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

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been?

                                                          Ezra at a camp-out!

Today, I bring you another very disturbing article, verbatim by Ezra Levant of the Toronto Sun, entitled, 'Bad advice: Think Justin Trudeau’s instincts are scary? Take a look at what two of his advisers have to say'.
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.

                                                     Justin Trudeau, Leader of the opposition

What are Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy views, especially about the threat of Islamic terrorism? Two years ago, Trudeau criticized the new citizenship guide for new immigrants, called Discover Canada. One passage in that guide book said, “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings,’ female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.”

Pretty tough to disagree with that. But Trudeau did. He said, “There needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality” by the Canadian government. Honour killings shouldn’t be called “barbaric,” he said.
Same thing nearly two weeks ago, when Peter Mansbridge asked Trudeau about the Boston bombings. His thoughts were not with the victims, but rather the perpetrators. “We have to look at the root causes,” he said. “But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded … We also have to monitor and encourage people to not point fingers at each other.”

Three were dead and close to 200 injured, but Trudeau was more concerned about finger-pointing.
Another worrisome sign came last December, when Trudeau spoke at a Muslim conference in Toronto that was sponsored by IRFAN-Canada. That group had its charitable status stripped by the Canada Revenue Agency in 2011, which claims they used deceptive fundraising to send nearly $15 million to groups with ties to the terrorist group Hamas. In the subsequent media storm, IRFAN quit as a sponsor. But Trudeau accepted the invitation when they were part of it.

If Trudeau lacks foreign policy judgment, who are his advisers? One answer is his brother, Alexandre “Sacha” Trudeau. Sacha once wrote a bizarre column in the Toronto Star praising Fidel Castro, saying, “His intellect is one of the most broad that can be found … Combined with a Herculean physique and extraordinary courage, this monumental intellect makes Fidel the giant that he is.”

Sacha is a filmmaker. He made an anti-American movie, called Embedded in Baghdad. He made an anti-Israel movie called The Fence. And his latest masterpiece is called The New Great Game, about Iran’s courageous decision to defy America and Israel. Sacha made it in co-operation with Press TV, the state-run propaganda agency of Iran.

Sacha is like Justin — a spoiled dilettante. But Trudeau’s more serious adviser is Omar Alghabra, the Saudi-born former president of the Canadian Arab Federation who briefly served as an MP from Mississauga. This month, Alghabra told Al Jazeera, “On the issue of Iran, Trudeau has clearly stated that he is for engagement.”

                                     Omar Alghabra and Bob Rae Meet Voters for Coffee

But that’s the thing. The world tried engagement for years. Iran played us for fools and kept building nuclear weapons. So now the world’s democracies are done engaging Iran. We’re desperately trying to stop them now with full-blown sanctions. But Trudeau wants to suddenly reverse course? To reward Iran with normalized relations?

Alghabra has extreme views. When he was president of the Canadian Arab Federation in 2004, he denounced Canada’s largest newspaper chain for using the term “terrorist” to describe Muslim terrorist groups like the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. He said that was a mere opinion, not a fact.

Alghabra wrote a letter to Toronto’s police chief in 2005 condemning the chief for participating in a charity walk for Israel, saying Israel was “conducting a brutal and the longest contemporary military occupation in the world.” In a letter to a journalist, he wrote the chief’s visit to Israel was comparable to visiting Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

When arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat died, Alghabra put out a press release announcing he was mourning for him. When Canada was setting up a no-fly list for passengers considered security threats, Alghabra opposed it. And when Ontario narrowly rejected adopting shariah law for Muslim divorces, Alghabra was disappointed, calling it “unfortunate.”

Justin Trudeau’s instincts are wrong — on terrorism, on honour killings, on extremist groups. But even scarier than his own instincts are those of his advisers.

my response.....

Is the Justin Trudeau 'Hug-a-Thug' Solution going mainstream? Now that President Obama's ties to the Muslim brotherhood have been exposed, what other conclusion can we draw? Is shariah around the corner for our good friends in the United States of America when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) thinks "Muslim brotherhood members" have "influence" in President Barack Obama's administration?


Louie Gohmert Muslim Brotherhood
 Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
In an interview on WND Radio published on Thursday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) criticized President Barack Obama for his immigration reform efforts in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, claiming that "radical Islam is at war" with America. The title to this piece is a variant of the quote attributed to George Santayana-"Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it." To some of us history buffs, 'Hug-a-Thug' Solution sounds too much like a younger Winston trying desperately to wake-up former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who both tried to appease Adolf Hitler while not rearming sufficiently to prepare for the Second World War!

According to the Huffington Post, in an interview on WND Radio published on Thursday, Gohmert criticized immigration reform efforts in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, claiming that "radical Islam is at war" with America. "It’s very clear to everybody but this administration that radical Islam is at war against us," Gohmert said."And I’m hoping either this administration will wake up or a new one will come in at the next election before irreparable damage is done."

Arif Alikhan – Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Mohammed Elibiary – Homeland Security Adviser.
Rashad Hussain – Special Envoy to the (OIC) Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Salam al-Marayati – Obama Adviser, founder of Muslim Public Affairs Council and its current executive director.
Imam Mohamed Magid – Obama’s Sharia Czar, Islamic Society of North America.
Eboo Patel – Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
                                                                                                            photo: front page magazine

Gohmert then implied that "Muslim brotherhood members" influence the Obama administration. "Thank God for the moderates that don’t approve of what’s being done," Gohmert continued. "But this administration has so many Muslim brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America."

Written by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy ( and host of the nationally syndicated program, 'Secure Freedom Radio', 'Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Obama Administration' is a crisp wake-up call for Americans...and Canadians, too. Letting infiltration happen is the most dangerous action this President, and this Opposition leader have done, allowing those who would promote their own agenda, like shariah to work from the inside of our governments. Where is the outrage over this? Will folks rise up and demand better? 

                                                      The Gang of Nine?

This is not the first time Gohmert has brought "radical Islam" into a conversation about immigration. On April 17, Gohmert claimed that "radical Islamists" were being "trained to act like Hispanics" in regards to crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. "We know al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border," Gohmert said. "We know that people that are now being trained to come in and act like Hispanics when they are radical Islamists."

Gohmert's comments echo a Tea Party group that blamed the Boston Marathon bombings on Obama and "radical Islam." The right-wing Tea Party Nation, classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, posted a statement on its website on April 16, claiming that the government is "not committed to protecting America" and that "radical Islam is our enemy."

                                                          Trampling on the Constitution?

When the matter of the the bomber's funeral came up, Noor Javed of the Toronto Star writes, "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 (an alleged) 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 alleged bomber's family. “We as a community should react very aggressively toward such acts of terror and not give him any benefit of the doubt.”

The New York Times thinks the alleged Boston bombers “self-radicalized” on the Web, but didn’t bother to thoroughly investigate the alleged bomber's mosque, which has churned out other terrorists, too. USA Today, on the other hand, did look very closely at their mosque; the Islamic Society of Boston and found “a curriculum that radicalizes people,” according to a local source quoted in the paper’s investigation. “Other people have been radicalized there.”  In fact, several ISB members and leaders have been convicted or suspected of terrorism, including:
• Abdurahman Alamoudi, the mosque’s founder and first president, who in 2004 was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism as al-Qaida’s top fundraiser in America.
• Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT scientist-turned-al-Qaida agent, who in 2010 was sentenced to 86 years in prison for planning a New York chemical attack.
• Tarek Mehanna, who in 2012 was sentenced to 17 years for plotting to use automatic weapons to murder shoppers in a suburban Boston mall.
• Ahmad Abousamra, an ex-mosque official’s son, who fled the country after the FBI charged him with conspiring with Mehanna to kill Americans.
• Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a mosque trustee and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader banned from the U.S. after issuing a fatwa that OK’d killing U.S. soldiers.
• Jamal Badawi, a former ISB trustee who in 2007 was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a plan to funnel $12 million to Palestinian suicide bombers.
In justifying mall attacks, the FBI said Abousamra stated “civilians were not innocent because they paid taxes to support the government and because they were kufr (non-Muslims).”

The Tsarnaev brothers, who allegedly killed three and injured some 200 spectators, appeared to share that rationale. In 2009, ISB invited Yasir Qadhi to speak, even though the Saudi radical advocates turning the U.S. into an Islamic state and calls Christians “filthy” polytheists whose “life holds no value in the state of jihad.”

                                                      Is this what the RCMP just averted?

After reading what Ezra has to say about Justin's handlers, why are Justin and his apologists not focused on the side of potential victims? Of particular concern is why are Justin and his apologists focused on the side of the accused? Don't these folks realize you can't justify the unjustifiable! Are they trying to deceive and deflect with dis-information on purpose or is Justin simply mouthing the words of his handlers and speechwriters? Only Justin can answer that question!

Magic Man, wrote into the Toronto Sun with this...."I just don't see Justin who is the front or face of tired, foolish, repackaged Liberal nonsense being a Leader. On the Jihad/terrorist file, we are an easy target. We need to walk a fine line; vigilance without curtailing civil liberties too much. After about 15 years of Liberal Governments, I do not want to go back to those days. I used to be embarrassed when I traveled, and people used to ask me what Canada was doing".

                                            Winston Churchill's last visit to Toronto in 1953!

There used to be more clarity when real leaders, like Winston Churchill rescued the free world from tyrants but with perceived weakness all around us, I am concerned for the welfare of Canadians.....and the welfare of our friends in the United States of America for it is clear that there is concerted campaign underway to deceive and deflect and it behooves each of us to question and be wary of what we hear, on both sides of our border!

It’s comforting to know that at least certain imams in Toronto don’t subscribe to the usual “hug a thug” platitudes being thrown around by those who should know better. Instead of looking for “root causes by those who feel excluded,” wouldn't it behoove Justin to reverse course and tell the world that his primary concern is for the potential victims of Terrorist attacks?


It was with relief that perhaps a small step in that direction occurred last Friday when the Liberals joined the Conservatives to vote for the reintroduction of prior Liberal policy, the Combating Terrorism Act, which would renew police powers introduced after the terror attacks of 9/11. This bill, known as S-7 passed with a vote of 183 to 93 bringing back two central provisions that were originally instituted by the Jean Chr├ętien government after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York in 2001 but were "sunsetted" after a five-year period.
                            -one provision allowed for "preventive detention," meaning someone can be held without charge for up to three days just on suspicion of being involved in terrorism. The person can then be bound by certain probationary conditions for up to a year, and if he or she refuses the conditions, can be jailed for 12 months.
                              -the second provision provides for an "investigative hearing" in which someone suspected of having knowledge of a terrorist act can be forced to answer questions. The objective is not to prosecute the person for a criminal offence, but merely to gather information. If the individual refuses, that person can be imprisoned for up to 12 months.

If he or she refuses, that person can be imprisoned for up to 12 months. When the Harper government, during its first term, tried to bring back the terrorism measures in 2007, the Liberals opposed the move. Now, however, the government has Liberal support and only the official Opposition, the NDP, is protesting the bill.

                                   Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Toronto mayor Rob Ford

When the Harper government, during its first term, tried to bring back the terrorism measures in 2007, the Liberals opposed the move. Now, however, the government has Liberal support and only the official Opposition, the NDP, is protesting the bill.

To Magic Man's comments, I have little to add except, call your politicians, ask those questions and demand those truths!!!


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Saturday, 27 April 2013

NDP MP Paul Dewar says someone dropped the ball when one of the train bomb suspects was allowed to remain in Canada despite a criminal record and a deportation order.

Today, I bring you another very hopeful article, verbatim by Jessica Murphy of the Toronto Sun, Parliamentary Bureau entitled, 'Kenney reviewing immigration policy in wake of alleged terror bomb plot'.
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.

                                                  Immigration Minister Jason Kenney

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he was stunned to learn one of the train bomb suspects was allowed to remain in Canada despite a criminal record and a deportation order. And Kenney said he's now taking a closer look at federal policies and whether the government — despite being a signatory to a UN convention on statelessness — can remove people from the country in cases similar to that of Raed Jaser.

"We are reviewing the case to see what lessons we can learn," he said Friday. A deportation order was issued against Jaser in 1998. In 2004, he was arrested on that order but released because he is considered stateless under international law. Jaser, 35, who is accused of terrorism-related charges based on an alleged plot to derail a VIA passenger train, was born in the United Arab Emirates but was never granted UAE citizenship. He came to Canada as a minor in 1993.

He earned three criminal convictions after landing in Canada, including uttering death threats in 2000. He later received a pardon for that crime and was granted permanent residency. "I was absolutely disturbed to learn that a foreigner can get a pardon for a serious criminal offence and then be allowed to stay in Canada," Kenney said. "I'm looking at all aspects of this case to see if we can learn whether anything more could have been done. But I can certainly tell you that I cannot tolerate that serious criminals would be allowed to stay in Canada in perpetuity based on some pardon."

The minister said his department is implementing a "massive upgrade" to immigration controls to beef up security screening and he placed the blame on old policies of former governments for the immigration loopholes that allowed Jaser to stay in Canada and receive a pardon. But while the feds are trying to put as much light between themselves and the immigration files of Jaser and his co-accused, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, the opposition is beginning to ask questions.

"It appears from what we know right now that someone dropped the ball," NDP MP Paul Dewar said.
"There's a number of issues here. There's the pardon. There's the deportation." Dewar warned new anti-terror laws and border technology like biometric visas, which include photos and fingerprints of applicants, are only useful if relevant agencies like the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency are properly funded and staffed.

Results of a Toronto Sun Poll

Does Canada's immigration need an overhaul? Yes @ 94% No @ 2% and I don't know @ 4%, as of Saturday, April 29, 2013

my response.....

                                                          An arial view of a train bombing!

The operative statement here is...."It appears from what we know right now that someone dropped the ball," NDP MP Paul Dewar said. "There's a number of issues here. There's the pardon. There's the deportation."

Does this mean that we have the NDP onside with reforming our front...and back door? Frankly, that is long overdue!

Jennifer Pagliaro Andrew Livingstone, Wendy Gillis and Michelle Shephard, Staff Reporters for the Toronto Star ask us if this spate of terrorism cases indicate a worrying new trend? Or is the real worry that the high-profile incidents will incite political opportunism and a repeat of what followed the 9/11 attacks — a dramatic reshaping of Western foreign policy and domestic laws?

                                                       What a bombing on a train looks like!

They go to tell us that Michael Zekulin, a political science instructor at the University of Calgary and specialist in terrorism and radicalization, is of the opinion that although this case may be considered Canada’s first taste of organized terrorism, we have always been a target, along with other western democracies. Michael wonders if the alleged train plot could reveal that Al Qaeda’s connection here is limited, considering one of the accused is a Tunisian doctoral student with a history of erratic behaviour, and the other is a permanent resident with a lengthy criminal history.

If a large terrorist organization were directing the effort, “You would think that they’d have more to choose from,” Zekulin said. He agrees that attacks in future will be less organized and perpetrated more by “self-radicalized” individuals. “They’re simply doing things on their own. “There is no way of telling how many of those there are . . . That’s a curveball for us.”

                                                  A scene from the Boston Bombing!

NIcholas Keung, the immigration reporter for the Toronto Star tells that Kenney will order a review into why his officials granted permanent resident status 'instead of the boot' to one of the accused...who had at least five fraud-related convictions and another threatening death or bodily harm while living in the GTA.

It is clear that our Immigration folks need better training and or better tools...and the sooner they get this, the safer we will all be!


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