Friday, 31 July 2009
Buggins? turn

For once the Government does something useful. From the BBC:


The government says it will ban all private transplants of organs from dead donors in the UK.

The move comes after media reports of overseas patients paying to get onto the waiting list for organs donated by British people.

An independent report said organs were scarce and no one should be able to pay for transplants, to ensure NHS patients did not miss out.

Surgeons said it should reassure people organs went to those in most need.

Elisabeth Buggins, former chairwoman of the Organ Donation Taskforce, carried out an inquiry after allegations in a number of newspapers that organs from NHS donors were being given to patients from countries such as Greece and Italy.

It emerged that more than 700 transplants, mostly liver transplants, had been carried out on non-UK patients over the past decade.

In total, 631 of those transplants used organs from dead donors and, of those, 314 were from outside the EU.


How many went to wealthy Arabs, while British taxpayers suffered or died for want of an organ? The Government has put a stop to it, as is timely and just. We don't want no stinkin' foreigners getting their hands on our organs. Organs of England, stand up and be counted.

Posted on 07/31/2009 7:17 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 31 July 2009
Inn Signs of England

by Esmerelda Weatherwax (August 2009)

This is the first in what I hope will be several articles on English pub signs and peripheral bits of interesting, but not necessarily useful, information.

Over 25 years ago when I lived in Dagenham I used to visit a pub called The Angel in nearby Rainham which is the next village east along the north bank of the River Thames. There is also a Rainham on the Kent side of the river which may have been founded by the same bunch of Saxons but the modern villages are not connected. more>>>

Posted on 07/31/2009 5:58 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
?Bill of Rights? in the Constitution of India

by G. B. Singh (August 2009)


Many admirers of India often go out of the way to depict India as the "world's largest democracy" and a "secular" state, which through its constitution guarantees fundamental human rights to all Indians -- the implication being that such rights are in practice as a matter of routine. Yet, dismaying as it may seem, I have never come across any piece of written information analyzing the Indian Constitution itself, let alone all those enshrined fundamental rights that it guarantees to its citizens. Coupled with aggressive Soviet-style "active measures" channeled by the Indian government, several intellectuals outside India have fallen prey to the media hype. Included on this list are the key members of US Department of State who upon my inquiry a number of years ago hadn’t even seen what the Constitution of India looked like, let alone read it! more>>>
Posted on 07/31/2009 5:57 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
The Neglect of English Classical Music

by David Hamilton (August 2009)

As T.S.Eliot noted, traditions have to be renewed. The English Music Festival presents English Classical music from Medieval to Contemporary and is renewing a tradition.

Yehudi Menhuin wrote to the Times in 1995, “English composers will not slavishly follow some arbitrary theory or construction, whether political or musical. They have kept their Englishness intact, whilst the mercantilistic world has gone all-American.” more>>>
Posted on 07/31/2009 5:56 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
?Edot HaMizrah? Israel?s Oriental Jewish Communities

by Norman Berdichevsky (August 2009)

A central tenet of Zionism is that Jews share a common heritage and destiny. Nevertheless, the reality of Jewish society in the state of Israel is marked by four prominent social and geo-cultural divisions: Orthodox observant vs. secular, veteran settlers vs. new immigrants,  the haves vs. the have-nots and Geo-cultural origin (European vs. Middle Eastern or Oriental). The last dimension has often been the source of ethnic humor – gefilte fish vs. shish kebab, but is in fact, a serious ”kulturkampf” over the image of the country.
Posted on 07/31/2009 5:55 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
Lockwood de Forest, Ahmadabad, and American Orientalism

by Ibn Warraq (August 2009)

One of my great pleasures is exploring cities, the larger the city, the greater the surprises and serendipitous discoveries. However much you may think you know London, or Paris, or New York, there are, I wager, parts that you have never visited, little associated
histories that you were unaware of, aspects you promised yourself to explore one day but never did. more>>>
Posted on 07/31/2009 5:54 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
Stormy Weather A Tous Azimuts
Posted on 07/31/2009 4:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 July 2009
Chelm on the Charles River

by Jerry Gordon (August 2009)

When the new Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) was dedicated on June 26th, a number of local clergy, including members of the progressive rabbinate showed up for the event. They were complemented by members of the Boston Jewish community who had unwavering long term commitments to Jewish Muslim dialogue. Massachusetts Governor Derval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Jewish head of the City Council either sent greetings via videos or showed up for the occasion. “Others who attended included the Dean of Harvard Divinity School, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, and local Christian and Jewish clergy.” more>>>
Posted on 07/31/2009 5:52 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
Wrestling With Paul

by Rebecca Bynum (August 2009)

Saul of Tarsus, the first Century Jewish Pharisee who became the Apostle Paul after his experience on the Damascus road, is arguably one of the most influential men in history. It was Paul’s interpretation of the fact of Jesus’ life and, most especially, the fact of his death, which formed the basis of the Christian message and allowed it to spread in the gentile world even as it was stifled in its birthplace, the Jewish world. It is ironic that Paul’s effort to place Jesus within the framework of Jewish theology, and thus make Jesus acceptable to Jews, was the very thing that exacerbated the theological split between Christianity and Judaism that continues to this day, with all its terrible consequences. more>>>
Posted on 07/31/2009 5:49 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009

by Theodore Dalrymple (August 2009)

Does the end justify the means? This question, difficult to answer in the abstract with a categorical negative or affirmative, occurred to me when I read that Alberto Fujimori, former president of Peru, had been sentenced to seven and a half years’ imprisonment for corruption, to run concurrently with the twenty-five years he is already serving for abuse of human rights. more>>>

Posted on 07/31/2009 5:46 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
My Grandmother?s Paper Bag

by Richard L. Rubenstein (August 2009)

Delivered to the New English Review Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee on May 30th, 2009.

In August 1999, I participated in an international Conference of Jewish and Muslim Scholars held in the city of Cordoba, Spain. [1] That was before Bill Clinton’s failed attempt at the end of his presidency to get Yasser Arafat to sign “the best peace deal he was ever going to get,” the Second Intifada, and 9/11.[2] The atmosphere was relaxed and those who were willing to dialogue were more relaxed than they were likely to be thereafter. more>>>

Posted on 07/31/2009 5:44 PM by NER
Friday, 31 July 2009
Puss in bus

It's Friday, and how better to end the working week than with a cute cat tail? The Telegraph has an a-mew-sing story to purr-use, which will whiskers away and trans-mog-rify us. Feeline good? Worked up an a-pet-ite? A thing of mew-ty is a joy fur-ever:

Casper, which is 12 years old, boards the No3 service at 10.55am from outside his home in Plymouth, Devon, and travels the entire 11-mile route before returning home about an hour later.

On the route, the cat passes an historic dockyard and naval base, a city centre, several suburbs and the city's red light district.

Could that be where you find the original Plymouth ho?

He has been making the journey for so long that all First Bus drivers have now been told to look out for him to ensure he gets off at the right stop.

Susan Finden, 65, a care worker who is Casper's owner, said: "Casper has always disappeared for hours at a time but I never understood where he was going.

"I called him Casper because he had a habit of vanishing like a ghost. But then some of the drivers told me he had been catching the bus.

"I couldn't believe it at first, but it explains a lot. He loves people and we have a bus stop right outside our house so that must be how he got started - just following everyone on.

"I used to catch the odd bus too so maybe he saw me and got curious what I was doing.

"Casper is quite quick for his age so he just hops on to the bus before the doors close. He catches the 10.55am service and likes to sit on the back seat."

Rob Stonehouse, one of the drivers on the route, said: "He usually just curls up at the back of the bus. Sometimes he nips between people's legs but he never causes any trouble."

Mrs Slocombe, thou shouldst be living at this hour.

Casper has travelled an estimated 20,000 miles but Mrs Finden says because he is getting old the drivers often have to shuffle him off at the right stop.

A spokeswoman for First Bus said the firm has put a notice up in the office asking them to look after the non-paying passenger.

Come on now, he tried to pay but he didn't have the exact fur.

Posted on 07/31/2009 2:49 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 31 July 2009
A Musical Interlude: All Of Me (Ambrose Orch., voc. Sam Browne)

Listen here.

Posted on 07/31/2009 2:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 July 2009
Judge slams Hilali spokesman Keysar Trad - amongst other things he is a racist

I like this. I really do. From The Australian.
KEYSAR Trad, the long-time spokesman for Muslim cleric Taj Din al-Hilali, was yesterday (it is tomorrow in Australian already) denounced as "racist", "offensive" and "untruthful" by the Supreme Court judge who rejected his defamation claim against radio station 2GB.
Judge Peter McClellan said he agreed Mr Trad "incites acts of violence, incites racist attitudes, is dangerous and perhaps most significantly is a disgraceful individual".
He added that the founder of the Islamic Friendship Association held views that were "entirely repugnant" to most Australians. They included:
* Defending the stoning of a women for adultery in Nigeria;
* Condoning suicide bombers and the use of children as martyrs;
* Calling homosexuality "a depraved carnal pursuit" that should be criminalised;
* Regarding Anglo-Irish Australians as "unworthy descendants of criminal dregs";
* Joking about rapes committed by the Bilal Skaf gang;
* Believing America poses a greater threat to Australia than radical Islam; and
* Endorsing Hilali speeches which described the September 11 attacks as "blessings" and excused rapes on women who dressed like "uncovered meat".
Mr Trad had also hosted a web page with links to anti-Semitic sites and Adolf Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf: "He must be regarded as having apparent sympathies for the views of Adolf Hitler," Justice McClellan said.
He said Mr Trad had never condemned the sheik's views, which he suggested on many occasions would have been "the only appropriate response".
Mr Trad, who faces up to $400,000 in costs, was devastated by the decision and said there would be an appeal. "I disagree with the judgment and what the judge said about me," he said.

Posted on 07/31/2009 10:05 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 31 July 2009
TiZA sues ACLU

When last we left the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy it stood accused of funneling taxpayer money back to the Muslim American Society which in turn used some of it to send  Keith Eliison on his Hajj. The plot thickens - from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

An Inver Grove Heights charter school accused of crossing the line between religion and public education is fighting back against the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.

Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) says the ACLU, which sued the academy in January, defamed the school and hurt its ability to hire qualified teachers, according to counterclaims filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

In its suit, the ACLU alleged that the public school promotes the Muslim religion, violating the Constitution's First Amendment.

The K-8 school has denied the allegations and said in court documents that Charles Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, injured the school's reputation by saying publicly that TiZA is "a theocratic school ... as plain as the substantial nose on my face."

"We're surprised by these counterclaims," ACLU legal counsel Teresa Nelson said Tuesday. Nelson declined to comment further, saying the ACLU needed a chance to analyze the court documents.

$100,000 in damages sought

The ACLU's lawsuit and statements led to threats against the school's staff, and the lawsuit and resulting negative attention hurt the school's learning environment and caused several students to withdraw from the school, TiZA said in a statement Tuesday. At least 10 prospective TiZA teachers withdrew their applications in the middle of the hiring process, leaving the school with several open positions, the statement said.



TiZA, in addition to fighting the ACLU, has squared off against state Education Department officials who determined that more than a dozen of the school's teachers lack proper licenses. As a result of the Education Department's decision, which TiZA is appealing, state officials told the school last month that it would lose about $530,000 in state aid. The Education Department also withheld federal grants that had been awarded to the school. TiZA spokesmen have said the grants total close to $875,000.

Posted on 07/31/2009 10:00 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 31 July 2009
Girl, 15, 'forced to marry illegal immigrant who then raped her and assaulted her little sister'

From The Daily Mail
Police are hunting a suspected illegal immigrant accused of raping a 15-year-old schoolgirl who had been forced to marry him.
The Bangladeshi, in his 40s, is also wanted over claims that he sexually assaulted the girl's 12-year-old sister.
He disappeared after the elder girl, now aged 17, contacted the Metropolitan Police on June 26 because she feared she was now being forced into a second marriage.
Specialist child abuse detectives based at Stratford were told that the girl, from an Asian family living in Bethnal Green in London's East End, had been the subject of a forced marriage in April 2007 when she was 15.
Officers have arrested a 53-year-old woman, believed to be another family member, on suspicion of aiding and abetting rape and actual bodily harm. The arrest for assault is linked to an attack on a six-year-old boy.

Posted on 07/31/2009 9:30 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 31 July 2009
Playing the race card: Ruth Wisse's Open Letter to Harvard colleague Henry Louis Gates

Harvard Yiddish literature Professor Ruth Wisse has this telling open letter to Harvard colleague, Prof. Henry Louis Gates in The Weekly Standard. Yesterday, Gates, Cambridge police officer James Crowley met with President Obama and Veep Joe Biden, over beers served up by Obama as bartender. They were gathered to discuss how to play the race card in America following the kerfuffle over Gates’s arrest by Officer Crowley for allegedly breaking into his Cambridge home and the ensuing brouhaha. That episode and photo op achieved little as reported by the AP, here. Wisse’s open letter to Gates is very much on point especially as regards the rise of Black Antisemitism highlighted by Professor Gates in his earlier writings. Now that this incident is over, charges against Gates dropped, we should all commend Cambridge ‘townie’, Officer Crowley who can now return to his family in Natick, Massachusetts and his normal duties on the Cambridge police force that include diversity training. He had the best comment:

    “I think what you had today was two gentlemen who agreed to disagree on a particular issue,” Crowley told reporters. “I don’t think that we spent too much time dwelling on the past. We spent a lot of time discussing the future.”

    Asked about the president’s contribution to the meeting, Crowley said: “He provided the beer.”


Dear Skip: An open letter to Henry Louis Gates.

by Ruth Wisse, The Weekly Standard blog, July 29, 2009

Dear Skip,

My first thought on hearing of your arrest was for your welfare, so I was relieved to learn that that the case against you had been dropped and you were off to join your family on Martha’s Vineyard. From what I can piece together, you must have been exhausted after a long flight, exasperated to have your front door jammed, and then dumbfounded to find yourself suspected of breaking and entering your own home. To that point, you have my sympathy.

But thereafter your case becomes disturbing, and while the president’s unwise comments turned a local episode into a national referendum, it’s the local issue that troubles me. Like you, I live in Cambridge, commonly known as the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” for its left-leaning political correctness. Our congressional district has not sent a Republican to Washington since 1955. Not surprisingly, the officers who came to your door–a rainbow of black, Hispanic, and white–were led by a man hand-picked to provide training on the avoidance of bias in policing. To accuse the Cambridge police of racial profiling, as you did, is about as credible as charging Barack Obama with favoring Republicans.

What puzzles me most in the report of your actions–or reactions–on July 16 is why you would have chosen, as I’ve heard you put it elsewhere, to “talk Black” to officer Crowley instead of “talking White” as you so eloquently and regularly do? These are distinctions I’ve heard you expound–how educated African Americans switch their register of speech depending on what part of themselves they want to get across.

Many of us do something similar inside and outside our particular communities, but you make it sound like a sport that is also for African Americans a tool of survival. So why didn’t you address the policemen as fellow Cambridgians? What was that “yo’ mama” talk instead of saying simply, in the same register your interlocutor was using, “Look, officer, I’m sorry for your trouble. Thanks for checking on my house when you thought I was being burgled, but this is my home, and if you give me a minute, I’ll find the piece of mail or license that proves it to you.” It seems it wasn’t the policeman doing the profiling, it was you. You played him for a racist cop and treated him disrespectfully. Had you truly feared bias, you would surely have behaved in a more controlled, rather than a less controlled, way.

Do you really think anyone in this country has reached adulthood without having undergone the humiliation of self-justification to police? As it happens, a few days prior to your arrest, I was pulled over on the highway near Saranac Lake, New York. My husband and I had driven into town for dinner and were on our way back to our camp in the Adirondacks. When I saw that I was being stopped, I said, “I don’t get it. I’m going under 55 mph.” Nonetheless, when the officer approached the car, I quickly rolled down the window, reached for my driver’s license as my husband got the registration out of the glove compartment, and said to the officer as gently as I could, “Excuse me officer, have I done anything wrong”? (I had not noticed that one of our headlights was out: we were told to repair it at the next gas station.) It would not have occurred to this gray-haired Caucasian female to count on a policeman’s sympathy; the last time I tried joking with a policeman, some forty years ago, my quip cost me an extra $15 on my fine.

Rather than taking offense at being racially profiled, weren’t you instead insulted that someone as prominent as you was being subjected to a regular police routine? A Harvard professor and public figure–should you have to be treated like an ordinary citizen? But that’s the greatness of this country: enforcers of the law are expected to treat all alike, to protect the house of a black man no less carefully than that of white neighbors. You and I entrust our protection to these police, and we also entrust to them the protection of Harvard students. These are the police who were called in on May 18 to deal with the shooting of Justin Cosby, 21, inside one of the Harvard dorms by suspects who, like him, were African Americans. Has any case ever been dealt with more discreetly–likely at least in part because it involved African Americans? Should we not be encouraging all students to live within the law and to consider ourselves on the side of the law unless clearly and manifestly demonstrated otherwise? Is it not for faculty to set an example of politeness, civility, responsibility, and cool temper?

The ironies of progress can hardly be lost on you. When I came to Harvard in 1993, you had just published in the New York Times an op-ed urging Black intellectuals to face up to their own racist attitudes. Invoking the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., you wrote, “While anti-Semitism is generally on the wane in this country, it has been on the rise among black Americans. A recent survey finds not only that blacks are twice as likely as whites to hold anti-Semitic views but–significantly–that it is among younger and more educated blacks that anti-Semitism is most pronounced.” You argued then that owning up to such internal racism was the key to self-respect. Now that America has a black president, Massachusetts a black governor, and Cambridge a black mayor, you appear to have adopted the posture of racial victim. Are you trying to keep alive the politically potent appeal to liberal guilt?

I’m concerned for you, but would not like to see the authority of our police diminished, their effectiveness reduced, or their reputation unfairly tarnished. Since, inadvertently I assume, you have made the work of our police force more difficult than it already is, I wish that you would help set the record straight. You are the man to do it.



Ruth R. Wisse is the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature, and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Harvard.

Posted on 07/31/2009 7:15 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Taliban murder Pakistani tribal elder

From the Daily Times in Pakistan:

SHANGLA: Suspected Taliban stormed the house of a pro-government elder in Shangla and killed him on Wednesday, local police said.

The lashkar leader, Khalilur Rehman, was killed when more than 50 Taliban raided his residence. Khalil’s son and two others were injured in the attack, police officials said, adding that two assailants were also killed in when security forces engaged the assailants.

District Police Officer Gul Wali said the lashkar leader was related to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid NWFP President Amir Muqaam.

“Early on Wednesday, suspected Taliban opened indiscriminate fire in Chogha village and later they stormed into the house of Khalil Khan, killing him and wounding his son and two other relatives,” family members were quoted as saying.

Khalil, 60, formed a private tribal lashkar and used to provide logistic support to groups fighting the Taliban, residents told AFP. The injured were taken to hospital in Khwazakhela in Swat by a military chopper.

According to locals, the Taliban have set up their headquarters in the area close to the border with Swat and Buner districts and use it as a launching pad for attacks on security forces in Swat.

Here is a previous story from January 4, 2006, in which then-Governor Khalilur Rehman proposed increased U.S.-funding of schools in the Waziristan region, even though those schools were "breeding ground[s]" for pro-Taliban students who were fighting U.S. troops.

I think it's fair to say that his theory, shared by then-National Security Advisor Steve Hadley, that emphasizing education would help "change the mindset" of jihadis in the NWFP of Pakistan, has been proven wrong.  One might even say definitively.

Posted on 07/30/2009 5:04 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Pakistani policeman killed in attack on Shia lawyer

From the Daily Times in Pakistan:

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: A policeman was killed and four others including a Shia lawyer were injured when a remote-controlled bomb went off in the parking lot of a court in Dera Ismail Khan, police said on Wednesday.

DIK Cantt police station official Arif Khan told Daily Times that the bomb went off as former District Bar Association president Mastan Ali Zaidi was parking his car in the district courts parking area.

According to police, Mastan’s bodyguard Asad Abbas, who was a police constable, was killed while Mastan, his clerk Iqbal and two pedestrians were injured. The injured were shifted to the district headquarter hospital where one was said to be in critical condition.

Condemnation: Separately, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned the blast and ordered an immediate inquiry.

There was no claim of responsibility but the city has recently witnessed both Taliban-related violence and sectarian fighting between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Posted on 07/30/2009 2:59 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Stiff competition?

Swiss death clinic Dignitas could have a fight on its hands if this modest proposal goes ahead. From The Times letters page:

Sir, Assisted dying need not be the remit of the medical profession. As long as procedures could be legally established I see no reason why undertakers should not extend their professional scope to include euthanasia. After all our bodies are entrusted to undertakers just after death. Why not just before?

Brian East
London W13

Posted on 07/30/2009 11:04 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Council loses mosque battle

From The Birmingham Mail
A CONTROVERSIAL £18 million mosque is set to be built in the centre of a Black Country town after the High Court threw out a council challenge.

Dudley Muslim Association has won outline permission for the building in Hall Street, Dudley, following a five-year battle.
The scheme has attracted widespread criticism, with 20,000 locals signing a petition opposing the proposal.
Dudley Council took its battle against the mosque to the High Court, costing taxpayers around £16,000, because it said the land had been designated for employment use and that the scheme did not fit this profile.
It could also still throw a spanner in the works because it is unhappy a land swap agreement made with the Association in 2001 has not been honoured.
The deal stipulated the mosque had to be “substantially built” by the end of last year or the council could buy back the land at an agreed price.
Dudley Council leader, Coun Anne Millward, is to hold talks with council chief executive John Polychronakis to see if the scheme can still be stopped on those grounds.
Mushtaq Hussain, secretary of Dudley Muslim Association (said that) The Association would now draw up more detailed plans and apply for full planning permission.
Deputy council leader Coun Les Jones (Con, Pedmore and Stourbridge East) said the authority had no choice but to abide with the scheme “in terms of the planning decision”.
Coun Jones said he was unsure whether the Association could come up with the necessary funds to build the mosque.
As no one but the Mosque Association wants the thing built there should still be ways to scupper the project.

Posted on 07/30/2009 9:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Nevermind, They Worked For Us

Washington Times:

Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the No. 3 official in the Obama Justice Department, was consulted and ultimately approved a decision in May to reverse course and drop a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters in Philadelphia during November's election, according to interviews.

The department's career lawyers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division who pursued the complaint for five months had recommended that Justice seek sanctions against the party and three of its members after the government had already won a default judgment in federal court against the men.

Front-line lawyers were in the final stages of completing that work when they were unexpectedly told by their superiors in late April to seek a delay after a meeting between political appointees and career supervisors, according to federal records and interviews.

The delay was ordered by then-acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King after she discussed with Mr. Perrelli concerns about the case during one of their regular review meetings, according to the interviews.

Ms. King, a career senior executive service official, had been named by President Obama in January to temporarily fill the vacant political position of assistant attorney general for civil rights while a permanent choice could be made.

She and other career supervisors ultimately recommended dropping the case against two of the men and the party and seeking a restraining order against the one man who wielded a nightstick at the Philadelphia polling place. Mr. Perrelli approved that plan, officials said.

Questions about how high inside the department the decision to drop the case went have persisted in Congress and in the media for weeks...

Posted on 07/30/2009 9:22 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 30 July 2009
More from the Washington Times Interview with Larry Franklin: Anti-Semitism

When we posted yesterday on the Washington Times interview with former Defense Analyst, Larry Franklin, revealed as an FBI double agent in the AIPAC case  see here, we  observed.

We believe that the FBI cabal was lead by former Associate Director David Szady who had let it be known that the national law enforcement agency was intent on finding an Israeli mole inside the US government, based erroneously, as it turned out in the disastrous AIPAC case.  Federal Prosecutors relied heavily on the thin reed of a 90 year Sedition law, questionable evidentiary standards in filed court motions and sought a ‘closed court’ proceeding, which ultimately was quashed by the Richmond Federal Appellate court dismissal rulings.  Messrs. Weissman and Rosen were simply doing what Washington journalists, including Gertz, have done which is revealing ex parte conversations with official sources, who don’t want to go on record; i.e., ‘leaking’. However, the Federal judiciary saw through this blatant attempt by  the FBI and federal prosecutors effectively stopped  the failed AIPAC case in its tracks, relieving former AIPAC seniors officials Weissman and Rosen from standing trial, and reduced  Franklin’s prior sentence under a plea bargain.

Today’s edition of the Washington Times has more from the Bill Gertz interview with Franklin, accusation about Anti-Semitism, “EXCLUSIVE: Pro-Israel lobby probe linked to anti-Semitism.”

 As you will see remarks of Franklin, FBI special agents and unidentified counterterrorism officials confirm our views.

Franklin on Anti-Semitism animus behind the AIPAC case

Franklin said in that interview that he became disturbed by several apparently anti-Semitic remarks by his FBI handlers. His cooperation with the agency, which involved taping his conversations with officials of AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy, was first reported by the Times on Wednesday.

"One agent said to me, 'How can an Irish Catholic from the Bronx get mixed up with all these ...,' and I finished the sentence for him: 'Jews?' And I proceeded to tell him that Christ and all the Apostles and even his mom were Jewish," Franklin said in the interview.

"So it was that sort of thing. And just sarcastic turns of the phrase from time to time. You know, I felt dirty sometimes," he said.

FBI Assistant Director John Miller declined to address the charges of anti-Semitism.

"We have no way to respond to thirdhand characterizations of partial statements allegedly made by unnamed FBI employees several years ago," Mr. Miller said. "If Mr. Franklin would like to make a formal complaint about the conduct of any FBI employee, there is a process to do."

During the AIPAC probe, Franklin said, FBI agents whom he declined to identify by name "asked me about every Jew I knew in [the office of the secretary of defense]. There was an element of that."

Several Jews held prominent positions in the department at the time, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.


US Counterintelligence and FBI Special Agents comments about Israeli Intelligence and AIPAC

Former U.S. counterintelligence officials have said the FBI has aggressively pursued Israeli intelligence-gathering in the United States since the arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard, a Navy intelligence analyst caught during the 1980s passing classified documents to Israel.

The officials said the FBI thinks Pollard, who is serving a life prison term, was part of a larger Israeli spy ring operating inside the U.S. government and that it was led by a "Mr. X." No such spymaster has ever been uncovered.

Former FBI counterintelligence agent and supervisor I.C. Smith said anti-Semitism in pursuing Israeli spying was "not my experience" during a lengthy career in the FBI.

"There was a great deal of frustration within the FBI in dealing with the Israelis," Mr. Smith said. "In my time in the Intelligence Division [later the National Security Division], the Israelis displayed a very real arrogance and with their constant contacts on Capitol Hill, they showed a confidence that they could do just about anything they wanted to do, and they could."

He said the Pollard case, in which Israel ran a clandestine agent in the U.S. intelligence community, was "simply shameful" and not in keeping with Israel's role as a staunch U.S. ally.

In another case, Mr. Smith said, a Jewish presidential appointee was found during an FBI background check to have "very real problems" related to Israeli interests, but the White House ignored the FBI and went ahead with the appointment.

But, he said, "This frustration the FBI had with the Israelis did not cross over into anti-Semitism, at least in my experience."

Mr. Smith also said he was troubled by the FBI using Franklin as an informant and then prosecuting him.

"When I was in the FBI, it was ingrained that one would go to great lengths to protect sources, not prosecute them," he said.

A former U.S. counterintelligence official familiar with the AIPAC case said the case was handled "extremely carefully" from the beginning.

"The case was handled by numerous agents and supervisors over a period of time, so the allegations of anti-Semitism are either wildly out of line, or a large portion of the bureau is anti-Semitic, which would come as a great surprise to a very large number of Jewish agents and analysts," said the former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the case.

The official said the case was an investigation of "systemic leaking," more than a major Israeli spying case, and that it was influenced by the political clout of AIPAC in Washington.

These comments from FBI special agents and US counterintelligence officials are meant to throw cold water on Franklin’s accusation of Anti-Semitism.  They dangerously veer in the direction of professional paranoia about Israeli intelligence activities in the US with allegations about a possible “mole’. They point to the Pollard Affair as evidence of such a cabal.  They also impute ‘clout’ to AIPAC, a dangerous  aspect of the powerful Jewish lobby arguments of Mearsheimer Walt, that the ADL and others view amounts  to anti-Jewish screed.  I hearken back to an early post I did on the AIPAC case pointing to a comment relayed to me by Janet Levy Ross about David Szady, the FBI former counterintelligence associate director. Szady told her at the 2005 Intelligence summit, that “he was out to get AIPAC.” 

Clearly, despite the FBI and US Counterintelligence officials’ obfuscatory comments on Franklin’s accusations, it would appear that an element of anti-Semitism was indeed behind the tragic AIPAC case. In the wake of the defeat of the government’s case this should give rise to a Department of Justice Inspector General  investigation on the conduct by the FBI and federal prosecutors in fomenting what might be deemed as the US version of the 19th and early 20th century Dreyfus Affair in France.  The careers and reputations of Franklin and the former senior AIPAC officials, Weissman and Rosen have been sullied and ruined as a result of government misconduct.

Posted on 07/30/2009 6:46 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 30 July 2009
A News Oddity Which Needs Interpretation By An Expert But I?ll Do My Best

I was browsing, as one does, at, which is actually, when I came across this article:

Officials in Iran have offered to deliver nuclear fuel to Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power station, an Armenian regional governor who visited the Islamic Republic recently confirmed on Tuesday.
Ashot Ghahramanian, governor of the southern Armavir region, traveled to Iran’s Western Azerbaijan province and met with its governor, Rahim Qorbani, late last week to discuss ways of boosting ties between the two territories.
“In light of mastering the nuclear enrichment technology… the Islamic Republic of Iran is now ready to provide nuclear fuel for the neighboring countries’ power plants,” “The Tehran Times” daily quoted Qorbani as saying at the meeting.
Ghahramanian confirmed the information, saying that the offer was made after he mentioned the fact that Metsamor is located in Armavir and that the Armenian government plans to replace its aging reactor by a new and more powerful facility by 2017. “I replied that this issue is not within my area of responsibility,” he told RFE/RL. “It is dealt with by the government and the Energy Ministry and can not be a subject of our discussion.”
The Armenian Energy Ministry insisted that it has never discussed the possibility of nuclear fuel supplies from Iranian officials. “Armenia has received no official offers of nuclear fuel supplies from Iran, and no such discussions are taking place at the moment,” said Shakeh Arakelian, a ministry spokeswoman.
The Metsamor plant has received enriched uranium from Russia ever since it was built in the late 1970s. The situation might change after the planned development of Armenia’s uranium reserves by a Russian-Armenian joint venture set up a year ago. Sergei Kirienko, head of Russia’s Federal Agency on Atomic Energy, had said earlier that Armenia could become one of the few countries of the world with a full uranium production cycle from extraction of the metal to its transformation into nuclear fuel.
Iran’s nuclear program has been under international scrutiny over the past decade, with the United States and other Western powers accusing Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian leadership insists that it wants to use atomic energy for only peaceful purposes.
I’ve no idea what this article might mean in terms of Iran’s nuclear abilities but it’s fairly obvious that Iran is attempting to use what nuclear capability it has so far achieved to sow the seeds of strife and dissension and to attempt to divide Armenia from Russia, and the rest of the free world, by offering an alternative supply of fuel for the critically important, to Armenia, Metsamor nuclear power plant.
Armenia is rich in Uranium ore and Russia and Armenia currently enjoy a reasonably harmonious diplomatic relationship and co-operate in several mutually beneficent ways, including the field of nuclear technology. Armenia has, also, fairly good diplomatic relations with many other non-Islamic countries and is, as most of you will already be aware, the oldest Christian country on Earth. Armenia is a country which, and has a people who, have in the past suffered brutally at the hands of Islam (see here and also here) and its ravening hordes of deluded psychopaths.
It seems to me, but those more expert in the analysis of these things than I am may disagree, that this report is just one more sign of what we may expect from an Islamic nuclear power such as Iran seeks to become, or maybe is already! Such a power will meddle with our barely stable world – as Iran is attempting to do here – and will seek to disturb and disrupt existing relationships for its own ends. Its ends, in this case, are obvious. Iran is seeking to offer nuclear fuel to an historic enemy of Islam and hopes thereby to gain the upper hand whilst also, and at the same time, it seeks to secure a ready supply of Uranium ore by tying a small Christian country rich in what Iran needs to its, Iran’s, apron strings. It is a corollary that there must be, that there is also, a hidden agenda behind this move, this unofficial offer transmitted through a Regional Governor.
I’ll leave it your own imaginations to work out just what that hidden agenda must be – after all, you must all know enough about the rabid dog of Islamic supremacism by now. You certainly don’t need me to point out the obvious!
You can find Armenia using this map.
You can find Armavir, the ancient capital of Armenia (dating from about four thousand years ago but the site has been occupied for at least seven thousand years) in this article, which also has a map.
Meanwhile, over at there is this article which seems to be as confused as I am about all this:
The readiness demonstrated by Iran to supply the nuclear power plant which is under construction in Armenia's Armavir city with nuclear fuel once again raises the question concerning the Islamic Republic's nuclear potential. On Sunday the governor of the Iranian West Azerbaijan province Rahim Gurbani said that Iran is ready to export nuclear fuel to neighboring countries and other countries, "Tehran Times" reported.
Perhaps, such a statement is purely propaganda. During a visit to Kazakhstan in early July, the Israeli President Shimon Peres asked his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev not to sell nuclear fuel to Iran. Nazarbayev assured the guests that his country, which has 15 percent of the world's uranium fuel, has not sold and will not sell it to Iran.
During the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's visit to the Latin American countries last week, the talks also focused on the issue of Iran's nuclear fuel supply.
In response, Iran in every possible way tries to prove that the country has enough nuclear capability and is not dependent on other nations.
Earlier in 2008, the British Foreign Ministry instructed its diplomats in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Brazil to seek a guarantee of officials above the states, that they will not provide Iran with nuclear fuel. According to the last year's reports of "London Times", Iran's nuclear reserves are on the verge of exhaustion. The Press Secretary of the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a rebuttal of these statements.
There are two uranium mines in Iran. Experts believe the reserves in the Sagand mines in the Yazd and Gachin citird at in the Abbas port [no idea, translate for yourself!] are not enough to ensure even the smallest nuclear power station within ten years. The uranium reserves in the Sagand mine are at 350 meters of depth, and its production is a too complicated procedure. These mines can produce a maximum of 1,400 tons of uranium. In addition, Uranium fuel produced in Iran costs much higher than its value on world markets.
Iran buys 110 tons of fuel from Russia per year for the Bushehr plant which does not yet function. Official Moscow guaranteed a ten-year provision of the plant with fuel. The IAEA's 2008 report states that 70 percent of "Yellow Cake", imported to Iran from South Africa in 1970, was used to produce UF6 (uranium dioxide).
Besides Bushehr, six nuclear power plants will be put into exploitation by 2020, official Tehran said. A total of 200 tons of "Yellow Cake" per year is necessary to supply the Bushehr plant whose capacity is 1,000 MW with fuel. If Iran launches the Ardakan uranium mines, it can produce only 71 tons of the enriched uranium (3.5 percent). In this regard, the possibility of Iran's providing neighboring countries with nuclear fuel causes doubts.
So, it looks like Iran is deliberately trying to subvert Armenia in order to ensure the supplies of yellow cake that it is going to need in order to meet its 2020 target and that its own mines are ‘on the verge of exhaustion’. Something tells me that that is, if the Armenians remember their history, not going to work!
You can find Ardakan using this map.
You can find Bushehr province, on the Persian Gulf, using this map.
You can find Yazd using this map.
You can find Gachin (Baghin) using this map.
If you’ve read this far then you can find the Metsamor Nuclear Plant in Armenia using this map.
If you’re still with me then you can find a lot to worry about, and laugh over, at this site.
Posted on 07/30/2009 6:11 AM by John M. Joyce
Thursday, 30 July 2009
What will Obama do with Sharia civil war in oil-rich Nigeria?

In 1999 with the return to civil government control in Nigeria, the predominately Muslim north of the country was granted the right to impose Islamic Sharia law in 12 states.  Now with the eruption of a virtual Jihad over this issue in this important, but troubled oil-rich country in the Gulf of Guinea, the government has undertaken brutal reprisals against the Sharia sect that fomented the call for Jihad including invading Mosques and killing rebellious leaders and adherents.

For the Obama  Administration, Nigerian repression of Sharia advocates may present a problem in light of the President’s Cairo speech and outreach to the Muslim ummah, as well as his recent visit to sub Sahara Africa and speech in Ghana.   World News noted in a recent report on Obama’s  African trip that he avoided  visiting Nigeria because of a “ problematic 2007 election” in that country. One immediate issue is what  the US African Command ( AFRICOM ) would lend counterterrorism support to the Nigerian government, and other African countries in contending with home grown Jihad. This is not a regional matter, as West African oil fields are a major source of foreign oil imports for the US economy.

This AP report , “Nigerian troops attack Islamist mosque, kill 100,” discloses what the Nigerian Army did in one action to put down what could become a possible civil war over the untoward consequences of Nigera’s adoption of Sharia for the northern Muslim states.  

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Troops shelled the compound of an Islamist sect blamed for days of violence in northern Nigeria then attacked its mosque, killing at least 100 militants in a fierce battle.

Sect leader Mohammed Yusuf escaped along with about 300 followers but his deputy was killed in Wednesday night's bombardment, according to Army commander Maj. Gen. Saleh Maina.

The army was conducting a house-to-house manhunt Thursday on the outskirts of Maiduguri for Yusuf and his followers.

An AP reporter watched soldiers shoot their way into the mosque in Maiduguri on Wednesday and then rake those holed up inside with gunfire. The reporter later counted about 50 bodies inside the building and another 50 in the courtyard outside. The militants were armed with homemade hunting rifles, bows and arrows and scimitars.

Another five corpses were just inside a large house near the mosque. Maina pointed to the body of a plump, bearded man and said it the Boko Haram sect's vice chairman, Bukar Shekau.

"The mission has been accomplished," said Maina, the army commander.

Militants seeking to impose Islamic Sharia law throughout this multi-religious country attacked police stations, churches, prisons and government buildings in a wave of violence that began Sunday in Borno state and quickly spread to three other states in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria.

It is not known how many scores of people have been killed, wounded and arrested. Relief official Apollus Jediel said about 1,000 people had abandoned their homes Wednesday due to the violence, joining 3,000 displaced earlier this week in the four states.

The epicenter of the violence has been the Boko Haram's headquarters in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, which was bombarded Wednesday. Maina said his troops would fire mortar shells later Thursday to destroy what is left of the sprawling compound, which stretches over 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).

Borno Gov. Ali Modu Sheriff told journalists he had a report that Yusuf had been seen Wednesday night in a village about 28 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Maiduguri, and that he had asked for troops to be deployed there.

In other violence, Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper reported that militants attacked security forces in Yobe state on Wednesday, and quoted police as saying that 43 sect members were killed in a shootout near the state's second city, Potiskum.

Police in Bauchi state have reported 42 people killed, including two soldiers and a police officer, 67 hospitalized with serious injuries and 157 men arrested.

President Umaru Yar'Adua, who has been criticized for leaving the country Tuesday night for a state visit to Brazil, insisted before he left that the situation was under control. The military itself keep referring to "mopping up" exercises even as a full-scale battle was taking place.

Nigeria's 140 million people are nearly evenly divided between Christians, who predominate in the south, and primarily northern-based Muslims. Shariah was implemented in 12 northern states after Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 following years of oppressive military regimes. More than 10,000 Nigerians have died in sectarian violence since then.

The militants oppose western education and seek a harsh interpretation of Islamic Shariah law in northern Nigeria.

Posted on 07/30/2009 5:25 AM by Jerry Gordon
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