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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 22, 2009.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Journalist-actor-jihadi killed in Bolivian assassination attempt

Eduardo Rózsa-Flores was a translator for Venezuelan-Muslim terrorist Carlos the Jackal in his college days. He later joined the BBC as a journalist covering the breakup of Yugoslavia.  An Islamic convert, he left the BBC to join the Muslim Croatian army, and was suspected in multiple torture-murders.  He also starred in the 2001 autobiographical movie "Chico".

On April 16, 2009 (last Thursday) Rózsa was killed in a Bolivian hotel room by security forces for his involvement in an assassination attempt on Bolivian President Evo Morales, whom Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called his "dear brother".

There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Arabic-speaking Muslims in the nearby Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.  Among the jihadist groups active in the region are Al Qaeda, Hizb'Allah, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and al-Muqawamah.  Osama Bin Laden visited the region in 1995.

On October 10, 2001, a Hizb'Allah cell from the Tri-Border Area was arrested in Mexico City during an attempt to assassinate another Latin-American leader, Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Time magazine has this article on Rózsa.

Posted on 04/22/2009 1:07 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Muslim woman's appointment as Obama advisor draws cautious optimism

From The Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Cairo -- Egyptians are cautiously rejoicing over the recent appointment of a veiled Egyptian American Muslim woman as an advisor to President Obama.
Dalia Mogahed, senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, was appointed this month to Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The selection of Mogahed is viewed by many in the Middle East as a step by Obama to move beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that Muslims believe they have encountered since the attacks Sept. 11, 2001.
"Dalia Mogahed is the best example of a successful Muslim woman. She proves that the Muslim should be successful in all fields, at least in [her] area of specialization," a commentator wrote on the website of the independent daily Al Masry al Youm.
The Egyptian-born Mogahed moved with her family to the United States almost 30 years ago. Recently, she co-wrote the book "Who Speaks for Islam?" with John Esposito, an American political science professor who has been criticized by some as an Islamic apologist. Mogahed and Esposito published an opinion piece this month in The Times on American ignorance of Islam and the Muslim world.
Yet, Mogahed's declaration that her loyalty goes first to the United States, published Monday in an interview with Al Masry al Youm, disappointed some people.
"I wish your loyalty was to your Islam first, Egypt second and your Arabism third and then to anything else," wrote a reader identifying himself as the Tiger of Arabs. "I am afraid that they might make a fool out of you and use you as a cover for policies that don't serve Egypt and the Arab and Muslim world."

Posted on 04/22/2009 2:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
He's 'Enry the Eighth he is

Henry VIII, according to Sellar and Yeatman, had VIII wives, memorable among whom were Katherine the Arrogant, Anne of Cloves (the fat mare with glanders) and Lady Jane Austen. According to TV historian, David Starkey, he is also "the only king whose shape you remember". Simon Heffer has some further thoughts on Henry VIII - without him, England would never have been Top Nation, as it certainly was until, horribile dictu, America took over and history came to a . Napoleon, who stood with his arms like that, would not have been roundly trounced by Nelson, who stood with his arm like that. From The Telegraph: 

Every half-millennium or so an event occurs in our history that changes the basis of society. The Romans come, the Romans go. The Normans come; and between their arrival in 1066 and the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 there is one seismic event after which society sets off (after a false start or two) on an entirely new course: the Reformation in England. When the Convocation of Canterbury of the Church in England agreed in March 1531 to accede to Henry's demands about church governance that included the clergy's recognition of him as head of the English church, it also triggered a process of such profound economic and political change that even today there is still dispute about the extent of the consequences. Let me add my three ha'porth: without the Reformation we would not have had what Seeley called "the expansion of England", we would not have had a middle class educated and powerful enough to initiate the industrial revolution, we would not have had the empire we did, and would not have had the land and sea power that kept us free from invasion and foreign influence: not to mention the theological consequences.

[...] 

Henry's subsequent association with Protestantism was a marriage of convenience rather than offspring of the sort of earthquake of conscience that had inspired Luther. He sought to remove Rome's authority in England so he could secure his annulment (which he had previously sought on the grounds that he had married his dead brother's wife). The dissolution of the monasteries, which Thomas Cromwell effected for him between 1536 and 1540, broke up the main cells of the Catholic clergy in Henry's realm: it also initiated the greatest change of land ownership in England since the Conquest. Perhaps a quarter of land changed hands, bought by the aristocracy and by a newly emergent gentry and with the revenues going to the Crown. This would be the basis of the Crown's wealth, and of its security. It also began a social and economic mobility unseen in England before; it sowed the seeds for the expansion of the middle class, broke feudalism and, slowly, developed freedom of thought. The intellectual growth of post-Reformation England was marked and led directly to the civil wars of the 1640s. In his short reign, the devoutly Protestant boy King Edward VI founded grammar schools all over England to help educate the emerging middle class; it was the start of an attempt at enlightenment that would take centuries to complete, but which would incidentally equip England and then Britain for wealth creation and imperial endeavour.

As scholars have pointed out, the economic growth of most Catholic countries in the preceding millennium had been minimal. The Church had taken much of the wealth and used it for its own aggrandisement: one of the principal provocations to Luther in framing his 95 theses was the order from Leo X, a venal and corrupt Medici, for the sale of indulgences to pay for the building of St Peter's in Rome. There was no trickle-down effect for the contributing nations, who found that doing works for the glory of God did not necessarily stimulate wider prosperity. The Tudors are often mocked for their materialism, but the absence of a peasantry trapped in their feudal position for generations on end was a tremendous stimulus to wealth creation and the expansion of English power. Is it any coincidence that the European power who followed England most closely in the industrial revolution, Prussia (subsequently Germany) was also Protestant?

Without the Reformation there would have been no civil war and no establishment of the constitutional monarchy. Who is to say that what happened in France in 1789, or across Europe in 1848, or in Russia in 1917 would not eventually have happened here? Of course the Catholic countries of Europe were not held back indefinitely by the dominance of the Roman clergy in their lands. But it was not until 1905 that France passed a law separating Church and state, much of Spain remained primitive until after the civil war, Italy still has such areas of backwardness that many in the north wish to be separate from the south, and Ireland (troubled now for other reasons) only exploited the talents of its people when it broke free of being a clerical state and looked outwards. That, in the resonant phrase of the 37th Article, "the Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England", may have come about by accident. But even if he did not intend it, it remains Henry VIII's most conspicuous achievement and greatest legacy. 

Posted on 04/22/2009 5:13 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Thumbs up to West End late night opening during Ramadan

The West End has drawn up a strategy to pull in an extra £3billion from overseas shoppers by focusing on their specific cultural needs.
Retailers are being given detailed guidance on the customs and visiting habits of different nationalities.
Stores are planning to open late in the lead-up to Ramadan in August to capitalise on the surge in Middle Eastern visitors who prefer evening shopping.
A "Globeshoppers" calendar, commissioned by retailers' organisation the New West End Company, has listed cultural "hints".
It includes a reminder to assistants that a thumbs-up sign is an obscene gesture to Muslim customers, who also raise an eyebrow to say "no".
Liberty is launching an exhibition on the history of its fabrics in August to appeal to Middle Eastern, Chinese and American shoppers who come to London then and like purchasing quintessentially British brands. The store will also put gold jewellery on prominent display for visitors buying in preparation for the end of Ramadan.
Shoppers from the United States  -Expect a high level of service - like to buy gifts not available in the US - compare prices, are big internet shoppers -Like to see price in dollars as well as pounds.
Shoppers from India prefer verbal reassurance and face-to-face interaction in addition to printed information and like to buy gifts only available in the UK. All of which sounds perfectly reasonable and the sort of thing I would appreciate myself when abroad.
Arab nations: eg Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait In Muslim cultures, women tend to shop in groups, but men are the decision-makers. 
Thumbs-up obscene. Raised eyebrows is "No" - Sales staff should not ask whom a gift is for -Won't shop in daylight hours during Ramadan -High spenders, expecting VIP treatment. They want instant gratification and dislike waiting.
In the UK we raise an eyebrow to indicate that the person or situation before us is completely out of order and unacceptable, or alternatively surprising in a pleasant way.
The thumbs up sign is one of approval or fortitude. I remember my father making the thumbs up sign to me from his bed in intensive care after a serious operation when he was too weak to speak. It was a gesture beyond words.
This is hitherto unknown Scottish singer Susan Boyle greeting her fans after her
amazing performance on Britain's Got Talent.
Watch presenters Ant and Dec exchange with Susan the thumbs up to encourage her as she is about to sing. Watch Simon Cowell raise his eyebrows in both modes before she starts and again after he realises how good her voice is.

Posted on 04/22/2009 5:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Terror raids: Government accused of 'dishonourable behaviour' by Muslim Council

The Muslim Council of Britain has accused the Government of 'dishonourable' behaviour after nine men arrested in Easter terror raids were released without charge.
The Government said it would not be prosecuting the nine but still wanted to deport them, following their apprehension in Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire earlier this month.
But the move was criticised by the Muslim Council of Britain.
Spokesman Inayat Bunglawala told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "When these arrests took place, in very dramatic circumstances with students being pulled from universities and thrown to the floor, we were told by the Prime Minister no less that this was part of a very big terrorist plot. Clearly there just has not been the evidence produced to substantiate such a plot.
"We would hope that senior ministers and the Prime Minister will understand that it is completely unfair to make prejudicial and premature remarks in cases like this.
"And now, now that we learn that actual evidence cannot be gathered to substantiate any terror plot, instead of releasing them with good grace and making clear a mistake has been made, the Government is seeking to deport them citing a very vague national security threat.
"That is a very dishonourable way of proceeding."
In a statement their lawyer Mohammed Ayub of Chambers Solicitors, Bradford said "Our clients have no criminal history, they were here lawfully on student visas and all were pursuing their studies and working part-time. Our clients are neither extremists nor terrorists. Their arrest and detention has been a very serious breach of their human rights."
Mr Ayub insisted his clients should be allowed to "complete the studies they came here for" and said he intended to challenge the deportation orders.
He added: "As a minimum our clients are entitled to an unreserved apology and no further action should be taken against them."
The raids in the north-west raised questions over security checks on foreign students, which shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling declared were a "major loophole" in immigration rules.
He said: "The Government admits that student visas are a major loophole in our border controls.
"Given these latest revelations we need to urgently step up monitoring of applications from parts of the world where we face terror issues."
Government figures showed 42,292 student visas were issued to Pakistani students between April 2004 and April 2008.
They are getting away lightly with deportation, given that most of them were not studying hard at bona fide courses. There are some places, sandy countries, where evidence would have come to light, followed by confessions, followed by incarceration for a VERY long time.

Posted on 04/22/2009 5:51 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Durban II - a nice little earner

Creepy Switzerland, unnaturally clean country of the death clinic, Nazi-looted Jewish gold, and toilet-flushing rules, hosted Durban II. That turned out well, didn't it? Roger L. Simon at Pajamas Media:

Non-attendance by the Americans was one thing, but mass walkouts by the almost always complaisant Euros was highly threatening to the UN machine. And, make no mistake about it, here in the small city of Geneva especially, the UN is a machine, a money machine that brings in a significant proportion of the local GNP. No wonder the Swiss President, despite much criticism, was eager to shake the hand of the Iranian leader. Even though the Iranian people are in disastrous financial shape, Ahmadinejad was more than willing to blow off the money for forty rooms in this swank hotel, plus banquets for five hundred, plus who knows what else? Middle Eastern despots are cash cows for Geneva and the proximity of the UN to the local banks is no accident. They come to the Palais, say a few bad things about Israel and make a deposit.

[...]

Meanwhile, an unbelievably high percentage of the UN’s time (and money, of course) has been devoted to the Palestinian-Israeli question with little or no time for anything else. This was underscored later in the day when a demonstration in support of Darfur was staged outside the Palais. There was little interest in this genocide inside, just as there was very little interest in Rwanda. For the UN, it’s “All Palestine All The Time”.

But it didn’t work this time. Fewer people tuned into that network. For now the Durban II Conference is a fiasco, the UN’s inverted human rights campaign at bay. But like “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” it can come back. It always has before. But I suspect there may be a chink in the armor this time - and it’s called your money. We live in difficult financial times. Just remember - and remind others - that what you are paying for with your taxpayer dollars that go to the UN (the US is 22% of their budget) are speeches by the likes Ahmadinejad, whose pathological hatred of Jews is exceeded only by his pathological hatred of women. Enough of that. If he wants to be Hitler Jr., he can pay for it himself.

PS: Speaking of money, I asked the UN porte parole (we have this on upcoming PJTV video) how much the Durban II conference cost. He said he didn’t know and that it was part of a larger budget. Then he tried to change the subject. Let’s not let him. From now on, full financial transparency for the UN, public and online, or no money from us. Not a penny.

Posted on 04/22/2009 5:54 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Waterboarding Thwarted Second 9/11

The point of the so-called torture techniques was never to elicit confessions. Jihadis usually are proud of their work and openly brag about their accomplishments. Khalid Sheik Mohammed  and Abu Zubaydah are no different. What the CIA was trying to do was to prevent a second wave of attacks and now there is evidence they succeeded. From New Duranty:

WASHINGTON - President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

(...)

Techniques 'made us safer'
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Mr. Bush, said on Fox News Sunday last weekend that “the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work.” Former Vice President Dick Cheney, in a separate interview with Fox, endorsed that conclusion and said he has asked the C.I.A. to declassify memos detailing the gains from the harsh interrogations.

Several news accounts, including one in the New York Times last week, have quoted former intelligence officials saying the harsh interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a Qaeda operative who was waterboarded 83 times, did not produce information that foiled terror plots. The Bush administration has long argued that harsh questioning of Qaeda operatives like Zubaydah helped prevent a planned attack on Los Angeles and cited passages in the memos released last week to bolster that conclusion.

The White House would not address the question of whether the tactics have been effective on Tuesday but fired back at Mr. Cheney. “We’ve had an at least two-year policy disagreement with the vice president of the United States,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary. “That policy disagreement is whether or not you can uphold the values in which this country was founded at the same time that you protect the citizens that live in that country.”

Mr. Obama’s team has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the harsh interrogations, but in a visit to the C.I.A. this week, the president did not directly question that. Instead, he said, that any sacrifice from banning those tactics was worth it to uphold the nation’s belief in the rule of law.

CNS News reports that that sacrifice President Obama is willing to make on our behalf in order to uphold our belief in the rule of law does indeed include a major attack on Los Angeles - a second 9/11.

The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.
 
Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”
 
According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack -- which KSM called the “Second Wave”-- planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”...

Posted on 04/22/2009 7:04 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Jolly trolley

For once there is some good news in the business section of The Times: Tesco's profits are up. I like the headline: "Tesco shines in this sceptered aisle."

The business section is usually pun free, and nobody would mind if the writer (David Wighton) hadn't bothered, but he put one in just for the hell of it. Can anyone think of a better reason for a pun?

I must checkout the FT for further news.

Posted on 04/22/2009 7:33 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
U.S. Might Not Try Pro-Israel Lobbyists

The Washington Post reports the story, just as Jerry Gordon predicted.

 

Posted on 04/22/2009 8:03 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
And I'm a Dutchman

From Gates of Vienna:

An Iranian refuge has been granted asylum in The Netherlands. Overjoyed, he approaches the first man he meets:

“Mr. Dutchman, thank you for granting me asylum in your country!”

The man looks puzzled. “Dutchman? Me? Come on, I ain’t no bleedin’ infidel. I am Moroccan, and proud of it!”

The Iranian walks off. He spots another man. Again he thanks him for granting him asylum.

This guy actually gets angry. “Who do you call a Dutchmen? I am Turkish!”

The Iranian walks off again, and notices another man. He thanks him once more.

This guy smiles, and says: “Look man, I’m black. I am not Dutch. I am from Suriname.”

The Iranian is utterly confused. “But I am in Holland, right? Where are all the Dutch, then?”
The Suriname man looks at his golden Rolex: “At this time? They’re all at work.”
Posted on 04/22/2009 8:52 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
The Marriage of Reason and Nightmare

Despite unprecedented prosperity, we British are not as happy as we should be, at least if the causes of human happiness were mainly economic. It turns out, however, that ever-rising consumption is not the same thing as ever-greater contentment. Yet no one is quite sure what else is necessary. Antidepressants in the water supply, perhaps? Urban life—and in the modern world, most life is urban—has an unpleasant edge in Britain, even in the midst of plenty. You hardly dare look a stranger in the eye, lest he take violent offense; the young, poor and prosperous alike, have imposed a curfew on the old after dark, and on everyone on Friday and Saturday nights; the age at which fellow citizens provoke fear declines constantly, so that one avoids even aggregations of eight-year-olds, as though they were piranhas in a jungle river.

The British state, for its part, is able to bully and regulate at will, thanks to technology—yet it seems to carry out these actions for their own sake, not for any higher purpose. The privatization of morality is so complete that no code of conduct is generally accepted, save that you should do what you can get away with; sufficient unto the day is the pleasure thereof. Nowhere in the developed world has civilization gone so fast and so far into reverse as here, at least to the extent to which civilization is made up of the small change and amenities of life.

No contemporary British writer captures our malaise better than does J. G. Ballard. In a writing career dating back half a century now, he has explored with acuity, from the aerie of his respectable suburban home outside London, the anxieties of modern existence—of what he calls the marriage of reason and nightmare. The reason is our technological advance, the nightmare the uses to which we have put it.

Much in Ballard’s biography explains his sensitivity to aspects of modern decomposition that escape more superficial observers. But a biography cannot explain everything: as Pasteur once said, chance favors only a mind prepared. It is not only experience, therefore, but reflection upon it that makes the writer. A rich seam of ore is worthless without the will and ability to mine it.

Keep reading here.

Posted on 04/22/2009 3:12 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Luton Protest

Readers will recall this item last week about events in Luton. There is anger in town that Muslim protestors were allowed to insult the troops of the Royal Anglian Regiment during their homecoming parade. Then the townspeople's request for a St Georges Day parade was refused so a protest demonstation was organised. This is the brief, on line, report of that demonstration from Bedford Today.
People of Luton Protest against Muslim ExtremistsThis is 10 minutes of footage of the demonstration posted on YouTube with information of the aims of the protest and details of the next one. HT Ed West's Telegraph blog.

The people of luton are calling for all the scum that turned out that day to dishonour our armed forces to be given an ASBO that bans them from our town centre 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!
Neither soilder nor member of the public should ever have to brush shoulders with these scum ever again. This same extremist group stand outside Don Millers bakery every saturday recruiting and trying to convert people for there Jihad. Luton Police and the council allow this - WE WILL NOT!
There are future homecoming parades already planned through Luton and these vermin need to be banned from the town centre. If they were to enter the town centre they could then be arrested and dealt with through the courts.

This protest was stopped from following the planned route and and the police used physical force to stop the marchers. The marchers were mostly men and older boys. Note well that among the most vociferous were black men.

In the rest of the country there is anger that the policing of the G20 demonstrations resulted in the death of a London man, Ian Tomlinson,  who was not a protestor but was merely trying to get to his hostel in central London after going about his legitimate business but that, as mentioned above,  Muslim protestors are given police protection so that they can protest in safety

The banners read  Ban Preachers of hate - NF (National Front) Go to Hell - We are sick of this shit - No Sharia Law - One nation under Cross of St George - Extremist Muslims go to Hell - Shame on LBC (Luton Borough Council) - Our Troops Heros - ASBO Sayful Islam - St George’s Parade refused Outrage! - The United people of Luton

I think we could be in for a lively summer.

Posted on 04/22/2009 4:45 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
What The Obama Administration Did Not Release

 

By Marc A. Thiessen
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.



Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.' . . . In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques." The memo continues: "Before the CIA used enhanced techniques . . . KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, 'Soon you will find out.' " Once the techniques were applied, "interrogations have led to specific, actionable intelligence, as well as a general increase in the amount of intelligence regarding al Qaeda and its affiliates."



Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.



The memo notes that "[i]nterrogations of [Abu] Zubaydah -- again, once enhanced techniques were employed -- furnished detailed information regarding al Qaeda's 'organizational structure, key operatives, and modus operandi' and identified KSM as the mastermind of the September 11 attacks." This information helped the intelligence community plan the operation that captured KSM. It went on: "Zubaydah and KSM also supplied important information about al-Zarqawi and his network" in Iraq, which helped our operations against al-Qaeda in that country.



All this confirms information that I and others have described publicly. But just as the memo begins to describe previously undisclosed details of what enhanced interrogations achieved, the page is almost entirely blacked out. The Obama administration released pages of unredacted classified information on the techniques used to question captured terrorist leaders but pulled out its black marker when it came to the details of what those interrogations achieved.



Yet there is more information confirming the program's effectiveness. The Office of Legal Counsel memo states "we discuss only a small fraction of the important intelligence CIA interrogators have obtained from KSM" and notes that "intelligence derived from CIA detainees has resulted in more than 6,000 intelligence reports and, in 2004, accounted for approximately half of the [Counterterrorism Center's] reporting on al Qaeda." The memos refer to other classified documents -- including an "Effectiveness Memo" and an "IG Report," which explain how "the use of enhanced techniques in the interrogations of KSM, Zubaydah and others . . . has yielded critical information." Why didn't Obama officials release this information as well? Because they know that if the public could see the details of the techniques side by side with evidence that the program saved American lives, the vast majority would support continuing it.



Critics claim that enhanced techniques do not produce good intelligence because people will say anything to get the techniques to stop. But the memos note that, "as Abu Zubaydah himself explained with respect to enhanced techniques, 'brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardship." In other words, the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can -- and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know. This is because of their belief that "Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable." The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.



This is the secret to the program's success. And the Obama administration's decision to share this secret with the terrorists threatens our national security. Al-Qaeda will use this information and other details in the memos to train its operatives to resist questioning and withhold information on planned attacks. CIA Director Leon Panetta said during his confirmation hearings that even the Obama administration might use some of the enhanced techniques in a "ticking time bomb" scenario. What will the administration do now that it has shared the limits of our interrogation techniques with the enemy? President Obama's decision to release these documents is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible acts ever by an American president during a time of war -- and Americans may die as a result.

Posted on 04/22/2009 9:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Here's Mettle More Attractive: Geert Wilders Blocks Dutch "Dialogue" With Hamas

Read here.

Posted on 04/22/2009 9:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
A Musical Interlude: I Have To Have You (Ben Selvin Orch., voc. Annette Hanshaw)

Listen here.

Posted on 04/22/2009 9:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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