lead a Congressional investigation into Solyndra, a green energy firm that filed for bankruptcy despite receiving federal loan guarantees.
Republicans like Issa have tried to turn the Solyndra failure into a political scandal, but the reality is that sometimes private companies fail—even ones that have taken federal loans. And despite his scandalmongering, Issa himself has privately embraced the exact same programs he is now publicly criticizing. For example, check out this 2010 letter posted by Greg Sargent in which Issa asks the Department of Energy to provide a federal loan to a private firm in his district:
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I write to express my support of Aptera Motors’ application for a loan under the Department of Energy’s 136 Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP). Funding will allow Aptera to establish U.S. manufacturing facilities for the commercial production of its plug-in and hybrid electric cars. Aptera Motors plans to purchase and equip manufacturing facilities to begin commercial scale production of its energy efficient electric vehicles. Awarding this opportunity to Aptera Motors will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district.
Electric vehicle initiatives like Aptera’s will aid U.S long-term energy goals by shifting away from fossil fuels and using viable renewable energy sources like plug-in electric energy. Additionally, Aptera’s vehicles will reduce dependence on foreign oil and enhance energy security. Aptera’s project will also promote domestic job creationthroughout California as well as in other states.
Unlike many other electric vehicles, Aptera’s energy efficient electric vehicles have a range of over 100 miles per charge and the possibility to become one of the most energy efficient vehicles in the world. A loan to Aptera will help accelerate the move from gasoline-powered vehicles to cleaner electric vehicles.
I urge you to give Aptera Motors’ Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program funding application full consideration. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Press Assistant, XXXXX.
Darrell Issa
Member of Congress.
So in public, Issa talks about the "Green Energy Agenda" as if it were a menace to society and a pathway to corruption ... but in private, he not only says green energy programs create jobs, he also specifically advocates for private companies.
Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Issa, said Aptera has been awaiting an Energy Department decision for three years.
“In the entire time that Aptera’s application has been pending, Solyndra was able to obtain taxpayer backing and go bankrupt leaving taxpayers on the hook,” Hill said in an e- mail. “Most applicants for federal programs don’t, in fact, receive the VIP treatment Solyndra did.”
In other words, Darell Issa isn't really against "picking winners and losers." He just wants to make sure that he's the one doing the picking.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From The National Post: A majority of Canadians believes conflict between Western nations and the Muslim world is “irreconcilable,”

From The National Post:

Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images
Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images
56% of respondents in a new Leger Marketing poll see Western and Muslim societies locked in an unending ideological struggle.
  Sep 11, 2011 – 3:45 PM ET
By Randy Boswell
A majority of Canadians believes conflict between Western nations and the Muslim world is “irreconcilable,” according to a new national survey that revealed a strong strain of pessimism in the country leading up to Sunday’s 10th anniversary commemorations of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The survey of 1,500 Canadians, conducted over three days last week for the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, showed 56% of respondents see Western and Muslim societies locked in an unending ideological struggle, while about 33% — just one-third of the population — held out hope that the conflict will eventually be overcome.
Another 11% of those polled didn’t answer the question.
ACS executive director Jack Jedwab said the finding has “serious ramifications” for Canadian policies aimed at bridging divides between cultures, which are based on the premise that citizens believe significant progress in mending such religious and cultural conflicts is achievable.
The dark view expressed in the survey “contradicts a fundamental idea in multicultural democracies like ours, that conflicts between societies can be resolved through dialogue and negotiation,” said Jedwab. “This is also a key element in multiculturalism, where Canada is often seen elsewhere in the world as a model in conflict resolution.”
He adds: “If a majority of Canadians feel it is irreconcilable, what does this imply for the various projects and programs in place that aim to bridge gaps?”
The online survey, carried out Sept. 6 to 8 by the firm Leger Marketing, is considered accurate to within 2.9 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
The results also confirm the findings of other recent surveys highlighting Canadians’ ongoing anxiety about the state of security in the post-9/11 world and their deep doubts about whether the long and bloody war in Afghanistan has done much to thwart the threat of terrorism.
In fact, 65% of respondents in the ACS survey said they don’t believe the world is safer from terrorists today than it was 10 years ago. And 70% of those surveyed said they don’t believe the war in Afghanistan has reduced the chances of terrorist attacks.
Jedwab said the “pessimistic feeling” about what the war has accomplished is likely linked to the “widespread hopelessness” about the prospects for ever resolving the deep-rooted, “ideological” conflict between Muslim and Western societies.
Many Canadians have come to believe “nothing will work” to end that conflict, said Jedwab, adding that this grim state of mind will require more scrutiny to fully understand and more carefully crafted public policies to rebuild a sense of optimism about the future of global relations.
The survey did offer one notable “ray of hope,” Jedwab suggested, pointing to a result showing that a slight majority of Canadians (52%) believe it would be wrong for airport security officials to do “extra checks” of “passengers who appear to be of Muslim background.”
While 39% of respondents were open to that kind of profiling, Jedwab interpreted the majority’s rejection of the practice as a sign that most Canadians realize such infringements “would make the purportedly irreconcilable conflict even deeper if the enshrined principles of our rights charters are to be disregarded.”

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and anti jihad and freedom of speech activist
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