“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Muslims in the News

Amir Mohamed Meshal, 24

Imprisoned U.S. citizen says he was in an al Qaida camp in Somalia, but was never a fighter.

WASHINGTON _ A U.S. citizen imprisoned in Ethiopia reportedly told investigators that he was briefly in an al Qaida camp in Somalia and had tried to fire a gun during a clash with foreign troops in the south of the war-torn country, but denied he was a fighter or had undergone military training.

Amir Mohamed Meshal, 24, of Tinton Falls, N.J., made the statements in early January while he was being held in Kenya for illegally entering the country, according to an account provided to McClatchy Newspapers on condition that the source remain anonymous.

His father, Mohamed Meshal, angrily disputed the account, saying that FBI agents who interviewed his son in Kenya had found no grounds on which to charge him, and that four British citizens who had been held with him were freed and sent home.

“This was under coercion or under threat,” he said of the account. “U.S. officials are orchestrating the whole symphony.”

The case is at the center of an international controversy triggered by the disclosure that Amir Mohamed Meshal _ and scores of other people _ who entered Kenya from Somalia were secretly sent back to Somalia without legal proceedings between Jan. 20 and Feb. 10, then turned over to Ethiopian forces.

Read more.

Australian Hicks first to face Guantanamo trial

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian David Hicks will become the first Guantanamo Bay inmate to face a U.S. military tribunal hearing on Monday, but a growing band of supporters want the trial scrapped and his case heard in an Australian court.

Hicks, 31, a Muslim convert and former ranch hand from the sleepy suburbs of Adelaide, is charged with providing material support for terrorism by joining al Qaeda fighters in

The arraignment before the newly constituted U.S. military commission comes more than five years after Hicks was captured in late 2001 by Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan as he allegedly tried to flee in a taxi.

Australia's conservative government has refused to intervene in the Hicks case, saying he could not be charged at home because his alleged offences were not a crime in Australia at the time.

But growing public support for Hicks, and frustration at the military commission system, has forced Prime Minister John Howard to express frustration at trial delays and could become an issue for national elections due in the second half of 2007.

"At first there was patience, then there was concern, and now there is increased outrage," said Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown, who heckled
President Bush about Hicks when Bush addressed Australia's parliament in 2003.

Several government lawmakers broke ranks in February and demanded Hicks be returned home. Opinion polls show 69 percent of Australians want him to face a civilian trial at home.


Howard has raised the issue of delays directly with Bush, and has an agreement allowing Hicks to serve a prison sentence back in Australia if convicted by the U.S. military. But he continues to support the military tribunals and says Hicks must face trial.

"He wasn't in Afghanistan on some kind of backpacking frolic. These are very serious allegations and they should be tested," Howard told Australian radio earlier this month.

A high-school dropout, Hicks worked on cattle stations in the Australian outback, and as a fisherman, before stunning friends and family when he scored a job in Japan as a horse trainer.

But in 1999, angered by media coverage of Serbian atrocities against Muslims in
Kosovo, Hicks traveled to Albania to join the paramilitary Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), although he claimed he saw no fighting.

The U.S. charge sheet against him says Hicks completed military training at a KLA camp and engaged in hostile action before returning to Australia, where he converted to Islam.

In 2000, Hicks went to Pakistan, where he began training with militant network Lashkar e-Toiba. The U.S. charge sheet says Hicks went to Afghanistan in January 2001 where he met al Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden.


Hicks' father, Terry Hicks, has spearheaded an international campaign to both humanize his son and seek his return home.

In 2003, he went to Times Square in New York, dressed in orange Guantanamo-style prison overalls, and stood inside a metal cage to highlight how his son was being detained. He followed that with a documentary retracing his son's journey.

Australia's law council, which represents the nation's lawyers, has demanded Hicks be returned to Australia, saying the military trial had an "unacceptably low standard of justice."

High-profile Australian adventurer and businessman Dick Smith also joined the Hicks camp, offering to pay his legal bills.

But not everyone has sympathy.

The Australian newspaper said it would be an injustice if Hicks did not have to face trial to account for joining the KLA, Lashkar e-Toiba, al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"To join one terrorist group could I suppose be regarded as careless," the Australian's foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, wrote in February. "To join four is pretty much beyond the pale."

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib wears a shirt bearing a slogan in relation to the continued detention of Australian citizen David Hicks at Guantanoma Bay, as he talks to his campaign advisors in Sydney March 21, 2007. Australian David Hicks, 31, who has been in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay for five years, will be the first al Qaeda suspect to be formally charged under new military commission rules when his preliminary hearing opens on March 26. (Ed Giles/Reuters)

Jose Padilla - Another setback ruling

IAMI - A federal judge refused to dismiss terrorism support charges against Jose Padilla on Friday, rejecting defense claims that his 3 1/2 years in custody as an enemy combatant violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke agreed with prosecutors that Padilla's years in isolation at a Navy brig did not count because he had not yet been charged.

Read more.


  1. This Beauty has balls, as does Coulter
    What's wrong with you Bush apologist assholes?

    Dumb shit did not even clear out the dead wood when he moved in!

    SO Compassionate!
    (and stupider than shit)

    ...but then who needs to be smart when dad shows how to get free money from the anti-Semite barbarians in the middle east?

  2. (what PIGS our ex-Presidents have become: No wonder W has no real conservative roots when his dad is a sellout for MORE money. if Truman would have had any of this!)
    I'll shoot an e-mail to Starling for his reaction.


    ...That's why former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have been the objects of Dubai largesse. Their Dubai friends have given millions to each of their presidential libraries. And Bill Clinton has raked in more than $1 million for speeches he's given in Dubai and the UAE.

    Dubai's PR machine went into high gear after 9/11 - in part to distract attention from the extensive use the terrorists made of the emirate. More than half of the hijackers traveled to the United States via Dubai. The 9/11 Commission noted that $234,500 of the $300,000 wired to the hijackers and plot leaders in America came via Dubai banks.

    Several months after 9/11, Dubai's newest best friend began his public association with the country. In January 2002, Bill Clinton gave his first Dubai speech (for $300,000). He' been legitimizing the country ever since.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The insurgent are on a killing frenzy.

    This is the chorus responding to the song being sung by Congress. It was inevitable and logical that the insurgency will rank up so as to keep the pressure on to ensure that the US will abandon the war in Iraq.

    It is a tried and true formula and a consequential enemy reaction to dissention within an elected body in a democratic state. Throw in the world wide media and the exhibitionists that we gleefully elect and this is what we get.

    The GI's ( The use of the word "troops" irritate me.) get to pay for the consequences of the slime squad that makes up our masters, rulers and betters.
    "BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two roadside bomb attacks have killed five U.S. soldiers in Iraq, according to the U.S. military.

    Four Task Force Lightning Soldiers were killed and two others were wounded Sunday when a bomb exploded near their patrol in Diyala Province, the military said.

    Another U.S. soldier was killed and two others were wounded Sunday by a roadside bomb blast in northwest Baghdad, the military said. The soldier was involved in a route-clearance mission, the military said.

    The deaths brought to 3,233 the number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war. Seven American civilian contractors of the military also have died in the conflict.

    Also on Sunday, a battle between insurgents and the Iraqi Army erupted in a Sunni section of central Baghdad, with the U.S. military called in to provide air support during the hourlong firefight, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said."

  5. They know most US Politicians are on the Black Gold Payroll.
    Clinton was the rainmaker who introduced the emir to his friend and employer, Ron Berkle, the owner of Yucaipa companies and a major fund-raiser for Bill and Hillary.

    Last year, Yucaipa and the emir formed a new company, DIGL, for their joint ventures. So Bill Clinton is now an adviser and member of the board of directors of a company that is in partnership with the anti-Israeli government of Dubai.

    The Clintons won't reveal how much the former president pocketed for setting up this deal, except to report on Hillary's Senate disclosure form: "more than $1,000."

    A lot more. According to San Francisco Examiner columnist P.J. Corkery, Clinton makes $10 million a year from Yucaipa.
    (and we think MEXICO is corrupt!)

    Bill isn't alone in legitimizing Dubai. Other Clinton pals - including disgraced former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, ex-Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Al and Tipper Gore - have attended highly publicized events there.

    Republican ex-Sen. Bob Dole and Democratic ex-Rep. Tom Downey lobby for Dubai; so does The Glover Park Group, home of Hillary Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson and former President Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart.

  6. Maybe Kerry was right?

    Fighting for that bunch of crooks in DC?

    ...maybe the troops should come home and do a coup and install some real American Citizens as temporary restorative regime leaders.

    Bakers, Mechanics, Teachers, (no lawyers) Doctors, Dentists, Farmers, 1st and 2nd Ammendment advocates...

    Skull and bones, Soros, Dubai, Sauds, CAIR, Mexican Crooks...
    ...what a great bunch to give your allegiance to.

  7. If the Democrats want to end the war, let them have the decency to say they want it over. Save their bullshit supporting the troops and being opposed to the war. If the Democrats and all the draft dodgers in the White House do support the troops, then let them bring holy hell to the insurgents and supporters on the way out.

    Damn the idiots that got us into this mess.

  8. T and Trish will explain all the reasons why such measures are no longer within the realm of possiblity.
    The "T" sisters of the Bar.

  9. Holy Hell is no longer part of Feminized America's repetoir.

  10. Indulge me one more point.

    Where is the Iraqi Governmental protest to Iran over the snatch? No. Nothing... a few little murmurs perhaps? Not from our purple-fingered ass-stabbing Iraqi friends.

  11. Your fingers turn Purple when you stab friends in the ass?

  12. Bush should be known as the Pinocchio President. the explanations for the web he's weaved become ever more tortuous.
    Reagan they called Teflon.
    The truth is like that.

  13. Truman went back to Missouri and unpacked.

    Cheap fucking whores Herbert Walker and Clinton take millions to sell out our country,
    and Herbert wonders how his son can be such a dumbshit.

  14. Another Goddess shows her balls

    (we need a real woman like Thatcher to stand in for the missing males in the "ruling elite.")

    According to a profile by Phoebe Eaton in this week's issue of New York magazine, the Texas-bred blonde "has occasionally flashed her vengeful Kali [a violent Hindu goddess] side, wearing a garland of severed heads and holding a bloodied sword."

    Just a month after the school opened in September, both the principal and the president had vanished. A second principal left in February.

  15. Control yourself T!
    "But workers there aren't treated as tenderly as Ross' prized pupils. One builder who helped construct the Hamptons school said he "would come out of meetings with her, hold my arms out, and say, 'Is my flesh still on me?' "

    Another Hamptons builder is quoted as saying, "She kind of looks out of the side of her eye and smiles a sort of lopsided grin and lets her shirt fall open. But she wanted to get the school finished."

    When Ross wasn't being coy, she was fierce. The article quotes a former teacher at the Hamptons school as saying, "If you weren't loyal, you were gone. She was the Goddess. You had to obey, and if you disagreed, you were sent away."

  16. Maybe "W" could borrow one of her balls.

  17. Good to know the Cops get Fucked, just like the GI's:
    "W" the border agent fucker,
    would approve:

    March 26, 2007 -- The undercover detective whose shots ignited the 50-bullet barrage that killed Sean Bell was indicted on two manslaughter raps, even though none of his ammo hit anyone, The Post has learned.

    The disclosure that NYPD Detective Gescard Isnora's 11 bullets apparently missed their mark means the victims - Bell, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield - were hit only by Detective Michael Oliver's shots, according to the indictments and sources close to the case.

  18. You got it Mat:
    I have little respect for "W"
    the Worm.

  19. (dislike the role of fishbody,
    rotting from the head)

  20. "But when cops break the law, they must be treated like ordinary people under the law," a source close to the case insisted.

    Some top legal experts disagree.

    "These cops had no time to plan this incident,"

    veteran Queens criminal-defense lawyer Marvyn Kornberg said.
    If you don't come up to the standards of "W" and Condi, you lose:
    Orgasms for Jesus are the only ones that count.

  21. End of BSD rant.
    (until the next one)
    ...if you fuckers were not so defensive of the Wuss, we wouldn't be like this!

  22. Yeah, Trish,
    The Eunich in Cheif has NO responsibility.
    Carry on, Woman!

  23. "Defeatists are worse than terrorists"


    The "Libertarian" (that reads Lefty Moonbat Wollcot) delivers the message from nowhere!

  24. Reality is worse than submission, sayeth the "libertarian."

  25. Herbert and Bubba, taking tens of Millions from the anti-Semite Barbarians,
    Delivering the Message,
    So sayeth the lady libertarian.

  26. (to sell out the country they swore to serve.)

  27. ...but they do take the millions.
    Not to good effect.
    Wolcott could care less.

  28. Anti War dot com:
    Hagel: Bush Too Dismissive of Congress on Iraq

    Too dismissive of conservative principals on the free drugs bill, maybe,
    Hagel, vs Bush on Iraq???
    Give me a Break!

  29. "Bush's weekend radio address in which he threatened to veto emergency spending legislation for the Iraq war if it included a timetable for withdrawing troops was "astounding to me -- saying to the Congress, in effect, you don't belong in this, I'm in charge of Iraq," Hagel of Nebraska said."
    Go W Go!

  30. They ARE Competent!

    Starling has yet to respond my e-mail on Dick Morris. he said he would.

    A Good Monetary Strongarm doesn't hurt, either.

  31. "I'm sure you do enough caring for the both of you, Doug."
    The Lady knows Me's!

  32. habu, in the last thread, advocates Mr Bernard Lewis as the expert on all thing Mohammedan. Which in academic circles he may well be.

    But politically, he is outside the loop. Mr Bernard Lewis claims that there is an eternal element of expansion and violence to the followers of Mohammed's divine revelations.

    Mr Bush, President of the United States of America, disagrees. Mr Bush claims that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Mr Bush has the power & authority to regularize that view, Mr Bernard Lewis does not. To support Mr Bernard Lewis's position is to stand against the President and the Government of the US's policies. I am sure that once habu were to realize that he is displaying disloyalty to Mr Bush's cause, he'd come around to the President's position.

    Mr Winston Churchill, was an expert on the English language, his books outselling Mr Bernard Lewis's, by a wide margin. Since the discourse, here, is in English and not Arabic, Mr Churchill remains the preeminent expert.

    Mr Churchill was also an expert in maintaining a country's resolve in the dark days of War. He knew, better than Mr Bernard Lewis how to motivate a people to carry on in the face of adversity. His use of the English language remains the Standard.

    Mr Bernard Lewis is obviously an expert the Arabs. I could give a shit about them, their language or their sensibilites.

  33. As could I!
    Go Winston!
    Go Harry!

  34. Man,
    What I would give for a good Mushroom Cloud...

  35. (trish would say:
    Look what you've done to those WARIZISTANIANS, You Brute!)
    As Charged.

  36. "You're gonna rescue W's vow to seek em out and take em out.
    (sorry, he couldn't come up w/that)
    Sorry bout that.

  37. I am SO UNworthy!

    Would rather win than lose.

    (not that that means anything to Globalist W)

  38. re: There is a need for tactics that fit US. That is where the Military let US down. They developed a Plan that did not fit the political realities of the US.

    The "military" had it gamed fine (as in Somalia); but the military has no control (other than PR) over civilian dolts. If the plan you want is surrender, then, you don't the military at all.

    "George, would you loan me the Eisenhower carrier group for a couple weeks and, yeah, how about some gunships and, yeah, how about few hundred million in petty cash and, yeah, how about some special forces?"

  39. Bob Novak, he has some interesting remarks vis a vie the Gonzo fiasco

    "Gonzales never has developed a base of support for himself up here," a House Republican leader told me. But this is less a Gonzales problem than a Bush problem. With nearly two years remaining in his presidency, George W. Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment.

    Republicans in Congress do not trust their president to protect them. That alone is sufficient reason to withhold statements of support for Gonzales, when such a gesture could be quickly followed by his resignation under pressure. Rep. Adam Putnam, the highly regarded young chairman of the House Republican Conference, praised Donald Rumsfeld last November, only to find him sacked shortly thereafter.

    But not many Republican lawmakers would speak up for Gonzales even if they were sure Bush would stick with him. He is the least popular Cabinet member on Capitol Hill, even more disliked than Rumsfeld had been. The word most often used by Republicans in describing the management of the Justice Department under Gonzales is "incompetent."
    The I-word (for incompetence) is used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally. Several of them I talked to described a trifecta of incompetence: the Walter Reed hospital scandal, the FBI's misuse of the Patriot Act and the U.S. attorneys firing fiasco. "We always have claimed that we were the party of better management," one House leader told me. "How can we claim that anymore?"

    The reconstruction of his government after Bush's re-election in 2004, though a year late, clearly improved the president's team. Yet the addition of extraordinary public servants Josh Bolten, Tony Snow and Rob Portman has not changed the image of incompetence.
    Regarding the Libby-Gonzales equation, unofficial word from the White House is not reassuring. One credible source says the president never -- not even on the way out of the Oval Office in January 2009 -- will pardon Libby. Another equally good source says the president never will ask Gonzales to resign. That exactly reverses the prevailing Republican opinion in Congress. Bush is alone.

    Mr Novak is always an interesting read, accurate, I think in this report, given that even habu has abandoned Mr Bush's other positions, cutting and running to a fallback redoubt.

  40. Mr Bush, allen, the Commander in Chief, has said he left the War Fighting and the tactics employed to his Generals.

    The decisions concerning the tactics on the Ground were the Army's, or Mr Bush is lying.

    Which is it?

  41. What?!!!!!

    Jose has been held in jail for years without having been tried?

    Oh, the humanity!

    Free Jose Padilla!!!!!!

  42. re: Which is it?

    Gosh. Here's a non-linear thought: it could be neither A nor B.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Why, allen, would you wish to free a POW, before the War was over.

    But then the Administration, Gonzo's Justice Department, eventually decided Jose was just another common criminal, not a Enemy Combatant at all. That it took years, instead of months, for them to come to that conclusion, just another competence issue.

  45. re: [T]he British have to find some way of bringing unbearable pressure to bear very rapidly while providing the Iranians with a climbdown avenue..."


    How about giving the Iranians a hard smackdown, for a change? Nothing that would cause war, but something that would leave a serious mark. The loss of 15 naval vessels to accident comes to mind. Those old Soviet subs are so unreliable.

  46. re: Tell "us" about C.

    You have a mouse in your pocket?

  47. Allen,
    re Wretch:
    First member to find Trish's Wolcott takedown gets a beer on me!

  48. Allen: How about giving the Iranians a hard smackdown, for a change? Nothing that would cause war, but something that would leave a serious mark. The loss of 15 naval vessels to accident comes to mind. Those old Soviet subs are so unreliable.

    Some little known history of Reagan's Navy from Wikipedia:

    Operation Praying Mantis was the April 18, 1988 action waged by U.S. naval forces in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf and the subsequent damage to an American warship.

    On April 14, the guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will, the 1987-88 convoy missions in which U.S. warships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks. The explosion put a 25-foot hole in the Roberts' hull and nearly sank it. But the crew saved their ship with no loss of life, and Roberts was towed to Dubai on April 16.

    After the mining, U.S. Navy divers recovered other mines in the area. When the serial numbers were found to match those of mines seized along with the Iran Ajr the previous September, U.S. military officials planned a retaliatory operation against Iranian targets in the Gulf.

    The battle, the largest for American surface forces since World War II, sank two Iranian warships and as many as six armed speedboats. It also marked the first surface-to-surface missile engagement in U.S. Navy history.

  49. "Bush's weekend radio address in which he threatened to veto emergency spending legislation for the Iraq war if it included a timetable for withdrawing troops was "astounding to me -- saying to the Congress, in effect, you don't belong in this, I'm in charge of Iraq," Hagel of Nebraska said."

    That's a threat with an unloaded gun. Bush ain't about to veto his own "emergency" spending bill because the Democrats don't give a crap about the troops, they only fear the consequences, at election time, of being blamed for cutting the troops off from their bullets and gas, which indeed they would be if they refused to pass the measure. But a veto gives them total political cover. They can say, "Gosh, we tried to appropriate the emergency funds, but I guess the President doesn't think the troops really need the money." And Bush's objection that he didn't get a "clean bill" won't fly when his party is imploding and his own popularity has been in the gutter lower and for longer than any other Commander-in-Chief in history. The survival instinct for the remaining GOP congressmen, dragged down by this Administration and looking at a dismal November 2008, might even cause them to override the veto.

  50. I think and hope you are wrong, T, but maybe that's cause I listen to Hewitt too much!
    I do think he would veto the present bill, but "those in the know" say it will never make it through the Senate, anyhoo.
    Hoo knows?

  51. Doug: I think and hope you are wrong, T, but maybe that's cause I listen to Hewitt too much!

    I listen to Hewitt too, on the drive home, but I find that he errs on the optimistic side too often.