Countdown Clocks

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Posts tagged "Terrorism"

Harry Reid’s right on. 

h/t: Caitlin MacNeal at TPM

More reasons why Cliven Bundy IS NOT A HERO!! 

h/t: Keith Brekhus at PoliticusUSA

attribution: ABCNews

The far right-wing extremists and their enablers are defending a far-right domestic terrorist  lawbreaker by the name of Cliven Bundywho is threatening a “range war”against the federal Government.

SPLC’s Hatewatch Blog:

The core of the dispute is Cliven Bundy’s ongoing claim to the right to graze his cattle on a sensitive piece of southern Nevada’s Mojave Desert known as Gold Butte. Bundy’s family had grazed cattle in the area for generations, but in 1993 Cliven Bundy stopped paying his fees on the land, claiming that the United States government was not the legitimate landlord.

In 2013, a federal judge enjoined him from continuing to graze his cattle on the federal lands, an order he has studiously ignored. So this week, federal authorities moved into the area and began sweeping up Bundy’s trespassing cattle.

Bundy threatened a “range war” if Bureau of Land Management agents took custody of his stock, calling them “cattle thieves.” But, initially at least, the threats appeared to fizzle as the roundup of Bundy’s cattle proceeded apace, accompanied by a heavy law enforcement presence at the scene, while Bundy sputtered helplessly on the sideline. On Sunday, another adult son, 37-year-old David Bundy, was arrested after getting into a confrontation with the federal officers; afterwards, Bundy and his compatriots described for reporters their alleged ordeal the hands of federal officers.

BLM officials, meanwhile, defend the crackdown on Bundy’s activities by noting that he is the only rancher in the region who refuses to acknowledge or heed the federal permit system for grazing rights. “Cattle have been in trespass on public lands in southern Nevada for more than two decades. This is unfair to the thousands of other ranchers who graze livestock in compliance with federal laws and regulations throughout the West,” the BLM website noted.

Nevada Progressive:

It’s unfair to all the rest of us to allow one rancher to let his cattle trample upon the habitat of an endangered species (the desert tortoise). It’s especially unfair to let that rancher let his cattle run rampant and ruin land that belongs to all of us. And it’s particularly unfair to let this one rancher let his cattle run rampant when he’s refused to pay the fee that all area ranchers must pay to use that public land. (After all, the BLM has to maintain this land for everyone.)


Hey, someone had to do it. And since hardly anyone else is discussing the real reasons for outrage regarding this Cliven Bundy “scandal”, we figured we might as well wade into this hot mess. So to recap, some G-O-TEA politicians are screaming at the BLM because the BLM is enforcing existing law. A rancher is willfully violating the law and encouraging armed rebellion against the federal government because he doesn’t like the law. And meanwhile, the land itself and the original inhabitants of this land are reeling because we’ve allowed the land to be mistreated by the likes of Bundy… While we threaten the climate that’s supposed to sustain this land.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller disagree with the Bureau of Land Management’s recent actions.

"No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans," Sandoval told

Bureau of Land Management Kirsten Cannon told that contracted agents on Saturday and Sunday rounded up 134 cattle along the 1,200-square-mile stretch of rangeland as a last resort. They used helicopters, vehicles and temporary pens.

All of this is a reminder that the only good Bundy out there is Married… With Children's Al Bundy and that Cliven Bundy is NOT a “hero,” but a traitor who's actively harming America who should be in jail!!

(cross-posted from Daily Kos

h/t: Hayes Brown at Think Progress World

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

The right-wing scare machine’s been lying to the American people about Benghazi, likely as an effort to smear Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and by proxy, all Democrats leading up to 2016. 

h/t: Leslie Salzillo at Daily Kos 

Last week, Jim Garrow returned to the Religious Right talk show The Hagmann & Hagmann Report, where he previously “exposed” an Arab-Chinese-Communist plot against America, to warn that the Obama administration is working on an “attempt to wipe us out” with a new EMP “slaughter.”

Garrow believes that President Obama recently tried to launch an EMP attack on the U.S. but was thwarted by divine intervention.

“Join a militia; I mean it, join a militia,” Garrow insisted. “Have a bug-out bag, be within fifteen minutes of the ability to clear out, have a year of food stashed somewhere, make sure you’re more than four hours’ drive away from a major center if you are going to a bug-out space…. I have a plane ready to roll too.”

From the 01.29.2014 edition of Christians United Broadcasting Network’s The Hagmann and Hagmann Report:

Add to Jim Garrow’s list of nutbaggery, which rivals (and even surpasses) Alex Jones. 

h/t:  Brian Tashman at RWW


Explained: How Big Is Sochi’s Terrorism Problem?

This week, Americans nervously descend upon Sochi, Russia, to cheer on their favorite athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Members of the US team who have already arrived in the city say that with an estimated 100,000 security force members protecting the games, they feel safe. But US officials said on Tuesday that they are tracking “specific threats" to the games. And counterterrorism experts argue that the terrorism risk in Sochi is largely unprecedented, due to recent threats from active terrorist groups. They fear that attacks could take place outside of the secured perimeter surrounding the event sites, particularly on public transportation or at checkpoints. While the Daily Beast notes that terrorism coverage could overshadow the successes of US athletes—and give terrorists free publicity—experts say that it’s warranted. “This is a very serious threat. It’s not overblown,” says Victor Asal, a terrorism expert at the University of Albany. He adds that if he knew people who were planning a trip to Sochi, he’d tell them, “Don’t go.” Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know: 

​Who are these terrorists, and what do they want? 
The main threat to the Olympic games is the Caucasus Emirate, a loose network of Islamist terrorist groups that is located between the Black and Caspian seas in Russia. The Caucasus Emirate, established in 2007, aims to establish Shariah law in the region, but it only has suspected ties with Al Qaeda. The terrorist network is a partly an outgrowth of the First and Second Chechen wars, conflicts that began when Russia invaded Chechnya. “The human rights abuses committed by the Russians in the invasion of Chechnya were really extraordinary​, and the violence has come from these grievances,” Asal says. Initially, the group’s aims were nationalistic—secession from the Russian federation—but now, there is a growing jihadist component.

The group’s self-appointed leader is Doku Umarov, nicknamed “Russia’s bin Laden” (photo below). He’s seen only rarely, and Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, recently claimed that Umarov is dead. (He’s said this many times before, so terrorist experts aren’t convinced.) As of this month, that report has not been confirmed by the Russian government or the US State Department. While the network’s primary target is Russia, Umarov has also issued threats against the United States and Israel in the past, according to the US State Department. 


When has the Caucasus Emirate carried out attacks before? 
Terrorists affiliated with the Caucasus Emirate are believed to have carried out about two terrorist attacks per year since 2008, killing hundreds of civilians. Here are some of their more notable attacks: 

  • June 2008: A Caucasus Emirate militia group claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed 14 and injured dozens in Vladikavkaz, less than 500 miles from Sochi.
  • November 2009: The group bombed a train en route to Moscow from St. Petersburg, killing more than 25 people, including high-ranking government officials.
  • March 2010: Two female suicide bombers connected to the group bombed the Moscow Metro, killing at least 40 people. 
  • January 2011: Umarov ordered a suicide bombing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, killing 37 people.
  • February 2011: The Caucasus Emirate conducted an attack at the Mt. Elbrus ski resort, located a little more than 100 miles from Sochi, in which terrorits shot tourists and bombed a cable car. 
  • October 2013: A woman associated with Islamic militants bombed a bus in Volgograd, about 600 miles from Sochi, killing at least six. (It has been suspected that she was associated with the Caucasus Emirate, but not confirmed.)
  • December 2013: A subgroup of the Caucasus Emirate claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a train station, also in Volgograd, killing at least 16. The group also claimed responsibility for bombing a trolley bus in the same city 24 hours later, killing 18. (On Wednesday, Russia state media reported that Russian police had killed a suspected mastermind of the December Volgograd attacks.) 

Have the Caucasus Emirate explicitly said they want to target the Olympic games?  
Yes. In July 2013, Umarov published a video urging rebels to ”do their utmost to derail” the Olympics. He characterized the games as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.” Late last month, a subgroup of the Caucasus Emirate posted a video (below) showing men they said were the bombers responsible for the December attack on Volgograd, and threatened to give Russia a “present” at the Olympics. 

Who are the “Black Widows” I’m hearing about? 

An alleged “black widow” suicide bomber Whitehotpix/ZUMA

"Black Widows" refers to women who have committed suicide attacks, reportedly to avenge spouses or family members killed by the Russian military. According to NPR, Russian police have been circulating fliers over the last few weeks, searching for suspected female terrorists—including a 22-year-old wife who police say was recently spotted in central Sochi. While women have successfully pulled off terrorist attacks associated with the Caucasus Emirate, some experts say the threat has been overstated, because just as many, if not more, men are committing attacks. 

Can these terrorists really pull off an attack on the Olympic sites? 
Counterterrorism experts say that it would be very difficult, given the security lockdown known as “the ring of steel”—an area about 60 miles long and 25 miles deep around the Olympic sites. Putin has militarized the areas surrounding the games, with 100,000 police and members of the armed forces on hand, including special-ops forces to guard the mountains outside of Sochi. Only vehicles that are registered in Sochi are being allowed through the city’s checkpoint, and that’s after they’ve been searched. Drones are being deployed to survey the sites from the air, and the government will be snooping on tourists’ electronic devices. (On Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported that some of these security measures could be overstated, noting that a reporter’s bag wasn’t searched.) 

What about outside of the ring of steel?
Experts say the risk is high. “The checkpoint has to stop somewhere, and if bombers get anywhere close to a checkpoint, it could have the same political effect in the media as getting into the Olympics themselves,” says Aki Peritz, a senior policy adviser for Third Way and a former CIA counterterrorism analyst. He notes that transportation to and from Sochi is particularly vulnerable, considering the attacks on buses and roadways by the Caucasus Emirate in the past. Daniel Treisman, a Russian politics expert at the University of California-Los Angeles, agrees: “The network will seek to stage attacks in order to demonstrate their capabilities. It is possible [a subgroup] could succeed. But I think they are much more likely to succeed somewhere outside Sochi than inside the security area.”

The State Department warns that while Americans aren’t being targeted specifically in Russia, “there is a general risk of U.S. citizens becoming victims of indiscriminate terrorist attacks.” The British government has been more explicit about the potential threat, putting out a map recommending that tourists avoid many areas outside of Sochi (bottom far left): 

The United Kingdom’s Sochi advisory map

What weapons might be used?
Counterterrorism experts say that suicide bombers are likely the biggest threat. ”I think anyone who is going to be attacking the Olympics is going to have to assume that they’re going to be dead. It’s a suicide mission however you look at it,” says Asal, from the University of Alabany. However, in 2012, Russian security forces claimed that they’d found a number of sophisticated arms that they believed were planning to be used in an attack on Sochi—including “grenades, portable surface-to-air missiles, explosives, rifles and other weapons​,” NPR reported. Gordon Hahn, a counterterrorism expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies​, also told Foreign Policy to not rule out the possibility that regional terrorists have obtained chemical weapons from Syria. 

How does this threat compare to those posed to Olympics in the past?
According to the New York Times, US officials haven’t been this concerned about security at the Olympics since the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. The paper notes however, that “the Greeks were far more receptive to help from American law enforcement and intelligence officials, who ultimately played a significant role in the security for the Games.” Treisman, from UCLA, says the most recent case that is comparable would be the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, which occurred at a time when the terrorist Basque separatist organization ETA was still active. Peritz, from Third Way, jokes that “it would be safer if we had the Olympics in North Korea. At least they don’t have an active terrorist group blowing things up.” (The most recent deadly terrorist attack on the Olympics was orchestrated by an American at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.)  

What is the United States doing about all this? 
The United States has stationed two warships, which can launch helicopters into Sochi in case an evacuation is needed, in the nearby Black Sea. The United States is also stationing at least two dozen FBI agents in the area and may be sharing sophisticated counterbomb equipment with Russian authorities. US athletes have also been warned not to wear their uniforms outside of the secured perimeter. Several US congressmen, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers​ (R-Mich.) have expressed anger that Russia is not cooperating fully with US security efforts. 

Is anyone actually staying home?
Several US athletes have said they are asking their families to stay home from the Olympics because of security concerns, including speed skater Tucker Fredricks, Minnesota Wild ice hockey defenseman Ryan Suter, and Wild forward Zach Parise

Tucker Fredricks

Who says it’s safe?
Some US athletes who have arrived in Sochi already told ABC News on Monday that they feel safe there. “”We’ve had a lot of fun, and I don’t anticipate us being in any more harm’s way than going down the mountain in a bobsled at 85 miles per hour,” said US bobsledder Dallas Robinson. And last month, President Obama confirmed that he felt the games were secure, noting that ”the Russian authorities understand the stakes here.” However, he will not be attending with the first family.

America must move off a permanent war footing.
Obama at #SOTU2014. 

From the 01.17.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:



"I don’t care about the bloody report!" — Bill O’Reilly*

It’s rare to have a Fox host be so succinct about the network’s philosophy on covering Benghazi. Reports don’t matter. Testimony doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. 

Fox wants to believe that the Obama administration made up a story about protests over an anti-Muslim video causing the attack as some sort of cover-up. But a new bipartisan Senate report proves that this initial understanding of events was not some mastermind cover-up, but the official  interpretation from the intelligence committee. 

Here are the Senate’s findings (emphasis added): 

The Majority concludes that the interagency coordination process on the talking points followed normal, but rushed coordination procedures and that there were no efforts by the White House or any other Executive Branch entities to “cover-up” facts or make alterations for political purposes.

No wonder O’Reilly doesn’t care about the report. It negates over a year of his network’s reporting.

Several weeks ago, The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick produced a long report on the 2012 attack on Benghazi that largely debunked many of the right-wing talking points about the tragedy. Among Kirkpatrick’s findings was that al Qaeda played no role in the attack, but “Dr. Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt is not buying that at all, insisting on today’s “Pray In Jesus Name” program that any Muslim who refuses to denounce passages in the Quran calling for infidels to be killed is “part of al Qaeda.”

"If you’re a follower of this false prophet [Muhammad] who tells you to go and kill other people the way [Osama] bin Laden did," Klingenschmitt said, “you are part of al Qaeda because you’re following these extremist verses.”

Klingenschmitt then went on to declare that “the spirit of lying” was inside of Kirkpatrick for having written this “false” report which means that, according to the Bible, Kirkpatrick is doomed to Hell.

"So al Qaeda and Mr. Kirkpatrick, you will have eternity together to look forward to."

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

A six-part series by New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick destroyed several myths about the September 11, 2012, attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, myths often propagated by conservative media and their allies in Congress to politicize the attack against the Obama administration.

Since the September 2012 attacks, right-wing media have seized upon various inaccurate, misleading, or just plain wrong talking points about Benghazi. Some of those talking points made their way into the mainstream, most notably onto CBS’ 60 Minutesearning the network the Media Matters' 2013 "Misinformer of the Year" title for its botched report.

Kirkpatrick’s series, titled "A Deadly Mix In Benghazi," debunks a number of these right-wing talking points based on “months of investigation” and “extensive interviews” with those who had “direct knowledge of the attack.” Among other points, Kirkpatrick deflates the claims that an anti-Islamic YouTube video played no role in motivating the attacks and that Al Qaeda was involved in the attack: 

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

Fox News, scores of Republican pundits, and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), among others, dragged then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice through the mud for citing talking points that mentioned an anti-Islamic YouTube video on Sunday morning news programs following the attacks. Despite right-wing media claims to the contrary, however, Kirkpatrick stated that the attack on the Benghazi compoundwas in “large part” “fueled” by the anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube. He wrote (emphasis added):

The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.


There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet.

Another talking point that right-wing media used to accuse the Obama administration of a political cover-up was the removal of Al Qaeda from Rice’s morning show talking points. Kirkpatrick, however, affirmed in his NYTimes report that Al Qaeda was not involved in the attack in Benghazi (emphasis added):

But the Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network. The only intelligence connecting Al Qaeda to the attack was an intercepted phone call that night from a participant in the first wave of the attack to a friend in another African country who had ties to members of Al Qaeda, according to several officials briefed on the call. But when the friend heard the attacker’s boasts, he sounded astonished, the officials said, suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault.

Kirkpatrick also dispelled the notion that the attack on the compound was carefully planned, writing that “the attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.” 

h/t: MMFA

The NYT investigation on the Benghazi story is yet more proof that the right-wing was using scaremongering tactics about what happened there as a tool to attempt to get Romney elected President in 2012, smear President Obama (and Democrats by extension) with impunity, and to deliberately harm Hillary’s reputation for the 2016 elections.