Shaker Aamer


I know a lot has gone on since the last post here on Miscellany101 and I think it is better for time to go by in order to see things from a more vintage, aged perspective than to immediately post the news of the massacre/terror of Paris and San Bernardino.  They will be touched on later….God willing, but this story of Shaker Aamer, imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for 14 years does meet that standard. The link above has some in-depth background on who Aamer is and the circumstance surrounding his imprisonment and the video interview below personalizes his story.  Although it is lengthy it is well worth your time.

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American media, guilty of sedition?


Bowe Bergdahl hasn’t even stepped foot in this country and yet members of the media are saying this?

Is he guilty of being a deserter, is he guilty of being a defector? And after five years of captivity — some people initially said, well, that’s enough — should he face the appropriate punishment if he is found guilty?

chris wallaceChris Wallace of FoxNews infamy (I guess you know why such a provocative question would be posed) was asking the former Attorney General Michael Mukasey from the even guiltier, more deserving of prosecution, GWB administration who replied such a question was premature.  I assert on what basis should such a question like that even be asked?!?!?  It was only mere hours  before Wallace went on the air with the typical FoxNews bluster that this headline appeared

U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him at an American military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said Sunday.

CIA tortureNow if one were to ask what proof can Bergdahl provide since there is no one to independently verify beside Bergdahl and the Taliban, if you were to pose the question where are the physical scars to indicate such torture it would have to be said perhaps the Taliban is as adept at torturing people without leaving scars as our own government under George Bush was with the countless people tortured at Baghram and other secreted sites where suspected “Islamists”, whatever that means, were held.

What we’re witnessing is the #DemonicGOP nipping at Obama’s heels like the attack dog is has become, rather than a political party, in order to generate scandal.  In fact Lindsey Graham is now saying the President should be impeached because of his decision to exchange Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners.  Of course impeachment won’t occur….it’s not a political reality, but the mere suggestion of it is enough to taint the Obama administration and the Democratic party in this off year election. Obama and Bergdahl are being “swiftboated” much like John Kerry who had the distinction of being the first politician to be given that dubious distinction and it’s as ugly now as it was was in 2004.  Some say however this time it won’t be as effective

Republicans have been carrying out a swiftboating media operation that is being led by a former Bush administration official that is designed to smear Sgt. Bergdahl in order to create an Obama political scandal. The revelation that Bergdahl was tortured means that Republicans are not only attacking the credibility of a soldier, but they are attacking a soldier who was tortured by the enemy.

Even by the new Obama era standards for conservative hate, this is low. The possibility that Sgt. Bergdahl was tortured confirms the White House’s reasoning for making a deal to bring Bergdahl home. Republicans have painted themselves into a corner with their attacks on Bergdahl……

I don’t think however that the #DemonicGOP will look bad…they’ll simply deflect and move on to the next scandal they hope will have traction with the equally insatiably racist, xenophobic, gun toting segments of American society.

 

The history of the Taliban starts here


Whenever you hear talk about negotiating with terrorists and the Obama administration, remember the Taliban was hatched in the White House of the #DemonicGOP’s idol, Ronald Reagan.

Reagan-Taliban

 

The good news is America can now withdraw from Afghanistan


The reason is the Taliban admit they cannot win the war against the American forces and they are fed up with their alliance with al-Qaida, that is if you believe the word coming from some sources in the Taliban movement. I don’t know why anyone would think that a less than third world country could stand militarily with the largest, strongest military in the world, the Russian war notwithstanding, unless you believed in miracles.  With this admission coming from the Taliban, and I submit they’ve conceded defeat even before the war began back in 2001, the US, if it’s true to its mission of ridding the country of the Taliban and al-Qaida, has a golden opportunity  to end the conflict and withdraw honorably while getting the Taliban and the Karzai government to come to peaceful terms.  Unfortunately, the US’ track record of taking advantage of opportunities offered them by their opponents is less than sterling.

One of the Taliban‘s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces in the country.

In a startlingly frank interview in Thursday’s New Statesman, the commander – described as a Taliban veteran, a confidant of the leadership, and a former Guantánamo inmate – also uses the strongest language yet from a senior figure to distance the Afghan rebels from al-Qaida.

“At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaida. Our people consider al-Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens,” the commander says. “To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama [bin Laden]. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.”

“The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect. Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel. The leadership knows the truth – that they cannot prevail over the power they confront,” Mawlvi (the Taliban senior commander) says.

As a result, he says that the Taliban has had to shelve its dream of re-establishing the Islamic emirate it set up when it was in power from 1996 to 2001. “Any side involved in a conflict like this has decided to fight for power. If they fall short of achieving national power, they have to settle for functioning as an organised party within the country,” he admits.

He is scathing about President Hamid Karzai, who the Taliban has consistently derided as a US puppet. “There is little point in talking to Kabul. Real authority rests with the Americans,” he says. “The only other serious political force in Afghanistan is that of the Northern Alliance” – a Tajik-led coalition that led the resistance to Taliban rule and is now a powerful player in Kabul.

That sounds like nothing short of capitulation and America should jump at the chance to embrace it, negotiate and get out.  Campaign rhetoric most likely will make chances of that happening until after the elections, but whoever the winner is in November, his first priority should be getting America out of a quagmire it’s enemy has said it can’t win and with whom it can easily settle.  That the world wide community is fixated on the horrific video taped execution of a woman by a “Taliban” member, who most likely was really a family member of the victim engaged in an honor killing (have we ever maintained forces in a country because of the honor killings of some of that country’s citizens?) would really serve an injustice to the people in the Taliban movement who are clearly signalling their willingness to stand down from hostilities with American forces.  The pessimism in me anticipates seeing  more of that kind of distraction in the international media, away from this peace offering, in order to  prolong the Afghan war.

 

Trouble follows some


Beware this man.  If you ever see him in your community, no matter what faith you are or are not, don’t call the  authorities, don’t take any action, simply ignore him. Don’t talk to him, don’t give him your phone number, don’t let him into your home.

I tweeted once earlier that black teens and Muslims cannot run away from trouble…it always seems to follow them.  This latest story is an excellent case in point.  A Muslim American is approached by someone (because we don’t the identity of the man pictured left we can only provide this photo of him) who he correctly identifies as an  agent provocateur and verifies that after finding his picture on the net and reading about his history that includes a murder charge.  In fear of his life Khalifah al-Akili calls the  FBI to report this person’s presence in the community only to find himself arrested and his reputation maligned and his name associated with the Taliban.

Khalifah Al-Akili, 34, who lives near Pittsburgh, told the Times Union in an interview Sunday that the FBI recently used Shahed Hussain — an informant who was integral in two terrorism-related cases in the upstate New York cities — in an apparent attempt to test Al-Akili’s interest in jihad and anti-American views.
Al-Akili said he was approached by Hussain, who went by the name “Mohammed,” and another man, who used the name “Shareef,” in January when they turned up in his neighborhood and repeatedly made attempts to get close to Al-Akili. But Al-Akili said he quickly figured out Hussain’s identity as an FBI informant. He said the men were “too obvious” and requested receipts even for small items they purchased like coffee and donuts.
Al-Akili said Shareef also asked Al-Akili repeatedly if he could help him purchase a gun. Al-Akili said he told the man he could not help him.
Al-Akili said his suspicions the men were informants were confirmed when he saw a photograph of Hussain on the Internet. In addition, he said, a cell phone number Hussain had given him was the same number used by Hussain during a 2009 counterterrorism investigation against four Newburgh men in the small Orange County city. Al-Akili said he found the number and its connection to that case through a simple Internet search using Google.

What happens next is standard FBI fare.

Al-Akili was arrested during an FBI raid of his home in Wilkinsburg, a Pittsburgh borough. He was charged in a federal complaint with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The complaint filed in U.S. District Court said federal agents obtained an email with a 7-second video showing Al-Akili firing a .22-caliber rifle at a shooting range in 2010. Federal agents said Al-Akili was prohibited from possessing a gun because of a 2001 drug conviction.

No terrorism-related charges were filed against him. But at a detention hearing Friday, an FBI agent, Joseph M. Bieshelt, testified the search of Al-Akili’s home uncovered “jihadist literature and books on U.S. military tactics,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. The newspaper also reported Bieshelt testified at the hearing that Al-Akili told an informant he had plans to go to Pakistan to join the Taliban, and that Al-Akili was recorded in December saying “that he was developing somebody to possibly strap a bomb on himself.” A federal magistrate judge ordered Al-Akili held without bail pending trial.

The FBI’s classic entrapment strategy failed when their operative was exposed, due in large part to the Bureau’s own incompetence, leaving them no other alternative but to charge al-Akili with a weapons charge ( they couldn’t do better than a .22 caliber rifle at a firing range) which they linked to incendiary language that got a judge to keep him in jail without bond until his court date.  And while it might be too much to hope for, the recent ruling by a federal judge that language alone is not sufficient to prove sedition or violence against the government in the absence of any concrete action to convict someone might be extended to al-Akili’s case does offer some hope for an American Muslim who says he would never do anything to hurt/harm his country.

The FBI got caught with their pants down; their methods were sloppy but in today’s America sufficient enough to convict others which is why they were resorted to again.  Al-Akili’s citizenship is to be applauded….in essence he was a whistle blower  pointing to the inefficient and costly workings of bureaucracy, and like most whistle blowers before, he was made to bear the brunt of a humiliated agency out for revenge.  That anyone can be locked up for shooting a.22 caliber rifle at a firing range…….there is no proof he owned the weapon, nor were any weapons found in his home, nor was he accused of buying and selling weapons( in fact he rebuffed the FBI informant’s attempt to even find him one) and the only basis for his incarceration besides such flimsy accusations is his religious identity is not only criminal, appalling but certainly unconstitutional.  It is a sign of today’s America and it must be changed and abandoned forever.  Wake up America…if today it’s al-Akili, who will it be tomorrow?

American desecration of humanity


We are all responsible for the reprehensible behavior displayed in the image above….a still from an even more hideous video that was posted on Youtube.  What’s especially terrible about it is the deliberation involved in producing the image…..the soldiers posed for the camera, knowing full well that what they were doing was against their training and the law.  We, fellow Americans, share in this despicable act because of the response of far too many in the public  who want to make it seem as if what portrayed above is no big deal….and certainly not what it really is which is a war crime.  The absence of public outrage to the act and the response of the likes of Rick Perry, and social commentators and critics is deplorable and reprehensible. It is further proof of the descent our society has taken…how it has lost its moral compass, turning upon ourselves and the very ideals we once trumpeted  becoming the outlaws we once said we needed to protect the world from.  The silence is deafening and disturbing.  We now stand alone in the world, immune to criticism to we have violated laws we either made, agreed or signed on to, thumbing our noses at all international conventions and sealing our fates.

The inefficiency of the federal government to efficiently spend your money


Not much has changed since this report was aired a year ago.  Not only has ArmourGroup done a masterful job at being unproffessional they’ve done any even better job of putting the lives of American personnel at risk while spending our money…and you thought the only enemy we had to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq was al-Qaida?

“There is significant evidence that some security contractors even worked against our coalition forces, creating the very threat they are hired to combat….These contractors threaten the security of our troops and risk the success of our mission.”

ArmorGroup North America was hired to provide security and used two competing warlords in the region to provide the men for the guard force.

The report said that over the course of the contract at the base, warlords and guards involved were implicated in murder, revenge attacks, bribery and anti-coalition activities. One of the warlords even hosted an August 2008 Taliban meeting that was raided by U.S. and Afghan forces, it added.

The ArmourGroup has had a federal contract in the millions and it has processes in place that endanger the lives of Americans who are supposedly at war and that’s ok with the federal bureaucracy.  Meanwhile back at home, millions of Americans are out of work, and millions more are at each others  throats while defense contractors and security firms continue to rob the national coffers dry.  Only now during the reign of the Obama Administration is anyone taking note of the perils of federal spending which has gone unabated for the last ten years and we wonder why we have the likes of Sharon Angle, Pam Geller, et.co setting the national agenda?