Leave ISIL Out of This!

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Remember back at the end of July when a young guy pulled out a knife in a supermarket in a residential suburb of Hamburg (Germany) and started stabbing people? He killed one person there and wounded five, then wounded another as he tried to flee the scene.

Naturally, as he jabbed he repeatedly cried out that old standard “Allahu Akbar” – Of course! Of course! – and it should neither be a surprise that he was a refugee in Germany, housed in a local Hamburg refugee center: he had been refused asylum, was supposed to be deported, but was enjoying a bureaucratic delay because he had never shown any “papers” specifying where he came from. (He’s Palestinian, although born in the UAE.)


Well, he has succeeded in avoiding deportation, but only in favor of a German jail. (Of course, he succeeded far more in souring the German electorate’s mood towards refugees generally.) Now he will go to trial, charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Back then after his arrest, he had a lot to say to the police. His aim had been to become a “martyr,” but only after first killing as many “Christians and young people” as possible. He had meant his act as a “contribution to a worldwide jihad,” and ISIL issued a statement shortly afterwards taking credit for his attack.

Nonetheless, he is not being charged with terrorism. Investigators could find no actual connection on his part with ISIL or any other terrorist group, no matter how much the perpetrator himself and ISIL tried to talk up such a connection after-the-fact. It seems clear that he was nothing more than a very confused young man, a lone-wolf “inspired” by ISIL but nothing more.

Hamburg law-enforcement, after proper investigation, are intelligent enough to realize that. Contrast that with, for example, the New York City Halloween truck-killer. (What? Forgot about him already?) Send him to Guantanamo (said President Trump)! ISIL also claimed credit for that attack and – no matter how tenuous the actual links between that killer and ISIL seemed to be – their credibility (ironically enough) was good enough for US authorities: He’s a terrorist! Or consider the 2015 San Bernardino shootings: they’re Muslim, ISIL takes the credit, so they’re terrorists – when acceding to that self-description in fact gives them more sinister credit than they deserve, not to mention potentially subjecting them to further criminal charges which may not actually be warranted.

In the Age of Trump the US is no sort of calm, reflective country, so that we should not expect anytime soon rational proceeding in such extreme public criminal matters of the sort the Hamburg authorities have displayed here. But that’s a shame.

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Nice Hero, In His Own Words

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

We’ve had Nice, then at the beginning of this week Würzburg, now München – it’s getting hard to keep track of all the public massacres these days!

Still, there remains one ray of light amidst all this gloom. And that is the hero of the Nice attack – only just over a week ago – a guy named Franck. (Just so you know: That’s a somewhat common French first name, the guy obviously wants to withold his last name to better control his privacy.) He’s the brave gentleman who was on his scooter on the Promenade des Anglais and promptly pursued the terrorist’s truck on its deadly path, and who is in fact credited with helping to slow it down so that police ultimately had an easier time shooting the driver.

Amazingly, Franck survived the episode, I believe he wasn’t even injured. The same cannot be said, however, for that scooter he was riding. As I already mentioned on Twitter, there’s now a French-based crowdfunding appeal going on, via the “Leetchi” website, to raise the funds at least to buy him a new scooter.

cagnotte

FranckEven as I write this, they’ve already raised just over €11,000 there so far. The sort of scooter they have in mind buying for him (“PIAGGIO mp3 300 LT sport ABS/ASR Black matt sport”) is listed right there. Interestingly, that same Crowdfunding page has a full picture of Franck at the top (and which I have put here): a fit, distinguished-looking gentleman with dark hair but a white beard (so aged, say, between 45 and 55). More interestingly still, that same page has Franck’s account of the incident, albeit a shortened version. But there is also a link to the full version in an “exclusive” interview piece in the local paper there, Nice-Matin.

I’m going to translate that account (from Nice-Matin) for you here starting from when the truck appears on the scene. I know, usually I’m supposed to add some clever theme or comment in blogposts like these, but not here, the point is self-evident. Accuse me of being lazy if you like, on this summer Saturday morning, but it’s quite a wild tale. (more…)

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Vierdaagse: Terrorist Target?

Monday, July 18th, 2016

It’s that time of year again, time for the Vierdaagse or the Nijmegen Four-Day Marches event. Self-titled “The Walk of the World,” you have to at least give it credit as the world’s largest multi-day walking event. What’s more, this year marks the 100th time that it has been held. Starting tomorrow (19 July), around 49,000 actual participants are expected to kick off their long-range hikes from Nijmegen, covering at least 30km per day, up to even 55km per day for some. They will be accompanied (but generally only in the city of Nijmegen, of course) by some 1.5 million visitors and 4,500 artists.

But we live in uncertain times, times that are not very nice – or maybe they are precisely too “Nice” (capital “N”) after all.

vierdaagse
“100% for sure, attack on the Vierdaagse,” reads in part that rather crudely scrawled message, contained on letters that were anonymously sent, some three weeks ago, to the local police HQ as well as the local newspaper, De Gelderlander. Indeed, the walking masses that characterize this famed festival would seem to be ideal targets for the terroristically inclined – just look at the pictures that flash by at the head of the festival’s homepage – not to mention the crowds of sick, lame & lazy, non-airborne crazy folks who stay behind to take in the various open-air concerts and other public events held in the city. Further, the Netherlands certainly has its share of faulty integrated, alienated Muslim youth who are candidates to answer ISIL’s call to mayhem, although the last outrage of that sort occurring there that comes to mind predates the rise of ISIL considerably, namely the assasination in November, 2004 on the street in broad daylight of the anti-Islam gadfly Theo van Gogh.

The good news, though – “good news” at least before-the-fact, I suppose – contained in this piece from De Telegraaf is that the authorities in charge of the Vierdaagse are not impressed. (And really, looking at that childish scrawl, how could they be?) Nijmegen Police Chief Lute Nieuwerth: “This letter-writer falls in the category ‘foolishness’ and ‘not to be taken seriously.'” Meanwhile, both MarchLeader Johan Willemstein and Mayor Hubert Bruls have publicly stated that, yes, there will be close coordination with security forces, but so far there is nothing that would mandate that the safety measures already in place should be heightened.

That seems like simple common sense – even though no less than King Willem-Alexander himself will also attend. He won’t be walking, he’ll just be there at the festival’s climax, namely on Friday as marchers – those who survive to the end, that is; the weather is going to be relatively sunny and hot! – finish their last march and so may go collect their medals.

And really, let us briefly contrast here this mass sporting event with that other, somewhat more famous one due to begin two-and-a-half weeks later, the Rio Olympics: You won’t find nationalism, you won’t find expensive one-time-use infrastructure bankrupting the public coffers, you won’t find silly advertising on the part of venal multinational corporate sponsors, you won’t find doping here! Rather, the Vierdaagse is all about mass participation in healthy physical activity – and, yes, medals for all rather than medals only for the very best, or at least medals for all those who can fulfill stringent but not almost impossible sporting demands.

Can one dream that, once “sports” like bicycle racing, track and field, and others similar completely lose their credibility with the world public after the thousandth doping scandal, that they will eventually revert to this mass participation ethos? Can one at least dream that, by which I mean dream of a better world?

(Somewhat less than common sense: Another headline from De Gelderlander about the Vierdaagse reads Springsteen and the Stones Not Welcome at Vierdaagse Festivities. The piece is about how the police will be trying to ensure public safety, partly through exhaustive monitoring of CCTV cameras posted everywhere, and also thereby partly through ensuring that no excessive crowd is allowed to gather at any one place at any one time. That’s why they couldn’t have the Rolling Stones, say, giving a public concert in Nijmegen during the event, even if they did it for free, you see – too much of a tempting bombing target!

(Now, there will be rock bands playing there to entertain the festival crowds, so the unspoken corollary to this article’s message is that they must not be very good – indeed, that they cannot be allowed, from a public safety standpoint, to be very good – right? And even though the Vierdaagse is really a big event – at least within the Netherlands and the nearby NW European environs – I really don’t think those who put it on yearly need to worry about having to turn down Springsteen or the Rolling Stones.)

UPDATE: If for some reason you want to follow a live-feed of the Nijmegen Vierdaagse, starting tomorrow (19 July), you can do so here, courtesy of RTL.

I know: What sense is that?! Perhaps it will turn out to be a variation of that old saying attributed to ice hockey fans: “I only watch for the fights.” Or Formula 1/stockcar-racing fans: “I only watch for the crashes.” So: “I only watch for the possible terrorist explosions”? Nah.

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A Little Incompetence Goes A Long Way

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

More #BrusselsAttacks here, what else? But I think you’ll be amused this time, if perhaps in a somewhat morbid way . . .

From recent personal experience, I’ve come to the view that the central taxi switchboard for Amsterdam – at least that in charge of dispatching cabs for the largest taxi company here, with the longest tenure – is hopelessly incompetent. It seems that might also be true for Brussels:

23MARHeureusement
“Luckily, the call center for the taxi company misunderstood the terrorists . . .” it reads there.

Taxis: If you have been following the whole #BrusselsAttacks thing closely, you’d be aware of the taxi story. Namely, the three fellows who carried out the attack at Zaventem airport were identified by the taxi-driver who had driven them to the airport. The funny thing about them, he reported, was that they refused to let him handle the baggage they were taking along. That baggage, of course, turned out to be the explosives that blew up within the terminal – or at least two of the three bags did.

23MARFeelLucky
(Actually, we now have further reports that that third bomb did ultimately explode – but only later, when police were in control of the arrivals hall and everyone else was evacuated, and no one at all was hurt when it did.)

Further, the same taxi-driver was glad to reverse-engineer the ride for the police’s benefit, so that that big raid that was reported yesterday evening (the evening of the attacks) in the Schaerbeck section of town actually was directed at the address from which the taxi-driver had picked these terrorists up.

But here is the rest of the story, as reported in one of the main French-language Belgian papers, La Dernière Heure (DH.be). As it turns out, the terrorists had much more baggage (i.e. explosives) than just those three pieces, as the police indeed found out when they raided that evening. They wanted to take all of their explosives to the airport, and so when calling for a taxi specifically requested a mini-bus (une camionette). But this is what was misunderstood; what they got was just a plain old taxi, with only a trunk to carry their luggage. So they could only take along those three explosive pieces – one of which, the biggest and most powerful, did not explode immediately – and not everything that they wanted, specifically a fourth explosive that was even bigger than the other three.

Indeed, says this piece, just that biggest fourth piece would have sufficed to completely blow up the entire departures hall there at Zaventem – or, alternately, “a fifth of all houses in Schaerbeck.” That last bit is definitely an exaggeration, to be sure, although there were some anxious moments during that raid as the bomb-disposal experts worked to disarm that largest, “unstable” charge.

Meanwhile, it seems that quite a few of the rank-and-file Brussels taxi drivers showed themselves willing to take stranded people home yesterday for free! But now they’re worried about all the lost business from the airport remaining closed, which it will also be tomorrow, Thursday. Also, the head of the local taxi association insists – quite rightly – that the identity of that driver who took the terrorists to the airport stay secret. That’s what the driver wants him/herself, and remember: s/he did his/her job, and then reported his/her suspicions, while it was the switchboard that demonstrated that admirable ineptitude.

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Flipping the Fried Finger

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Today we’re into day one of #BrusselsAttacks recovery and we’ll see how the city reacts as its airport remains closed and with major damage, as do the main thoroughfares through the European Quarter, while the metro reopens with major holes in its structure, and the like. Actually, even at what we could call the “day one-half” point – that is, yesterday evening – there was a heartening and spontaneous mass-gathering around the Bourse, the now-unused Stock Exchange building at the center of town, where people wrote encouraging and defiant messages in chalk on the pavement and otherwise showed general solidarity (considerably aided by the fact that that part of the city was turned into a pedestrian-only zone last summer).

Further, it seems that next Sunday, Easter Sunday, there is to be a “white march” through the city, to show more solidarity, an absence of fear, etc. In that link that is the spokesman for the European Parliament in the video who is announcing it; perhaps it will be organized by that institution (which would make it not so spontaneous).

By now, though, I’ve learned to be leery of most post-terrorist attack public gestures. We saw how those could turn out with the Charlie Hebdo killings fourteen months ago, and in particular that incident’s own marche blanche down the Champs Elysées: an event meant to reassert freedom of speech in the face of murderous threats turned out to feature – in the marchers’ front row! – more national leaders responsible for beating down free speech in their own countries than you could shake a stick at. Thereafter, as treated on this very blog, the French authorities made clear that “freedom of speech” would thenceforth only be permitted along narrow lines that they allowed, namely only speech against Muslims. Sadly, I later noted how no less than Denmark seemed to be following suit.

Still, this looks like a cheeky gesture:

pommes
“Why many Belgians are posting pictures of french-fries, of all things.”

Black-yellow-red: the colors of the Belgian flag, of course. In front of that, “french” fries, which you might be aware were (probably) invented in Belgium. Finally, you might also recognize there a very familiar gesture of contempt, usually executed by the fingers of one hand.

Quite clever! – although, to be fair, the HuffPo Germany traces this original “meme” back to advertising by Burger King brought out around ten years ago – and quickly withdrawn, in the face of public outrage (in that commercial context). Still, the HuffPo piece goes on to report that “Garde la frite!” (FR: “Hold on to your french-fry!”) is French slang for “keep your chin up!”

So, all told, very appropriate, and shrewd. Nonetheless, when evaluating the effect these attacks have on Belgian society I intend to continue to focus on what is done rather than what is expressed, be it through social media emissions or city-marches. We all realize that to a large part such post-attack gestures of defiance serve to mask the fear that the attacked society feels; will that fear translate into restrictions on freedom (e.g. France’s seemingly never-ending state of emergency after the November Paris attacks) and/or useless security measures just for show, such as metal detectors stationed at the doors of subway stations? If so, then we will know that society has capitulated to what the terrorists were trying to bring about in the first place, no matter what that society says.

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Just *Forget* Charlie Hebdo!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

WHY oh WHY do we have to look to Quebec for a little bit of contemporary wisdom?

6JANCharlie
Translated: Is it really necessary to commemorate the Charlie Hebdo attacks, as it seems France is doing all this week? In fact, the writer here, Nathalie Goulet, is from France, she is a member of the French Senate for the center-right party UDI and Vice-President of a government commission investigating how best to fight jihadist networks.

These Charlie Hebdo anniversary ceremonies, she makes clear, are not the way to carry that fight forward. What are terrorists looking to achieve, after all? What might those key elements be that transform them from angry young men thinking of causing mayhem to gun-toters ready to carry that out?

. . . what these murderers are looking for, other than to promote a violent ideology and to oppose our values, is a moment of glory: they are searching for acknowledgement from their mentors, from their friends and those helots [low-lifes] who surround them.

It’s inexhaustible media coverage and especially official ceremonial attention – repeating year after year – which gives them exactly what they want, and thereby also attracts future candidate-terrorists looking for their own chance to go down in a blaze of glory.

Within this international bond of terrorist crimes, what sort of effects can these images of the Charlie anniversary have, other than to reinforce their conviction that they have attained their aim? To cast families into endless mourning, create a security psychosis, divide society, make more fragile the [French] Republic which then forgets here and there its founding principles of Liberté Egalité Fraternité . . .

Yes, of course. Yet there’s another reason to drastically tone down or even cancel outright these sorts of commemorations. (And I’m also looking at you, 13 November 2016!) All you have to do is recall images of that parade through Paris last year after the Charlie Hebdo attacks – you remember, with French President Hollande there in the middle of a menagerie of other world leaders in the front row. The vast majority of those leaders were implicated in some way with harassment of journalists and restriction of freedom of the press in their own countries, even while this solemn Paris parade was supposed to be a celebration and defense of press freedom as expressed in the slogan “Je suis Charlie.”

In short, we also need rather less of these ceremonies because, through craven government cynicism as abetted public ignorance, they run too much danger of becoming gigantic exercises in hypocrisy.

By the way, if the French government still wants to indulge in such ceremonies, could it at least get the spelling of the victims’ names on the plaque correct?

UPDATE: Here’s what I mean about the sheer “Je Suis Charlie” hypocrisy, from Glenn Greenwald: France Spends Last Year Crushing Free Speech.

In all the many years I’ve worked in defense of free speech, I’ve never seen the principle so blatantly exploited for other ends by people who plainly don’t believe in it as was true of the Hebdo killings. It was as transparent as it was dishonest.

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A Molenbeek Near-Miss

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Salah Abdeslam: does that name still ring a bell? He’s the Belgian citizen thought to be among the attackers in Paris last November 13 – and the only one to have escaped alive, aided considerably by what appears to be his decision to shed the regulation suicide-vest he wore at the time and just get out of there. It’s been more than a month and he is still at large. You really have to think that, by now, he is somewhere in Syria, safe under ISIL protection.

There’s a new piece up on the website of the Luxembourg-based newspaper L’Essentiel claiming that the Brussels police came very close to nabbing Abdeslam shortly after that deadly assault. We’re talking here again about Molenbeek, that notorious quarter of central Brussels from which so many radical jihadis have originated, and not just many of those involved in the Paris attack.

Abdeslam
To be fair, L’Essentiel is just confirming a scoop first gained by the Flemish commercial television chain VTM, to the effect that Brussels police from Sunday, 15 November were fairly sure Abdeslam was sheltering inside a particular Molenbeek apartment known to be a jihadi safehouse. But they did not move in: they couldn’t, legally, because, according to this article, “House-searches are in fact forbidden by the Belgian penal code between 23.00 and 05.00 hours except in urgent cases such as fires or les flagrants délits,” that latter phrase I assume signifying cases when it is known that crimes are actually being committed there on-scene.

Neither was the case for Abdeslam hiding out there in Molenbeek, so the authorities had to wait until the next morning. By that time they went in, he had given them the slip. By the way, from the timing it is clear this report provides further insight into why Belgian authorities decided to raise the alert levels for Brussels to “Imminent Attack Expected” for that same Sunday and the following couple of days.

Very frustrating, obviously. But this is also very unfortunate from a civil liberties point-of-view. This sort of police-failure – an inability to use the powers they do have, which should be enough – inevitably will accelerate the erosion of citizens’ liberties towards the police that we have already seen too much of following those November attacks.

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One That Got Away

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

I realize that the world in general is hardly in the mood to hear news about any more terrorist attacks. But at least this was one that was thwarted.

Tunisie
“Tunisia foiled a large-scale terrorist attack this month.” So at least announced today that government’s official in charge of security, Rafik Chelli. He claims they did so by discovering and breaking up a 17-man jihadist cell which was planning to execute a coordinated attack on hotels, security installations and politicians, “in order to sow chaos in the country.” Some of these people were said to have been trained in Libya – the country directly to Tunisia’s East – and some in Syria.

But if a bomb goes off, or a bullet is fired, in the Middle East these days, will people elsewhere necessarily care? You might have heard that ISIS suicide-bombers killed 40 at a South Beirut open-air market just the day before the Paris Attacks – or, likely, you may have not, as Paris soon overshadowed everything. It’s a shame, as the Beirut attack featured a heroic Lebanese man, Adel Tormos, who tackled the second suicide bomber and thereby gave up his own life to save those of many others, including his daughter.

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Just Not Cricket!

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Check out this photo, taken in Brussels, of a suspicious Muslim-type guy who for some reason is carrying under his arm what looks to be a rifle covered up in cloth. (Yes, I know that the surrounding text rather gives the game away, especially for those out there who can understand French.)

BrusselsTerrorist
There he was, waiting for a tram on a Sunday morning last August, on the Avenue Louise in one of the European capital’s most luxurious districts. This photo was taken out of the window by a security official at the Israeli embassy in Brussels who lives along the Avenue Louise, and who passed it on to the police – who in turn sent out an alert for the public to be on the look-out for this guy. (Wanted posters on post office walls and the like, one imagines, to the extent real-life post offices still exist in Brussels.) (more…)

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Cold Sochi Comfort

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are almost upon us, and it’s safe to say that the overwhelming feeling for outsiders is one of trepidation. That the Winter Games will take place in an area usually designated geographically as “sub-tropical” is but humorous; that they will be located within a region where Russia has been struggling since the fall of the Soviet Union with violent local independence movements is a much more serious proposition. And the violent groups that will want to disrupt the Olympics were clever in sowing such fear by their twin attacks around Christmas in the near-by (by Russian standards) city of Volgograd, which killed a combined total of 34 people.

The Dutch are no slouches when it comes to winter sports, so there will be a sizeable contingent from the Netherlands at the Sochi games, together with an official visit by King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima, Premier Mark Rutte and other high officials. Will those representatives be safe there? The newspaper Trouw tries to set its readers’ fears at ease today with an article entitled The Netherlands will keep a close eye on Sochi security.

The author (uncredited; from the Dutch press agency ANP) hardly aids his/her own cause with a column-heading that reads “Possible attacks.” Still, what’s notable here is not what the Netherlands is doing, but the listing of some of the security provisions some other nations will be taking.

  • The Americans: They have posted two Navy ships just offshore in the Black Sea – the better to start evacuating American citizens should things start to go haywire onshore.
  • The French: They are actually sending special anti-terror police along to guard their athletes. And not just one variety, but two: the GIGN, “specialized in ending hostage situations” (OK, that’s a relief), and the RAID*, “an elite corps of the national police.”

Sadly, once you read about those steps the Americans and French are taking, the corresponding Dutch measures cannot help but strike you as rather inadequate. They include an official warning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that everyone needs to be careful:

. . . it turns out that possible attacks in Russia, above all in city centers and South Russia, must be taken into account. You are advised when traveling in Russia to be extra-vigilant, above all at locations such as bus- and train stations, airfields or when traveling with public transport.

Oh, and if you do get into trouble, the Dutch Embassy will be open 24/7! Of course, that is way off in Moscow; but there will also be a “consular window” available at the Holland Heineken House there in Sochi.

Don’t worry, it goes on, “[c]alamity plans have been coordinated and scenarios worked out.” So if there is violence at the Winter Olympics, the Dutch government will at least be able rather easily to imagine what is happening!

The point? Is it that the Netherlands – and every other country sending substantial numbers of its athletes to the Games, for that matter – should emulate French or American practice and send along, in effect, para-military bodyguards? No, it’s that things have reached the point – resulting from the ill-considered (and almost certainly corrupt) decision to put the 2014 Winter Games here in the first place – that such worries are arising at all.

* A brilliant acronym, you’ll surely agree! It actually stands for Recherche, d’Assistance, d’Intervention et de Dissuasion – Investigation, Assistance, Intervention and Dissuasion.

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Boston & The German Pseudo-Tabloid

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Hold on a minute, now – what is this I see?

Marathon-Tragödie: Nach Boston ist der alte Bush-Sound wieder da http://t.co/QH9MJEcmDA

@welt

DIE WELT


“Marathon tragedy: After Boston the old Bush Sound is there again”! The point Torsten Krauel of Die Welt means here follows directly in his lede:

When US President Obama publicly pronounced [on yesterday’s Boston Marathon double-bombing], many were reminded of his predecessor Bush twelve years ago.

What he is talking about here, apparently, is Obama’s promise “We will find who did this, and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.” You see, it sounds just like Bush with the megaphone, standing atop the World Trade Center rubble: “We will find out who destroyed these buildings . . . and they will hear from us soon.”

This is just a terrible article, really surprising coming from what is probably Germany’s most-respected national daily – not at all a “tabloid-quality” paper in its usual incarnation, despite my headline. Where is the well-deserved contempt for George W. Bush that we were used to hearing across-the-board from the European press (with maybe some Polish exceptions)? Where is the recollection that, in fact, the 9/11 attacks came about just over a month after the CIA and FBI had their “hair on fire” over increasing indications that something big was about to happen domestically – but August, 2001 was W’s vacation month, so he couldn’t be bothered to act? No, the only proper Obama-Bush link here would have to be, if any, the bizarre time-reverse one where Bush’s 2001 performance is said to come up short compared to Obama in 2013!

You want a better assessment of George W. Bush’s legacy in reaction to the 9/11 attacks? Conveniently, that’s also available to you today on the NY Times website, although overshadowed of course by the Boston news reports: U.S. Engaged in Torture After 9/11, Review Concludes.

But wait! There’s more! (more…)

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18-Month-Old Girl: Face of Terror?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

OK America, you’ve had your fun with your TSA airport follies for far too long now. Where to begin? You’ve repeatedly humiliated a major Southwest Asia movie star when he has visited, just because of his last name. You’ve had your “anomalies in the crotch area.” Etcetera.

But now it’s no longer just a matter of fun-and-games for a domestic audience:

Une fillette de 18 mois débarquée d’un avion pour soupçons de terrorisme http://t.co/b97wKeTw

@lemondefr

Le Monde


Now it’s Le Monde: A little girl of 18 months taken from airplane on suspicion of terrorism. It’s another made-in-USA incident, occurring at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Apparently airport authorities claimed the little girl was on the “No-Fly” list. It should further be no surprise that her parents are of Middle Eastern origin, that the wife wears a veil in public.

Go ahead, check it out, for there’s also a nice video embedded in that report, giving the local news broadcast on the incident (so in English). But again, this is a report in the “Big Browser” blog of the leading French newspaper Le Monde. When will you realise that this is leaking out to the foreign press now, making America a laughing-stock? When will you get embarrassed enough and stop all this “security theater” already?

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