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Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

Congress has passed a budget for 2015.  Well, they sort of passed a budget for 2015.  In their “cromnibus” they have budgeted the full year for every department except the Department of Homeland Security.  They funded that department only until February 27.

Additionally, this budget had a rider that gives banks the right to get back into the “swaps” business.  That means that the big banks can go back to risky trading that caused the 2008 economic meltdown.  After that meltdown, the Dodd-Franks bill was passed by Congress.  One of the provisions of that bill meant that if banks wanted to engage in “risky” trading, they could not use money insured by the FDIC.  They had to go outside of the normal bank channels.

Most of the banks continued with this trading, but had to set up different companies to do so.  That meant that the FDIC was not on the hook if things went south again.  But, Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas introduced the rider in the middle of the night before the House voted on the budget.  The unfortunate part of this rider is that it was written by none other than Citigroup!  That’s right, the banks wrote the bill that allows the banks to re-engage in risky trading on the taxpayer’s dime.

Remember in 2010 there was a splinter group in the Republican Party that was railing against the bank bailouts?  That group called themselves the TEA Party.  TEA stood for “Taxed Enough Already”.  The addition of this rider in the budget was a great time for these ultra-conservatives to hook up in a bi-partisan way with liberal Democrats who were against this rider as well.  They could have forced the rider out of the bill.

That didn’t happen.  The TEA Party raised no voice against this rider even though it opens the door to another economic meltdown that would force the taxpayers to bail out the banks again!    No, their only concern was “defunding” the President’s Executive Order on Immigration Reform.  They didn’t care about the banks writing a bill that only benefits them at the potential risk of the American Taxpayers.

As a result, they went along with the budget bill and it passed both houses.  However, the Department of Homeland Security is still hanging out there without full funding for 2015.  We will have another fight in February over their budget when the Republicans have control of both houses.

Let’s take a look at that as well.  The Republicans are screaming that the Executive Order is “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.  It isn’t amnesty at all.  It is a three-year hiatus on deporting illegal immigrants who have family members in the U.S.  Yes, they will be able to apply for legal status, but there are a series of things like paying back taxes and going through a criminal background check first.  Additionally, all of this is funded through fees, not the annual budgets of any agency in the Department of Homeland Security.

The Department of Homeland Security is made up of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Patrol, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Agency, United States Coast Guard, Secret Service, and others.  If you take a close look at these departments, they all have something to do with keeping illegal immigrants and/or drugs out of the country.

These are the very agencies that help protect us from not only illegal immigrants, but terrorism as well.  If this department is not funded, then the Border Patrol won’t be conducting patrols on our borders.  The Coast Guard won’t be as efficient in protecting our harbors from terrorists.  ICE won’t be able to deport illegal immigrants.  And the beat goes on for other agencies as well.

These are all things the Republicans, and especially the TEA Party, are screaming should be increased.  Yet, they are willing to defund these agencies to “defund” an executive order which does not rely on the budget to pay for its activities.  You and I both know that is insane.  But, the Republicans and the TEA Party are anything but sane.

So, we have a sort of budget for the Federal Government through 2015.  But because of the politics being played by the Republicans, we face another economic meltdown because the banks can use taxpayer insured money to go back to playing casino in the markets, and we have a real potential for terrorists and mass illegal immigration because the one department of our government on the front line of these battles isn’t funded through the whole year.

The Republicans added these riders to the bill because they knew that the Democrats and the President did not want to have a government shutdown right before the holidays.  They knew they were playing hostage again, and this time they won.  I am sure that if we waited until after Republicans took control of both houses next month, the bill would have been much worse than it is.  That is what they were counting on.

What the Republicans are really doing with this “cromnibus” is playing Russian Roulette with our economy and our security.  It is not the first time they played this game with the economy.  The deregulation of the banking industry was a direct result of the last economic meltdown.  This is the first time I can remember them playing this game with our security.  Seems the Republicans do not support our security as much as they claim.

Should another economic meltdown occur, or another terrorist attack take place on our soil, the Republicans will be directly responsible because they are totally irresponsible with these two riders they placed in the “cromnibus” just passed.  Just another example of Republicans proving they support their big dollar donors and not the American People.

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If you really want to know the true ideals of someone, simply listen to their arguments for or against something.  The Senate’s CIA Report is giving us a window into the souls of several people who were in government and/or involved in what the right wants to call “enhanced interrogation techniques” which the rest of the world calls “torture”.  It is also easy to define the morals of anyone simply by listening to them as well.

I served 20 years in the military.  Torture is torture no matter what funny names you give it.  My time in the military began during the Vietnam war.  We knew that our enemy was torturing our personnel being held as POWs.  That was something we were all concerned about.

During WWII, the Japanese conducted torture on POWs as well.  The odd thing was that the Germans who committed genocide throughout the war against Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Slavic People, and the Mentally Insane did not torture our POWs.

After the War, there were military tribunals who tried and punished the enemy for these crimes including the torture of POWs.  One of the techniques used and called “torture” was waterboarding.  There was a case before WWII where an American Military Officer was court-martialed for conducting waterboarding in the Philippines.  So, as you can see, waterboarding has been considered “torture” long before 2001.

Not only is the U.S. signees to the Geneva Convention, it is also signees on the UN Ban on torture.  The Bush administration broke both of those agreements when it decided that torture was “legal”.  They will tell you it was “legal” because the lawyers they brought in to tell them it was legal said it was legal.

Dick Cheney is totally unapologetic in his defense of the torture his administration conducted.  In an appearance with Fox News’ Bret Baier Wednesday night he said “People have been very concerned about waterboarding, calling it “torture,” Cheney said. “First of all it was not deemed torture by the lawyers, and secondly it worked.”

The lawyers he is talking about were his lawyers.  He brought in several lawyers to determine what is torture, basically told them what he believed and miracle of miracles they said that waterboarding was not torture despite the fact an American Officer was convicted of torture for doing the exact same waterboarding in our past.  I guess these lawyers don’t believe in precedent.

As to whether or not the “technique” worked, the report by the Senate Report, Senate Armed Services Committee, and the CIA’s own Inspector General contradict his claim and say it did not work.  All three reports that the one person the right loves to cite as an example of it working, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, started talking long before he was subjected to these “techniques”.  They report the “techniques” were not necessary to get information from him.

But the real killer or indicator of Dick Cheney’s lack of moral character came when Baier asked Cheney about Gul Rahman, the detainee who died in a CIA “black site” in Afghanistan in 2002 after being chained half-naked to the floor of a freezing room and left overnight.  Cheney’s response was “Three thousand Americans died on 9/11 because of what these guys did.  And I have no sympathy for them. I don’t know the specific details, I’m sure there were instances cited in the report, I haven’t read the report.”

He always comes back to the same argument.  “Americans died in the attacks” as if that is justification to purposely hurt people with “techniques” that we have promised not to use and prosecuted others who have used them in the past.  And, remember, they did this in our name!

But lying to the American people is second nature to Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration.  Remember the lies they told us about why we had to go to war in Iraq?  Or, how they lied to us when memos about the authorization of the use of torture leaked in 2002?  Their response was “that nobody was being tortured, that existing laws were being observed, that it has abided by international conventions barring torture, and that detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere have been treated humanely.”

Or, how about when Marc Thiessen, who was a speechwriter for Bush, wrote in his 2010 book that “no one was tortured, maybe a few people were roughed up, but no deaths in custody took place in the C.I.A. interrogation program.”

If anyone had any doubts about the twisted, sick mindset of Dick Cheney and his cronies, this report is giving us clear vision into their souls.  Fox News is also showing us their true colors in their utter fictional insistence that these techniques were not torture and saved lives.

Torture does not save lives.  Torture only allows sick, twisted, evil people to “have fun” with people they despise.  That is not justice.  That is not interrogation.  That is pure evil, and that is what Dick Cheney has let loose in our name.

For a long time, I thought that Cheney should be tried for his crimes.  I am now beginning to believe that since he doesn’t consider these “techniques” as torture, we should subject him to the same “techniques” to see if he changes his mind and tells us the truth for once.  But I doubt it will work.  In my opinion, Dick Cheney is the face of Pure Evil!

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I was going to hold off on saying anything about the CIA Report that was released yesterday.  I wanted to actually read and digest the information contained in it before making any statements.  However, with all of the apologists running around telling us how effective these torture techniques were, my anger keeps growing by the minute.

I am not going to write about what is in the report since I haven’t read the whole thing yet,  But, I am going to write about the whole argument surrounding torture practiced by the last administration.  I am going to say this as plain as I can.

Torture is the most vile, evil and intolerable form of interrogation imaginable.  The only people who participate in torturing prisoners are sick, evil, pathological criminals who do not deserve a single word of praise of any kind!

Please understand me.  I am not making a sweeping accusation against every member of the CIA.  I know people who work there, and they would never be party to any of this idiocy.  They are really trying to protect us through real intelligence gathering on our enemies.  I even know people who resigned from the agency when all of this first came to light.  They were even more disgusted than I was.  But that does not remove the fact that members of the CIA were involved in torturing prisoners.

The right-wing is all in an uproar about the release of the report.  Apologists from the Director of the CIA, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush, et al, are all singing the praises of the CIA for conducting such techniques.  They claim that torturing prisoners “saved lives.”  They are lying through their pearly white teeth.  Instead of “saving lives” they have put the lives of American Armed Service Personnel and American Civilians working abroad in danger.

The military has known for decades that torture does not work.  We have seen, and some of our service members have experienced torture at the hands of an enemy.  That torture did not work then, and it does not work now.  So why do people believe that torture works?  Because they are very sick individuals without any regard for the rule of law or common decency.

America is a signatory to the Geneva Convention.  That means we are not allowed to torture prisoners.  Until the George W. Bush administration we abided by that agreement.  I don’t want to hear any more stupid arguments how these prisoners were not “prisoners of war” they were terrorists.  That has always been a bogus argument to justify the sick nature their treatment.

There is another argument that goes we were justified because we were attacked.  Well, we were attacked on December 7, 1941.  We did not treat prisoners in that war as we have treated these prisoners.  We abided by the agreement.  Again, this is just another sick argument to justify the fact that we allowed sick people to mistreat prisoners.

The torture techniques used by the Bush Administration basically constitute criminal atrocities!  The absolute idiocy in all of this is the only person from that administration who is serving any jail time is a whistleblower who brought the torture to light in the first place.

Here I am going to say something that may sound hypocritical and probably anger a lot of people.  If I was President right now, due to the political pressure we already face, I probably wouldn’t attempt to declassify all of the report in order to prosecute the previous administration and those responsible for the torture.

Instead, I would probably go on TV with an address to the nation.  In that address, I would acknowledge the report and everything in it.  I would explain what I believe needs to be changed in regards to the CIA so this sort of thing could never happen again.  I would even put forth a plan that Congress could vote on to make those changes.

One thing I would definitely do is to say:  “In order to fix our problems, we need the cooperation of anyone who may have been involved to tell us the truth about what happened.  Therefore, I grant a pardon to the previous administration and those in the CIA who may have been involved so they can be fee to tell the truth in the necessary upcoming hearings on Capital Hill.”

Before you go completely crazy over my suggestion, please understand my reasoning.  By granting a “pardon” the President will be placing a very big “C” for criminal on the previous administration.  He will be signaling to the world that we understand that these people committed criminal acts.  Because of a simple pardon, the George W. Bush administration will be known throughout history as an administration who committed atrocities.

In the meantime, when we see another headline talking about the killing of an American by a group like ISIS or Al-Qaeda or another terrorist group, we will know that the George W. Bush administration is fully responsible due to their own acts of barbarism.

I have believed that the one thing that really made Americans stand out from the crowd was our ability to face adversity and fear with a calm and reason.  The Bush administration used fear as an excuse to torture people.  As a veteran and a citizen I find that unforgivable.

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Eight months ago, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted to release its report of the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”  Since then, the Senate has been in negotiations with the CIA over its release.  Last week, Secretary of State, John Kerry, telephoned Sen. Dianne Feinstein and asked that she delay the report’s release.

Bloomberg reported “His call came after an interagency process that decided the release of the report early next week … could complicate relationships with foreign countries at a sensitive time and posed an unacceptable risk to U.S. personnel and facilities abroad.”

Of course, Fox News has outlandish headlines reporting “US posts on alert over potential backlash from CIA report, lawmaker warns of ‘violence’.  Needless to say that “lawmaker” who wars of “violence” is none other than House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.

“I think this is a terrible idea,” Rogers said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Foreign leaders have approached the government and said, ‘You do this, this will cause violence and deaths.’ Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.”

Of course, the fact that the CIA used “enhanced interrogation techniques” to garner information from detainees is nothing new.  This has been reported on ever since 2002.  The report does not actually break ground in reporting these techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, or confinement in small spaces.  All intended to “break” the detainee.  The problem is that none of these techniques proved to be useful in obtaining any information that couldn’t have been gotten through normal interrogation methods.

I have no doubt that releasing this report will casus violence in parts of the world.  I also believe that American diplomats and personnel need to be on high alert to protect themselves from such violence.  Remember, it was a stupid internet movie about Islam that caused violence in Arab nations in the Mideast and Africa in 2012.  Radicals are always looking for tools to use to recruit new terrorists.  This report would obviously be used for those purposes.

But, the release of the report means more to this country than to others.  During this shameful period in our history, the government actually “sanctioned” these “enhanced interrogation methods” against detainees.  That sanctioning was in direct violation of our own Constitution.  Something the right claims to want to uphold.  Releasing the report may help to heal the wounds caused by these actions.  It should also make it more difficult for future administrations to follow such practices.

This report is basically a 480 page executive summary of the final report of over 6,000 pages of still classified documents.  The right is fully against the release of the report because it will expose George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for their complicity in these illegal acts.  Don’t forget, no one has ever been brought to trial for these shameless acts.  No one has even been held accountable in any way for them.

I think the report should be released for one simple reason.  How can we as a nation supposed to support law and order be kept in the dark about possible violations by our own government of that “law and order”?  How can we continue to espouse we are a nation of laws, liberties, freedom, and rights while hiding a past that violates those very tenets we supposedly hold dear.

By releasing the report, we will also be showing the world that we won’t hide our heads in the sand when our government does something wrong.  We are willing to air our dirty laundry to show that we are fallible.  That we know the difference between right and wrong.  That we are willing to accept when our government breaks the very laws they are supposed to uphold.

What could say more about a people than to admit our wrongs and to work diligently to ensure those wrongs are never repeated?  Evil things were done in our name.  We have a right to know the depths of those wrongs and who were responsible for committing them.  That is what democracy is about.  That is what America is supposed to be about.

If release of the report is held up until the next Congress goes into session, it will never see the light of day.  Republicans will never allow its release because it will shoot holes in their “uphold the constitution” mantra.  War crimes do not uphold our constitution.

 

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As my readers know, I rarely tell people what to do.  I have offered suggestions on why it is important to vote this mid-term and what I envision would happen if the ultra-conservatives win the Senate.  There are several extremely close races that will determine the outcome of the elections, and the direction that ultra-conservatives will try to move the country.  Naturally, if the ultra-conservatives win the Senate, they will yell that it was a “mandate” against everything Obama.  If they don’t win the Senate, they will find something like “voter fraud” to express why they didn’t win.

Our free speech guaranties have made it very possible for us, as normal people, to either express happiness over our political outcomes, or to bitch about them.  It is our right to bitch about things.  We have worked hard to ensure that these rights exist.  Our service members have fought wars to ensure our right to bitch whenever we want.

The problem has become that too many people don’t bother to vote, and then bitch about the outcome.  They use the tired excuse of “they are all alike, so why bother.”  The last several elections have proven beyond reasonable doubt that “they are NOT all alike.”  There are vast differences between the two political parties.

Those differences and the policies that will surely come from the winner, will have a major impact on our country, our economy, and our people.  When I say our people, I mean YOU!  That is something that you really need to think about when you decide to vote or not tomorrow.  Mid-term elections are generally low turnout events.  People think that just because the President isn’t being determined, it really doesn’t matter as much.  But, it matters just as much as if the President was being decided.

The mid-terms this year will determine who runs Congress.  How Congress behaves and what laws they will try to impose on us is the big item that needs to be thought about.  The one item that I noticed is that this mid-term election has resulted in more money being spent on the races than any race in our history.  Over $4 Billion Dollars has been spent on this election.  Since about 75% of it has come from ultra-conservative groups and billionaires, they must see the importance of this mid-term election.

The winner will have an upper hand in determining everything from economics, education, environment, foreign policy, gender issues, heath, immigration, religious beliefs, and a host of other freedoms and policies.  At the State level, the elections will determine a host of things from abortion to voting rights, and everything in between.  That is why the ultra-conservatives are spending so much money on these elections.

So, it comes down to whether or not you vote.  You have the right to vote as they say.  But, more importantly, you have a DUTY to vote.  Throughout my life I have heard all the talk about how “freedom isn’t free” and that our service members “pay for our freedom”.  Well, the one thing that civilians in this country has a duty to perform is to VOTE!

Naturally, I prefer that people vote for progressive policies and candidates.  However, what is more important is that you actually vote.  Voting is a way to let our representatives know whether or not we agree with their policies.  Large turnouts can give one party a mandate to put into place their ideas.  On the other hand, a low turnout doesn’t give either party any kind of mandate.  It doesn’t even allow either party to realistically know if their policies are favored by the majority of the public.

Therefore, it is imperative that every registered voter cast a ballot.  The winner will say that the silence of the majority of voters is a backing of their ideas.  It is not.  The only way to show backing or opposition to ideas is to vote.  If you don’t vote, you lose your right to bitch.  You may still have that constitutional right to bitch, but in essence you have given up your right to bitch.  In order to be heard, you must exercise your duty and vote.  If you don’t, just shut up!

In past articles I laid out my opinions about why I have voted progressive.  I believe that is the only way to keep our freedoms and grow our economy and society.  I don’t care if you agree with me or not.  I only want you to go to the polls and vote.  If you don’t, I don’t want to hear any complaints from you about any future policies that you disagree with.

Everyone lately want to ‘Thank a Vet.”  If you really want to thank us veterans, GO TO THE POLLS AND VOTE!  That is really “thanking the vets”.  Otherwise, just shut up.

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The right-wing conservative wing of the Republican party is in full hysteria mode.  As the election approaches, they have dusted off the old argument that the Democrats are soft on defense and security.  There are two items that have flamed their hysteria.  The first was ISIS and the second was Ebola.  According to the conservative wing, we are in extreme danger of both of these hideous things.  According to Fox News, we are in imminent danger of having our country wiped off the face of the earth by them.

So, how do Fox News and the wing-nuts envision these invaders entering the country?  Through Mexico of course.  Tom Tillis, the Republican candidate in North Carolina went into full hysteria mode during a debate last night.  He said the only way to stop both ISIS and Ebola is by “sealing the border.”  Naturally, in true Republican fashion he did not state how we are to “seal the border.”  And, of course, his is talking about our southern border with Mexico and not our northern border with Canada.

See, the theory goes that if ISIS wants to attack America, they simply put people ashore in Mexico.  Those people then walk however far is necessary and cross the southwest border with the U.S.  I can only assume that these people will already be armed since Republicans don’t seem to think they can buy guns in this country.  Once they cross the border with Mexico, they will do their worst to kill us all off in our sleep.

They also see that someone from West Africa who is infected with Ebola will fly into Mexico, take a bus to somewhere near the border, and then simply walk across.  All the while suffering from the disease symptoms that include organ damage and internal bleeding.  They make is sound so easy that GOP congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr. of California, told Fox host Greta van Susteren last night that ”[a]t least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.” Pressed on how he knew this, Hunter replied that he’d “asked the Border Patrol.”

When contacted, the Department of Homeland Security flatly denied the charge and basically said Hunter was patently false in his assertion about ISIS people being caught at the Mexican border in Texas.  To be honest, I started laughing that these ISIS terrorists entered in Texas and not in California or Arizona.  Is that a subliminal hint that California isn’t a direct target?

So, is there any validity in the Republicans claim that both ISIS and Ebola are going to just walk across our southern border?  Well, history proves just the opposite.  I know that Republicans aren’t too keen on history and the facts, but let’s look at a few things here.

Before the 9/11 attacks, terrorists crossed our border to carry out their plot.  But please note, none of them entered the country through Mexico.  In order to be able to walk around without being harassed, they either entered the country via European countries on a legal visa granted under false papers, or they entered through, get this, CANADA.  See, if a terrorist wants to commit an act in the U.S. he needs to be able to enter the country without bringing attention to himself.  Entering through a European country or Canada is the best way not to bring attention to yourself.

Every case where the FBI and/or Border Police have captured potential terrorists have been at the Canadian border NOT the Mexican border.  For one thing, the Canadian border is longer than the Mexican border.  There are far more places where people can illegally cross.  There is even the Great Lakes where some can get a boat and simply enter the U.S. from Canada without even being noticed.  When you dock your boat at a marina in the U.S., there are no border police present to check IDs and “papers”, so it is far easier to enter through Canada than through Mexico.  I know, I lived on the Great Lakes most of my life.

So, what about Ebola?  The only case, so far, of a person entering the country with Ebola came through a U.S. Airport.  He did not cross the Mexican border.  He was legally entering the country to visit family living in this country.  As a matter of fact, every case of an epidemic problem that has entered the U.S. was through legal means, not sneaking across the border from Mexico.

So, when Republicans like Tom Tillis start talking about “sealing the border” we need to be asking him if he means both the southern and northern borders.  Even if we were to build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border, it will not stop terrorists from entering the country through Canada or even our airports.  Besides, where do the Republicans think they are going to get the billions of dollars necessary to build such a border wall?  And, how are they going to pay to maintain it?

Finally, if we do build a wall between us and Mexico, won’t that also mean we will need thousands more border police to patrol the wall?  What about all of the security equipment necessary to let us know when it is breached?  What about the equipment necessary to find tunnels under the wall?

Republicans don’t really care about “sealing the border.”  What they care about is letting loose a hysteria that those “other” people are coming to get us and the only way to stop them is to lock off the “other” people from getting in too.  That is what brings the wing-nut voters to the polls.  We don’t need to worry about our northern border, because they are not those “other” people.  They are white Christian souls just like us.  Forget that is from where terrorists enter.

Terrorism and infectious diseases, not just Ebola, are real concerns that we face everyday.  The problem is that both of these concerns are more likely to enter the country via legal means and through our own airports than “sneaking” across the southern border.  But, Republicans know that hysteria can generate votes.  It is truly sad that they think they need to hype it up in order to win an election.  But then, they don’t have anything else to run on.

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Okay, I am going to say this as plainly as I can.  There is a real terrorist threat to America.  This threat has existed for a long time now, and the right-wing media is ignoring it completely.  The reason they are ignoring it is because this threat does not come from Islamic terrorists.  It comes from white, right-wing, anti-government extremists.

We all know that Fox News is xenophobic.  What they have been successful in hiding is their total disregard for right-wing terrorists for a very long time.  The recent stories, or lack thereof, about the Oklahoma killing and the terrorist shooting of two state troopers in Pennsylvania shows that Fox News doesn’t think right-wing extremists are terrorists but a fired Muslim worker is a terrorist.

Last week there was a gruesome murder in Oklahoma.  A fired worker, Alton Nolan, entered his former workplace and beheaded a co-worker.  This ghastly story has been front and center over at Fox News.  Not because the crime was so gruesome, but because the suspect, who is in custody, recently converted to Islam.  That means according to Fox News it was a terrorist attack.  Police say otherwise noting that the attack came immediately after Nolan was fired and stating that they’ve yet to find a link to terrorism.

According to Fox News, this proves that Islamic Jihadists are running rampant in the heartland of the country.  They are treating the story as a national problem with political implications.  Of course, they blame President Obama for the attack because of his “indifference to the threat of Islamic terrorism.”

Yet another story that really is an act of terrorism is ongoing with barely a mention from Fox News.  On September 16, 31-year-old marksman Eric Frein was allegedly laying in wait outside the Blooming Grove police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, preparing to assassinate state troopers. Shortly before 11 p.m., Bryon Dickson was shot and killed as he walked towards his patrol car. Moments later, as he approached the barracks to begin his overnight shift, trooper Alex Douglass was shot and seriously wounded by a bullet fired from a .308-caliber rifle.

Frein, who is described as a survivalist, fled into the Poconos Mountains woods where he has been hiding out ever since.  There has been a massive man-hunt for this terrorist by the State Police, FBI, U.S. Marshalls Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Because Frein has been described as “extremely dangerous” and possibly armed with an AK 47, local schools were closed for fear of another attack.  Business were warned to remain black.  And mail delivery was suspended because officials feared mail carriers might be attacked by Frein.

So, what sparked this ambush?   “He made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and to commit mass acts of murder,” state police commissioner Frank Noonan warned the public at the time. Another official noted the shooter has a “longstanding grudge against law enforcement and government in general” dating back to at least 2006.

A friend was even more explicit.  “He was obviously a big critic of the federal government.  No indications of really any malice towards law enforcement in particular. Most of his aggression was (toward) the federal government.”

Philadelphia columnist Dick Poleman wrote:  “We have a well-trained sniper who hates authority, hates society, hates government, and hates cops enough to plug them from ambush. He’s so lethal, so locked and loaded, that communities in the Pocono Mountains feel terrorized.”  “He kept camouflage face paint in his bedroom. He toted the AK-47 on social media. He collected, according to the criminal complaint, “various information concerning foreign embassies.””

If this sounds like domestic terrorism being perpetrated by a homegrown terrorist, you are right.  But, turn on Fox News and you will not find anything about the story.  None of the major evening commentators like Meagan Kelly, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity or Neil Cavuto have said a word about this domestic terrorist.

To really show the slant, in the two weeks since the shooting, the shows on Fox News monitored by Nexis mentioned Frein’s name only six times.  And most of those were in one sentence “updates”.  None of the so-called big news people mentioned above have said a single word about the murder.  On the other hand, these shows have donated hours and hours of the Oklahoma killing.  They even have included overheated commentary, and most of them dwelled on the fact the killing may have been an act of terror.

The only show that had a feature on Frein and his act of terrorism was one segment of the show On The Record With Greta Van Susteren.  But before you give old Greta some praise here, she whitewashed the story.  She never mentioned Frein’s vocal anti-government leanings, nor was there any suggestion Frein was a domestic terrorist.  At the end of the story she even told viewers to stay tuned for a report about the “nightmare” looming from the threat of jihadist fighters inside the United States.

Naturally, this isn’t the first instance of right-wing terrorism in the country.  We had two cops killed in Nevada by right-wing terrorists.  That ambush came just two days after Dennis Marx, member of the “sovereign citizen” anti-government movement, tried to lay siege to a courthouse outside of Atlanta. Sovereign citizens are militia-like radicals who don’t believe the federal government has the power and legitimacy to enforce the law. The FBI has called the movement “a growing domestic terror threat to law enforcement.”  Like Frein, these stories got little coverage on Fox News.

The Pennsylvania ambush is just another in a long line of extremist terrorism that has taken place from Neo-Nazi killers, to a string of women’s health clinic bombings and assaults, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists.  With very little coverage, if any, on Fox News.

As CNN’s Peter Bergen noted earlier this year, since 9/11, “extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.”

I don’t know what you make of this “fair and balanced” news reporting from Fox News, but I find it very telling.  If someone has any ties to Islam and commits a crime, it is an obvious terrorist attack on America.  Fox News is very quick to put terrorism and Islam together whenever a horrible crime is committed.  But, they are hesitant at best to even mention when a white man commits an act of terror, especially if that white man is a right-wing extremist.

You only have to remember Sean Hannity praising law-breaker Cliven Bundy as a true hero and patriot for stealing from the federal government.  And, don’t forget those pictures of a man lying on an overpass in ambush ready to shoot and kill federal law enforcement officers, if he deemed it necessary.  Sound familiar to Frein?

I have been watching the news for over fifty years.  I have never seen anything as biased as Fox News before.  But then, what do you expect from a network whose sole purpose is to preach the right-wing propaganda?  Sadly, if you look at Fox News and the propaganda machine in Germany during the 30s and 40s, you will see a disturbing similarity.

Like the German propaganda machine at the time, Fox News is only interested in pointing out whom we should be afraid of.  Everything that is wrong with the world and our country can be blamed on those people.  Maybe it time for Fox News to change its logo.

 

 

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