Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 Pakistanis view US as enemy
By ROBERT BURNS
Indignant' Muslims reject U.S. request to counter violent extremism
Meeting with Napolitano included promise of regular consultations
Posted: July 29, 2010
10:50 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
A series of e-mails from the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency that has warned of a threat from "right-wing extremists" like those worried about national sovereignty, reveal the agency has held a series of meetings with Muslims who apparently rejected the government's request to help counter violent extremism.
The new e-mails were uncovered by Judicial Watch, the government watchdog organization that hunts down and seeks the prosecution of government corruption.
The e-mails relate to several days of meetings the DHS held Jan. 27-28 between DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and various Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian "community leaders."
What does Islam really have planned for the U.S.? Read "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America"
The e-mails reveal the attendees included Imad Hamad, the Midwest regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who Judicial Watch said has been linked in press reports to the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Judicial Watch reported he also "has financially supported the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah" and in a 2002 interview on Detroit television "supported a Palestine Authority TV program that urged children to become suicide bombers, calling the program 'patriotic.'"
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Another participant, according to Judicial Watch, was Salam al-Mayarati, who founded the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council. Judicial Watch said al-Mayarati "has long been criticized for his extremist views and statements. In 1999 former House Minority leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., withdrew his nomination of al-Mayarati to the National Commission on Terrorism because of al-Mayarati's extremist politics."
Further, the e-mails show that on Feb. 4 David O'Leary, DHS Office of Legislative Affairs, wrote to David Gersten, acting deputy officer for programs and compliance in the agency's civil rights division:
"Gordon Lederman of Sen. Lieberman's Staff called me asking about the 2-day HSAC meeting last week with American Muslim and Arab groups. He was called by a reporter who told him MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and Muslim American Society 'rejected the ideas' of soliciting their help with countering violent extremism and were 'angry and indignant.'"
WND calls and e-mails to DHS, asking for an explanation of the e-mail that suggests prominent Muslim groups rejected the government's request for help in minimizing "violent extremism," were not returned.
"Please loop in proper … contacts and call me to discuss," the e-mail from O'Leary said.
Another e-mail in the string noted Napolitano had promised to the various Muslim leaders there would be "community participation" in an anti-violence extremism task force, that they would have access to regular, quarterly meetings with her, there would be a seminar on "cultural competency for DHS leadership" and there would be an "honest and full discussion of legitimate grievances from members of these communities about DHS policies that are ineffective and have a deleterious, humiliating impact on Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian American communities. "
Judicial Watch noted one of the groups attending was the Islamic Society of North America, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator by the federal government in a plot by the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation to fund Hamas.
The report also said an internal DHS "talking points" memo stated, "Communicate that DHS understands the need for enhanced partnership with the Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and Arab groups, including those present at the meeting. … You should note the importance of sharing information from a policy perspective and on threats to specific Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh communities."
"I fail to see how consorting with radicals helps the DHS protect the United States," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The Obama administration is bending over backward to cater to radical Muslim organizations in the name of political correctness.
"This is a dangerous political game that could put American citizens at risk. Some of these meeting participants have no business helping Janet Napolitano establish our homeland security policies," he said.
Among the names of the various lists of attendees were James Zogby of the Arab American Institute, Amardeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition, Deep Iyer of the South Asian Americans, Nawar Shor of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Hamad of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan and Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America.
WND reported earlier when a Department of Homeland Security report warned against the possibility of violence by unnamed "right-wing extremists" concerned about illegal immigration, increased federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. The report singled out returning war veterans as particular threats.
The April 7, 2009, report, titled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," stated "threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts."
Earlier in 2009, the Missouri Information Analysis Center issued a report that linked conservative groups to domestic terrorism and warned law enforcement to watch for vehicles with bumper stickers promoting Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin. It also warned police to watch out for individuals with "radical" ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes.
Ultimately, Chief James Keathley of the Missouri State Patrol said the release of the report caused him to review the procedures through which the report was released.
It had listed more than 32 characteristics police should watch for as signs or links to domestic terrorists, which could threaten police officers, court officials and infrastructure targets.
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC said police were "instructed to look for Americans who were concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, the Federal Reserve and the North American Union/SPP/North American Community."
The Missouri documents, according to ALIPAC, also said "potential domestic terrorists might like gun shows, short wave radios, combat movies, movies with white male heroes, Tom Clancey novels, and Presidential Candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin!"
"When many of us read these Missouri Documents we felt that the false connections, pseudo research, and political attacks found in these documents could have been penned by the SPLC and ADL," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "We were shocked to see credible law enforcement agencies disseminating the same kind of over the top political propaganda distributed by these groups."
BOYCOTT SPAIN...italy's been on my list since Amanda Knox
Spanish Court Seeks Arrest of U.S. Soldiers in Hotel Attack
By LISA ABEND / MADRID Lisa Abend / Madrid – Thu Jul 29, 5:55 pm ET
In the seven years since she watched her colleague JosÉ Couso bleed to death, Olga RodrÍguez has experienced many ups and downs in her quest to bring those responsible to justice. But Thursday was one of her good days. On the morning of July 29, Spain's National Court announced that it has re-issued an international arrest warrant against three U.S. soldiers it implicates in an attack on Baghdad's Hotel Palestine, where Rodriguez and Couso, along with dozens of other journalists, were based during the Iraq war.
"As a friend, as a reporter, and as a citizen, I'm very pleased," RodrÍguez tells TIME. "It's vital - for the sake of journalism and the sake of democracy - that this investigation go through to the end." (See pictures of U.S. troops in Iraq.)
On April 8, 2003, one day before U.S. troops officially captured Baghdad, a U.S. tank fired a single incendiary shell on the hotel, killing Couso, a cameraman for Spain's Telecinco television station, and Reuters journalist Taras Protsyuk. Since then, Couso's colleagues and family have pursued a criminal investigation against the U.S. military. Their initial case, filed in May 2003, was eventually dismissed by Spain's National Court, which cited a lack of jurisdiction. But when the higher Supreme Court reviewed the case in December 2006, it disagreed. The case was returned to the National Court, which in 2007 issued arrest warrants against Sgt. Thomas Gibson, the tank sergeant who fired the shell, Captain Philip Wolford, who ordered the attack, and commanding officer Colonel Philip deCamp. A year later, the court again shelved the case, saying it had insufficient evidence to proceed with an investigation.
But on July 26, Spain's Supreme Court again ruled that the case should continue. On Thursday morning, the National Court took up the investigation for the third time, again ordering the three men to appear in its courtroom or face extradition. (See more on Spain's legal system.)
Why the revival? According to lawyer Enrique Santiago, who is representing Couso's mother and siblings in the case, the Supreme Court is merely insisting that the law be upheld. "The National Court dismissed the case for lack of reliable evidence," he says. "But it was still in the investigatory phase. Under Spanish law, you can't evaluate the validity of evidence until you go to trial."
Others believe that the latest investigation may have been fueled by the discovery of new evidence. At the time of the attack, the U.S. Central Command in Iraq contended that there was gunfire coming from the direction of the hotel and that tank sergeant Gibson reported a suspicious spotter on the roof. "We fully investigated the incident and determined that U.S. servicemen acted appropriately," said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Commander Joe Carpenter in 2007. "[The journalists' death] is unfortunately a tragedy of war." (Asked by TIME whether any of the accused servicemen have faced disciplinary action in relation to the attack, a spokesman for the Department of Defense said he is still "familiarizing" himself with the case and doesn't know the answer.)
See pictures of Iraq's revival.
See pictures of the aftershocks from the Abu Ghraib scandal.
But not long after the Spanish case had been dismissed for the second time, Sgt. Adrienne Kinne, an intelligence officer stationed in Baghdad at the time of the U.S. invasion, came forward to suggest that the tragedy was no accident. Because her job was to listen in on the phone calls of journalists and aide workers, Kinne knew firsthand that much of the foreign press was housed at the Palestine. She was therefore disturbed to see the hotel turn up on the army's list of potential military targets. "I went to my officer in charge, and I told him that there are journalists staying at this hotel who think they're safe ... and shouldn't we make an effort to make sure that the right people know the situation?" Kinne told the webcast Democracy Now in May 2008. "And unfortunately, my officer in charge basically told me that it was not my job to analyze."
Kinne's testimony fits with what RodrÍguez, who was covering the war for the radio station Cadena Ser, has long believed. The Spanish reporter was on the 16th floor of the Palestine when the tank fired, shattering her room's windows, and rendering her momentarily deaf. "First of all, it's impossible that they didn't know there were journalists there," she recalls. "There were dozens of reporters on the balconies, all of them wearing bulletproof vests with the word PRESS written on them. With even the most basic set of binoculars, they would have been able to see that." (See more on the Couso case.)
RodrÍguez, like Couso's family members, believes the attack may have been a deliberate attempt to control the press. "Is it just coincidence that within a three-hour span, the Palestine, as well as the offices of Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV were hit by U.S. forces? They knew that over the next 24 hours we were all going to be preoccupied with taking care of our dead colleagues, getting the injured to the hospital, securing protection for ourselves. And that's exactly when they took Baghdad."
It is that contention - that the attack on civilian journalists was deliberate - that explains why the National Court is investigating the killing of Couso and Protsyuk as a possible war crime. "Under the Geneva Convention, combatants are obligated by the Geneva Convention to take every effort to preserve civilian life," explains Augusto Zamora, professor of International Law at Madrid's Autonomous University. "And Spanish courts are competent to judge crimes of war, even when they're committed abroad, thanks to universal jurisdiction."
That principal has already led Spain to successfully prosecute Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Argentine naval officer Adolfo Scilingo for crimes against humanity. But in this case, it seems highly improbable that the U.S. will allow Gibson, Wolford, and deCamp to face a Spanish court. Despite a bilateral extradition treaty, "the U.S. is never going to turn its soldiers over to the National Court's investigation, and in Spain, they can't be tried in absentia" says lawyer Santiago. "It does mean, however, that they won't be able to leave the [U.S.] because if they do, then they will be extradited." (See more on Pinochet.)
David Couso, JosÉ's younger brother, isn't thinking about that possibility. He still recalls clearly the rage he felt upon learning that his brother had been, as he puts it, "vilely murdered." But for the moment, he feels that justice is being done. "We don't want a lynching," he says. "We just want a real investigation."
As many as 6,600 Arlington graves mixed up
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