Tag Archives: hypocrisy

Peter King, Talk to Blackwater about Shariah Law

This is fantastic! Jeremy Scahill wrote an article that’s on CBS news today reminding the world that Erik Prince’s Blackwater (now Xe) favored shariah law, at least for the sake of letting them off the hook for the deaths of US servicemen in a plane crash caused by Blackwater pilot negligence. Blackwater has argued that since it occurred in Afghanistan, shariah law should hold sway.

I’ve posted about this before, here in 2008, and again here in 2009, and here in 2010.

Scahill suggests that congressman Peter King (R-NY), IRA supporter and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee (because terrorist sympathizers recognize their own??), talk to Blackwater’s legal counsel Joseph Schmitz, who both decries shariah law and supports it when it suits his clients ends.

Schmitz was among a group of conservative activists and former senior CIA and military officials, led by Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin and Lt. Gen. Edward Soyster, who last September issued a report: “Shariah: The Threat to America.”

In the report, the authors argued, “Today, the United States faces what is, if anything, an even more insidious ideological threat: the totalitarian socio-political doctrine that Islam calls shariah.” They concluded, “proponents of an expansionist shariah present a serious threat to the United States.”

In 2008, in attempting to have the case thrown out of federal court in Florida, Schmitz argued that because the crash occurred in Afghanistan, Sharia law should be applied. Conveniently, Sharia law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

To his credit, the judge in that case did not buy Schmitz’s Sharia law argument. (Needless to say, when Blackwater operatives gunned down seventeen innocent Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Blackwater was not eager to have its men prosecuted under Iraqi law.)

It is such a pleasure to see a story like this on a major news outlet. Read this article, America.

In case you haven’t been following the story, the hypocrisy is particularly juicy because Erik Prince of Darkness is a big donor to Christian causes and has been described by former employees as a man who sees himself as “a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.”

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Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state, domestic terrorism, Our glorious war on terror, outrages

When is Terrorist Sympathizing Not Terrorist Sympathizing?

John Cole at Balloon Juice wonders why Fox News isn’t screaming about several prominent politicians providing material support to terrorists.

Mostly he’s just quoting this blurb from here, the New York Times Opinion Page:

DID former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, a former homeland security secretary, and Frances Townsend, a former national security adviser, all commit a federal crime last month in Paris when they spoke in support of the Mujahedeen Khalq at a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group’s advocates? Free speech, right? Not necessarily.

The problem is that the United States government has labeled the Mujahedeen Khalq a “foreign terrorist organization,” making it a crime to provide it, directly or indirectly, with any material support. And, according to the Justice Department under Mr. Mukasey himself, as well as under the current attorney general, Eric Holder, material support includes not only cash and other tangible aid, but also speech coordinated with a “foreign terrorist organization” for its benefit. It is therefore a felony, the government has argued, to file an amicus brief on behalf of a “terrorist” group, to engage in public advocacy to challenge a group’s “terrorist” designation or even to encourage peaceful avenues for redress of grievances.

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Terrorist Sympathizer to Chair the House Homeland Security Committee

You probably know this already. Rep Peter King (R) of New York is going to become the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.

From a post at Emptywheel:

While the NYT points to what I believe to be the appropriate response to King’s fear-mongering, it misses the mark by about a decade or so. They point to King’s involvement in brokering peace in Northern Ireland. But of course the relevant bit is how King, for years, openly supported Irish terrorists

Emptywheel provides a link to this article in the New York Sun, from 2005:

Since the late 1970s, a Long Island congressman, Peter King, has been aligned with one of the most violent terrorist groups in recent European history, defying critics in his own Republican Party and elsewhere, and yet managing to prosper.

Once a vocal and frequent House champion for the IRA’s political wing, Sinn Fein, and its leader, Gerry Adams, the 60-year-old, Queens-born Mr. King has said nothing about either on the House floor in years. The politician once called the IRA “the legitimate voice of occupied Ireland,” he was banned from the BBC by British censors for his pro-IRA views, and he refused to denounce the IRA when one of its mortar bombs killed nine Northern Irish police officers.

His family hailed from Limerick and Galway, but apart from a great-uncle who was in the IRA in the 1920s

Want to point out that there are probably hundreds of Muslims still locked in secret prisons right now for nothing more than having a great-uncle in a terrorist group.

He forged links with leaders of the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, and in America he hooked up with Irish Northern Aid, known as Noraid, a New York based group that the American, British, and Irish governments often accused of funneling guns and money to the IRA. At a time when the IRA’s murder of Lord Mountbatten and its fierce bombing campaign in Britain and Ireland persuaded most American politicians to shun IRA-support groups, Mr. King displayed no such inhibitions. He spoke regularly at Noraid protests and became close to the group’s publicity director, the Bronx lawyer Martin Galvin, a figure reviled by the British.

Mr. King’s support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.”

Back to the Emptywheel post:

Peter King would still be in prison if the US had treated his material support for terrorism as it now does, with sentences that can amount to a life sentence. Instead, the raging hypocrite is using the Congressional seat he owes, in part, to his earlier embrace of terrorism to sow bigotry and hatred–and to make the cooperation of the Islamic community, which plays a key role in identifying real extremists, more difficult.

It just goes to show. You can’t get taken seriously as a terrorist, or terrorist sympathizer, anymore unless you’re Muslim, black, Arab, or look like you might be, or have a name that indicates that you might be.

From a NYTimes editorial:

He would have bristled at any simplistic talk about the “radicalization” of the Irish Catholic or Protestant communities. Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security is a very serious job. Mr. King needs to get serious.


Filed under bigoted idiots, domestic terrorism, Islamic relations, Our glorious war on terror, outrages

More On Exporting Religious Hatred

The New York Times has a story about the American Christian evangelicals whose anti-homosexual teachings spurred a proposed law in Uganda that called for the execution of homosexuals.

For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.

Oh, they were just fine with it until the American public started making a fuss about it.
Good for the New York Times. You can read the rest of the article there.

But it’s not just these fringe weirdos. Friendly old evangelical Rick Warren was on board with the Uganda death penalty for homosexuality law, too.

Pastor Rick Warren — whom President Obama controversially chose to deliver the invocation at his inauguration — is now refusing to condemn Bahati’s bill, which has been endorsed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa. Ssempa has been welcomed by Warren’s family and made appearances at his church. Newsweek reports that although Warren has distanced himself from Ssempa’s views, he won’t come out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill:

The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.

On Meet the Press yesterday, Warren reiterated, “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.” He has, however, said that abortion is a “holocaust” and pushed for the passage of California’s Prop. 8.

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Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state

The Media Finally Describes White Guy as Terrorist, Kind Of

Two good-old American guys got themselves in the news just recently.

Daniel Murray, who told a Utah bank manager he was “on a mission to kill” President Obama, and John Zaubler, who threatened to kill both President Obama and supreme court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Whoops, I spoke too soon. None of the articles I’ve read about Daniel Murray have mentioned terrorism in any way. As nobody could have predicted, they’re downplaying the whole thing, exactly as they didn’t when they were talking about the four doofuses in New Jersey.

Still, the feds rate Murray’s threat to Obama as “more aspirational than operational.”

The search for the 36-year-old suspect began after Murray made threats against Obama, authorities say.

“We are on a mission to kill the President of the United States,” Murray reportedly said.

The article also fails to include his religious affiliation in a sensationalistic headline, but does accidentally indicate that he might be Christian:

Murray also kept a collection of religious statues, including a “glowing cross,” Anastasia said.

John Zaubler, though, must have crossed the wrong people, because the news is actually using the word “terrorist” in conjunction with his name. Well, they had to, since he was arraigned on charges of making a terroristic threat. How did his lawyers let that slip past them? Surely they had the “But he’s a white guy” defense.

This article in the New York Daily News gives him the treatment we’re used to seeing:

A Manhattan weirdo was busted for calling 911 and making a bizarre threat to “blow up” Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

See? Just a harmless white guy. Everybody knows that white guys are never really dangerous.

Okay, I’ll give you that they both seem like prime losers who never stood a chance of accomplishing their stated aims. On the other hand, the FBI didn’t devote 100 agents and a year’s time to turning them into plausible terrorism suspects in order to make a big splash announcing their arrests, either.

And while I’m riding hobbyhorses here, did you notice the D-Day commemorations going on in Europe? And we think we’re a culture that doesn’t honor martyrdom.

President Barack Obama has promised the United States would never forget the dead of D-Day in 1944, saying the Allied troops killed on Normandy’s beaches changed history.

Mr Obama eulogized more than 9,387 US soldiers killed during the Battle of Normandy, buried at a cemetery overlooking Omaha beach, where US forces stormed ashore under torrents of Nazi fire, 65 years ago to the day.

“Friends and veterans, we cannot forget – what we must not forget – is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century,” he said.

As Mr Obama spoke, he looked over rows of white headstones in the shape of crosses in the distance, each marked by miniature US and French flags, honoring members of the so-called “Greatest Generation” who perished.

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The Season of Self-Flagellation

I just amused myself with a little Google search to find what some Americans have to say about some Shi’a Muslims flagellating themselves during the Ashura holiday, or as the funniest site calls it, “another bloodthirsty Muslim holiday.”

Below are some pictures. They have blood in them, so if you don’t like blood, don’t look. As a buffer, I’ll include some quotes I found during my search:

And we wonder why these people are so violent.

WHat the heck is wrong with these ppl??

What a wonderful religion.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they just stuck to mutilating themselves.

Somebody help them out and use a 20Lb mace across their heads.

The freggin` animals whipping themsleves, yet liberals scream bloody murder if we put uderwear on their heads.

Anything that involves blood, death, beheadings, gore (not Al, I mean the shocking death scenes. Well Al too, but that`s another story) you can bet the muzzies are into it.

Is self-flagellation somehow superior to other-flagellation? I mean, could they earn the same karmic return on their effort if WE beat them with broomhandles or barbed wire? I would be glad to volunteer to take a cat-o’-nine-tails to a whole mosqueful of these losers.

Dear G-d. What a hideous culture.

They’re Muslims, following the “religion of peace” brainwashed from birth, there’s no hope for them. That’s why mosks ans Madrassa’s must be destroyed and new muslims born be given a normal education.

I know this is suppose to be some “holy” holiday, but it looks more like VANITY to me.
A bunch of folks in white clothes (which emphanizes the bloodiness) trying to outwhip each other-“oooh look at me, covered in blood, im so much more holy than you”

Why stop at self flagellation, fellas.
Mass suicide is a much better way of proving your devotion to your beloved allah.

You’re probably wise to my tricks by now. These pictures here aren’t Muslims flagellating themselves, they’re Christians flagellating themselves in celebration of Jesus. Which makes this the funniest quote of all:

And there is a US postage stamp about this “festival”!!!!!!!!!!!
The ideology of death and destruction in the news again!

hahahaha. I searched at the post office’s site and couldn’t find any Ashura, Easter, or Passover stamps, but I did find lots of Christmas stamps.

I will admit that of the pictures I saw, there looked to be a little more blood flowing in the Ashura pictures. And children were participating.

Most Christians don’t flagellate themselves, and neither do most Muslims.

Personally, I haven’t seen The Passion of the Christ, but I understand the flagellation scene is drawn out and extremely explicit. Nevertheless, it was very popular with its target audience of Muslims Christians who enjoy the gore.

Roger Ebert said:

The movie is 126 minutes long, and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen.

A.O. Scott, in The New York Times, said, The Passion of the Christ is so relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus’ final hours that this film seems to arise less from love than from wrath, and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it.”[64]

It is the highest grossing non-English language film and the most successful R-rated film in the United States.[2]

And I once wanted to see it, to see people speaking Aramaic.

If you should be interested, here’s a link to a video of this year’s crucifixions in the Philippines, on YouTube.

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Attention-Getting Headline

This Los Angeles Times story, posted today, has already garnered 1103 comments.

Arab world sees Bush’s response to Georgia-Russia crisis as hypocritical

CAIRO — President Bush’s condemnation of Russia as a bullying intimidator in the Georgian conflict struck a hypocritical note in a Middle East that has endured violent reverberations from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and where the sharp White House rhetoric against Moscow echoes what many Arabs feel in turn about the U.S.

Now Bush’s spirited criticism of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Georgia has raised derisive smirks among Arab commentators, who say the U.S. president is condemning the same power politics he practices.

Bush should be “too ashamed to speak about the occupation of any country, he is already occupying one,” said Mohammed Sayed Said, editor in chief of the Egyptian independent daily Al Badeel. “U.S. forces have been in Iraq for five years and they still fight in an unacceptable manner that violates human rights conventions. Bush had better talk about his own occupation of Iraq.”

It is also widely noted here that Washington stood by uncritically during Israel’s military incursion into southern Lebanon in its 2006 war with Hezbollah.

So when Bush declared Friday that “bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century,” many dismissed his statement as a double standard.

And, just on the off chance that you missed these quotes from recent days, here they are:

“In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.” –John McCain, mid-August 2008

“For anyone who thought that stark international aggression was a thing of the past, the last week must have come as a startling wake-up call.”–John McCain, mid-August 2008

Raise your hand if you thought stark international aggression was a thing of the past.

“Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state…. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century…. We have no doubts about it. This is a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire country and change the regime.”–George W. Bush, August 11 2008

“This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where [you]* can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it.”–Condoleezza Rice, August 13 2008.

*She actually said “Russia.”

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Filed under arab, arabist, War in Iraq

Islamic Law A-Okay Says Christianist Businessman

Eric Prince is the founder and sole owner of Blackwater Worldwide, formerly Blackwater USA. He has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Christianist and Republican causes. Ordinarily, people who support those two things disapprove of Islam and Islamic law.
However, since Mr Prince’s company, Presidential Airways, is being sued by the widows of three American servicemen who died in a crash of that company’s aircraft in Afghanistan, he wants the case tried under Afghanistan’s legal system, based on Shariah (Islamic) law. Because it would let his company, which has been determined to be at fault in the accident, off the hook.

To defend itself against a lawsuit by the widows of three American soldiers who died on one of its planes in Afghanistan, a sister company of the private military firm Blackwater has asked a federal court to decide the case using the Islamic law known as Shari’a.
The lawsuit “is governed by the law of Afghanistan,” Presidential Airways argued in a Florida federal court. “Afghan law is largely religion-based and evidences a strong concern for ensuring moral responsibility, and deterring violations of obligations within its borders.”

If the judge agrees, it would essentially end the lawsuit over a botched flight supporting the U.S. military. Shari’a law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

From another article:

When asked to justify having a case involving an American company working for the U.S. government decided by Afghan law, Prince said: “Where did the crash occur? Afghanistan.”

In a motion filed in April, Blackwater attorneys said “the policy interest of Afghanistan must be considered as it is undisputed that is the place where the injuries occurred. Further, the alleged negligent conduct, from the planning and scheduling of the accident mission to the alleged operation errors, took place in Afghanistan.”

Lawyers for the women say the case was properly filed in Florida because that is where the defendants did business at the time of the crash. Presidential Airways was based in Melbourne, Fla., at the time.

Presidential Airways earlier had argued the lawsuit should be dismissed under the legal doctrine that soldiers cannot sue the government. Presidential Airways was under contract with the U.S. military to fly cargo and personnel around Afghanistan.

But a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused to dismiss the lawsuit on that basis in October.

The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed the crash on Presidential Airways, saying it failed to ensure that its crews followed company policy and Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations and for its “failure to require its flight crews to file and fly a defined route.”

All bolding mine.

Update: I just found this CNN article from Oct of 2007 that included this:

A 2004 crash that killed everyone on board — three crew members and three U.S. troops — was caused by pilots from a Blackwater plane taking a low-level run through a mountain canyon in Afghanistan, testimony revealed Tuesday.

I swear to God, they wouldn’t pay me if they knew how much fun this was,” the doomed plane’s cockpit voice recorder captured the pilot saying shortly before the November 27, 2004, crash.

“You’re an X-wing fighter Star Wars man,” an NTSB report quoted the plane’s co-pilot, Loren Hammer, saying during the flight — a reference to the dizzying battle in the 1977 film.

“You’re [expletive] right. This is fun,” the pilot, Noel English, responded.

About eight minutes later, the plane slammed into the wall of the canyon, which was flanked by ridgelines that rose nearly a mile above surrounding terrain.

When an unidentified passenger asked about the plane’s route before the crash, flight mechanic Melvin Rowe told him, “I don’t know what we’re gonna see. We don’t normally go this route.”

English added, “All we want is to avoid seeing rock at 12 o’clock.”

Federal investigators found each should have been paired with a more experienced aviator, according to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California. Waxman is chairman of the oversight committee, which is investigating Blackwater’s performance on more than $1 billion in U.S. government contracts since 2001.

He said a company e-mail stated the company had overlooked experience requirements “in favor of getting the requisite number of personnel on board to start up the contract.”

“The corporation hired inexperienced pilots. They sent them on a route they didn’t know about,” Waxman said. “It seems to me that it’s more than pilot error. There ought to be corporate responsibility, and Blackwater was the corporation involved.”

Prince said investigators concluded the crash in Afghanistan was not due to corporate error, but pilot error. He rejected Waxman’s contention that the pilots “acted like cowboys.”


Filed under Islamic relations