Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Why can't we trust certain folks in our media to give us the straight facts?

October 2, 2013,

Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by
The Canadian Press published on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 in the Toronto Star, entitled, 'Ottawa doing everything it can to free Canadians jailed in Egypt. My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

                                                    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

At the behest of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the government is doing “absolutely everything it can” to secure the release of two Canadians held without charge in Egypt, says Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. More than seven weeks after they were arrested at the height of civil unrest in Cairo, Toronto filmmaker John Greyson and London, Ont., doctor Tarek Loubani were ordered detained for another 45 days on the weekend.

“The government, at the prime minister’s direction, has been engaged in a big way to secure the release of these two Canadians,” Baird told a news conference Tuesday. “I don’t want to up the rhetoric that would impede their expeditious release. I would just say we’re having strong discussions with the Egyptian authorities on this. “Canadians have got to know that their government at the highest levels is doing absolutely everything it can.”

In a statement Saturday, the two men said they were observing an anti-government demonstration Aug. 16 when Loubani heeded a call for a doctor and began treating wounded demonstrators, while Greyson recorded the unrest on video. The men were later arrested by police while heading back to their hotel. Their statement said they were beaten and dumped in a squalid, cockroach-infested jail cell crammed with others picked up that day.

The government is taking a “two-track approach,” judicial and political, said Baird, citing recent meetings between Canada’s ambassador in Cairo and the Egyptian attorney general, as well as discussions between ambassadors in both countries and his own talks with Egypt’s foreign minister.
“I stated in no uncertain terms that this was a significant problem in our bilateral relations,” Baird said. “It’s simply unacceptable that Canadians can be held for this long with no specific charges, no specific evidence.”

Some reports have suggested that the pair could soon be facing murder charges, but Baird said those charges appear to be directed at the larger group of protesters rather than at Greyson and Loubani themselves. Egyptian prosecutors have accused Loubani and Greyson of “participating with members of the Muslim Brotherhood” in an attack on a police station, but have not brought forward specific charges.

The men’s statement said they witnessed more than 50 people die in the unrest. They had planned an overnight stay in Cairo en route to Gaza, where Loubani was to do humanitarian work documented by Greyson. But barred from getting across the border, they decided to investigate the protest erupting in Ramses Square mere blocks from their hotel. The unrest in Cairo was sparked after president Mohammed Morsi was removed from power.

my response........

                                                   John Greyson                  Tarek Loubani
                                        leader of an extremist group?  an extremist activist?

Ever wondered why Tarek Loubani and John Greyson are the latest darlings with certain media writers? So, who are these fellows? The Canadian Press says Loubani is a doctor and Greyson is a filmmaker, and they're being held in an Egyptian jail for more than seven weeks after they were arrested at the height of civil unrest in Cairo. But is that only glossing over an insidious truth?

Ezra Levant of the Toronto Sun tells us that in addition to being a rich doctor from London, Ontario,  Loubani calls himself a Palestinian refugee, though he came to Canada from Kuwait, where he was born. But the dichotomy is Loubani stands accused of being an extremist activist! When a Canadian cabinet minister was announcing a grant to help people with disabilities, Loubani stormed into the press conference, disrupting it, shouting about how he's a refugee from Palestine. Loubani just wouldn't leave the press conference, even when security guards asked him to. He kept shouting like a crazy person until police escorted him away, even though he's been in Canada since he was a child. 

                                     Ezra courageously investigating illegal campers in Toronto!

Is Loubani a trouble seeker? Is it because he ignored his government warnings when he went to Egypt in August in the middle of a civil war. He says he was trying to go to the Gaza Strip and that's why he was arrested by Egyptian police. Have Loubani and Greyson been happy boosters of trouble before, with Greyson involved in running an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

Although technically accurate to call Greyson a filmmaker, is it not more informative to mention he's a professor at York University and a leader of the extremist group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, an alleged hate group that has marched in the gay pride parade in Toronto. Which is odd, because Israel is the only country in the Middle East where homosexuality isn't a crime and where they actually have a gay pride parade, too. Isn't death the punishment for being gay in the Gaza Strip?

                                                 Terrorist bombs injure innocent runners!

So, yes, Loubani is a doctor. And yes, Greyson is a filmmaker but both have been happy boosters of Hamas before, with Greyson involved in running an Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas forces in Gaza. Is medicine and filmmaking really the most relevant facts to report about them? Or is it more relevant to point out they are anti-Israel propagandists and activists who have made common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood's Hamas wing for years, not just in the streets of Toronto and London, Ont., but in Gaza itself?

These men are not mainstream or moderate. Ezra thinks it's lucky they were arrested by the Egyptian military, which only held them, as Canadian police would do, if foreign provocateurs came to town in the middle of a massive riot. They're lucky they weren't arrested by the more enthusiastic members of Hamas' religious police. They might not be as tolerant of Greyson's sexuality as Canada is. They might not be as tolerant of Loubani's free speech as Canada is.

                                    Terrorist bomb explodes inside a Spanish commuter train!

At a time when young Canadian and American boys are dying in places like Algeria, Syria and Somalia,  what is this sinister force that is driving them to suicide? But, like Ezra, i'm wondering if there is an even more insidious truth? Like, why can't we trust certain folks in our media to give us the straight facts?


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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Why are some psuedo-writers getting the big stories wrong over and over again!

                                                           Your newspaperman!

Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by Mitch Potter, Washington Bureau news reporter for the Toronto Star, entitled, 'Tragic Cleveland saga often descended into voyeuristic media farce driven by ‘vanity’, Coverage of the Cleveland missing women, like the Sandy Hook massacre and Boston bombing, saw many journalistic mistakes made for the sake of being first.' My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

It was another week of breaking news breaking bad. First it was the three Brothers Evil in Cleveland, or so everyone thought. Until a day later, when the supposedly Unholy Trinity melted away as two siblings stumbled off the stage, exonerated. And the hot glare of suspicion settled instead on Ariel Castro alone.
Then there was the saga of Charles Ramsey, the McDonald’s-munching, door-kicking saviour of Seymour Ave., a viral sensation for 48 hours, until a fresh round of muckrakery by The Smoking Gun unpacked Ramsey’s own troubled past.

The revelation of Ramsey as a repeat domestic abuser stirred wild debate of its own, not least for its powerful message to never do the right thing lest your own personal baggage be displayed before the world.
Yet even those arguments began to cave amid new reports that Ramsey came late to the rescue party and that it was another neighbour altogether, Angel Cordero, who kicked in the door, bringing a tortuous decade of confinement and assault to an end. Cordero would have gone viral but for the click-limiting fact he speaks only Spanish.

Scott Pelley, the CBS News anchor, summed it all up with a self-incriminating screed at Quinnipiac University Friday, adding up the mountain of mistakes, from the massacre in Newtown to the bombings in Boston to Cleveland, as evidence that journalism’s house is on fire.

“We’re getting the big stories wrong over and over again,” said Pelley.

He railed against “vanity” and “self-conceit,” as the drivers of a real-time scramble to be first with any new crumb of information, often lifted without scrutiny from the uncorroborated pages of social media.
Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, said Pelley, are “not journalism. That’s gossip. Journalism was invented as an antidote to gossip.”

It’s “a world where everybody is a publisher, no one is an editor, and we’ve arrived at that point today.”
Yet there at more still grievous dimensions to the horrible revelations in Cleveland: the very unusual fact that the world learned (and published) the names of the three captive women first and only later, in graphic detail, the sheer extent of the sexual violence they were forced to endure.

The Cleveland story came with a built-in broken rule, a very big one, that journalists not publish the names of those subjected to rape. By week’s end some news outlets sought solace in reminding readers they at least scaled the ethical bar by not naming the 6-year-old girl born in captivity as others had.

“What is especially awful about the Cleveland story is that the victims were in effect victimized a second time: first, the gigantic misfortune of being kidnapped, then, the victimization of becoming part of a huge international news story,” said media analyst Robert Thompson.

“Breaking news has been around since the telegraph. But now it is breaking with previously unthinkable speed, from the first 911 call, which rings like an invitation to satellite trucks around the country to ‘Come ye all to Cleveland.’ ”

Thompson, director of Syracuse University’s Bleier Centre for Television and Popular Culture, said journalism’s “muddle” is fast becoming everyone’s muddle now that everyone is a journalist.
“All these misreported stories, from the Boston bombings on down, are a call for making media literacy a part of basic public education in the 21st century, alongside reading, writing and arithmetic,” he said.

“Basic rules need to taught, not only on consuming media but how people themselves use media in these completely democratized ways. And that would include a sense of ethics, even if you are not a professional journalist.”

Thompson calls the rush of TV trucks to Cleveland “the original sin,” arguing that, while the emerging story “was big and terrible, on a completely rational level one can argue it’s a local story.

“But the decision to cover Cleveland more than anything else now is dictated not by journalistic standards but the audience itself. The option of TV news bosses to make decisions based on anything but the corporate bottom line of maximizing audience and income stream is now almost impossible,” said Thompson.

Cleveland unfolded with some checks and balances in the struggle between almost voyeuristic infotainment versus info-containment. Nancy Grace, who lives and breathes overwrought true-crime scandal at Headline News took a reputational walloping as she feasted on the latest news from Seymour Ave., while simultaneously covering the verdict of the Jodi Arias murder trial in Phoenix.

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, signalled that Grace was in for the full Jon Stewart treatment when she tweeted, “Seriously. This week is like Christmas Morning everyday for a tragedy muncher like Nancy Grace.”

The next night, Stewart rounded on Grace in his opening segment, eviscerating her as an “engorged tragedy tick” feeding with sadistic glee on human suffering. For the Bleier Centre’s Thompson, media looking for a high road in the midst of the breaking-news muddle need to think in terms of “reputational branding.”
“It’s not meaningless to choose to avoid publishing names of sexual assault victims, even when the general public already knows — and shares — those names,” he said. “The JFK era of breaking news is over. But the values of accuracy, care and caution are not.

“If journalism’s great calling is to provide information for the greater good — something we all believed in as we went to journalism school — it has to adapt. And quickly.”

my response.......

Mitch Potter's article above speaks to the looming information disaster we are facing while the shift from quality journalism to quick and dirty gossip is well underway. It is hardly a secret that certain media coverage is partly responsible for the political fix we are in, be it the Obama Democrats in Washington or the Wynne Liberals in Ontario, when messaging is too often drowned out by coverage of hype and hubris instead of control over our debt and deficits.

                                                Vic Gupta, Rob Weller and MPP Peter Sherman
                                                         at a local manufacturing business

Specifically, these media lackeys have done their best to push Ontario taxpayers into a box, because all they say is, 'the PC's are only concerned with is balancing the budget and cutting spending and taking things away from people,' when all along, what the PC's are trying to say is that the Ontario taxpayer wants to control spending in order to grow local manufacturing and re-energize the opportunity machine of Ontario.

To rise above these folks, has the time has come for Tim to let the taxpayer know what he going to do for that assistant manager of a fast food restaurant?

                                           the late Aqsa Parvez with her family members who
                                                     were convicted of murdering her!

Has the time has come for Tim to say what is he going to do for single moms who are waking up in Scarborough this morning and facing the fact that their kids are going to schools that can’t even provide a safe place for these mothers to leave their kids, let alone get an education?

Has the time has come to craft a more appealing political message, most notably in relation to minority voters calling for more substantive engagement with minority communities who came to our country seeking safety from tyranny?

                                                                 Recent protest sign!

Has the time come for Tim to soften the party’s economic message, considering that it appears it’s easier for Andrea Horwath of the New Democrats to sell a message about personal irresponsibility than it is for Tim to sell a vision of personal responsibility and fiscal discipline that would drive economic growth?

Granted, Tim has taken some steps necessary to maintain his commitment to fiscal discipline so vital to economic growth but now Tim needs to speak for the people who, frankly, may have begun to turn off because they don’t feel Tim has an agenda that speaks to them.

                                                                        Tim Hudak

The PC's are all about giving people opportunity but this message won't resonate until Tim Hudak takes the lead with effective media messaging after shouldering much of the blame for the party’s failure to capture Queen's Park in last election, after pre-election polls had him ahead.

Tim must do a better job of speaking to the concerns of people at the lower rungs of the economic ladder if the PC's are to win the coming election. Regardless of what certain media lackeys have up their sleeves, Tim needs to let folks know what his agenda this year is all about.


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Sunday, 5 May 2013

'War on Women' IV

As a memorial to the late Miss Aksa Parvez and the late Miss Zainab Shafia, I am providing this article, verbatim by Ezra Levant, a noted Toronto Sun writer, to my readers. My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

Pamela Geller, author of the book The Post-American Presidency and 
a proponent of the proposed World Trade Center Islamic Center answers 
emails inside her home on August 3, 2010 in New York City.                    
(JASON ANDREW/Getty Images)
Pamela Geller is a New York liberal, concerned about shariah law. Most Canadians don’t know who she is, but she did something for us that no Canadian did: She arranged for a proper gravestone for Aqsa Parvez, the teenaged Canadian girl murdered by her father and brother in a so-called honour killing in 2007.

Aqsa was murdered for daring to dress like a Canadian, instead of wearing a punishment sack, as women in shariah countries like Saudi Arabia are required to do. But Parvez was also victimized even after she died. No Muslim cemetery would agree to have her buried there. Nor would they allow a marker of any sort to commemorate her.

It’s almost as if the leaders of the Muslim community blamed Aqsa and tacitly agreed with her murderers, that she was dishonourable. For two years, until her family arranged for an inscribed stone, Aqsa was buried in an unmarked grave, in a public cemetery.

For two years, all that was on her tomb was a number, 774. Her murderer father must have been pleased; he got his wish, didn’t he? His daughter was erased from life and, for a time, erased again in death.
This did not sit well with Geller. She set about raising funds for a proper memorial for Aqsa.

Once the Muslim cemetery refused, she proposed to have a small memorial built at the University of Guelph’s arboretum, with the simple inscription: “Aqsa Parvez: Loved, Remembered, Free.” Tasteful and understated. A small gesture of justice and freedom for a murdered girl. Paid by donors.
And the university refused.

Eventually, Geller found the one place that would accept a memorial — not in Canada, but in Israel. Geller has a tough side, too. She organized New Yorkers, especially firemen and cops, to oppose a massive Ground Zero victory mosque proposed for the site of the 9/11 attacks. And she raises funds for ads on American subways and buses warning against jihad and terrorism.

She’s an enormously popular speaker — partly because she’s an energetic doer, too. Which is why she was invited to speak in north Toronto next weekend, at a Jewish synagogue. But then Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police got wind of Geller’s speech. Veerappan is with something called the diversity, equity and inclusion bureau of that police force. You’d think he’d want to meet Geller, to learn about honour killings

Geller’s a bit of an expert in that. But Veerappan didn’t want to meet Geller. Nor did he want anyone else to meet her. He contacted the rabbi at the synagogue, and told him to cancel Geller’s speech — and that if he didn’t, the rabbi would lose his position as a police chaplain. The rabbi caved.

What crime did Geller commit? Veerappan was happy to tell QMI Agency: “Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities.”

Really? Like what — offering a proper burial for girls killed in honour killings? Standing up for women’s rights, against shariah law? Warning against terrorism? But even if her values were “wrong,” what business is that of a cop? Do guest speakers at synagogues now have to register their opinions in advance with the police?

So that’s who’s banned. But who’s welcome? As I write this, a student group not affiliated with the University of British Columbia is scheduled to host a conference on campus with a guest speaker, named Leila Khaled, appearing via Skype.

Unlike Geller, Khaled doesn’t believe in peace and security. Khaled is a Palestinian terrorist, convicted of hijacking planes, twice. That’s Canadian “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Our police will bully a Jewish rabbi into cancelling a speech from a Jewish New Yorker whose chief contribution to our country was to give Aqsa Parvez a proper gravestone.

But a convicted terrorist? No problem! Help yourself to our leading universities, paid for by public tax dollars. Maybe police will even provide security — to keep out any troublesome Jews.

                                                                  Aqsa Parvez
 my response......

I can't help feeling that Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police has boxed himself into a corner by at least not letting Pam Geller speak. An affront to free speech which smacks of hypocrisy, when you consider how many terrorists apologists have been heard from. Wouldn't it be wise to advise Pam of our laws and then wait for her to break them before reacting? Should a 'terrorists apologist' receive the courtesy that Pam didn't, will Ricky then be 'walking the beat'?

Ricky has set the bar very high and I hope he can see over it for many folks will never forget little Miss Aksa Parvez and Miss Zainab Shafia, who are just two of too many young local woman; murdered by their family members who are currently incarcerated in Canadian prisons for a very long time.  

Aqsa "Axa" Parvez (April 22, 1991 – December 10, 2007) was the victim of a murder in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. During the murder trial for little Aqsa, Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno acknowledged the slaying as an honour killing, stating, "that he found it "profoundly disturbing that a 16-year-old could be murdered by a father and brother for the purpose of saving family pride, for saving them from what they perceived as family embarrassment." Her brother, Waqas Parvez, had strangled her to death when Aqsa would not wear a hijab covering. Parvez's death was reported internationally and sparked a debate about the status of women in Islam. Pam was fundraising for a memorial for little Aqsa...something her family has gone on record of rejecting!

                                                       Guilty of Murdering Aqsa Parvez!
 For those who will never forget their horror when Miss Zainab Shafia and her sisters were murdered, the Shafia Family murders took place on June 30, 2009 in Kingston, Ontario. Shafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, were found dead inside a car that was discovered underwater in front of the northernmost Kingston Mills lock of the Rideau Canal on the same day. Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti were daughters of Mohammad Shafia, 58 and his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41.

The couple also had a son Hamed, 20. Rona, who was herself infertile, was the first wife of Mohammad Shafia in their polygamous household. On July 23, 2009, Mohammad, Tooba Yahya, and Hamed were arrested on charges of four counts of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder under the guise of honour killing. They were found guilty of all four counts by the jury in January 2012

                                                                     Zainab Shafia
The Toronto Sun polled a number of readers with a simple question ...did police go too far calling a synagogue over Pamela Geller giving a speech and as of 10 am on Sunday, May 5th, results are as follows...94% said yes with 1085 votes, 3% gave a categorical a No with only 38 votes, 1% with 17 votes responded with 'they may have a point' and less than 1% saying they are not sure at only 10 votes

If you are disturbed by the action of York Regional Police, you may want to call the Chief, write your provincial Attorney General and your Federal Minister of Justice. Regardless, Pam will continue her mission to bring forward important issues to is her right and our right to listen or change channels, under our constitution.

                                                             Sahar and Zainab Shafia

I will be surfing the web to gather timely information for a continuing series about the 'War on Women' so that we may understand the mindset that justifies and perpetuates 'honour killings' in Canada. Hopefully, by exposing this scourge, our governments will provide additional assistance, like safe housing to protect those threatened.


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 'War on Women' IV 
A memorial...  

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Toronto Marathon organizers warn participants and spectators to 'be vigilant' during this weekend's race!



Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by Rachel Mendleson, a news reported for the Toronto Star, entitled, 'Toronto marathon expected to draw big crowds despite Boston bombings. Marathon organizers warn participants and spectators to 'be vigilant' during this weekend's race. '.  My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

"Immediately following the Boston Marathon bombings, several concerned parents called Toronto marathon organizer Jay Glassman and withdrew their kids from volunteer roles in the upcoming event. But a few days later, Glassman says, he heard from them again. They asked him to put their children’s names back on the list.

“Given some time to think about it, they realized that life’s got to go on,” he said. “You can’t give in.”
More than 12,000 runners and 1,000 volunteers are expected to participate in the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon on Sunday, where Glassman predicts that there could be as many as 60,000 spectators spread across the length of the course.

And rather than deter athletes and supporters, he says the tragedy in Boston has galvanized Toronto’s tight-knit running community “The community, almost in defiance of what happened, will come together stronger and better than before,” Glassman said.

The memory of Boston, not yet a month old, will be palpable at the event, from the minutes of silence planned at Mel Lastman Square at the start of each race to the “Remember Boston” patches on every bib.
On the marathon’s website, organizers are urging runners and spectators to “be vigilant,” and notify police or race officials “should you notice anything suspicious.”

For security reasons, Glassman declined to discuss any special precautions that are planned for this weekend’s event, but described security measures as “status quo.” In past years, between 250 and 300 paid-duty police officers have provided security for the event, Glassman said. Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash would not say if that number will rise this weekend, or confirm whether security arrangements have changed in any way, but he said there is currently “no increase in threat levels” in the city.

“We’re always monitoring any threats against the city. We tweak our security arrangements when that’s necessary,” Pugash said. Security, however, is not a worry for Julie Yip, who will be running her first full marathon on Sunday. Yip, who manages the York Mills location of the Running Room, said she has “never heard anyone express concern” about the upcoming race.

“If anything, it’s like, ‘We’re going to show them,’” said Yip, who plans to wear a blue and yellow ribbon during the race to show her support for Boston. Kevin Smith, who travelled from Toronto to run the Boston Marathon, and was in a pub a block past the finish line when the explosions went off, has registered for the half-marathon this weekend.

Smith said his body is still healing from the wear-and-tear of the recent marathon. But if possible, he will run on Sunday. “People are really gathering together and celebrating being runners,” he said. “There’s a need to get out there with other runners. We feel like there’s safety in numbers — safety with brethren.”

my response.....
                                                    Runners at a Toronto Marathon!

While it is certainly understandable that several concerned parents called a Toronto marathon organizer to withdrew their kids from volunteer roles in the upcoming event, their action proves that folks are not convinced that our politicians are taking Terrorist threats seriously! In his book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright provides a historical account of the people, ideas and events leading up to Terrorist attacks, specifically the 9/11 terrorist attack. This book was so well received that it was a New York Times bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 2007.  The question is...why didn't our politicians learn enough from this cowardly attack on innocent civilians to save lives in Boston?

Today, in the post-9/11 world, superlative law enforcement capabilities we saw on display by the FBI, Mass State troopers and Boston Police were in full evidence for the world to see at the Boston Bombing, but North American, yes Americans and Canadians need and deserve a combined law enforcement establishment that emphasizes other capabilities, which in my view, were not much in evidence leading up to the bomb blasts that fateful Monday afternoon in Boston.

                                                      Runners at aother Toronto Marathon!

Now, more than ever, we need our politicians to enable law enforcement to place a premium on three related capabilities: detection, assessment and warning.

Detection: Identifying potential threats and discriminating between potential threats and non-threats.

Assessment: Confirming, characterizing and prioritizing threats.

Warning: Remaining in front of the public’s need for information and for physical safety.

From the mountain of video and still images now available on the internet, it appears the alleged two bombers were in the vicinity of the finish line for at least ONE HOUR, carrying heavy backpacks prior to detonating their bombs.

                                                        Runners at a Vancouver Marathon!

One could make a strong case that by employing 'video analytic' software available today, a trained surveillance operator with access to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, (TIDE is the Government's central database on known or suspected international terrorists containing highly classified information) may have detected the two suspects as potential threats and alerted police on the ground to approach them to make an assessment. Ask yourself, could  this have prevented the cold-blooded murder of an MIT officer?

It has already been reported that one of the dead Boston marathon bombing suspects was added to a CIA terror database a FULL EIGHTEEN MONTHS before the attack. Instead, what we saw, after the bombs were detonated, was the deployment of millions of dollars worth of equipment which, in the end, helped bring down these alleged terrorists but was of little value to detect and assess threats and warn citizens BEFORE the attack.   

                                                 What can happen when a bomb explodes!

I have the highest respect and praise for the brave law enforcement professionals, who, through their selfless and heroic efforts, prevented even greater loss of life but politicians on both sides of the border need to rebuff efforts by terrorist apologists and enact legislation that will enable law enforcement priorities to be more proactive, and waiting until after the next terrorist attack on a VIA Train or another soft target should not be an option!


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 Toronto Marathon organizers warn participants and ... 
Are we doing all we can?  

Monday, 29 April 2013

Those who kill innocent people will dwell in hellfire forever?

                            The destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2001.

Today, I bring you an interesting article, verbatim by Noor Javed, a Toronto Star news reporter, with files from the Associated Press entitled, 'Boston Marathon bombings: Muslims torn over burial prayers for Tamerlan Tsaraev.' My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Muslim community has been united in its condemnation of the terrorist attacks that killed three people and injured more than 200. But one issue has sparked intense debate within a community struggling to come to terms with the tragedy: should accused terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev be given an Islamic burial?

For the religious leaders in Boston, the issue of how to deal with the remains of an alleged terrorist is an ethical dilemma with no clear answer, and little precedence. As a result, it has led to two distinctly different responses from the leadership: those who say Tsarnaev’s acts are so heinous he deserves rejection from the community, and those who believe that every man, regardless of his crime, deserves his last rites.
  • Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, right, parents of the suspected Boston bombers, reportedly were seeking to have an Islamic funeral in the Boston for their son, Tamerlan. 
“It’s not an easy situation to be in,” said Imam Yusuf Badat, who leads the congregation at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, one of the largest mosques in the city. “They probably fear that people will think they are too sympathetic to the terrorist, or they have concerns about a backlash. That’s likely why the mosques are declining.” The body of Tsarnaev, 26, who died after a fierce gun battle with police on April 19, is still in the custody of the state chief medical officer, who has been working to determine the cause of death.

Doctors said his injuries were so extensive that they were unable to immediately determine why he died.
Tsarnaev’s father, Anzor, told media Thursday that he intended to fly to the U.S. within a day or two and said he hoped to take his dead son’s body back to Russia. Tsnarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was undecided about returning to the U.S.

Earlier reports said the family hoped to find an Islamic centre to conduct a funeral in the Boston area. Initially there were no takers. And on Wednesday, Tsarnaev’s relatives told NBC news that their request for burial had been rejected by an unidentified mosque in Cambridge.

Imam Talal Eid of the Islamic Institute of Boston believes the community has been absolved of any obligation to conduct a funeral prayer. “He is a murderer, and according to the Qur’an those who kill innocent people will dwell in hellfire forever, without parole,” Eid said, in an interview with the Star. “In the eyes of our faith, he is not a Muslim. “How can I do a burial and ask God to forgive him? He didn’t do it in a fit of anger, it was a deliberate act,” said Eid, who has not been approached by the family. “We as a community should react very aggressively toward such acts of terror and not give him any benefit of the doubt.”

On Wednesday, Suhaib Webb, the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Centre, posted a brief statement on his Facebook page espousing a different view. “ISBCC did not deny the deceased suspect his rite of burial. It was not asked to provide those services. If it was, it would offer them to him as it is a community obligation to bury the dead. While we denounce the acts he’s accused of, his soul stands before God. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims of this horrible tragedy and their families.” Webb did not respond to the Star’s request for comment.

The two completely different responses are also indicative of the range of opinions that exist within the faith around how a funeral can be conducted, said Badat. The Islamic funeral is meant to be simple and quick. It consists of five main steps: confirmation of death; washing of the body; shrouding of the body; performance of a prayer; burial and continued prayers for the soul.

At issue in this case is who would conduct the funeral prayers over the body. Badat says it is not mandatory for the funeral prayer to take place at a mosque, nor does an imam need to conduct the service. He said that throughout Islamic history, when there were concerns that a funeral would harm the community, it was recommended for a private burial to take place, with only two or three people taking part in the funeral prayer. That can even include family members.

“If no one performs the funeral prayer, then the Muslim community of that specific town would be considered to have sinned,” Badat said. “In the very least, an Islamic burial should take place. That absolves the community of their obligation.” But Shahina Siddiqui, head of the Winnipeg-based Islamic Social Services Association, says denying anyone a proper Islamic burial is a slippery slope.

“Where do you draw the line? What about alcoholics, wife abusers or murderers?” she said. “I think it’s not a precedent that we should set and we should not take the job of God to judge people.” She likens the prayer to the Christian act of offering those about to die, including criminals, their last rites.

This is not the first time Muslim leaders have had to deal with the onerous task of disposing of terrorist remains. After the Mumbai attacks in 2008, which killed 164 people, including nine gunmen, the Indian government considered burying the bodies of the attackers in a Muslim graveyard in the city. However, religious leaders vehemently opposed the use of their cemetery. The government was forced to hold on to the bodies. When they began to rot, officials launched a secret operation to bury the bodies in the outskirts of the city, away from the media glare. The government informed the public of the burial two days later.

The U.S. government also conducted a covert operation when it disposed of the body of Osama bin Laden in the sea within 24 hours of him being killed. In media reports following his capture and death in 2011, U.S officials said they were trying to be sensitive to the Islamic practice of a quick burial, and believed that finding a country to accept his body would have be too difficult. There was also concern that his gravesite would become a site of veneration and converted into a shrine. Hence, the exact location of the burial was never revealed.

And little has been known about what happened to the remains of the Sept. 11 terrorists. According to a 2009 Newsweek story, the remains of 13 of the 19 hijackers were identified through DNA testing of charred remains of tissue and bones from the Pentagon and the Twin Tower sites. The remains are being held at undisclosed locations in New York and Virginia.

They are “stored as evidence in a refrigerated locker in sealed containers and test tubes,” FBI spokesman Richard Kolko told Newsweek. At the time, officials said no family or foreign government had asked for the remains, and it was unclear if such a request would be granted.

The FBI did not respond to a request for confirmation on whether, four years later, it was still in possession of the remains. In the case of Boston, it remains to be seen where Tsarnaev will finally be buried. But Eid’s advice to his fellow community leaders and imams is to stay away. “If others (in the community) want to do it, that’s fine. But I believe we (imams) should not come near this.”

my response.....
                                                           Boston Bomber's Mom

Now that it is clear that some Boston and Toronto imams will condemn terror and 
stand for freedom, will criminals know they could be marginalized and exposed? In 
the case of Toronto, is this the result of Prime Minister Harper's statement to 
the criminals...'please don't bring your hatred to Canada' or a strong backlash 
within the community? 
The CBC reports that “a prominent community leader” among Toronto Muslims tipped 
off the RCMP to possible terror suspects and the Mounties gave GTA’s imams a 
“special briefing” on Monday before announcing the arrest of two men in an alleged
plot to derail a VIA passenger train, one community leader told the CBC Tuesday 
morning. “It was a sense of thank you as well as a reconfirmation of our 
collaborated efforts for the safety of the country,” said Yusuf Badat, director of
religious affairs for the Islamic Foundation of Toronto

            Tarek Fatah, an Indian born in Pakistan; a Punjabi born in 
              Islam, of Hindu ancestry & Sikh heritage. A 'Sarmachar' 
                grounded in a Marxist youth, above all a Canadian. 
Tarek Fatah of the Toronto Sun asks his community to "denounce the doctrine 
of jihad as pronounced by the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami, and 
distance themselves from the ideology of Quth, al-Banna and Maudoodi." 
Farzana Hassan of the Toronto Sun tells us as for “root causes,” the former 
president of the Toronto based North American Muslim Foundation, Sheharyar 
Shaikh and Imam of Masjid Qurtabah, writes: “If the murder of three people 
during the Boston Marathon held on Patriot’s Day became a 'cowardly' act, 
U.S. drone bombing on Shigal, an Afghan village, a week prior to the 
Marathon, causing 11 children and a woman to be blown to fleshy bits not 
cowardly as well? — thus raising the count of U.S drone killings of 
Afghani/Pakistani children to over 200.”
Farzana Hassan Author, Freelance writer, 
Women's rights activist, Musician
"It is such fallacious moral equivalencies that have prevented Muslims and 
their non-Muslim supporters from acknowledging the truth, from owning up to 
the fact that radical Islamic extremists do in fact commit terror in the 
name of Islam. It prevents them from acknowledging that drone attacks cannot 
be seen in the same light. While drone attacks target militants, the very 
same individuals who stone women, who kill mercilessly over perceived 
insults to Islam, who kill other Muslims, who destroy the peace and security 
of otherwise peaceful neighbourhoods, who attack teenage girls for wanting 
to get an education — cannot be equated with the terrorists targeting 
killings of innocent civilians. Where indeed is the moral equivalency?"
While many in the GTA appreciate the brave stance that these imams have taken 
when they decided to co-operate with the RCMP, could this be an ideal time for 
the criminals to end their violent ways and join with their peace-loving brethren 
to become respectful Canadians?

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The media party blocks embarrasing story?


Today, we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of article, verbatim by Sidhartha Banerjee in Resource Investor, entitled 'Cameco Scoops 550 tonnes of Yellowcake in Secret Deal'. My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.
While we are approaching the fifth anniversary, the odoriferous story the Democrats wished would just go away is still hanging out a pair of old socks that still smell! To refresh memories, on July 6, 2008, it was announced in a mining trade magazine that a Canadian company had acquired a massive amount of concentrated natural uranium from Iraq; a product that is not found naturally in Iraq and the U.S. military was behind the secrecy surrounding the transaction.

Sidhartha tells us that Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. [NYSE:CCJ | TSX:CCO] purchased the reported 550 tonnes of ''yellowcake'', the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment, in a deal reported to be in the tens of millions of dollars. Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn said the hush-hush nature of the transaction was at the request of the U.S. military, who supervised the transport of the raw material out of the volatile region.

''We were following the request of the U.S. government,'' Krahn said of the clandestine route the material took to get out of Baghdad and to Canada. Krahn confirmed the yellowcake uranium shipment arrived in Montreal by ship Saturday and is scheduled to be transported by truck to the company's facilities in Ontario.
''We will be completing the transaction in the third quarter of this year, the shipment is in Canada at this point and we will be completing it by the fall,'' Krahn said. ''We are sending it to Port Hope and Blind River.''

Cameco is spending between $15 and $20 million to clean up and another $20 to $25 million to repair and upgrade contaminated soil at its Port Hope uranium hexafluoride conversion plant and expects the work to also be completed in the fall. Uranium hexafluoride operations have been suspended since the discovery of contaminated soil under the plant in July of 2007.

''The (yellowcake) uranium is in various chemical forms and it needs to be processed further before it can be ultimately used as fuel and this is what these facilities do,'' Krahn said. Krahn would not disclose the amount of yellowcake uranium or the price of the transaction, but called the deal a good one for Cameco.

''Every year we sell more uranium than we produce so we go out on the market and look for opportunities to purchase uranium,'' Krahn said. ''When the U.S. government came to us with this opportunity, we obviously thought it was a good idea to bid on it,'' Krahn said. Despite its origins, some nuclear watchdogs wondered why the entire deal, reached earlier this year, was shrouded in so much secrecy.

''If it's yellowcake, then why would it be top secret? It's not weapons usable material per se,'' said Gordon Edwards, who heads Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, based in Montreal. ''But why is there this secrecy surrounding it,'' Edwards said. ''That's the real question here.'The Port of Montreal confirmed Sunday that a vessel carrying a shipment of uranium arrived Friday from Baghdad.

The cargo began its trek in April, when truck convoys started moving the yellowcake from Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 20 kilometres south of Baghdad to the city's international airport. Then, for two weeks in May, it was ferried on 37 flights to Diego Garcia, a speck of British territory in the Indian Ocean where the U.S. military maintains a base. On June 3, an American ship left the island for Montreal.

The stockpile has been described as the last major remnant of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's nuclear program. Yellowcake uranium poses no severe risk if stored and sealed properly. ''Yellowcake itself is a very fine powder, it's sort of the consistency of flour and uranium is radioactive heavy metal,'' said Edwards, adding the industry tends to downplay potential risk despite the material travelling on Canadian highways.

''The stuff is in very dispersible form and could easily be blown in the wind and could contaminate an extensive part an area ... because its so finely ground,'' he said. But Krahn says great care is taken in transporting the material and the usual procedures will be used this time as well. ''The material is quite commonly transported and there are obviously safeguards and security involved with that,'' Krahn said.

my response....
                                                               the late Saddam Hussein
For those who do not remember the controversy of 'yellowcake' that Saddam apparently, according to the British Intelligence ordered from Niger that brought down former Ambassador and noted Clinton apologist, Joe Wilson, let me refresh your memory.

According to wikipedia, "In late February 2002, Wilson traveled to Niger at the CIA's request to investigate the possibility that Saddam Hussein had purchased enriched yellowcake uranium. Wilson met with the then US Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick at the embassy and then interviewed dozens of officials who had been in the Niger government at the time of the supposed deal. He ultimately concluded: "it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.

                                                                         Joe Wilson
Wilson learned that the Iraqis had in fact requested a meeting to discuss "expanding commercial relations" but that Niger's Prime Minister Mayaki had declined, due to concern about U.N. sanctions against Iraq.
President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address included these 16 words : "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." 
In response, in the July 6, 2003, issue of The New York Times, Wilson contributed an "op-ed" entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa", in which he states that on the basis of his "experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war", he has "little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."
                                                            Niger's Prime Minister Mayaki
Wilson describes the basis for his mission to Niger as follows: "The vice president's office asked a serious question [about the truth of allegations that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger]. I was asked to help formulate the answer".

In the last two paragraphs of his op-ed, Wilson relates his perspective to the Bush administration's rationale for the Iraq War:
"I was convinced before the war that the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein required a vigorous and sustained international response to disarm him. Iraq possessed and had used chemical weapons; it had an active biological weapons program and quite possibly a nuclear research program — all of which were in violation of United Nations resolutions. Having encountered Mr. Hussein and his thugs in the run-up to the Persian Gulf war of 1991, I was only too aware of the dangers he posed. But were these dangers the same ones the administration told us about? We have to find out. America's foreign policy depends on the sanctity of its information. For this reason, questioning the selective use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq is neither idle sniping nor "revisionist history", as Mr. Bush has suggested. The act of war is the last option of a democracy, taken when there is a grave threat to our national security. More than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already. We have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons."
At a press conference on Monday, July 7, 2003, the day after the publication of the op ed, Colin Powell said: "There was sufficient evidence floating around at that time that such a statement was not totally outrageous or not to be believed or not to be appropriately used. It's that once we used the statement, and after further analysis, and looking at other estimates we had, and other information that was coming in, it turned out that the basis upon which that statement was made didn't hold up, and we said so, and we've acknowledged it, and we've moved on.". He also said: "the case I put down on the 5th of February, 2003 for an hour and 20 minutes, roughly, on terrorism, on weapons of mass destruction, and on the human rights case...we stand behind"

                                                               CIA director George Tenet
In a July 11, 2003 statement, CIA director George Tenet, stated that the President, Vice President and other senior administration officials were not briefed on Wilson's report (otherwise widely distributed in the intelligence community) because it "did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad".

In his 2007 memoir, Tenet writes that Wilson's report "produced no solid answers" and "was never delivered to Cheney. In fact, I have no recollection myself of hearing about Wilson's trip at the time." In the July 11 statement, Tenet also notes that, according to Wilson's report, a former Niger official interpreted an Iraqi approach as an "overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales." Asked about this the following October, Wilson said that the official in question had declined the meeting, due to U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iraq, but speculated "maybe they might have wanted to talk about uranium".

                                               Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney

There has been substantial disagreement about whether Wilson implies in the Op Ed that he was sent to Niger at the request of the vice president, or his office. The implication that Cheney or his office sent Wilson to Niger, whether made by Wilson or the media party, was apparently a cause of consternation to vice- presidential aide I. Lewis Libby, who called NBC's Tim Russert to complain. On July 6, 2003, in a Meet the Press interview with Andrea Mitchell, Wilson stated: "The question was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice-president. The office of the vice-president, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked and that response was based upon my trip out there."
The week after the publication of Wilson's New York Times op ed, Robert Novak, in his syndicated Washington Post column, disclosed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA as an agency operative. Subsequently, former Ambassador Wilson and others alleged that the disclosure was part of the Bush administration's attempts to discredit his report about his investigations in Africa and the op-ed describing his findings because they did not support the government's rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. 
                                                          Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald,
Wilson's allegations led to a federal investigation of the leak by the United States Department of Justice, to the appointment of a Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, to the CIA leak grand jury investigation, and to a major American political scandal variously dubbed by the press "Plamegate", the "Plame affair", the "CIA leak scandal", and other terms relating to the public disclosure or "leak" of Mrs. Wilson's then-classified covert CIA identity as "Valerie Plame". 

In 2005, retired US Army Major General Paul E. Vallely claimed that former Ambassador Wilson "mentioned Plame's status as a CIA employee" in 2002 [one year before she was allegedly "outed"] in the Fox News Channel's "green room" in Washington, D.C., as they waited to appear on air as analysts. In a later report on the conservative news site World Net Daily, Wilson demanded through his lawyer that Vallely retract these allegations, calling them "patently false."

                                                    Former CIA agency operative Valerie Plame,

Although no one was "indicted for actually leaking Plame's identity," the investigation resulted in the federal criminal trial United States v. Libby in which Lewis Libby, the former Chief of Staff to Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, was tried on five federal felony counts. He was convicted on four of the counts, involving false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice, none of which related directly to the Plame revelation but rather to his failure to cooperate with the subsequent investigation into the revelation. Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Libby's prison sentence was commuted by President Bush, who let the conviction and fine stand. In 2004, Wilson published a political and personal memoir entitled The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir. The book describes his diplomatic career, his personal life and family, and his experiences during the Valerie Plame affair.

                                                         Lewis Libby, the former Chief of Staff

Wilson's autobiographical account of over two decades of his life in foreign service includes detailed descriptions of his extensive diplomatic-career experiences, his first marriage and family, briefer references to his second marriage, his meeting of Valerie Plame, their courtship and marriage, and a detailed narrative of the events leading to his decision to go public with his criticisms of the George W. Bush administration and its aftermath.

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal published in mid-July 2004, finds some justification for his perspective presented in "What I Didn't Find in Africa", but highlights some evidence of Iraq's attempts at acquiring uranium yellowcake from African nations such as Niger, on which Iraq did not follow through.
But another editorial published in the July 13, 2005 Wall Street Journal asserts that Wilson had lied in his "What I Didn't Find in Africa" about "what he'd discovered in Africa, how he'd discovered it, what he'd told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission."

                                               Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell
An editorial headlined "A Good Leak" published in the April 9, 2006 Washington Post claims that "Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth and that, in fact, his report to the CIA supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium." Some commentators and newspaper readers believed that this Washington Post editorial contradicted a news article in the paper's same issue, which reported that the administration had misrepresented its actual confidence level in the intelligence reports that Hussein was seeking uranium. Complaints to the Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell about the apparent contradiction between the article and editorial, resulted in her acknowledging "the high wall between editorial and news" and also that "it would have been helpful if the editorial had put statements about Wilson in more context".

In their 2006 book Hubris, Michael Isikoff and David Corn assert that it was Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, who first revealed that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA to Robert Novak sometime before July 8, 2003. In late August 2006, along with advance publicity for the book, news accounts and editorials began focusing on that public revelation: "Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation with a columnist in 2003 prompted a long, politically laden criminal investigation in what became known as the C.I.A. leak case, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday [August 29, 2006]."

                                             Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state

Wilson and his wife then amended their civil lawsuit (see below) to add Armitage as a defendant along with Vice President Dick Cheney and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. According to their complaint, Richard Armitage was being sued individually (independently of his White House colleagues) for having nevertheless also violated Plame's right to privacy and property (ability to make a living), while not reducing the culpability of the others as claimed.

In a column posted in on 14 September 2006, however, Novak disputes details of Armitage's contemporaneous media accounts of their conversations. According to Novak, "Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he 'thought' might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked, and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson. Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column." He noted that critics would not be able to "fit Armitage into the left-wing fantasy of a well-crafted White House conspiracy to destroy Joe and Valerie Wilson. The news that he and not Karl Rove was the leaker was devastating news for the Left." In the American Journalism Review, editor Rem Rieder noted that the disclosure that Armitage was Novak's "primary source" was insufficiently covered in the media.

                                                                        Robert Novak

In response to the verdict on March 6, 2007, finding Lewis Libby guilty of four of the five charges in the Fitzgerald grand jury indictment against him, the Wilson's issued a statement in a press release posted on the website of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. They stated that they respected the jury's verdict and believed justice was done, as well as affirming their commitment to pursuing their civil suit.
Wilson criticized President George W. Bush's July 2, 2007 commutation of Lewis Libby's prison sentence, calling it "a cover-up of the Vice President's role in this matter and quite possibly the role of the President and/or some of his senior White House advisers."Wilson also complained that the President's action and others' actions leading to President Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence could seriously damage United States national security by harming its intelligence capability.

 On the evening of the verdict in the Libby trial, Joseph C. Wilson appeared on Larry King Live, during which he announced that he and his wife had "signed a deal with Warner Bros of Hollywood to offer their consulting services - or maybe more - in the making of the forthcoming movie about the Libby trial", their lives and the CIA leak scandal. According to an article by Michael Fleming published in Variety earlier in the week, the feature film, a co-production between Weed Road's Akiva Goldsman and Jerry and Janet Zucker of Zucker Productions with a screenplay by Jez and John Butterworth to be based in part on Valerie Wilson's then still-forthcoming book "Fair Game", whose publication, in October 2007, after a delay of two months, was contingent on CIA clearances. The film, Fair Game, was released November 5, 2010, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It is based on two books, one written by Wilson, and the other by his wife.

                                                          Presidential advisor Karl Rove

On July 13, 2006, a civil suit was filed by Joseph and Valerie Wilson against Vice President Dick Cheney, his former Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, top Presidential advisor Karl Rove, and other unnamed senior White House officials (among whom they later added Richard Armitage), for their alleged role in the public disclosure of Valerie Wilson's classified CIA status. On September 13, 2006, Joseph and Valerie Wilson amended their original lawsuit, adding Richard Armitage as a fourth defendant. Unlike their charges against Rove, Cheney, and Libby, "claiming that they had violated her constitutional rights and discredited her by disclosing that she was an undercover CIA operative", the Wilsons sued Armitage "for violating the 'Wilsons' constitutional right to privacy, Mrs. Wilson's constitutional right to property, and for committing the tort of publication of private facts.'"
United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge John D. Bates dismissed the Wilsons' lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds on July 19, 2007, stating that the Wilsons had not shown that the case belonged in federal court and Bates also ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction over the claim because the couple had not yet exhausted their administrative remedies. Bates stated that the lawsuit raised "important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials" but also noted that "there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials", even if "the alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility" were perhaps "highly unsavory." 

                                                         Former President George W. Bush

On July 20, 2007, Ms. Sloan and the Wilsons announced publicly that they had filed an appeal of the US District Court's decision to dismiss their law suit. On August 12, 2008, in a 2-1 decision, the three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the dismissal. Melanie Sloan, of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which represents the Wilsons, "said the group will request the full D.C. Circuit to review the case and appeal to the US Supreme Court." Agreeing with the Bush administration, the Obama Justice Department argues the Wilsons have no legitimate grounds to sue. On the current justice department position, Sloan stated: "We are deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has failed to recognize the grievous harm top Bush White House officials inflicted on Joe and Valerie Wilson. The government’s position cannot be reconciled with President Obama’s oft-stated commitment to once again make government officials accountable for their actions." On June 21, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal."

As unfortunate a scenario as it is when a true patriot like Valerie Plame-Wilson gets caught in the cross-fire, the fact remains that Joe Wilson was sent to gather intelligence, not make a final decision concerning a shipment of yellowcake from Niger to Iraq. Joe produced a report that was received and obviously filed. . His wife told him that and he wouldn't listen to her, either!!! Joe was told afterwards to keep his mouth shut by folks who knew more than he did and he refused. Joe had an agenda and everyone knew it! Yellowcake was found in Iraq after the war and there is no mining of yellowcake in Iraq. The British had been tracking this shipment and advised Washington before war was declared. If Saddam had been able to convert, we could have all been in danger. Saddam had to be stopped. After the war, the top-secret yellowcake was stored by the US military and eventually shipped to the Port of Montreal in a US vessel to be used in a commercial environment by Cameco, at a deep discount.

                                                              Joe and Valerie Wilson

Joe was not in possession of all of the intelligence gathered by multiple agencies, nor, as things have turned out, should he have been!


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twitter chatter....
The media party blocks embarrassing story? 
He didn't know and, as things have turned out, he shouldn't!