"Let me get this straight...
"We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempted themselves from it, signed by a President who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke!
'What could possibly go wrong?' "
Federal government isn't touching Arkansas terrorism case
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad of Memphis, Tenn., says his trial in a fatal Little Rock Army facility attack is being handled in Arkansas state court to get him the death penalty. His father alleges a government coverup.
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Little Rock shooting suspect
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, center, charged in the 2009 death of an Army recruiter, will be tried in Little Rock, Ark. (Danny Johnston / Associated Press / July 12, 2011)
By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
July 11, 2011, 5:01 p.m.
Reporting from Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis—
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad insists he is an Islamic radical, has confessed to killing an Army soldier and wounding another at a Little Rock recruiting station two years ago, and wants to be tried on terrorism charges in federal court.
But in an unusual twist, state prosecutors, with the blessing of the federal government, are treating him like a common American criminal and trying him in state court next week on capital murder charges.
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Either way, Muhammad could become the first person sentenced to death in the U.S. for an act of terrorism — even if that is not the charge — since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Muhammad, 24, born Carlos Bledsoe in Memphis, Tenn., has a profile that is now familiar in home-grown terrorism cases. He converted to Islam at age 20 at a Tennessee mosque, changed his name and traveled to the Middle East.
In 2008, he was arrested in Yemen for overstaying his visa and holding false Somali papers. His father said he became radicalized in a Yemeni jail after mixing with other prisoners there.
Six months after Muhammad returned to the U.S., he allegedly drove his black Ford Sport Trac truck to the military recruiting station. Inside the vehicle were a rifle, scope, laser sight, silencer and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He allegedly fired several rounds before fleeing.
Later, at a police roadblock eight miles away, Muhammad was captured with a semiautomatic handgun tucked in his waistband.
Police said he told them he was "mad at the U.S. military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past." He said his "intent was to kill as many people in the Army as he could."
Melvin Bledsoe, who runs a Memphis tour bus company, said he learned of his son's incarceration in Yemen from a Tennessee FBI agent who interviewed Muhammad while he was in jail there. But that was the last Bledsoe heard from the FBI. And he believes that gets at the explanation behind the federal government's strange lack of interest in trying his son.
Bledsoe charges that federal officials deferred to state prosecutors because they feared a federal trial would make them look bad — because they knew his son was a radicalized Muslim and yet did not watch him when he returned to the United States.
"They should have done their job and this never would have happened," Bledsoe said. "I think that somebody in the federal government and the FBI should be charged with negligence. Negligent homicide."
Bledsoe's son has a different explanation for why he is not being charged as a terrorist.
Muhammad, who says he is affiliated with several terrorist organizations, has written jailhouse letters to Pulaski County Judge Herbert Wright demanding a federal trial. "In my eyes it's a sham trial [in Little Rock] set up only to make sure I'm handed down a death sentence," he wrote May 10.
Ten days later, he wrote again: "The facility where the shooting took place was a federal building. The army recruiters outside that federal building were federal employees. I was under federal investigation at the time of the shooting by the FBI. Why then is this a state case in state court, which the state seeks my execution? Injustice!"
To some outside legal experts, both father and son make valid points.
"That's unquestionably embarrassing for the FBI," said Brian Gallini, a University of Arkansas criminal law professor. "I can't come up with a comparable example of a mistake the feds would want to admit to."
But John Wesley Hall Jr., a longtime Little Rock criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, said that "just because the FBI didn't follow him doesn't mean it was their fault."
In similar terrorism-related cases since the Sept. 11 attacks, federal prosecutors have wasted no time in taking the lead.
Just recently, federal officials in Seattle charged two alleged terrorists with plotting a raid on a military recruiting center there. They were charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (a grenade) and unlawful possession of firearms.
Greece ready to sign military accord with Israel
ATHENS — The Athens government said Greece intends to sign an agreement with Israel for the expansion of defense and military cooperation.
Related Story: As Turkey-Israel ties encounter turbulence, contractors file suit — October 26, 2010
Officials said this would include Israeli defense sales to the European Union member.
In June, Greece cooperated with Israel's effort to prevent a flotilla of ships from reaching the Gaza Strip, under blockade since 2007. Greece was said to have intercepted three ships from the flotilla while detaining other vessels.
"We will soon sign an agreement on military cooperation which will mainly involve the defense industry and supply of armaments," Greek Defense Minister Panos Beglitis said.
In an address to parliament on July 7, Beglitis did not specify what Greece would purchase from Israel. The defense minister said Athens deemed Israel important, but stressed that any military accord would not affect Greece's relations with neighboring Turkey or Arab states.
Over the last year, Greece has improved defense and military cooperation with Israel. Officials cited the use by the Israel Air Force of Greece for long-range combat air exercises.
Without God, All Morality Is Subjective
Written By : John Hawkins
Jeff Jacoby makes a point in his Townhall column today that I’ve been meaning to talk about in a little more depth for awhile,
Amazon wants voters to decide on tax collection
Amazon.com Inc. wants California voters to decide whether to overturn a new law that forces online retailers to collect sales taxes there.
Late last month, Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Jim David received a thorough dressing-down from his superior, Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik, over a profanity-laced voicemail he left for defense attorney John Terry. Golik, in fact, didn't just scold his subordinate, he demoted him from Senior Deputy Prosecutor to Deputy Prosecutor--costing David a sizable cut in his salary.
So what did David say in the voicemail that earned him the demotion? Let's just say it involves three "fucking"s, four "bullshit"s, and the implication that a defendant would be punished for ruining the prosecutor's weekend plans.
Responding to a public-records request by Seattle Weekly filed shortly after David's demotion, the Clark County Prosecutor's Office today provided a transcript of David's voicemail.
Though bits of the voicemail had been previously reported, the full transcript had not.
Background: Mr. Terry at the time was representing Matthew L. Coonce, who was accused of possession of methamphetamine and car theft. David had been under the impression that Terry was going to ask for a continuance on the case.
So when Terry said that he wanted to proceed to trial, that totally ruined David's weekend plans. And David was seemingly going to make sure that Terry and Coonce paid the price for his inconvenience.
"John, it's me Jim David, I just got your e-mail stating you want to go to trial next week, for two fucking weeks, I have been, or longer you've been telling me you wanted a continuance on the goddamn case, and now you are telling me you want to go to trial next week, that's bullshit, that's absolute bullshit. Um, I'm going to have to ask for a continuance in the morning based on your misrepresentation to me that you are not going to be ready for trial based on your representation that you are not ready for trial. I'm fucking laying you out, this is absolute bullshit, um, I'm sorry, but you know, I am pissed because now you are going to make me come in, I'm off this afternoon, I'm over at the hospital, and you're telling me that you want me to go to trial next week on a case you've been telling me for weeks that you don't want to go, you're not ready for, uh, if I have to get ready for this goddamn trial this weekend, that's going to make me cancel my weekend and stay here as well as cancel some police operations for next week, so give me a call back as soon as you get this message, and, uh, yah, as soon as you get this message, I'm going to need you and your client and the other defendant in court in the morning at nine, I don't care who the judge is, but this is fucking bullshit, and uh, you don't pull this stunt, so let's talk 'cause it's coming out of your client's hide if I have to go to trial next week, uh, and there ain't going to be no stinking offers there ain't going to be nothing coming other than go to prison for a very long time. I'm just appalled, you've got my cell number 241-XXXX thanks."
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