The men are all followers of Algerian-born Abdul Nacer Benbrika, a radical Melbourne cleric who also had acolytes in Sydney, eight of whom were arrested at the same time.
The 11 are charged with being members of a terrorist organization, and some are charged with funding a terrorist organization. They face prison sentences of up to 25 years.
Seven of the 11 refused to stand when directed to by the magistrate who read out their charges and asked for their pleas.
None of the defendants entered pleas Friday, but their attorneys had said earlier that their clients deny the charges laid against them.
Police alleged that the eight arrested in Sydney were part of a terrorist cell and had stockpiled enough chemicals to make 15 large bombs and could have been just days away from striking targets in Australia's largest city.
After all that nonsense, it looks like Rove and Libby didn't leak her name. But, considering that the money she was offered for her book was largely based on them doing so, it strikes me that she may still have a case. After all, now she's not going to make nearly as much dough. So maybe she can sue them for not leaking her name?
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd admits that he placed a “secret hold” on legislation that would make uncovering the Byzantine world of federal contracting as easy as typing a Google search.
Tom Gavin, spokesperson for Byrd, confirmed to Cox Newspapers that the senator placed the hold on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., before voting on the measure.
I'm actually a little sorry to hear it, as Mike was one of the more entertaining hosts on AAR. A complete fruitcake ranter, but at least you weren't snoozing off listening to his show, unlike, uh, Al, uh, Franken.
As always, for the latest on the escapades at Airhead America, check in with the Radio Equalizer.
Former Princeton professor Sean Wilentz announced today the conclusion of his 13th investigation of 2004 balloting in Ohio.
"John Kerry won the election, fair and square. It took us a couple tries, but when we compared Kerry's vote totals with those of Cleveland aldermen, a troubling pattern emerged."
President George Allen, reached for comment, said that the Democrats' continuing fascination with the 2004 Ohio election is matched only by their examination of the Wisconsin balloting in 2008 which resulted in his ascent to the Presidency.
Robert F. Kennedy III announced today that his examination of Ohio ballots from the 2004 election had proven that John F. Kerry won.
"John F. Kerry should have been our 44th president, no doubt about it. We discovered 120,000 fraudulent votes for Bush. It took a little work, but there were dimpled chads for Kerry; apparently the poll workers changed incomplete votes for him into votes for Bush."
President Tim Pawlenty declined comment, but a spokesman noted that the Democrats continue to display their sore loser status by questioning the vote counts in Arizona, New Mexico and Iowa during his election in 2016.
Since the election, questions have been raised about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that helped deliver the election to President Bush over Senator John Kerry.
The critics, including an independent candidate for governor and a team of statisticians and lawyers, say preliminary results from their ballot inspections show signs of more widespread irregularities than previously known.
Yeah, I'm sure. And get this lie:
The critics say their sole interest in the question is to improve the voting system.
“This is not about Mr. Kerry or Mr. Bush or who should be president,’’ said Bill Goodman, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York group that is part of the lawsuit. “This is about figuring out what is not working in our election system and ensuring that every cast vote counts.
Yes, of course it's a completely non-partisan issue, right, Bill? Except that when you surf over to the Center for Constitutional Rights' website, what do you see at the top left?
Ooooh, Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush. "See CCR Attorneys in the short documentary, How to Impeach a President."
Here's the video:
It's hilarious. The opening line in the film is "Since 9-11 it has been clear that the principal enemy of democracy has been in the White House."
Yes, you might have been duped into believing since 9-11 the principal enemy of democracy is Islamofascism, the ideology that was behind the attacks of 9-11. But the Center for Constitutional Rights knows better.
My favorite line--the laugh line you might say--is when one of the lawyers for CCR says, "This is a real grassroots campaign."
Yeah, a grassroots campaign led by a bunch of lawyers from a liberal thinktank--correction, it should be called a liberal "feeltank", as pointed out in the comments by XRayNova.
I've been sure that this was coming for awhile; it's a major reason why I've been much more tempered about my criticism of John McCain. That, and of course, because he hasn't given me as much to be angry about. Note: The reason Hynes' apparent enthusiasm for McCain made me tone my criticism is not because I worry about losing my treasured place on their blogroll, but because I respect Hynes' political instincts.
BTW, this absolutely means McCain is running in 2008. No surprise, but they can't plausibly deny it any longer.
I prefer McCain over Giuliani and Mitt Romney. George Allen's still a possible, but he's gotta keep his Senate seat to have a chance and while it's still likely, it's looking shakier than it did five months ago. I wouldn't mind seeing somebody like Pawlenty or Newt or Bill Owens.
I want first and foremost to win the election. For me, getting a true conservative as our nominee is desirable and I absolutely agree that McCain's not that. But he would absolutely win if he got the nomination, so he's very attractive on that score.
James Boyce, who used to spend half of his posts over at the HuffPo complaining about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, decides that it's time to start sliming veterans and heroes like Paul Galanti.
But here's the best news. Evidently some reporters at The Washington Post have dug into Galanti's past over the last few years and perhaps now, with Galanti front and center in a top Senate race, they will share their findings with the rest of us. Could it be that Senator Allen, clearly a racist, has brought on board a sexist turncoat to shore up his vet status? It just keeps getting better and better.
Galanti's military decorations include the Silver Star, Two Legions of Merit for combat, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star for combat, nine Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal for combat and two Purple Hearts.
He spent seven years in the Hanoi Hilton, with John McCain, Bud Day, Admiral Stockdale and others. He's a living legend, who did his part to make sure that twerps like James Boyce could spout his offensive claims.
As I mentioned on Constitutional Public Radio the other day, I have not covered the Duke Lacrosse rape case much since about April, since I was convinced the story was entirely bogus and that the young men charged in the case were guilty of nothing worse than poor judgment.
Slate takes a look at the NY Times' recent attempt to shore up the faltering case against the players.
The Wilson-Glater piece highlights every superficially incriminating piece of evidence in the case, selectively omits important exculpatory evidence, and reports hotly disputed statements by not-very-credible police officers and the mentally unstable accuser as if they were established facts. With comical credulity, it features as its centerpiece a leaked, transparently contrived, 33-page police sergeant's memo that seeks to paper over some of the most obvious holes in the prosecution's evidence.
This memo was concocted from memory, nearly four months after the underlying witness interviews, by Durham police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the lead investigator. Gottlieb says he took no contemporaneous notes, an inexplicable and indefensible police practice. Gottlieb had drawn fire before the alleged Duke rape—perhaps unbeknownst to the Times—as a Dukie-basher who reveled in throwing kids into jail for petty drinking infractions, noise violations, and the like, sometimes with violent criminals as cellmates.
The sergeant's account is indeed curious, since it contradicts contemporaneous accounts, in ways that support the prosecutor's case. It certainly seems convenient, if not outright fraudulent. As we've discussed, the dancer stated that her attackers were "chubby", which Slate notes certainly rules out Colin Finnerty. Indeed, they note that this description resulted in him not being included in the first two photo lineups:
Gottlieb's police team did not include a photo of Finnerty—the only team member who fits Gottlieb's account of a "baby-faced, tall, lean" rapist—in the 36 photos shown to the accuser later on March 16 and on March 21.
Like many stories this one features a narrative that fits the NY Times' biases. Wealthy white men versus a poor black woman; surely the men must be guilty. And even if they aren't, shouldn't they pay the price for centuries of slavery followed by 140 years of discrimination?
As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco deliberately running them down before being arrested by police, who believe the same driver struck and killed a man earlier today in Fremont.
Michael Moore, reached for a comment, said, "If he was trying to get back at Bush, he picked the wrong city! San Francisco voted overwhelmingly for Kerry!"
The suspect is reported Afghani and upset about his new wife being held up in a visa snafu. There is some concern that the incident ended near the San Francisco Jewish Community Center; that is, that he was heading there on purpose. Considering that the spree started in Fremont, on the other side of the Bay, it certainly seems more that coincidental.
The SUV hit two people in front of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on California Street, just blocks from where the rampage ended.
Blood covered the sidewalk in front of the center's gift store entrance, and 50 feet farther down the sidewalk lay a mangled bicycle. Security cameras in front of the center captured images of the incident, which happened at 1:12 p.m., said to Aaron Rosenthal, spokesman for the community center.
As some of you know, I used to live in San Francisco, for three years. It is certainly my impression from the stories I've read that this rampage occurred in a wealthy section of town.
He's got a lot of baggage, certainly, and his views don't fit well with the base of the party. But he is a proven leader who gets results as well. I'd certainly support him in the general election if he becomes the nominee, but he's not my first choice in the primaries. At this point I'm leaning towards George Allen, but he's got a real dogfight in Virginia this year, and he seems gaffe-prone.
Gaius Arbo has the details. Apparently British readers can't read the article I linked a couple of posts below.
Visitors who click on a link to the article, published Monday, instead got a notice explaining that British law "prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial." The blocked article reveals evidence authorities have in the alleged plot to use liquid explosives to down U.S. airliners over the Atlantic.
Maybe the concern was that with all the hand-wringing the Times did, the article might make it tougher to get a conviction?
The International Socialist Organization has rescinded its sponsorship of Cindy Sheehan's upcoming 17-day anti-war protest in Washington, D.C., according to a spokesman for the event.
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the ISO had been listed on news releases as a sponsor of "Camp Democracy," a protest and convention scheduled to take place on the National Mall Sept. 5-21.
Since the report was published Monday, the website promoting the event has removed the ISO from its list of sponsors, although the group is still listed in a sample news release that supporters are encouraged to send to local media outlets.
And this is one of those days. Talking about an appearance by Walt & Mearshiemer he notes:
Yesterday, at the invitation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), they held a forum at the National Press Club to expand on their allegations about the Israel lobby. Blurring the line between academics and activism, they accepted a button proclaiming "Fight the Israel Lobby" and won cheers from the Muslim group for their denunciation of Israel and its friends in the United States.
Whatever motivated the performance, the result wasn't exactly scholarly.
Walt singled out two Jews who worked at the Pentagon for their pro-Israel views. "People like Paul Wolfowitz or Doug Feith . . . advocate policies they think are good for Israel and the United States alike," he said. "We don't think there's anything wrong with that, but we also don't think there's anything wrong for others to point out that these individuals do have attachments that shape how they think about the Middle East."
"Attachments" sounds much better than "dual loyalties." But why single out Wolfowitz and Feith and not their non-Jewish boss, Donald Rumsfeld?
NY Times' Schizophrenia in Article On British Terror Plot
You can sense the warring narratives in this article on the planned plane bombers. At first we hear of the seriousness of the charges and the plot:
The ominous language of seven recovered martyrdom videotapes is among new details that emerged from interviews with high-ranking British, European and American officials last week, demonstrating that the suspects had made considerable progress toward planning a terrorist attack. Those details include fresh evidence from Britain’s most wide-ranging terror investigation: receipts for cash transfers from abroad, a handwritten diary that appears to sketch out elements of a plot, and, on martyrdom tapes, several suspects’ statements of their motives.
But they make sure to water that down with the message that the attack was not imminent:
But at the same time, five senior British officials said, the suspects were not prepared to strike immediately. Instead, the reactions of Britain and the United States in the wake of the arrests of 21 people on Aug. 10 were driven less by information about a specific, imminent attack than fear that other, unknown terrorists might strike.
Those are two consecutive paragraphs that basically send conflicting messages. We get the same throughout the article:
Later that day, Paul Stephenson, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police in London, said the goal of the people suspected of plotting the attack was “mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” On the day of the arrests, some officials estimated that as many as 10 planes were to be blown up, possibly over American cities. Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, described the suspected plot as “getting really quite close to the execution stage.”
But British officials said the suspects still had a lot of work to do. Two of the suspects did not have passports, but had applied for expedited approval. One official said the people suspected of leading the plot were still recruiting and radicalizing would-be bombers.
It was serious, but not that serious. It was advanced, but not that advanced. They didn't have passports but they had requested expedited approval....
Get what the Times is doing? While they have to report the facts, they are making sure to color the facts in a way that the plot doesn't end up helping the Bush Administration.
Errr, that is, some form of life known as the 9-11 Denier. About a month ago, the Onion posted a gag about how Oliver Stone's World Trade Center movie posited the "single plane" theory for September 11, with the same plane responsible for all four crashes that terrible day.
Well, believe it or not, Morgan Reynolds, who gets pushed forward in the 9-11 Denial Movement because he's a former Bush Administration staffer (Economist with the Department of Labor), has endorsed this theory, along with something about a chameleon plane that went invisible so we wouldn't realize they hadn't actually crashed into the second tower.
Even more bizarre, he acknowledges the Onion story!
Here is more food for thought: the same chameleon plane could have appeared at all three events: 9:03a at WTC 2, 9:32-9:37a at the Pentagon, and 10:06a at Shanksville, PA. In truth, the perps only needed the disappearing plane trick at WTC 2 but it is a promising possibility for Shanksville too. The Pentagon event did not really need an airliner but the single plane theory proposed this month as a parody of the JFK single-bullet theory actually might make sense! The same disappearing act by the same secret plane could have been used at all three locations! We shall see if future work bears any of this out.
But it gets better. Steven Jones, who's sort of the rock star of the 9-11 Denial Movement right now, if one can describe a physicist and Mormon as a rock star, has invited Reynolds (DOC file) to post a paper at his "scholarly" Journal of Nine-Eleven Studies (aka JONES), which he has already announced will be both peer reviewed and published!
I could go on, but the fact is that as editor of the Journalof911Studies.com, I have invited Morgan Reynolds and whoever he wishes to join him, and another author to write papers on BOTH sides of this issue – did REAL planes hit the Twin WTC Towers, or not? Both sides agreed. In this way, readers will have two peer-reviewed scholarly papers side by side, both confronting the evidences presented above and whatever other evidences they wish to bring in – and then the reader can judge for himself or herself.
Uh, you know, I can already tell that the peer review process at the Journal of Nine-Eleven Studies is a joke.
The original million-dollar arm and ten-cent head returns to the Raiders. He used to be able to play, but was always a problem because he didn't want to put in the time studying film and learning to read defenses. He had a cannon of an arm, one of the five best arms I've ever seen--not quite up there with Favre or Jurgensen, but in the next grouping. But he's thirty-seven going on thirteen, hasn't played in five years and last played well in 1999. Davis has had success with these kinds of guys, but it was always when they were still young enough to prosper in the right system.
Jeff George is the last player I'd want on my team.
An Italian named Angelo Frammartino, 25, espoused the typical anti-Israel views of a far-leftist, as he expressed in a letter to a newspaper in 2006:
We must face the fact that a situation of no violence is a luxury in many parts of the world, but we do not seek to avoid legitimate acts of defense. … I never dreamed of condemning resistance, the blood of the Vietnamese, the blood of the people who were under colonialist occupation or the blood of the young Palestinians from the first intifada.
Actively to forward his beliefs, Frammartino went to Israel in early August 2006 to serve as a volunteer with ARCI, a far-leftist NGO, working with Palestinian children at the Burj al-Luqluq community center in eastern Jerusalem.
But on August 10, he was stabbed in a terrorist assault at Sultan Suleiman Street, near Herod’s Gate in Jerusalem, twice in the back and once in the neck. He died shortly after, only two days before his planned return to Italy. The killer, soon identified as Ashraf Hanaisha, 24, turned out to be a Palestinian affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A resident of the village of Qabatiya in the Jenin area, Hanaisha apparently planned to attack a Jewish Israeli but made a mistake.
I hate it when that happens! But not to worry, Frammartino's family forgives his killer (shades of Michael Berg).
Here's a silly little article about famous parents with offspring who put embarrassing things on their blogs or MySpace pages.
AS the leader of the Republican party in the US Senate and a possible presidential candidate, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee has a reputation for sober rectitude. The same cannot be said of his son Jonathan, a Vanderbilt University student who recently appeared on the internet wearing six cans of beer strapped to his belt.
Nor has Jonathan’s brother Bryan done much to help his father’s attempts to strike a reasonable note about US involvement in Iraq. “I was born an American by God’s amazing grace,” wrote Bryan Frist in an online profile. “Let’s bomb some people.”
Sounds like the tongue was firmly planted in the cheek on that one. But you'll notice as you read the article that all of the politicians and others mentioned have one thing in common: they're not liberals. Frist, Louie Gohmert (Congressman), Samuel Alito and Mike Huckabee are all conservatives.
So what's going on here? Oh, that's right, liberals can't be hypocrites, therefore it isn't news when their children do wild things, the way it is when Republican kids make silly mistakes. If RFK, Jr's son showed off his bong collection on his MySpace, the press would point out that it's just part of the continuing trials and tribulations of the Kennedys.
WALLACE: And, finally, Senator Biden — finally, we've got about 30 seconds left, but I can't let you go without some politics. As we've mentioned, you're in South Carolina right now, on the campaign trial. Thirty seconds or less, what kind of a chance would a Northeastern liberal like Joe Biden stand in the South if you were running in Democratic primaries against southerners like Mark Warner and John Edwards.
BIDEN: Better than anybody else. You don't know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a Northeast liberal state.