The new face of terrorism


Paul Anthony CianciaNo one yet is calling  Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, a terrorist even though he walked into Los Angeles airport and shot three people, killing one, and the reason he’s not being called one is he cannot be directly tied to Islam or Muslims but that’s what he is.

We in America have politicized crime…only Muslims can be terrorists like only white homophobic men/women can commit hate crimes and in making this statement have diminished the criminal activity of the likes of Ciancia.  Everyone breathes a sigh of relief, Muslims, who won’t be blamed for this assault on America,  government and law enforcement officials, who won’t have to answer questions of how did this murderer escape their scrutiny that billions of dollars in their budgets is supposed to protect us from and perhaps even the general public, glad to be spared the hand wringing, woe and fear that attacks said to target their way of life brings …everyone except the innocent victims of Ciancia’s murderous, terrorist rampage…… all because we failed to use one word to describe him. Fix this America!

Here we go again…..


Remember this guy? longHe was denied entry into his own country for several long, excruciating months due to the appearance of his name on the mysterious, unfathomable no fly list or whatever it’s designation really is. Finally he was allowed to fly to his home state of Oklahoma and his return was uneventful, if you don’t count this  rather intimidating run in he had with the FBI back in November.  Well he’s back in the news again and here’s why

In early November, I wrote about the infuriating story of Saadiq Long, the 43-year-old African-American Muslim who – despite having never been charged with any crime – was secretly placed on a no-fly list and thus barred from flying to the US to visit his seriously ill mother. When I met with Long in early November in Doha, Qatar, where he has lived for several years with his wife and her two children while teaching English, he was in the middle of his futile months-long battle just to find out why he was placed on this list, let alone how he could be removed.

Two weeks after that article was published, Long – without explanation – was finally removed from the no-fly list and he flew from Doha to Oklahoma City to visit his mother and other family members. He took several flights to make the 20-hour journey, all without incident. He has remained in Oklahoma for the last ten weeks, visiting his family in the US for the first time in over a decade.

But now Long – unbeknownst to him – has once again apparently been secretly placed by some unknown National Security State bureaucrat on the no-fly list. On Wednesday night, as Associated Press first reported, he went to the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City to fly back home to Qatar. In order to ensure there were no problems, his lawyer sent the FBI a letter ahead of time notifying them that Long would be flying home on that date (see the embedded letter below).

But without explanation, Long was denied a boarding pass at the airport by a Delta Airlines agent. Three local police officers then arrived on the scene, followed by a US Transportation Security Administration agent who “told Long he couldn’t board a plane but did not give him a specific reason”.

Long’s lawyer, Adam Soltani of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was with him at the airport and repeatedly asked agents why this was happening and who they should contact. He got no answers, except was told to contact the FBI. But both the FBI and Delta refused to comment to AP, while TSA spokesman David Castelveter would only say this:

“It’s my understanding this individual was denied a boarding pass by the airline because he was on a no-fly list. The TSA does not confirm whether someone is or is not on the no-fly list, as that list is maintained by the FBI.”

Long and his CAIR lawyers have thus far been told nothing about why he is barred once again from flying.

The personal cost to this injustice is obvious and substantial. Long has a job he needs to return to in Doha from which he has been away for more than two months, and his family needs that income for its sustenance. “I was extremely disappointed when I was unable to board the flight this past Wednesday,” Long told me through his lawyer. “My family in Qatar feels crushed that I will not be returning home as expected.”

The sense of humiliation and outrage should not be hard to fathom. Just imagine being a US citizen, denied the right to travel home – first to your own country, then back to your family – by a government that has never charged you with any crime or indicated you have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort. Imagine going to the airport and having local and federal agents arrive to prevent you from boarding a plane, treating you like a criminal – a Terrorist – without any tangible accusations. “I don’t understand how the government can take away my right to travel without even telling me,” he told me back in November. “If the US government wanted me to question or arrest or prosecute me, they could have had me in a minute. But there are no charges, no accusations, nothing.”

But what’s particularly infuriating here is that, if they had evidence that Long has done anything wrong, they easily could have arrested him at any point over the last ten weeks when he was in the US. The reality is that they could have arrested him at any time over the last decade because he has lived in three countries with highly US-loyal autocracies: Egypt, the UAE and Qatar. But he was never arrested, never charged with anything – just denied the basic right to travel.

Here is what CAIR’s Gadeir Abbas told me about all of this on Thursday:

“It is not as if the FBI actually thinks Saadiq is a threat. If it did – and it had actual evidence – the FBI would simply arrest him. As they surely recall, they let him fly just a few months ago. It turns out, though, the only reason for doing so is because it is, in the FBI’s view, slightly more indefensible to prevent an American citizen from flying home than it is to prevent him from flying abroad.

“And because we told the FBI ahead of time when Saadiq would be flying, hardly the behavior of a criminal, they could have stuck an air marshal right next to him. They could have subjected his person and luggage to extra scrutiny. But the FBI does not do these things because the No Fly List is not used to protect aircraft. This watchlist – and the many others like it – is a means by which the FBI metes out extra-judicial punishment.”

How can anyone argue with that? Even leaving aside that he just flew into and around the US less than three months ago without incident, the very idea that he poses a threat to this flight is patently ludicrous given their advance knowledge that he was flying and the multiple precautions they could take if they really were concerned.

Plainly, air travel safety is not what any of this is about. It is about inventing ways to punish US Muslims and deprive them of the most basic rights without so much as providing any notice, let alone any due process that would enable the secret, unknown accusations to be discovered and rebutted. And it is a very common weapon.

Use of this repressive tactic has worsened significantly under the Obama administration. Last February, Associated Press learned that “the Obama administration has more than doubled, to about 21,000 names, its secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States, including about 500 Americans.” Moreover, as I detailed last November based on that AP report:

“Worse, the Obama administration ‘lowered the bar for being added to the list’. As a result, reported AP, ‘now a person doesn’t have to be considered only a threat to aviation to be placed on the no-fly list’ but can be included if they ‘are considered a broader threat to domestic or international security’, a vague status determined in the sole and unchecked discretion of unseen DHS bureaucrats.”

There should be no doubt of the FBI’s desire to harass Long. Although they never charged him with any crime or arrested him while he was in Oklahoma, he was, along with his sister, Ava Anderson, handcuffed and put on the ground the day after Thanksgiving after they drove to their local police department in fear when they noticed they were being followed. It turns out that the FBI had falsely told local police that Long and his sister were “fleeing felons”, but when the local police learned that was false, they never arrested Long or his sister. They were simply told to leave without explanation.

As Abbas told me after that incident occurred: “Our sense is that a particular FBI agent, or perhaps a small group of them, in Oklahoma City are looking to inflict some pain on Saadiq and his family – maybe in retaliation for the embarrassment he caused them or the thousands of emails that ended up getting sent to their field office there.”

The worst part of all of this is the complete lack of remedy available to Long. Abbas told me: “unfortunately, because of arcane jurisdictional complications, we don’t think seeking a preliminary injunction is necessarily an expeditious option for getting Saadiq on a plane.” Even worse:

“We’ll likely try again in a couple of weeks, but if there isn’t some change by then, this puts Saadiq in the position of rolling the dice and trying to get to a country by land or sea that will actually let him fly. Even in these situations, however, we’ve seen detentions and interrogations by foreign authorities, such as here and here.”

So now he’s just in a no-man’s land. He can’t contest the accusations against him because there are none. After being blocked for months from visiting his own country and his terminally ill mother, he’s now barred from returning to his home, his job, and his own family. All of this is done by his own government without a shred of due process, transparency or accountability.

When I wrote on Tuesday about the Obama DOJ’s “white paper” justifying due-process-free presidential assassinations, I wrote that “the core distortion of the War on Terror under both Bush and Obama is the Orwellian practice of equating government accusations of terrorism with proof of guilt” and that “if the US government simply asserts without evidence or trial that someone is a terrorist, then they are assumed to be, and they can then be punished as such.” This is exactly what I was talking about: I’m sure there will be no shortage of people justifying this by insisting that he must have done something wrong: even though the government has never said what that is, offered evidence for it, or provided any opportunity for the accusations to be independently examined.

This is also a perfect example of what New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal meant when he wrote last March that the US now has “what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims”. State punishment without charges and trials is now perfectly normal – for Muslims.

Glenn Greenwald—The Guardian

“Other” Terrorism News


I like to highlight terrorism that’s committed by “other” terrorists throughout the Homeland because main stream media doesn’t.  Why anyone would want to do anything suspicious in and around an airplane is beyond me, but this “unnamed” individual did the unspeakable, sneaking a Leatherman KNIFE in a bottle of mayonnaise that he wanted to take on to a plane departing JFK Airport. Anyone who has flown in post 911 America from that airport knows how incredible this story is.  The act of putting a knife in a jar of mayonnaise, then sealing it not only speaks to his poor culinary tastes….mayonnaise is most likely not something you could add to airplane food to make it better but our Nation’s history where people  used such instruments to hijack planes must never be forgotten.   It is for that reason TSA was formed and they did their job to perfection in this case, discovering the weapon but what happened next is beyond me?!?!?!  They let this “unnamed” person get on his plane!  Is it possible they think he accidentally put the knife in the mayonnaise jar while making a bologna sandwich?  Undoubtedly this passenger was NOT a Muslim, otherwise he would be in Gitmo Bay by now and his name and picture splashed all over the pages, bandwidth and airwaves of main stream media.  For now he/she remains unnamed, and their religious/ethnic identity is neither mentioned nor regarded by most of those who read this news story; but that’s how it should be America….for EVERYBODY.

This next story is a typical American tragedy.  Back when it happened a lot we used to call it going postal…someone in the workplace snaps and takes out his/her frustration….but because a lot more political mileage can be garnered by calling it terrorism when it applies to certain groups it’s very difficult to see it any other way when anyone else does it.  One L. Goh went postal in Oakland, Ca and killed 7 people at one of the local colleges there.  The reason why he went on this killing spree is he felt disrespected by the school’s administrators and his classmates.  Such disrespect and frustration happen to almost all of us, but rarely results in such extreme actions and when it does it gets mentioned but not magnified in America’s media…much like this story….because we’ve come to accept this is a by product of a large heterogeneous society that has a violent edge that manifests itself in such ways.  Up until recently religious, ethnic motives were not examined nor mentioned when reporting such stories.  The perpetrator(s) was seen as a cultural aberration that we as a society needed to let the judicial system deal with while we not focus on him or her.  That’s the way it should be no matter who commits such insanity, or if we insist on attaching cultural identities to violence when none exists, then we should do it for all.  One and “unnamed” in the previous story are either anonymous criminals or terrorists.  You decide…but be consistent.  If our system of justice is truly blind, then so should our labeling of those who must face that justice.

A Mind is a terrible thing to waste


…..and FoxNews has lost its mind!  In a theme picked up by most Islamophobes, FoxNews went on the air with several different shows ( see here and here ) claiming The Council of American Islamic Relations CAIR, was able to get an exemption from TSA for Muslim women travelers so that they would not have to go through invasive full body pat downs.  Of course it was a lie, easily proven as such with a little bit of investigation which  when certain groups are mentioned by certain individuals NEVER gets done.

The policy has always been in place since full body scanners were introduced into airports that one could refuse going through one but had to subject themselves to a full body pat down instead. In other words the so called naked body scanners are optional for the flying public.   The TSA in its own press release has also said that Muslim women or any passenger who is wearing something that is covering their head and upper body because of medical or religious reasons…..using the very general term baggy clothing to describe such garb, and who does not want to remove it in order to be cleared must then face the options of a trace portal, trace detection or pat down of the covered area.   The first two, trace portal and trace detection are done mechanically to detect the presence of explosive residue on the body or clothing of someone.

Anyone who refuses AIT or full body image scanning that clearly shows the naked human body, MUST go through the invasive groping body search or pat down.  It is significant to point out that CAIR and other Muslim groups in America have declared the AIT scanners are not an option for Muslims and encouraged their followers to submit to the pat down search instead.  Why anyone thinks that is asking to be exempt from the prying eyes and groping hands of government is beyond  me.

After the full body pat down, a person can risk a secondary screening because of some alarm raised on the part of TSA personnel about the passenger, and this secondary screening involves either trace portal, trace detection or pat down of the covered area.  This screening is obviously meant to discover traces of explosives since the passenger has already been patted down by security and it is here where CAIR suggests that a person may ask to pat down the covered area instead of having TSA personnel do so since that has already been done by a security officer. The intent of the pat down here is to detect explosive residue, not determine what object is under the baggy clothing.  It may be that the person has been in contact with explosive material that is not on their person or in their carry on luggage but have trace amounts found on their clothes which might suggest suspicious behavior and grounds for further investigation before allowing that person on the plane.  What is plain by looking at the steps paggesngers go through is at the point where a woman is asked to have her hijab touched, groped, felt, whatever you want to call it, she has ALREADY gone through the invasive pat down that anyone who rejects the AIT scanners goes through and this part of the screening process is a more fine tuned one to check for exposure to explosives.  Those airports that do not have trace portal devices which cost, according to TSA $160,000 per unit might opt for a pat down of the suspected body part to resolve security concerns.  CAIR goes so far as to say that should a Muslim woman undergo the secondary pat down, she has the right, as any member of the flying public, to have someone with her other than TSA personnel, and the pat down can be done in private, out of sight.  That is not an exemption, rather an explanation of the rights any member of the flying public has available if they should undergo the vigourous and intrusive nature of the security apparatus instituted under the Bush Administration and maintained by the Obama Administration.

Isn’t it an axiom of government and especially a free government that has decided to change course and pursue  infringing upon the rights of its citizens that such a turn of events will take place gradually and that any gains it acquires towards this purpose it will not give up?  That day in 2001 when the TSA became a part of the federal bureaucracy was a day it was stamped forever into government and would attempt with the help of both political parties presently in existence  to get ever increasing powers at the expense of American citizens.  These invasive security measures upon our person are our fault and ours alone for we’ve allowed them, through our votes and the election of officials who engage in the political process for personal power and aggrandizement to usurp the power of the people.  If FoxNews really wants to make headlines, why don’t they investigate how many trace portals bought by TSA are manufactured by one of the two companies who make them, GeneralElectric, parent company for now, of  Fox’s competitor NBC.  Corporate media however, is fixated on its own survival even at the cost of the general public.  It is far more lucrative in the short run to demonize segments of society than it is to look into back room machinations of corporations who solidify by diversification their grip on a terror driven society intent on eating its own.