We will play all requests from those overseas, as well as play any audio files with messages for loved ones you send. Let me stress again, there is no profit or any money in this. It is simply a way for us here at home to spread a little happiness. - Sailor
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
We will play all requests from those overseas, as well as play any audio files with messages for loved ones you send. Let me stress again, there is no profit or any money in this. It is simply a way for us here at home to spread a little happiness. - Sailor
Monday, August 29, 2005
'The following letter was written in response to a public "Die-In" held at the front gate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, this past April. Its author, Marc Fencil, would have been on campus at the time, but, as a Marine, he was stationed in Iraq. OU's official student publication, The Post, ran his letter on April 8, 2005. We were as inspired by his forthright invitation to the antiwar protestors as we are grateful for his service. If only every college student -- let alone professor -- were endowed with as much patriotism and common sense. -- The Editors.'
'To the editor:
It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!
Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the market unaccompanied by their husbands.
There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you "infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?
I'm warning you though -it's not going to be all fun and games over here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for, but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads (we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while you continue to live outside of reality.
If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling "Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind.
Marc Fencil, a senior majoring in political science, criminology and Spanish at Ohio University, is currently serving in Iraq. Send him an e-mail at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.'
'Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells: View from the ground
Much has been and continues to be accomplished in Iraq. It would be a mistake to withdraw.
Because I have been serving for nearly 18 months in Iraq, I have a greater sensitivity to the debate in the media about the war.
It seems it is an obligation that I should share a different perspective from what the media focus on. My views are not those of someone who has "visited" Baghdad for a few days, as some pundits have. I serve in the day-to-day, sometimes monotonous battle for freedom. As a simple grunt colonel, I don't have the power of the press, but I certainly have the power and responsibility to express my perspective and opinion.
So many of those writing negative stories about Iraq, have never left the safety and comfort of their own beds. Take some one like Frank Rich, for example. Here is a leftist drama critic who now fancies himself an expert on military and foreign affairs matters. He is totally clueless and really should stick to reveiwing plays. As far as I know, he has never stepped foot in Iraq.
I'm concerned by the recent wave of attacks on President Bush, Congress and others for going to war and, now, for pursuing it to a successful conclusion. Several factors seem to be contributing to the criticism, including the political motivation of the critics and the "instant news" in this shake-and-bake, ever-flattening world.
It has been nearly 28 months since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
But insurgencies take years, not months, to overcome – and Iraq is different from your garden-variety insurgency. Most of the various enemies/opponents have no plans to govern, only plans to disrupt, create chaos and gain from that imbalance. Iraq is also different in that it serves as the battleground in a much larger war of worldwide terror.
Remember now, Sheehan and her leftist friends call these terrorists "freedom fighters". Natuarlly these same leftists do not consider this one of the battles in the larger war on terror. Some of them, like Fat Mikey Moore, claim there is no terrorist threat.
The tools of war are another factor in this insurgency. Our ability to concentrate the fight and limit fratricide and collateral damage continues to improve. This allows for fewer soldiers to do the job – but that has the effect of making this "someone else's war." Only 138,000 soldiers are serving in Iraq, which pales in comparison with, for example, Gen. John Pershing's command of 2 million soldiers in World War I.
The impact at home certainly pales as well. Folks back home seem more interested in the saga in Aruba than in the development of successful governance and essential services in place like Fallujah, Najaf and Sadr City.
The leftist media tried to portray Fallujah as victory for the terrorists, until they could no longer sustain that line because of the facts. So, you cannot expect them to show the turn around in Fallujah. After all, it would not fit with their quagmire rants.
I have been fighting alongside troops, diplomats and civilians from Iraq, Britain, Denmark and dozens of other nations. I am convinced we are like-minded in the just cause of this conflict. Seeing the combat from this side of the argument tends to bring some things into greater focus.
The naysayers continue to press the legitimacy of the war, but let me say that the legal aspects of this conflict are indeed just. There were and continue to be a just cause, the right intention and the legitimate authority to initiate and prosecute this conflict after a reasonable exhaustion of peaceful remedies. And there is a reasonable hope of success.
Some people attempt to fit the assumptions of 2005 into the questions of 2003. In doing so, they feel justified advocating that the U.S. abruptly withdraw from Iraq and leave the Iraqi people to fend for themselves. To do so plays into the terrorists' hands.
Iraqis are tired of the Baathist regime's – and now the terrorists' – use of torture, executions, rapes and bullying. They are in the good hands of competent Iraqi leaders who are marching forward in the face of intense adversity. It is we, as freedom-loving Americans, who should be shoulder to shoulder in supporting them.
Once again, these are the very some miscreants that Cindy Sheehan and her ilk, support as "freedom fighters". "Freedom fighters" do not intentionally target civilians, women and children, mosques, markets funerals or weddings. Terrorists do that. Murderers do that. These people that Cindy Sheehan is throwing her support behind, killed her son.
To do otherwise is less than honorable, panders to the terrorists and has slim legal underpinnings.
Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells is a long-time San Antonio resident, commander of the 208th Regional Support Group and a U.S. Army War College graduate. His current assignment is Deputy for Operations Support in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. His son is serving in the U.S. Army Reserves in Al Asad, Iraq. Col. Wells' e-mail address is email@example.com.'
Sunday, August 28, 2005
' Countless numbers of illegal aliens pass through our Mexico borders every day. If a truck filled with migrant workers can pass undetected across the border between Mexico and the US, who's to say that al Qaeda can't easily sneak in terrorists and weapons. The fact is, they can, and they DO!
The Washington Times has noted the testimony of a Homeland Security Department official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding al Qaeda and America's southern border. The official told the committee:
"Several al Qaeda leaders believe operatives can pay their way into the country
through Mexico, and also believe illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for
operational security reasons."
In particular, the border between the U.S. and Mexico stands ready as a huge
"welcome mat" for terrorists, weapons, and equipment. It's time that someone
puts two and two together and sees that a real war on terror includes stopping
terrorists before they actually enter the country.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there's "no secret" that al Qaeda will try
to get into America "by any means that they possibly can." Secretary Rice added,
"That's how they managed to do it before and they will do everything that they can to cross borders."
She noted that Americans should not be "alarmist" or "surprised" by this news, but should react to it.
I agree, and the best way to react to this information is to get serious about border security and put politics aside. Waging a real war on terror depends on us securing our borders. However, one of the primary problems in addressing border security is that it is immersed in the politically-charged, overall issue of illegal immigration. This predicament leads to many problems in dealing with border security because there are so many other questions involved:
What does America do with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country?
What does America do to the employers who hire illegal workers?
Why does America promote a "guest worker" program on one hand, while fighting a war on terror on the other?
More roadblocks to a serious discussion about border security have been set up by traditional conservative publications like the Wall Street Journal and leaders such as Jack Kemp who have labeled those who support stricter controls on the border as "anti-immigrant" and racist.
It is a ridiculous notion that ILLEGAL immigration, and LEGAL immigration are the same thing. They are not! Anything that is “illegal” is against the law. Enforcing that which is “against the law” is certainly NOT racist or anti-immigrant.
Although it is true that in our nation’s history we have often looked the other way as hoardes of illegal aliens crossed the border into our country, in these frightening times of terrorism it would be a very foolish thing for us NOT to do everything possible to close our borders.'
Just one comment from me. If we are really serious about securing our borders, we must crackdown and crackdown hard on those who hire illegals. - Sailor
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
' Though newspapers around the country carried wire service stories of the Pentagon's Aug. 10 announcement, there wasn't a peep from The New York Times, The Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times on the subject.
Recruits in July totaled 109 percent of the Army's goal, the second straight month above target. In aggregate, the four services were 4 percent over (the Navy fell 1 percent short).
The Pentagon says the Army will still fall short for the fiscal year, and reserve components are still not signing up enough new members (though re-upping targets are being met by the National Guard units of the Army and Air Force). Still, the enlistments ought to prove that America's young men and women still believe in their country and its difficult mission in Iraq, despite all that Cindy Sheehan and her band of like-minded demonstrators can do.
The New York Post dug a little deeper than the bare-bones announcement. Every one of the Army's 10 combat divisions has exceeded its re-enlistment goal for the fiscal year so far. The 1st Cavalry Division was at 136 percent; the 3rd Infantry Division at 117 percent. As author Ralph Peters noted, "This is unprecedented in wartime."'
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
'Cindy Sheehan, the so-called Peace Mom seeking a second meeting with President Bush in connection with the Iraq War death of her son, says terrorists killing Americans are "freedom fighters."
She made the remark during her trek earlier this month to Crawford, Texas; but her equating the enemy with freedom fighters has not been highlighted by the mainstream media, despite her telling it directly to a reporter for CBS News. '
'"You know that the president says Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, don't you believe that?" asked Mark Knoller of CBS, surrounded by a host of other reporters.
"No, because it's not true," Sheehan replied. "You know Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. I mean they're not even a threat to the United States of America. Iraq was not involved in 9-11, Iraq was not a terrorist state. But now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open, freedom fighters from other countries are going in, and they [American troops] have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country. The terrorism is growing and people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their country."
I guess some one has not told Sheehan that Saddam harbored terrorist such as Abu Nidal, who was responsible for the murder of Leon Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer was an American, confined to a wheelchair, when he was murdered during the Achilli Lauro hijacking. Nor has any one infromed her that Saddam also paid a stipend to the families of suicide bombers. As for the killing of innocent civillians, Sheehan must be turning a blind eye to all of the suicide bombings of civilian targets in Iraq by her and Fat Mikey Moore's "freedom fighters".
Of course the leftist media has buried this. Remarks such as this would expose Sheehan not as a grieving mother, but as a tool of those that support these terrorists. - Sailor
Monday, August 22, 2005
Once again another group is going to have me using sailorish language. The International Freedom Center (IFC) is at it again. This time they are seriously considering taking advice from a global network of so called human rights groups to down play America at the 9/11 Memorial. What the fuck are these idiots thinking at the IFC? Last time a I looked, Ground Zero was in Lower Manhattan, not Bangladesh. So if these so called human rights groups and the IFC want to down play America, let them find another venue for their anti-American bullshit. Douglas Heiden reports on this outrage in his article.
'A global network of human rights museums is urging the International Freedom Center to downplay America in its exhibits and programs at Ground Zero, the Daily News has learned.
The outrageous request is the latest controversy to torment the Freedom Center, whose leaders have tried to dispel the perception that it would be a home for America bashers.
"Don't feature America first," the IFC has been advised by the consortium of 14 "museums of conscience" that quietly has been consulting with the Freedom Center for the past two years over plans for the hallowed site. "Think internationally, where America is one of the many nations of the world."'
Think internationally? Listen up, this attack was on American soil. This memorial is to remember the almost 3000 people murdered there, the vast majority, Americans. If you want to place your anti-American displays at Ground Zero, think again. Find another venue or quite frankly, you can shove your anti-American hogwash up your collective asses.
'Those words rang hollow with some 9/11 family members.
"I can't think of a greater insult than to invite museums from other countries of the world to come and exploit what should be America's memorial," said Jack Lynch, who helped carry the body of his firefighter son Michael, 30, out of the rubble.
"If you're going to explore slavery, the Holocaust or women's rights, you should do it at Chelsea Piers or on the East River waterfront - anywhere but Ground Zero," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles, 51, was the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
"After all, it was not slavery that caused the terrorists to attack us," said Burlingame, who has led the fight to bar the IFC.
Under fire from 9/11 family members and Gov. Pataki, the IFC on July 6 pronounced itself proudly patriotic, vowed never to "blame America" and said it would celebrate the nation's "leading role in the global fight for freedom."
In April, however, the Freedom Center said on its Web site and newsletter that it had "drawn inspiration" and received "important practical advice" from the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience.'
I have some advice for Gov. Pataki and all of New York's elected officials. Tell the IFC to pack it's bags and find another site for their exhibits and set up a new group to plan out the 9/11 Memorial.
Here is an excerpt from a New York Daily News editorial on this matter:
'The International Freedom Center, which proposes to run a museum at Ground Zero, announced in April that it has "drawn inspiration and received some important practical advice" from a group of so-called museums of conscience around the world.
The IFC's organizers have also cited plans to host exhibitions by members of the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience as a reason why the Freedom Center would be a perfect fit for the hallowed ground where 2,749 people were murdered. To which we can only say that IFC leaders Tom Bernstein and Richard Tofel must be nuts. The advice the coalition gave them is neither inspirational nor practical. It is pure anti-American hogwash.
The coalition's wisdom, as spelled out in its 2004 annual report, begins by expressing concern about how religious Muslims would view the Freedom Center and climaxes by offering Bernstein, Tofel & Co. an offensive prescription: "Don't put America first." The coalition also worries that "the average Bangladeshi" feels "his/her human rights have been violated by the U.S." Come again? Exhibits on what amounts to a mass grave of slaughtered Americans will be decided by what the average Bangladeshi feels? Not bloody likely.
Consider this, too: "The Freedom Center is a caricature of the typical American response to everything (telling every story from an American viewpoint)." Exactly what viewpoint is an American museum on American soil marking an American tragedy supposed to express? Oh, right. Bangladeshi.'
It is high time that the IFC is given the old boondocker in the ass and thrown out of the door. You can help make this happen. Be sure to sign the "Take Back the Memorial" petition. You can also demand that your elected Federal officials demand the same thing. Federal monies are also involved in the creation of the 9/11 Memorial. Let's all support Debra Burlingame in her fight to see that the 9/11 Memorial is a fitting tribute to those that were murdered on 9/11 and not just another Bash America venue. - Sailor
Thursday, August 18, 2005
'REVIEW & OUTLOOK
She Does Not Speak for Me
My son died in Iraq--and it was not in vain.
BY RONALD R. GRIFFIN
Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:01 a.m.
I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.
I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.
The fallen heroes, until now, have enjoyed virtually no individuality. They have been treated as a monolith, a mere number. Now Mrs. Sheehan, with adept public relations tactics, has succeeded in elevating herself above the rest of us. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida declared that Mrs. Sheehan is now the symbol for all parents who have lost children in Iraq. Sorry, senator. Not for me.
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan's plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives?
I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title.
Although we all walk the same sad road of sorrow and agony, we walk it as individuals with all the refreshing uniqueness of our own thoughts shaped in large measure by the life and death of our own fallen hero. Over the past few days I have reached out to other parents and loved ones of fallen heroes in an attempt to find out their reactions to all the attention Mrs. Sheehan has attracted. What emerges from those conversations is an empathy for Mrs. Sheehan's suffering but a fundamental disagreement with her politics.
Ann and Dale Hampton lost their only child, Capt. Kimberly Hampton, on Jan. 2, 2004, while she was flying her Kiowa helicopter. She was a member of the 82nd Airborne and the company commander. She had already served in Afghanistan before being deployed to Iraq. Ann Hampton wrote, "My grief sometimes seems unbearable, but I cannot add the additional baggage of anger. Mrs. Sheehan has every right to protest . . . but I cannot do that. I would be protesting the very thing that Kimberly believed in and died for."
Marine Capt. Benjamin Sammis was Stacey Sammis's husband. Ben died on April 4, 2003, while flying his Super Cobra helicopter. Listen to Stacey and she will tell you that she is just beginning to understand the enormousness of the character of soldiers who knowingly put their lives at risk to defend our country. She will tell you that one of her deepest regrets is that the world did not have the honor of experiencing for a much longer time this outstanding Marine she so deeply loved.
Speak to Joan Curtin, whose son, Cpl. Michael Curtin, was an infantryman with the 2-7th 3rd ID, and her words are passionately ambivalent. She says she has no room for bitterness. She has a life to lead and a family to nurture. She spoke of that part of her that never heals, for that is where Michael resides. She can go on, always knowing there will be that pain.
Karen Long is the mother of Spc. Zachariah Long, who died with my son Kyle on May 30, 2003. Zack and Kyle were inseparable friends as only soldiers can be, and Karen and I have become inseparable friends since their deaths. Karen's view is that what Mrs. Sheehan is doing she has every right to do, but she is dishonoring all soldiers, including Karen's son, Zack. Karen cannot comprehend why Mrs. Sheehan cannot seem to come to grips with the idea that her own son, Casey, was a soldier like Zack who had a mission to complete. Karen will tell you over and over again that Zack is not here and no one, but no one will dishonor her son.
My wife, Robin, has a different take on Mrs. Sheehan. She told me, "I don't care what she says or does. She is no more important than any other mother."
By all accounts Spc. Casey Sheehan, Mrs. Sheehan's son, was a soldier by choice and by the strength of his character. I did not have the honor of knowing him, but I have read that he attended community college for three years and then chose to join the Army. In August 2003, five months into Operation Iraqi Freedom and after three years of service, Casey Sheehan re-enlisted in the Army with the full knowledge there was a war going on, and with the high probability he would be assigned to a combat area. Mrs. Sheehan frequently speaks of her son in religious terms, even saying that she thought that some day Casey would be a priest. Like so many of the individuals who have given their lives in service to our country, Casey was a very special young man. How do you decry that which someone has chosen to do with his life? How does a mother dishonor the sacrifice of her own son?
Mrs. Sheehan has become the poster child for all the negativity surrounding the war in Iraq. In a way it heartens me to have all this attention paid to her, because that means others in her position now have the chance to be heard. Give equal time to other loved ones of fallen heroes. Feel the intensity of their love, their pride and the sorrow.
To many loved ones, there are few if any "what ifs." They, like their fallen heroes before them, live in the world as it is and not what it was or could have been. Think of the sacrifices that have brought us to this day. We as a country made a collective decision. We must now live up to our decision and not deviate until the mission is complete.
Thirty-five years ago, a president faced a similar dilemma in Vietnam. He gave in and we got "peace with honor." To this day, I am still searching for that honor. Today, those who defend our freedom every day do so as volunteers with a clear and certain purpose. Today, they have in their commander in chief someone who will not allow us to sink into self-pity. I will not allow him to. The amazing part about talking to the people left behind is that I did not want them to stop. After speaking to so many I have come away with the certainty of their conviction that in a large measure it's because of the deeds and sacrifices of their fallen heroes that this is a better and safer world we now live in.
Those who lost their lives believed in the mission. To honor their memory, and because it's right, we must believe in the mission, too.
We refuse to allow Cindy Sheehan to speak for all of us. Instead, we ask you to learn the individual stories. They are glorious. Honor their memories.
Honor their service. Never dishonor them by giving in. They never did.
Mr. Griffin is the father of Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star, who was killed in a truck accident on a road between Mosul and Tikrit on May 30, 2003.
'Families of the 9/11 victims have been rocked by revelations that the elite military intelligence unit Able Danger had identified four hijackers more than a year before the attacks — but were blocked by Pentagon lawyers from sharing their information with the FBI.
A coalition of family members known as the Sept. 11 Advocates blasted 9/11 commission leaders Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton for pooh-poohing Able Danger's findings last week as not "historically significant."
"They somehow made a determination that this was not important enough. To me, that says somebody there is not using good judgment. And if I'm questioning the judgment in this one case, what other things might they have missed?" Mindy Kleinberg, a member of the Sept. 11 Advocates, told The Post.
"I don't think you can understate the significance here. You're talking about the four lead hijackers. If we shared information and did surveillance on them, there is no telling what we could have uncovered and what we could have thwarted.
"I think we do need a new commission, and that's really sad."'
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
'August 17, 2005 -- The Uniformed Firefighters Association's decision yesterday to withdraw support for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, citing two controversial museums proposed there, may have ended the threat of institutionalized activism at Ground Zero.
Good for the UFA.
The union's "membership and our 9/11 families believe that the memorial design will take away from the memory and sacrifice of the firefighters who bravely gave their lives during the most horrific terrorist attacks our country has had to face," UFA President Steve Cassidy said.'
'Plus, folks all over have joined the movement; 40,000 have signed its petition. (Indeed, grassroots America is taking note: Today, the tiny town of Anthony, Kan., will join in a "Take Back the Memorial" rally. Way to go, Anthony!)
At home, three local congressmen have threatened to work to bar federal funding for the memorial. Philanthropists, too, are balking — as Whitehead relentlessly reminds everyone.
So it's hardly just Burlingame and family members. And now add the UFA, representing 22,000 firefighters and wielding exquisite moral authority, as a foe.
Ironically, the Times, for all its personal vitriol toward Burlingame, essentially admitted she's right: that a chief concern is that the center will be "a place where people engage in free speech."
Now, three cheers for "free speech."
But there's a place for unfettered, raucous, rollicking, disrespectful-for-effect political debate — and that place, purely and simply, is not at the Ground Zero memorial.
To be sure, the Times got one thing right yesterday: It decried Pataki's lack of strong leadership regarding the two museums. He should have pulled the plug on them weeks ago.
So here's hoping the UFA's announcement will give him the cover he apparently feels he needs to do the right thing.
Which is to exorcise the IFC and the Drawing Center from Ground Zero, once and for all.'
You can help, sign the "Take Back the Memorial" petition. If you can, plan on attending the "Take Back the Memorial" rally on 10 September 2005 in New York City, at the corners of Church and Liberty Streets, from 9:30am to 10:30am, rain or shine. If you cannot attend, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stand up and be counted!
Just a note to the NY Times, your continued trashing of Debra Burlingame, is just another indication of how you believe that free speech is only the right of the left. - Sailor
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
'Recent revelations about covert "Able Danger" operations are forcing certain people to deal with subjects that they had thought swept under the rug. Despite apparent attempts to conceal the fact, the 9/11 Commission has had to admit it was informed that government agents knew of Mohammed Atta's affiliation with al-Qaeda two years before 9/11, that Clinton-era policies prevented intelligence officials from sharing that information with the FBI, that the amended time frame would allow Mohammed Atta to have made contacts with Iraqi intelligence, and -- most damningly -- that it kept all this out of its final report.
Rep. Curt Weldon, R-PA, has done praiseworthy work in drawing attention to the recently released "Able Danger" report. Former CIA operative and terrorism expert Wayne Simmons has described the "Able Danger" operation as "one of our best covert operations" run by the intelligence community. The operation, he continues, was expert at "using open source intelligence," including data mining techniques, "to locate and identify Islamic terrorists," specifically al-Qaeda operatives in the United States. This operation identified 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta and three of his fellow hijackers as members of an al-Qaeda cell located in New code named (and codenamed "Brooklyn") in 1999. We can only surmise that a gold mine of information lies yet unrevealed.'
'Faced with these revelations, commissioners first claimed Rep. Weldon was not telling the truth, that the 9/11 Commission had never been presented with this vital information. Early last week, commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said, "The name 'Atta' or a terrorist cell would have gone to the top of the radar screen if it had been mentioned." Former Congressman and commissioner Lee Hamilton, D-IN, echoed Felzenberg, saying last Monday: "The September 11 commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell. Had we learned of it obviously it would've been a major focus of our investigation." The New York Times notes that just a few days later, "Mr. Felzenberg said the uniformed officer who briefed two staff members in July 2004 had indeed mentioned Mr. Atta." Hamilton, too, quickly "readjusted" his initial comments to admit that, indeed, the commissioners heard of Atta after all. Felzenberg acknowledged the commission had been briefed on this information but rejected the testimony of a uniformed officer on the grounds that his evidence did not match their preconceived timeline; it indicates Atta was active from February-April 2000, whereas the commission believed Atta entered the United States for the first time that June.
There are several factors -- none flattering to the Commission -- that might explain this appalling lapse. John Podhoretz neatly summaries them: "So was the [9/11 Commission] staff a) protecting the Atta timeline or b) Jamie Gorelick or c) the Clinton administration or d) itself, because it got hold of the information relatively late and the staff was lazy?"'
'And here we get to the crux of the matter. The movements of Atta prior to the terrorist attack as detailed by "Able Danger," if acknowledged, would support statements by the Czech Republic that link Atta, and hence the al-Qaeda attack on America, irrefutably to Saddam's covert intelligence operatives. This is something that surfaced shortly after 9/11. A former Czech deputy foreign minister, later ambassador to the UN, gave statements that he personally expelled a high raking Iraqi embassy official in Prague for being a covert foreign intelligence agent after the latter was discovered to have met with Mohammed Atta in the international lounge at the Prague airport in August 2001. There the Iraqi transferred a large amount of cash to Atta, sufficient to fund the completion of the September 11 attack. Despite cruel pressure from mainstream media, the hard Left, the U.S. State Department, and the CIA, the Czechs insisted that their report was correct. Former Congressman John LeBoutellier was furious at the Bush administration for bowing to CIA pressure to discount the Czech report because it verified a vital deadly connection within the covert terrorist community. Now it appears as if the Czechs -- and those who supported their account -- were right.
This Atta-Iraqi meeting did not track well with some of the 9/11 Commission's pre-ordained agenda and had to be firmly discounted. They were able to accomplish this through a lame credit card receipt that could have been signed by any of Atta's cell. But a report with the weight of the Department of Defense and highly credible intelligence operatives behind it would expose the flimsy nature of the evidence that Atta was in the States. Hence, as Flzenberg said, with unflappable arrogance, "if we missed anything we will say so, but we doubt that we did." '
'This inaction seemed to fall into line with the Clinton administration's general disregard for terrorism. Although the discredited former National Security Council staffer Richard Clarke presented President Clinton as an anti-terrorism warrior, former intelligence officer Ralph Peters tells a much different story. "Admitting that [terrorist] threats were real, threatened to destroy the belief system the Clintonites had carried into office," Peters detailed. In regards to the entire terrorist network, methodology, and ideology, the Clintons were "a textbook case of denial." It was bad enough, as the "Able Danger" reports indicate, that the Clintons were willfully ignorant of the threat but their criminal negligence was compounded by a sleazy attempt to pass the buck on the Bush administration. Bill Clinton never made any serious retaliation for any of these provocations, nor the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, emboldening these terrorists, assuring through his "intelligence wall" that 9/11 terrorists could not be properly identified and apprehended, and passing the blame for the inevitable outcome of his policies to the nascent Bush administration.
If there was, in fact, covert direction from the top of the Commission to key members of its staff to cloak any link between Saddam and the September 11 attacks, to obfuscate evidence tying the Iraqi regime to al-Qaeda and Mohammed Atta, and to paint the most positive possible picture of the Clintons as implacable terror-warriors, then "Able Danger" had to be ignored and covered up. It fits the pattern of revisionist historical interpretations that seems to be the only authentic legacy from the Clinton years. Further, in Washington staffers tell their bosses what the latter want to hear. They are not rewarded for initiative. As Peters says, when told to think outside the box by a superior, a subordinate knows his job is to "come back with fresh reasons why the in-house position was right all along."
By acknowledging the Iraq/al-Qaeda ties, not only to terrorism in general but to the September 11 attack, the war becomes completely justifiable as exactly what the Bush administration claimed it was: a defensive, if preemptive, war to protect the United States from a regime with cordial ties to anti-American terrorists. This outcome is so repugnant to the hard Left that it will justify even the most extraordinary suppression of evidence or promulgation of an outright lie in order to achieve its ends.
This is a critically important story that demands public attention. It will not be seriously investigated by many reporters, because the mainstream (read: leftist) media is not interested in exposing how its favorite president in decades enabled terrorists to pull off the worse act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. '
All in all, this commentary raises some serious allegations, allegations that need the full light of public scrutiny. This is a must read! - Sailor
Sunday, August 14, 2005
'The report of the 9/11 commission, once a best seller and hailed by the news media as the definitive word on the subject, must now be moved to the fiction shelves.
The commission concluded, you'll recall, that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon couldn't have been prevented, and that if there was negligence, it was as much the fault of the Bush administration (for moving slowly on the recommendations of Clinton counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke) as of the Clinton administration.
Able Danger has changed all of that.
Able Danger was a military intelligence unit set up by Special Operations Command in 1999. A year before the 9/11 attacks, Able Danger identified hijack leader Mohamed Atta and the other members of his cell. But Clinton administration officials stopped them -- three times -- from sharing this information with the FBI.
The problem was the order Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick made forbidding intelligence operatives from sharing information with criminal investigators. (Gorelick later served as a 9/11 commission member.)
"They were stopped because the lawyers at that time in 2000 told them Mohamed Atta had a green card" -- he didn't -- "and they could not go after someone with a green card," said Rep. Curt Weldon, the Pennsylvania Republican who brought the existence of Able Danger to light.'
'It was in October 2003 that Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger stole classified documents from the National Archives and destroyed some. Berger allegedly was studying documents in the archives to help prepare Clinton officials to testify before the 9/11 commission. Was he removing references to Able Danger? Someone should ask him before he is sentenced next month.
After having first denied that staff had been briefed on Able Danger, commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said no reference was made to it in the final report because "it was not consistent with what the commission knew about Atta's whereabouts before the attacks," the AP reported.
The only dispute over Atta's whereabouts is whether he was in Prague on April 9, 2001, to meet with Samir al Ani, an Iraqi intelligence officer. Czech intelligence insists he was. Able Danger, apparently, had information supporting the Czechs.
The CIA, and the 9/11 commission, say Atta wasn't in Prague April 9, 2001, because his cell phone was used in Florida that day. But there is no evidence of who used the phone. Atta could have lent it to a confederate. (It wouldn't have worked in Europe anyway.)'
Friday, August 12, 2005
'A prime reason why that warning never came is that Gorelick -- as top deputy to then-Attorney General Janet Reno -- issued a 1995 order creating a "wall" that blocked intelligence on terrorists from being shared with law enforcement.
Commission staffers at first denied knowing about the elite military unit known as Able Danger, but later admitted they were briefed -- twice -- and Atta was specifically named. Still, it was conveniently left out of the 9/11 report.
It gets worse. Gorelick's defenders might argue that hindsight is 20-20. But that excuse doesn't work in this case, because she was warned way back then -- when the see-no-evil wall was created.
That warning came right from the front line in the War on Terror -- from Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who headed up key terror probes like the prosecutions for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
White -- herself a Clinton appointee -- wrote directly to Reno that the wall was a big mistake.
"It is hard to be totally comfortable with instructions to the FBI prohibiting contact with the United States Attorney's Offices when such prohibitions are not legally required," White wrote on June 13, 1995.
"The most effective way to combat terrorism is with as few labels and walls as possible so that wherever permissible, the right and left hands are communicating."
That memo surfaced during the 9/11 hearings. But The Post has learned that White was so upset that she bitterly protested with another memo -- a scathing one -- after Reno and Gorelick refused to tear down the wall.
With eerie foresight, White warned that the Reno-Gorelick wall hindered law enforcement and could cost lives, according to sources familiar with the memo -- which is still secret.
The 9/11 Commission got that White memo, The Post was told -- but omitted any mention of it from its much-publicized report. Nor does the report include the transcript of its staff interview with White.'
'The CIA may have failed to detect the hijackers, but it appears that military intelligence did better. Maybe the real problem wasn't an intelligence failure -- as the 9/11 Commission concluded -- but, rather, the Reno-Gorelick wall.
The latest revelations show that skeptics like Sens. Jon Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) were right to demand that Gorelick testify publicly about the wall -- a demand that the 9/11 Commission flatly rejected last year.
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) -- who revealed how the Able Danger military spies tried to sound the alarm -- yesterday accused the commission of ignoring inconvenient facts.
"The commission's refusal to investigate Able Danger after being notified of its existence, and its recent efforts to feign ignorance of the project while blaming others for supposedly withholding information on it, brings shame on the commissioners," he wrote.
Or, as a frustrated Cornyn said in 2004: "[Gorelick] is a person with knowledge of relevant facts. Either the commission wants the whole truth or it does not."
It's about time that the 9/11 Commission faced that question.'
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Stealing Candy From Babies - The Air America Story
Written by Doc Farmer
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I don't listen to Air America. Why? Well, because they don't broadcast where I live, that's why. If they did, I might—If Rush Limbaugh were dead, Sean Hannity were in a coma, and G. Gordon Liddy was out of the country toppling some unauthorized dictatorship, that is.
That said, I've got no problem with folks tuning in to Air America. After all, this is a free country, and people have the right to watch, listen, or read whatever they wish. If lib/dem/soc/commies want to listen to Al Franken (who is, apparently, the 37th highest-ranking person to be screwing up America, if Bernard Goldberg is to be believed) I say more power to 'em! If they want to listen to NPR or watch PBS, that's okay too. Plenty of room out here for all kinds of viewpoints and opinions.
Now, Air America started out with a lot of pomp and fanfare from the mainstream (see also: lib/dem/soc/commie) press. Air America was awash with cash, they proclaimed, and ready to take on Limbaugh, Boortz, O'Reilly, and a plethora of what they perceive to be evil right-wingers. Except that they weren't really awash in cash - apparently, they barely had enough to keep their toes damp. A couple of stations dropped here, a few missed bills there,
and Air America was having a bit of a struggle. Nothing wrong with that at all, though. Almost EVERY new enterprise or network is going to have teething problems, cash-flow hiccups, and the like.
I'm sure that even the mighty Excellence in Broadcasting network didn't start off with 600 stations and 20 million listeners. It took time. And talent. And hard work. And more talent. And coming up with a format that would actually keep current listeners and attract new ones. Which is why EIB, after just over 17 years of operation, ended up with around 600 stations and 20 million listeners.
I worked in radio many years ago, so I know a little bit about its operation. Yes, I was a DJ, but I didn't play records backwards or say ''Yo, Yo, YO!'' a lot. The first lesson of radio, for you who are interested in getting into the broadcasting game, is that radio is
a BUSINESS. It exists to make money for the station owners. If your show attracts listeners, you can charge businesses more to advertise. Simple profit motive.
But what when the motives move from profit to larceny?
I'm betting you probably haven't heard this story yet, unless you're a fan of Michelle Malkin or a member of the dreaded pajamahadin (the denizens of the blogosphere). Apparently, the former chairman of Air America, one Evan Montvel Cohen, decided to take out a ''loan'' from another concern he was connected to - Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, where he served as development director. Well, he seemed to be a financial director too, because he directed over $875,000 of money from the charity to Air America. $875,000 of charity money. $875,000 of TAXPAYER money. Yup. Y'see, Mr. Cohen took public funding given to the Boys & Girls Club,
a non-profit organization, and shunted it over to a private concern.
There are words for this kind of activity. Financial malfeasance. Fraud. Grand theft. All of which come with some rather hefty financial fines, as well as an all-expense paid trip to Riker's Island.
Yet, this is probably the first you've heard about this. CNN hasn't covered it - admittedly, they've been awfully busy trying to clean up Robert Novak's ''male bovine excrement'' statement from a week ago. Sadly, they've yet to clean up James Carville's ACTUAL male bovine excrement, which spews from his gaping maw every time he jacks his jaw. I don't believe the not-so-big-three (ABC, NBC, CBS for those of you who have cable) have covered this either. Nor have I seen any mention of it from the New York Times - well, all their good reporters are out trying to unseal adoption records right now, so I guess that explains it.
This is the same media that touted
Air America those short months ago. Now, thanks to lackluster ratings, the media's new darling has been shown to have a case of colic. The media mother (and in this case, I use ''mother'' in the hyphenated sense) doesn't seem to hear the screams, though, and keeps praising their little darling while it sets fire to the curtains.
One must wonder if the pajamahadin will do to this story what they did with Dan Rather's forged documents. Sailor in the Desert, one of my favorite bloggers, has already helped spread the news, and I am sure he (along with many in the blogosphere) will keep pushing the point until the media has no choice but to actually do their jobs.
For those of you with the viewpoint of ''So what?'' I would ask you to indulge me for a moment. I listen to Sean Hannity every day. By podcast, because I don't get him on local radio either. Nevertheless, every year he has a
''Freedom Concert'' to raise money for the families of deceased Marines. A very worthy cause, to be sure. Now, I've never met Mr. Hannity but I'm willing to extend to him the benefit of the doubt, and assume him to be an honest and honorable man. Let's say, however, that Mr. Hannity were to pull nearly $1 million from that charity, and use the money to pay his staff or cover his studio rental costs or purchase those passionate purple plutonium-powered socks he has been dreaming of. There would be a hue and cry raised, and rightly so. Folks would be demanding that he give the money back. Folks would be demanding that he be fired from Fox News. Folks would be demanding that he be tried and jailed.
Folks like me.
And, more importantly, folks like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, etc.
Now, change the name from Sean Hannity to Air America. Can you hear the echoing silence coming from the
so-called mainstream media?
I wish I could say that this is a prime example of media bias. It is, but saying it does no good, because there are a plethora of prime examples of media bias. We see them every single day. Despite that, the blinkered philistines of mainstream media still blindly proclaim their independence, their fairness, their balance, as they march headlong toward the cliff.
Keep walking, I say.
About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in the Midwest. Doc receives e-mail at email@example.com.
This Article Was First Published In ChronWatch At: http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=16171
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
'Pirro said she would formally announce her candidacy tomorrow, launching a three-day tour across the state that would include a stop Friday at her mother's house in Elmira.
As DA, Pirro has won praise for her Internet stings of would-be child molesters, her work with battered women, and her battle against underage drinking.
She has been a supporter of abortion rights.
A statewide poll released last week by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute had Clinton trouncing Pirro, 63 percent to 29 percent.
Pirro's strength as a candidate is handicapped by her husband Albert's conviction in 2000 on federal income-tax fraud charges, an earlier revelation that he fathered an out-of-wedlock daughter, as well as the recent allegation by a Mafia informant that Al Pirro leaked confidential material from an ongoing Westchester DA's probe.'
For Hillary, this could be a nightmare. Back last century, Bill Bradley, then a Senator from NJ, had serious presidential ambitions. All of the pundits and experts expected Bradley to have an easy re-election against a relative GOP unknown, Christie Todd Whitman. Bradley won a very tight election, (by about 3% of the vote), and that ended his presidential bid at that point in time. Should Hillary lose, her political career could be over. Should she win and not beat Pirro by at least the margin she beat Lazio by, her presidential bid could be in serious trouble. Dick Morris has more on this in his commentary, including a scenario where Hillary would drop out of the Senate race.
This will be a race that will garner strong national attention. It will be a very interesting race to watch develop. - Sailor
Monday, August 08, 2005
'NEW YORK (AP) - A former United Nations procurement officer pleaded guilty Monday to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from U.N. contractors, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Alexander Yakovlev also pleaded guilty to soliciting a bribe under the U.N. oil-for-food program, making him the first U.N. official to face criminal charges in connection with the scandal-tainted program.
He also put forth a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud and money laundering and could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge, the office said in a statement.
Just hours earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had waived Yakovlev's immunity upon request from David Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York.
Earlier Monday, a U.N.-backed probe investigating allegations of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program accused Yakovlev of collecting nearly $1 million in kickbacks outside the program. It said he also sought a bribe as part of his work for it.'
All in all another bad day for the scandal scarred and beleaguered UN. Time will tell if Sevan will take a plea bargain and tell all he knows, or if he will continue to keep his silence. - Sailor
Sunday, August 07, 2005
The language I will use here will be very sailor like. If that type of language offends you, please read no further. (hat tip to OG)
There is a so called church group running around picketing military funerals. These sick bastards are celebrating the deaths of those that have died defending their right to be assholes. Some are carrying signs that say "God Hates You" and Thank God for IEDs".
The Kansas City Channel has more on this, including video.
'ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Members of the Rev. Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., are picketing military funerals, KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported Friday.
The group has made national headlines for traveling throughout the country to picket gay churches, gay weddings, and the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998.
Friday, about 15 members of the group -- some of them children -- picketed the funeral of a St. Joseph soldier who was killed in Iraq. Mahoney reported that the group stood across the road from the Grace Evangelical Church during the funeral of 21-year-old Spc. Edward Myers.
"The first sin was being a part of this military. If this young man had a clue and any fear of God, he would have run, and not walked, from this military," said protester Shirley Phelps-Roper. "Who would serve a nation that is godless and has flipped off, defiantly defied, defiantly flipped off, the Lord their God?"
One protester had an American flag tied to his belt that draped to the ground. He was holding a sign that read, "Thank God For IEDs," which are explosive devices used by insurgents to blow up military convoys.'
'"The reason for the violence that has been erupting in the United States of America in recent years is that GOD HATES AMERICA."
-- "Children are their oppressors,"
WBC "Godhatesamerica.com" Web site
"The same Bible that prescribes the death penalty for murderers, also prescribes the death penalty for those who engage in homosexual conduct. It is a measure of the perversion of our country -- our near-total alienation from God -- that the masses cannot see this great national hypocrisy."
-- "Homosexuals, also, should have the Death Penalty!" WBC flier, June 14, 1997
"In our experience, no modern country is more repressive of human rights than the U.S.A. The vaunted First Amendment is nothing but empty words on paper...We will journey to China at our expense, and tell our story of modern American repression of human rights, upon invitation."
-- Fred Phelps, writing to the Ambassador to the United States from the People's Republic of China, February 26, 1997
"Homosexuals now pervade and control American government at every level and branch. Thus, only those churches that support and promote the militant homosexual agenda enjoy religious freedom. Any church in America that dares to preach what the Bible says about soul-damning, nation-destroying moral filth of the vile homosexual beasts among us, loses all Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and speech rights."
-- Fred Phelps, in a letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, July 5, 1997
"We understand that Iraq is the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets without fear of arrest and prosecution. Alas, the United States no longer allows the Gospel to be freely and openly preached on the streets, because militant sodomites now control our government, and they violently object to the Bible message...The same majoritarian sodomite tyranny that now guides the Clinton administration's repressive policies toward Gospel preaching on America's streets, is apparently responsible -- at least in part -- for the merciless slaughter by starvation of 400 innocent Iraqi babies each day in your country. If our government and laws will allow it, and at the invitation of your government, we would like to send a delegation from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, to preach the Gospel on the streets of Baghdad for one week in the near future."
-- Fred Phelps, in a letter to Saddam Hussein,
November 30, 1997'
Saturday, August 06, 2005
'The day the media's old guard allow bloggers to drive a story, is the day they (insert Helen Thomas joke here).
Time for a look at how Air America's dirty money scandal, where as much as $800,000 in taxpayer funds were diverted from a Bronx-area community center, the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, is being covered:
Blogosphere, Internet, New Media:
Bloggers jumped on this rapidly, beginning with the Radio Equalizer plus Michelle Malkin, and soon after joined by hundreds of others, from the largest, to the smallest.
Support has been terrific, there seems to be a realization perhaps learned during Rathergate, that bloggers simply cannot back off and allow a major story to die.'
Fellow blogger Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters picked it up and ran with it from there. Captain Ed is the driving force on this in the blogsphere, so I urge you to go to his blog for the latest updates.
'Mr. Franken said he has learned details of the story only in the last week. He said Piquant LLC, current owner and operator of the radio network, found a record of the transfers while conducting a "forensic" investigation into the finances of the previous owner, Progress Media, which was run by Mr. Cohen. That internal probe was conducted before the city agency became involved, Mr. Franken said. Efforts by The New York Sun to reach Mr. Cohen for comment in recent days have been unsuccessful.
A Piquant spokesman said yesterday that Gloria Wise would be compensated regardless of the amount of money it transferred. Mr. Franken said he did not know if money from Gloria Wise had been absorbed by the network and used to finance its operations. He said Piquant's payments to Gloria Wise were scheduled to begin this month but were prevented from going through while the city investigation continued.
A spokesman for the Department of Investigation, Keith Schwam, said that if Air America discovered the transfers before the city probe began, "They neglected to tell anyone at DOI or in the city about it."'
Ed Morrissey also has a fine article on this in the Weekly Standard.
'We often hear journalists claim that their mission consists of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted. One crucial element must therefore put powerful people under a spotlight. Some journalists say that they fight for the little guy, the downtrodden, which means that the story must include victims. Still others like investigative work, digging through arcane paperwork and doubletalk to reveal misdeeds that otherwise would never come to light, which means that a crime or at least unethical conduct would help draw interest. And finally, big money always attracts a crowd and helps audiences relate to the disgraceful actions unveiled by the reporter.
Thus, the perfect journalistic storm would arise when powerful people victimize the poor and downtrodden, breaking laws or at least ethical constructs, by taking money meant for their benefit. That sort of story will get anyone's attention. All it takes is one reporter to tell the story, and the rest of the media will jump all over it. Right?
ACTUALLY, this perfect-storm story is already percolating in the blogosphere, and oddly enough, hardly anyone in the mainstream media is paying attention to it. Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer noticed a short blurb in the local-only July 26th edition of the New York Daily News reporting that a well-known corporation had taken money from a Bronx non-profit charity--city government grant money earmarked for poor kids and Alzheimer's patients. The corporation's CEO had also served on the board of directors for Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club and had quarterbacked a "loan" to his struggling company using these earmarked funds. The Daily News also noted that the money added up to almost a half-million dollars, funds that should have provided services to the elderly and the disadvantaged children of the borough.'
Doug MacEachern has some observations in his Arizona Republic commentary.
'According to reports, Cohen was in an advantageous position to secure the loans: In addition to directing Air America, Cohen also served as development director of the Gloria Wise club.
At the same time, it is worth noting, Cohen also secured loans to himself. All told, he borrowed more than $800,000, according to club officials.
In this case, "borrow" seems to be a loose term. The club's president says Cohen made at least one of the Air America loans - $213,000 - without her approval. Cohen no longer works for either the club or the network, and there is some indication that the current owner of Air America, Piquant LLC, may not have been aware of the loans at the time it purchased the network on May 24, 2004.
For the Boys & Girls Club, meanwhile, the results have been disastrous. The New York Department of Investigation announced in June that city grants and contracts to Gloria Wise - about $10 million worth - were to be suspended because its officials had approved "significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various city agencies."'
Hugh Hewitt has a fine article on this scandal and how the MSM may finally be discovering this scandal in The Weekly Standard.
'To its troubles over audience decline must now be added the very strong smell of scandal. Though you, and apparently New York's publicity-addicted Attorney General Elliott Spitzer, may not have heard, Air America is in some serious trouble for its creative start-up financing.
The full details are available from bloggers Radio Equalizer, Michelle Malkin, and Ed Morrissey, and New York Sun reporter David Lombino is digging as well. Short version: Not-for-profits that exist to serve kids and Alzheimer's' patients, overwhelmingly via the funds obtained from government grants, should not be "investing" in incredibly risky start-up radio networks. But the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club--apparently now defunct--did just that last spring, funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into Air America's coffers.
Here's the most recent IRS Form 990 for the Club. Here's the one from the year before. The Club does not appear to have made any prior "investments" of this sort, and if there are "investment guidelines" from which the Club's Board of Directors was operating, I will be very, very surprised. My producer and I have spent a lot of time trying to get a member of the board on the record about the investment. The only one who agreed to talk to us referred us to Rubenstein Public Relations. An assistant to Richard Rubenstein called me to relay that he didn't know anything about the "Gloria Wise story." Odd.'
This is a major story and the MSM is not covering it at all. The self proclaimed "paper of record", The New York Times, is no where to be seen on this. Considering this is a major national story and one in the Times' own backyard, why in the hell are they not on this like white on rice? Could it be that there leftist bias is showing once again? They were all over the Rush Limbaugh medical issue. The Times has even gone so far as to look into trying to get unsealed, the sealed adoption records of SCOTUS nominee Roberts' adoptive children. Yet, they have still not even given a whisper on the Air America scandal. I will continue to provide updates as more information comes available. I again urge you all to head over to Captain's Quarters to stay up to date on this unfolding scandal. - Sailor