I've noticed a strange echo lately in claims by right-wingers that supposedly President Obama will not say the word "terrorism" or "terrorist." On January 2nd, Chris Matthews had two fellows on to debate about the White House's Saturday radio address on the attempted Christmas day bombing.
"Love is worth fighting for." That's how Lt. Dan Choi ended his remarks this weekend about his journey from West Point to Iraq to discharge under the continuing Pentagon policy of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT). It really made me think about this deeply flawed policy I have opposed privately over the years. Because, as Lt. Choi distilled it so well, love is worth fighting for.
He is one of only eight people in his graduating class at West Point who majored in Arabic, and so his story also brought home to me the gap between the rhetoric about the "global war on terror" (GWOT) and the reality, in a particular way. Since I left the government over four years ago, I have been speaking out about misplaced priorities involving terrorism, civil liberties, and human rights.
One of the reasons I was so pleased to be able to join CMD is because in Washington, DC, I saw first-hand how propaganda and selective disclosures were used to influence and distort public opinion. In my testimony, I highlighted examples from the Patriot Act debate in 2005 where key information was hidden while the bill for reauthorization was being publicly debated, and did not come out until after the bill had passed. With parts of the Patriot Act up for renewal and reform this fall, I wanted to make sure the public record included the story of how the previous Bush administration misled the American people. I also wanted to share my views about why these extraordinary powers need to be fixed to better protect civil liberties and human rights.
Post-9-11 crackdowns on funding streams for Islamic and other terrorist groups worldwide have led these networks to turn to criminal rackets, with cigarette smuggling offering low risks and high returns. Cigarettes are easy to buy, easy to bootleg and offer lucrative returns.
Bayer CropScience has invoked the specter of terrorism in a bid to limit what information the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board can release at a public hearing into a chemical plant explosion in West Virginia that killed two employees.
ProPublica notes that "the Bush administration's 'war on terror' -- including its controversial policies on detentions, interrogations and warrantless wiretapping -- were all underpinned by legal memoranda. While some of those memos have been released ...
In November 2005, activists from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network peacefully protested against the failure by then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr to significantly curb pollution from coal-fired power stations in Maryland. After their protest, Maryland police categorized them as terrorists and added them to a federal database of people to be monitored.