Merry Christmas to All from the Pups!

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oakley annie buddy twn sm.jpg
Merry Christmas to all from Oakley, Annie, Buddy, and the team that brings you The Washington Note!
– Steve Clemons

Comments

69 comments on “Merry Christmas to All from the Pups!

  1. David says:

    Except on the margins, POA, we don’t have a fourth estate. Tina Brown made that observation regarding our purported fourth estate in reference to its behavior during Little Bush’s administration and the runup to the invasion of Iraq. She was stating the obvious, of course, but it was refreshing to have Tina Brown offer that comment on CNN (Christiane Amanpour’s Sunday afternoon show “Amanpour”). She thought our best chance for a meaningful fourth estate lies with the internet, except she and her husband, formerly with The Times until Darth Murdoch took it over, also observed that it takes a media with financial resources and investigative journalists to feed a healthy fourth estate.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    And in that case, the issue is sensitive, since Pakistan is regarded as an
    ally.

    Reply

  3. Paul Norheim says:

    If the “Indian” escorting the Nigerian fellow in Amsterdam turns out to be a Pakistani
    link, that may somehow make sense, as it could be in Pakistan`s interest to divert the
    efforts and attention from AfPak to the Arabian peninsula. But yeah, we can only
    speculate and ask questions…

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Who the hell knows? Interesting that someone could walk this latest patsy through an Israeli security apparatus in Amsterdam, and now the White House wants to point the finger at the Nigerian airport instead of the one in Amsterdam.
    Regardless of whether or not the Israelis are involved in this charade, it takes a complete and utter idiot to swallow what we’ve been told these last two days, particularly in light of what Haskell is disclosing. Even if the guy is lying his ass off for some as yet unimaginable and inexplicable reason, his assertions aren’t news? Our piece of shit Fourth Estate doesn’t deem his story important?
    This excremental body of human waste in DC doesn’t even CARE if we know we are being lied to anymore.

    Reply

  5. Outraged American says:

    Anytime the Senator from Tel Aviv (which one???) is involved,
    Israel has something to do with it.
    Here’s a freebie from the BBC from Oct. 7, 2008 — this reminds
    me of the spy ring Israel was running in Lebanon (which one???)
    Yemen seizes ‘Israel-linked’ cell
    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said the security forces
    have arrested a group of alleged Islamist militants linked to
    Israeli intelligence.
    Mr Saleh did not say what evidence had been found to show the
    group’s links with Israel, a regional enemy of Yemen.
    The arrests were connected with an attack on the US embassy in
    Sanaa last month which killed at least 18 people, official sources
    were quoted saying.
    Israel’s foreign ministry has rejected the accusation as “totally
    ridiculous”.
    “A terrorist cell was arrested and will be referred to the judicial
    authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services,” Mr
    Saleh told a gathering at al-Mukalla University in Hadramawt
    province.
    “Details of the trial will be announced later. You will hear about
    what goes on in the proceedings,” he added.
    The 17 September attack was the second to target the US
    embassy since April. Militants detonated car bombs before firing
    rockets at the heavily fortified building.
    Mr Saleh did not identify the suspects, but official sources were
    quoted saying it was same cell – led by a militant called Abu al-
    Ghaith al-Yamani – whose arrest was announced a week after
    the attack.
    An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said the Yemeni
    president’s statement was without foundation.
    “To believe that Israel would create Islamist cells in Yemen is
    really far-fetched. This is yet another victory for the proponents
    of conspiracy theories,” Igal Palmor said in remarks reported by
    AFP.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7656807.stm

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    “Now we just have to figure out what Yemen has that UsRael wants.”
    Well, exactly. Why on earth would Israel want the US to target Yemen – perhaps even the
    African Horn – right now? Wouldn`t that be a distraction from the focus on Iran? To me,
    the Israel link is not very convincing at the moment.

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  7. Paul Norheim says:

    As commander in chief, it is well known that Obama is decreasing the amount of
    troops in the 2. front in the perpetual GWOT (Iraq), and sending more troops to the
    1. front (Afghanistan). It is less known that he in addition has opened a 3. front
    in Yemen during 2009. Here is an excerpt from NYT today:
    “U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion
    By ERIC SCHMITT and ROBERT F. WORTH
    Published: December 27, 2009
    WASHINGTON — In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has
    quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen.
    A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives
    with counterterrorism experience to the country, according a former top agency
    official. At the same time, some of the most secretive Special Operations commandos
    have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics, senior
    military officers said.
    The Pentagon is spending more than $70 million over the next 18 months, and using
    teams of Special Forces, to train and equip Yemeni military, Interior Ministry and
    coast guard forces, more than doubling previous military aid levels.
    As American investigators sought to corroborate the claims of a 23-year-old Nigerian
    man that Qaeda leaders in Yemen had trained and equipped him to blow up a Detroit-
    bound Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day, the plot casts a spotlight on the
    Obama administration’s complicated relationship with Yemen.
    (…)
    The White House is seeking to nurture enduring ties with the government of President
    Ali Abdullah Saleh and prod him to combat the local Qaeda affiliate, Al Qaeda in the
    Arabian Peninsula, even as his impoverished country grapples with seemingly
    intractable internal turmoil.
    With fears also growing of a resurgent Islamist extremism in nearby Somalia and East
    Africa, administration officials and American lawmakers said Yemen could become Al
    Qaeda’s next operational and training hub, rivaling the lawless tribal areas of
    Pakistan where the organization’s top leaders operate.
    “Yemen now becomes one of the centers of that fight,” said Senator Joseph I.
    Lieberman, independent of Connecticut and chairman of the Homeland Security and
    Governmental Affairs Committee, who visited the country in August. “We have a
    growing presence there, and we have to, of Special Operations, Green Berets,
    intelligence,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
    American and Yemeni officials said that a pivotal point in the relationship was
    reached in late summer after separate secret visits to Yemen by Gen. David H.
    Petraeus, the American regional commander, and John O. Brennan, President Obama’s
    counterterrorism adviser.
    President Saleh agreed to expanded overt and covert assistance in response to
    growing pressure from the United States and Yemen’s neighbors, notably Saudi Arabia,
    from which many Qaeda operatives had fled to Yemen, as well as a rising threat
    against the country’s political inner circle, the officials said.”
    More here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/world/middleeast/28yemen.html?_r=1&hp
    ——————————————————————–
    Convenient timing, isn`t it? During the discussion about sending more troops to
    Afghanistan, those who supported it argued as if Afghanistan/Pakistan was the only
    possible safe haven for Al Quaeda. Looks like this argument has been invalid for a
    long time, also in the view of the Obama administration.

    Reply

  8. Outraged American says:

    A Detroit bound flight is an interesting target given that its state
    is the capitol of Arab America and their would be more Muslims
    on the flight than say one to Topeka.
    Why would “Al Qaeda” want to attack Muslims?
    Israeli company Verint was in charge of security for the London
    underground on the day of the 7/7 attacks, of which Netanyahu
    was forewarned. Verint is a division of Comverse, the Israeli
    company that installed the phone system on Capitol Hill, all the
    better to blackmail Our Dear Leaders.
    And the shoebomber, Reid, had spent time in Israel just before
    his little escapade, but nah, Israel has nothing to do with this
    “turror” attack.
    Now we just have to figure out what Yemen has that UsRael
    wants.
    As to the US lawyer who saw the “Indian” escorting the
    firecracker carrier — I’m from India and I could not tell the
    difference between an Indian and a Pakistani if they were
    speaking English, so how would this guy know?

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres the wikipedia skinny on shortened URLs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TinyURL
    I don’t see anything that makes me afraid or leery of using them.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well,Kotz, if most Americans had your mindset, they’d be right on about the “great satan” part.

    Reply

  11. kotzabasis says:

    Norheim and DonS in their simplistic ill-conceived and unimaginative thinking do not realize that all suicide bombers are “amateurs” in their solely one never to return mission and will never become professionals. And terrorists are only confused about the seventy-two virgins and not about their goal of destroying the West and its great Satan America.

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    Actually, it looks like you use tiny url — and I read somewhere (here?) that you can have computer problems from them, and there are issues about archiving tiny url anyway. So I never click on tiny url links.

    Reply

  13. questions says:

    Sorry POA, what I remembered seeing was that you couldn’t find the link because it had disappeared. Apologies for linking what you already linked. A missed post will happen occasionally.

    Reply

  14. questions says:

    The second individual thing, near as I can tell, is a different flight on the same route — a Nigerian passenger locked himself in the bathroom because he was actually sick. NOT THE SAME exact flight that the bomber was on, but the same route, the next day. Near as I can tell, at any rate.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ok. So heres the link questions provided, describing what security procedures were used to screen Abdulmuttallab before he boarded the flight in Nigeria.
    http://allafrica.com/stories/200912270086.html
    Considering what is outlined as occurring in Nigeria, and what Haskell the passenger/attorney claims he saw and heard in Amsterdam, does it make ANY sense for the White House to be publically blaming security at the Nigerian airport, and not even mentioning what occurred in Amsterdam???
    This Administration can’t even hold a candle to Bush/Cheney’s ability to run a competent scam. This bullshit scam of Obama’s is as hollow as a dildo with dead batteries.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Also, apparently, there was a second individual arrested in Detroit after getting off the plane. He too was Nigerian. Initially, the FBI denioed a second person was taken into custody. Now the story being put out is that he was taken into custody because he made a stink and locked himself into the plane’s loo. Interesting we aren’t hearing more about this. Could be nothing, probably is.
    The big story here is what occurred in Amsterdam. THATS the story they will try to shove under the rug. In fact, as you can see by the media accounts blaming Nigerian security, its already happening.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres an amazing little ditty, considering that the security “failure” occurred in Amsterdam, with an Israeli security firm in charge. The White House is blaming security at the Nigerian airport. Never mind the patsy went thyrough the Nigerian screening WITH a passport, and through standard security protocols. Note this article doesn’t even mention what occurred in Amsterdam. In fact, it doesn’t even mention Amsterdam.
    I wonder if Haskell has considered hiring his own security. He might need it. Apparently we are not supposed to know that this “terrorist” was waltzed around the Amsterdam security protocols.
    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=106094993&source=Newsfeed
    As an aside, the “hero” that interceded is a Dutchman, so his background is not easily looked into. If American, a guy could start by looking into whether he was ROTC in school, etc.. But apparently, any such background searches won’t be possible with this guy. Interesting to note that the guy that interceded in the “Shoe Bomber” incident wasn’t an American citizen either. He was French. The two incidents are remarkably similiar, with perfect patsy’s involved in both cases. And in both cases, the hype all points towards nurturing the existence of the terrorist boogie man, and escalating military adventurism against various countries in the middle east and beyond.
    We are in deep shit, people. This fuckin’ con job, the GWOT, shows no sign of having a partisan origin.
    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=106094993&source=Newsfeed

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    This is the most intriguing link here – provided by POA above on this thread:
    http://tinyurl.com/y8u6omf

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Incidentally, questions, thats the exact same link I supplied earlier. You might wanna actually LOOK at what I’m posting before you jump in to dispute it.
    No suprise you’d turn on the foggers the minute this Israeli security firm was mentioned.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Murtala Muhammed Airport security also has details of Abdulmutallab’s passport and visa information”
    Interesting that his passport seems to have disappeared somewhere in transit to Amsterdam, eh?
    Of course, you can always discount the eyewitness accounts of an American attorney with no plausible reason to lie about what he saw and heard.
    So lets see, this “terrorist” is in possession of a passport in Nigeria, and boards an airplane by going through standard security protocols. Yet when boarding an US inbound flight in Amsterdam, he is no longer in possession of a passport, and is walked AROUND standard security protocol by an as yet unidentified man in an expensive suit. Through Israeli security, I might add.
    Look into it, questions. I bet you will find that the security firm at Murtala Muhammed Airport IS NOT an Israeli firm.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Note that the Israeli company deals with security in a lot of airports”
    Yes, but the airport we are concerned with has some as yet un-named guy greasing this “terrorist’s” way through Israeli security.
    How is your comment even relevent?
    Its not.

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200912270086.html
    This one says, and I quote:
    “The passenger went through a normal checking process. His passport was scanned, his US Visa was scanned and the APIS (Advanced Passenger Information System) returned with no objection. Passenger was allotted seat number 20B on the Lagos-Amsterdam leg and seat 19A on the Amsterdam-Detroit leg,” the Director-General explained.
    The Murtala Muhammed Airport security also has details of Abdulmutallab’s passport and visa information.
    Demuren said the bombing suspect possessed a Nigerian Machine Readable Passport (MRP) issued on September 15, 2005 to expire on September 14, 2010 and the passport number is A3921640.
    According to the information from the passport, Abdul-mutallab has multiple entry US Visa issued in London, UK on June 16, 2008 to expire June 12, 2010.
    The NCAA Director-General said the suspect presented himself for immigration clearance with his Nigerian passport and the passport was scanned into Passenger Registration System, “confirming that passenger went through normal standard security screening procedure.”
    So his passport was scanned at least once during the trip. Who knows what this other story is about. Details will trickle in, I guess…..

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    Note that the Israeli company deals with security in a lot of airports. So it would be the case that if the guy went through a wide variety of airports, that he would go through Israeli-run security. And just what does “Israeli-run” mean anyway? They break security laws at will? Half the agents are Israelis? They’re all spies?
    Sometimes a correlation is just a correlation.
    Like I said, wet blanket time.

    Reply

  24. questions says:

    Wet blanket time???
    This half-witted poor poor soul was an engineering student with a really rich dad, lots of travel and I think, a couple of languages. In short, he seems to fit a pretty typical profile. But what do I know.
    Oh, the daze. Could it possibly be that when you’re pretty convinced you’re going to die, and then you don’t die, it’s a pretty weird sensation? And could he even have been in shock given that his skin was melting off his underwear region? Maybe not a half-wit?
    Oh, unless the bankster dad is lying about his son’s suddenly cutting off ties, and about his own reporting his son to the US gov’t.
    I guess is could be a plot. Nigerian bankster trades son’s fertility for a US war on yet another country….
    I’m just not there with the crowd, yet again….
    We’re not likely to bomb Iran, near as I can tell. Not even if a Yemeni engineer lights up on a Detroit-bound flight.
    (I know, they picked Detroit because it’s symbolic of a dying America. Must be the Israelis. They understand American symbolism.)
    (Or wait, they picked Detroit because it’s not symbolic so that makes it look more amateurish and therefore will throw us off the Israeli scent.)
    (Or wait, they picked Detroit because they thought Detroit sounds a lot like New York — it’s the accent, I guess….)
    Remember, if it’s patterned, EVERYthing is patterned. Even the Detroit part. Probably there’s a really great explanation for this, too!

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And how’d they know the poor bastard would sing?
    Well, they made him think he was going to martyr himself, when they knew all along he was just gonna blow his own balls off.
    No wonder he was pissed off enough to immediately start spilling the beans.

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, the guy in “an expensive suit” was obviously known to these Israeli security firm employees. Who was he, and who does he work for?
    Are we really so fucking gullible that we will keep swallowing this shit? Do we really want eternal war on behalf of a few globalist elite that envision a world with one religion, and one master race??

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israeli Firm Responsible for Amsterdam Airport Security Where Terrorist Boarded Aircraft
    December 27, 2009
    An Israeli firm is responsible for security inspections in the airport in Schiphol, Holland, the airport where Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded the Airbus 330 heading for Detroit (USA).
    The Israeli company, ICTS, is reportedly one of the leaders in security, & operates in Amsterdam and a number of other European countries.
    continues…….
    http://tinyurl.com/yhtpzvh

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ok, so these lyin’ sacks of shit in the war factory known as “Washington DC” claim an American airstrike, in Yemen, targeted Anwar al-Awlaki and a gathering of 30 “Al Qaeda”.
    Yesterday we learn that al-Awlaki was probably NOT killed, and that the area is “too dangerous” for Yemeni soldiers to get in and see who was killed.
    Now, today, theres this….
    http://tinyurl.com/y8og5mu
    Yemen says Houthi rebel leader may be dead
    (2009-12-27)
    (Reuters) -
    By Ulf Laessing
    DUBAI (Reuters) – The leader of Yemen’s Shi’ite rebels may have died after being severely wounded by government forces in the north of the country, a Yemeni government website and media said on Sunday.
    The rebels, known as the Houthis after the family name of their leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, are fighting government troops in impoverished Yemen’s mountaineous north, complaining of social, religious and economic discrimination.
    The Yemeni defense ministry said on its website that Houthi was wounded in an attack by government forces and might have died from his wounds.
    “There are increasing reports about the death of the terrorist Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, who was severely injured in an attack aimed at a gathering with a group of terrorist elements,” the website said, adding there were reports that he had been buried in Jabel Tolan in the northern Malaheeth area.
    Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television also said the rebel leader was dead, citing unnamed Yemeni sources as saying he was killed in an airstrike. Yemeni news websites carried the same report.
    continues….
    Gee, what a coincidence, eh?
    “There are increasing reports about the death of the terrorist Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, who was severely injured in an attack aimed at a gathering with a group of terrorist elements”
    Would that be the same “gathering with a group of terrorist elements” that was used as a prop for supposedly targeting al Awlaki?
    Once again, a little digging points to the increasing likelyhood that “Al Qaeda” is being used as a curtain to conceal our true motives for military operations.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks for the links, guys. It looks like the whole Yemen story has escaped the radar of
    the media here in Norway during the last couple of weeks. Or perhaps they did report
    while I was under the surgeon`s knife? Despite my original intention, I insisted on
    being conscious during the operation, much due to the witty, slightly cynical comments
    from the doctors during the preparations, that made me laugh (or was that just an effect
    of the morphine?). But I was definitely offline.
    DonS re Iran: “I see nothing coming out of the administration to provide confidence of
    countervailing force. If anything, the evidence points otherwise.” I have to agree with
    you, Don. The sole “countervailing force” I can see is the bad shape of the economy -
    perhaps this is not sufficient. The threatening attitude is certainly part of the DNA of
    the Sec. of State.
    BTW folks: I have to admit that it`s a great pleasure again to participate in a sort of
    off topic, but vital discussion on an important topic with my American friends. Much
    better then trying to counter the weird and belligerent WWIII arguments of an
    hyperactive Nadine with polite, rational answers…

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And now these jackasses are “tightening security”. Well, if some guy waltzed the bomber PAST security protocol…..
    Whatta fuckin’ scam. We gotta be some of the most gullible stupid societies in earth.

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is one of the few articles I’ve seen that isn’t a blatant example of fearmongering hype….
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126193343826006473.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Reply

  32. DonS says:

    Liberman: invade Yemen; tomorrow’s war.
    http://attackerman.firedoglake.com/2009/12/27/aint-nothin-wrong-with-yemen-an-invasion-cant-solve-right/
    Ya gotta give Joe what he wants or, ya know, Joe won’t play ball. Oh yeah, he doesn’t play ball anyway.
    And he never stops because it’s just so much fun to see how easy it is to get Obama to dance. And Joe is a very serious guy; finger right on the pulse of homeland security, the approved version.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Fresh air raids kill civilians in northern Yemen
    Houthis accuse Saudi Arabia of regularly pounding civilian positions in northern Yemen.
    Thu, 17 Dec 2009 07:33:18 GMT
    Several people have reportedly been killed in a series of airstrikes by unidentified warplanes in the northern Yemeni region of Sa’ada.
    The residence of the mayor of Sa’ada was damaged in the air raid, Houthi sources said without specifying the number of fatalities.
    Yemen’s Houthi fighters accuse the United States and neighboring Saudi Arabia of carrying out airstrikes, saying the attacks target only civilians in villages in the northern regions of the country.
    They also say they have foiled several attempts by the Saudi ground troops who wanted to penetrate northern Yemen over the past weeks.
    Human rights groups and international aid agencies have repeatedly warned about what they have described as the dire humanitarian situation in northern Yemen.
    The Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth against the Houthis in August in a bid to quell the fighters who accuse the Sunni-dominated Sana’a government of repression and discrimination against the country’s Shia minority.
    Saudi Arabia joined the offensive following alleged conflicts with Houthi fighters near its border with Yemen, pressing heavy artillery attacks and air raids against the fighters.
    At least 120 Houthis were killed and 44 others sustained injuries on Wednesday as the US fighter jets took part in airstrikes in Sa’ada.
    The US military is reportedly going ahead with air raids on Sa’ada as well as the northern regions of Amran and Hajjah which have already been the target of stepped up attacks by the Saudi and Yemeni forces.
    The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates up to 175,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Sa’ada during off and on conflicts between the army and the Houthis since 2004.
    http://www.presstv.com/new/detail.aspx?id=113950&sectionid=351020206
    Al Qaeda, my ass.

    Reply

  34. DonS says:

    . . . whole NEOCON establishment.
    (and initial quotes on graf from Paul N.}

    Reply

  35. DonS says:

    . . . I hope that Obama, Gates, and others
    think through such scenarios, and are aware of the risk of being dictated by random or
    calculated events that are relatively insignificant in themselves.”
    Israel/AIPAC, Kristol and the whole establishment — with the bleating acquiescence of the US Congress, the majority of the MSM stenographers and noise machine — are clammering for an attack on Iran or any action that would lead to an attack on Iran. I don’t know what force could cause a shift in that trajectory. I would not bet against it. I see nothing coming out of the administration to provide confidence of countervailing force. If anything, the evidence points otherwise. Just take the killing of the Dawn Johnson nomination as a bellweather. There is no FORCE to speak of.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man”
    “While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.’””
    http://tinyurl.com/y8u6omf
    So, why aren’t we hearing about this? I have a coupla questions here that are pretty obvious. First, what security firm is handling security at both airports involved? Is it the Israeli firm that seems to have managed to insidiously weasel its way into our own airports?
    And two, surely there must be security camera shots of this guy in a suit. Will we ever be told what intelligence agency he worked for? Obviously, he had some pull, and was not just some unknown yahoo to the security personel.

    Reply

  37. Paul Norheim says:

    If I were working for, say Mossad, whose boss is obsessed with Iran, I would consider
    equipping some Arab looking half imbecile with an Iranian passport, photos of bin Laden,
    Achmedinejad and der Führer in his wallet and some stuff in his pants or socks, and send
    him on a plane destined for America – and voila: a 75 % increased likelihood of a US
    attack on Iran.
    The sanity of Obama is one thing. But the average US citizens are definitely not sober or
    sane when terrorism is an issue – and then you have the not-so-sober media and the
    powerful interests feeding them, even writing substantial parts of the script. It`s
    certainly a potential recipe for Armageddon.
    Given the power of people disagreeing with the agenda of the President (shown both on the
    Israel/Palestine issue, the health care issue, and perhaps also Afghanistan), Obama`s
    options would be limited, and his sober intelligence may be of less importance than the
    calculated madness of those surrounding him. Still, I hope that Obama, Gates, and others
    think through such scenarios, and are aware of the risk of being dictated by random or
    calculated events that are relatively insignificant in themselves.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Someone want to tell me EXACTLY what Anwar al-Awlaki did that warrants assassination? As far as I can tell, his “crime” was to exchange a couple of emails with Hasan. Again, as far as I can research, at no time did Awlaki help plan or encourage Hasan’s rampage at Ft. Hood.
    We now assassinate Muslim clerics because the perpetrators of crimes or acts of terrorism exchanged a coupla emails with them? How is that legal or moral? If we target radical religious wackjobs for assassination, then we are going to have to start bombing every fuckin’ community on the globe, starting with Washington DC, and definitely parts of Israel, to say nothing of every other city on the planet.
    I’ve seen a couple of Saudi articles that are quoting Houthis as saying that American jets are bombing the houses of Houthi leaders. Also, I saw one account, thaty seems to have dissappeared, of a guy in a “fine suit” lubricating this “bomber’s” way through airport security. I will try to find that nmews item again and post it here.
    We are getting fucked once more, with a transparent charade. This bastard Obama is proving to be every bit the sleazeball George Bush and Dick Cheney were.

    Reply

  39. DonS says:

    You are absolutely right Paul. And the thing is that the actual threat is/will be insignificant. But the surreal script that the US is writing for itself will be the operative factor and demand more war mongering response.
    As I tried to lamely write upthread, the escalation in Afghanistan might not be the sole causative factor, and likely isn’t, but it’s hard not to see it all of a piece. But if you are Obama, do you make that connection? Or do you reject it? Or do you just act as if you reject it because you have become prime author of the surreal script, more and more captive to it, and have actually lost flexibility to maneuver along a path of greater sanity?

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I believe this half witted yahoo really thought he was going to bring the plane down, and really thought he got the stuff from Yemeni Al Qaeda. But his handlers KNEW he wasn’t going to bring the plane down, because what they gave him was purposely insufficient to do the job. They also knew he would sing like a bird. Their plan went perfectly.
    Saleh is positively ecstatic this morning. Here comes those American dollars, and plenty of hardware to put down the Houthi insurgency.
    This thing has “patsy” written all over it.

    Reply

  41. Paul Norheim says:

    In the current atmosphere of war mongering rhetoric, global nervousness and security
    obsession (“we demand 100 % protection against terrorist attacks”), one of the
    amateurish attempts by someone among the millions of angry young men out there may
    sooner or later have the same impact as the shots in Sarajevo, 1914. Imagine the
    reactions in US MSM if this amateur happened to be an Iranian student. “Iran is
    attacking us on our own soil… a declaration of war against the US… an attempt to
    exterminate our people just like Hitler and bin Laden and Saddam etc.etc…”

    Reply

  42. DonS says:

    This hapless amateur throws the entire security apparatus into upheaval and gives the warmongers a pitiable excuse to reinforce all their warmongering policies and postures.
    If there is an al quaeda connection there is almost equally certainly an Afghan escalation. Reaction, counter reaction. A few insignificant events triggers massive reaction to the most ‘powerful’ country in the world. Can’t move for the last hour of flight, eh? I thinks that’s too risky; need to bind and gag everyone. Yeah, that’s the ticket; that’ll show them Yemenis! Or Afghanis; of Talibanis. Whatever.
    I think we are doomed; might as well just give the nuclear codes to Rush Limbaugh and have done with it. Turn out the lights; get and extra quart of milk. Any sensible country call the US is toast.
    Maybe Steve’s promised post will be an antidote to the black hole.
    [BTW, 'ddd' at 7:13 is me]

    Reply

  43. Paul Norheim says:

    Sorry: “Useful”…
    And from now off, thanks to this confused young gentleman, I assume that the security
    check on every airport on the planet will be transformed to a strip tease show, with
    guards controlling that what`s hidden in our underwear is not made in Yemen.

    Reply

  44. Paul Norheim says:

    BTW: if eye witness reports are credible, the Nigerian guy in Detroit was obviously
    a confused and scared amateur. But nevertheless highly usable for political
    purposes.

    Reply

  45. Paul Norheim says:

    The safe haven argument is an argument for perpetual war. When this argument was used in
    the recent discussions about sending more troops to Afghanistan, we often mentioned
    Yemen and Somalia as examples of other safe havens. But if safe havens were a valid
    argument for military invasions and more troops, America should not only invade Yemen
    and Somalia as soon as possible, but also Eritrea, currently one of the most
    authoritarian regimes in the world under dictator Esaias, who have been supporting the
    bad guys in Somalia for many years in Eritrea`s proxy war with Ethiopia. That would make
    the “regime change” crowd and the “nation building” crowd happy too.
    And then – big surprise! – new safe havens would be established in, say, Sudan, Chad or
    Northern Nigeria, etc. etc.
    Is this the future? Destroying and rebuilding a couple of countries at the time, with
    the attacked and the attackers moving from territory to territory on different
    continents of the world — until the whole concept and vision of militant Islamism
    eventually dies out, after decades, or centuries?

    Reply

  46. Dan Kervick says:

    Welcome back, Paul.
    Hey, good thing we’re knocking out all of those safe havens in Afghanistan. I feel so safe now.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’d be more prone to go along with Chris-Floyd’s take on the thing…..
    Written by Chris Floyd
    Sunday, 27 December 2009 01:29
    Instant Karma: New US War Target Gets Its Own Terror Icon
    Wow, that didn’t take long at all. Scant days after the American war machine took the cloaking device off its direct military involvement in Yemen, we have an alleged attempted terrorist attack by an alleged attempted terrorist who, just scant hours after his capture, has allegedly confessed to getting his alleged attempted terrorist material from … wait for it … Yemen!
    Yemen-trained terrorists on the loose in American airplanes! At Christmas! Great googily moogily! It’s a good thing our boys are on the case over there right now, pounding the holy hell outta some of them Al Qaeder ragheads! And to think, a few pipsqueaky fifth columnists had been starting to wonder why we were killing dozens of innocent civilians on behalf of an authoritarian regime embroiled in a three-way civil war on the other side of the world.
    Well, now they have their answer, by God! Alleged attempted terrorists allegedly trained in Yemen! What else do you need — a freaking warrant or something? We would obviously be justified in nuking that desert hell-hole and everybody in it! Just think of it — some guy with some kind of something on an airplane, right there in the Heartland! You gonna stand for that? Exterminate the brutes!
    And yet, because we are good, because we are godly, because our heart is always in the right place, even when — as President Obama himself admitted in his noble Nobel Speech — we sometimes make mistakes, we have not brought down the full force of the iron rod that God himself has placed into our hands for the chastisement and right order of the world. No, there will be no nukes falling on the children of Yemen tonight. But boy howdy, they’d better get ready for some sure-enough heavy ordnance — fired from distant ships, from far-flung bases and from computer consoles in leafy Stateside suburbs, where you can bravely kill some alleged attempted somebody-or-other (and everyone in their immediate vicinity), and still make it home in time to to eat supper with the kids.
    So here we are. Just one day after the alleged attempted terrorist incident in Detroit, we already have headlines blaring in the New York Times, the “paper of record,” tying the alleged attempt to Yemen. How quick and convenient is that? Already the echo chamber is roaring with the all-justifying cacophony: “Terror, Yemen, al Qaeda, Homeland, Bomb, Terror, Yemen, Yemen, al Qaeda.”
    And it must be true, right? I mean, just look at how well-sourced the NYT story is. “A law enforcement official” — Police captain? State trooper? G-Man? Traffic cop? — said that the alleged attempted terrorist said he’d got his “explosive chemicals” from Yemen. (Elsewhere in the paper, other unnamed officials told NYT reporters that the alleged material strapped to the alleged attempted terrorist was “incendiary,” not explosive. But who cares? “Bomb, Terror, Yemen!”)
    Of course, the NYT noted that “authorities have not independently corroborated the Yemen connection claimed by the suspect” (nor, they could have added, have they independently corroborated that the claim was actually made), but still, the completely anonymous “law enforcement official” said that the suspect’s claim “was plausible,” and even added: “I see no reason to discount it.”
    Well, it doesn’t get more solid than that, does it? They nailed that story down so tight you couldn’t pry it open with God’s own crowbar. An anonymous source confirmed the plausibility of his own claim. Man, that’s ironclad. It’s certainly good enough to light up the media firmament with headlines linking “terror in the Heartland” with the empire’s newest killing field in a volatile foreign land.
    And it turns out that the suspected attempted terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was already on the radar of our all-encompassing security services — just like the last Muslim terrorist in the heartland, Major Nidal Hasan. (And, for that matter, just like many of those accused of carrying out the 9/11 attack.) As in almost all of these cases, the question arises: Who is running whom? (For more, see “Darkness Renewed: Terror as a Tool of Empire.”)
    But this query is precisely the kind of pantywaist handwringing that rightly goes down in the flood of the he-man Homeland Security strutting that always follows these incidents. As we noted here the other day, there’s no time for depth, context, history — or even facts — when the “frame” is screaming “Terror!”
    In any case, whatever facts about the case — or rather, shards and splinters of filtered information — that are allowed to emerge from the depths of the security apparat, you can be absolutely sure that, as always, the “facts will be fixed around the policy.”
    And what is that policy? Why, endless war, of course! The American war machine (which now dominates most of “civilian” society as well) is like a shark: it must keep moving, and feeding, or die. “Terror, Bomb, Yemen!”
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/frontpage.html

    Reply

  48. ... says:

    i thought emptywheels comments on the yemen and drone attacks were pretty good….
    Peace on Earth Air Strike in Yemen
    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/12/24/peace-on-earth-air-strike-in-yemen/

    Reply

  49. ddd says:

    Why did Obama kill the Dawn Johnson nomination to head the Office of Legal Council. Some think he never really wanted her, and her Constitution-supporting principles [against the incursion of the surveillance state] in the first place:
    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/12/25/why-was-dawn-johnsen-nomination-killed/
    Little by little we continue to see Obama creating the pattern of acquiescing and promoting the “security state”. Many continue to hope and expect him to advocate and act on some progressive issues, including LGBT rights, especially in the military. And, indeed, he may throw a crumb here and there, but with upcoming elections — then the start of the ’12 cycle — less risky rather than more may be in the cards for this president who seems to favor reinforcing a center right image and clientele.
    And with the right wing already starting to use the Nigerian ‘terrorist’ affair to bash Obama on security, we can expect him to act tougher and talk tough, which of course has already started. Obama responds to pressure from the right. He undermines and attacks the left. Consequently the center drifts to the right.
    Jane Hamsher seems to thinking finding ways to play hardball with the Obama administration is the way to go, witness her partnering with Grover Norquist to dig into Rahm’s history:
    http://firedoglake.com/2009/12/23/why-i-reached-out-to-grover-norquist-on-fanniefreddie/
    I tend to agree with the idea that Obama needs to be shown force on behalf of progressive ideas and agenda. His demonstrated subservience to the right, and willingness to sacrifice and compromise demands of other than rightists becomes more patent daily.

    Reply

  50. David says:

    Gotta love the pups, and POA, I loved this one: I’ll put in a good word for you when covering all my spiritual bases. I guess I’ll have to add “The God of Norheim’s Recovery” to my list of spiritual addressees. He’s right down the hall from “The God of I Wish Nadine Would Just STFU”. Still chuckling.

    Reply

  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This transparent skit benefits Saleh far more than it benefits Al Qaeda in Yemen.

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Like POA, I hope that Steve or someone in his staff will soon write a sober and
    informative post about the developments in Yemen”
    Well, I hope Steve does, but I also hope Katcher stays away from it. As far as I am concerned, Katcher’s posts about Turkey that excluded Turkey’s reasoning behind strained relations between Israel and Turkey robbed him of all credibility. I don’t trust one damned thing the guy says.
    How Bushinesque that this “terrist”, who got his dime store fireworks from the nasty Yemeni boogie men, would do his evil doer deed at this time, eh?
    One of two possibilities…..
    False flag.
    or….
    A demonstration of what a fuckin’ joke the draconian measures of “security”, foisted on us under the guise of the GWOT, are at actually preventing a determined hi-jacker or terrorist from committing an act of terrorism. Billions upon billions thrown at these gargantuan clusterfucks like “The Department Of Homeland Security”, and some half retarded yahoo can apparently still get on an aiplane with a syringe full of incendiary liquids, or worse, simply stroll across our southern border with a vial of biological or chemical weaponry.
    But the coincidental timing of this so called “attempt” is setting off ALL the alarm klaxons in my head. “Patsy” is written all over this thing. This is Bush 101 for the complete idiot.
    Ah so, so those nasty Al Qaeda boogie men in Yemen DO plan on attacking us on our own soil? Ooooh, geeee, so thats why we are sending missiles in to prop up Saleh. Well hey, its ok now I understand, yeah golly, they hate us for our freedoms.

    Reply

  53. The Bobs says:

    Welcome back to Nevada Steve. I know exactly where that picture was taken. A belated Merry Christmas to you, Oakley, Annie and Buddy! Another lovely, but cold, day here.

    Reply

  54. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks to all of you for your kind and encouraging words. Don, I guess things
    were different in 1962. It`s actually going surprisingly well so far; now I can
    even type with the fingers on my right hand if I`m careful (my toe-typing
    skills are not needed this time…). But I am not allowed to lift anything more
    heavy than a glass of water for the coming 8 weeks. Which means a very quiet
    life, reading books and watching movies until springtime. It suits me well, and
    I have no reason to complain.
    And now that the domestic health care stuff has been thoroughly discussed, I
    may even write a comment or two when Steve starts writing more foreign policy
    posts again. Apropos that: last night I noticed that a CNN commentator was
    eager to link the alleged plane attack by the Nigerian man to Yemen. Another
    commentator falsely claimed that Amsterdam was a dangerous place due to the
    cartoon controversy (which actually happened in Denmark, not in Holland). Like
    POA, I hope that Steve or someone in his staff will soon write a sober and
    informative post about the developments in Yemen.

    Reply

  55. ... says:

    hey paul.. get well quick! happy holidays to everyone here…

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    Best wishes to all for the holidays, and that goes especially for Steve.
    I also wish you, Paul, a full and fast recovery, and expect you will use the time in the best way you can. I was in a car accident (1962) that resulted among other things in a badly broken right arm; I was fortunate to be taken to a training hospital (actually in a rural area of New York State with great doctors or likely it would have been amputated. Anyway I was in a cast for 9 months which required a lot of learning curve on writing with the left. Today things might be a bit better, with differently treatment modalities, and computer usage, etc. Hopefully things will go smoothly for you Paul.

    Reply

  57. questions says:

    Paul, yikes! I hope your recovery is speedy. Right and left sides both damaged — THAT truly is unfair. You’re left with toe-typing. Start working on the skill, man!
    Best holiday wishes….

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul, I wish you a speedy recovery. In truth, your absence has been one of the reasons I’m posting less. Your contributions here add to the experience.
    Get well, heal.
    I’ll put in a good word for you when covering all my spiritual bases. I guess I’ll have to add “The God of Norheim’s Recovery” to my list of spiritual addressees. He’s right down the hall from “The God of I Wish Nadine Would Just STFU”.
    I hope your recovery guy has a bit more pull than Nadine’s STFU guy has.
    Merry Christmas all.
    Wish me luck, I’m about to descend into hell, Los Angeles. “The God of Cantcha Just Dump It In The Ocean And Get it Over With?” has been less than receptive to my evening missives.

    Reply

  59. Paul Norheim says:

    Merry Christmas, Steve – and happy/merry whatever to all the commenters at TWN
    (atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims alike)!
    I was involved in a traffic accident a couple of weeks ago. Result: a broken right
    arm and left shoulder and some minor injuries in both legs etc. Spent a long week
    in a hospital – off line, and mostly even unable to read… Now I`m back at home,
    and basically I`m fine. However, I won`t be commenting here as often as I may have
    wished during the next couple of weeks – but I`ll be reading Steve`s posts and the
    comments – as always.

    Reply

  60. Steve Clemons says:

    Liz…I was thinking you might enjoy that one.
    Kotz…many thanks! And many a great challenge for you next year.
    POA, we’ll have fun next year on lots of themes, promise.
    Nelson, you are a spammer, but at least a personal one — I removed the line you were trying to embed, but thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas.
    Questions…thanks for adding value here.
    Mr. Murder — always great to hear from you..
    Erich, Linda, eeasy, Paul Norheim and others — a Merry Ho-Ho!
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  61. liz says:

    Merry Christmas Steve, Annie, Oakley and Buddy.
    I’ve waited all year for this picture.
    Thanks.

    Reply

  62. liz says:

    Merry Christmas Steve, Annie Oakley and Buddy.
    I’ve waited on this picture all year long~

    Reply

  63. Nelson says:

    Merry Christmas and happy new year to these puppies as well!!

    Reply

  64. questions says:

    Merry merry and happy happy to one and all.
    Thanks again for a thoughtful and sensible space on the web. It’s quite an addition to the universe.

    Reply

  65. Pahlavan says:

    Cheers, Steve. Your blog and its contributors are my 2009 jewel of the cyberspace. Merry Christmas to all of you.

    Reply

  66. kotzabasis says:

    A happy and a challenging New Year to you Steve and to your staff.
    Kotz

    Reply

  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Merry Christmas, Steve.
    I hope, SOON, you’ll give us your take on Obama’s miltary action in Yemen, Hillary’s State Department’s initial lies, (denying our involvement), and Obama’s neo-con method of selling more war; finding an “al Qaeda” presence in every country that has a despot we either want to prop up with military assistance, or take down by claiming Al Qaeda affiliation.
    Are we so damned stupid we are going to keep buying into this bullshit?

    Reply

  68. Mr.Murder says:

    “…and so when we say ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,’ we’re really saying that human life is too sacred to be taken on the battlefields of the world.”
    -Martin Luther King,Jr
    Christmas Eve 1967
    Ebenezer Baptist Church,
    Atlanta
    Thanks Steve, Oakley the Amazing Rainbow Weimarer, Annie, Buddy, all TWN staff and family!

    Reply

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