Sunday, May 31, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Voicemail from Overseas Customer Support Technician Reveals Frustrations Associated with Outsourcing Terrorist Interrogations

President Obama has dramatically raised the legal standards that govern whether and how U.S. officials can interrogate terrorists. Consequently, the United States has had to rely increasingly on foreign intelligence services to obtain information from terrorists that could prevent future attacks and save American lives.

The Obama Administration has stepped up its rendition program, under which terrorists are sent for questioning to other countries, where Obama's interrogation restrictions don't apply. But as the Administration has come to learn, along with the outsourcing of terrorist interrogations comes a problem American consumers have long been familiar with: the dreaded call to an overseas customer support technician.

This newspaper has recently obtained a message left on a U.S. defense official’s voicemail in response to a technical support request to a foreign intelligence agency. The anonymous source who forwarded the voicemail said “Getting essential intelligence information is now as frustrating as getting technical support from Dell or Microsoft.” Many fear America's intelligence capabilities will suffer as a result.

Readers are invited to listen to the voicemail by clicking the image below.


video

Associated article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/29/AR2009052902989.html

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cap-and-Trade Bill Expanded to Develop Markets in Household Radical Environmentalists

Washington, D.C.--Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced his support yesterday for legislation that would expand the so-called "cap and trade" program designed to limit emissions that contribute to global warming.

The cap and trade program works by capping the total amount of pollutants all companies can emit and creating a market in tradable credits those companies can use to allocate how much pollution each company can produce.

Explaining the new program, Waxman said "With growing evidence that the theory of human-caused global warming cannot be substantiated, it's becoming much more difficult to justify the cap and trade program. To maintain the environmental hysteria that program's based on, Congress needs to create a market for environmental ideologues who will harass, needle, and otherwise cajole people into taking actions that can't be justified by science.”

Under the new program, environmental ideologues would be regulated nationwide in a way that distributes them more evenly throughout society. Households with more than a critical mass of such ideologues would be able to trade them to others who need to be pressured into reducing their own carbon footprints.

"My sister rarely showers or shaves to save energy," said one brother grateful for the new program. "She even makes us wash out and reuse the plastic bags for picking up after the dog. Now I can send her off to the family down the street in exchange for their son because the government says they don’t use enough public transportation."

Another man looking forward to the program complained that his roommate "guilted us into buying reusable bamboo underwear. Now we'll get to trade him for someone who’ll just make us use florescent light bulbs.”

Waxman said the program was needed to spread unnecessary sacrifices more efficiently. “We've already passed a cap and trade regime that will dramatically increase utility costs for all consumers,” he told reporters. “What I'm proposing today is the creation of a program that will lower the costs of fanatical Pollyanna’s for others.”

Associated videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xOxwW4Toio&feature=player_embedded; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSlK9312nWc&feature=player_embedded

Associated articles: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/fashion/19greenorexia.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=difficult%20%22living%20with%22%20strain%20recycling%20carbon%20footprint&st=cse; http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/624cneah.asp?pg=2

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Justice Department Announces New Interrogation and Detention Policies

Washington, D.C.--The Justice Department announced the country’s new terrorist interrogation policies yesterday, under which interrogators will be confined to the techniques listed in the Army Field Manual, which bans all threatening methods. President Obama ordered the changes in January.

The Manual goes so far as to ban grabbing terrorists by the collar, but Justice Department lawyers assured reporters that interrogators could continue to gather actionable intelligence from terrorists by capturing their attention in other ways, such as dressing in bumblebee costumes.

The Manual also bans the use of “stress positions” in which detainees would be placed in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. “From now on,” said a Justice Department spokesperson, “only interrogators will be expected to remain bent over with any regularity.”

Terrorists are currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, where detainees take art classes, play sports, table tennis, and foosball, and watch DVDs. There is also one medical personnel -- including doctors and nurses -- for every three detainees. Still, outside organizations were invited to the press conference to express their concerns about conditions at the facility, which the Obama Administration pledged to address.

The International Red Cross cited instances in which soccer balls were not properly inflated, tea was served at room temperature, and mail service operated so slowly that detainees’ messages were delivered well after plots could be brought to fruition.

Amnesty International also reported on the flimsy quality of the mealtime plasticware, which it said was entirely unsuitable for use by detainees in constructing the sorts of dangerous handmade weapons prison guards had confiscated in the past.

There were also complaints about the adequacy of the health care provided. The Red Cross noted the example of Abdullah Mehsud, a terrorist who lost a leg in battle, was captured, fitted with a prosthetic limb at taxpayer expense, then released. “They said he received a state-of-the-art prosethetic, but we question that” said one official, “When Mehsud was recaptured after he returned to the battlefield, he clearly wasn’t able to outrun the military.”

Overcrowding was also cited as a problem at the facility. The Center for Constitutional Rights alone has coordinated the representation of detainees with a network of over 500 pro bono habeas counsel, and the detainees’ cells aren’t large enough to comfortably fit all their lawyers. One detainee was almost crushed between two dollies of extra large trial bags.

In February, Attorney General Eric Holder announced after an inspection that the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities were professionally run and met all international standards, but he insisted the facility would be closed regardless because “we need to show the world America is determined to follow through on its most fundamental traditions of cheap presidential campaign rhetoric.”

Associated articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/18/AR2009051803126.html; http://www.army.mil/institution/armypublicaffairs/pdf/fm2-22-3.pdf; http://supportingmaterials.blogspot.com/2009/05/excerpts-from-inside-gitmo.html; http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-12-11-detainees_N.htm; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/us/24detainees.html; http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/25/holder.guantanamo/; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/28/AR2009082803874.html?hpid=topnews

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Obama Responds to Demands for Specific Plans to Close the GITMO Detention Facility by Unveiling Detailed Diagrams of His Complex Sentence Structures

Washington, D.C.--President Obama has released or cleared for release several known terrorists and al-Qaeda associates, yet he hasn't publicly clarified his rationales for those decisions.

As a result, Members of Congress have demanded that President Obama present concrete plans for dealing with the over 200 dangerous detainees currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities before Congress funds its dismantling.

Obama responded to those demands yesterday with an extended speech in which he described in fine detail the complex structure of the sentences he will use, and the deep thought process he will employ, when dealing with Guantanamo and other national security issues.

Obama pointed to a sentence diagram to show how, in dealing with the Guantanamo detainees, he would delicately imbed the expression of unpleasant notions between carefully constructed parallel predicate nouns to create the illusion of resolution while avoiding directly addressing the central problem at hand. And he said he would do so while avoiding copulative predicates.

The President also said he would employ the word “but” as often as necessary to make his sentences turn on multiple fulcrums that cancel each other out, resulting in no tipping point whatsoever and keeping his grammar free of any decisiveness, one way or the other.

Only once during the hour-long speech did the President appear to stumble into a decision. He quickly recovered following a few carefully spaced “uhs” and “ers”.

Following Obama’s presentation, Senators said they had complete faith in the President’s ability to obfuscate any discernable strategy for dealing with the detainees while appearing to make weighty and carefully deliberative decisions that considered all angles.

After the speech, one Senator was asked whether Obama had presented a plan detailed enough to justify the necessary appropriations. The Senator borrowed a line from the President’s speech and confidently predicted that “Although there are no easy answers in these extraordinary times, there is much work to be done, and let me say as plainly as I can that I will take the steps necessary to fulfill both my obligation to adhere to our most fundamental values and my responsibility to maintain our tradition of safety for the American people in a way that fits no ideological predisposition.”

Associated articles: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gj2oO72tz7sEIr76Tr_UrJNTtGSgD98AA39O0; http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aDfJCdTKYpyE&refer=home; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/18/what-sentence-diagrams-re_n_167988.html; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/21/AR2009052103680.html; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/24/AR2009092404893.html?hpid=topnews

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Hail Obama’s Requiring More Costly Low-Emission Autos; Others Concerned Cars Designed to “Burn Through So Much Money” May Increase Global Warming

President Obama announced his support yesterday for new auto design rules that would impose stricter emission standards on cars and trucks. The new rules are expected to increase costs to consumers by at least an extra $1,300 per vehicle while providing no net benefits.

Preliminary designs of new vehicles that would meet the new specifications include multiple ignitable exhaust pipes made of tightly rolled hundred dollar bills that would burn through consumers’ cash.

Auto engineers said they had to add the extra money pipes because more expensive cars mean fewer cars are sold, which means more auto workers are laid off and more income lost.

Environmental groups initially praised the new rules, but later expressed concern they would "burn through vast amounts of money" and spread plumes of polluting particulates that could increase global warming. "We're talking waste in the form of forest fire-sized cash infernos here," said one Sierra Club official.

Some environmental activists were disappointed that increasing fuel-efficiency is expected to reduce the per-mile cost of operating vehicles, which will increase the number of miles driven, and thus reduce or eliminate any expected emission reductions, which under even best-case scenarios would reduce the global temperature by only seven thousandths of a degree Celsius by the end of this century.

But other environmental groups saw a silver lining in the announcement. The new fuel-efficiency rules will also require smaller, lighter, and consequently less safe cars that will lead to higher traffic fatalities. While some environmental advocates suggested those risks could be reduced by filling air bags with yet more shredded cash, they added that any increased mortality "will help reduce our collective carbon footprint in the long run."

Associated articles: http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/2009/05/19/D9895Q0O1_us_obama_autos/; http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309076013&page=3; http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4311; http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-05-19-auto-safety-small-cars_N.htm

Monday, May 18, 2009

CIA Says It Briefed Pelosi in Form of Loud Heavy Metal Music “To Make Sure She Got the Message;” Pelosi Now Claims Briefing Was Accurate, But Torture

Washington, D.C.--After being accused by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that it withheld information about the enhanced interrogation techniques used on known terrorists in 2002, the CIA revealed for the first time that not only was Pelosi fully briefed on the subject, but she was briefed in the form of a thunderous heavy metal song to "hammer home" the point.

The song, called "Waterboarding," was performed by the band Judas Priest and included the refrain: “What the terrorists knew they wouldn't say, so we had to find another way! Some may think it's uncouth, but it's time to flush out ... the ... truth! Wa-ter-board-ing! Wa-ter-board-ing!”

After the CIA released the video of the high octane performance, Pelosi contended the briefing itself constituted torture. “Sure, I was fully briefed,” she told reporters, “but they strapped me to an inverted sound board and drilled the information into my head with relentless ear-splitting vocals.”

Associated articles and video: http://hotair.com/archives/2009/05/14/video-pelosi-goes-nuclear-on-the-cia-over-torture-as-cheneys-memo-request-is-denied/; http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/cia-director-fires-back-at-pelosi-2009-05-15.html

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Attorney General Assures Congress Only Less Competent Terrorists Will Be Released

Washington, D.C.--In January, President Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within a year, leaving open the possibility that terrorist detainees would be released into the United States or other countries.

At a Congressional hearing last week, Attorney General Eric Holder was asked whether he believed he had the authority to release someone with terrorist training into the U.S. Holder didn’t directly answer the question, but said the Obama Administration doesn’t have any plans to release “terrorists.” This week, at another hearing, Holder was pressed further on what sorts of people he considers “terrorists.”

When asked whether he would consider someone a terrorist if they were a member of a terrorist group and received terrorist training at a camp run by terrorists, Holder replied, “I think you need to make individual determinations regarding what type of training that person received.”

Using one of several jihadist report cards captured in anti-terror raids, Holder showed how Binyam Batarfi -- a detainee likely to be released -- had done poorly in his beheading course. The report card included the notes of Batarfi’s instructor, who remarked of his student, “Not so good with knife; perhaps Binyam could instead cut heads of lettuce at a terrorist safe house.”

Other instructor notes indicated that while Batarfi was “eager to kill innocents, his shy nature inhibited his integration into civilian populations.” And his biological weapons teacher added that Batarfi “has trouble distinguishing smallpox from chicken pox.”

Holder also pointed to the example of Binyam Mohammed, who was released by the Obama Administration to England earlier this year. Mohammed was a member of al-Qaeda, met personally with Osama bin Laden, received extensive terrorist training and was an intended accomplice of would-be “dirty bomber” -- and now convicted terrorist -- Jose Padilla. Mohammed planned to carry out mass-murder attacks in American cities that included a range of possible targets and modes of attack, from striking U.S. subways to setting apartment buildings on fire using ordinary gas lines.

Justifying the Administration’s decision to release Mohammed, Holder said “How good a terrorist could he be? He was caught.”

Holder questioned the threat posed by terrorist trainees who lost fingers in bomb-making classes, or whose poorly designed weapons are likely to miss their intended targets.

He also downplayed the notion that past membership in a terrorist organization alone should be a cause for concern, noting “Heck, I’m a member of a book club that reads crime novels. I wouldn’t want that held against me.”

Associated video:

video
Associated articles: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D981ILK81&show_article=1; http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/07/holder-says-terrorists-wont-set-free/; http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/04/the_uighurs_in_their-print.php; http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTMyNTY5YTk1ZDJhOGY2MWI0NGE1ZmU3ZTgwYWZkODE=; http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/02/binyam_mohamed_the_f.php; http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gitmo-release24-2009apr24,0,7979465.story; additional video: Homeland Security Fail

Friday, May 15, 2009

Late Night Comedians Break Obama Joke Silence; Mock President’s Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage, then Compete for His Hand in Matrimony

Despite a large variety of policy and personal gaffes, President Obama has remained largely immune from criticism by adoring late night comics who seem incapable of faulting a man they consider the most gifted bureaucrat in the world. Comedians say that while Obama's spending taxpayer money as fast as he can, extending government control over more and more industries, and releasing known terrorists, there's very little to mock.

Except one thing: Obama's opposition to same-sex marriage, which, it turns out, they have a deeply personal reason for attacking.

It all started when the first-ever joke at Obama's expense was recorded on the set of the Daily Show. During an interview with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the show’s host, Jon Stewart, asked “Does Obama oppose same-sex marriage because he thinks it means the same boring sex all the time?”

The audience laughed, and Emanuel took the remark as a humorous but rhetorical question. But Stewart persisted, flashing an unusually serious-not-goofy facial expression that sank the studio into a tense silence. "If Obama married me," said Stewart, "I’d rock his world, every which way and backwards."

“If it came off as personal, it was” said Stewart after the taping. “Obama’s the most intelligent, beautiful, and witty human being in the world, and I want to spend the rest of my life with him.”

The next night, Stephen Colbert, the cerebral jokester behind the Colbert Report, made his own pitch. “Obama's sole imperfection is his rejection of my right to marry him," he said. "That one policy position stands in the way of our achieving the perfect union together, and I have to start using humor to break down that barrier.”

Stewart publicly proposed to the President on his show last night. Industry insiders said he was forced to act quickly when he discovered David Letterman had purchased a ring and Jay Leno had reserved most of the popular summertime wedding sites.

Sources say the comedic assault on Obama’s support for traditional marriage involves all the top television comics. "This is more than a love triangle," said Colbert. “It's a love dodecahedron!"

Associated article: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/05/for-political-comedians-the-jokes-not-on-obama/

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Joe Bama “Smooth Character” Ad Campaign Used to Promote Administration Health Care Policy

Washington, D.C.--President Obama announced his proposal for government-run health care yesterday, a plan that calls for the government to be the primary gatekeeper of medical products and services so it can control access and dictate prices.

The President also unveiled an ad campaign featuring a cartoonish “Smooth Character” called Joe Bama that will promote the program to the public.

Obama made the announcement surrounded by doctors who signed on to the plan after the President threatened to publicly shame them as “medical speculators” who “gambled with people’s health.”

The President predicted overwhelming support for his program, saying “Everyone will be hooked.”

Critics accused Obama of “spiking” medical care by providing only limited amounts per visit, but Administration officials defended the program, pointing to another promotional ad featuring a smiling patient declaring “I’d walk a mile in line for Obama-Care!”

Patients would pay for Obama-Care with Obama Cash, which would buy twenty cents worth of medical care for every taxpayer dollar spent.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed concerns regarding the inevitable long-term pain federal control over health care would bring, saying “While it is a risk factor, there is no evidence government-run health programs cause a reduction in choice and quality,” except in Canada, Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

Asked if the President, who is a smoker, was concerned that a popular cartoon character was being used to sell a product that’s bad for people in the long run, Gibbs said, “There will be warning labels on government insurance forms. And if anything goes wrong, patients can always sue their doctors.”

Associated articles: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124208383695408513.html; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124208364853008485.html; http://www.slate.com/id/2206445/; http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/476phyyl.asp; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/us/politics/11health.html?_r=2; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061203852.html; http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/3459466.html

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Speaker Pelosi Touts Her Book Sequel, “Know Your Cower: A Message to America’s Daughters (about Enhanced Interrogation Techniques)”

San Francisco, CA.--Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi began a book tour last week touting the sequel to her previous book entitled “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters,” in which Pelosi drew from her political experiences to encourage young women to step up to challenges and opportunities.

Her new book, entitled “Know Your Cower,” is based on more recent political experiences in which Pelosi was fully briefed on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, in 2002. She acquiesced in those techniques without offering any objections. But now, says Pelosi, she’s had to deny her approval in the face of outrage from her leftist base, which calls those techniques “torture.”

Says Pelosi, “My first book talked about how with power comes responsibility. My new book builds on that message, and adds that with power comes deniability as well.”

Pelosi originally claimed the CIA briefing she attended did not include a discussion of “any” enhanced interrogation techniques, but the Office of the Director of National Intelligence subsequently released a document that made clear Pelosi was not only briefed on such techniques, but she was also briefed on their “use.”

Pelosi read portions of her book yesterday to a gathering of young girls who sat around her on the floor at a San Francisco bookstore. “Life will present you with many opportunities to take responsibility for your decisions,” she told them. “And when that happens,” she said, leaning toward the kids with her hands curled like a clawing tiger, “you need to run, children -- run as fast as you can!”

One girl who attended, named Sandy, said she asked Pelosi how she squared her previous statement with the more recent report that contradicted her. “She just looked at me with eyes as big as saucers, covered her ears, and started humming,” said Sandy. “I’m going to remember that technique the next time I’m interrogated about decisions I’ve made in the past!”

Another girl was less impressed with Pelosi’s humming. “I get the deniability part,” she said afterward. “But the deniability has to be, you know, plausible and stuff.”

Associated articles: Fox News; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664_pf.html; http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/05/intelligence-re.html; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/24/AR2009042403339.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns; http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0409/Pelosi_Officials_said_they_wouldnt_use_waterboarding.html; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124182533815302417.html; http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjU1ZGI3ZGM0Zjc1ZDg1MzQyMmQ3NDQyMGIzNWM3ODA=; http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22448.html; http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/cia-director-fires-back-at-pelosi-2009-05-15.html; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124701436661709153.html#mod=todays_us_opinion

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Perpetrators of Vicious Hateful Beating of Iraq War Veteran Have Sentences Reduced After Shocking Courtroom Revelation

Lou Roberts, an Iraq war veteran, was viciously beaten by a group of Iraq war protesters who singled him out because he was wearing his uniform.

Roberts was on his way to visit his partner when a large group of protesters began taunting him. They surrounded him, knocked him to the ground, and kicked him repeatedly, breaking several ribs, cracking his skull, and leaving him for dead after taking his wallet.

The incident led to the first-ever federal hate crimes trial prosecuted under a new law that imposes more severe penalties on those whose crimes are motivated by hatred for certain classes of people whom the legislation singles out for special protection.

Testimony at trial revealed one of the assailants remarked that Roberts “looked like one of the four-eyed geeks” he used to pick on in high school, and that he was probably “a patriotic nut who’s been responsible enough to save lots of money for his family.”

The perpetrators were on the verge of being convicted of aggravated assault and attempted murder -- and sentenced to life in prison -- when defense lawyers showed the jury a shocking photo of Roberts kissing his partner.

His partner was a woman, and Roberts was, in fact, a heterosexual. Gasps rippled through the courtroom, and several jurors, visibly shocked, steadied themselves in their chairs.

None of the factors that motivated Roberts’ attackers were covered by the hate crimes law -- which protects only certain people, including gays and lesbians -- and consequently the assailants’ sentences were significantly reduced.

“The victim seemed like such a nice fellow, and my heart really went out to him,” one juror said following the reduction in sentence. “But when we learned he was a heterosexual, well, the crime didn’t seem so horrible, at least in the eyes of the law.”

Associated article: http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE53S8IM20090429

Associated video:

video