Archive for November 15th, 2008

Killed for criticizing people who want others to kill themselves to kill others.
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

updated 9:10 a.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 14, 2008
KABUL, Afghanistan – Suspected Taliban militants killed a religious leader in western Afghanistan after he criticized the use of suicide attacks as a weapon of war in the country, an Afghan official said Friday.

Militants kidnapped Shamsudin Agha in Farah province’s Anar Dara district on Tuesday, days after he led prayers condemning the practice of using suicide attacks, said provincial police Chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar.

Suicide attacks are one of the Taliban’s preferred tactics in their assaults against Afghan and foreign troops. Most of the victims of such attacks have been civilians.

  blog it

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According to the CIA, al-Qaida remains “the most clear and present danger to the United States today.” This from CIA director Michael Hayden, who (back when he was director of the National Security Agency that got wind of the 9/11 attacks from CNN) told a reporter in 2001 that the National Security Agency does not monitor any US citizens without court warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). “We don’t do anything willy-nilly,” Hayden says. Maybe, maybe not. But even in an Air Force general’s uniform the man looks to me like Elmer Fudd and “willy-nilly” sounds about right.

Not Willy Nilly

Not Willy Nilly

 “This is not an omnipotent enemy. This is an enemy whose actions we can affect by the actions we take. In many ways, we’ve been taking those actions and keeping them off-balance. So even if al-Qaida had this strong wish to do something between Date X and Date Y, it’s another thing to do it … beyond just the wish.”

CIA Director Michael Hayden

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I haven’t forgotten about Stevens. It is just taking a while to see if Alaska really did elect a convict.

tedstevenssadFrom The Raw Story

The dyspeptic Republican senator convicted of taking gifts may soon be out of a job.

Mark Begich, Sen. Ted Stevens’ opponent in the Alaska Senate race, is now leading Stevens by 814 votes — 132,196 to 131,382 — with about 40,000 votes left to go. Begich was behind the day after the election but has made up ground as absentee, early and questioned ballots have been added to the pile.

If re-elected, Stevens would become the first convict ever elected to the Senate. If his election fails, Begich would succeed the 40-year Senate veteran.

But if Stevens is elected — and then kicked out of the Senate by his colleagues as is widely expected, which can be accomplished with a simple majority vote — Stevens’ replacement would be filled in a special election.

“The state Division of Elections tallied about 60,000 absentee, early and questioned ballots from around the state on Wednesday,” the Alaska Daily News reported Thursday morning. “The ballots broke heavily in the Democrat’s favor, erasing the 3,000-vote lead the Republican Stevens held after election night Nov. 4.”

“The state still needs to count at least 15,000 questioned ballots and an estimated 25,000 absentees,” the paper added. “With all the absentee votes coming in, this will be one of the biggest turnouts, if not the biggest in terms of ballots cast, the state has ever seen. That’s despite questions in the media and on blogs about why turnout appeared low on Election Day.”

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