Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hasan reaches out for national media platform

Killeen – The “Daily Herald” reporter Phil Jankowski still sounded like he couldn't believe it. 

When he went through his U.S. Mail box earlier this week, there was a letter containing an FBI transcript of an unpublished Al Jazeera interview Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan gave over the phone from the Bell County Jail on July 17, 2011.

“He just sent it snail mail,” he told other reporters at the digital media center on post Wednesday, July 31, during a break in a pre-trial hearing in Hasan's case.

“I could hardly believe it,” Mr. Jankowski said. “I opened it, and here he had scrawled across the top, 'Release authorized,' and his signature. I realized I was holding an historical document.”

In the interview, the Al Jazeera correspondent asks if there is anything else he has to say, and Hasan told him he was giving him an exclusive, that he expected him to publish all of his remarks, in full.

If not, he warned, “I may have to seek other avenues.”

Instead, Al Jazeera did nothing.

This week, Hasan made a simultaneous release to Fox News.

In a news article, Mr. Jankowski wrote that terrorism experts have intimated to him that they feel since Hasan has been denied the opportunity to present as his defense a motive of trying to save the lives of fellow Al Qaeda and Taliban jihadists by attacking soldiers about to be deployed at Ft. Hood in Nov., 2009, he is seeking to launch his message of Islamic jihad through the media.

In the beginning of the interview, Hasan asks the Al Jazeera reporter if he has cleared his request with his superiors.

“I did speak with them and – uh – we can't sacrifice our right to editorial credible news organization will sacrifice their editorial control...,” he replied. Hasan said he would take a chance, and went ahead with the interview.

He began by apologizing.

“I would like to begin by repenting to Almighty Allah and apologize to the Muhadgeen (phonetic)...the believers...and the innocent” for “illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims.”

Operating as United States Army psychiatrist, he explained, “My job was to 'conserve the fighting strength of military armed forces' and by deceit 'to win the hearts and minds' of Muslims throughout the world...”

He told the interviewer that using Muslim soldiers to influence “naive and desperate Muslims is a powerful strategy...”

Hasan also said that he had intended to read a similar statement during the Article 32 hearings that serve in military courts to discover the evidence that there is a probability that an offense took place. He said his lawyers, three Army Judge Advocate General Corps officers he later fired, were "dead set...dead set" against his doing that. 

Judge denies gag order request by Hasan prosecutors

Ft. Hood - Parties to the Hasan murder trial will not be subject to a gag order requested by prosecutors.

Judge Tara Osborn ruled that “extra judicial commentary” will be allowed in denying the motion.

Government prosecutors will first have to present factual testimony about Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan’s e-mails to an Al Qaeda Mullah before the jury will hear about its relevance.

The military judge hearing the case said a stipulation as to the authenticity of the communication does not prove relevance during opening statements.

“My concern is the e-mails are some kind of guilt by association,” said Col. Osborn. She added that one of the e-mails Hasan sent to Mullah Anwar Awlaki, an Al Qaeda operative who lost his life in a stealth drone rocket attack in Yemen, “appears to be defense of others” in its content, a defense which she disallowed in a previous ruling.

In the e-mail, the judge ruled, Hasan appeared to be saying he felt a suicide bomber is justified in an attack to prevent the possibility that fellow jihadists could lose their lives the following day.

“My point is that e-mail would be very confusing to the members (of the general court martial panel),” the judge said.

Hasan asked for additional time to prepare a defense of others defense, a request which the judge previously denied.

“I haven’t changed my mind,” she told him.

Jurors will view an 8-minute video of the crime scene made by FBI investigators and see selected photos of the autopsies of the victims on individual 19-inch monitors during opening statements.

A photo of a convicted terrorist attacker Sgt. Hasan Akbar, a devout Muslim, wearing a bullet proof vest following his trial will not be allowed.

Sgt. Akbar attacked and killed fellow soldiers with fragmentation grenades at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, in 2003.  He is awaiting execution on death row at the Army Disciplinary Barracks, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

Dashcam video and audio of 911 calls will be allowed when the government opens its case against Hasan in opening statements to be made on August 6. The dying groans and labored breathing of a victim, Michel Pearson, can be heard in the background of one of the audio recordings.

A final pre-trial hearing to consider stipulation as to the testimony of Officer Todd will be held Friday, August 2 at 9 a.m. Officer Todd has developed a speech impediment as a result of wounds inflicted by Hasan.

'Agreed' discovery a bone in DA's race dog fight

Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Sibley

Waco – Don't go to jail in Waco. Cross the Brazos somewhere else if you figure you can afford to get locked up.

It's like shooting craps with a set of bones that have no spots, or at least, spots visible only to the house, and none of the other players.

The cops and courts won't even tell your lawyer what evidence and testimony they are prepared to use to prove the case they have on you.

Withholding information costs taxpayers big money. It doubled the cost of housing overflow prisoners from about $3 million a year to $6 million. That will become a big issue in the 2014 Republican Primary race for District Attorney.

In this get tough on crime town, a lawyer isn't allowed to see the list of witnesses or know the specifics of a criminal complaint until after an indictment is returned – if then.

Cases drag out for years.

Some criminal defendants and their attorneys balk not only at plea bargain offers for stiff sentences, but are very reluctant to announce they are ready for trial because a motion for discovery isn't part of the routine of doing business in these parts.

An “Agreed Discovery Order” is the only game in town.

The defense bar hit the issue hard in February, blaming jail overcrowding and skyrocketing costs on the practices of the Criminal District Attorney.

The Sixth Amendment guarantee for compulsory discovery of witnesses and evidence pales under the conditions practiced in McLennan County's criminal district courts.

Item 5 in the standard discovery order agreement offered defendants in the Waco courts stipulates “Copies of police reports concerning the offense alleged in the indictment will be provided to the defendant’s attorney for review. When a copy of the police report is provided to the defense attorney it is to remain in the possession of the defense attorney and is not to be turned over to the defendant or copied and given to the defendant. The police report is intended to remain the property of the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office and is provided to the defense counsel for the convenience of defense counsel only.”

Lawyers get only once chance to review the prosecutors' file – by appointment, at the DA's office – and that chance may not come within 20 days of the first status conference scheduled in the case, as required by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The agreement calls for a deadline of not less than 20 days before the trial. After all, it's an agreement reached by the Court, the Prosecution, the Defense Attorney, and the Defendant.

Funny thing, most defendants don't recall entering into any such agreement. Did they sign the form? Who knows? What would you sign to get out of some hell hole jail for free?

It's hard to remember exactly who to call as a witness in your behalf after sitting in jail for 90 days without prosecution, gaining release on a personal recognizance bond, and waiting more than a year as pre-trial hearing after pre-trial hearing comes and goes and the attorney still hasn't gotten a chance to see the evidence that would be used at trial.

Among attorneys, court coordinators, bondsmen, clerks, law men, jail house snitches and cross bar lawyers, it's agreed. Things have changed since Republican Abel Reyna took over following the landslide year of 2010 when he defeated 20-plus year DA John Segrest.

Compared to a “Defendant's Motion for Discovery and Inspection of Evidence,” the agreed discover order is a pale imitation of what is standard operating procedure in courts throughout the Lone Star State.

The issue reached tipping point when a small committee of lawyers confronted District Attorney Abel Reyna in Commissioners' Court, accusing him of practices that cause jail overcrowding, make tax rates rise, and budgets bulge.
Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna

According to Jonathan Sibley, “This isn’t pointing fingers at anybody or saying anything negative about the process, but at some point in time what everybody has told me is that over the last couple of years they’ve seen — across the board, essentially — plea bargains go up. More people (are) being offered jail time and a longer sentence, which makes the case harder for our clients to accept.”

Robert Callahan told the Court that a minimum of 15 years is the only offer on the table for an accusation of a first degree felony, “regardless of the circumstances.” A conviction calls for not less than 5 years and no more than 99 years.

The pipe is getting clogged somewhere in between the clients and the defense attorneys and the judge, which means something’s happening with the district attorney’s office,” Callahan said. “Most clients, in my opinion, are willing to plead.”

Mr. Reyna denied there is any truth to Mr. Callahan's allegations. “A lot of them are patently false,” Reyna said. “Either he doesn’t understand the system (or) he doesn’t understand the process, but it’s just false.”

He noted that he inherited a 1,200-case backlog when he took office on January 1, 2011.
Waco attorney Dick Kettler pointed out the obvious. He said the Court should reopen its downtown jail.

Housing overflow inmates in the for-profit Jack Harwell Detention Center inflated from a budgeted $2.6 million item to $5.6 million, and it caused Commissioner Kelly Snell to invite the defense lawyers to present their grievances to the Court.

Commissioner Lester Gibson is on record suggesting the use of more than 300 idle bunks in the disused downtown jail. ““I think the D.A. is doing what he was elected to do. We need to do what we were elected to do, because we have a problem with the jail that’s going to make us or break us.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Judge acquits Army hacker and Wikileaker for aiding enemy, finds him guilty of spying, lesser charges

Ft. Meade, MD. - The military judge in the Wikileaks case against an Army private found the accused guilty of espionage today.

Facing a maximum of 128 years in prison, the case against Pvt. Bradley Manning will go into sentencing phase on Wednesday, July 31, following his acquittal for aiding the enemy and an additional 25 counts against him.

Army Col. Denise Lind deliberated for about 16 hours in sessions spread over 3 days. In eliminating the charge of aiding the enemy, she removed the possibility of a life sentence from the array of punishment possible following the hacker's conviction.

Pvt. Manning acknowledged leaking more than 700,000 battlefield reports, many of them addressed to top commanders and State Department officials, as well as a Reuters video of a helicopter attack that left civilians, including a driver and news photographer dead while airmen laughed and called them “dead bastards.”

A self-avowed homosexual, Pvt. Manning was recruited by a Wikileaks associate he met in an off-post assignation in Boston. He said he carried out his operation in hopes of exposing American “blood lust,” and of establishing a “dialogue” over the nation's foreign policy. He previously plead guilty to lesser charges that could possibly net him 20 years behind bars.

The judge announced she will release detailed findings explaining her verdict, but did not specify when she will do so.

Fourth of the First 'Long Knives' to return today

FORT HOOD, Texas -- The 1st Cavalry Division will host a redeployment and 'uncasing of the colors' ceremony for 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, and 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, both with 4th Brigade Combat Team "Long Knife", 1st Cavalry Division, at Cooper Field here at approximately 8:35 p.m., Tuesday, July 30.

Lt. Col. Monte Rone, commander, 2-12 Cav, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Gandy, command sergeant major, 2-12 Cav., will uncase their battalion's colors  

Lt. Col William Johnson, commander, 5-82 FA, and Command Sgt. Major Lawrence Maynard, command sergeant major, 5-82, will uncase their battalion's colors.

The uncasing of the colors symbolizes the official end of their tour.

Monday, July 29, 2013

ACLU files suit for rocket attack on Awlaki, son

Jihadists avenge Ft. Hood case in court

Washington – As Army prosecutors fight to be allowed to use evidence that Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan got religious instruction and encouragement from Mullah Anwar Awlaki, lawyers are suing the government for targeting him in a drone rocket attack.

A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who served as a Mullah at the Falls Church, Virgina, mosque where Maj. Hasan worshipped during his training as an Army psychiatrist, Awlaki also taught jihad at a San Diego mosque.

He inspired the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, and at least one of the 9/11 hijackers who also participated in planning the assault on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, as well as an earlier failed attempt to bomb another destroyer, U.S.S The Sullivans.

Mullah Anwar Awlaki
When a drone rocket attack caught him riding in a pickup truck, he was tooling through the desert in Yemen, where he served as a top religious adviser to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A similar attack claimed the life of his 16-year-old son two weeks later.

Lawyers for both the ACLU and The Center for Constitutional Rights are prosecuting the civil suit, which alleges that “Since 2001, and routinely since 2009, the United States has carried out deliberate and premeditated killings of suspected terrorists overseas. The U.S. practice of 'targeted killing' has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including many hundreds of civilian bystanders. While some targeted killings have been carried out in the context of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many have taken place outside the context of armed conflict, in countries including Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, and the Philippines. These killings rely on vague legal standards, a closed executive process, and evidence never presented to the courts.”

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair William H. McRaven, Special Operations Commander Joseph Votel, and CIA Director David Petraeus are named as defendants.

At least part of the evidence Army prosecutors seek to use against Dr. Hasan includes e-mail messages in which he “gushed” that he can hardly wait to join Awlaki and other jihadists in Islamic high heaven. Awlaki replied that the teachings of Islam justify murder in the name of Allah to spread the word of peace.

DHS harasses restaurant owner over live music

 Fire Marshal cites Patriot Act

Muncie, IN – In a stunning move, the Indiana State Fire Marshal is demanding that business owners who provide live entertainment obtain a permit from the Department of Homeland Security.

Their authority? The Patriot Act.

His question to the world. Where will they stop? His point. 

They won't.

This has been done before, in 1933, with the enactment and enforcement of Hitler's Race Laws.

One reader wrote:
Bill Bevington – July 27

Hitler did it a bit differently. He had all musicians register for a permit. (as opposed to venues) Here is a quote from an article: “After the race laws of 1933, the Reichsmusikkammer (Reich Music Chamber) required a registry of all German musicians. As a result, hundreds of talented composers had their work deliberately suppressed and careers ended simply because their race or style of music offended the Third Reich. By 1938, examples of degenerate music were on display at the Entarte Musik Exhibit for the public to view. Famous works by Mendelssohn, Mahler, and Schoenberg were used as examples of unacceptable music. A generation of incredibly innovative and promising musicians was virtually excluded from its place in music history.” The article can be found here –>

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Law man dispenses disinformation on proposed gun law

“You're arguing with the wrong person...”

Waxahachie – Standing on the flat bed, speaking into the mike, the cop with the gun on his hip told Open Carry activists they were arguing with the wrong person.

“We're not going to get into the Constitution on state law,” said Mike Jones. “You're arguing with the wrong person.”

Funny, but no one other than the law man could be heard arguing. The people who confronted him were only asking questions. 

Constable Mike Jones spent 21 years in the Corps, emerging as a retired Master Sergeant. 

He became a police officer in the Ellis County Metroplex bedroom community of Midlothian, where he now serves the Justice Court as Precinct 4 Constable.

At the open carry rally and armed march held Saturday, July 27, he blithely spread disinformation while acting as the “spokesman” for the Ellis County law enforcement community. (click here) is part of a nationwide movement to educate Americans on their gun rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They have sponsored numerous armed marches around courthouses and city halls throughout central and north Texas lately, following the arrest of Army M/Sgt. C.J. Grisham by Temple Police for “rude display” of an AR-15 while on a Boy Scout hike with his son.

There is no law against carrying a long gun openly in the State of Texas. Under the disorderly conduct statute, there is a law against “rudely displaying” a rifle or shotgun “in a manner calculated to cause alarm.”

Constable Jones said all that will change come September 1, when SB 299 takes effect. (click here to read the text of SB 299)

The bill, which, according to Constable Jones passed the Legislature in its latest session, deals with the open carry of a handgun by an individual licensed under state law to carry a handgun concealed. It is illegal to carry a handgun openly. Nowhere in its language does SB 299 make mention of long guns. One need only click here to read the text of the bill.
He said he got this information at a “legislative update” meeting. When members of the crowd questioned him, he said “I went to a legislative update meeting. They were telling us all the update information.”

Jones didn't say who organized the meeting, or even where it was held. He just said that local police at the Waxahachie Police Department are going to question those who carry long guns when strolling as a group.

Speaking for the county law enforcement types, he said, “We like the idea of you guys being armed.”

Asked if the Constitution contains any language limiting a citizen's right to keep and bear arms, he declared, “We're not going to get into the Constitution on state law. You're arguing with the wrong person.”

When contacted by phone, a recorded message said he is unavailable for comment at this time.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Heart attack ends JJ Cale's solid gold career

La Jolla - By the time Eric Clapton covered "After Midnight" in 1970, Tulsa rock-a-billy picker J.J. Cale had given up on music. He passed Friday night in a local hospital after suffering a heart attack. 
Suddenly, he recalled many years later, he was a songwriter, no longer just a guitar player with an expensive habit of living.(click here) 

He learned that is a much more profitable business, he often told interviewers. From there on in, he stayed in the background, soft-pedaling his lyrics on vocals, and going on to write many top hits recorded by such luminaries as Lynrd Skynrd, Bonnie and Delaney, and Leon Russell.

Friday, July 26, 2013

R.I.P. Larry Grathwohl - FBI infiltrator

R.I.P. Larry Grathwohl from American (click to read the whole story)

Larry Grathwohl was a distinguished Vietnam vet who in the 1960s contacted the FBI and offered his services in infiltrating Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn’s Weather Underground. That was no small deal; it was extremely dangerous. It was a total self-sacrifice, a leap into hell on behalf of his country. He risked his life and endured some wretched things that most of us would refuse to do. For the good of his country, he became part of an ugly inner circle. He had to plunge into their dark side...
Weather Underground wanted poster

I brought up the subject of what’s going to happen after we take over the government. You know, [once] we become responsible for administering, you know, 250 million people. And there was no answer. No one had given any thought to economics. How are you going to clothe and feed these people?

The only thing that I could get was that they expected that the Cubans, the North Vietnamese, the Chinese, and the Russians would all want to occupy different portions of the United States.

They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the “counter-revolution.” And they felt that this counter-revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing re-education in the [American] Southwest, where we would take all of the people who needed to be re-educated into the new way of thinking and teach them how things were going to be.

I asked, “Well, what is going to happen to those people that we can’t re-educate, that are diehard capitalists?” And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further, they estimated that they’d have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. And when I say “eliminate,” I mean kill 25 million people.

To read the U.S. Army's field manual of operation for resettlement and re-eduction, click this link:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Judge rules out video in opening statements at Hasan trial

Heavily fortified courthouse at Ft. Hood

Ft. Hood - The lead prosecutor answered the judge’s repeated questions as to the relevance of crime scene photos laconically, with a neutral affect - until he was asked about a 911 call that includes audio of one victim’s dying groans.

“What’s the probative value of Michael Pearson’s groans?” Col. Tara Osborn asked.

“Your honor, that’s what it sounds like when someone groans and dies,” the prosecutor said - bluntly.

One of three audio files gleaned from those made from the scene of the shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, it was obtained when a woman crawled under her desk and called 9-1-1 operators, then stayed on the line during the gunfight that ended the shooting rampage of Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist accused of the premeditated murder of 13 unarmed soldiers dressed in combat fatigues.

He is similarly charged with the premeditated attempted murder of an additional 32 persons.

In probing the prosecution on the relevance an 8-minute video made by FBI crime scene investigators, the judge again struck a raw nerve.

The prosecutor responded by saying, “It’s literally 45 soldiers crammed on top of each other.” In still photos, he explained, “You don’t take away a sense of how small that area was...It started with 45 people sitting in chairs.”

The government will be obliged to prove that each victim is a human being, that they were attacked by none other than Maj. Hasan, and that each victim is positively identified to the jurors - beyond a reasonable doubt - and was killed or injured with pistol fire in a deadly onslaught that ended only when a police officer cut him down with three shots of a 9 mm pistol to the cernter of his chest. He is paralyzed from the sternum to his lower extremeties.

Maj. Hasan repeatedly responded that he had no objection to the graphic evidence that the prosecution will present. In each case, he responded, almost surreally - as one seasoned journalist put it, “Like something out of a Stephen King novel.”

Maj. Hasan repeated the phrase over and over, saying “as long as it preserves the dignity of the deceased.”

At the end of the day, the judge ruled that the crime scene video may not be used during opening statements by the prosecution.

They will rely on still photos which are so bloody, many of them have been replaced with computer-generated diagrams in which the victim resembles a mannequin and show the route of the projectiles and where they struck flesh and bone.

During the testimony phase of the trial, the prosecution will be allowed to use the video.

At one point, Maj. Hasan attempted to stipulate as to the identity of each of his victims, saying “It would save a lot of time...” before the prosecutor cut him off, saying “Your Honor, we’re getting dangerously close to allowing a statement of guilt, here.”

Since such an admission is precluded by law, the error could prove reversible, and the judge declined to allow the stipulation - quickly.

Asked why an “in-life” photo is attached to each autopsy report and accompanying photo exhibits, the prosecutor said “It shows not just the name, but the face.” The judge cautioned the prosecution they should crop out views of the deceased with bare genitalia, open eyes, and gaping mouths.

Similarly, the judge ruled inadmissible pictures of three victims with the time of death written on their foreheads by an emergency medical technician performing triage who did that to fix in her mind exactly what happened, and when.

Asked if he had any objection, Maj. Hasan said, “As long as they do their best to preserve the dignity of the deceased...I understand what they’re trying to do, and I don’t object to long as you don’t show them over and over.”

From a crime scene littered with 45 victims, 145 spent shell casings, documented by more than 1,100 photos, 1,250 autopsy photos and some 400,000 pages of discovery materials, the prosecution has selected 120 photos of the crime scene, autopsy photos of the 13 who lost their lives, and will rely on witnes testimony of those who were wounded by gunfire to prove the premeditated nature of the attack.

Court will reconvene again on Wednesday, July 31, at 2:30 p.m. to allow the judge to ask prosecutors more questions about the relevance of certain items of evidence.

‘Young Guns’ side with White House in NSA showdown

Washington - The tax revolt of 2010 made its influence felt in the fight over NSA phone surveillance.

House Speaker John Boehner formed an unusual coalition with the White House in President Barack Obama’s drive to defeat an amendment that would have defunded warrantless NSA surveillance of Americans’ phone and internet communications.

Drawing on his influence with members of the freshman class of 2010, “Young Guns” Republicans such as District 17 Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, who were swept into office by Tea Party voters in that year’s tax revolt, Mr. Boehner delivered 217 nay votes, just 12 more than the 205 aye’s that supported the measure.

Liberal members such as Rep. Lloyd Dogget, D-Austin, voted aye on the amendment. Mr. Doggett is a former Texas Supreme Court Jusitce and State Senator who was part of the liberal “Killer Bees” clique who opposed Republican fiscal conservatism in the 80’s.

For a tabulation of how they voted, click here:

Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood behind Ft. Hood murders

America fighting back in Killeen courtroom
Mullah Omar of the Afghani Taliban
Ft. Hood – The numbers and the names, the facts and the figures are implacable - and easy to read.

The names and the players are all so familiar to soldiers at this sprawling fortress. Many of them have been there – more than once - during a ten-year war of nerves carried out through means of terror on continents from Asia to Africa, Europe to America.

Murder claimed the lives of 2.2 persons in Chicago – a city where sales of handguns are legally banned - for every one American killed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan during the corresponding decade.

It's a fresh talking point, a buzz word in the continuing dialogue over American gun rights. The conservative on-line media is humming with the newly calculated fact, led by “World Net Daily.”
Graphic from World Net Daily

In a final day of pre-trial preparation before the beginning of presentation of evidence and testimony in the general court martial of Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan, the former Army psychiatrist who with a handgun claimed the lives of 13 unarmed soldiers at this military post on Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, 2009, it's not a bad idea to take a look at the motives behind what seems, at first glance, to have been a senseless act.

Maj. Hasan made an earlier motion claiming a mitigating factor in his attack, which the government seeks to prove was a premeditated act involving the attempted murder of an additional 32 people in the Soldier Readiness Center. He said his motive in the deadly attack was the defense of other peoples' lives. That's an affirmative defense to premeditated murder that is enumerated in the Rules of Courts Martial.

He said he sought to save the lives of the Mullah Omar and other members of the command structure of the Taliban in the Emirate of Afghanistan.

Col. Tara Osborn, the military judge in the case, promptly denied his motion to delay his trial by another three months in order to prepare his defense after eliciting his testimony that he justified his murderous attack at a Texas Army post because he was scheduled to deploy there in the near future. Some of the people being readied to transfer to the combat zone might have been headed that way, too.

“Let me get this straight,” she said. “These people (Taliban) were in Afghanistan.” He blithely agreed that he attacked unarmed Americans at a Texas Army post in this mad equation to protect the lives of opposition combatants in Afghanistan.

“...Your motion is untimely and obstructionist,” she ruled.

In fact, the government will seek to prove that in e-mail he sent to the Imam Anwar Awlaki in Yemen, he “gushed” with his desire to join other jihadists in Islamic high heaven. Awlaki since then lost his life in an American drone rocket attack that singled him out as an enemy of his fellow Americans as he rode in a pickup truck through the Yemeni desert. A similar attack claimed the life of his son.

A former teacher at the mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, Awlaki preached Islamic jihad in a continuing global war of terror, both in the war zone, and on U.S. soil. He was a native American citizen connected to many acts of domestic terrorism through his teachings and encouragement.

According to former Yemeni Prime Minister Abdul Karim al-Iryani, 9/11 highjacker Khalid al Mihdhar developed a close relationship with Awlaki during his preparations for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole that killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 in October of 2000. He returned to America and participated in highjacking one of the jets that carried he and other jihadists to glory in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

They say the brotherhood, which was founded in British-occupied Cairo, Egypt, in 1928, has spawned many radical organizations from its ranks, all of them bent on jihad. In fact, some military historians trace the origin of the Palestinian branch, Hamas, and the Lebanese organization, Hezbollah, to a special terrorist section created by Nazi black operatives prior to World War Two. Their mission, to oppose British interests in the protectorates of Palestine and Aden, in Egypt and the Emirates of the Gulf states, is still being carried out today - against American armed forces overseas and American civilians on U.S. soil.

Compared to Dr. Hasan's jihadist presentation to fellow psychiatric residents at Walter Reed Army Hospital in the early part of the first decade of the 21st century, the 20th century founding motto of the Muslim Brotherhood sounds very familiar.

In his analysis of conscientious objection by fellow soldiers of the Islamic faithful, Maj. Hasan wrote, “We love death more than you love life.”

The founding motto of the Muslim Brotherhood states:

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

The stated goal of the jihad, the holy war against Christians and Jews, is based on the infamous “Verse of the Sword,” Qur'an 9.29:

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya (holy tax of dhimmitude) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

$3.9 million port security grant noncompliant – Feds

"Petrochemical alley" stretches west down the channel - downtown in the distance
Texas Petro plant shuns reporting

Houston – There was not a cognizant man or woman in the Bayou City who didn't get a little catch in their breath the day Islamic terrorist operatives of Al Qaeda bombed the U.S.S. Cole – October 12, 2000.

The small boat that approached the man-o-war as she lay dockside in Aden taking on fuel was loaded with an estimated 300-700 pounds of explosives that blew a 40 by 40-foot gash in her port side, killed 17 men and injured 39.

What if.

What if terrorists pulled the same stunt at a refinery or petrochemical plant?

The thought raced around the collective conscience of a 14-million member metro community, the fourth largest in the nation, at the speed of light.

That's because it's a well-known fact that when a ship or barge loaded with volatile chemicals explodes, it sets off a chain reaction that affects the tank farms and hydrocarbon crackers next door – in a chain reaction. It happened in 1947 at Texas City. A burning ship- load of ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded, and chain reacted at an oil refinery and at Union Carbide.

There is an area on the Houston Ship Channel that is known as “petrochemical alley” because it is the home of plant after plant that produces some of the most volatile stuff known, and the global war on terror presents a security nightmare come wide awake and standing on people's chests in the broad daylight.

Congress wasted no time passing the Maritime Safety Act of 2002, which provided for Port Security Grants to add video surveillance cameras, detection devices, and state of the art communications systems to summon police, fire boats and – most important – Coast Guard cutters. Less than a dozen ports were identified as high risk, and Houston is one of them.

When the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 came along with its hundreds of billions in bailout money, Texas Petrochemicals LP received an award of $3.9 million to buy and install the best security devices at the company's ship and barge docks located on the channel at the plant located at 8600 Park Place Blvd., a hoot and a holler from Hobby International Airport, the Gulf Freeway that connects downtown to Galveston and other Bay Area communities, and millions upon millions of family dwellings.

Disaster planning experts have estimated that an uncontained chain reaction could ignite volatile targets all the way to downtown Houston.

Texas Petrochemicals is one of the world's only suppliers of butadiene, the hardening agent that is used in auto and truck tires, solvents for paints, fuel additives, and a list of a dozen more exotic products made from petroleum and natural gas distilled at high temperatures, titrated and gassified under pressure, stored in huge tanks, shipped in railroad tank cars and tanker trucks, barges and ships.

The terms of the grant call for the company to make a financial report each quarter, certifying what funds it has spent or desires to be paid, and that the money was used under the terms of the grant.
But it's been 3 cycles – 9 months - since a report has gone to Washington and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Government officials promised to get back with details on what, exactly, is askew, but were never heard from again over the course of two business days. After repeated attempts, one learns that the people who are to be contacted are young, well-mannered, patient junior executives who are well-paid to file and forget questions about public information.

The company referred this inquirer to Sarah Cronin, corporate director of communications, who let it be known in angry Monday morning tones that she was terribly busy, to make it snappy.

“We're not going to respond on behalf of the government,” she said.

Quitting time on Tuesday came and her e-mail was abrupt and bruising as the football weather that comes with the first norther of fall.

“...TPC Group does not disclose information regarding its security program and its ongoing efforts to uphold the highest standards of safety and security at our facility, to protect our employees and those living and working around the communities in which we operate. I'm sure you can appreciate the sensitivities around keeping this information confidential.”