“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."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Forget the Diversity. Islam is the Problem.

The NYPD report on Islamic radicals defines the process that produces home grown jihadists. I find no surprises or real insight in this report. In fact, every revelation has been expressed or written about here at the EB or over at Belmont many times. My question is simple. Now what are we going to do about it? How about something simple? Begin by stopping the black Muslim nonsense in US prisons. Quit dignifying the outrageous.

OUTSIDE EXPERT’S VIEW: Brian Michael Jenkins,
Senior Advisor to the President of the Rand Corporation

The United States and its allies have achieved undeniable success in degrading the operational capabilities of the jihadist terrorist enterprise responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, and numerous subsequent terrorist operations since then. However, we have not dented their determination, prevented their communications, orblunted their message. We have not diminished their capacity to incite, halted the process of radicalization, or impeded the recruitment that supports the jihadist enterprise. Indeed, recent intelligence estimates concede that “activists identifying themselves as jihadists are increasing in both number andgeographicdispersion.” As a consequence, “the operational threat fromself-radicalized cellswill grow in importance to U.S. counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad, but also in the Homeland. As the Department of Homeland Security’s Chief IntelligenceOfficer testified in March 2007, “radicalization will continue to expand within the United States over the long term.”

This study examines the trajectories of radicalization that produced operational terrorist cells in Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Sydney and Toronto to construct an analytical framework that tracks jihadist recruits from pre-radicalization to self-identification to indoctrination to jihadization-- a cycle that ends with capture or death. It then compares this model with the trajectories of radicalization observed in conspiracies within the United States including the jihadist clusters in Lackawanna, Northern Virginia, Portland, Oregon, New York City, and lastly with the Hamburg cell responsible for the attack on 9/11.

Although there have been informative analyses of the paths to violent jihad in individual countries, this is the most comprehensive review across national boundaries, including the terrorist conspiracies uncovered in the United States. The resulting model will undoubtedly become the basis for comparison with additional cases as they are revealed in future attacks or arrests.

The utility of the NYPD model, however, goes beyond analysis. It will inform the training of intelligence analysts and law enforcement personnel engaged in counterterrorist missions. It will allow us to identify similarities and differences, and changes in patterns over time. It will assist prosecutors and courts in the very difficult task of deciding when the boundary between a bunch of guys sharing violent fantasies and a terrorist cell determined to go operational has been crossed.

Above all, by identifying key junctions in the journey to terrorist jihad, it should help in the formulation of effective and appropriate strategies aimed at peeling potential recruits away from a dangerous and destructive course.

As the NYPD point outs, becoming a jihadist is a gradual, multi-step process that can take months, even years, although since 9/11 the pace has accelerated. The journey may begin in a mosque where a radical Imam preaches, in informal congregations and prayer groups—some of which are clandestine—in schools, in prisons, on the Internet.

Self-radicalization may begin the day that an individual seeks out jihadist websites. In the physical world when would-be jihadists seek support among local jihadist mentors and like- minded fanatics. This is the group that currently poses the biggest danger to the West. It is the focus of the present monograph.

As the NYPD shows, self-radicalization was often the norm, even before the worldwide crackdown on al Qaeda and its jihadist allies forced them to decentralize and disperse. Those who arrived at jihadist training camps, like members of the Hamburg cell, were already radicalized. At the camps, they bonded through shared beliefs and hardships, underwent advanced training, and gained combat experience; some were selected by al Qaeda’s planners for specific terrorist operations.


  1. Ahhh, the Bar and the Club, where the voices in the wilderness reside. The Federals do not subscribe to the same thinking. Rejected it out of hand, actually.

    The cornerstone of US policy is that the problem is not Islam, but radical individuals. There was a time when terror sponsoring States were in the cross hairs, but that was a rhetorical flourish, not a statement of reality.

    Where Mr Bush once spoke of an "Axis of Evil", now we support the members of that Axis through financial subsidies.

    But hey, don't worry, be happy!

    Time has marched on by the window of reaction, Mr Bush no longer vacationing in Texas, but Maine. An indication of the different mindset that prevails now. The rhetoric of "Never Forget" forgotten.

    The fact that we are engaged in fire fights, at Tora Bora, proof that the circle is closed. Back to the beginning, treating the symptoms not the cause.

    The contenders for leadership, here in the US, not leading US back into the rhetorical wilderness, but finding relief in what was described by Mr Bush, in Mr Frum's words:

    If we stop now -- leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked -- our sense of security would be false and temporary.

    The offensive stopped, in 2003, with a sense of security that wraps US today in a wet blanket of inaction.

  2. Mr Frum is no longer in the employ of Mr Bush:

    "Inspiring rhetoric and solemn promises can do only so much for an incumbent administration. Can it win wars? Can it respond to natural disasters? Can it safeguard the nation’s borders? Can it fill positions of responsibility with worthy appointees? If it cannot do those things, not even the most sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation can save it."

    Building a Coalition, Forgetting to Rule

  3. ... Pakistan, which has been playing a major role in the war in Afghanistan, contributing to its radicalization and militancy, is itself facing a defining point in its turbulent history. A weakened army regime, the forthcoming elections, and a patchwork democracy that leaves the army (and its intelligence agencies) free to wield influence, though not accountable for the further growth of terrorism will provide more space for expansion of Taliban and jihadist influence in Pakistan in the coming years.

    We need a stable and non-radical Afghanistan if growth of global terrorism is to be reversed. This requires careful crafting and sustained policies to encourage moderate, albeit tribal cultures. The time may have come for a fundamental shift in strategy in Afghanistan from trying to defeat Al-Qaeda to containing the Taliban and insulating the badlands from the rest of the country.

    However, even this cannot be done without the full participation of Islamabad on one side and the cooperation of Iran on the other. Current trends read against the backdrop of past lessons indicate that both will be more difficult as time goes by. The US-Iran confrontation on nuclear issues has helped the hard-liners in Tehran to move toward assertive chauvinism. As for Pakistan, a civilian government with little actual power would find it more difficult to curb religious extremism, as indeed was the case through the 1990s.

    That's why we may be on the threshold of the further spread of religious extremism and terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Jasjit Singh is director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in New Delhi. This commentary first appeared at, an online newsletter.

    Linked at RCP

  4. "I had 400,000 illegals in New York City," Giuliani explained while awaiting his chicken tenders and beef and vegetable soup in a private room upstairs at Susan's European Cafe.

    "The immigration service was only able to deport about 2,000 per year. … So here is what happens for a mayor: They don’t get rid of anybody. I was going to have 398,000 illegals. As the mayor, I had to figure out what to do with that to make my city safe."

    "I didn’t have the luxury of just rhetoric or sound bytes," Giuliani explained in a veiled shot, "I had to make my city safe."

    And the steps he took that protected illegal immigrants also had the effect of increasing safety in the city, Giuliani argued. Letting the children of illegals into schools, for example, was better than to have them "just running around the streets."

    "If we hadn’t let them go to school, we never would have been able to reduce the crime rate like we did," he said, adding that by allowing them to report crime without fear of being deported, they "helped us catch criminals."

    And providing illegal immigrants access to health facilities, Giuliani noted, lessened the risk of communicable diseases: "You don't take care of them, you don't take care of yourself."

    Ilegals who committed crimes, though, were turned in to immigration authorities, he said.

    Summing up his defense, Giuliani bragged that no record tops his on public safety: "Nobody's policies worked anywhere near like mine to turn a dangerous city into a safe city. People can say what they want about it, they just don’t have results like this"

    Despite his braggadocio, Hizzoner mostly resisted the temptation to take a direct swing at Romney. When asked by a local reporter about Massachusetts cities that were "sanctuary cities" during Romney's term, Giuliani sought to distance himself from the accusations levied by his own campaign but also to get in a mild dig.

    "I think there are three cities in Massachusetts that were considered sanctuary cities that the governor, at least during that period of time, did nothing about," Giuliani responded somewhat hesitantly. "I don’t know if that’s correct or not, you’d have to go check that."

    As for why he said in 1996 that ending immigration was impossible -- a video of which was sent to by one of his rivals yesterday -- Giuliani said technological improvements had now made it possible. Such advancements can also lead to greater reductions in crime, he said.

  5. Bob previously suggested that amending the Immigration and Sedition Laws to specifically tackle the threat of Islam and Islamist, is the way to go. A political drive to push these amendments thru, I think, is something to seriously consider.

  6. Another Bush 43 Team mate to leave, soon.

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- White House press secretary Tony Snow said Friday he'll leave sometime before the end of the Bush presidency because of financial pressures.

    He declined to say when he would depart, but that, "I'm going to stay as long as I can."

    The 52-year-old Snow, the father of three children, earns $168,000 as an assistant to the president but made considerably more as a conservative pundit and syndicated talk-show host on Fox News Radio. He was named press secretary on April 26, 2006.

    The White House has been shaken by the resignations of some of President Bush's closest aides. Political strategist Karl Rove announced Monday that he would leave at the end of the month. Longtime Bush adviser Dan Bartlett left earlier this year and Andrew Card left earlier as Bush's chief of staff.

    Bush's term ends on Jan. 20, 2009.

    "I will not be able to make it to the end of this administration, just financially," Snow said. "This job has been such a pleasant surprise in how much I like it. I love it."

    what a thought. Who will lead this charge against the Constitution?
    In an era where simple surveillance is said to constitute a Constitutional crisis, a shredding of liberties for US all?

    Fantasia, amigo mio, fantasia pura.

  7. dRat,

    It's not a question of who will lead, but who will follow. And I see 70% of country as ready to follow.

  8. According to the newly released New York City Police Department report, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat" by Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt Senior Intelligence Analysts NYPD Intelligence Division, prisons are "A Radicalizing Cauldron".

    "Prisons can play a critical role in both triggering and reinforcing the radicalization process. The prison’s isolated environment, ability to create a “captive audience” atmosphere, its absence of day-to-day distractions, and its large population of disaffected young men, makes it an excellent breeding ground for radicalization."

    So one wonders why America pursues a drug war policy that gives our nation a world record prison population.

    U.S. drug war prisons: "A Radicalizing Cauldron"

  9. On the Front Line in the War on Terrorism
    Judith Miller

    Cops in New York and Los Angeles offer America two models for preventing another 9/11.

    Bottom line:
    Bratton's task is unwinnable, as Socialist/Reconquista Mexican Politicians are firmly in control.

    Villagarosa for Governor!

  10. Al-Qaida in Hollywood?

    A source of both frustration and pride within the LAPD, the “Hollywood case”—details of which haven’t yet become public—shows how good police work can break up terrorist networks. But this tangled saga also highlights unanswered questions that continue to surround the 9/11 plot.

    The LAPD investigators decided to question Benomrane in jail once more, but they never got the chance: he was deported on the eve of their visit to see him (a textbook example of one part of government’s not talking to another). Benomrane, too, has disappeared. But using standard policing tactics and procedures, the LAPD investigators broke up what they believe was a cell that supported al-Qaida’s 9/11 mission in ways still not fully understood. “We did all the right things without knowing it,” a detective notes, calling the case the LAPD’s “coming of age” in counterterrorism.

    “Only the police are close enough to the ground to be able to go after terrorists like this by using standard criminal investigations,” argues Stephan C. Margolis, who now heads the LAPD’s Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Section. “The FBI has 12,000 agents for the entire country, only some of whom do counterterrorism. Local and state law enforcement includes some 800,000 people who know their territory. We are destined to be frontline soldiers in what could be a very long and complicated war.”

  11. The county, he points out, contains 85 percent of California’s critical assets.

    Another constriction is L.A.’s byzantine political system, dominated by competing fiefdoms and myriad jurisdictions with overlapping responsibilities. The California Highway Patrol, for example, polices the freeways that dissect Bratton’s territory. The Port of Los Angeles, through which some 45 percent of the nation’s cargo passes, has its own police force. So do the area’s airports. The biggest, best-funded local law enforcement office in the city isn’t even Bratton’s LAPD; it’s the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which has a sworn and civilian force of 16,216. And Sheriff Leroy Baca, a savvy elected politician, enjoys a $2.1 billion yearly budget—twice the LAPD’s. Of its $1.2 billion budget, the LAPD spends roughly $24 million on counter-terrorism; New York spends $204 million.

  12. "The Port of Los Angeles, through which some 45 percent of the nation’s cargo passes, has its own police force.

    So do the area’s airports.

  13. Mat, with Netanyehu back in charge of Likud, and Olmert hovering around a mighty 10% approval rating, what happens next? Are there new elections coming up, and if so, when? There have to be a vote of no confidence in Olmert? How does the government fall to make way for new elections?

  14. Bob, now we learn the mambo:

  15. Can't get anything to come up there, Mat.

  16. My wife and I dance like that every morning right after we get up. We have our own little private orchestra here.

  17. Bob,

    Voting in a no confidence vote means voting themselves out of a job. They all know it.


    August 16, 2007 -- Up for auction next week at a Beverly Hills gallery is a rare piece of pornographic prehistory - a 12,000-year-old walrus penis.

    The fossilized phallus, discovered in frozen Siberia tundra, is 4½ feet long, making it "the largest known mammal penis fossil," according to the I.M. Chait Gallery.

    Just wait til this old Fossil gets Discovered!

  19. Damn! I'm just happy I can make it to the shower.

  20. Blubber is Beautiful!
    The Coming Urban Terror

    Systems disruption, networked gangs, and bioweapons.

    The gangs’ rapid rise into challengers to urban authorities is something that we will see again elsewhere. This dynamic is already at work in American cities in the rise of MS-13, a rapidly expanding transnational gang with a loose organizational structure, a propensity for violence, and access to millions in illicit gains. It already has an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 members, dispersed over 31 U.S. states and several Latin American countries, and its proliferation continues unabated, despite close attention from law enforcement. Like the PCC, MS-13 or a similar American gang may eventually find that it has sufficient power to hold a city hostage through disruption.

    That G_d GWB has secured the border, and deported illegal felons!

    Deport Them Now .com

  21. Mat, right, but when would be the next scheduled Israeli election then? I can't seem to find out, looking around.

  22. Bob,

    Election day was: 28.3.2006
    Next election: add 4 years

  23. Polish MEPs boycott UN conference

    A conference of UN NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be hosted at the European Parliament this month, will be boycotted by Polish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the political spectrum, who say that the conference is biased against Israel. a rehash of the 2001 UN Durban conference on racism, which saw unprecedented levels of anti-Zionist rhetoric, and calls for Israel's destruction.

    "I will not take part in this conference. I saw the materials prepared by the organizers," Bronisław Geremek, a Polish MEP, was quoted by Polish website, Europa21 as saying.

    "Although there is no official statement that Israel must be pushed down to the sea there, the choice of subjects and the attitude towards the problems shows that it will be a biased, conflict generating conference. Actually we can call it anti-Israeli," he said.

    'Israelis can count on Poles'
    "There is not the first such initiative. (The) Pro-Palestinian lobby is very active here. If in fact, the conference will become propagandist, Israelis can count on Poles," Boguslaw Sonik, another Polish MEP, said.

    Konrad Szymanski, a third MEP, said: "Israel's objections are fully justified. (The) UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is a platform for activity of various extremists. According to the most of them Israel should disappear."

    "I am astonished that European Parliament allowed such activity to be placed in its building.

  24. Olmert's coalition government:

    29 - Kadima
    19 - Labour
    12 - Shas
    7 - Gil
    67 out of 120 seats

    Shas (eastern religious) and Gil (pensioners) are out to get as much funds out of the treasury as they can. If they fail to deliver the funds, they will be punished by their respective voters. Hard to see how Bibi can coax the two and maintain credibility for economic reform.




    Freed from independent scrutiny, CIA officers gullibly accepted more information than ever from "walk-in" sources and from foreign governments' intelligence services.

    Since then, whenever we have had a intelligence windfall (e.g., access to the East German Stasi files after 1989) we have learned that all or nearly all CIA sources had been controlled by hostile services. In Iraq, in 2003, CIA sources reported watching as Saddam Hussein and sons entered a house with bunker; U.S. aircraft immediately demolished it. But there had never been any bunker, never mind Saddam. As usual, the CIA's agents were doubles.

    It was also thanks to lack of independent counterintelligence that one Aldrich Ames was able to turn over to the KGB control of all U.S. human intelligence about the Soviet Union during during the 1980s.


    It's chock full of shit from start to finish, Doug. Why, for instance, would the Soviets kill THEIR OWN double agents? They wouldn't; and they weren't.

    The agency "hired" Saddam Hussein? The Baath Party "hired" Saddam Hussein.

    No mention of Church; no explanation of "the wall"; obfuscation or complete misunderstanding of the actual policy and operations processes. No mention of the Justice Department's role in either, never mind the White House and Congress.

    Codevilla has a political agenda to pursue, and it isn't about the agency.

    There is one sentence in there that marks him as an Israeli passport holder. Not that you have to be an Israeli passport holder to churn out a piece of crap like that.

  26. Do you do it just to set my teeth on edge?

  27. WOW Not referring to the lady above, though she is nice looking.

  28. Good morn'n, Bob. What's shaking?!

  29. Trish,
    Could you copy and paste the part you are talking about re the Ruskies killing their own? ...or further explain what you mean?
    Hence, it is ironic that among the documents to which today's CIA points with contrition are ones concerning the agreement between President Lyndon Johnson and then CIA chief Richard Helms, that the CIA would search out the links between foreign communists and Americans who were working to defeat the United States in Vietnam. Is it really improper, when foreign forces are killing Americans, to keep track of those Americans who espouse the killers' cause? After 1975, the CIA led the U.S. government in answering "Yes!"

    That is why the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency together were the major lobby for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which in practice exempted virtually anyone in the United States from intelligence wiretapping. That is why, together with the de-Hooverized FBI, the CIA built the well-known "wall" between foreign intelligence and domestic intelligence - the "wall" that shielded the 9/11 plotters on their way to mass murder.
    CIA has sure had a lot of people "come foreward"
    (leakers for the MSM)
    to promote the kind of bias he refers to.

  30. "There is one sentence in there that marks him as an Israeli passport holder. Not that you have to be an Israeli passport holder to churn out a piece of crap like that. "
    Well, then,
    doesn't that beg the question of why you pointed it out?

  31. CIA has sure had a lot of people "come foreward"
    (leakers for the MSM)
    to promote the kind of bias he refers to.

    - Doug

    Make me a list of names.

    The vaaaaaaast majority of unauthorized release comes from none other than that fine institution (including the very committee) Codevilla once worked for as a staff weenie: Congress. You can probably imagine why.

    The sentence to which I refer, I will leave to you find. It's really only two words within it. Think of it as a game.

    I have errands and the rest has to wait.

  32. Why did I point it out?

    Because I find it interesting given the context of the article written.

  33. Our son did mention that after all the s... he went through to get his clearance, that every scummy member of the Senate can gain access to much of what he does.

    I added:
    And their young staff of brainwashed College Trolls.
    (unofficially, of course)

  34. Sat Aug 18, 11:05:00 AM EDT
    See my comment in the next thread.
    (my human guess is that you have less of a problem with the Arabists making a career for themselves in the US Govt than I do.)

  35. Valerie Plame wasn't exactly one of the CIA's greatest patriotic hits!
    ...somebody had to hire her.
    And Ames.
    (and not notice all those years)

  36. (my human guess is that you have less of a problem with the Arabists making a career for themselves in the US Govt than I do.)

    - Doug

    There are two separate and distinct definitions of Arabist, Doug. Now, within the intelligence, defense, and foreign service communities, only one of them is relevant.

    Were I an Asian specialist - let's say an Asianist - would that make me also a supporter of Asian causes (definition number two)? No. It simply means that that's my functional area.

    And I'll let you in on a little secret: The two institutions that work most often and most closely with foreign cultures - State and CIA - have the least love of them. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.

    Your son is dead on about the clearance process, on the one hand, and Congresscritters who have official no-clearance access, on the other. Throw in the additional fact that the latter, by the very nature of their positions, are partisans, and you've got yourself a fuckin' leak factory every day of the week. The only thing you can do about it is have the Justice Department read 'em the riot act and then investigate and prosecute their asses.

    Good luck with that.

  37. Valerie Plame wasn't exactly one of the CIA's greatest patriotic hits!
    ...somebody had to hire her.
    And Ames.
    (and not notice all those years)

    - Doug

    Nor were John Anthony Walker, Jonathan Pollard, Robert Hanssen, or Larry Franklin great patriotic hits for their respective organizations. If you stop and consider just how vast the intelligence community is (encompassing more departments and agencies than you can shake a stick at) it's only rather amazing - and supremely comforting - that it doesn't happen more often. Within that community, there is no greater sin, no higher offense on earth, than that.

    Valerie Plame, however, never violated her contract or sold out her country. She just happens to be married to a self-aggrandizing show boater.

    As for the time it takes to conduct and conclude counterintelligence investigations, it's agonizingly slow, tedious work (years, not months) requiring the patience of a saint. That's just the nature of the beast.

  38. A late good morning to you Mat. I'm being hauled off to a community wide yard sale. Keep tabs on the incoming signals from outer space, will you?

  39. "It was also thanks to lack of independent counterintelligence that one Aldrich Ames was able to turn over to the KGB control of all U.S. human intelligence about the Soviet Union during during the 1980s."

    The problem was not that CI was running quality control. The problem was that Aldrich Ames was a world class rat fuck and was going to be so regardless of position or area.

    And if Codevilla's complaint is that the agency routinely recruits doubles, then he has to explain why all those doubles were summarily executed once Ames sold them down the river for his own sick, treasonous vanity project. All those individuals Ames put in the ground aren't there because the Russians had them feeding us shit.

    Codevilla's a dope.

  40. Bob,

    Just making sure you had your morn'n exercise. :)

  41. Trish,

    summary execution = data validation

    Btw, what else could they do to keep the game in play? Keeps the signal to noise at acceptable levels.

  42. I'd say Plame sold out her country by getting her lying-ass husband with Zero credentials to go over there on that mission and then come back here and both of them lie like Hell about it!

    What's it take to qualify as a sell-out in CIA World?

  43. "What's it take to qualify as a sell-out in CIA World?"

    Violating your fucking oath. And she never did. Wilson was approved by the agency for that fact-finding, I gather, because he'd actually worked for them, or done work for them, some time in the past.

    Shit happens, man, and Wilson decided to take on the admin. He may be an asshole, and she the lawfully wedded, but nobody fucking died. Nothing was rolled up.

    Keep it in perspective, Doug.

  44. summary execution = data validation

    You betcha.

  45. Doug,

    Keep things in perspective:

    Mary McCarthy was fired from the CIA for leaking information to the news media about secret activities she believes are unconstitutional. Accused of violating her CIA oath (I cannot find a copy of the CIA oath; it must be secret), she claimed her oath to uphold the Constitution takes precedence over her allegiance to the CIA.

  46. Wilson decided to take on the admin...

    Something you of all people ought to have come into some appreciation for by now.

  47. Mary McCarthy appointed herself activities gate keeper.

    Mary McCarthy ought to be in jail.