Friday, January 23, 2009

Wounded Vets Walk Out on Inaugural Ball
by Josh Painter
Thursday, January 22nd at 10:43AM EST

Tuesday night marked the latest in a series of missteps with the military for a new president (whose need for on-the-job training is painfully obvious) and/or his supporters:
An inaugural ball honoring U.S. military veterans ended in a kerfluffle as several veterans walked out when a musical act’s attempt at humor backfired.


Obama to 'Reassure' Muslims
by (more by this author)

At last the triumphant day has come, and Barack Obama is President of the United States. Few presidents have taken office burdened with such high expectations -- and one of the chief items on the new Chief Executive’s to-do list is, as he himself put it, to “reboot America’s image in the world and also in the Muslim world in particular.” Obama thinks of himself as uniquely- equipped to do this.

He explained early in his presidential campaign that “I think the world would see me as a different kind of President, somebody who could see the world through their eyes….If I convened a meeting with Muslim leaders around the world, to discuss how they can align themselves in our battle against terrorism, but also put our, the relationship between the West and the Islamic world on a more productive footing, I do so with the credibility of somebody who actually lived in a Muslim country for a number of years.”

January 23, 2009
Exclusive: Closing Gitmo – Making Us ‘Feel Good’ at the Expense of National Security

The Editors

Following his suspension of war crimes trials at Guantanamo Bay, also known as Gitmo, President Obama issued the executive order on January 22nd that the military prison facility housing Islamic terrorists captured on the battlefield will be closed within one year.

In an especially reassuring moment during the public announcement, Obama stopped to ask attorney Greg Craig how the “disposal” of the detainees would be handled and was reminded that the process has yet to be worked out. Speaking of reassurance, during a Jpress conference with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Major Garrett of FOX news asked if the Army manual would be the new guide for interrogation techniques, since Obama has renounced such techniques as waterboarding.

Gibbs said he would have to refer to Greg Craig for guidance. He was also unable to explain how this new policy would make Americans “safer.”


Day One at DHS Starts with 5 Directives

Day One at DHS started with Secretary Napolitano at the helm issuing five Action Directives centered on the Protection mission for the Department.

The directives request internal reviews to be conducted on how DHS protects critical infrastructure, conducts risk analysis, shares information with state and local authorities, “integration” of DHS engagement of states, localities, and tribes, and protection measures aimed at air, surface, and maritime transportation sector.

The last one includes a “side by side comparison of the threat environment, resources and personnel devoted to each transportation sector.”


Freed by the U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.

The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.


Islamic Terrorists Forming Cells In America
Abdurahman Alamoudi, former president of the American Muslim Foundation, actively raised money for Hezbollah as well as Hamas.

Hezbollah Expected To Be A Major Threat By 2014

By David Bedein, Middle East Correspondent

Published: Friday, January 23, 2009
Abdurahman Alamoudi, former president of the American Muslim Foundation, actively raised money for Hezbollah as well as Hamas. (Rachel Griffith/UPI)

Jerusalem — Hezbollah could be one of the first security challenges faced by the new Obama administration. An official government report concludes the Iranian-backed Islamic terror group has been forming sleeper cells throughout the United States that could become operational.

The report estimates Hezbollah could become a much more potent national security threat by 2014. The group was responsible for the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, which killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French servicemen.“The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah does not have a known history of
fomenting attacks inside the U.S., but that could change if there is some
kind of ‘triggering’ event, the homeland assessment cautions,” the report

The report, obtained by the Middle East Newsline and marked “for official use only,” did not define a “triggering
event.” Most of the threats cited in the report had been raised by the
Homeland Security Department.

The 38-page report, titled 2008 Interagency Intelligence Committee on
Terrorism, said Hezbollah was being directed by the leadership in Lebanon as
well as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).The assessment said the
Hezbollah network in the United States was engaged in money laundering, drug
trafficking, weapons smuggling and extortion.

The terror group has also established fundraising connections with mainstream American Muslim organizations, among the most notable being the case of Abdurahman Alamoudi, the former head of the American Muslim Council. Mr. Alamoudi, prior to his having pleaded guilty in 2004 for having tried to launder Libyan money for various terror groups, actively worked to raise money for Hezbollah among others.

He also formerly helped oversee the appointment of Islamic chaplains in the U.S. military.Hezbollah is one of several terrorist threats to the United States
over the next five years, the report said. The report also cited al-Qaida as a
leading threat, saying the Islamic network was focusing on striking strategic U.S. facilities.

“The threat of terrorism and the threat of extremist ideologies has not
abated,” former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said prior to leaving office yesterday. “This threat has not evaporated, and we can’t turn the page on it.”David Bedein can be reached at:


... wonder what the implications of such high penetration levels is,

Huawei continues African expansion with training centre in Angola October 28, 2008By Thabiso MochikoShenzhen - Chinese telecoms equipment company Huawei will open another training centre in Angola as it expects bullish growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

The company's revenue from the region last year grew to $2 billion (R22 billion at yesterday's exchange rate) from $1.6 billion in the previous year.

In July the company opened its first training centre in South Africa, bringing its centres on the continent to a total of five - with others in Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya - to cater for the rapid growth in new wireless technologies such as WiMax at operators including Neotel and MTN. Bo Xue, the company's managing director for sub-Saharan Africa, said on Friday that there was a need for specialists in technologies such as WiMax and fourth generation, and that getting them from China or Europe was a short-term solution.

The sustainable long-term solution would be to invest in training local people.Xue added that Huawei's success could be attributed to its responsiveness to customers' needs, providing customised products and services, and investment in research and development (R&D).

Ross Gan, Huawei's global head of corporate communications, said that although the company's growth was spread evenly across all the markets where it operated, emerging markets' growth was bullish because of population growth and low telecoms penetration rates.

Huawei, which was established in 1988, invests 10 percent of its annual revenue in R&D.

It has 12 R&D centres worldwide, with the biggest in China and India. About 43 percent of Huawei's 87 000 employees are in R&D activities. Last year the Shenzhen-based company reported revenue of $16 billion, which is expected to grow to $23 billion this year. Huawei's R&D is driven by its customer requirements.

It plans to develop products specific to the African market, to expand telecoms coverage for the largely untapped continent.Xingang Lu, the director for wireless network branding at Huawei, said the group was in talks with companies such as MTN and Vodacom to develop such products. He said the continent faced challenges such as the availability of electricity. The plan was to extend signal coverage using energy-efficient technology.

Huawei, which supplies telecoms network technologies such as WiMax, code division multiple access and GSM, and manufactures handset equipment, has been growing at a robust rate in Africa and other emerging markets such as the Middle East over the past five years.

The company opened its offices in South Africa in 1998. Its South African revenue was $40 million last year, while sales in Nigeria were $600 million. Further growth is expected this year following new contracts from companies such as Neotel.


Bruce Bawer
Submission in the Netherlands
The trial of Geert Wilders represents another blow against Dutch freedom.

22 January 2009

“The Freedom Party (PVV),” read yesterday’s press release, “is shocked by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s decision to prosecute Geert Wilders for his statements and opinions. Geert Wilders considers this ruling an all-out assault on freedom of speech.”

The appalling decision to try Wilders, the Freedom Party’s head and the Dutch Parliament’s only internationally famous member, for “incitement to hatred and discrimination” against Islam is indeed an assault on free speech. But no one who has followed events in the Netherlands over the last decade can have been terribly surprised by it.

Far from coming out of the blue, this is the predictable next step in a long, shameful process of accommodating Islam—and of increasingly aggressive attempts to silence Islam’s critics—on the part of the Dutch establishment.


A member of Saudi Arabia's royal family warned U.S. President Barack Obama Friday the Middle East peace process and U.S.-Saudi ties were at risk unless Washington changed tack on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel had come close to "killing the prospect of peace" with its offensive in Gaza, Prince Turki al-Faisal wrote in an article published on the Financial Times's website.

"Unless the new U.S. administration takes forceful steps to prevent any further suffering and slaughter of Palestinians, the peace process, the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the stability of the region are at risk," said Turki, a former Saudi intelligence chief and former ambassador to the United States and Britain.

About 1,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians, were killed and 5,000 wounded during the 22-day offensive, which ended with a ceasefire Sunday.


Taliban gun down teacher for not hiking 'salwar' above ankles
23 Jan 2009, 1440 hrs IST, PTI

ISLAMABAD: A teacher who once fought as a mujahideen against Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan has been gunned down by the Taliban in Pakistan's troubled Swat valley for not hiking up his 'salwar' or trousers above his ankles.

Though the Pakistani Taliban have not issued any edict for the salwar to be worn in this manner, there have been reports of the militants threatening men for not hiking up their trousers. The militants say hiking up the trousers is essential for offering prayers.


Sleeper Agent What will Obama do with the only enemy combatant held on U.S. soil? by Thomas Joscelyn 01/23/2009 12:00:00 AM

AS ONE OF HIS FIRST acts as president, Barack Obama ordered his new cabinet to review the case of Ali Saleh Khalah al Marri, the only "enemy combatant" held in the continental United States. On Thursday, January 22, President Obama ordered his executive branch to undertake "a prompt and thorough review of the factual and legal basis for al Marri's continued detention, and identify and thoroughly evaluate alternative dispositions."

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