Friday, December 16, 2005

Headlines You Never Saw and Hopefully Never Will

First, some real Headlines:
Top Israeli General Says WMD Moved to Syria
December 15, 2005

The NY Sun reported yesterday that a top Israeli general for the past several years said that Saddam Hussein moved his Weapons of Mass Destruction to Syria. “The Israeli officer, Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, asserted that Saddam spirited his chemical weapons out of the country on the eve of the war.

"He transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria," General Yaalon told The New York Sun over dinner in New York on Tuesday night. "No one went to Syria to find it."

From July 2002 to June 2005, when he retired, General Yaalon was chief of staff of the Israel Defense Force, the top job in the Israeli military, analogous to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the American military. He is now a military fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Patriot Act renewal blocked in Senate
Fri Dec 16, 2005 01:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied President George W. Bush on Friday and blocked legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act, a centerpiece of his war on terrorism.
On a Senate vote of 52-47, mostly Republican backers of the measure fell eight short of the needed 60 to end debate and move to passage of it.

Proponents of the legislation warned that much of sweeping anti-terror law was to expire at the end of the month, and if it did, the nation could be placed at increased risk.


Perhaps we will soon get definitive evidence on just how close we came to seeing the following headlines for real:

Dirty Bomb Kills Thousands; Thousands More To Die

Special to the Washington Sun

Just after midnight last night, a US citizen named Jose Padilla set off a radioactive “dirty” bomb in a downtown, Baltimore, MD housing project. Upwards of 10,000 people were killed outright, and up to 100,000 more are suffering extensive radiation sickness symptoms. Most of those affected are expected to die within weeks.

Padilla, who trained as an Al Queda terrorist in Afghanistan, was apprehended shortly after being observed remotely detonating the blast using a cell phone. He admitted to FBI questioners shortly after his arrest that he had been supplied with the “dirty” bomb materials by agents of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. Agents have not yet determined the manner in which the materials entered the country. Administration officials vowed that Hamdi would be prosecuted to the “fullest extent of the law”.

"In May, 2002, Jose Padilla was arrested in the United States on charges of terrorism. He was picked up by federal agents at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and was subsequently declared an enemy combatant and accused of working to construct a radioactive dirty bomb. On December 18, 2003, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the government to release Padilla within 30 days, stating that the government did not have the authority to declare a U.S. citizen arrested on American soil an enemy combatant, if there was no clear Congressional authorization. The order was stayed, pending appeal.

Padilla was born in 1971, in New York, and moved to Chicago with his family when he was a child. He was involved in gang violence as a youth, and spent time in juvenile detention for involvement in a murder. Arrested several more times, his last prison stay was in 1991, when he was jailed for a road-rage shooting incident in Florida. He converted to Islam sometime after he was released from prison, and became friends with the head of Benevolence International Foundation, a charity which U.S. investigators have accused of funding terrorist activities. In 1998, Padilla traveled to Egypt, and then to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where he is said to have met up with al-Qaeda operatives. A highly-placed al-Qaeda member named Padilla as having been sent to the U.S. to conduct reconnaisance and carry out attacks on their behalf, leading to Padilla's arrest. Padilla’s case was taken up by various liberal groups, who brought pressure to have him released."

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American Cruise Ship Sunk off Greece, 5200 Lost, Hamdi Identified

Yaser Esam Hamdi has been identified as one of the passengers on the American cruise ship, Aegean Waters, that sank late yesterday with no survivors. The last communication from the ship indicated that Hamdi, with an unknown number of accomplices, had killed several members of the crew and had taken control of the ship.

"Yaser Esam Hamdi was a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan while fighting U.S. forces with the Taliban in 2001. He was named by the U.S. administration as an "illegal enemy combatant", and detained for almost three years without receiving any charges.

He was initially detained at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but was transferred to jails in Virginia and South Carolina after it became known that he was a U.S. citizen.

Critics of his imprisonment claimed his civil rights were violated and that he was denied due process of law, including imprisonment without formal charges and denial of legal representation.In June 2004, the United States Supreme Court rejected the U.S. government's attempts to detain Hamdi indefinitely without trial, reasserting principles of individual liberty threatened by policies enacted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

On September 23, 2004, the United States Justice Department agreed to release Hamdi to Saudi Arabia on the condition that he gives up his U.S. citizenship. The deal also bars Hamdi from visiting Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. Hamdi must notify Saudi officials if he ever plans to leave the kingdom."

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Saudi officials have not yet responded to inquiries concerning Hamdi’s whereabouts.

Massive Anthrax Attack in Israel Kills 540 Visiting American Jews
The Jerusalem Times

Former University of South Florida professor, Sami Al-Arian, acquitted three years ago in a terrorism trial in Florida, announced today through spokesmen in Gaza that the catastrophic anthrax attack at the Shalom Kibbutz in Israel had been planned and organized by him. Along with the more than 3700 residents killed in the attack were 540 American Jewish students and tourists who were visiting and touring the kibbutz at the time of the attack. He said it was “fitting that American Zionist Jews, responsible for supporting the murderous interlopers in Israel, were killed with the rest of the blood-sucking pigs”.

The attack was carried out through the use of airplanes fitted out for spraying insecticides or herbicides that had been adapted for spraying the anthrax. Although Israeli jet planes were able to shoot down the crop-spraying planes, they were too late to stop the attack. Israeli investigators said they had already been able to identify the type of anthrax as a weaponized strain available only in Iraq, and formerly seen only in the United States in 2001 when envelopes containing that strain of anthrax had been mailed to several American officials and newscasters.

"The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation had accused al-Arian and seven others of being involved since 1984 in a criminal organization that assists the Palestinian Jihad movement. The authorities added that this organization had been responsible for hundreds of terrorist acts in Israel, resulting in over 100 deaths and that al-Arian was the Jihad movement's chief of operations in the United States. Al-Arian denied any connection with terrorist activities. Following the publicity regarding his non-academic activities as well as the criminal allegations, he was fired from his university position."

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At 9:58 AM, Anonymous steve said...

Didn't we also determine that many Iraqi aircraft were moved to Syria also to prevent being destroyed by US bombers?
The sooner we finish up in Iraq, the sooner we can move on to Syria and Iran. Better still, we'll take Syria. Let Israel just bomb Iran...that will help with the "general" Iran problem, it will help with the nuclear issue which does in fact threaten Israel (and Israel has a history of acting proactively), and afterward we can deny it even occurred (just like the holocaust)


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