An FBI - Joint Terrorism Task Force news conference will be underway within minutes.
Three people have been arrested, including a U.S. citizen in connection with an alleged terror plot at JFK airport. Another of those arrested served in the Guyana Parliament. A fourth suspect is being sought.
This was a long-term investigation. The suspects allegedly targeted the infrastructure around the airport (fuel tanks and gas pipe lines), not airplanes.
The plan was aspirational, not operational. It was a preventive bust. It appears the group tried to recruit an FBI agent.
Russell Defreitas, the airport worker, will be arraigned this afternoon. The FBI has released wiretaps to the media.
Here's the main conversation the media is focusing on:
In a recorded conversation following one of the surveillance missions, Defreitas allegedly predicted that the attack would result in the destruction of the “whole of Kennedy.” "Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States,” allegedly said Defreitas in a recorded conversation. “To hit John F Kennedy, wow, they love John F Kennedy. Like, he's the man. If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you can kill the man twice."
There's no evidence they are tied to al-Qaida, although they are believed to be tapping into a network of muslim extremists from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
I see that, as usual, Drudge is doing his valiant best, with a huge banner headline, to instigate another of our drearily predictable national nervous breakdowns, complete with tearing of hair, shouts of kinda, sorta impending doom, and announcements of The End of Civilization and the Destruction of, Like, Everything!
The reviews are typical for this kind of imitative, threadbare, tenth-generation knock-off:
"ONE OF THE MOST CHILLING PLOTS IMAGINABLE!!!!!" -- Some Lady Lawyer
"THE DEVASTATION...IS JUST UNTHINKABLE!!!!" -- The Same Lady Lawyer
Also as usual, when you read almost to the very end of the story, you see this:
Aviation officials said there is no major threat to air travel related to this plot since it was caught in the developmental stages.This is, how do you say...oh, yeah:
One law enforcement official said: "[There was] credible intent to commit violence but it was not operational."
Officials said the suspects never got hold of explosive devices.
Every time this happens, it turns out that the whole damn thing was either made up by the state out of thin air, the idea to do something violent came from the undercover FBI informant or the "truth" was tortured out of the guy."Now you know how the rest of the world feels."
There?s no al Qaeda in America. As always, the biggest threat to our lives and liberties is the national government of the United States. Now you know how the rest of the world feels.
Partial list of bogus domestic terrorism plots...
Someday there will be real terrorists and Americans will die because the FBI is screwing around with a bunch of nonsense. Again.
We have all been saved again. Another deadly terror plot has been uncovered in its early stages, with plotters planning to blow up airliners/JFK/The NY Subway/Sears Tower (delete as appropriate). Doubtless Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to it already.
Tell you what, you all run around being terrified, I need an afternoon nap. Maybe I'll wake up to find we've invaded another country, or at the very least introduced the State of Emergency in the UK which Blair and Reid have been asking for.
Today, Jared Roebuck , a 21 year-old Black blogger whom I admire quite a bit, waded into the deep whitosphere waters of the MyDD with a front-page article announcing the formation and goals of the AfroSpear/Afrosphere, retelling the history of our founding, including the provocative question, "Is the term "Whitosphere" a Fair Descriptor for the White Blogosphere?"
"by Jared Roebuck, Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 02:42:28 PM EST
A while back Chris wrote a series of posts on diversity in the political blogosphere. At the time I found the discussion to be rather insightful, as it brought some pretty important questions into focus: How is the progressive, political blogosphere defined? What, if any, obligations do blogs have to be diverse? What new media activities are different groups of people engaging in?
Furthermore, why do groups gravitate to one kind of media over another? What are the consequences(if any) of that? I don't intend to try and answer any of these questions in this post, but rather I want to put something on the table that may help further our thinking on these matters." Found at MyDD
In retelling this history, which was necessary to introduce the AfroSpear, Jared violated a rule followed almost religiously at DailyKos and MyDD: "Don't quote Francis L. Holland!" Jared was immediately rebuked for this by an attentive MyDD vigilante who said:
Re: The Afrosphere (none / 0)
You linked to a Francis Holland blog page!
It may be well worth abandoning MYdd. Something that I will have to think about. I always liked it here, more than KOS and several other blogs.
But in light of Jared as a front pager - I may have to leave.
John Edwards for 2008 Act Blue donations.
by dk2 on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 05:13:55 PM EST
Obama tilt on the front page? (none / 0)
Here is what Holland stated about Edwards:
Edwards doesn't offer me anything except more of the same. I'm going to tell you straight out, as I've said it before: If you define the status quo as "the historic and continuing political disenfranchisement of women and Blacks in America ("the poor"), then it becomes absolutely clear that the election of John Edwards would be the clearest possible reaffirmation of the status quo.
The election John Edwards will reaffirm that the 35% of America that is white male still holds an absolute monopoly over the Presidency in a country that is 65% not white-male. That political monopoly has economic consequences that are obvious when you look at who is poor in America.
And that's why ultimately John Edwards candidacy, as an "anti-poverty president", will not not resound with me or with most anyone who is a not a white male. Francis L. Holland
Seems like his is what can now be expected at this site, front page diaries from an avowed Obama supporter that present issues from and indirectly advocate for the Obama point of view.
by francislholland on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 08:40:20 AM EST
by citizen53 on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 06:22:26 PM EST
We hear a lot of discussion about the safety of our borders and the efforts of the Homeland Security Department to prevent the entrance of terrorists. Given the fact that we haven?t had any further attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11, the impression is that our efforts are succeeding. While I have no doubt there [...]
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This should be interesting :The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about a March 2004 hospital-room confrontation during which he refused to sign off on a continuation of President[...]
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Steve Gilliard passed away today. He had a great voice that will really be missed.
I'm not a violent man, but this segement on Friday's "Hardball" made me want to hurl something at my tv. Chris Matthews' guests are conservative publisher Eric Jackson, pimping his new global warming denial book for children and author, Frances Moore Lappe, who discuss teaching children about the left and right and in particular [...]
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It would be silly if it weren't so deadly serious.
On June 1, in a news conference in Madrid, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured the world that ?The President of the United States has made it clear that we are on a course that is a diplomatic course. That policy is supported by all of the members of the cabinet, and by the vice president of the United States.?
Helene Cooper of the New York Times tells us that Rice's statements came on the heels of reports that Dick Cheney staffers are saying that Cheney thinks diplomacy with Iran is pointless, and is trying to convince Mr. Bush to bomb it.
According to Cooper, a senior Bush administration official denies there is a deep separation between Rice and Cheney. "But," the official said, ?the vice president is not necessarily responsible for every single thing that comes out of the mouth of every single member of his staff."
Uh, huh. Cheney staffers run around leaking things they're not supposed to? That doesn't sound likely to me. Steven C. Clemons of The Washington Note says that one Cheney aide admits "Cheney himself is frustrated with President Bush and believes, much like Richard Perle, that Bush is making a disastrous mistake by aligning himself with the policy course that Condoleezza Rice, [Secretary of Defense] Bob Gates, [CIA Director] Michael Hayden and [Director of National Intelligence Mike] McConnell have sculpted."
Cooper of the Times says interviews with members of Cheney's staff confirm the broad outlines of Clemons's story, and that some of the most hawkish statements came from David Wurmser, who is presently Cheney's principle deputy assistant for national security affairs.
In a BBC interview broadcast on June 1, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said ?You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say, ?let?s go and bomb Iran.??
It's not difficult to figure out who ElBaradei was referring to as "crazies." The term seems to be gaining in popularity. Reportedly, new Central Command chief Admiral William Fallon told a confidant that an attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch" and that "There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box."
Western European officials share ElBaradei's concerns. ?We fully believe that Foggy Bottom [U.S. State Department] is committed to the diplomatic track,? one of them says. ?But there?s some concern about the vice president?s office.?
All Roads Lead to the Crazies
It looks more each day like a shift in the balance of power within the administration has occurred. With Cheney's firm ally Donald Rumsfeld gone, and with new Secretary of Defense seeming to side with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Cheney's death grip on U.S. foreign policy may have indeed waned. If true, that could be a good thing. But at this point in the Bush II regime, unfortunately, foreign policy is so smothered with Dick Cheney's fingerprints that that it may be impossible to wipe clean.
Cheney's imprimatur on the Lebanon/Israeli conflict and on the Iran situation may have permanently destroyed Rice's ability to be regarded as an honest broker. Anyone dealing with Rice has good reason to suspect that any deal she brokers will be backdoor vetoed by Cheney. What's more, diplomatic measures taken in the pre-Gates days severely limit Rice's freedom of action.
The best example of this is the pre-condition set on direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. By demanding that it suspend all uranium enrichment activities before direct talks can take place, we made Iran an offer it couldn't accept. The U.N. Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty guarantees Iran's right to pursue peaceful nuclear technologies as an "inalienable right." By denying Iran this right, we essentially broke a treaty (yet again) to which we are signatory.
The effects of this sort of thing spiral. Russia and China, Iran's senior "axis of energy" partners, have yet another excuse to ignore treaties whenever it suits them. Last week, Russia tested two new offensive missiles in response to U.S. plans to deploy missile defense systems in central and eastern Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin said of the missile tests "It wasn't us who initiated a new round of arms race," and criticized the U.S. and NATO members for not ratifying an amended version of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty that limits the deployment of heavy non-nuclear weapons.
"We have signed and ratified the CFE and are fully implementing it. We have pulled out all our heavy weapons from the European part of Russia," Putin said. "What about our partners? They are filling eastern Europe with new weapons? What we are supposed to do? We can't just sit back."
I certainly don't aim to paint Russia, China or Iran as the "good guys" in our present foreign policy dilemmas. But we started the ball rolling with the Bush administration's unilateral abrogation of the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention on Torture and other treaties, and when treaties become "just another piece of paper," the very fabric of international relations will unravel.
And that appears to be precisely what Dick Cheney and his crazies have been trying to accomplish all along.
Note: Cheney sideman John Bolton is famously known for having said, "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law."
Like Cheney, Bolton has a weak grasp of the U.S. Constitution, Article VI of which states:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.
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My defenses (kidding) of Joe Klein finally struck gold. He didn't genuflect (a la Mark "Freak Show" Halperin) at the altar of Hugh Hewitt. But Joe can't help but falsely smear Left Blogs saying:
JK: You know, the most recent thing that I did that got them [the Left Blogs] ticked off was in my column not this week, but last week. I reported that there was good news in Al Anbar Province . . . I did this based on a lot of reporting, and including a high-ranking military official in Iraq, and I was accused of taking dictation from the Bush administration by some of the left wing bloggers. . . . [I]t’s because there are, you know, this doesn’t represent everybody on the left. It only represents a small segment. But there are people who just don’t want good news from Iraq. . . . JK: They want us to lose
Come on Joe. Criticizing you is not wanting us to lose. I disagreed with the criticism actually but for crissakes, what is it about your ego that would equate criticism of you with wanting us to lose? Sound like Bush on that one.
But now for the somewhat better Klein:
HH: Joe, I want to know if you’ve read America Alone.
JK: No, I haven’t read America Alone. What’s that?
HH: It’s Mark Steyn’s bestseller, New York Times.
JK: (laughing) Oh, it’s right wing propaganda. I read stuff in the middle, I talk to our generals, I talk to our intelligence community, I try and get, I don’t believe in much of the crap that’s coming from the left or right on this stuff. We’re not in World War IV, but we’re in a very serious situation, and we’re not…and up until Gates was hired, we haven’t, this administration hasn’t taken a very serious situation very seriously.
HH: I’m going back to your column, though. Do you read Victor Davis Hanson, last guy I’ll ask you about.
JK: Yes, from time to time. I think he’s ridiculous. He’s a wonderful historian, and his sense of what’s going on in Iraq right now is as foolish as Bernard Lewis’ sense.
HH: So Bernard Lewis, Victor Davis Hanson and Mark Steyn are all foolish?JK: Yes, absolutely.
Now I say the better Joe Klein not because he knows what he is talking about. On Iraq, he really does not imo. And his reflexive Broderism is pretty appalling. But it is "better Joe" because he at least stands up to Hewitt and calls wingnuts wingnuts. And that is "better" than most of them.
I'm curious about a few things from those of you who travel a lot, and figured why not share the question here so we can share the advice with everyone.
1. Best travel Web site for finding good deals, I'm particularly interested in international flights to Europe? A friend turned me on to Kayak.com, pretty cool site.
2. How in God's name do you use miles to upgrade a ticket, especially for international travel?
3. Best and worst air carriers? Now, personally I'm interested in international especially - flying from the US to Europe, but feel to share other carriers to other parts of the world. I used to fly US carriers to Europe, then the seats got so cramped and the food so bad (and the service so surly - Delta) that I stopped. Then I only flew Air France, which had great food and nice sized seats. Now their seats have shrunk, though the food is still good and the service is nice. Anybody fly enough internationally to recommend which airline has a decent sized seat in coach?
And any other advice about how to find good tickets for international travel?