Recent News from ACT! for America

comment by Jerry Gordon

captnyol58807290432security_reform_nyol588.jpgYesterday, we posted a wire service story about a Period of Heightened Awareness given a variety of factors that provoked the FBI and the DHS to signal that something could be up with Al Qaeda during the Presidential campaign to mid-year 2009. You would think that we’d have better intelligence than that. Apparently not, according to a Congressionally mandated Project on National Security Reform.

Note these comments from the Study team director and former US UN ambassador Thomas Pickering:

    The study, mandated by Congress, was undertaken by the Project on National Security Reform. The research was conducted by more than 300 national security experts from think tanks, universities, federal agencies, law firms and corporations.
    A final version with recommended reforms, including a proposal for new security legislation, is expected to be issued in October.

    “We will approach whoever is elected before the inauguration and will be having discussions with campaign staffs between now and the election,” James R. Locher III, executive director of the project, said in an interview.

    “We will draft presidential directives that can be imposed by the new president immediately,” Locher said.

    Thomas J. Pickering, a former career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement that the findings would be valuable to the next president and to Congress.

    “Our national security system is broken and needs fixing,” he said.

    “Agencies need to cooperate rather than compete with each other as they work to protect the United States from a broad range of new dangers never imagined” when the national security system was initiated in 1947, Pickering said.

My problem is that this report on national security reform, that was taxpayer funded, will likely lead to nothing. Especially when ‘shadow warriors’ enablers like Amb.Pickering and former National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft are involved. And what is their biggest innovation? A “Doomsday Clock” equivalent to the famous Atomic clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists used during the Soviet cold war era usual showing the hands at less than five minutes a nuclear showdown at Noon. My problem with reports on reforming national security is that with an intelligence and counterterrrosim community so riddled with political correctness and fearful of tackling fundamentalist Islamic Jihad terror-the threat of the 21st Century - nothing from these gray beards and think tanks will help plan to combat it. Ask one simple question. Was Steve Coughlin, the lone expert of the Islamic law war doctrine at the Pentagon involved in this report? The answer: probably not.

by Barry Schweid, AP, July 28, 2008

WASHINGTON - In a report aimed at the next president, security specialists are proposing a vast overhaul of the U.S. security system, declaring it problem-plagued.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, said frequent feuding and jurisdictional disputes among Cabinet secretaries and other agency heads force the president to spend too much time settling internal fights.
Time and money are wasted on duplicative and inefficient actions, slowing down government responses to crises, the report said.
The president and his top advisers focus on day-to-day crisis management rather than long-term planning, “allowing problems to escape presidential attention until they worsen and reach the crisis level,” said the report, to be issued later in the week.
The study, mandated by Congress, was undertaken by the Project on National Security Reform. The research was conducted by more than 300 national security experts from think tanks, universities, federal agencies, law firms and corporations.

A final version with recommended reforms, including a proposal for new security legislation, is expected to be issued in October.

“We will approach whoever is elected before the inauguration and will be having discussions with campaign staffs between now and the election,” James R. Locher III, executive director of the project, said in an interview.

“We will draft presidential directives that can be imposed by the new president immediately,” Locher said.

Thomas J. Pickering, a former career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement that the findings would be valuable to the next president and to Congress.

“Our national security system is broken and needs fixing,” he said. (Continue Reading this Article)

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

ahmadinejad-and-centrifuges.jpgMahdist President Ahmadinejad announced today that Iran has 6,000 centrifuges whirling away ramping up production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. Israeli intelligence officials say, nah, it’s more like 3,500 to 4,000. Then, Ahmadinejad isn’t exactly the fount of truthfulness these days after he photoshopped the missile episode a few weeks ago that spiked oil futures prices to a peak of $147.00 a barrel of crude oil before they plummeted by $20.00. This latest gaffe was preceded by an announcement that the UN IAEA wouldn’t be allowed any more spot inspections.

Witness these comments from Ahmadinejad and his minions in Tehran and the unidentified Israeli official:

    “Today, they have consented that the existing 5,000 or 6,000 centrifuges not be increased and that operation of this number of centrifuges is not a problem,” state radio quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

    “Announcements like this, whatever the true number is, are not productive and will only serve to further isolate Iran from the international community,” said White House spokesman Carlton Carroll.

    The Israeli official explained that by exaggerating the numbers, the Iranian president hopes to achieve two goals.

    First, he exerts pressure on his own nuclear technicians to step up the pace of their work aimed at producing enough fissile material to make a bomb.

    Second, Ahmadinejad seeks conflict with the West so he can portray himself as the defender of Iranian national interests in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections.

    Ahmadinejad has failed to deliver on promises of improving the economy and creating jobs, and the nuclear issue remains his only hope of drumming up much needed domestic political support.

    “Ultimately it is not president Ahmadinejad who decides Iran’s nuclear policy but the country’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei,” the Israeli official explained. “Ahmadinejad will not compromise because he seeks confrontation, but Khamenei or another presidential candidate may be tempted to accept a compromise package drawn up by the West in return for halting uranium enrichment.”

Whatever the truth, it looks like Bush is not going to pursue any military option to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities before the end of his Administration. It may be left for Israel to do that, sometime between the US Presidential November election and January, 2009 inauguration, according to former US UN Ambassador John Bolton. Others contend that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities could come earlier. A lot depends on whether Israel’s PM Olmert, under intense police investigation for campaign cash corruption survives a primary context and someone more effective as a leader replaces him. That is a lot of ifs on the political side of the agenda there.

by Mark Weiss and AP, Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2008

sraeli officials have expressed doubt over claims by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday that his country now possesses 6,000 centrifuges.
Iranian President Mahmoud…

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks in a ceremony at Iran’s uranium enrichment facility in Natanz.
Photo: AP
Slideshow: Pictures of the week

Ahmadinejad’s announcement, reported by a semi-official news agency, is a significant increase in the number of uranium-enriching machines in Teheran’s nuclear program. It also comes a week after the US reversed course in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program by sending a top American diplomat to participate in talks between Teheran and world powers.

But an Israeli official who closely monitors the Iranian nuclear program told The Jerusalem Post that Ahmadinejad was probably lying.

“Our assessment, based on the latest available information and recent reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency, is that the figure of 6,000 centrifuges is unlikely,” the official said. “We believe a figure of between 3,400 and 3,500 is more accurate.” (Continue Reading this Article)

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

isna_logo_main2.gifThe Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) had previously filed motions in the Dallas Federal Court re-trial of the Holy Land Foundation case asking to be expunged from being accused of being an unindicted co-conspirator. Now, as this IPTNews report cites, the ISNA and NAIT, Muslim Brotherhood fronts admit that there was a connection to funneling zakat or Muslim charity funds to the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas. But, get this, it doesn’t matter because it was an ‘old story’ and besides the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) hasn’t accused the ISNA and NAIT of doing anything criminal, has it? We now see that this re-trial of the Holy Land Foundation case will become another legal circus, unless the USDOJ crosses the Rubicon and drops the ‘unindicted’ moniker for the real one, indicted.

IPTNews, July 25, 2008

In its latest filing before the federal district court in Dallas on behalf of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its affiliate organization, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) in the Hamas-terrorism financing case, the ACLU has made a noteworthy admission.

Rather than deny that there is copious evidence tying ISNA and NAIT to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the brief argues that such evidence is merely dated. In a curious footnote on page 7, the reply states:

    Assuming the authenticity of documents’ dates, the most recent documents to mention either ISNA or NAIT are dated 1991, Gov. Exhs. 3-3 and 3-85, but the majority of the documents are older. Almost all of the numerous exhibits that purport to show financial transactions and that contain any mention of ISNA or NAIT are dated 1988 and 1989 (there are two dated 1990), almost a decade before the majority of the overt acts the government alleges in support of its conspiracy charges against the HLF defendants.

So ISNA and NAIT are not saying that the documents tying their organizations to Hamas are “inauthentic,” but that the problem with the evidence is just that it is old. Then, even more curiously, the reply goes on to argue something that the government has not even alleged:

    Even if the “evidence” provided some basis for alleging criminality against petitioners, the government’s discussion of it shows the government utterly fails to grasp the singular weight and consequence that an official accusation of criminal conduct carries in our criminal justice system and in our society.

But, of course, the government has not charged ISNA or NAIT with criminal conduct, or the two groups would be indicted in their own right, rather than un-indicted co-conspirators who worked with the Holy Land for Relief and Development (HLF), the defendant and alleged Hamas-front. The reply brief then, as Shakespeare might write, “doth protest too much.” (Continue Reading this Article)

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

satellite.jpgA convoy loaded with military gear and supplies for Hizbullah mysteriously explodes in a Tehran suburb last Saturday killing 15.
A military exhibit in a Shiraz Mosque is hit with a bombing attack in May. In 2007, Iranian engineers were killed in a chemical warfare experiment in Syria. A train bringing military supplies to Syria is derailed and explodes in northern Turkey. Something going on in the Islamic Republic. Possible insurgent actions against the Islamic Republic with British and US help? These are what we would call ‘good mysteries.’ Stay tuned.

JP.COM staff, July 25, 2008

A mysterious explosion in a suburb of Teheran that killed 15 people last Saturday was likely an attack on a Iranian military convoy carrying arms to Hizbullah, the Telegraph reported Friday.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards imposed a news black-out immediately after the blast, but the UK newspaper reported that it looked like sabotage was responsible for destroying the convoy as it traveled through Khavarshahar.

The newspaper noted that the company responsible for moving the military equipment, LTK, was owned by the Revolutionary Guards and was allegedly involved in shipping arms to Hizbullah.

Last Saturday’s incident was the latest in a series of mysterious explosions in the Islamic republic.

In May, Iran blamed British and US agents for an explosion at a mosque in Shiraz that had just been the site of a military exhibition.

In 2007, more than a dozen Iranian engineers lost their lives while trying to fit a chemical warhead to a missile in Syria.

A few months earlier, a train apparently carrying military supplies to Syria was derailed by an explosion in northern Turkey.

 

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