The American Kafir

2012/05/14

Iran threatened to arrest two Christian converts in Christian Community

Article Translated by Google Translator

Source Link Deutsche Persian

Human Rights

Iran threatened to arrest two Christian converts in Christian Community

Persian editor of Christian News Network in an interview with Deutsche Welle about the arrest of two Christian converts explained. Resourceful in recent months, according to Priest, “Army 400” Some Christians have threatened refugees abroad.

The Persian Christian News Network (Mhbtnyvz) the names of two Christian converts “Hooman Laden 26 years old and 27 years”, 26 Persian date Farvardin 91 security forces stormed their home in Tehran were arrested without judicial warrant.

According to the report, security officials question the mother of Christian converts, who asked her where you’re living, you have “to” Jesus “come to your rescue!”

Listen: Rev. MR resourceful editor of Persian Christian News Network (Mhbtnyvz)

Christian News Network Farsi speakers, according to a report issued Monday, Persian date Ordibehesht 11 days during the last days in prison by the Court Ahzaryhay for parents to send their children to the questions also refer to the activities of prosecutors to respond.

MR resourceful editor of the Christian priest Persian News Network (Mhbtnyvz) in an interview with Deutsche Welle about why two weeks after the arrest of two Christian converts have been published, says: “There are many reasons. Arrest the same day due to family problems that may or may not bring their own news releases. ”

The Rev. MR resourceful and accurate statistics that Christian converts arrested in Iran are no different cities because of Christian organizations to prevent pressure on the families of those arrested refused to publish the name of Christian converts.

He says: “Some Christian converts as well as individual work, and when news of the arrest of these individuals will not be published, but can say that the exact number of arrests at 2 or 3 times is what the news is released.”

“Threatens to kill Christian converts in Iran»

While in recent years, various news of arrests and pressure on Iran, published in the Christian converts, many of these converts were forced to leave Iran.

Resourceful about the Pastor of Christian converts after leaving the pressure on Iran: “The living conditions for Christian converts who are out of Iran is very difficult and tragic. Unfortunately in recent months that his group “Army 400″ is introduced via telephone or email Pyamkhay Christian servants are threatening to kill or Sybzdn families. Unfortunately, these threats, concerns some Christians, who are of refugee problems, is more. ”

Resourceful priest saying that such threats in the past there have been periodic threats she says, but “Army 400” on the spectrum is affected a lot of Christians out of Iran.

Iranian intelligence agents target, arrest Christian converts

Source The Daily Caller

Iranian intelligence agents target, arrest Christian converts

By Reza Kahlili

FILE – In this Monday, Nov. 26, 2007 file photo, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, bottom center, reviews troops at a gathering of Basij militia forces, in Tehran, Iran, as Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari salutes, at right, and army commander Ataollah Salehi salutes, at left. (AP Photo, File)

Iran’s ayatollahs are showing frustration with Iranians leaving Islam for Christianity in large numbers despite the threat of execution for apostasy.

A former intelligence officer in the Guards, who has now defected to Europe, told The Daily Caller that the country’s regime has ordered the domestic intelligence apparatus to use drastic measures to stop them — including imprisonment, torture and the mass-burning of Bibles.

According to a report by Mohammad Reza Modaber, the chief editor of the Christian Farsi language Mohabat News, two Christian converts in their mid 20s were arrested in April after intelligence agents entered their home in Tehran without warrants.

One agent, responding to the mother of the arrested who asked where they were taking her children and why, responded mockingly, “Tell Jesus to come and rescue them.”

TheDC’s source who was formerly an Iranian intelligence officer indicated that in the city of Shiraz alone, with a population of over one million, there were 30,000 files at the intelligence headquarters on individuals who had converted to Christianity.

“The Guards intelligence has assigned a unit in major cities, across the country, with the order to infiltrate their groups, identifying pastors and the members, then make arrests, forcing them under torture to agree to appear on TV confessing to criminal activities and having connection with Israel or America,” he said.

Among other torture methods, spouses of the arrested converts are brought in and beaten in front of them to make them collaborate, while others are kept in total darkness in dungeon-type cells for weeks with no human contact, so that they lose sense of time.

The April 30 Mohabat report indicates that in recent days prosecutors at the notorious Evin prison have introduced a new tactic: ordering parents of arrested Christian converts arrested to appear at the prison to explain their children’s activities.

Tens of thousands of Bibles smuggled into the country have been confiscated and burned by the Guards under the order of the Islamic regime. In one case, TheDC’s source said, the office of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the Guards to burn all confiscated Bibles in order to further stop conversions.

The Bible, Khamenei’s office insisted, is not considered a holy book.

Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, in a recent statement to Hawzah News that reflected the views of the Iranian ayatollahs in the holy city of Qom, said that the Quran was the last holy book providing the most complete religion to the world, and that the prophet Muhammad was the last prophet. There is no authorization in Iran, he said, for following previous books.

“There are no accurate figures as to the number of Christian converts who have been arrested in different cities in Iran,” Pastor Modaber said, “because Christian organizations, in order to lessen the pressure by the regime on the families of arrested, do not reveal the names.”

“The situation for Christian converts leaving Iran is no different and has become quite difficult,” he said. “In recent months a group calling themselves the Revolutionary Guards Unit 400, through voice mails and emails, have threatened the converts with death and harm to their families.”

Though these threats have existed before, the pastor said, now they have increased — with a focus on Christian converts who have left Iran.

The case of one Christian pastor convert, Youcef Naderkhani, a father of two who was arrested more than two years ago and sentenced to death, made international headlines that forced the Islamic regime to delay the sentence, though he remains on death row.

Naderkhani’s attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, was himself recently arrested and sentenced to 9 years in prison. He told reporters that he was “convicted of acting against the national security, spreading propaganda against the regime and keeping banned books at home.”

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the author of the award winning book ”A Time to Betray.” He teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA) and is a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.

2012/05/07

Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate?

Source Article Link: FamilySecurityMatters

Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate?

by Alan Caruba

When suspects in a crime are interrogated, they often develop memory loss. When the crime is running guns to drug cartels on both sides of the border, the crime involves the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, and countless Mexican citizens.

Katie Pavlich has written an extraordinary expose, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-Up” (Regnery Publishing).  Pavlich, a reporter with extensive contacts within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), has meticulously documented a story  that should result in contempt of Congress action against Attorney General Eric Holder and possibly Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano as well.

It is an appalling story of arrogance, stupidity, and the intimidation of ATF agents who dared to question and expose the operation. It is a story of deception at the highest levels of our government. Both Holder and Napolitano exhibited memory lapses before a congressional committee. Both knew about a federal government authorized gun-running operation to Mexico called “Fast and Furious.”

Pavlich reports that “Fast and Furious was closely followed by Department of Justice officials. On multiple occasions, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke met with Phoenix ATF Director Bill Newell to discuss the progress of the Fast and Furious operation. ‘There were DOJ attorneys and prosecutors who were involved in this since the beginning, giving advice,” testified ATF Special Agent Peter Forcelli.

As Pavlich details it, “Operation Fast and Furious wasn’t a ‘botched’ program. It was a calculated and lethal decision to purposely place thousands of guns in the hands of ruthless criminals.”

The operation was designed to attack the Second Amendment right of Americans to purchase and bear arms, a right considered so essential to the nation that it followed directly after the First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of the press, the prohibition of the establishment of a nationally sanctioned religion, and the right of Americans to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We are in the grip of an administration that would restrain and erase those rights, and which engaged in a reckless and ruthless operation to achieve that goal. It is an administration that is moving toward the confirmation of a United Nations treaty that would override and eliminate the right to own and bear arms.

The facts regarding Holder’s and Napolitano’s testimony are clear:

“Eric Holder was sent five memos, personally addressed to him, in the summer of 2010 that detailed Operation Fast and Furious.” Holder claimed he first knew about the program in February 2011.

“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has feigned ignorance when questioned about Fast and Furious. She claims she only found out about the program after Brian Terry was murdered.”

“She visited the White House with Eric Holder to visit President Obama just a day before Holder testified on Capitol Hill about Fast and Furious, leaving the reason for her visit blank.”

Pavlich writes, “These are the facts: There are still 1,400 Fast and Furious guns missing and ATF agents are not actively trying to track them down. Ten thousand round of ammunition were sold to cartel-linked straw buyers under the watch of the ATF. Eight hundred of the original 2,500 weapons sold through Fast and Furious have already been linked to criminal activity.”

The program, observers believer, was the deliberate effort to blame the violence in Mexico and in some cases in America on the gun shops, but those shops were intimidated into participating in Fast and Furious out of fear that ATF would take away their licenses.

After questioning ATF and Justice Department witnesses, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa, R), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a January 31 letter to ATF officials saying, “As you may be aware, obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime. Additionally, denying or interfering with employee’s rights to furnish information to Congress is also against the law.”
Read the rest of the article at FamilySecurityMatters

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, and he blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. His book, Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy“, is published by Merrill Press.

2012/05/04

10 Reasons to Impeach Eric Holder

View this document on Scribd

To order your copy, click here.

J. Christian Adams Bio

J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His forthcoming book Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department (Regnery) releases in October.  His website is Election Law Center.

2012/05/03

House Contempt Citation Draft Against Holder Over Fast and Furious – PDF Copy

View this document on Scribd

2012/05/01

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

This is an interesting dilemma, first and foremost Obama did not take out Osama bin Laden, the brave men of the Navy SEALs did, also an internet article on The Ulsterman Report states that a longtime Washington D.C. Insider outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been “overruled” by senior military and intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden, this is very believable considering Obama would have the best of two worlds, if something went wrong he could deny it and blame rouge individuals did it, and of course as we can see if it was successful he could take the credit. W

Source Link Mail Online

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

By Toby Harnden

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Scroll down to the bottom for video

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden’s death as a campaign tool

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.’

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr Romney responded to a shouted question by a reporter by saying: ‘Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.

Mr Kyle added: ‘He’s trying to say that Romney wouldn’t have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it’s going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

Read the entire article at Mail Online

Watch the ad

2012/04/24

Action Alert – Best Buy: TV’s, Computers and Hamas

Source Link: Islamist Watch

Action Alert – Best Buy: TV’s, Computers and Hamas

by Marc J. Fink

Ailing Retail Giant Sponsors Hamas-Linked Islamist Group, Refuses to Rule Out Future Funding to Islamic Radicals

Think again before buying your next flat-screen television or computing device from Best Buy.

The struggling retail giant recently used profits from American consumers to fund the annual banquet of a group closely linked to Hamas. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently listed Best Buy as a “Platinum Sponsor.” Best Buy has refused to rule out future support for CAIR through numerous messages to its public relations department. The big box retailer is already in chaos amid the recent resignation of its CEO for personal misconduct, dwindling sales and bond downgrades.

The United States government named CAIR an “unindicted co-conspirator” to fund the terrorist group Hamas in America’s most significant terror financing trial. The U.S. also identified CAIR as an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, sharing the common goal of dismantling American institutions and turning the U.S. into a Sharia-compliant, Islamic state through incremental, stealth jihad.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper (left) and CAIR co-founder and long-time board member Omar Ahmad (right) have both said they would like to see an America ruled by Sharia. The U.S. government has linked CAIR to the terror group Hamas in Gaza (center).

And that’s only the beginning. For all the details and links, see the bullet points below — after the jump at the bottom of the post.

Utterly outrageous, yes. But outrage is not enough. Action is required. The Goal is a commitment from Best Buy to never again use profits from American consumers to finance Islamic radicals.

Here is how you can make a difference:

  • If you don’t like the idea of your consumer electronics, software and appliance dollars going to fund groups aligned with Hamas and pledged to turning America into a Sharia-compliant, Islamic state, write and/or call Best Buy and let them know. Best Buy Public Relations Department: 612-292-NEWS (6397) or NewsCenter@bestbuy.com. Susan Busch, Director of Public Relations: susan.busch@bestbuy.com. Lisa Hawks, Deputy Director of Public Relations: lisa.hawks@bestbuy.com
  • Feel free to use/copy/paste the bullet points below. But try to put it in your own words and make it personal. Share any responses from Best Buy with us at islamist-watch@meforum.org.
  • Tell your friends and family about Best Buy and about Islamist Watch. If they join our mailing list (link at top of Islamist-Watch.org), they’ll receive future action alerts and can help make a difference.

Here are the details on CAIR:

  • Current CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper was quoted as saying: “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. … But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
  • Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat, New York) described CAIR in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing as an organization “which we know has ties to terrorism.” FDCH Political Transcripts, Sept. 10, 2003.

CAIR’s Announcement of Best Buy as a Platinum Sponsor:

Related Topics:  Entertainment / Media, Lawful Islamism, Lobby Groups, Workplace  |  Marc J. Fink receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free islamist watch mailing list This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

2012/04/20

New Law: Virginia will not cooperate with NDAA detention

New Law: Virginia will not cooperate with NDAA detention

Source

RICHMOND, Va. – On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

HB1160 “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

The legislature previously passed HB1160 and forwarded it to Gov. Bob McDonnell for his signature. Last week, the governor agreed to sign the bill with a minor amendment. On Wednesday, the House of Delegates passed the amended version of the legislation 89-7. Just hours later, the Senate concurred by a 36-1 vote.

Bill sponsor Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) says that since the legislature passed HB1150 as recommended by the governor, it does not require a signature and will become law effective July 1, 2012.

Several states recently passed resolutions condemning NDAA indefinite detention, but Virginia becomes the first state to pass a law refusing compliance with sections 1021 and 1022.

“In the 1850s, northern states felt that habeas corpus was so important that they passed laws rejecting the federal fugitive slave act. The bill passed in Massachusetts was so effective, not one single runaway slave was returned south from that state. Today, Virginia joins in this great American tradition,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “When the federal government passes unconstitutional so-called laws so destructive to liberty – it’s the people and the states that will stand up and say, ‘NO!’ May the other states now follow the lead taken today by Virginia.”

For more information on the new Virginia law, click HERE.

###

The Tenth Amendment Center exists to promote and advance a return to a proper balance of power between federal and State governments envisioned by our founders, prescribed by the Constitution and explicitly declared in the Tenth Amendment. A national think tank based in Los Angeles, the Tenth Amendment Center works to preserve and protect the principle of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism.

Contact: Mike Maharrey
Communications director
O: 213.935.0553
media@tenthamendmentcenter.com
http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com

For Immediate Release:April 18, 2012

2012/04/15

Taliban hits Afghan capital, other cities in rare coordinated attack

And Obama wants to negotiate with the Taliban???W

 Source WaPo

Taliban hits Afghan capital, other cities in rare coordinated attack

PARWIZ/REUTERS – Soldiers from the Afghan National Army keep watch near the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) as smoke rises from the site of an attack in Jalalabad province April 15, 2012. Gunmen launched multiple attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, assaulting Western embassies in the heavily guarded, central diplomatic area and at the parliament in the west, witnesses and officials said.

By Kevin Sieff, Javed Hamdard and Sayed Salahuddin,

KABUL– Insurgents attacked cities across eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, including at least two prominent targets in Kabul, in a rare coordinated attack spanning some of the country’s most important urban centers. The Taliban called the effort the beginning of their spring offensive.By early afternoon, insurgents were still firing rocket-propelled grenades and rifles from an unfinished commercial building in central Kabul. From their perch, at least four men fired in the direction of the German embassy and NATO’s military headquarters, both of which were just a few hundred yards from the attackers.

Life and war in Afghanistan: April 2012: Our continuing photo coverage shows Afghan life as coalition forces fight in the country.

Securing Highway 1 in Afghanistan

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story
Securing Highway 1 in Afghanistan

Less than an hour after the attack began, Afghan commandos and their NATO trainers entered the building. There were two large blast holes visible in the facade of the Kabul Star Hotel, frequented by westerners and wealthy Afghans, located just across the street from where the insurgents were firing.

A few miles away, another group of insurgents occupied a building across from the Afghan parliament, firing at the building.

“Armed insurgents, including some suicide bombers, have taken control of buildings in these areas,” said Sediq Sediqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

Attackers also targeted a NATO base in Jalalabad, as well as Afghan installations in the capitals of Logar and Paktia provinces, according to officials.

“The attackers occupied a building opposite a university in the city of Gardez and were firing at various directions, including government buildings,” said Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia.

At least two insurgents were killed in Kabul, officials said, but gunfire was ongoing three hours after the attack began.

“This is a message that our spring offensive has begun,” said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who said the primary targets were western military and diplomatic installations.

While the Taliban has successfully executed spectacular attacks in Kabul before — including the protracted attack on the U.S. embassy in September — insurgents have never attacked so many disparate targets simultaneously.

2012/04/12

Egyptian court clears way for Salafi presidential candidate in election race

Source Al Arabiya News

Egyptian court clears way for Salafi presidential candidate in election race

By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES

An Egyptian court has ruled that the mother of a popular ultraconservative Islamist viewed as one of the strongest contenders for president is not a U.S. citizen, likely clearing the way for him to run in May elections.

Hazem Abu Ismail (For more read the article linked below the video) is a 50-year-old lawyer-turned-preacher with a large following of enthusiastic supporters, particularly from the country’s ultraconservative Salafi movement.

The country’s electoral commission last week said it received documents confirming that Ismail’s mother was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race.

“On Saturday, the high electoral committee received a letter from the Foreign Ministry informing it that Nawal Abdel-Aziz, mother of Hazem Abu Ismail, obtained American nationality on Oct. 25, 2006,” the commission chief Hatem Degato told Reuters.

Begato said on Thursday that the agency had received information according to which Abu Ismail’s mother had “used an American passport for travel to and from Egypt” before her death.

But the Cairo Administrative Court on Wednesday said authorities did not have sufficient documents to prove she was a U.S. citizen.

Under the country’s electoral law, all candidates for the presidency, their parents and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.

Abu Ismail advocates a strict interpretation of Islam similar to the one practiced in Saudi Arabia and has become a familiar sight in Cairo, with his posters adorning many cars and micro buses.

“Our only demand is to cancel the negative decision of the refusal of the interior ministry to give [Abu Ismail] a certificate that his mother doesn’t hold dual citizenship,” said Gaber Nassar, Abu Ismail’s lawyer early on Wednesday before the ruling was announced, according to Daily News Egypt.

The session was adjourned repeatedly during the day as supporters of the Salafi candidate filled the court room and also demonstrated outside the State Council. It was the second hearing; the first was on Tuesday.

On Friday, thousands of people rallied in central Cairo in support of his candidacy.

“The people want Hazem Abu Ismail! No to manipulation!” the demonstrators shouted after making their way through central Cairo to Tahrir Square, epicenter of last year’s revolt which toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters, including women in full Islamic veil, carried portraits of Abu Ismail and waved their fists, angrily condemning any attempt to disqualify their candidate.

Abu Ismail launched his candidacy on March 30 with a large motorcade that took him to electoral commission headquarters in Cairo.

He would compete with more moderate Islamist candidates such as senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat el-Shater and former regime figures such as ex-foreign minister Amr Mussa.

Islamists have made big strides since Mubarak’s ouster, winning majorities in elections to both houses of parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won the most seats in parliamentary elections earlier this year, but the Salafists captured nearly a quarter themselves.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Related Article Egyptian Presidential Candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail – “U.S. Authorities Refused to Investigate 9/11, Which Was ‘Fabricated’ To Defame Islam”

Vetting Obama – Live Birth Abortion Survivor Law – Erosion of Individual Rights

Vetting Obama – Live Birth Abortion Survivor Law – Erosion of Individual Rights

By Walt Long

This year voting for a President of the United States, it is vital we know more about  Barack Hussein Obama. One of the issues that struck me was the attitude of the President concerning a law that would protect an infant that is born after it was aborted from the Mother. Obama refused to sign a law protecting a human life. All the pertinent articles and law are posted below. This should not be a Republican vs Democrat issue, we are talking about a human life,an innocent victim left on a cold slab to die. Obama gave orders to the Doctors and Nurses that they were not to administer to the life of this child…the baby would be left to die;Obama being the dictator of life or death.

We ,the American Citizen, have come to expect losing our individual rights at the hands of Obama and this administration. Our government, such as National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 which gives the U.S. government authority to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial. If it has been suggested Conservatives are blowing this out of proportion I suggest reading… NDAA a Dangerous Precedent, Even With the Signing Statement.

Another individual right being taken away is the assassination of a United States Citizen without due process of the law, the only hearing allowed is not the Court of Law …but the court of Barack Hussein Obama’s law, with  Attorney General Eric Holder defending the decision.  I am talking about the assassination of, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both United States citizens,  by a CIA drone attack in Yemen on September 30 2011, authorized by Eric Holder,,Barack Hussein Obama, and a secretive government committee. Anwar al-Awlaki’s used Islam for terrorist incitements, yes he was a very evil man, however,  by being a United States citizen he should have been allowed his Constitutional rights by a trial before the Court of Law and his peers. If our government can kill two citizens then what would stop them from killing more? It is a very  dangerous precedence allowing the assassination of a United States Citizen by any secretive panel of senior government officials,



Documents show Obama cover-up on born-alive survivors bill

Source JillStanek

UPDATE, 4:30p: Ben Smith of The Politico has linked to this post.

UPDATE, 4p: Concerned Women for America has audio of an interview with me on this here.

UPDATE, 10:22a:Michelle Malkin has linked to this post.

UPDATE, 9:50a: Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online is covering the story.

Last week Doug Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee drew my attention to a previously unnoticed January 2008 article by Terence Jeffrey stating Barack Obama actually did vote against a version of the IL Born Alive Infants Protection Act that was identical to the federal version, contrary to multiple public statements Obama or his surrogates have made to rationalize his opposition to the IL bill for the past 4 years.

Since then we have found 2 separate documents proving Barack Obama has been misrepresenting facts.

In fact, Barack Obama is more liberal than any U.S. senator, voting against identical language of a bill that body passed unanimously, 98-0. In fact, Barack Obama condones infanticide if it would otherwise interfere with abortion.

Here is the statement with documentation released by NRLC this morning…

New documents just obtained by NRLC, and linked below, prove that Senator [Barack] Obama has for the past four years blatantly misrepresented his actions on the IL Born-Alive Infants Protection bill.

Summary and comment by NRLC spokesman Douglas Johnson:

Newly obtained documents prove that in 2003, Barack Obama, as chairman of an IL state Senate committee, voted down a bill to protect live-born survivors of abortion – even after the panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language, copied from a federal bill passed by Congress without objection in 2002, explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion. Obama’s legislative actions in 2003 – denying effective protection even to babies born alive during abortions – were contrary to the position taken on the same language by even the most liberal members of Congress. The bill Obama killed was virtually identical to the federal bill that even NARAL ultimately did not oppose.

In 2000, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was first introduced in Congress. This was a two-paragraph bill intended to clarify that any baby who is entirely expelled from his or her mother, and who shows any signs of life, is to be regarded as a legal “person” for all federal law purposes, whether or not the baby was born during an attempted abortion. (To view the original 2000 BAIPA, click here.)

In 2002, the bill was enacted, after a “neutrality clause” was added to explicitly state that the bill expressed no judgment, in either direction, about the legal status of a human prior to live birth.

(The “neutrality” clause read, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.”)

The bill passed without a dissenting vote in either house of Congress. (To view the final federal BAIPA as enacted, click here. To view a chronology of events pertaining to the federal BAIPA, click here.)

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2012/04/08

Iran lawmaker: Country can produce nuclear weapons but will never do so

Source FoxNews

Iran lawmaker: Country can produce nuclear weapons but will never do so

| Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran –  Iran has the knowledge and scientific capability to produce nuclear weapons but will never do so, a prominent lawmaker has said.

Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam is a parliamentarian not a government official and his views do not represent the Iranian government’s policy. It however is the first time that such a prominent Iranian politician has publicly stated that Iran has the technological capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

His assertion published on parliament’s website late Friday suggests that Iran is trying to show unity in its political establishment around its often repeated claims that it seeks world-class technological advances including nuclear expertise, but does not want to develop atomic arms as the U.S. and its allies claim.

The statement comes before planned talks beginning next week with the U.S. and other world powers over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Moghadam said Iran can easily produce the highly enriched uranium that is used to build atomic bombs, but that it is not Tehran’s policy to go that route.

“Iran has the scientific and technological capability to produce (a) nuclear weapon, but will never choose this path,” he said in remarks carried by the parliamentary website icana.ir.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges, saying its program is peaceful and geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly insisted that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, saying that holding such arms is a sin as well as “useless, harmful and dangerous.”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also asserted that if Iran one day decides to build nuclear weapons, it will do so openly and won’t fear anybody. However, he has also emphasized that Iran has no intention to weaponize what he describes as a peaceful nuclear program.

Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper asserted in a January report to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Iran has the means to build a nuclear weapon but has not yet decided to follow through.

U.S. intelligence officials say they generally stand by a 2007 intelligence assessment that asserts Iran stopped comprehensive secret work on developing nuclear arms in 2003. But Britain, France, Germany, Israel and other U.S. allies think such activities have continued past that date, a suspicion shared by the IAEA, which says in recent reports that some isolated and sporadic activities may be ongoing.

However, the IAEA says there is no evidence to prove that Iran’s nuclear materials have been diverted towards weapons.

Iran says it is enriching uranium to about 3.5 percent to produce nuclear fuel for its future reactors and also to around 20 percent to fuel a research reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat cancer patients. Uranium has to be enriched to more than 90 percent to be used for a nuclear weapon.

The U.N. nuclear agency has also confirmed that centrifuges at the Fordo site near Iran’s holy city of Qom are churning out uranium enriched to 20 percent, and says uranium enriched to that level can more quickly be turned into weapons-grade material.

Moghadam, the lawmaker, said that Iran has the means to produce 90-plus percent enrichment.
“There is a possibility for Iran to easily achieve more than 90 percent enrichment,” icana.ir quoted Moghadam as saying.

2012/04/07

Islamic Indoctrination in Textbooks

Source TownHall

Islamic Indoctrination in Textbooks

By Phyllis Schlafly

Political correctness has a double standard when it comes to teaching about religion in public schools. Drop Christianity down the memory hole but give extensive and mostly favorable coverage to Islam.

Even the mainstream media have provided extensive coverage of the steady stream of court cases and threatening letters from the American Civil Liberties Union aimed at removing all signs of Judeo-Christianity from public schools. Not only must prayer be prohibited, a cross and the Ten Commandments removed or covered up, a valedictorian banned from thanking God for his help, a football coach prohibited from bowing his head during a student-led pre-game prayer, singing of Christmas carols banned, and school calendars required to recognize winter holiday instead of Christmas, but there is also the complete omission of the history of the Founding Fathers’ public recognition of Christianity.

An organization called ACT for America conducted an analysis of 38 textbooks used in the sixth- through 12th-grades in public schools, and found that since the 1990s, discussions of Islam are taking up more and more pages, while the space devoted to Judaism and Christianity has simultaneously decreased. In 2011, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that American 12th graders scored lower in history than in any other subject, even lower than in science, math and economics.

Most of these students are too young to remember 9/11, so current textbook descriptions about 9/11 is all they will learn. In one textbook example of pro-Islamic revisionism, 9/11 is portrayed as “a horrible act of terrorism, or violence to further a cause,” without any mention that the attackers were Muslims or that the “cause” was Islamic jihad.

The textbooks generally give a false description of women’s rights under Islam. The books don’t reveal that women are subject to polygamy, a husband’s legal right to beat her, genital mutilation, and the scandalous practice misnamed “honor killings,” which allows a man to murder a daughter who dares to date a Christian.

Slavery is usually a favorite topic for the liberals, but historical revisionism is particularly evident in the failure to mention the Islamic slave trade. It began nearly eight centuries before the European-operated Atlantic slave trade and continues in some Muslim areas even today.

Other examples of historical revisionism in currently used textbooks include the omission of the doctrine of jihad or failure to accurately define it. Discussions of Muhammad’s life and character are often contrary to accepted historical facts.

Muslim conquests and imperialism are usually omitted or downplayed, and a completely false narrative about the Crusades is given. The books often falsely claim that Islam is tolerant of Jews and Christians.

Another technique is to describe Christian and Jewish religious traditions as mere stories attributable to some human source, whereas Islamic traditions are presented as indisputable historic facts. In one textbook, you can read that Moses “claimed” to receive the Ten Commandments from God but that Muhammad simply “received” the Koran from God.

ACT for America is sending its report to all U.S. school board members nationwide. We hope they read it and tell the publishers the schools won’t buy books that contain such errors and biases because that may be parents’ only remedy for this indoctrination.

In the year of 9/11, a big controversy erupted at Excelsior public school in Byron, Calif., where seventh graders were being taught a three-week course about the Islamic religion. This course required the kids to learn 25 Islamic terms, 20 proverbs, Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith, 10 key Islamic prophets and disciples, recite from the Koran, wear a robe during class, adopt a Muslim name, and stage their own “holy war” in a dice game.

Excelsior was using one of the textbooks that omit information about Islam’s wars, massacres, and cruelties against Christians and Jews. Christianity was mentioned only briefly and negatively, linked to the Inquisition and to Salem witch hunts.

The students were given Muslim names and told to recite Muslim prayers in class. They were required to give up things for a day to recognize the Islamic practice of Ramadan, and the teacher gave extra credit for fasting at lunch.

For the final exam, the students had to write an essay about Islamic culture. The essay assignment warned students in these words: “Be careful here; if you do not have something positive to say, don’t say anything!!!”

Parents naively thought they could appeal to the courts to uphold their right to reject this class for their children, which was really not education but behavior modification. They didn’t realize that federal court decisions have ruled consistently against parents’ rights and in favor of the authority of public schools to teach whatever they want.

The parents lost in court. And on Oct. 2, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the parents’ appeal from the lower court decision against them.

Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. Phyllis Schlafly has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when Phyllis Schlafly started her national volunteer organization now called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Phyllis Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, Phyllis Schlafly appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative. Phyllis Schlafly was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies’ Home Journal.


Screenshots from a YouTube Video Titled “Kill The Jews!” Muslim Children Memorize and Recite Antisemitic Messages on Egyptian TV Channel







Over US mother, Islamist likely out of Egypt race

Source Seattle Times

Over US mother, Islamist likely out of Egypt race

Egypt’s election commission confirmed Thursday that the mother of a popular Islamist presidential hopeful was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race and likely boosting the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate.

By MAGGIE MICHAEL

Associated Press

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a likely candidate for the presidency, outside the Syrian embassy in Cairo

CAIRO —Egypt’s election commission confirmed Thursday that the mother of a popular Islamist presidential hopeful was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race and likely boosting the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate.The ruling is likely to draw an uproar from supporters of Hazem Abu Ismail, a 50-year-old lawyer-turned-preacher who in recent months vaulted to become one of the strongest contenders for president, with widespread backing from ultra-conservative Muslims known as Salafis.

The announcement is particularly embarrassing for Abu Ismail, who used anti-U.S. rhetoric in his campaign speeches and rejected “dependency” on America. In recent weeks, he repeatedly denied reports that began circulating that his late mother held U.S. citizenship.

A law put in place after last year’s fall of President Hosni Mubarak stipulates that a candidate may not have any other citizenship than Egyptian – and that the candidate’s spouse and parents cannot have other citizenships as well.

The commission, however, did not outright disqualify Abu Ismail because it has not yet begun the process of vetting would-be candidates’ applications.

Abu Ismail is likely to fight for a way to stay in the race. Late Thursday, he urged his supporters to be patient because he was still fighting to prove that his mother’s documents didn’t amount to a full citizenship. He said the controversy was a mere plot to “slander” him.

“It has become clear to us that there is a big and elaborate plot, tightly prepared for a long time from many directions, internally and externally,” he said, without naming anyone.

Before the commission’s announcement, Abu Ismail’s campaign was vowing to hold a huge rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday against what they see as a conspiracy to keep him out of the race.

“The massive army of his supporters will rally because we will not be silent over forgery and games,” said his campaign chief Gamal Saber.

As Sunday is the cut-off date for hopefuls to apply to run, the field for the May 23-24 election is beginning to become clearer after weeks of uncertainty. Barring last minute surprises, it appears to be headed to a contest focused between the Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater and largely former regime figures, the popular ex-foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa and a former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.

Abu Ismail’s disqualification would remove el-Shater’s main competitor for the powerful Islamist vote. The Brotherhood, which is the country’s strongest political movement, announced last weekend that el-Shater – its deputy leader – would run. Since then, el-Shater has been heavily courting Salafis, a movement that is more hard-line than the fundamentalist Brotherhood.

Another significant Islamist candidate remains, Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, a reformer who was thrown out of the Brotherhood last year and is trying to appeal both to religious and more secular-minded Egyptians.

Moussa’s chances were boosted Wednesday when former Mubarak-era strongman and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman announced he would not run. Though widely distrusted as a symbol of the old regime, he might have found support among the liberals and moderates that Moussa is courting and who fear the Islamists’ rising power.

On Thursday, the 61-year-old el-Shater waved at some 3,000 supporters chanting, “Islam is back,” as he entered the election commission headquarters to formally submit his papers to run. He handed in more than 250 endorsements from lawmakers from the Brotherhood party and the Salafi Al-Nour Party, needed to qualify to join the race.

To run for president, a candidate needs endorsements from lawmakers or a party. Otherwise, the candidate must gather some 30,000 endorsements from the public across different parts of Egypt.

Just a week ago, Abu Ismail flexed his muscles by submitting his documents amid a giant rally by his supporters, who stretched from his home to the commission headquarters. He handed in some 150,000 public endorsements, five times the required number.

His face – smiling, with a long, conservative beard – had become ubiquitous in Cairo and other cities because of a startlingly aggressive postering campaign that plastered walls and lampposts with his picture and the slogan, “We will live in dignity.”

Abu Ismail rose to fame through his religious sermons and TV programs promising to guide Muslims to the “right path to Islam.” He joined early on in the protests against Mubarak last year and after his fall struck a defiant tone against the military generals who took power.

When reports concerning his mother began circulating, Abu Ismail insisted she only had a Green Card to visit her daughter, who is married to an American, lives in the United States and has citizenship there.

But in a statement Thursday on the state news agency MENA, the election commission said it received documents from the Interior Ministry proving that Abu Ismail’s mother had a U.S. passport she used to travel a number of time to the U.S.. The mother also traveled to Germany and Egypt using the U.S. passport in 2008 and 2009, it said.

The commission starts reviewing would-be candidates’ papers after Sunday’s deadline.

Egypt: ‘Islamocracy’ under Military Rule

Source JCPA

Egypt: ‘Islamocracy’ under Military Rule

By Jacques Neriah

A year after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt seems to be drifting into an unparalleled and unprecedented form of government and a unique political experiment in the Arab world: power and authority are being divided between Muslim fundamentalists led by the Muslim Brotherhood and their rivals in ideology, the Salafists. Both are partisans of an Islamocracy (meaning a combination of theocracy and democracy), with Field Marshall Mohammad Hussein Tantawi orchestrating the twenty or so members of the Army General Staff, acting as the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), as the supreme rulers of Egypt. The only remaining question is: to what extent will each of the contenders avoid stepping onto his neighbor’s turf? In other words, will the Islamists, as the main hijackers of the democracy movement in Egypt, accept that the military will remain the source of power and authority in their Islamocracy?

Indeed, the transition process of handing power from the military to the “democratically” elected civilian bodies seems to be stuck and has become the focus of friction between the SCAF and the Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the great winners of the parliamentary elections organized in 2011-2012. The military is not in a hurry to subordinate itself to the civilian authorities, while the Islamists, although eager to capture power as the legitimate winners of the democratic process, behave as if they are afraid to provoke the military. They fear a confrontation that could lead to widespread bloodshed, similar to Algeria in 1990 when Islamists won the first free elections in the young nation’s history, triggering a civil war with 20,000 casualties before Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned to power with army support.

As a result, the two sides in Egypt periodically check the extent of their authority and assess the limits to which they can act independently without provoking a reaction by the other side. From this perspective, it seems obvious that the episodes of violent confrontation that have occurred in Egypt in the process of political transition are not due to a lack of experience but rather are the result of a strategy on the part of the SCAF. According to Stephan Roll from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, this strategy has three additional components: gauging public opinion, obscuring decision-making processes, and playing the various political parties and movements off against one another. This strategy became evident in the debate over the design of the new Egyptian Constitution. In March 2011 the SCAF announced that a new constitution would be drafted by a constituent assembly. However, in late 2011 when it became clear that the Islamists would dominate the process after winning the elections, secular-oriented politicians pressed for the adoption of “supra-constitutional principles” that would guarantee the establishment of a democratic state with civilian rule. The SCAF tried to use those demands to its own benefit by introducing a document outlining principles of a revised constitution that granted the military even greater authority than it had possessed under the previous constitution: complete control over the defense budget and veto power over all decisions affecting the military. Massive protests convinced the SCAF to withdraw the motion.

On the other hand, since the beginning of the January 25 revolution against Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood has avoided any direct confrontation with the SCAF. Members of the Brotherhood appear to repeatedly seek dialog with the SCAF. The Muslim Brotherhood strategy remains the same as it was under the previous regime: to change the system from within. The Muslim Brotherhood received 41 percent of the Egyptian vote, with 26 percent going to Muslim extremists known as Salafists, a jihadist movement that believes in “holy war” against the “crusaders,” i.e., Christians and Jews. In Arnaud de Borchgrave’s words, “what these two branches of Islam have in common is their idea of “free” elections – one-man, one-vote, one-time. After their expected victory, Egyptians can forget about another free election as far as anyone can peer into the future.”

Indeed, since the Brotherhood is focused on domestic policy, it should have no intrinsic problem accepting the fact that the military will decide on matters of national security and foreign policy, at least initially. This does not mean that motions in the National Assembly will not be raised and discussed and attempts will even be made to constantly undermine the authority of the SCAF. Recent months have provided sufficient proof that although the legislators in the National Assembly have debated and made decisions on crucial issues, the SCAF has either ignored these decisions or worse, adopted steps completely opposed to the decisions of the National Assembly.

Key Issues

a. The NGO Issue: The SCAF decided to release the American defendants in the court case involving pro-democracy NGOs (including the son of the U.S. Transport Secretary), who had been barred from leaving Egypt, after the State Department paid $300,000 bail for each of them. The judge appointed to deal with the case decided on the first day of hearings that the case would be adjourned for a few months. The SCAF is clearly indicating to American legislators that it is still to be considered a U.S. ally and that no limitations should be put on the $1.3 billion in U.S. aid that finances as much as 80 percent of Egyptian military procurement. This contrasts very clearly with the March 11 National Assembly vote to order an end to this aid, a reflection of tensions with the U.S. over the NGO activists charged with illegal activity.

b. Relations with Israel: Even though the atmosphere in Cairo today is not in favor of Israel (as it never really was in the past), the SCAF has given its approval for the continued presence of the Israeli ambassador in Cairo. The SCAF accepted Israel’s regrets for the killing of several Egyptian soldiers in the aftermath of a terrorist action on the road to Eilat in summer 2011. In March 2012, Egyptian intelligence head Murad Mowafi again brokered a cease-fire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. For the eleventh time, Egypt has repaired the gas pipeline with Israel and beefed up its troops in Sinai in its quest to “reconquer” this part of Egypt which had been left to al-Qaeda and Bedouin operatives.

c. The Challenge from Within: Following the departure of the American NGO defendants, Egypt’s parliament voted on March 10 to begin steps to withdraw confidence from the military-appointed government, a move that will pressure the SCAF to appoint a new cabinet led by the Muslim Brotherhood. A vote of no-confidence would take Egypt into new political waters and could set the stage for a confrontation if the SCAF refused to yield to the will of the National Assembly. It could also complicate negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over a $3.2 billion loan the government of Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri is seeking in order to stave off a looming financial crisis after more than a year of political and economic turmoil. The problem for the Egyptian government is that it could not afford to continue antagonizing Washington for too long. Egypt is rapidly running out of foreign exchange reserves. The financial shortfall was created both by the collapse in business and the tourist trade following the revolution, and also as the long-term consequence of an unsustainably high and growing level of public subsidies. The IMF loan is vital if the country is to prevent a severe financial crisis.

d. Domestic Repression: According to several sources, more than 12,000 civilians have been detained by military tribunals in the past year – more than in the Mubarak era that lasted over 30 years. One year after the president’s fall, not a single senior officer in any Egyptian security force has been convicted in the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising. Only recently did an Egyptian court rule as illegal the so-called “virginity tests” endured by hundreds of women who were arrested at rallies, demonstrations or protests. This procedure, performed by male doctors, was used as customary practice by the military.

e. The Trial of Former President Hosni Mubarak: The trial of the former president was slow to start after the revolution. Since he left office, Mubarak has spent no time in prison, instead remaining under 24-hour medical watch at advanced medical facilities. His defense lawyers have been allowed to call hundreds of witnesses, a process that could delay his trial indefinitely. And while Mubarak is granted all of the protections of due process, civilians facing much lesser charges are being tried rapidly in military tribunals. Lawyers, victims, and revolutionary groups have questioned the intentions of the SCAF or government prosecutors to deliver true justice.

To sum up, it seems that the military has managed to outmaneuver other forces in the country (Islamists, revolutionary youth, liberals, business elites, and even foreign governments) by creating conditions on the ground whereby everybody discreetly feels the military should play a role in safeguarding the political process, despite calls for its complete marginalization from political life. It is no coincidence that the only actual democracy Egyptians have ever experienced in five millennia was between 1946, the end of the British mandate, and 1952 when Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser and his “Free Officers” seized power and overthrew the monarchy. Egypt’s military held power for the next 60 years (18 years under Nasser, 12 with Anwar Sadat, and 30 with Hosni Mubarak) and it does not seem likely that Field Marshall Tantawi would be the last of Egypt’s military rulers. Nevertheless, unlike the past, there might be a situation of co-existence between the military and the growing power of Islam in Egyptian society. On this front the military can do very little. The external expressions of Islamocracy are widespread today in Egypt. It would be a fair assessment to say that they are here to last. But in no way does this have to be antagonistic to the actual military rule that still prevails in Egypt.

In today’s reality, a power-sharing arrangement between the SCAF and the Islamists seems very likely. One possible compromise would be to delineate specific areas as domains under the authority of the president-elect, with the establishment of a National Defense Council, much as the SCAF is today, to support him in these policy areas. Such a body is already provided for in the old constitution (Article 182), but it has only an advisory role. The executive roles adopted by the SCAF are pure improvisations because of the political vacuum created by the resignation of Mubarak. Such an alternative could appease the military but would limit the powers of the president and the Islamist-led National Assembly. In other words, it would be the continuation of the situation that prevails today in Egypt. Such an arrangement between the parties would hold as long as the specter of civil war remained present or as long as the Islamists continue to accept the supremacy in power of the military. Any detected weakness in the behavior of the military would be interpreted as a sign to end the de-facto arrangement.

About Jacques Neriah

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

2012/04/06

Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt

Source Washington Times

Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt

Vows to honor treaty with Israel

By Ben Birnbaum

A lawmaker from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday that there would be “no referendum at all” on the country’s peace treaty with Israel, hours after the Islamist group’s presidential candidate made his unexpected bid official.

“We respect international obligations, period,” Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a lawmaker from the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told The Washington Times.

Mr. Dardery was on a good-will tour of Washington this week with three other Muslim Brotherhood representatives. Long shunned by Washington, the group has sought to soften its image in the West as it prepares to assume greater power in post-revolution Egypt.

On Thursday, the White House downplayed the significance of a meeting between administration officials and the Brotherhood’s envoys.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the FJP representatives met with “midlevel” officials from the National Security Council and that it was a reflection of the new politics in Egypt and the “prominent role” the group now plays in Cairo.

“We have broadened our engagement to include new and emerging political parties and actors,” Mr. Carney said.

“Because of the fact that Egypt’s political landscape has changed, the actors have become more diverse and our engagement reflects that,” he said. “The point is that we will judge Egypt’s political actors by how they act, not by their religious affiliation.”

Presidential ambitions

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendancy to power in the aftermath of longtime President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster last year has raised concerns among secular Egyptians and Coptic Christians, as well as U.S. and Israeli officials, about how the fundamentalist group would rule Egypt’s 85 million people and conduct its foreign relations.

Asked whether a Brotherhood-led government would put the 1979 Camp David Accords to a referendum, as many of the group’s leaders have promised, Mr. Dardery said no.

“No referendum at all concerning international obligations,” he said. “All our international agreements are respected by the Freedom and Justice Party, including Camp David.”

Meanwhile, FJP presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater filed papers Thursday with Egypt’s High Presidential Elections Commission. Egyptians will vote in the presidential election’s first round May 23 and 24, with the top two vote-getters facing off in a June 16 runoff.

The Brotherhood had promised not to field a presidential candidate but changed course Saturday, citing threats to democracy from the military council that has ruled Egypt since Mr. Mubarak stepped down in February 2011.

In Washington, Mr. Dardery said the Brotherhood fielded a candidate “to make sure that [the] democracy road is protected by the people of Egypt,” arguing that the military council had refused to give the parliament sufficient authority.

Mr. Shater, a businessman with a reputation for cunning pragmatism, joins a crowded field that includes Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abdoul Futouh. Salafist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail was disqualified Thursday, increasing Mr. Shater’s chances for victory.

Doubts about democracy

A poll taken by Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper found that 58 percent prefer an Islamist candidate.

With Mr. Shater’s entry, some analysts now doubt that Mr. Moussa – once considered the overwhelming favorite – will make the runoff.

“Egypt is not moving toward a democracy,” said Eric Trager, an Egypt analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It is moving toward a competitive theocracy in which the Muslim Brotherhood is pitted against more fundamentalist Salafists.

“The question is only which interpretation of the Shariah will be legislated, not whether Egypt will be a theocratic state.”

The FJP and the hard-line Salafist Nour Party won two-thirds of the seats in recent parliamentary elections and now dominate the constituent assembly tasked with writing Egypt’s new constitution.

The prospect of unchecked Islamist control has frightened secular Egyptians as well as the country’s large Coptic Christian community, which has faced escalating violence over the past year.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this week that U.S. officials “want to see Egypt move forward in a democratic transition, and what that means is you do not and cannot discriminate against religious minorities, women, political opponents.”

Egypt’s Islamist tide also has sparked concerns in Israel, which has maintained a cold but stable peace with its southern neighbor since 1979.

“The Muslim Brothers will not show mercy to us, they will not give way to us, but I hope they will keep the peace,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. “It is important for us, but I think that it is also important for Egypt.”

Despite Mr. Dardery’s statements Thursday, many analysts remain skeptical about the Brotherhood’s true intentions.

Trouble in the Sinai

“Their discourse back at home about Israel being an enemy is consistent with where they have been all along, and I don’t think we should expect any change,” said Steven Cook, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “The Struggle for Egypt.”

“I think their hope is that they can put [the peace treaty] to the side at least for the moment, but the fact that they called for this referendum, the fact that they’ve used this issue makes it hard to believe that they wouldn’t bow to any political pressure [on Israel].”

Israel has had tense relations with Egypt’s military council, which the Jewish state says has not done enough to prevent terrorists from operating in the Sinai Peninsula.

Early Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu warned that the Sinai is becoming a “terror zone” after a rocket fired from the territory struck the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat. No injuries were reported.

The prospect of a further deterioration in relations between the two countries would raise difficult questions for Washington, which has given Egypt roughly $2 billion in aid annually since 1979.

“If they no longer respect agreements reached under previous governments, then they’re not a country worthy of our support,” said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East and South Asia subcommittee.

But Mr. Ackerman, echoing a now-common school of thought in Washington, told The Times that Mr. Shater’s candidacy might be a positive development given the alternative.

“If I was writing the morning line on who can beat the Salafists, it’s the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “And if I have to choose between horrible and not that great, I’ll take not that great.”

Susan Crabtree contributed to this report.

As a Side Note:

A 1991 document written by U.S. MB leader Mohammed Akram (a.k.a. Mohammed Adlouni)explains the goal of the Brotherhood in America, which he identifies as “settlement:”

The general strategic goal of the Brotherhood in America which was approved bythe Shura [Leadership] Council and the Organizational Conference for 1987 is“enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and sta-ble Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observantMuslim base; aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts; presents Islam as acivilization alternative; and supports the global Islamic state, wherever it is.” …Thepriority that is approved by the Shura Council for the work of the Brotherhood inits current and former session is “Settlement.”

The document goes on to explain that “settlement” is a form of jihad aimed at destroying Westerncivilization from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions:The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist process” with all that the wordmeans. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sab-otaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so thatit is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have notprepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and workwherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is noescape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slack-ers and the Mujahidin be equal.

In another part of the document titled “The Process of Settlement,” the author explains that forthe Brotherhood’s goals to be accomplished, it is necessary to have a strong organizational base:In order for Islam and its Movement to become “a part of the homeland” in whichit lives, “stable” in its land, “rooted” in the spirits and minds of its people,“enabled” in the life of its society, [with] firmly established “organizations” onwhich the Islamic structure is built and with which the testimony of civilization isachieved, the Movement must plan and struggle to obtain “the keys” and the toolsof this process in carrying out this grand mission as a “Civilization-Jihadist”responsibility which lies on the shoulders of Muslims and—on top of them—theMuslim Brotherhood in this country….”

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2012/04/03

Iran Sanctions Exemptions Leave Room for Doubt About Obama’s Intentions

Source Commentary Magazine

Iran Sanctions Exemptions Leave Room for Doubt About Obama’s Intentions

Jonathan S. Tobin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that the United States was granting exemptions to Japan and several European countries from sanctions that are intended to prevent the sale of Iranian oil. However, Clinton represented the waivers as part of the administration’s effort to tighten the vise on Iran. This makes some sense, at least as far as Europe is concerned. The European Union has already forbidden its member nations from signing new oil contracts with Iran and has pledged itself to ending existing obligations by July 1. As for Japan, Clinton said the exemption was a reward for their efforts toward reducing their dependence on Iranian oil.

If these exemptions really part of an integrated strategy aimed at tightening the noose around Iran’s economy then it is fair to say that President Obama is keeping his word to implement the sanctions Congress passed last year over his objections. However, it is worth noting that the administration has history of non-enforcement of sanctions on Iran as well as the possibility that such waivers will be used as a way to prolong negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. There is also the likelihood that the exemptions have more to do with a desire to stabilize oil prices than a campaign to force the ayatollahs to renounce their nuclear plans.

Assuming that Clinton means what she says about sticking to a tough policy on Iran, the exemptions are a way to gradually achieve an oil embargo of Iran without causing a major disruption of oil markets that would harm America’s allies. And while avoiding a spike in oil prices is an imperative for the president’s re-election campaign, it is also desirable to avoid any actions that would create windfall profits for Iran.

That said, as the New York Times notes, the real test of the administration’s intentions is whether it is prepared to apply the law to China and India, the nations that are the primary consumers of Iranian oil. China has already committed itself to buying more Iranian oil in the future.

The danger here is not only that Iran doesn’t believe that President Obama has the guts to risk raising oil prices in an election year and thus will continue to defy international efforts to get it to back down. Though the waivers allow the administration some flexibility in implementation of the sanctions, the fear is that when push comes to shove, the president will lack the nerve to punish nations that still prefer to do business with Tehran. The waivers may also encourage the Iranians to use the promise of negotiations to string the West along without them ever having to give up their nukes. As with everything else about the administration’s Iran policy, the key issue here is trust. The Treasury Department has already issued thousands of exemptions to American companies who want to do business with Iran in violation of the law. So long as Obama and Clinton can keep talking tough, they may assume that the public will be unaware of the fact that the crippling sanctions Congress imposed on them are full of holes.

Given Washington’s ardent desire to prevent Israel from taking action against the existential nuclear threat from Iran on its own, the administration will have every incentive to keep granting exemptions while continuing to indulge in bellicose rhetoric aimed at Iran but really intended for the ears of American voters. An American government that is more committed to maintaining a window for dubious diplomacy with Iran than actually forcing Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions may well use the exemptions to avoid a confrontation rather than to achieve their intended purpose.

all emphasis added

2012/03/24

Saudi Wahhabism Expands into Libya

Source JCPA

Saudi Wahhabism Expands into Libya

by Jacques Neriah

Inroads by the Salafi-Wahhabi School of Islam

Since the ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 and in the chaos that has gripped Libya since, fundamentalist Libyans have been pushing for a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Under the umbrella of lawlessness, gunmen calling themselves Salafis broke into the Saif al-Nasr Mosque in Tripoli on November 8, 2011, smashed open the wooden sarcophagus and removed the remains of el-Nasr, a scholar who died 155 years ago, as well as that of a former imam, Hammad Zwai. The gunmen moved the bodies to a Muslim cemetery and, with the help of graffiti left on the walls, explained their disapproval of the Sufi Muslim tradition of burying scholars and teachers in mosques to honor them.

The estimated 200 to 400 members of the local Salafi movement in the small town of Zuwara near the Tunisian border have demolished shrines belonging to adherents of the Ibadi sect, long considered heretics by orthodox Sunni Muslims. In the town’s cemetery, large blocks of stone surround what was once a mausoleum. The large, conical-shaped structure that once adorned it now lies collapsed in the debris.

In January 2012, extremists bulldozed through a wall of an old cemetery in the eastern city of Benghazi, destroyed its tombs, and carried off 29 bodies of respected sages and scholars. They also demolished a nearby Sufi school.

A group of Salafis angered by the burning of the Koran at a NATO military base in Afghanistan entered the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Benghazi on February 24, 2012, and shattered headstones of British and allied servicemen who fought in North African desert campaigns against the Nazis during World War II.

Salafis are intolerant of other schools of Islam and have physically attacked Muslim minorities in other parts of the Arab world, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Many Muslims frequent the shrines of saints, believing the holy men have powers of intercession with the divine. Salafis, however, believe these are pagan rites that must be obliterated from Islam, in line with the teachings of the founder of the Salafi movement, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd el-Wahab (1703-1792) whose philosophy has been the official doctrine of Saudi Arabia since the end of the eighteenth century. Its adherents prefer to call themselves Salafis.

The Wahhabi teachings disapprove of the veneration of historical sites associated with early Islam on the grounds that only God should be worshipped and that veneration of sites associated with mortals leads to idolatry. Many buildings associated with early Islam, including mausoleums and other artifacts, have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia by Wahhabis from the early nineteenth century through the present day.

Indeed, this version of fundamentalist Islam is not typical of Libyan Islam. Moderate Libyan and North African Islam has receded in the face of Wahhabi Islam coming from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries. Under Gaddafi, the regime succeeded mostly in containing the Salafi push. But in areas remote from the center (Benghazi), the Salafis, together with al-Qaeda elements that apply a strict Wahhabi Islam, succeeded not only to survive the persecutions of the Gaddafi regime, but also succeeded in proselytizing their school of thought among the Libyans who were the backbone of the fighters in Afghanistan.

Throughout Libya, Gaddafi’s fall has emboldened Salafis, who were persecuted and imprisoned under the now deceased leader. They have increased their public presence, taken over mosques, and even raised the flag of al-Qaeda over the courthouse in Benghazi where the revolution began eleven months ago. Gaddafi’s disappearance and the link between the Qatari regime and the fighting militias particularly exposed the connection with Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the head of the Tripoli Military Council and former Guantanamo Bay inmate, and has created a situation where the military commanders of Libya are part and parcel of the Salafi-Wahhabi school of Islam. This explains their attitude towards the prevalent Sufi Islam in North Africa.

Moreover, for thirty years, massive amounts of oil money have been used to drown the Middle East and North Africa in Wahhabi ideas. The purpose of this support for the Wahhabi school of thought is basically political, in that the Saudi system of government depends on an alliance between the ruling family and the Wahhabi sheikhs. Hence, spreading the Wahhabi ideology reinforces the political system in that country.

Libyans exposed to Wahhabi ideas see a society different from theirs. Men and women are completely segregated, but rates of sexual harassment and rape are among the highest in the world. Alcohol is banned but many people drink in secret. The law does not apply to princes, who can do what they like, confident that they are immune from punishment. Libyans learn that performing your prayers on time is not voluntary, as it is in Libya, but a compulsory obligation, and if you are late the police might arrest you and harm you. They learn that if you are walking along the street with your wife and her hair is accidentally uncovered, then a policeman will pounce on her to hit her with a stick and make her cover her head. Women in Tripoli are already feeling the heaviest burden to conform. They have been under pressure to dress conservatively since Gaddafi’s downfall.

In January, hundreds of Libyan Salafis rallied to demand that Muslim Shari’a law inspire legislation. Assembled by Islamist political and religious groups, mostly young and bearded men holding up copies of the Koran demonstrated in squares in the capital Tripoli, the eastern city of Benghazi, and in Sabha in the southern desert. In Tripoli’s Algeria Square, Islamists burned copies of the “Green Book,” Gaddafi’s pronouncements on politics, economics, and everyday life, to underline that the Koran should be the country’s main source of legislation.

The chairman of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdul Jalil, promised in October to uphold Islamic law. “We as a Muslim nation have taken Islamic Shari’a as the source of legislation; therefore, any law that contradicts the principles of Islam is legally nullified,” he said. The NTC says that the new constitution that will be drafted by a panel elected in June must have Islamic law, i.e. Shari’a, as its principal source. How Shari’a will be interpreted remains uncertain until the constitution is drafted.

Economic Islamism

The new trend in Libyan Islam is also weighing on the economy. The deputy governor of the central bank of Libya stated that a law regulating Islamic banking would be issued in the first quarter of 2012, but stressed that both conventional and Islamic banks would be allowed to operate in Libya. Islamists in Algeria Square in Tripoli held up placards demanding a financial system respecting Islam’s ban on interest and calling for a constitution derived from Shari’a’s legal and moral codes.

Along with Libya, Egypt is also preparing a law that will pave the way for the issuance of Sukuk the Arabic name for financial certificates, commonly referring to the Islamic equivalent of bonds. Since fixed income, interest bearing bonds are not permissible in Islam, Sukuk securities are structured to comply with Islamic law and its investment principles that prohibit charging or paying interest. The Islamist party that won Tunisia’s election says it will encourage the establishment of stand-alone Islamic lenders.

Islamic banking services in Libya are limited today to Murabaha, a three-party contract where a customer places an order at a bank to purchase goods from a supplier by paying a deposit and secures the rest through collateral. The bank sells the goods back to the customer at a mark-up with a fixed credit period.

The Break-Up of Libya?

On the one-year anniversary of the start of the Libyan revolution, the NTC seems to have lost control of what used to be a united Libya. The NTC is unable to impose its authority over regional military bodies, while tensions between secular and Islamist groups are surfacing in all spheres because of the clash between two versions of Islam: The North African (and Libyan) version and the Salafi-Wahhabi school of thought represented by the militias.

The country itself has split into two semi-autonomous regions. Representatives of about 100 militias from western Libya declared in January 2012 that they had formed a new federation to prevent infighting and to allow them to press the country’s new government for further reform. The leader of the new federation, Col. Mokhtar Fernana, said the council’s committee in charge of integrating revolutionary fighters was taking in men who had fought for Colonel Gaddafi.

Beginning in March 2012, tribal leaders and militia commanders declared eastern Libya to be a semiautonomous state. The thousands of representatives of major tribal leaders, militia commanders, and politicians who made the declaration at a conference in Benghazi said the move was not intended to divide the country. They declared that they want their region to remain part of a united Libya, but insisted the move was needed to stop decades of discrimination against the east.

The conference stated that the eastern state, known as Barqa, would have its own parliament, police force, courts and capital – Benghazi, the country’s second largest city – to run its own affairs. Under their plan, foreign policy, the national army, and oil resources would be left to a central federal government in the capital Tripoli in the west. Barqa would cover nearly half the country, from central Libya to the Egyptian border in the east and down to the borders with Chad and Sudan in the south.

The announcement aimed to pose a federal system as a fait accompli before the National Transitional Council. The goal is to revive the system that was in place between 1951 and 1963 when Libya, ruled by a monarchy, was divided into three states: Tripolitania in the west, Fezzan in the southwest, and Cyrenaica in the east – or Barqa, as it was called in Arabic.

Sufism vs. Salafism

Polarization between the two main schools of Islam in Libya, Sufism and Salafism, has created two distinct camps fighting one another. The tension between the traditional Sufis and the Salafis, influenced by Saudi Wahhabis and other ultra-conservative foreign Islamists, has become a key divide in Libyan politics as parties begin to form to contest free elections in June. At present the Sufis are on the defensive and behave accordingly. Sufi militiamen guard the remaining mosques in Tripoli, including the Sha’b Mosque, home to the body of a revered scholar, Abdul Sahfi, which is interred in a large stone sarcophagus.

Libyan Sufis staged a joyous parade through the heart of Tripoli and Benghazi to mark the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, defying radical Salafi Muslims who were pressuring them to scrap the centuries-old tradition. Chanting hymns to the beat of drums and cymbals, marchers choked the narrow alleys of the walled old town to celebrate the feast of Mawlid (birth), a favorite event for pious Sufis whose spirituality is an integral part of North African Islam. The celebrations were the first since the fall last August of Muammar Gaddafi, who kept religion under firm control during his 42-year dictatorship, and went ahead despite concerns that hardliners might attack the marchers as heretics.

This is the essence of the phenomenon: the disconnect between belief and behavior is a social malaise that emanates from Saudi Arabia and has spread like a plague throughout almost all the Arab world, just as it has spread into Islamist groups. Libya is clearly its victim, as are other Arab states that have witnessed the so-called “Arab Spring.”

*      *      *

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

Former Iraqi PM Warns Iran ‘Swallowing’ His Country

Source CNS

Former Iraqi PM Warns Iran ‘Swallowing’ His Country

Iraqi former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi warned Iran is “swallowing” his country and the United States is ignoring it. He said he believes Iran is working through its Shiite allies in Iraq.

According to The Washington Times, Allawi said Iran is mostly responsible for what he calls an “emerging dictatorship” in Iraq.

Attacks have rocked the country since Iraqi leaders told all U.S. troops to leave last December. Meanwhile, Allawi said there is no democracy in Iraq.

“To be honest, people speak about Arab Spring,” Allawi said. “What spring is this?”

“Spring is associated with green, renewal of life. We are having blood pouring everywhere in the region and destruction and dismemberment of countries, and chaos is happening,” he told the Times.

Iraq’s vice-president is in hiding after being charged with terrorism against Shiites, a charge some say is politically motivated.

Allawi, who is Sunni, claimed the U.S. allowed the Shiite majority in Iraq to violate a power sharing agreement two years ago. The U.S. State Department has rejected Allawi’s claims.

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Intelligence community can keep data on Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to 5 years

Source WaPo

Intelligence community can keep data on Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to 5 years

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.

Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been called for by members of Congress who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans.

“It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said of the five-year retention period.

The government put in strong safeguards at the NCTC for the data that would be collected on U.S. citizens for intelligence purposes, Rotenberg said. These new guidelines undercut the Federal Privacy Act, he said.

“The fact that this data can be retained for five years on U.S. citizens for whom there’s no evidence of criminal conduct is very disturbing,” Rotenberg said.

“Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself,” Rotenberg said, referring to the Defense Department’s post-9/11 data-mining research program that was killed in 2003 because of privacy concerns.

The Washington Post first reported the new rules Thursday.

The Obama administration said the new rules come with strong safeguards for privacy and civil liberties as well. Before the NCTC may obtain data held by another government agency, there is a high-level review to assure that the data “is likely to contain significant terrorism information,” Alexander Joel, the civil liberties protection officer at national intelligence directorate, said in a news release Thursday.

The NCTC was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to be the central U.S. organization to analyze and integrate intelligence regarding terrorism.

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