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Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism

A Day to be Proud

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Rick Rescorla in the La Drang Valley, Vietnam, 1965

I did not want this day to pass without making some reference to the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and in particular one American, Rick Rescorla, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Powerline blog has put up this story every year on this date, and you should read it and also the links.

Rescorla was a British native who moved to the United States to join the Army and fight the Communists in Vietnam. Rescorla was inspired to move to the United States in part by his friendship with Dan Hill. Their friendship is the one constant theme of the book (Heart of a Soldier). Hill and Rescorla had become friends in Rhodesia; they consciously modeled themselves on the characters of Peachy and Dravot in Kipling’s story “The Man Who Would Be King.” Later they both served as officers in Vietnam, where in 1965 Rescorla saw harrowing combat in the Ia Drang Valley.

That story alone is worth a post, as Rescorla played a key role in organising his troops and keeping their moral up, often by singing Cornish songs like Men of Harlech (his ancestors were from there and he often visited with his many relatives in the area).

Rescorla died a hero’s death saving his charges at Morgan Stanley in the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Rescorla was head of security for the company; he directed the evacuation in which he had long drilled the company’s WTC employees. He knew that a terrorist attack on the WTC was coming and he knew what had happened as soon as the building was hit. His message was one of resolve. Using a bullhorn, he shepherded his charges into the tower’s one usable fire escape and exhorted them that it was “a day to be proud to be an American.”

I’d like a movie to be made about him because it’s a hell of story. And I’d like to think he was occasionally singing Men of Harlech as he guided people to safety.

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On the downside is this article, The Forgetting of 9/11 by a man who was just starting his career as a Liberal Arts professor when the attack happened. He writes of the responses of his professorial peers at the time and ends with this:

9/11 has already reached a space of collective oblivion that it took Pearl Harbor many more decades to reach. This is because the force that ultimately pushed both of these hallowed days of  our civil religion into the twisted narratives of the America-hating Woke elite is the same: the fracturing of our culture into two irreconcilable sides, and the vast and rapid increase of the cultural reach of those who want all narratives of traditional American heroism and national identity to disappear.

We will in these days around September 11 read a good number of claims of how “we must never forget.” I know what these claims look like, as I have made them myself. I have spent a good deal of the 21 years since the attacks doing work to keep alive the memory of the heroes of that day. I regrettably admit that my faith in this project is extinguished. Most of America has already forgotten, and at least half of it remembers the day as a sign of American fallenness and failure.

A Queen is dead. A pandemic is slowly coming to an end. Half a world away a war rages on soil that once meant something only to WWII history buffs. The world moves on.

But I will not forget.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 12, 2022 at 7:29 pm

It sounds better in the original German

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Hot on the heels of the Democrat Party amping up the pressure on Supreme Court Justices over the anticipated overthrow of the current abortion SCOTUS rulings – with illegal protests (no arrests so far) outside the homes of selected Justices by “Ruth Sent Us” and multiple arson attacks on pregnancy centres across the country by “Jane’s Revenge” – comes this lovely little indicator of how the Democrats think when democracy doesn’t go their way:

“This is, in my opinion, a diseased Republican Party. And it needs to be cured and cleansed,” Houlahan said. “So the stakes of having a Republican, as an example, in my seat are more than just policy differences. They are democracy, in my opinion.”

Mmmmmm…. cleansing! Tasty, tasty cleansing.

Ms Houlahan won her competitive Pennsylvania seat in 2020 but is now facing strong headwinds for re-election thanks to Biden being underwater in her state, with 35% approval and 54% disapproval, according to Civiqs. Like Biden and many other Democrats this means she’s had to change her message about her opponents (and their voters) from what she said at the time:

She credited her political success to her message of “civility,” “decency,” “unity,” and “empathy.” “People ask me constantly how I flipped a seat in a competitive district. One of the reasons is that I made civility and decency a core of my campaign,” Houlahan said at the time. “Pennsylvanians want unity. They want leaders who rise above the fray and lead with kindness and empathy towards all Americans.”

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

If you think about it long enough you’ll realise that “cleansing” your political opponents is what civil, decent people do when they’re aiming for unity – and they’ll be empathetic about the process.

Okay, so it’s politics almost as usual, but you’d think she wouldn’t be so blatant, although I appreciate the honesty. Based on a reading of Democrat activists and many ordinary Democrat voters she’s merely being a ventriloquist here.

However, judging by a recent poll it would seem that voters have looked at the words of Ms Houlahan and other Democrats like Nancy “Domestic terrorists” Pelosi and Joe “Ultra-MAGA” Biden and feel that they know who the real threat to Democracy is and who is best to protect it: the Twitter response from this headline says it all.

Awwwww…. another moron who thought the Jan6 “commission” would work brilliantly as anti-GOP propaganda. I’m sure his is not the only Democrat head exploding about this result.

This feels like a teaching moment, the appropriate time to remind people of some good old Democrat/Left propaganda that has embedded itself as a myth=fact. Take it away Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University.

BTW, as an example of how far that propaganda has fallen in effectiveness – it’s peak was probably 2008 in the wake of Obama’s victory when the common wisdom was that the GOP was The Party Of Old White Southern Men and they better get with Obama’s policies just to survive – comes news from Texas….

That district voted for Clinton in 2016 by 33 points, Biden in 2020 by 13 points and had been Democrat since 1870. The district is being re-made and Ms Flores will face a tough fight against a pro-life (snigger) Democrat with a 15% + theoretical Democrat lead.

Mayra Flores

But islands are no match for tsunamis, and the Red Tsunami (GOP) is building momentum.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 18, 2022 at 10:22 am

Who will rid me of this troublesome Justice?

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I’ve finally found a real US domestic terrorist threat that Biden’s poolboy, Merrick Garland, and his fabulous FBI and DOJ, could look into.

But this is a domestic terrorist group associated with the US Left and the Democrat Party so naturally there’s no interest.

When I say no interest I mean the MSM as well..

As always.

You think that these are merely “protests”? No, the “Ruth Sent Us” group also include juicy information like the above stuff about Barrett, just in case someone as passionate as Nick Roske decides to take sterner measures and needs to know exactly where to go (wink, wink)

However, there’s a new group on the scene and even their name is more explicit, “Jane’s Revenge”

Radical abortion activists who firebombed the office of a pro-life groups in Wisconsin and Oregon and who have vandalized over a dozen churches and pregnancy centers have struck again.

Early this morning police and fire departments in Buffalo, New York responded to smoke and fire at CompassCare, a pro-life medical office and pregnancy center that helps women and children. The building was firebombed and the windows in the reception room and nurses’ office were broken and fires lit.

Graffiti on the building left by the arsonists refers to the abortion terrorist group Jane’s Revenge reading, “Jane Was Here.” The group took responsibility for a firebombing of a pro-life organization in Madison, Wisconsin in May, and it could have been responsible for bombing the offices of Oregon Right to Life during the same month. It has also vandalized and destroyed multiple churches and pregnancy centers.

Actually we’re up to fifty nine such attacks as of this writing and Jane’s Revenge has made it clear that there will be more by sending out a announcement, which is as clear as Osama Bin Laden’s was in 1998:

You have seen that we are real, and that we are not merely pushing empty words. As we said: we are not one group but many. You have seen us in Madison WI, Ft. Collins CO, Reisertown MA, Olympia WA, Des Moines IA, Lynwood WA, Washington DC, Ashville NC, Buffalo NY, Hollywood FL, Vancouver WA, Frederick MA, Denton TX, Gresham OR, Eugene OR, Portland OR, among others, and we work in countless locations invisibly. You’ve read the communiqués from the various cells, you’ve seen the proliferating messages in graffiti and elsewhere, and you know that we are serious

Your thirty days expired yesterday. We offered an honourable way out. You could have walked away. Now the leash is off. And we will make it as hard as possible for your campaign of oppression to continue. We have demonstrated in the past month how easy and fun it is to attack. We are versatile, we are mercurial, and we answer to no one but ourselves. We promised to take increasingly drastic measures against oppressive infrastructures. Rest assured that we will, and those measures may not come in the form of something so easily cleaned up as fire and graffiti.

In other words, it’s a terrorist communique.

I do have to wonder why the SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts has not simply issued the decision. Is he actually hoping that all this pressure will change one Conservative vote, even if only for the base reason of “not wanting violence”?

Meantime the President has finally spoken up…

“Violence and destruction of property have no place in our country under any circumstances, and the President denounces this,” White House Assistant Press Secretary Alexandra LaManna told The Daily Wire. “We should all agree that actions like this are completely unacceptable regardless of our politics,” she added.

Wow! The Assistant Press Secretary, someone you’ve never heard of, issuing a statement… via email and emphatically not on camera, so that they’ll be no actual evidence that the White House condemned one its few remaining Mid-Term Election Friends, as far as the Video-Is-King media is concerned.

You can tell they’re really serious about this.

I’m just waiting for the big FBI takedown where half of Jane’s Revenge will turn out to be FBI undercover operatives, like the collapsed case of the Great Kidnap Governor Whitmer Plot.

Aborted Assassinations

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The results of a US survey were released the other day in which a rather unusual question was asked:

“Do you approve or disapprove of assassinating a politician who is harming the country or our democracy?”

Well, the answer is obvious surely? No!

Holy shit! Nearly half of Democrat men under the age of 50 (44 %) approved, as did 34% of younger Republican men, 40% of Republican woman, and 32% of Democrat woman. Look at the generation gap also!

And so we come to this. A man, Nicholas Roske, was arrested the other day when he turned up at the home of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, equipped with a pistol, ammo, various bits of tactical gear, and openly calling the cops to tell them he was going to kill the Justice because of the anticipated US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) abortion decision. They’d already spotted him getting out of a taxi beside Kavanaugh’s home and looking damned suspicious to the Marshalls guarding the home so his call was moot.

Since last year I’d planned to do a post on the decision from the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on abortion, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, expecting its release in June/July 2022. The most important such case in decades, with a majority of Originalist or Textualist judges on the Supreme bench, there was a distinct possibility that the fifty year old standard, Roe v Wade, and even the more recent confirmation of that decision, the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs Casey, would be overturned and the issue returned to the legislators of the fifty US states to decide. But I’m not going to address the actual decision until it’s confirmed.

However, that process was disrupted a month ago when persons unknown within SCOTUS leaked to the MSM a draft of the conservative opinion and argument. As expected it over-turns Roe and other similar cases and since it was written by Justice Alito it seems certain that it represents the majority. Nothing has since appeared to contradict that, although it’s still possible that it may be merely the dissent.

The leak itself was an unprecedented move that shocked the legal community because it struck directly at the heart of the Court’s ability to debate and decide constitutional issues free from immediate political pressures. It also struck at the heart of the trust required between the Justices themselves for those debates and arguments to occur in a dispassionate and calm way.

This was quite deliberate. Obviously a Court member, likely a clerk for one of the three Liberal Justices, possibly one of those three Justices themselves, had seen the decision and decided that public pressure might change it by convincing one of the conservative Justices to cave. Damage to the court be damned.

But of course they had outside help, in the form of the good old MSM, as Stromata points out in The Unsung Villians of the Supreme Court Leak:

Chief Justice Roberts has ordered the Court’s marshal to investigate the leak. Whether the culprit will be found seems dubious, but there are three guilty parties who can be identified and who, although they almost certainly cannot be prosecuted, can be shunned by all polite company. They are Politico and the two writers whose names appear on the story proclaiming the leak: Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward.

Neither the web publisher nor its employees innocently picked up the draft opinion from off the street. They knew that it was stolen. They knew that no Supreme Court opinion has ever, in the history of the United States of America, been released without the Court’s authorization, no matter how important or controversial its subject. They knew that, in the normal course of its activity, the Court would have published its decision within the next two months. They knew that the Justices often continue considering and refining opinions until shortly before they are announced. They knew that the Court’s effectiveness has for over two centuries depended crucially on trust among the Justices and their staff.

They knew and didn’t care. For the frisson of a “big story”, and almost certainly with the hope of assisting the Democratic Party, they peddled their ill-gotten goods and inflicted serious harm on our nation’s highest judicial body. Honorable men would have written a story beginning, “Today, a person connected to the Supreme Court attempted to give Politico confidential Court documents concerning an upcoming decision. Politico has returned the documents unread to the Court chambers and advised the Justices of the identity of the miscreant.”

One of the benefits of an unfettered press is that scoundrels eventually identify themselves. Remember their names and cover them with maledictions: Politico, Gerstein, Ward.

The pro-abortion movement certainly treated the leak as both real and decisive and immediately cranked up the protests, aided by a Democrat Party that’s desperate to avoid an electoral disaster in this year’s Mid-Term elections in November. One group, Ruth Sent Us, went further, doxxing the locations of the conservative Justices and organising protests outside them. They tried to weasel out of being responsible by saying they hadn’t actually put up the addresses, but in their videos they made no effort to hide the house numbers. It was from this list that Roske got his targeting information.

Amidst all of this you had senior Democrats like VP Kamala Harris saying they would have “fight” with “everything we have”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn’t much better as she specifically called on the public to act to “improve” the decision, about as clear an example of intimidation as you can get. Senate leader Chuck Schumer said that Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett had lied in their Senate hearings in answering questions on abortion, this on top of his comments two years ago to Gorsuch & Kavanaugh that:

“You will pay the price.. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions”

Sure, you can argue that this is all just typical political hot air – which I could agree with if I hadn’t seen similar, ordinary political speech from the likes of Trump and Sarah Palin (in the Giffords shooting of 2011) held to be “incitement” to violent followers, with the MSM once more helping out by amplifying those claims while memory-holing the likes of Bernie Bro assassin, James T Hodgkinson and his shooting of GOP members of Congress

Moreover, Virginia State law prohibits such protesting against judges precisely because it is understood to be an attempt to intimidate them in making their decisions. Notably nobody has been prosecuted by either the Virginia law authorities or the Federal DOJ.

The cherry on top on is that President Biden, via his press secretary at the time, Jen Pasaki, refused to condemn the protests despite repeated invitations from some reporters to do so; encouragement with a wink from the President.

Finally, there are specific examples arising from the prosecution of violent criminal actions involving allies of the Democrats. The mug shots below are of two people – Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman – who were arrested in New York City in 2020 for assembling Molotov cocktails, handing them out to the “mostly peaceful” crowds protesting George Floyd’s death, and even firebombing an empty police car.

Ginning herself up to distribute explosives to the crowd, Rahman gave a video interview in which she declared, “This shit won’t ever stop until we fuckin’ take it all down,” adding that “the only way [the police] hear us is through violence.”

Domestic terrorism doesn’t get much clearer, no? Many years of jail time resulting?

Not so fast, lynchers:

They reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in October 2020 that wiped out six of the seven charges against them. Those prosecutors, nonetheless, sought a maximum 10-year sentence and argued that the incident qualified for a so-called terrorism enhancement that would turbocharge sentencing–a determination with which the U.S. Probation Office concurred.

Well, that’s the marginally acceptable; charges are often dropped to focus on the important one. But then Merrick Garland – himself proposed for SCOTUS during Obama’s last year after Justice Scalia died – and the U.S. attorney for New York’s Eastern District, Breon Peace, who’s handling the prosecution, took office and in May, the same career DOJ prosecutors who had argued for that 10-year sentence were back in court withdrawing their plea deal, tossing out the terrorism enhancement entirely and entering a new one that allowed the defendants to cop to the lesser charge of conspiracy:

The new charge carries a five-year maximum sentence, but the prosecutors are urging the judge to go below that, asking for just 18 to 24 months on account of the “history and personal characteristics of the defendants” and the “aberrational nature of the defendants’ conduct.”

Because, you know, Mattis graduated from Princeton and New York University Law School and was an attorney at the white-shoe law firm Pryor Cashman, and Rahman was a public-interest lawyer whose “best friend,” Obama administration intelligence official Salmah Rizvi, guaranteed the $250,000 required to release her on bail.

Law360, which reported on the events, calls the new deal an “unusual step.”

That’s some understatement. Then combine this outcome with the hundreds of Antifa and BLM rioters from 2020 who had all charges dropped (only a handful convicted), Clinton and Democrat Party lawyer Michael Sussman being found not guilty by a jury selected from a 92% Biden voting D.C. pool, the wrist slap given FBI lawyer Clinesmith for falsifying CIA emails and lying to the FISA court, and the general escape from justice of the Obama-Clinton team players on the Russia-Collusion attempted coup.

In the face of all this why should anybody be surprised at either that poll result or Kavanaugh’s would-be assassin. It shows that you’re basically looking at a Democrat Party that not only encourages such violence against Republicans – politicians, activists and voters alike – but strongly signals that you’ll get away with it.

Time to re-visit the possibilities of A second American Civil War and A Civil Break, not a Civil War.

Really quite atrocious

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The world gets sillier with each passing day.

The ridiculous creature you’ve just watched is now the head of a new part of the US Department of Homeland Security, the Disinformation Governance Board.

What a coincidence that this announcement comes just days after Elon Musk buying Twitter and the Liberal world setting its hair on fire as a result.

The Department of Homeland Security is setting up a new board designed to counter misinformation related to homeland security, with a focus specifically on Russia and irregular migration. The board will be called the “Disinformation Governance Board,” and will be headed by executive director Nina Jankowicz.

And there it is right out of the gate, “irregular migration”. So we won’t be able to say “open borders” any longer? Or “illegal aliens”, (even though that’s the legal term) without the ban hammer coming down, or worse.

I’m going to call it the Ministry of Truth from here on because that’s entirely appropriate.

Ms Jankowicz herself writes:

Now that I’ve got it: a HUGE focus of our work, and indeed, one of the key reasons the Board was established, is to maintain the Dept’s commitment to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties.

That sounds like exactly the opposite of what this board is designed for. It’s purpose will be to stamp out information that the Biden administration doesn’t like, censor any thoughts that run counter to the MSM narrative of the day, and “fact-check” points of view deemed “inappropriate.”

The thing is that she herself is a peddler of disinformation as, for example, the 2020 claim that Hunter Biden’s business records were a Russian plant. In fact she was still pushing this as of March 2021.

Amazing how all those “natsec experts” were completely wrong, although that’s being generous as I think they just flat-out lied: they’ll probably gets jobs working for her at the Ministry of Truth. Hmmm… DGB… that acronym rings a bell.

It was the claim that it was Russian Disinformation that was the actual disinformation — partisan Democrat Deep State disinformation. As the new Disinformation Czarina, she should, of course, be eager to apologise for her previous disinformation. What are the odds?

I see some back-peddling going on with the Biden Administration now claiming that work on this started on Trump’s watch in 2020. Oh really? When during 2020 did this “work” begin? What exactly was that “work,” of which the current bureau is a merely a “continuation”? Did Trump ever hear about it? Did the Trump administration ever appoint an Executive Director of a Ministry of Truth?

Actually it’s fun to imagine the Liberal world’s reaction if Trump had done this. It would have made the Musk meltdown look like nothing.

But then something like this was always on the cards with the DHS. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks twenty years ago I figured that President GW Bush would tear down the CIA, FBI and other “intelligence” agencies that had so clearly failed and then re-build them into something fit for purpose. But instead, as a typical Moderate, Centrist Right Winger – the sort who loves Big Government almost as much as the Left does – he simply created yet another giant bureaucracy called the Department of Homeland Security and draped it over the top of the existing failures, supposedly to tie them together better.

Claims from the Right and Left that making the National Security state even bigger posed future dangers to the freedom of Americans was ignored in the heat of 9/11 emotions. The Right – admittedly mainly Libertarians – saw it as just another example of how bigger government creates bigger problems in the future, mainly because it further empowers those who love state power for its own sake in controlling individuals. The Left had traditionally felt uneasy about the NatSec state – until recently it seems, now that there’s a chance it can be weaponised against Right Wing enemies.

As silly as Ms Jankowicz appears, this is deadly serious. That joking meme of GW is no joke when you read official shit from the DHS like their March 2021 report, ‘Internal Review of Domestic Violent Extremism.’:

A March 2021 unclassified threat assessment prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Department of Justice, and DHS, noted that domestic violent extremists “who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States pose an elevated threat to the Homeland in 2021.”

The assessment pointed to newer “sociopolitical developments such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence” that “will almost certainly spur some [domestic violent extremists] [sic] to try to engage in violence this year.”

This is what DHS is now all about, exactly as its critics predicted two decades ago, and this new Board is simply another drawing back of the covers to reveal the machinery underneath. What’s next?

It’s probably easier going after “domestic violent extremists” than after the people that were originally supposed to be the focus of DHS: people like Nidal Hassan, Omar Mateen, Fahreed Skyhook and his concubine and at least a dozen or so other attackers as well as plots that were only foiled by sheer dumb luck rather than by the DHS/FBI.

It’s appropriate to leave you with this interesting article: Would censorship have stopped the rise of the Nazis? The short answer is no!

Weimar Germany had laws banning hateful speech (particularly hateful speech directed at Jews), and top Nazis including Joseph Goebbels, Theodor Fritsch and Julius Streicher actually were sentenced to prison time for violating them. The efforts of the Weimar Republic to suppress the speech of the Nazis are so well known in academic circles that one professor has described the idea that speech restrictions would have stopped the Nazis as “the Weimar Fallacy.” 

Meh – I couldn’t leave it on such a grim note, so here’s the original silliness, featuring what is generally agreed to be one of the worst fake accents on film, courtesy of American actor Dick Van Dyke as a Cockney chimney sweep.

Kudos to New York City

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Almost every large city in the USA that is controlled by the Democrat party is a disaster area in terms of economics, crime and just about every other factor you can think of.

So it’s nice to see one part of one of these cities that actually works.

The NYPD’s Counter Terrorism Unit.

It may come as a surprise to people that such a thing would exist down at a city level (or municipal level as the American’s would have it), but when you consider that some 50,000 people work for the NYPD you’re talking about a place as large as some small European nations, and certainly much larger than NZ.

The article is a fascinating look into the history of the unit, which of course was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Why the city did not want to just rely on the Federal agencies like the FBI is a story in itself and the one problem I have with this article is that it does not explain.

But another article from January 2003 in the magazine New York, does, with the direct question, why not just rely on the Feds?:

When I ask Kelly this question, he looks at me long and hard. He is a man who knows his way around Washington. In addition to his time in the mid-nineties as undersecretary of the Treasury, he was head of the Customs Service. He also worked for Interpol and was a special State Department envoy in Haiti where he was sent to establish and train a police force.

“I knew we couldn’t rely on the federal government,” Kelly says finally. “I know it from my own experience. We’re doing all the things we’re doing because the federal government isn’t doing them. It’s not enough to say it’s their job if the job isn’t being done. Since 9/11, the federal government hasn’t taken any additional resources and put them here.”

Given the supposed focus on terrorism by the Federal government after 9/11 you would have thought it was a given that they’d be throwing resources into a city that had, as Kelly says, been attacked four times, twice successfully, and remains the most symbolic, substantive target for the terrorists.

That article was written when the unit was in its infancy. The first article, from the superb City Journal magazine, catches the status quo, and it’s impressive:

The New York Police Department has foiled some 51 terrorist plots against the city since 9/11, at least 16 of them serious—more than those aimed at all other American cities combined. “Looking back, it really worked,” said former police commissioner Ray Kelly, credited with having spearheaded what is widely regarded as the gold standard of urban counterterrorism programs.

To be fair to the Federal government the unit was not entirely home grown:

Much to the chagrin of some of the NYPD’s rank and file, Kelly’s top two counterterrorism deputies came from Washington. To lead the NYPD’s expanded Intelligence Division, he chose David Cohen, a former deputy director of the CIA’s operations wing who had helped create the agency’s Alec Station in 1996, which focused on Osama bin Laden before most Americans knew his name. Kelly also recruited Michael Sheehan, former State Department head of counterterrorism, to run the department’s new Counterterrorism Bureau.

They put a 1000 people into the unit, conducted a massive effort to computerise the rest of the NYPD, set up sections that gathered intelligence on every part of the city’s communities, conducted active work with businesses in the city, and even stationed agents in places as far afield as London (working with New Scotland Yard), Lyons at Interpol HQ, Hamburg, Tel Aviv, and Toronto. There are also two cops on assignment at FBI headquarters in Washington, and New York detectives have traveled abroad to conduct interrogations in Afghanistan and parts of the Middle East.

Cohen had quickly hired two dozen civilian intelligence analysts, most with master’s degrees and Ph.D.s from top universities. There were so many pedigreed analysts that Kelly began calling the division a “Council on Foreign Relations with guns.” Its mission, however, proved deadly serious, as it played a role in detecting and foiling plot after plot.

All this from a city police department. Not surprisingly there has been some friction with the FBI at times, but it seems to be working.

One thing that struck me was how many combat-experienced military people led this effort and the tough professionalism of them and the senior cops. It feels like quite a contrast to the group currently in the Pentagon and a number of very poor Police Commissioners around the US at the moment.

Read both articles.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2021 at 11:46 am

The Falling Man

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I guess many of us have been wondering what the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks would be like? How it would be remembered? What feelings might exist?

Also the thought of looking back and comparing what the future looked like from that point forward to what has actually transpired, as well as looking forward from today in terms of the future of terrorism and how Western societies, especially America, might deal with that going forward.

But those are for other posts.

One of the things I never imagined for the 20th anniversary was that the circle would be so perfectly completed by two images taken twenty years apart.

The current US government has given us that perfect circle. We are almost right back where we started.

There are so many stories associated with this day. But for me there are two. First is the one published in Esquire in 2003, The Falling Man. It concerns the efforts made to identify the man in that photo on the left, and it contains some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read on that terrible subject.

In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying.

Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else—something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man’s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, 

The next morning, that photo appeared on page seven of The New York Times, but it also appeared in hundreds of newspapers around the USA and the world. Of course it did; it was too perfect a photo not to. But then it vanished, and the essay tries to explain why. The chapters of the essay are split by the other photos of the same man and they tell a different truth:

Photographs lie. Even great photographs. Especially great photographs. The Falling Man in Richard Drew’s picture fell in the manner suggested by the photograph for only a fraction of a second, and then kept falling. The photograph functioned as a study of doomed verticality, a fantasia of straight lines, with a human being slivered at the center, like a spike. In truth, however, the Falling Man fell with neither the precision of an arrow nor the grace of an Olympic diver. He fell like everyone else, like all the other jumpers—trying to hold on to the life he was leaving, which is to say that he fell desperately, inelegantly.

One reporter approached, carefully, a number of families that the man might have belonged too. From his clothes it is certain that he worked in the Windows of The World restaurant. One family split on the agreement, some thinking it was him, Norberto Hernandez, who had jumped out of a window. But his wife – they had been together since she was 15 – denied it was him.

The Norberto Hernandez Eulogia knew would not have been deterred by smoke or by fire in his effort to come home to her. The Norberto Hernandez she knew would have endured any pain before he jumped out of a window. When the Norberto Hernandez she knew died, his eyes were fixed on what he saw in his heart—the faces of his wife and his daughters—and not on the terrible beauty of an empty sky.

Will any article ever appear in Esquire that attempts to track down the men who fell from that plane in Kabul? I doubt it. We humans can only extend our compassion so far beyond our closest loves; the tribe, perhaps even a nation.

To that end I may as well tell my story of that day. Two weeks earlier I had put my wife and little boy on to a plane bound for Europe, where they would travel to Poland with her sister and father to see other relatives. As is often the case with parents I felt a bit down after seeing them off and this was observed by a close friend that I had a beer with afterwards before heading home to relieve the baby sitter taking care of our baby daughter.

He pressed me on the fact that I seemed more down than could be explained by such a parting and it was then that I told him that I was depressed because I thought that a terrorist attack might occur in Europe while they were there. I told him that Al-Qaeda seemed to hit about every 12 to 18 months, and that since almost a year had passed since the USS Cole bombing we were probably due for another one. He laughed it off and eventually so did I. In hindsight it was stupid thinking, since they had made it quite clear that America was always their target.

On the Wednesday morning (NZ time) I only slowly woke up after the radio alarm went off at 6am. As usual I’d been up in the night taking care of my baby and now, having climbed out of the crib in the dark, she was asleep on our bed beside me. In those days I still listened to Morning Report but I was so groggy that I missed the opening news. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I heard them talking about how Wall Street had been closed and that buildings had been heavily damaged.

What the hell? I got up, turned on the TV, and stared, like everybody else, mesmerised by the images. Like more than a few people my initial thoughts were that this was just like a movie, Independence Day or Deep Impact perhaps.

The jumpers are what changed that. The networks would soon pull the coverage, but on morning TV here they were still showing them. Esquire again:

And it was, at last, the sight of the jumpers that provided the corrective to those who insisted on saying that what they were witnessing was “like a movie,” for this was an ending as unimaginable as it was unbearable: Americans responding to the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world with acts of heroism, with acts of sacrifice, with acts of generosity, with acts of martyrdom, and, by terrible necessity, with one prolonged act of—if these words can be applied to mass murder—mass suicide.

But what I also felt was a feeling of terrible, guilty relief. The attack had not been in Europe but in the US. My wife and child might find the voyage home tough, but they would get home. It would probably be safer than ever.

In the meantime I had to reach them. I had phone numbers in Poland but my language would not be up to par. In desperation I decided to call a friend of ours in Chicago, Kinga, born and raised in Poland before she had come to the USA as a baby. She could call the numbers and find out what was happening. It was then, for the first and only time in my life of calling the USA that I encountered the following voice message:

We’re sorry. Your call cannot be completed at this time.
All circuits are busy now. Please wait and try again.

After many attempts I got through. She was okay, having evacuated downtown Chicago along with a million other people (everybody felt the John Hancock Centre and Sears Tower would be targets) and her husband, a friend of mine, was also safe, although he was trapped in Boston, from which he was supposed to have flown out that morning, an hour or more after one of the hijacked flights left that airport. It would take him a week to get home. I gave her the Polish phone numbers and a couple where I could be reached.

I had to head to the Waikato with my daughter on a pre-arranged trip that I saw no reason to cancel, so it was not until late that evening that Kinga called me back to tell me that everybody was okay. In fact they’d been on a train and did not even find out about the attacks until they got off at their destination. My wife and son arrived home a week later.

The second story is about one of two cops, Will Jimeno, who were dug out of the rubble of the WTC collapse. The story was made into a movie, World Trade Centre, by Oliver Stone who – amazingly considering his history – played it straight and not as a conspiracy theory. I was impressed at how accurately the movie stuck to the facts and the moments. It is a superb movie.

The oddest thing about being trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center was that Will Jimeno didn’t break any bones. The Port Authority police officer had 220 stories of the World Trade Center fall on top of him — all of both towers, first the south, then the north — a violence of unimaginable scale, velocity and intensity, one that killed three of the other officers he’d been standing with moments earlier, and entombing him and his surviving sergeant amid concrete and rock for hours on Sept. 11, 2001.

But what’s different about this article is that it deals with an aftermath the movie understandably left alone, the mental shock of the day that grew even as he physically healed. What is called PTSD:

When he returned home, he went into his older daughter’s room. “Bianca,” he asked, “does daddy yell a lot?”

“Yeah, Daddy, you scare me sometimes,” she replied, truthfully.

Jimeno was devastated. As he describes the moment in his book, “That’s when I realized if I’m not a good husband, a good dad, a good example, then the terrorists win.”

The story of his recovery from PTSD is as great as the first half of the article.

When I look at the reactions of the USA in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, with things like the Patriot Act, the ongoing TSA security theatre that was imposed at airports, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the recent, shameful bungling of the final withdrawal from Afghanistan, I can’t help thinking that perhaps that great nation is suffering from a form of PTSD, and that unlike Mr Jimeno, they have not yet learned how to handle it.

To that end though, ultimately the fate of all this lies in the hands of the people, and to me, aside from the heroism at the WTC and the Pentagon, the bright shining light of that day was the actions of the people on board the fourth hijacked plane, United 93. Unlike the other hero’s of that day they were not trained for such a thing:

Think of it this way. In less than 30 minutes, regular people who have been informed of horrific news on a plane are told that their plane is going to most likely suffer a similar fate. In less than a half-hour, they devise a plan to not wait for someone to save them, but to act to make sure they are not part of mass murder. Even if that means they will die anyway, they are not going to sit by and let evil win easily.

They fought back, and they saved lives — knowing that their lives would probably end as a result.

By attempting to take back control of the plane – after a vote it should be noted, democratic to the death – they prevented the Islamic Jihadist hijackers from completing their terrible mission.

Americans are better people than their leaders. I’ll take that into the future.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 12, 2021 at 6:10 pm

I’m thinking that they’re related

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The terrorist attack in Auckland yesterday and the recent defeat of the USA in Afghanistan, that is.

The latter is a defeat by the way. Not in the sense of overwhelming defeat but a defeat non the less. Symbolic perhaps, but symbolism matters.

As such I wonder if our local “Mr S” was triggered by all this recent Islamic Jihadist triumphalism that’s been thundering across the Social Media accounts of the Taliban and their many associates around the world? Perhaps he thought it was time to finally act on his fantasies?

To that end, I thought that this passage from a letter written twenty years ago should be brought to people’s attention. The full text of the letter can be found in many places but this is from The Guardian:

If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.

Osama Bin Laden, November, 2002

Written by Tom Hunter

September 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Suicide bombers mean Afghanistan can get worse (updated)

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You can forget all the images and cartoons of the last decade that compared America’s withdrawal from Kabul with that of Saigon, all those choppers lifting away into the air.

This catastrophe now has it’s own images. Images we have become used to in the last twenty years. Images of the early 21st century. Images and horrors entirely unique to our age.

Deadliest Day for Troops in Afghanistan Since 2011

At least 12 Marines participating in the Afghanistan evacuation were killed in a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport on Thursday morning, making it the deadliest day in the war since 2011.

The civilian death toll will almost certainly be higher – current reports are 120, and given the images below that seems entirely possible. It appears to be multiple suicide bombing attacks, likely with vehicles on gates where people were entering the airport. The explosive attacks were accompanied by ISIS gunmen shooting at both US troops and civilians.

To anybody with even a faint knowledge of logistics it was obvious days ago that thousands of Americans and others were going to be left behind in the country as the US military itself would be drawing down towards the Taliban demand for a final departure date of August 31. Civilians were not going to continue to leave in packed planes right up until midnight on that day, at which point it would all magically stop. The troops would be the last ones out, as usual.

But now, even as confused and disorganised as the withdrawal has been, with the State Department suspending processing of Visa applications, with six Afghan’s on a no-fly list departing anyhow, and other insanities, despite heroic efforts from the troops on the ground, it’s possible that it will to come to a complete stop, especially if such attacks are ongoing.

Last week, Joe Biden bragged about evacuation efforts during an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC by saying:

“But, look – but no one’s being killed right now, God forgive me if I’m wrong about that, but no one’s being killed right now.”

Another boast from President Ice Cream that will now have to be chucked down the memory hole, possibly where even God cannot reach. Even at the time there were multiple, solid reports of at least seven deaths amid the chaos.

More than this was that none other than the State Department had issued this warning a few days ago:

Due to threats outside the Kabul airport, US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates unless you receive instructions to do so. Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.

As with other recent events where the President was contradicted in his statements within hours by his own agencies, the Pentagon and State, it seems that the entire Administration is confused and not communicating well internally. That alone is a condemnation of the Biden crowd.

The bombing appears not to be the work of the Taliban but ISIS, which matches recent reports, both from unsourced intelligence reports to reporters, that ISIS and Al Queda were once more on the ground in Afghanistan.

UPDATE

Reports and video coming in of more explosions at the airport.

FFS:

U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of U.S. citizens, green card holders & Afghan allies to grant entry into the outer perimeter of the city’s airport, prompting outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.

What were they thinking? They basically handed the Taliban a kill list.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 27, 2021 at 7:55 am

Posted in Military, USA

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Reichstag Fire 2021

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It could almost be another new video game, like FarCry5 or CyberPunk 2077.

But instead it seems to be getting drummed into reality, courtesy of all the hair-raising, blood-curdling screams of horror about what happened in the Capitol Building on January 6.

This is how we’ve always visualised White Supremacists

Given images like Animal Skin Guy at the Speaker’s podium or the one of some guy kicking back in Pelosi’s office, there clearly was not enough SHOCK HORROR to match the MSM narrative. You dont wear crazy party hats, show your face and take selfies if you’re serious about removing a regime. And you sure as hell don’t photograph the agent of the state who is pointing a gun straight at you.

As result I see that the MSM is now doubling down on the hysteria with the usual “racism” angle, cranking on from Biden’s claims that a BLM protest would have been dealt with much more harshly (I guess he wasn’t in D.C. in June where precisely zero BLM’s were shot and killed by the Capitol Police) to now entirely believable reports from Reuter’s photographers that people in the building were out to hang Nancy Pelosi and VP Mike Pence. Readers and watchers who breathlessly absorbed three years of Russia Collusion with endless leaks from “unamed sources” are the target audience here and they are still swallowing it down.

It’s also an indication of the ruling class of the USA in D.C. that they’re more horrified by their spaces being invaded with a few smashed windows and what seems to be a few thousands of dollars of damage than all the damage and violence that’s been inflicted on ordinary people and their homes and businesses in places like Minneapolis, Kenosha, Seattle, Portland and Chicago over the last few months. Forget about all that and the Covid lockdowns: here’s $600. You should be thanking them, proles.

If you’re a Right-Winger you just have to shrug your shoulders at the inevitable cry of Fascist and Nazi. Lefties used to get called Communists but that’s not chucked around much since Communism largely collapsed as an obsolete failure and in any case few Lefties ever felt any shame about being called that in the first place – sort of like Pelosi and Harris feel no shame, and are never asked to feel shame, about their Antifa/BLM “protest” support.

One standard part of the “Fascist” accusation is that the Right is always looking to have a Reichstag Fire moment that will enable totalitarian government to be imposed. President and even Candidate Trump was constantly on the receiving end of this “fear” – which was not really fear but just the usual stuff that President GW Bush lived with courtesy of the 9/11 attacks, and which future GOP Presidents will have to live with also.

But the funny thing is that if you look at what happened in the Capitol Building there are some historical similarities that ring true in ways that should be alarm bells for what’s happening now in the transition to a new Presidential Administration.

  1. The Reichstag fire was started by a Communist so there was an actual “enemy of the state” who could be used to tar all other Communists as well as their party.
  2. The fire was used as the pretext for a crackdown on the opponents of the Nazis, who were the incoming government, not the outgoing one.
  3. That government was enabled by the corporate powers of the day.
  4. It was further enabled by having a feeble old man as President.

And you don’t have to hear this from RWNJ’s like moi.

There’s nothing like healing unity than labeling the supporters of your opponents as Domestic Terrorists – itself a follow-up on Nancy Pelosi’s comments months ago that Trump supporters were “enemies of the state” – and then burbling about the need for a Federal law against such terrorists.

Fortunately, based on past comments of such people like Obama advisor Plouffe and the rest, I knew Biden’s post-election statement was a lie from the start.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 11, 2021 at 5:18 pm