Recent News from ACT! for America

comment by Jerry Gordon

aclu-logo.jpgfbi-logo.jpgThe ACLU and its acolytes on Capitol Hill were complaining about the million names of Americans on the so-called terrorist watch list that invaded our privacy, since 9/11, allegedly. Now comes word that the actual number of terrorists among us has grown from the 5,000 estimated post 9/11 to four times that figure or 20,000. Enough to cause an FBI official, Leonard Boyle to comment on it publicly. Boyle noted on a C-SPAN interview, that the watch list has more like 400,000 names and less than 5% of those are US citizens. That still is no comfort knowing that the 20,000 terrorists are enough to commit mayhem and mini-9/11s here at home.

My problem with the ACLU is that they trumpet the fact that they have a strategic relationship with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) front, CAIR on ‘religious profiling issues’. Not long ago, the ACLU filed a motion on behalf of another MB front, the Islamic Society of North America the Dallas Federal District Court to try and expunge the name of an other unindicted co-conspirator in the retrial of Holy Land Foundation ‘charity’ matter that begins in September. It is no wonder that IBD states that perhaps the ACLU ought to be included on the government ‘watch list’ as a terrorist facilitator.

Investors Business Daily, Editorial, July 25, 2008

Homeland Security: Forced to defend its growing terrorist watch list, the FBI let slip a chilling fact that should silence ACLU grumblers: America is teeming with 20,000 terrorists.

After 9/11, federal authorities estimated that as many as 5,000 terrorists were living in the U.S. The new figure is jarring not only because it’s four times as large but because it’s based on real persons, not estimates.

It’s not something headquarters wanted to publicize. Officials had downplayed the threat so as not to spook the public. The spin had been that Britain has the homegrown problem, not us.

But that was before the ACLU launched a campaign with the Democrat Congress to demonize the watch list as a Gestapo-like tool. The FBI had no choice but to knock down their myths.

The ACLU charged that an “out-of-control” FBI is adding mostly innocent people to the list, ballooning it to “over 1 million names.” “I doubt this thing would even be effective at catching a real terrorist,” ACLU spokesman Barry Steinhardt harrumphed.

In fact, the list has saved countless lives, according to the head of the FBI’s terrorism screening center — an assertion backed up by a recent independent review by the GAO.

And the watch list monitors only 400,000 people, not a million, says the FBI official, Leonard Boyle. The rest are aliases due to the myriad spellings and variations of Arabic surnames.

In a rare public appearance on C-Span, Boyle added that the overwhelming share of individuals on the terrorist list are foreigners, while “5% to 6%” of individuals are U.S. citizens or legal residents.

That still pencils out to at least 20,000 people living in this country right now — at large and on the streets — who have “some relationship with terrorist activity,” as Boyle described it.

They pose a big enough threat for airlines to legally bounce them off planes, and for every law enforcement authority from border agents to local police to detain them for questioning.

At 20,000 strong, these suspected homegrown terrorists number a full army division. And they don’t include the more than 440 active terrorists the Justice Department already has put behind bars since 9/11. Britain, by comparison, is watching just 8,000.

But never mind all that. The ACLU and its allies on the Hill want to scrap the terrorist watch list and take law enforcement’s eye off these potentially dangerous suspects.

In a perfect world, the ACLU might qualify as a terrorist facilitator deserving of its own spot on the list.

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

336667117.jpgbarck-hussein-obama.jpgBarrack Hussein Obama had a large photo op in Berlin yesterday a send up to the late JFK and his “ich bin ein berliner” speech in 1961. But on his media tour of Eurabia, the presumptive Democratic nominee couldn’t take time out to visit severely wounded US troops at the Ramstein Landstuhl medical facility. The reason, ‘no photo ops’. Not sure that went down very well with the hospitalized servicemen and women there, nor does it with many of us who are veterans here in the US.


by Ed Morrissey, HotAir.com, July 25, 2008

NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski & Courtney Kube get the skinny on the abrupt cancellation of Barack Hussein Obama’s visit to Landstuhl & Ramstein yesterday. The campaign tried to excuse it by claiming that it wouldn’t be appropriate to visit while on a campaign-funded portion of his trip, but that wasn’t the real problem. When Barack Hussein Obama found out he couldn’t use the visit as a photo op, he canceled:

One military official who was working on the Obama visit said because political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama’s representatives were told, “he could only bring 2 or 3 of his Senate staff member, no campaign officials or workers.” In addition, “Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama’s visit.”

The official said “We didn’t know why” the request to visit the wounded troops was withdrawn. “He (Obama) was more than welcome. We were all ready for him.”

In fact, those same rules applied for the CODEL trip to Iraq & Afghanistan. They serve to keep politicians from exploiting military facilities for political reasons & to ensure that all visitors get treated fairly. Andrea Mitchell, also of NBC, complained of this very issue during the earlier visits with the troops when she told Chris Matthews that the media couldn’t get access to Obama when visiting troops in Iraq & Afghanistan.

This makes the decision track very clear. Obama & his team set up the visits to military installations before going overseas. After seeing how the media got excluded in Iraq & Afghanistan, they decided it wasn’t worth traveling to Ramstein & Landstuhl to visit the severely wounded troops because they couldn’t bring the campaign & get the photo ops they wanted. Instead, Obama went shopping in Berlin.

As I wrote yesterday, that’s certainly a revealing set of priorities for a man who wants to lead these troops as Commander-in- Chief.

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

islamic-saudi-academy.jpg3913238492.jpgSecretary of State Condi Rice copped out on the decision by the Fairfax County, Virginia leasing property to the Royal Saudi Embassy for the controversial Islamic Saudi Academy and its Islamic studies hate texts the subject of reviews by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Here are the salient comments in the Fairfax County Times article on a State Department Letter sent to Fairfax County:

    “The [State Department] has not objected to the [Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia] leasing the property in question for the Academy,” reads the letter to Fairfax Board chairman Gerry Connolly on behalf of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

    Although the county board voted in May to renew the school’s lease, they reconsidered after the allegations by the USCIRF were released. Since the school is leased through the Saudi Arabian government, Fairfax asked the State Department to weigh in, a request that agency has now denied.

    “No authorization from the Department to renew the lease is required,” the federal response reads, putting the ball firmly in Fairfax County’s court.

Now, the ‘hot potato’, as we have called it, is back in the hands of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Gerry Connelly, the Democratic candidate for a Congressional House seat in the 11th District. We suspect that U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf of northern Virginia will not be pleased by the State Department decision. He may possibly call for a hearing by the House State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of House Appropriations Committee on the subject of the ISA and the County request to State that was left to the Board of Supervisors to make a determination. In light of the Second Saudi text studies released by the Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom, both the State Department and Fairfax County are faced with a dilemma, given evidence that the Saudi Education Ministry has not produced texts used by the ISA cleansed of Wahhabi hate doctrine for the new school year as originally promised. Stay tuned for further developments.

By Monty Tayloe, Fairfax County Times, July 23, 2008

The U.S. State Department has left it up to Fairfax County whether to continue leasing county buildings to the Islamic Saudi Academy, a local Islamic school that has operated in Alexandria and Fairfax for more than 20 years.

Textbooks used by ISA were recently found by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to promote religious intolerance and violence.

“The [State Department] has not objected to the [Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia] leasing the property in question for the Academy,” reads the letter to Fairfax Board chairman Gerry Connolly on behalf of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Although the county board voted in May to renew the school’s lease, they reconsidered after the allegations by the USCIRF were released. Since the school is leased through the Saudi Arabian government, Fairfax asked the State Department to weigh in, a request that agency has now denied.

“No authorization from the Department to renew the lease is required,” the federal response reads, putting the ball firmly in Fairfax County’s court.

As of press time, county supervisors had not indicated what their next step might be.

At the academy, school is out for the summer, but the controversy has created a lot of work for school officials, who have worked to create new textbooks without offending passages in time for the coming school year. The new textbooks have been sent out to Islamic studies professors at several American universities for review.

“They’re checking the new books over with this issue in mind,” said ISA Director of Education Rahima Abdullah, referring to the controversial passages.

According to Abdullah, the school is not sure which passages in the old textbooks the USCIRF specifically referred to, but hopes the review will eliminate future problems. Many passages of the school’s old textbooks, which were provided by Saudi Arabia, were not taught at the school, Abdullah said.

The older books included “some extremely troubling passages that do not conform to international human rights norms,” according to USCIRF.

“We don’t teach hate or intolerance,” said Abdullah, whose three children attended the Saudi Academy.

USCIRF Director Judith Ingram said that new books without the controversial language would fix the problem “as long as the new books were publicly available. … They have to be able to be verified.”

The ISA has its hopes set on the upcoming school year, when “the new textbooks will hopefully be ready in time” and the school won’t have to deal with the protesters who marched outside its gates at the close of the last school year, while students were taking their final exams.

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

chesnoffhead.jpgThe Forgotten Refugees they are called. Watch the trailer for the film about their plight and story, here. They are the more than 900,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands after the start of Israel’s War for Independence in 1948. Richard Cheznoff in this Jewish World Review article compares and contrasts the success of absorption of Jews expelled from Arab lands with properties confiscated estimated at being worth over $200 billion today, with the failure to absorb 500 to 600,000 Palestinian Arab refugees ,now grown to over 4 million, huddled in those eyesores-the UNWRA refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and, as we found recently, Iraq. The forgotten Jewish refugees from Arab lands were absorbed by the world Jewish community in Israel and the West without a penny of assistance from the UN or from the US government. Contrast that with the annual half billion budget for the UNWRA eyesores teaching Arab children to hate and harboring terrorists on the payrolls. The UNWRA program has been going onb for over 60 years, with most of the donations coming from Western countries and minimal amounts from wealthy Arab oil sheikdoms. Why our government donates $150 million annually to maintain the third generation of Arab refugees and their descendants from the 1948 Arab Israeli War in these UNWRA camps is beyond comprehension. Save for one aspect. It is propaganda to put the guilt of their alleged expulsion onto the West to force a peace agreement with Israel with billions in compensation, something Saudi Arabia and the wealthy oil Sheikdoms could take care of in a nanosecond, but won’t. Why? Because that would mean recognition of the Jewish state in their midst.

by Richard Z. Cheznoff, Jewish World Review, July 24, 2008

Israel’s birth 60 years ago produced two refugee problems that still haunt us. One we all know about: the flight of some 650,000 Palestinian Arabs from what is now the Jewish state. Most fled out of fear of war, others because they were urged to make way for “victorious” Arab armies, and some — but certainly not most — because Israeli troops drove them out in the heat of battle.

Most other mid-20th century refugee problems were quickly settled (the millions who simulataneously fled Pakistan and India, for example). But the Arab refugee problem has merely festered. Eager to maintain the Jewish character of its sliver of Mideast land, Israel allowed only a handful to repatriate. No Arab state has ever granted them a permanent home, let alone citizenship . Instead, masses of Palestinian refugees have been kept permanently penned up inside overcrowded refugee camps, living off massive international welfare doles, playing the political pawn, and waiting for Israel to die so they can invoke their “Right of Return”. According to UN sources, Palestinian refugees now number more than 4 million.

Compare that to the other, lesser know refugee crisis that coincided with Israel’s birth — the forced exodus of some 900,000 Jews from their centuries old homes in the Arab world; from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Aden, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia , Algeria and Morocco.

These were communities rich in culture, with their own Judeo dialects and traditions, their own rich religious literature, thought and scholars.

To be sure, Jews in the Arab world were occasionally subject to outbreaks of violence, forced conversion and never accepted as anything but Dhimmi — protected second class citizens. Still, this vast Jewish community flourished, most especially in the late fifteenth century when thousands of Sephardic Jews fled the persecutions of Spain and the rest of southern Europe for the relative peace of the Islamic world.

By 1947, close to a million Jews lived in the Arab world. Many played primary roles in local economies, global trade, and medicine. Some became senior advisors to Emirs and Sultans and helped enrich the cities of the Arab world ((EG Baghdad’s pre 1948 Chamber of Commerce was 50% Jewish).

The historic decision to establish the State of Israel changed all that. Outraged by the idea of a Jewish state in their midst, the Arab world turned against its Jews, targeting them with legislated discrimination, government sponsored anti-Semitic riots and murderous pogroms. Faced with growing threats, outright violence and government moves to completely disenfranchise them, close to 900,000 Jews were forced to abandon their ancient homes.

Almost all were allowed to leave only on condition they signed agreements never to return and — most important — to leave their property and belongings behind. Recently uncovered documents indicate that much of this massive theft was a coordinated scheme by several Arab governments to grab Jewish property worth as much as $100 billion.

Today, with the exception of small communal pockets in Morocco, the Arab world is effectively Judenrein. Egypt which once had 180,000 Jews now has only a handful of mostly aged Jews living in Cairo and Alexandria; Iraq which had 160,000 Jews now has 20, Libya and most other Arab states have none.

But here comes the difference between the fates of Arab and Jewish refugees. While the corrupt Arab world condemned Palestinian Arabs to statelessness, squandered chance after chance to make peace with Israel and stole mega-millions in welfare funds, the Jewish state and the world Jewish community worked tirelessly to resettle its fellow Jews from Arab lands. More than half a million have settled in Israel where, after early years of economic and sometimes social hardship, they and their descendants have been successfully integrated and now form more than 50% of the Jewish population. Others found new homes in South America, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada — rebuilding lives while trying to retain their own unique cultural ties and communal institutions.

Most important, not a single Jew from the Arab world remains a “refugee”, not one lives in a squalid camp or demands a “Right of Return” to the Arab world. Above all, not one angry Arab Jewish terrorist has ever strapped a suicide bomb to his or her waist and climbed aboard an Arab bus to murder dozens of innocents.

Next time someone moans to you about the plight of Arab refugees, remind them that there still is another way. And that compensation works in two directions.

 

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