FBI: Hate Crimes Target Blacks In 70 Percent Of Race-Based Cases
Blacks were the group most likely to be the targets of race-based hate crimes, according to a new federal report.
The report, compiled by the FBI’s civil rights division, found that the large majority of racial bias crimes were “motivated by anti-black bias.” Latinos were the targets of 66 percent of all hate crimes motivated by ethnicity or national origin. Jews were the targets of most crimes against religious groups, and most crimes against a particular sexual orientation or gender were motivated by “anti-homosexual male bias.”
The number of hate crimes remained essentially flat between 2009 and 2010. There were 6,628 hate crimes reported in 2010, up very slightly from 6,604 in 2009. About 47 percent of all the reported hate crimes were racially motivated, with 20 percent motivated by religion, 19.3 percent motivated by sexual orientation, and 12.8 percent motivated by nationality.
“Almost a fourth of our 2010 civil rights caseload involved crimes motivated by a particular bias against the victim,” said Eric Thomas, the bureau’s civil rights chief in Washington. “We frequently worked these cases with state and local law enforcement to ensure that justice was done–whether at the state level or at the federal level.”
The FBI said that because of the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, the bureau is making some changes to collect more information for bias crimes against a particular gender or gender identity and for crimes in which juveniles are targets. The law, which was signed by President Obama in 2009 and was meant to bolster and expand existing hate crimes laws. It is named after two of the most high profile victims of hate crimes in recent memory. Shepard was a college student who died in 1998 after being tortured and tied to a fence for being gay. That same year, Byrd, a black man in rural Texas was killed after being dragged behind a pickup truck for miles by a group of white supremacists. At the time of their killings, there were no hate crime laws in many states.
Video ,Deryl Dedmon Leaves The Courtroom In Jackson , Miss. , Pool) , Sept. 30 , After Entering a “Not Guilty” Plea Before Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill , Friday , On a Capital Murder Indictment. Dedmon Is Charged With Running Down James Craig Anderson On June 26 With a Pickup In What Authorities Say Was a Hate Crime.
Two abortion clinic employees plead guilty to murder
Story contains graphic descriptions in paragraphs five through eight.
By Dave Warner
– Two employees of a Philadelphia abortion clinic where live, viable babies were allegedly killed and a patient died after being given on overdose of painkillers pleaded guilty on Thursday to murder.
Guilty pleas to third-degree murder were entered by Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, who both worked for Dr. Kermit Gosnell at what prosecutors have described as a decrepit and unsanitary clinic known as Women’s Medical Society in West Philadelphia.
Due to a court-issued gag order, attorneys declined to comment on reports that no plea agreement was reached in the case.
Sentencing was set for December 2 by Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner. The maximum penalty for third-degree murder is 40 years in prison.
Seven more defendants face charges in the case, including Gosnell, who a grand jury in January said, “killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.”
The grand jury said that a clinic co-worker of Moton’s testified that a woman gave birth to a large baby at the clinic, delivering the child into a toilet. The jurors identified the newborn as “Baby D.”
The jurors said the co-worker told them that the baby was moving and looked like it was swimming.
“Moton reached into the toilet, got the baby out and cut its neck,” the grand jury said in its report.
West was accused of murder in the death of a 41-year-old patient, Karnamaya Mongar.
“The evidence presented to the grand jury established that Karnamaya Mongar died of cardiac arrest because she was overdosed with Demerol,” the grand jurors said.
The grand jury said West and another employee administered the drug at Gosnell’s direction and that Mongar died as a result of “wanton reckless conduct.”
Can people spontaneously combust? The Romans (and Dickens) thought so. As it’s given as a cause of death by a coroner, what IS the truth?
By Peter Hough
When firemen were called to 76-year-old Irishman Michael Flaherty’s home in the middle of the night last December, the sight that greeted them could have leapt from the pages of a Victorian murder mystery.
Mr Flaherty’s body had been burned away to little more than a pile of ashes. Apart from the floor below him and ceiling above, the room was not damaged. There were no signs of foul play or anything that could have caused the ignition.
Mr Flaherty was lying on his back in the living room with his head near an empty fireplace, but firemen found no sign of accelerants such as petrol and there was no evidence of anyone having entered or left the scene.
He was alone in the house and his neighbours were only alerted when the smoke alarm sounded. By the time the firemen had arrived, the flames that had engulfed the pensioner had left barely a trace of him to identify.
So what is the explanation? Having dismissed all alternatives, the West Galway coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin last week made headlines by officially recording Mr Flaherty’s demise as a case of ‘spontaneous human combustion’.
But while many may scoff at the idea that the human body can catch fire and burn of its own accord, I’m rather more open minded than most when it comes to cases such as this. For, having written a book on the controversial subject and researched the area for 20 years, I have learned of many similar deaths that are very hard to explain away.
So what is spontaneous human combustion, and how long has it been happening? I first came across the idea in Charles Dickens’s novel Bleak House, where the author does away with the alcoholic rag-and-bone man Krook by making him mysteriously burst into flames.
Dickens had done his research: in the 1850s, the main theory used to explain these occurrences was alcohol — that, if you drank enough, it seeped into your skin and made it possible to catch alight if you brushed past a flame. Thankfully, that explanation was later revealed to be nonsense.
But Dickens was not the first to touch on this phenomenon in print. The first sketchy mentions were made as far back as Roman times by the natural historian Pliny — though it wasn’t until 1613 that the first proper written account emerges in an English medical journal.
A lady called Mrs Russell was staying with her daughter’s family in Christchurch, Dorset, when she woke in the night during a noisy thunderstorm with the feeling she had been clouted on the side of her head. She decided to check on the rest of the family and found, to her horror, her daughter burning in her bed.
The report says the poor woman couldn’t be properly extinguished even after death, so she spent the next couple of days smouldering — which does suggest her body was somehow burning from the inside.
It’s not surprising that this fire has been linked with the electrical storm — was she struck by lightning? Or was it the little-known phenomenon of ‘ball lightning’ recorded during storms, where a ball of electricity can explode when it reaches the earth?
Most cases cannot be explained in this way, however. We don’t know exactly how many instances of spontaneous human combustion have occurred, as many may have been unreported or put down to something else (not many coroners are willing to be associated with ‘mumbo jumbo’ or cause additional hurt to the family).
But with my co-researcher Jenny Randles, I found at least 111 cases around the world where the cause of the fire hasn’t been found — and there have been many more since the book was published in 2007.
The basic case usually follows a set pattern — the person was found only after they had burned, nobody heard screams and their surroundings were relatively untouched by fire.
According to our statistics, 59 per cent of cases involved women, and half occurred between midnight and 6am. Often the walls and ceiling were coated in greasy soot, thought to be burnt remnants of body fat.
There have been people who have survived this sort of experience. The most interesting case we found was an American called — fittingly — Jack Angel. In 1974, Angel, a travelling salesman from Georgia, parked his motorhome outside a Ramada hotel and went to sleep.
He awoke to find his arm had been charred so badly that it had to be amputated; other parts of his body had suffered burns, too.
No part of his motorhome was damaged, he didn’t smoke and there was no fault with the vehicle. Angel — and his lawyers — insisted on a major investigation. Police took the mobile home apart hoping to find some electrical short circuit that would allow Angel to sue the manufacturers.
After months of effort they hadn’t found anything to explain Angel’s burns, and the case was closed.
Over the years, theories have been put forward to explain spontaneous human combustion. It has been linked with paranormal activity — one Lincolnshire case in 1905 where a maid burst into flames was blamed on a poltergeist that was also said to have beheaded chickens.
Nowadays, the favourite scientific theory is the ‘candle’ or ‘wick’ effect. Under certain circumstances, it is believed that the human body can burn like an inside-out candle, with the clothing acting as a wick.
For this to happen, someone would have to collapse from, say, a heart attack and fall on a source of ignition such as an open fire or cigarette that then sets light to their clothing. The fire would have to burn away the top layer of skin, allowing the highly flammable fat below to seep into the clothing and fuel the flames for hours.
Scientists suggest this could go on until nothing remained but ash. The theory was demonstrated using a dead pig wrapped in cloth on BBC’s QED show in the Eighties.
So why doesn’t the rest of the room catch on fire? The theory is that if it happens (as in most cases) in a closed space with limited oxygen, the fire would burn very slowly and be insufficient to burn the rest of the room.
What people often overlook is that it is very hard to completely burn a human body, as we are 90 per cent water. In crematoriums, bodies are exposed to heat of 1,100c for an hour-and-a-half, and the bones still remain.
So scientists suggest the wick effect would take, at the very least, 16 hours of smouldering to turn a body to ash. Not quite ‘bursting into flames’, then.
The trouble is that — for that reason alone — many of the stories I have come across just don’t fit with this ‘candle’ theory.
Take the case of Barry Soudain, from Folkestone, Kent, in 1987. His landlord, chasing him for rent money, found him on the kitchen floor: all that remained were his feet — the rest (you guessed it) was ash.
The police were adamant it was the ‘candle’ effect, but there was a half-full kettle of water boiling on a gas ring on the hob. If he had caught alight from the gas ring, he couldn’t have been burning for hours or the kettle would have burned dry.
I talked to the coroner — and he believed that the candle effect wasn’t the answer.
Another explanation is the ‘Haystack’ theory. Farmers are familiar with the phenomenon of haystacks and compost heaps catching fire. At the end of hot, dry summers it is not uncommon for harvested hay or steaming compost to spontaneously combust due to a combination of flammable matter and micro-organisms such as bacteria and mould breeding within the tightly packed material.
It is not inconceivable that similar types of bacteria in the human gut, aided by methane gas, could cause a person to erupt into flames and burn with the ferocity of a tinder-dry haystack. As one of the fire officers I spoke to for my book, Preston-based Tony McMunn, told me, the results of a normal fire death and a case of spontaneous human combustion bear no comparison to one another.
He had witnessed both, and described most people caught in a fire as having crisp, blackened skin but little damage beneath the surface. But with spontaneous combustion, often all that is left is an arm or leg.
As he chillingly put it: ‘It’s as if they burned from the inside out.’
Perhaps we can explain away some of these strange deaths, but I don’t believe we will ever solve them all. Take the chilling tale of two little sisters in 1899 from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire — Amy and Ann Kirby, aged four and five.
For some unknown reason, they lived a mile apart, one with their mother, one with their grandmother. One day, so the records show, the grandmother ran into Amy’s room to find her on fire, with no explanation. The child died from her injuries.
Her grandmother had to make the agonising walk to tell the girl’s mother of the tragedy. But instead she was met by the mother bearing the news that Ann had passed away, too. How? She had gone up in flames — at exactly the same time as her sister.
Perhaps some things will always remain a mystery.
Peter Hough is author with Jenny Randles of Spontaneous Human Combustion.
The vanishing passengers: It’s a mystery as bizarre as it is disturbing – why have 165 people gone missing from cruise ships in recent years?
By Natalie Clarke
On the evening of April 6 this year, John Halford packed his suitcase and left it outside the door of his cabin on the cruise liner Thomson Spirit. It was the last day of a week-long Egyptian cruise and the ship was due to dock at Sharm-el-Sheikh the following morning.
Mr Halford, 63, texted his wife Ruth, who was at home in Britain, to say he would see her at the airport the next day, then went off to dinner. At about 12.30?am, he was seen by other passengers drinking cocktails in an upper-deck bar. He then vanished.
Mrs Halford, who has three children, Lucy, 20, Sophie, 18, and Connor, 17, learned of her husband’s disappearance as she was getting ready to drive to the airport to collect him.
‘The phone rang, it was the Thomson’s desk at the airport in Egypt,’ she said. ‘I was told the plane was in the air but my husband was not on it. He’d gone missing from the ship. You could have knocked me over sideways. It made no sense. The children and I were shell-shocked.
‘At first I thought he must have somehow gone ashore without anyone realising, but it would have been impossible because there are various checkpoints when you disembark. He’d simply disappeared.’
Today, more than five months on, Mr Halford, a bookseller from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, remains missing, his fate unknown.
His case is far from unique. Over the past few years, there have been an alarming number of unexplained and unsolved disappearances on board cruise liners.
According to the U.S.-based International Cruise Victims Association, 165 people have gone missing at sea since 1995, with at least 13 this year alone — many of them from vessels popular with British holidaymakers.
Cruise ship holidays are enormously popular. According to the Passenger Shipping Association, 1.7 million cruises will be taken in Britain this year (many will be repeat cruises by the same holidaymakers). But what is happening to all these passengers who simply vanish while at sea, never to be seen again?
Are they the victims of a sinister crime wave? Have they had a mishap at sea and fallen overboard, or perhaps chosen to take their own lives?
The sad fact is that, in many cases, no one knows. And for the family and friends they left behind, that only compounds the heartache. Loved ones such as Ruth Halford and her children, who remain in limbo; bereft, baffled and unable to grieve.
‘John had been really looking forward to the cruise,’ says Mrs Halford.
‘He’d once worked in Libya and was intrigued by North Africa. He was fascinated by ancient Egyptian culture and wanted to see the pyramids.
‘He went alone because we couldn’t afford to go as a family, plus the children had exams coming up. Ships are places where it’s easy to meet people, and John didn’t mind going on his own. The passengers who saw him in the bar say he was not drunk and was in good spirits.
‘He’d packed his suitcase ready to go but his other belongings — his passport, glasses, mobile phone and rucksack — were found in his cabin. But there was no sign of John.
‘John wasn’t depressed — there was no sign at all that he was contemplating suicide. He just wasn’t like that.
‘His suitcase was later returned to us and in it were three necklaces for me, Lucy and Sophie with our names written in hieroglyphics and a similar name bracelet. John was planning on coming home to us.’
At first, Mrs Halford, 46, believed that her husband, with whom she was about to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary, would turn up. But, as time has passed, her hope has nearly all gone.
‘It has been incredibly difficult, surreal really, and terrible for the children,’ she says. ‘In my heart I believe he is dead, that he is gone, that he somehow slipped and went overboard. I can’t think of any other explanation.
‘A search of the sea was carried out at the time, but nothing was found. I am told there are sharks in the area: it is very painful to think about.’
But is the idea of someone ‘slipping overboard’ credible? The rails on cruise ships are at least 3ft 6in high, which makes it incredibly difficult for anyone — even someone who might be drunk or ill — to pitch overboard.
With no clues as to where or how her husband vanished, Mrs Halford is struggling to rebuild her life. After taking time off work after John went missing, she has now had to return to her job as a medical secretary to pay the bills and support the children.
‘Life goes on,’ she says. ‘I need money to pay the bills and we’ve lost John’s salary. John took out travel insurance and I’ve been on to the company to try to make a claim but they simply say: “What are you claiming for?”
‘Thomson haven’t given me any support, either. John was in their care, but I haven’t had so much as a letter from them. I can’t get a widow’s pension because we don’t know if John is dead.
‘We’re living a nightmare and we can’t see a way out of it. It is so unreal that we can’t grieve. We are in limbo. What do we do? Should we hold a funeral? But how can we if we’re not sure he’s dead?’
The parents of 24-year-old Rebecca Coriam, who went missing from a Disney cruise liner in March this year, can empathise with the tumult of emotion Mrs Halford is experiencing.
Last Monday, Mike and Ann Coriam met MP Mike Penning, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, who has responsibility for maritime issues, to discuss a change in the law that would allow UK authorities to investigate cases of British nationals who go missing on vessels while abroad.
At the moment, investigations are handled from where the ship is registered.
Miss Coriam, from Chester, vanished as the Disney Wonder was on passage from Mexico to Los Angeles. A single policeman in the Bahamas, where the ship is registered, is investigating her disappearance.
Miss Coriam was working on the ship as a youth activities coordinator. She was last seen by a work colleague at around 5.45?am on March 22 by a male colleague and appeared upset, but when he asked her if she was all right, she said she was fine and on her way to bed.
CCTV footage on the ship shows Rebecca walking into shot with her hands in her back pockets, as was her habit. After that, there were no further sightings of her. Her credit card is missing, but has not been used.
John Jennings, Rebecca’s uncle, says: ‘Personally, I feel that someone has done something bad to Becky. The police officer who came aboard the ship to investigate concluded soon after she went missing that at that time there was no sign of foul play, but I don’t share that view.
‘The implication was that Becky had committed suicide, but there is no indication at all that she was depressed. Yes, she’d had some sort of argument, but it could have been over something quite petty.
‘Rebecca had bought four tickets for Disneyland Paris as a surprise so that she could go there with her mum and dad and sister Rachael when she got back.
‘That’s not the action of someone contemplating suicide. We have discovered recently that someone has changed the password on Becky’s Facebook account, so we can’t get into it. It must be someone who knows her, who knows what the original password was.’
Her disappearance echoes another mysterious case that has been barely reported in this country — that of a 62-year-old German, identified only as Sabine L, who vanished from Cunard’s prestige liner, the QE2, in 2007, as it sailed off Madeira.
Sabine and her husband Ludwig boarded the ship at Southampton on December 17, 2006, for a two-week cruise to the Canaries and Madeira.
One night, the pair went to bed at about midnight in room 5167. The next morning, when Ludwig awoke, his wife was not in the cabin. She was never seen again.
Had something sinister befallen her; or could she be among those who are suspected of having taken their own life while on a cruise ship?
Just this week, there was precisely one such incident. Passengers lined the decks as the Balmoral made its way up Southampton Water on Tuesday morning following an eight-day tour of Norway’s fjords.
The passengers were preparing to disembark when the announcement was made. A passenger was missing. No one was permitted to leave the ship until the police, who were waiting at the quay, had completed an onboard investigation.
Francis Hemsley, 89, of Walton- on-Thames, Surrey, had last been seen at dinner at 9pm on Sunday. Some time between then and the next morning, as the ship headed south along Britain’s east coast, he’d vanished.
A subsequent police investigation established that in this instance there was a note left in Mr Hemsley’s cabin. Although they will not reveal what it said, Mr Hemsley appears to have decided that he wished to die, and wanted to spend his final days amid the serenity of the Norwegian fjords.
No body has yet been found, and officially the investigation is ongoing, but according to Hampshire police, who are investigating his disappearance, ‘initial inquiries indicate the man fell overboard and that it was a non-suspicious death’.
His disappearance echoes that of another elderly Briton who vanished from the same Fred Oslen ship, the Balmoral, last October.
The 79-year-old unnamed man had been on a three-week cruise in the Adriatic with his wife. She woke in the early hours when the ship was about 45 miles south of the Lizard in Cornwall and saw that her husband was missing.
He had last been seen onboard at about midnight.
After she alerted the crew, and a search of the 43,000-tonne vessel had established he was not on board, an air-and-sea search involving British and French coastguards and two warships in the area was launched.
Nearly one year on, there is no body and no answer to the question the family keep asking themselves: what happened?
Two eerily similar disappearances, then, on the same ship.
Certainly, the fate of a 50-year-old woman who was a passenger on board the Sea Princess as it cruised the Caribbean last December, between Curacao and Grand Turk islands, gives credence to the ‘suicide at sea’ theory.
CCTV footage shows the unnamed woman, who was on holiday with her husband, climbing over her cabin balcony in the early hours and falling into the sea.
Her body has not been found, but at least the woman’s family know that she chose to take her life and that she is gone.
For John Halford and Rebecca Coriam’s families, however, and scores of other people around the world, there is no such resolution.
Thomson Cruises, the company Mr Halford went on holiday with, says it has been assisting Thames Valley police and the Foreign Office in Egypt with their inquiries, and acknowledges that it may not have given Mrs Halford as much support as it could have done.
‘We are sorry to hear Mrs Halford feels she has not had our support and we would like to apologise,’ says a spokesperson. ‘This is a very rare occurrence and we have learnt lessons from it.’
But Mr Halford remains missing, as does Rebecca Coriam and countless others.
Most of these people disappeared on black nights, far out at sea.
Precisely what happened to them all are mysteries that look unlikely ever to be solved.
Million Dead, $1.8 Trillion Spent On Decade-Long U.S. “War On Terror”
by Tom Clonan
US pays price in blood and treasure for war on terror
By Tom Clonan
-In January 2002, the US began the lesser publicised Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines…In October 2002, the US military started African military operations from Djibouti, establishing Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa…within Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad and Niger….This operation was subsequently broadened to include Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara, widening the scope of its operations to Central Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. This little-known war on terror in Africa has been fought in the main by thousands of US special forces and has been overshadowed by US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan…[T]he US continues to wage its war on terror on several continents – from the Horn of Africa and Yemen to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the decade since 9/11 about a million people worldwide have lost their lives in what is now known as the global war on terror.
The term “War on Terror”, was first used by President George Bush on September 16th, 2001, at Camp David as the US began to configure its military response to Osama bin Laden’s attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
In the weeks and months following 9/11, the Bush administration launched a series of robust military and intelligence interventions worldwide. The first phase started with the invasion of Afghanistan, or Operation Enduring Freedom, which began in October 2001.
The war aims were simple – to remove the Taliban leadership in Kabul and deny al-Qaeda physical sanctuary within the country. The US aimed to destroy al-Qaeda and disrupt its capacity to mount international operations from Afghan soil. It also sought to capture or kill bin Laden.
In January 2002, the US began the lesser publicised Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines, to destroy the Islamist terror groups Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayaf group who had been co-ordinating terrorist operations throughout the Philippines and Indonesia from the island of Besilan…
In October 2002, the US military started African military operations from Djibouti, establishing Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa, designed to identify and destroy al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist terror cells within Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad and Niger.
This operation was subsequently broadened to include Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara, widening the scope of its operations to Central Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. This little-known war on terror in Africa has been fought in the main by thousands of US special forces and has been overshadowed by US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
In March 2003, the US invaded Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The war aims of the US in Iraq were less clear than in its other interventions. Faulty and false intelligence reports on so-called weapons of mass destruction were mobilised as a motivation to attack Iraq.
The initial invasion phase, involving approximately 200,000 coalition troops, managed to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. Saddam was subsequently captured, tried and hanged in Iraq. But no weapons of mass destruction were discovered and the invasion had the unintended consequence of strengthening Iran’s influence in the region.
A decade after the Twin Towers attacks, the US continues to wage its war on terror on several continents – from the Horn of Africa and Yemen to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The term “war on terror” has entered the language as a catch-all phrase for everything from the inconvenience of security checks at airports to drone attacks in Pakistan. Officially, however, the global war on terror is now over. The Obama administration has rebranded and renamed the Global War on Terror, the Overseas Contingency Operation.
Since March 2009, the Pentagon and US Department of Defense have been requested to refrain from using the term, Global War on Terror.
In terms of blood and treasure, the wars have been costly for the US and Nato. In Iraq, the US and its allies lost almost 5,000 troops. More than 32,000 were wounded. In Afghanistan, where casualty rates have increased five-fold in five years, the US and its allies have lost almost 3,000 killed in action with a further 13,000 wounded.
More than 10,000 US and foreign mercenaries – euphemistically termed security contractors – have also been killed and injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The strain of a decade of war on America’s volunteer army has been heavy. According to the US Army Surgeon General 66,935 US troops suffer from acute combat stress reaction. In addition, the US Congressional Research Service has reported that a staggering 178,876 US veterans have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Almost 2,000 of these veterans are amputees and hundreds have also died of self-inflicted wounds or suicide while on active service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The rate of suicide among US troops has more than doubled since 9/11. For civilians, the cost of war has been especially high. While estimates vary, British medical journal The Lancet suggests that a minimum of 655,000 Iraqi civilians were killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Similar studies suggest that approximately 4,000 Afghan civilians have died during Operation Enduring Freedom. These figures represent those killed by both coalition troops and belligerent forces within Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority of civilian casualties, in both countries, were inflicted by insurgents.
The US Congressional Research Service, in its March 2011 report, states that the Overseas Contingency Operation has cost the US taxpayer $1.3 trillion – $130 billion per annum since 9/11. At present, US military operations worldwide cost $386 million per day, or $4,000 dollars per second. According to US Congressional estimates, the final bill will total $1.8 trillion.
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Arkansas weatherman Brett Cummins found in hot tub with naked dead man wearing ‘dog collar’
By Michael Sheridan
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
KARK 4 News
Brett Cummins, 33, woke up Tuesday to discover that a man he’d been with the night before was dead beside him in a hot tub, naked and wearing a dog collar, police say.
An Arkansas weatherman didn’t predict he would wake up in a hot tub with a naked dead man, but that’s exactly what police say happened.
Now authorities are trying to determine what killed Dexter Williams, whose body was found with a “dog collar” around his neck, according to a police report.
Brett Cummins, 33, woke up Tuesday to discover that a man he’d been with the night before was dead beside him in a hot tub, naked and wearing a dog collar, police say.
The mystery began Monday night, when KARK 4 News meteorologist Brett Cummins arrived at the home of John Barbour around 11 p.m. in Maumelle, just north of Little Rock, the report stated. The 33-year-old weatherman brought Williams, 24, with him. Barbour said he did not know the doomed man.
“They then began to drink and use illegal narcotics,” Officer Gregory Roussie said Barbour told him. “Mr. Barbour stated he was not sure of the drugs that they were using but that they were snorting them.”
About two hours later, Cummins and Williams went into the Jacuzzi to have a drink, and Barbour later joined them, police said. Shortly afterwards, Barbour said he left the two and went into the living room, where he fell asleep on the couch.
Barbour told police he awoke about 8 a.m. Tuesday and could hear Cummins snoring in the hot tub, the report said. He proceeded to gather glasses in the bathroom and wake up Cummins before realizing Williams was dead.
“Dexter’s head was lying behind Brett’s left shoulder,” Barbour told police, according to the report. “After Brett awoke they discovered that Dexter was not conscious and his face was a different color.”
The meteorologist was horrified, the report indicated.
“Brett screamed and became ill and left the bathroom and vomited on the carpet in the living room,” Barbour told police, according to the report. The weatherman then left the house, but insisted he would return.
“Cummins did return to the residence and gave a statement to investigators,” Roussie said in the report. No details of what he said have been released.
When police arrived they observed Williams “lying on his right side in a fetal position, his face was blue and purple in color with a chain around his neck,” Roussie said in the report. “The chain was silver in color and consistent with what I believed to be a dog collar.”
He also noted that he “observed a small ring of blood around the bottom of the tub.”
An autopsy is underway to determine what killed Williams, but so far no charges have been filed in his death.
KARK 4 News stated online Tuesday that “Brett will not be on the air as he is mourning the loss of his friend.”
Princess Diana Death: French Authorities May Arrest British Police, Conspiracy Re-ignited
| By Keelan Balderson |
French authorities may seek an international arrest warrant for two former police chiefs, who withheld a prophetic note in which Princess Diana seemingly predicted her assassination by car crash. Something she stated on more than one occasion.
Former Scotland Yard chief Lord Condon and former Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Sir David Veness, have been ordered to attend an interview in Paris to address why the note was under lock and key for 3 years following Diana’s death. If they fail to attend they will be treated as suspects. The note remained hidden even when Lord Condon’s successor Lord Stevens took over as Metropolitan Police Commissioner, suggesting the orders may have came from a higher authority.
The note was handed to the MET by Diana’s Lawyer Lord Mishcon shortly after the 1997 Paris tunnel crash, which also claimed the lives of Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul. It drew on a meeting between Diana and the law firm where she claimed her life was in danger; the record of the meeting in the form of a hand-written note says efforts would be made to get rid of her “…be it by some accident in her car such as pre-prepared brake failure or whatever.”
Lord Condon and Sir Veness have publicly claimed that they made the decision not to release the document unless there was a suggestion that the crash was not an accident , but the French Judge Gerard Caddeo may see this as withholding the very evidence that does suggest it wasn’t an accident. Under French law, “removing or concealing” evidence, which could “facilitate the discovery of a crime”, is punishable by three to five years in jail or a fine.
Coinciding with the release of controversial Keith Allen documentary “Unlawful Killing” that suggests Diana was assassinated, this re-ignition of the case may open a whole new can of worms, right when the British establishment is being rocked by the phone hacking scandal.
It should be noted that this isn’t the only document where Diana’s death appears to be foreshadowed. As reported by The Telegraph another document was written way back in 1993!
A handwritten letter in which Diana, Princess of Wales claimed that the Prince of Wales was plotting to kill her so he could marry Tiggy Legge-Bourke, the former nanny to Princes William and Harry, has been shown at the inquest into her death.
That letter reads: “This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous – my husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy. Camilla is nothing but a decoy, so we are all being used by the man in every sense of the word.”
Even the most non-conspiratorial minded person has to scratch their head with intrigue that Diana feared for her death by orchestrated car crash as early as 1993, and then wound up dead in a car crash, while one of the notes that predicted this was subsequently hidden by police officers honored by the Queen, whose oh so Royal family would be prime suspects in an assassination of the Princess.
So far the official story is that the Mercedes-Benz carrying the victims collided with the 13th pillar of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, because driver Henri-Paul was intoxicated with alcohol, anti-depressants and possibly carbon monoxide, causing him to lose control of the wheel. However video surveillance at the hotel that evening show an upright Paul who appears to be in full control of his faculties. Moments before entering the vehicle he can be seen quite happily tying his shoe laces with no obvious impairment.
The media frenzy that called Henri “drunk as a pig” , was well underway before samples had even been presented , suggesting the narrative was to some degree pre-arranged or grossly speculative. Independent forensic pathologists have reviewed the toxicology reports and concluded that the blood samples were not stored at the correct temperatures, meaning higher levels of alcohol would have been recorded due to decomposition of the blood. Furthermore it was claimed that Henri-Paul had over 20% carbon monoxide blood content, which would cause any regular person severe head-aches and a lack of coordination, which again is refuted by the CCTV evidence of Paul in the hotel lobby.
No acceptable explanation has been given for the presence of Carbon Monoxide. Initial reports claim it came from the vehicles airbags, but this was later ruled out. It seems absurd that a life saving system could release a toxic gas. It quite logically has been suggested that this intoxication came post-crash from exhaust fumes, but Henri was supposed to have died on impact rendering him unable to breath in any of the fumes. Smoking was also blamed, but Toxicologist Professor Robert Forrest ultimately had to concede that “It’s either conspiracy or cock-up.” “…he could not find any logical explanation for the findings.”
A thorough investigation needs to follow all leads and motives. The Henri-Paul claim is flimsy, so it would be worth following up on Diana’s cries for help, specifically the idea that she was to be murdered by “pre-prepared brake failure”. Such a technique for carrying out assassinations does purportedly exist within the secret services of the world. According to author Jon King it’s called the “Boston Breaks” method and involves installing hardware within a vehicle, which allows the assassination team to jam the steering column and braking functions remotely, causing the car to hurtle out of control, unable to break or steer. This is dealt with in his book Diana: The Evidence
Also in the book The Feathermen by former SAS demolition expert and famous British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, he recounts the alleged assassination of Major Michael Marman via this very method.
The Clinic had been watching Major Michael Marman, and had determined that he frequently drove along the A303 arterial road, in Wiltshire, south-west England, on personal business. While doing this, he was habitually alone, and the fact that his vehicle was a relatively flimsy Citroen 2CV meant that a crash was the perfect method to kill him. Nevertheless, the Clinic dared not tamper with Marman’s car or deploy a driver to ram him off the road, since their contractual obligation to make the death appear accidental would almost certainly come unstuck under the slightest police investigation. They therefore decided to use a proxy: an apparently random driver who would unknowingly become the Clinic’s untraceable instrument of execution, by colliding with Marman.
Through relatively simple research, they discovered a businessman whose offices were in Plymouth and London, and who regularly drove between the two along the A303 road. This was Air Marshal (ret’d) Sir Peter Horsley, former equerry to the Duke of Edinburgh and to the Queen, and ex-Commander in Chief of Britain’s atomic strike force, who now worked for an engineering firm, ML Holdings. Study and surveillance showed that Sir Peter was due to drive from London to Plymouth for a board meeting on 11 November 1986, at a time which would mean he would pass Major Marman in the opposite direction along the length of the A303. The Clinic then entered Horsely’s garage during the night of 10-11 November, and, over an eight-hour period, fitted a ‘parasite’ braking system in the cavities of his BMW, in such a way that it couldn’t be seen on immediate inspection. This radio-controlled system was powered by a scuba-diving cylinder of compressed air, which would allow each of the car’s brakes to be applied separately, without the control of the driver.
The next day, having practised their technique for weeks with stock cars and models, two of the Clinic members shadowed Horsely, while keeping in radio communication with a second Clinic team, shadowing Marman. As Marman’s 2CV and Horsely’s BMW approached each other along the A303, the parasite braking system was applied, and Horsely lost control of his vehicle, which was steered across the central reservation and into Marman’s path. the ensuing collision killed Marman outright, and severely injured Horsely. Horsely was initially under suspicion of reckless driving, but fortunately had a witness who had been driving behind him, who testified that he had seen a puff of smoke emerge from the rear of Horsely’s car immediately before he lost control: at inquest, the local coroner said the accident would remain unexplained. The more definitely so, since the Clinic’s parasite brake-system had been secretly removed after the accident while the BMW was impounded at the police garage facility. The Feather Men, who failed to prevent this assassination, ultimately learned exactly how this scenario unfolded when they captured and interrogated the Clinic’s chief assassin.
In his autobiography, Sounds From Another Room, Horsley says that he was accelerating to about 60 miles an hour when the car began to react strangely. He saw a grey Volvo closing up quickly behind him and as he was about to wave it past, his BMW spun sharply to the left, the brakes screeching, and then sharply to the right and back again. This is remarkably similar to what happened to the Mercedes before it struck the pillar.
Horsley wrote: “Out of the corner of my eye I saw the grey Volvo accelerating past me at high speed. My car had now developed a mind of its own as it swung broadside and skidded down the road. With a lurch it hit the central reservation, mounted the grass verge separating the two lanes of the highway and crossed over into the opposite carriageway. I had just time to see a small car approaching from the opposite direction. I hit it sideways on with tremendous force. In a split-second the driver’s horror-stricken face was visible and I heard his hoarse scream.”
It’s worth noting the Mercedes carrying Diana had previously been stolen. The Daily Mail notes:
It had been stolen several months before the accident and there are those who speculate that this might have been an opportunity to tamper with the car.
The general public are familiar with Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla, but Diana’s 1993 letter claims he wanted her dead to pursue a marriage with Tiggy Legge-Bourke (the Prince’s nanny), not Camilla. In fact Camilla herself nearly died in a car accident shortly before Diana’s death , and as the letter states: “Camilla is nothing more than a decoy.”
Lets suppose the massive coincidences here are simply that, coincidences, and Diana’s death was just a tragic accident. We still have two documents where Diana feared for her death via car crash. Did Charles and/or the perpetrators strike it lucky; did fate deliver a dead Diana in the exact manner they wanted?
Or are we just being silly conspiracy theorists? If that’s the case, the alternative is to believe that Diana was a lying bitch….
Scoutmaster killed in unprovoked attack had mentored hundreds
BUNKER HILL – The pictures on the wall tell a story: dozens of Eagle Scouts. All of them learned their scouting skills from Art Anderson. One picture, from the 1970’s, shows Anderson then as a veteran of 15 years given to scouting. One of Art Anderson’s Eagle Scouts is WTHR racing analyst Curt Cavin, a reporter for the Indianapolis Star
“I think you have people in your life, mentors, and I think that is what he is to those kids,” said Cavin. “You have got fifty kids in a four-year period, times fifty years… he has got a lot of kids that he has touched.”
According to police, Anderson was attacked by 22-year-old Shane Golitko, who minutes before attacking Anderson is alleged to have beaten his own mother. For reasons no one can answer, police say he then grabbed a knife and ran across a field to the Nickle Plate Trail. Police reports say Anderson just happened to be the first person to get in Golitko’s way. Anderson was stabbed once, and died within minutes. Police called it an unprovoked attack.[/caption]
Anderson and his scouts had been on a five-mile hike. Anderson, an assistant scoutmaster, was sitting on this bench, identifying some of the trees along the trail.
Anderson was not from Bunker Hill and did he live there… but the steady stream of people stopping to pay their respects would have you think otherwise.
“The irony is he was in a position to help a young man, a 22-year-old who probably needed a mentor like Art Anderson,” says Cavin.
BUNKER HILL – A man who had been involved in the Boy Scouts for 50 years is dead in what police say was an unprovoked attack.
Arthur L. Anderson was 76 years old. He, a second adult, and two Boy Scouts were hiking the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill Sunday afternoon. Police say an assailant walked up behind Anderson and stabbed him one time in the neck. Emergency responders were unable to save his life.
State Police report the arrest of 22-year-old Shane Golitko. They say Golitko had gotten into an argument with his mother and battered her to the point where she left their home and ran to a neighbor’s house where she called 911.
Shane Golitko reportedly took a knife from his house and walked 150 yards to the trail where he stabbed Anderson. The hikers had stopped momentarily to identify a tree on the trail.
After Anderson was attacked , police say the 22-year-old went back to his house. They say he destroyed several items in the house and stabbed two dogs before jumping into his mother’s Jeep Cherokee. One of the dogs was killed.
An Indiana State Trooper sighted Golitko’s car and attempted to pull it over. He was unsuccessful. The Cherokee led police on an eight minute chase before Golitko was forced to give up as he approached a roadblock.
Shane Golitko is currently at the Miami County jail where his faces several charges, including murder.
Golitko’s mother, 48-year-old Valerie Henson, was taken to the hospital for treatment of a broken arm. She has since been released
(NaturalNews) Even as the veggie blame game is now under way across the EU, where a super resistant strain of e.coli is sickening patients and filling hospitals in Germany, virtually no one is talking about how e.coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.
This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance, they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the “mutation pressure” that nudges them toward complete drug immunity.
So if you’re curious about the origins of such a strain, you can essentially reverse engineer the genetic code of the e.coli and determine fairly accurately which antibiotics it was exposed to during its development. This step has now been done (see below), and when you look at the genetic decoding of this O104 strain now threatening food consumers across the EU, a fascinating picture emerges of how it must have come into existence.
The genetic code reveals the history
When scientists at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute decoded the genetic makeup of the O104 strain, they found it to be resistant to all the following classes and combinations of antibiotics:
In addition, this O104 strain posses an ability to produce special enzymes that give it what might be called “bacteria superpowers” known technically as ESBLs:
“Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes that can be produced by bacteria making them resistant to cephalosporins e.g. cefuroxime, cefotaxime and ceftazidime – which are the most widely used antibiotics in many hospitals,” explains the Health Protection Agency in the UK (http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Infect…).
On top of that, this O104 strain possesses two genes — TEM-1 and CTX-M-15 — that “have been making doctors shudder since the 1990s,” reports The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis…). And why do they make doctors shudder? Because they’re so deadly that many people infected with such bacteria experience critical organ failure and simply die.
Bioengineering a deadly superbug
So how, exactly, does a bacterial strain come into existence that’s resistant to over a dozen antibiotics in eight different drug classes and features two deadly gene mutations plus ESBL enzyme capabilities?
There’s really only one way this happens (and only one way) — you have to expose this strain of e.coli to all eight classes of antibiotics drugs. Usually this isn’t done at the same time, of course: You first expose it to penicillin and find the surviving colonies which are resistant to penicillin. You then take those surviving colonies and expose them to tetracycline. The surviving colonies are now resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline. You then expose them to a sulfa drug and collect the surviving colonies from that, and so on. It is a process of genetic selection done in a laboratory with a desired outcome. This is essentially how some bioweapons are engineered by the U.S. Army in its laboratory facility in Ft. Detrick, Maryland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation…).
Although the actual process is more complicated than this, the upshot is that creating a strain of e.coli that’s resistant to eight classes of antibiotics requires repeated, sustained expose to those antibiotics. It is virtually impossible to imagine how this could happen all by itself in the natural world. For example, if this bacteria originated in the food (as we’ve been told), then where did it acquire all this antibiotic resistance given the fact that antibiotics are not used in vegetables?
When considering the genetic evidence that now confronts us, it is difficult to imagine how this could happen “in the wild.” While resistance to a single antibiotic is common, the creation of a strain of e.coli that’s resistant to eight different classes of antibiotics — in combination — simply defies the laws of genetic permutation and combination in the wild. Simply put, this superbug e.coli strain could not have been created in the wild. And that leaves only one explanation for where it really came from: the lab.
Engineered and then released into the wild
The evidence now points to this deadly strain of e.coli being engineered and then either being released into the food supply or somehow escaping from a lab and entering the food supply inadvertently. If you disagree with that conclusion — and you’re certainly welcome to — then you are forced to conclude that this octobiotic superbug (immune to eight classes of antibiotics) developed randomly on its own… and that conclusion is far scarier than the “bioengineered” explanation because it means octobiotic superbugs can simply appear anywhere at any time without cause. That would be quite an exotic theory indeed.
My conclusion actually makes more sense: This strain of e.coli was almost certainly engineered and then released into the food supply for a specific purpose. What would that purpose be? It’s obvious, I hope.
It’s all problem, reaction, solution at work here. First cause a PROBLEM (a deadly strain of e.coli in the food supply). Then wait for the public REACTION (huge outcry as the population is terrorized by e.coli). In response to that, enact your desired SOLUTION (total control over the global food supply and the outlawing of raw sprouts, raw milk and raw vegetables).
That’s what this is all about, of course. The FDA relied on the same phenomenon in the USA when pushing for its recent “Food Safety Modernization Act” which essentially outlaws small family organic farms unless they lick the boots of FDA regulators. The FDA was able to crush farm freedom in America by piggybacking on the widespread fear that followed e.coli outbreaks in the U.S. food supply. When people are afraid, remember, it’s not difficult to get them to agree to almost any level of regulatory tyranny. And making people afraid of their food is a simple matter… a few government press releases emailed to the mainstream media news affiliates is all it takes.
First ban the natural medicine, then attack the food supply
Now, remember: All this is happening on the heels of the EU ban on medicinal herbs and nutritional supplements — a ban that blatantly outlaws nutritional therapies that help keep people healthy and free from disease. Now that all these herbs and supplements are outlawed, the next step is to make people afraid of fresh food, too. That’s because fresh vegetables are medicinal, and as long as the public has the right to buy fresh vegetables, they can always prevent disease.
But if you can make people AFRAID of fresh vegetables — or even outlaw them altogether — then you can force the entire population onto a diet of dead foods and processed foods that promote degenerative disease and bolster the profits of the powerful drug companies.
It’s all part of the same agenda, you see: Keep people sick, deny them access to healing herbs and supplements, then profit from their suffering at the hands of the global drug cartels.
GMOs play a similar role in all this, of course: They’re designed to contaminate the food supply with genetic code that causes widespread infertility among human beings. And those who are somehow able to reproduce after exposure to GMOs still suffer from degenerative disease that enriches the drug companies from “treatment.”
Do you recall which country was targeted in this recent e.coli scare? Spain. Why Spain? You may recall that leaked cables from Wikileaks revealed that Spain resisted the introduction of GMOs into its agricultural system, even as the U.S. government covertly threatened political retaliation for its resistance. This false blaming of Spain for the e.coli deaths is probably retaliation for Spain’s unwillingness to jump on the GMO bandwagon. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030828_G…)
That’s the real story behind the economic devastation of Spain’s vegetable farmers. It’s one of the subplots being pursued alongside this e.coli superbug scheme.
Food as weapons of war – created by Big Pharma?
By the way, the most likely explanation of where this strain of e.coli was bioengineered is that the drug giants came up with it in their own labs. Who else has access to all the antibiotics and equipment needed to manage the targeted mutations of potentially thousands of e.coli colonies? The drug companies are uniquely positioned to both carry out this plot and profit from it. In other words, they have the means and the motive to engage in precisely such actions.
Aside from the drug companies, perhaps only the infectious disease regulators themselves have this kind of laboratory capacity. The CDC, for example, could probably pull this off if they really wanted to.
The proof that somebody bioengineered this e.coli strain is written right in the DNA of the bacteria. That’s forensic evidence, and what it reveals cannot be denied. This strain underwent repeated and prolonged exposure to eight different classes of antibiotics, and then it somehow managed to appear in the food supply. How do you get to that if not through a well-planned scheme carried out by rogue scientists? There is no such thing as “spontaneous mutation” into a strain that is resistant to the top eight classes of brand-name antibiotic drugs being sold by Big Pharma today. Such mutations have to be deliberate.
Once again, if you disagree with this assessment, then what you’re saying is that NO, it wasn’t done deliberately… it happened accidentally! And again, I’m saying that’s even scarier! Because that means the antibiotic contamination of our world is now at such an extreme level of overkill that a strain of e.coli in the wild can be saturated with eight different classes of antibiotics to the point where it naturally develops into its own deadly superbug. If that’s what people believe, then that’s almost a scarier theory than the bioengineering explanation!
A new era has begun: Bioweapons in your food
But in either case — no matter what you believe — the simple truth is that the world is now facing a new era of global superbug strains of bacteria that can’t be treated with any known pharmaceutical. They can all, of course, be readily killed with colloidal silver, which is exactly why the FDA and world health regulators have viciously attacked colloidal silver companies all these years: They can’t have the public getting its hands on natural antibiotics that really work, you see. That would defeat the whole purpose of making everybody sick in the first place.
In fact, these strains of e.coli superbugs can be quite readily treated with a combination of natural full-spectrum antibiotics from plants such as garlic, ginger, onions and medicinal herbs. On top of that, probiotics can help balance the flora of the digestive tract and “crowd out” the deadly e.coli that might happen by. A healthy immune system and well-functioning digestive tract can fight off an e.coli superbug infection, but that’s yet another fact the medical community doesn’t want you to know. They much prefer you to remain a helpless victim lying in the hospital, waiting to die, with no options available to you. That’s “modern medicine” for ya. They cause the problems that they claim to treat, and then they won’t even treat you with anything that works in the first place.
Nearly all the deaths now attributable to this e.coli outbreak are easily and readily avoidable. These are deaths of ignorance. But even more, they may also be deaths from a new era of food-based bioweapons unleashed by either a group of mad scientists or an agenda-driven institution that has declared war on the human population.
A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but Narces Benoit’s decision to videotape a shooting by Miami police landed him in jail after officers smashed his cell-phone camera.
It was 4am on May 30 when Benoit and his girlfriend Erika Davis saw officers firing dozens of bullets into a car driven by Raymond Herisse, a suspect who hit a police officer and other vehicles while driving recklessly. Herisse died in the hail of lead, and four bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.
Police noticed the man filming the shooting and an officer jumped into his truck, and put a pistol to his head, Benoit said. The video shows officers crowding around Herisse’s vehicle before opening fire, followed by indistinguishable yelling at onlookers, including Benoit, to stop filming.
The cop yelled: “Wanna be a [expletive] paparazzi?” Benoit recounted in a TV interview.
“My phone was smashed, he stepped on it, handcuffed me,” the 35-year-old car stereo technician told CNN.
Despite his phone being destroyed, Benoit was able to save the footage by taking the memory card out of the device and putting it in his mouth before handing it over to police, he said, adding that officers smashed several other cameras in the chaos which followed the shooting..
“There are two questions at play here that need to be separated,” said Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California. “One is: to what extent is it illegal to record officers doing their duties? And secondly, did the police destroy someone’s property and evidence?”
“Whether or not the recording was illegal, the police conduct as alleged would be illegal in any case,” Volokh told Al Jazeera. In Florida, it is legal to record conversations, unless the conversation is “confidential”, which this public altercation likely was not, Volokh said.
After having his phone smashed, and being taken to a police station to be photographed, Benoit was summoned to appear before the state attorney on June 3 with “any and all video and all corresponding audio recorded on May 30 that captured incidents occurring [sic] prior to, during and after a police-involved shooting”, according to court documents.
Benoit and Davis have hired a lawyer. The couple stopped giving interviews soon after the incident, Reese Harvey, their attorney, told Al Jazeera. Harvey also declined to comment about the couple’s possible plans for legal action against the Miami police.
The incident is the latest in a series of debacles involving citizens using mobile phones to record police actions.
“The impact of citizen recording of police brutality, or activity in general goes back at least 20 years to the LA riots,” said James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a research organisation. “It increasingly raises questions about surveillance; whether surveillance from citizens can put a check on power,” he told Al Jazeera.
Sparked by video of police beating Rodney King, in what many saw as an example of institutionalised racism, the 1992 Los Angeles riots left more than 50 people dead and caused about $1bn in property damage.
“As almost everyone in the US has a cameraphone at this point, it’s very common to have any kind of police activity in a crowded setting recorded by citizens, usually from multiple angles,” said Jamais Cascio, a research fellow at the Institute for the Future. “These kinds of events are unusual and people will want to show friends and family, and, increasingly, because people are learning that it can be important to have evidence of police misconduct.”
And, with the spread of easily accessible recording technology, US security forces are being joined by counter-parts around the globe in being concerned about mobile technologies.
“Echoes of Rodney King in Karachi and Miami”, was the headline of a New York Times blog, analysing a recent case from Pakistan, where a television journalist recorded security forces killing Sarfraz Shah, an apparently unarmed teenager. The video sparked protests across the country.
Speaking about the recent case in Florida, Police Chief Carlos Noriega told the Miami Herald that the couple’s allegations were the first he’d heard of officers allegedly threatening people or destroying cameras or mobile phones.
“It was quite a chaotic scene,” the chief said of the late night shooting. “We were trying to figure out who was who and it was a difficult process. Not once did I see cameras being taken or smashed,” he said, adding that Benoit’s video is evidence which could help investigators.
The incremental erosion of our rights have been intentional. In fact, there has been a so-called Police State Roadmapwhich has served as guidance.
Technology ‘outpacing’ laws
While visual evidence, through government surveillance cameras and individuals’ phones, can help make prosecutions, police unions and likeminded groups argue that police officers might second-guess themselves if they know they are being recorded and delay making necessary decisions. There are also arguments about privacy; mainly that conversations between private individuals and security forces should not be recorded by third parties.
And even though Eugene Volokh and other legal experts believe recording public police activities isn’t a crime in Florida, that doesn’t mean police are happy about it.
“In the United States, the laws about the recording of police activity vary considerably from state to state. In Massachusetts, for example, existing laws that forbid recording someone without their permission have been extended to prohibit the recording of police. In Illinois, the law now explicitly bans the recording of police,” Cascio told Al Jazeera. “I believe that citizens should have the right to record the actions of officials on duty; Citizens can’t really fight back when they see police misconduct, their only tool is the ability to document the misbehaviour.”
Some experts argue that laws, often designed to deal with audio wiretapping of telephone conversations and now applied to video recordings, are not keeping pace with new technologies. Volokh, however, is not one of those people.
“It isn’t a technical question; it might be a question about basic values,” Volokh, the legal scholar, said. “How much do you value people’s ability to gather the news and how much you value privacy?”
There may be a debate on whether the increasing frequency of security forces, and society in general, being caught on tape is primarily a technological question or an issue of values. But advances in the former may make debates about the latter redundant.
“Efforts to forbid these recordings are ultimately futile. Cameras are becoming smaller, and are able to record and upload video quickly. I’ve seen otherwise normal-looking glasses with built-in cameras,” Cascio said. “The technology is rapidly outpacing any attempt to control it using dated and misapplied laws.”
You can follow Chris Arsenault on twitter @AJEchris
Yet its recent history has been blighted by civil war.
Between 1989 and 2003, Liberia’s inter-tribal war killed 250,000 people, displaced one million and led to one in five children becoming soldiers.
During the course of the conflict, this corner of West Africa became a nexus for the trade in blood diamonds and cocaine, gunrunning and laundering the funds of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.
The instability emanating from this one country posed a danger far beyond Liberia’s border, as far as our shores.
General Butt Naked was one of the leading warlords, fighting guerilla groups including that of Charles Taylor, who later become president of Liberia and is now being tried for war crimes at The Hague.
I meet Blahyi for the first time in the dusty courtyard of Hotel Zeos, 45 minutes’ drive from Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.
He has chosen this deserted spot because, after his confession to the TRC, he became the subject of assassination attempts.
He strides towards me, arms spread, smiling widely. ‘Welcome to Liberia.‘
It had taken months to find Blahyi because he went underground after the last assassination attempt.
In the end, I obtained his number from a Liberian film director living in New York.
I remember calling his mobile for the first time.
The voice that answered was initially wary. But once satisfied of my identity, he became warm, even friendly and would ring my mobile in London at random times for a chat.
Interest in the General has renewed since his evidence to the TRC and, of course, his dramatic conversion to evangelical Christianity.
He is the subject of an American documentary at the Sundance Festival next year.
The filmmakers’ interest was the same as mine: could a man who claimed to have done such evil truly change or is he just a brilliant trickster?
Over the days spent with him in Liberia, I get to know a man who is many things: genuinely sorry; tortured by the knowledge of his actions; frighteningly honest about his atrocities; and at other times vulnerable and desperate to please. Lucid, compelling, charismatic.
But a damaged man, nonetheless.
The first thing you notice about the General is his bulk.
He left armed combat more than a decade ago, yet his physical presence remains intimidating.
The second thing is his eyes – everything he has done is held therein.
We take a seat in the gloomy bar. Against the buzz of traffic we talk, him sipping a bottle of malt drink.
His shoulders and arm muscles strain against his khaki T-shirt.
When agitated by a particular subject, he gesticulates wildly, his face reliving every moment.
At one such moment, he knocks his bottle off the table.
Without taking his eyes off me, he catches it a split second before it smashes to the ground. The soldier’s reflexes remain as sharp as ever.
I ask him how his life was as a child.
He describes how he was told first by his father, then by his tribal elders that he was born to be a warrior.
On the orders of the elders, he was conceived and taken from his mother minutes after birth.
Aged seven, his father handed him to the elders who tutored him in the rituals of the priesthood.
When he was initiated, he became a powerful figure as every tribesman now bowed to him.
In 1982, as the high priest, aged 11, Blahyi remembers performing black magic rituals at the presidential palace to protect the then Liberian leader, Samuel Doe, from enemies.
Doe had been a member of the Krahn tribe and came to power in a violent coup in 1980.
In 1990, Doe was seized in the presidential palace and murdered by the troops of a rebel leader – an act that led to an escalation in the conflict which raged for another 13 years.
During the whole time, Blahyi was a high priest. One of his most important jobs was the performance of sacrifice rituals and cannibalism.
In Liberia today, 75 per cent of people are Christian, 20 per cent are Muslim and the rest follow the tribal religion that performs these sacrifice rituals.
But during the war, experts claim many more practised the tribal faith.
In his book The Mask Of Anarchy, Professor Stephen Ellis of Free University, Amsterdam, wrote of the rituals practised by various tribes in Liberia and used during the war.
‘Of the countless atrocities carried out by various factions, perhaps the most appalling was the eating of human flesh. This was a practice with a long history . . . after 1991 it became common to encounter traumatised refugees who witnessed such events.’
By 1994 the Catholic Church was so disturbed by such reports it officially condemned the practice. But Blayhi maintains it still goes on in secret in the villages.
As a priest, he says, he would have a vision about a chosen child. He would tell the elders the child’s village, the family name, and certain secrets of that child known only to the family.
The elders would then lead a procession to the child’s house, known as ‘the House of Honour‘.
The child would often remain oblivious until the moment came where he was taken away from the village to the altar, where he would be stripped and covered in a type of mud.
‘As priest, I said the invocation. The child is killed. His body has different, different parts taken off.’
Were you alone during this time? ‘I was the only one with the body.’
Does this still happen in Liberia? ‘It still happens. If you went to my village now and spoke of this, they’d kill you. Since my conversion, I know witchcraft is wrong. I know “eating” is wrong. I must speak out now.’
During his days as a tribal priest, Blahyi says, the rituals were for the good of the tribe.
But once he became leader of the Butt Naked Brigade, Blahyi would sacrifice a child before every battle.
In this case, there was no religious significance for the tribe.
Blayhi has an appallingly clear recollection of how he sacrificed children before battle – and the cannibalism involved.
The belief was that by killing and eating children, the soldiers would be strengthened and purified for the battle.
The worst aspect of all was many of the Butt Naked Brigade were children themselves.
It was not the only guerrilla group to use child soldiers. Aid workers estimated that as many as 20,000 child soldiers were recruited by rebel and government forces during the last war.
The Butt Naked Brigade had a sideline in drug, weapons and diamond dealing. The Liberian coast was used as a drop-off point by Mexican drug cartels. The General’s men would do a trade.
‘I was not giving cocaine for arms, I was giving gold and diamonds for arms and cocaine,’ he explains.
What did you do with the cocaine? ‘Gave it to the boys. Mashed it into their food.’
From the age of nine? ‘Yeah.’
His voice drops as he bends his head into his chest.
The diamonds came from territory captured by the Krahn tribe factions.
The guerrilla groups would use captured civilians to mine the diamonds and then use the gems to finance their war, just as was depicted in the 2006 Leonardo DiCaprio film Blood Diamond, set in Sierra Leone.
It was the diamond-funded drugs – sold to finance conflicts and bankroll warlords and diamond companies across the world – that helped push many of the younger rebel soldiers across the boundaries of humanity.
The naked dress code proved to be a terrifyingly effective military tactic.
‘The fear principle was behind it. The first thing you want to impose on the enemy is that you’re an animal, not a guerrilla.’
For years Blayhi was priest and warrior for his tribe. He coerced his brigade of 80 boys to kill without pity.
Although his figure of 20,000 deaths has been accepted by Liberia’s TRC, others accuse him of wild exaggeration, saying the total is impossible to verify.
‘How can he know?’ Liberia’s Information Minister, Norris Tweah, asks me. ‘Two hundred and fifty thousand people were killed in the 14-year war. He is using this to make himself sound like a great warlord.’
But sitting with Blayhi and listening to him describe his personal depravity in forensic detail, it seems clear that he, at least, believes every word.
Yet the turning point came. It was the summer of 1996 and his clansmen were caught up in a ferocious battle.
It was decided that a sacrifice was needed. As the rockets rained down, a mother brought her three-year-old daughter to him.
Something about the child struck the pitiless General and for the first time in his life he hesitated.
As he relives the moment with me, his face becomes contorted.
‘The child was very unusually beautiful and kind. Most of the children are brought to me by the elders, they’re crying, they’re fighting. This child was peaceful,’ he recalls. ‘I thought, “This child must not die.” I struggled.
‘Of all of the thousands that I killed, I wish I did not kill that little girl . . . ‘ his voice trails off.
He is close to tears for the first and only time. ‘Right after killing her, I had my epiphany.’
He claims he saw a white light in the shape of a man. A voice told him, ‘repent and live or refuse and die’. He believes it was Christ.
The impact was immediate. From that day the killing, the sacrifices and cannibalism ended and Blahyi entered a period of turmoil that led his men to believe he had gone mad.
Within months he had left the Butt Naked Brigade and by the end of September 1996 he was baptised in the sea near Monrovia.
By now the sun has set. Blayhi looks wasted from describing the encounter with the little girl and its impact. The confession has left him consumed by guilt.
The next day he is due to preach to a congregation at a church 15 minutes away. We arrange to take him there.
As we leave, the hotel manager checks that Blahyi is going for good.
In the eyes of others Blahyi is not just a pastor: he is still seen as the murderous General and cannibal.
His reputation and name still strikes terror into Liberian hearts.
We cannot talk in public places, we cannot sit in busy hotels, we cannot be seen eating together.
As we drive to the church, Blahyi sits in the front. I sit behind, watching him.
He’s wearing a red suit and black shirt and his shoulders loom either side of the seat. He is singing hymns.
‘Did you sleep well?’ he asks. ‘Yes,’ I lie. ‘You?’ ‘Very well.’ ‘You seemed upset at the end of our interview,’
‘I was. But I always sleep well. No matter what.’
He jumps out of the car and greets the local pastor, who is wearing white winkle-picker shoes.
His battered old, red Mercedes with a numberplate reading ‘Be Holy’ is parked outside.
A band is playing and the 300-strong congregation is clapping, singing and dancing.
The church is at the site of a former Liberian army barracks and Blahyi has been invited to address the ‘deliverance service’.
As the drums and synthesiser grow louder, the crowd chant ‘Jesus, Jesus’ as if at a rock concert.
When Blayhi takes the microphone, the place erupts. He is electrifying and sinister at the same time.
His sermon ranges from the dangers of fast food to the devil’s ways and to the inappropriate dress sense of singer Beyonce.
An hour later, sweating in his red suit, he leaves the building to sit alone in the shade, praying.
Preaching is now his mission and part of that is saving former child soldiers.
Later in the week, Blayhi takes us to a rehabilitation centre he runs for ex-combatants in the bush outside Monrovia.
The photographer and I realise Blahyi is our only guarantor of safety.
As we turn up it is clear all is not well. There is a split in the camp as half the boys complain of getting too little to eat – one cup of rice a day.
They live in two or three brick rooms with no running water or electricity. Blahyi remains the adored father figure. But the reunion turns sour.
Nana Gbolor is the most angry. He is 26 and had been a soldier since 18.
‘When the war ended, I moved to a ghetto called Solale. I slept in a cemetery among the bodies. Then one day the pastor came for me, he wore a T-shirt that said “God Bless Liberia”. He didn’t give up on me. Now all is want is more than one cup of rice a day and to learn construction.’
Unless boys like this are saved, many fear the past could return.
Liberia is a country with 80 per cent unemployment.
Eighty-five per cent of its 3.9 million population live on less than 78p per day, according to UN figures. Inter-tribal warfare brought Liberia to its knees.
The TRC report on Blahyi is just one part of the clean-up.
It also called for 49 individuals to be banned from political office for 30 years, including the current president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a former World Bank economist who has been dubbed Africa’s Iron Lady.
The TRC states she was a former supporter of Charles Taylor.
But she has been widely credited with helping turn around the troubled nation – by securing the cancellation of £3.7 billion of debt to the World Bank.
Her government looks in no hurry to implement the TRC’s demands on prosecutions.
Could victims really go back to living alongside their persecutors? I ask Information Minister Norris Tweah.
‘Everyone’s a victim here,’ he says. ‘Everybody lost somebody. In a country where everyone was complicit, everyone has blood on their hands, where does the blame end?’
Blahyi is in no doubt that saying sorry is not enough. Talking to him inside the shade of an empty church, he says he feels forgiven by God. But forgiveness on Earth is another matter.
‘I believe the Bible strongly and it says God has forgiven me.’
Would you be willing to be tried for war crimes at The Hague?
‘Yes. I would say I am guilty and if the law says I should be jailed for war crimes, then jail me. If the law says I should be hanged, then hang me.’
Blayhi tells me he still struggles to cope with the enormity of his savagery. At times it threatens to break him.
Did you think of suicide?
Before we leave him, he goes to a second – hand shoe shop and spends £6 on trainers for his boys and his children.
Carrying them in a black binliner, he says his goodbyes and for that moment he seems alone.
He heads for the bus that will take him home.
Home is not where his family is; they live in hiding in Ghana. His greatest fear now is not death, but losing his own children – an irony not lost on him.
For me, our week together has been like being with a split personality.
Describing his past life is a painful and violent catharsis, leaving him and those around him drained and traumatised.
Then there’s the other side: the reformed pastor dispensing a bag of doughnuts to local schoolchildren, telling the story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes with great warmth and humour.
We all get caught up in the laughter, until I suddenly find myself recoiling with the memory of all he has told me.
This is his fate from now on: for as long as he lives, no matter how much he reforms, he will never be able to escape the horror of his past.
The story of Joshua Milton Blahyi is more than a story of Africa’s bloodshed and savagery. It is also a story of a man struggling for redemption and change.
His victims cannot forgive him. He is more likely to face a bullet in the head than the day in court he says he wants.
But his story is evocative of his country as it struggles to leave the demons behind and look to a future of prosperity and peace.
On May 1. 2011, to the day exactly 235 years after the founding of Illuminate, US president Obama proudly announced that the US military had killed the “most wanted terrorist” in the world, Osama Bin Laden. And after this crime, where a man was apparently sentenced and murdered without any trial whatsoever, people all over the world are rejoicing and dancing in the streets!
Amazing – a tasteless and morbid celebration of murder on Illuminati day, exactly according the spirit of that organization.
There are, however, a couple more points that make all of this smell even more:
1. Funny that this happens right at the time where the birth certificate controversy is at its highest. What greater diversion could have been cooked up, than this? President Obama is apparently a very “lucky” guy, and the timing is just perfect.
2. Bin Laden was hastily buried, on the grounds that the US military had such a great respect for Islamic burial traditions. However, this did not apply when Saddam’s sons were killed: they were kept for 11 days before burial, and displayed for all the world to see. And we all know about the tendency of great warlords, to put their captives and causalities in public display, for gathering whatever “honor” the masses can give them. You tell me that the US military/government has no such tendency anymore?
3. Now if the US military was so keen to observe Islamic burial traditions, why then did they allegedly bury Bin Laden at sea, when this is strictly prohibited in Islamic tradition? You tell me they respected one part of the tradition so much that they had to break another part of the same tradition? How stupid can these people possibly think that we are?
4. In no culture in this world is it preferred to bury people at sea. Everybody intuitively knows that having someone buried in the ground, is the preferred option. Why, because we then know where they are, of course. And more important: we know they are dead, leaving no room for uncertainty whatsoever. And with uncertainty gone, the eventual process of grief can then start with its healing effects. Bottom line is that the US military command perfectly knew and understood that burying the guy at sea was not in accord with any tradition whatsoever, and would provoke reactions and tough questions. There absolutely has to be some other reason for doing this. What could that possibly be…?
5. Of course the US military and the White House is now being challenged on whether they really killed Bin Laden on May 1. John Brennan, Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser said: “We are going to do everything we can to make sure that nobody has any basis to try to deny that we got Osama bin Laden.”
Sorry guys, too late. If you really meant what you said here, why dump the guy at sea, effectively abandoning the only real evidence that could convince the skeptics: a dead body.
6. We then have the congressional statements of various CIA people that Bin Laden was killed in late 2001 or early 2002. This also coincides with the fact that the US hunt for Bin Laden was dramatically reduced after 2002. From regarding him as the “number one priority”, president Bush Jr. later claimed that he “did not care” at all where Bin Laden was. What an incredible 180 degree turnaround regarding the so-called “world’s most wanted man”! There can be only one reason for this change of attitude.
7. The US military command well knows that doing their thing this way, is going to provoke a lot of contention. Some will come from the Islamic parts of the world, but the heaviest allegations are going to be domestic, splitting the US population even more. The timing is perfect too, as the critique of president Obama is mounting. Just another example of the Illuminati strategy of divide-and-conquer, further dividing the US of A. All of this is probably done to make the “conspiracy theorists”, meaning anyone not buying what the powers-that-be declare in their ex-cathedra statements as pure and unadulterated truth, look really stupid. Yet another attack on anyone trying to think for themselves.
8. The announcement was exactly 8 years after the pronouncement by President George W. Bush of “Mission Accomplished”. It was also the anniversary of the date Adolph Hitler was declared dead.
9. The announcement is “coincidently” timed to interrupt Donald Trumps Show, “Celebrity Apprentice”.
Without a body, this issue will obviously never go to rest, but rather separate the population further into “trusters” and “skeptics” regarding the US government. Further, Bin Laden was allegedly executed on May 1., the same date as Illuminate was founded on, in 1776. Hey, what an interesting coincidence – how strange indeed! All of this is going to feed endless speculation and contention, and in reality we have yet another 9/11 to think about now, instead of a resolve of the original one as allegedly intended.
The crazy thing about all of this, is that the guy has probably been dead for almost 10 years already. Seems like some people are kind of hard to kill, especially the ones created by the CIA and the US military to be scapegoats in their own evil schemes.
With Bin Laden officially gone, who is now going to be the new scapegoat? Take your pick, but I’ll put my 5 cents on a US domestic group: big-government skeptics in general, and “conspiracy theorists” in particular. Chances are, there has now been a sea change – better get ready for some action.
Kaj Nilsen is a 42 y.o. computer programmer & information analyst, from Norway. He is working on a book dedicated to cracking the number 7 code of the Bible & its prophecies.
Open Border with Mexico
A Study in Contrast
There has been much said about the “open border” concept along the Mexico border. Some have the opinion that there should be no control and some are of the opinion that there should be closed borders and some fall in the middle. The purpose of this article is to lay out some facts and figures and you decide what the best procedure would be. Since I am on the “front lines” so to speak, I feel that I can speak authoritatively. I will do my best to present both sides of the concern and then present my analysis and opinion. The issue is not to look at this in an emotional state but rather look at it in the form of reality….what is…and not what we wish it would be. Never should a decision be made from emotion but rather, it is my belief that all decisions should be made from fact and from realism.
First, let me begin by saying that this article is not anti immigration. I have absolutely no problems with immigration. I have all sorts of problems with illegal immigration; consequently, this article will be aimed at the illegal immigration that takes place, its effects on the economy, both local and federal, its effects on health issues, and its criminal element. So, in order to proceed with the article, please accept the fact (as it is fact) that we are a nation of laws. Some of those laws directly affect immigration. It matters not whether you agree with those laws. If you disagree with our laws, I will be the first to say…great…you have an inherent right to disagree but change them if you do not like them. To break the law in order to change the law is wrong… legally, morally, and philosophically. So, deal with the fact that we have laws and the laws should be obeyed until changed.
The popular perception of illegal aliens crossing our southern border is that they are merely poor Mexicans trying to find a better life here. But increasingly, the border is being crossed by hardened, often violent criminals. During the past five months, more than 54,000 of the illegal aliens caught at the border were convicted criminals or people being sought in connection with crimes, according to federal officials. About 139,000 of the illegal aliens arrested last year fell into the same category. The main stream media has been instructed to not write articles about the issue of the criminal elements that have consistently been coming into this country disguised as poor immigrants. Yes…. instructed and the hammer is that they will not have a seat on Air Force One if they do not follow that rule. The criminal element knows that we are not actively engaged in stopping the immigrants because it is known that the liberal (progressive) establishment wants the votes and wants a voting block, therefore, it is a well known among those of us that patrol and fight on the border that the law is deliberately avoided and sanctioned by the progressive faction in this country. The first thing that I will deal with in the article is the gang influence and the criminal element that is prevalent on the border and in our cities.
Mexican Drug Cartels
Mexico’s drug gangs have been highly successful in the past two decades, gradually replacing Colombian gangs in the United States to control the profitable distribution of cocaine from coast to coast. Colombia remains the world’s largest producer, but Larry Holifield, the DEA’s past director for Mexico and Central America, says Mexican cartels are now the most powerful in the world. In 2003, Mexican traffickers supplied 77 percent of the cocaine that entered the US. Last year, 2009, it was 95 percent, a top DEA intelligence official, told a congressional panel. Now, in 2010, Mexican Drug Cartel trafficking has increased to 96% according to acting administrator Ms. Michelle Leonhart in a circular sent to all border agencies in February, 2010.
Mexican gangs have also dominated the growing methamphetamine trade, producing 53 percent of the drugs on the market in “super-labs” in Mexico as the U.S. tightens its laws. Much of the rest is made in clandestine labs mostly in amnesty safe California, also run by Mexicans, according to U.S. officials. And as has been the case for nearly 100 years, Mexico is the biggest marijuana supplier to the United States and produces nearly half the heroin consumed north of the border, behind only Colombia.
The drug trade permeates life in Mexico. In Ciudad Miguel Aleman, drug traffickers boost the local economy and rule with a combination of fear and awe, threatening or bribing anyone who dares to try to stop them. In this city of 35,000 across from Roma, Texas, hit men are easily identified by their bulletproof pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The traffickers have lookouts at every entrance to the city and informants on bicycles looking for anyone suspicious, townspeople say. They will photograph newcomers, including reporters, and question strangers. This can be further verified by the local National Guard Units that help patrol the border and by Department of Defense officials that are in observance. Quite often, these bullet proof pickup trucks and SUV’s, come across the border and are involved in shoot outs on the US side and it goes unreported….yes, that is UNREPORTED on a consistent basis. Again, it is not reported through heavy handed intimidation by the current administration. (Let me add a side note. It was also unreported in the Bush Administration as well but I have not seen written instructions from the Bush Administration as I have seen from the present administration.)
Armed gangs dressed in military uniforms often illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, providing cover for the trafficking of drugs and illegal aliens into the United States. U.S. government officials and sheriffs from border areas told a Senate panel of U.S. lawmakers these intruders were becoming more sophisticated and ruthless, often clashed with U.S. Border Patrol agents and committed crimes in the United States.
“We are indeed aware of criminal organizations that wear military-style uniforms, use military-style equipment and weapons and employ military-style vehicles and tactics while conducting illegal activity in border areas,” Border Patrol chief David Aguilar told a joint hearing of the Senate subcommittees on immigration and terrorism.
The Border Patrol has intercepted over 400,000 aliens trying to cross the border in the first two months of this year, compared to around 100,000 a month – 1.2 million — last year. About 120,000 or 10% of those caught had criminal records. That’s 40,000 with criminal records caught so far this year!!!!! How many have not been caught?
One other NON REPORTED ITEM that has happened from the Mexico side. Mexican President Felipe Calderon tacitly turned his head as Mexican prisons officials “released” over 52,000 known felons and drug traffickers, rapists, murderers, and a variety on the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California borders over a period of 6 months in 2008/2009. These “released” inmates were driven to remote areas outside of Piedras Negras, Ojinaga, Juarez, Monument 67, Nogales, and Tijuana, Mexico and told to not come back. They were given back packs of food, water, maps of sanctuary locations, and money. In January of 2010, three bodies, now identified as drug cartel members, were found in the Big Bend area of Southwest Texas. All three had walked off a cliff in the middle of the night trying to find their way through. All three had brand new Mountain West backpacks, three sets of clothes, 7 weapons (3 US, 2 Russian, and 2 Chinese origins), over $4,000 cash (collectively), maps of the region, and pick up points.
It is common knowledge that Criminal Gangs and Al Qaeda are also merging along the Mexican Border
A Bangladeshi Muslim man named Fakhrul Islam was among a group of 13 illegal aliens arrested near Brownsville, Texas, just across the border from Mexico. Border Patrol agents have said that one of the men detained along with Islam was a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with more than 300,000 members across Central and North America, including powerful enterprises in several major U.S. cities. Adnan El-Shukrijumah, a high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, was spotted in Honduras meeting with members of MS-13. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that El-Shukrijumah, who he has described as a ‘clear and present danger to America,’ is seeking ways to infiltrate the U.S. via the Mexican border, and is willing to pay top dollar in order to do so. Erik Holder, the current attorney General, disavows any knowledge of said meetings.
In the last 6 months, we have captured several immigrants that are linked to Muslim factions in Europe and South America. Everyone knows that our borders are porous and that it is easy to get into the United States and get on our welfare roles and actually get jobs often times in federally classified areas because of the lack of background security checks. In November of 2009, a security sweep of the Federal Border Patrol personnel in Laredo, Texas resulted in 23 firings of US Border Patrol agents that were NOT US Citizens and not on work visas or in the US legally. They were hired with fake birth certificates and social security numbers and the lack of background checks allowed them to work almost unrestricted. One of the “fired” agents was a three time convicted felon in the United States and released on treaty with Mexico only to have him come back and get hired.
Drug gangs could be acquiring weapons from contacts in drug rings operating on U.S. military bases near the border. Ongoing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have made fighting drug use by soldiers a lower priority within the military. In addition, the constant flow of material back and forth between the U S and combat theaters has made it increasingly difficult to account for every piece of ordnance. With pressure to recruit more troops, standards have been lowered, which has opened the door to recruits with prior drug convictions. The Mexican gangs, then, could be involving in-house dealers in weapons-for-drugs schemes.
Laredo is increasingly becoming a sanctuary for members of Mexico’s various drug cartels. Nuevo Laredo drug gangs use Texas the same way the Taliban and al Qaeda use Pakistan: as a refuge from the fighting; a place where they- theoretically can rest, regroup and plan further operations. The gangs also use Laredo as a transshipment point for drugs going north and weapons coming south.
A new report is out that shows the costs imposed on Texas taxpayers by illegal aliens. The report was released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The current estimates show there are 1.5 million illegal aliens in Texas. The costs, when broken down, come to a total of $725 a year per taxpaying household to cover the costs of education, health care and incarceration of illegal aliens throughout the state.
The more than $4.7 billion in costs incurred by Texas taxpayers annually result from outlays in the following areas:
Education. Based on estimates of the illegal immigrant population in Texas and documented costs of K-12 schooling, Texans spend more than $4 billion annually on education for illegal immigrant children and for their U.S.-born siblings. About 11.9 percent of the K-12 public school students in Texas are children of illegal aliens.
Health Care. Taxpayer-funded medical outlays for health care provided to the state’s illegal alien population amount to about $520 million a year.
Incarceration. The uncompensated cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in Texas’s state and county prisons amounts to about $150 million a year (not including local jail detention costs or related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration).
The fiscal costs of illegal immigration do not end with these three major cost areas. The total costs of illegal immigration to the state’s taxpayers would be considerably higher if other cost areas such as special English instruction, welfare programs used by the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, or welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal alien workers were also calculated.
An award winning reporter has detailed an ongoing media blackout concerning a major issue of national security on the southern border.
Sara A. Carter, National Security and Pentagon reporter for the Washington Times, spoke to the Alex Jones show today regarding consistent incursions into the U.S. by armed Mexican troops aiding illegal smugglers.
Ms. Carter has won several national prestigious awards for her coverage of border issues north and south, including the 2006 Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration, presented annually by the Center for Immigration Studies.
“There are a lot of people who don’t realize how serious the situation is on the southern border.” Ms. Carter said. “Even to the extent when sometimes some of our own government officials choose to ignore it, even though they know it’s going on.”
“This is a very serious national security issue in many respects and it deals with an array from smuggling humans, to smuggling narcotics, and the whole mix up is that there’s many people within the Mexican government and military that have already been bought and sold out to the drug cartels.”
“It’s very difficult to distinguish between those that are really trying to do the job, and those that are sell outs to the drug cartels. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I’ve been down in many of the same border cities, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in Mexico working with intelligence officials and others, and I have many Mexican sources who had said ‘please get the truth out’.” Ms. Carter continued.
Ms. Carter pointed out that although such activity has been ongoing for years, there has essentially been a news blackout in America.
“It is a huge story. It is bigger than most of us even know, and people are afraid of covering the story. We hear reports but we don’t see in depth detail.” Carter said.
Aside from Carter herself it has been left entirely to the alternative media to expose the reality of the situation on the border. The mainstream media cautiously began reporting on the issue two years ago when Sara Carter uncovered Department of Homeland Security documents and maps showing that Mexican military has crossed into the United States 216 times in the past nine years. In the documents U.S. officials claimed the incursions are being made to help foreign drug and human smugglers into the United States. Those of us that work the border know that this is a crock of 24 carat BS. The efforts at strengthening the border and the efforts at getting the word out are, once again, being completely stifled. Any United States Military officer risks his career when voicing his thoughts and letting out information that is not “cleared” through Erik Holder and the Justice Department……………in violation of military protocol and rules. There is no freedom of speech and there is no right for the public to know in the minds of our current administration.
Many incidents have seen Mexican troops fire on U.S. border agents and our rules of engagement do not allow us to fire back. (That is as the rules of engagement for FEDERAL troops.) The State National Guard is under the command of the Governor until activated by Federal Order. President Obama is not the Commander in Chief of National Guard units exercising under state authority. Texas is the ONLY independent National Guard Unit in the United States (meaning that it does not “round out” active duty units. It stands alone) and the Texas Governor does not give up jurisdiction. The rules of engagement are completely different for the Texas National Guard. The Governor has the right to declare a State Emergency and, hence, National Guard Units can defend themselves in open combat….even when fired upon by Mexican Military Units. The state of Texas now employs armed drones, infra red detection equipment, ground patrols (utilizing ranchers with night vision support), intelligence operatives in Mexico, and armored units allowed by private land owners to patrol the more rugged areas.
This is, by far, the most despicable event that is happening on the entire Mexican border, but the El Paso area is the roughest so far. Most people think of human trafficking in terms of “coyotes” infiltrating the United States with hordes of illegal immigrants. It used to be this way….not anymore. A seldom reported fact are the abductions for ransom, prostitution, drug running, and slave trade from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, and even the border areas on the United States side. The worst of the areas on our border is Juarez, across from El Paso. Known as the city of “Femicides”, from 2005 through 2009, it is estimated that over 5,000 female deaths (ages 12-22) have occurred. The latest find was on a ranch 12 kilometers outside of Juarez in Northern Chihuahua province, wherein one mass grave, 612 female bodies were discovered….tortured, burned, sexually abused, and dismembered. Average age…..16 years old.
It is common knowledge that families “sell” their off spring to human cartels for food money. Scores of children are abducted from immigrants traveling to the United States seeking work and hooking up with “coyotes” who, in turn sell them at the border. Open borders are an invitation to “take a chance” to travel to Norte America and play into the hands of the criminal element.
The latest personal observation was July, 2009 on a remote stretch of road outside of Del Rio, Texas. A refrigerated van was stopped at a remote unmarked check point. After a shoot out with the drive and its escorting vehicle, the 18 wheeler was transporting 32 young girls to Chicago, Illinois and New York City. Their ages ranged from 8 years to 16 years for use in prostitution and sweat shops. Despicable!!!! (For the record, the driver of the truck and the escort did not survive the gun fight).
Today, our great American nation is being invaded by millions of illegal immigrants who are fundamentally changing American society. Notably, a massive influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America is changing the face of the American Southwest. For some Mexicans, the motivations in this migration are pure – to secure a better life in a better place. However, not only is this illegal immigration illegal to begin with, it is also precipitating a host of problems for the United States of America. This influx is bankrupting state and local governments, hospitals, school districts, prisons, and social services across the Southwest. The influx is also fueling a wide range of criminal activities in the United States, from the simple, such as the hiring of illegal aliens by American companies, to the serious, such as drug running, human trafficking, organized criminal activity, gang activity, weapons violations, burglaries, auto thefts, etc., etc. In addition, terrorists from overseas nations are gaining entry to the United States through our porous borders.
“William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, states that this is “the end of America as we know it. At least 10 million illegal immigrants are in the U.S. now, and that’ll double in five years.” (Dallas Morning News, Rancher in border case backs Minuteman, 04/03/2005) FOXNews.com reports that “public health care in Los Angeles is on life support, where sixty percent of the county’s uninsured patients are not U.S. citizens. More than half are here illegally. About 2 million undocumented aliens in Los Angeles County alone are crowding emergency rooms because they can’t afford to see a doctor.” (L.A. Emergency Rooms Full of Illegal Immigrants, 03/17/2005). The National Research Council estimates that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with state and local governments bearing most of the costs. California’s tab is estimated at $3 billion alone. Richard D. Lamm, former governor of Colorado, writes in the Denver Post that “illegal immigration today isn’t cheap labor, except to the employer. The average family of illegal immigrants has two to four school-age kids. It costs U.S. taxpayers more than $7,000 a child just to educate them in our public schools.” (There’s nothing cheap about immigrant labor, 04/03/05) In the end, the American taxpayer pays many times the amount the cheap hourly wage was worth to a vagabond American company.”
But one has to figure that these costs are just a drop in the bucket. The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority for example reports that there were 56,222 stolen vehicles in Arizona in 2003. These thefts in many cases are tied to a host of other problems, including smuggling, illegal drug trafficking, human trafficking, burglaries, fraud, and drive-by shootings. The costs to these associated problems are immeasurable, both in dollar amounts (auto insurance, law enforcement costs, etc.) and in terms of general personal security.
In Dallas, Texas, we are witness firsthand to some of the problems associated with illegal immigration. Business owners in predominantly Hispanic areas are scared for their safety. Recently, a member of a family that owns several local restaurants was kidnapped in broad daylight, held for ransom, and then killed. The perpetrator fled back to Mexico. Mexican graffiti covers everything from houses and fences to businesses and highway signs. The City of Dallas, at great costs – up to $2,000 per sign, is currently either cleaning or replacing graffiti-marred highway signs across the area. One bridge overpass colorfully says it all: “Welcome to the Barrio, Bitches.” For Dallas Public Schools, Spanish proficiency for teachers is almost mandatory in many sections of the city. The enormous cultural and budgetary problems associated with educating children of illegal aliens denigrate the education of our American children.
Fed up by the deluge of trespassers and the lack of attention by the U.S. Government, ordinary Americans are now fighting back. A host of organizations, some listed on this page, are sprouting to deliver information about this travesty. Other organizations, such as Ranch Rescue, and the Minuteman Project, are taking a more proactive approach such as patrolling ranches and borders.
As wide-ranging as the problem of illegal immigration is, the solutions are simple.
First, we as Americans have to make it where it is not worth coming to America. We can do this by legally requiring proof of citizenship or legal residency for jobs, education and benefits. Unable to obtain jobs and services in America, many if not most immigrants would stay at home. As part of this effort, penalties would be more severe for American companies and organizations that knowingly provide jobs and services to illegal immigrants. In a way, providing jobs to illegal immigrants is treasonous.
Second, America needs a comprehensive guest worker program. This program would be funded primarily by Mexicans wishing to work in America and by American companies who can prove they need foreign workers because American workers are not available. In such a program, Mexicans (or American companies) would pay a processing fee to the federal government, instead of a smuggling fee to the Coyotes (human smugglers).
Third, America needs to physically secure its borders. We must get the Southwest region of the United States under control. Either we need a beefed-up Border Patrol, or we need the military to patrol the border in sufficient numbers, or both.
And fourth, eliminate the automatic United States Citizenry to children of undocumented and illegal immigrants,
The time to act is now. Each day, 5,000 to 10,000 new illegal immigrants enter the United States along the Mexican border. Each day, the costs associated with this influx escalate.
Lastly, do not play the race card on this one. It matters not what nationality these illegal immigrants are….it only matters that they are here in violation of our laws. There is no “natural right” or no “natural law” that justifies such illegal activity.
Imam Feisal Abdel Rauf claims that the US constitution is Sharia compliant. Now let us examine below a few laws of Sharia to see if Imam Rauf is truthful or a fraud:
1- Jihad defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.
2- A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.
3- A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.
4- A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.
5- It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.
6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.
7- The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.
8- A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.
9- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of : 1) an apostasy 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable.
10- A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.
11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.
12- Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for crimes of sin such as adultery.
13- Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.
14- It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, the opposite is not true for Muslims.
15- A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.
16- Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.
17- No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.
18- A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.
19- Homosexuality is punishable by death.
20- There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.
21- Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.
22- Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.
23- There is no community property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.
24- A woman inherits half what a man inherits.
25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and she has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.
26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.
27- A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.
28- The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.
29- A woman looses custody if she remarries.
30- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.
31- A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.
32- A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.
33- A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”
The above are clear cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life. Now let the learned Imam Rauf tell us what part of the above is compliant with the US constitution?