Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Just another routine warning...Americans will wake up some day. Some day???

Government Executive

Internet fuels emergence of violent Islamist groups in the United States


The violent Islamist terrorist threat has evolved and expanded since al Qaeda planned the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and radicalization of disaffected Muslims and recent converts to Islam is increasingly occurring here in the United States. Yet the federal government has "no cohesive and comprehensive outreach and communications strategy in place to confront this threat." Those are among the findings of a new report by the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The report, "Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat," is the first in a series of reports to be issued jointly by the majority and minority staff and is notable for its bipartisan conclusions.

The report points out that both Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and FBI Director Robert Mueller testified about the growing threat of "homegrown" extremists in February before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. According to McConnell, evidence suggested the radical and violent segment of the Muslim population in the West was growing, although the cells detected thus far in the United States have been less sophisticated than those in Europe or elsewhere overseas. Through Internet connections, however, these groups were bound to become more sophisticated and capable without having to travel overseas for training, he said.

The study examines al Qaeda's online media operation and identifies four highly sophisticated production centers that use cutting-edge technology to produce a range of products, including online magazines, official statements, news updates, white papers and even poetry.

Once content is created by one of the production centers, it is funneled to a clearinghouse before it is posted on the Internet. "One of the most active Internet clearinghouses today is the al-Fajr Media Center, which was established in January 2006. Like the production centers, al-Fajr is almost entirely virtual. The approval process for dissemination is unclear, but once approved, content is moved from al-Fajr to preapproved Web sites. On a daily basis, al-Fajr issues a host of material, including statements from violent Islamist groups taking credit for attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria and elsewhere," the report stated.

The clearinghouses perform two key functions: They ensure the authenticity of the message, which is essential to maintaining the movement's strict interpretation of Islam and its long-term goal to destroy the West; and they facilitate the near-instantaneous dissemination of new propaganda, according to the report.

"The propaganda regularly produced by this process finds its way to literally thousands of violent Islamist Web sites across the Internet, many of which are either 'mirrored' versions of one another, or 'simply bulletin boards' that disseminate the same material created by the production houses," the report said.

Charles Allen, chief intelligence officer and undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the Homeland Security Department, said in a May 6 speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that al Qaeda "has ratcheted up the speed and accuracy of translated statements openly marketed to U.S. and English-speaking audiences." Al Qaeda's objective, Allen said, "is to gain wide Muslim support, empathy, financing and future recruits."

The growing sophistication of al Qaeda's Internet campaign poses a serious threat and has the potential to erode the United States' cultural and community characteristics (especially the integration of Muslims into American society) that have thus far discouraged violent radicalization. Left unchallenged, al Qaeda's message espoused over the Internet will drive more individuals in the United States through the radicalization process and encourage them to conduct actual attacks, the Senate committee report noted.

Nonetheless, testimony the committee received showed that, "no federal agency has been tasked with developing or implementing a domestic communications strategy."

Perhaps the most significant outreach effort has come from Homeland Security's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which meets regularly with religious and ethnic community leaders in five major cities and tries to address the concerns of participants. Yet the effort is not part of a governmentwide outreach effort, nor does the office coordinate with the FBI, which has substantial contact with communities throughout the country via its 56 field offices. Neither the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties office's program nor the FBI's own outreach program is designed to counter violent Islamist ideology.

"Efforts that rely on relatively uncoordinated outreach to American-Muslim communities and fragmented communications strategies must be improved. Indeed, the most credible voices in isolating and rejecting violent Islamist ideology are those of Muslim community leaders, religious leaders and other nongovernmental actors who must play a more visible and vocal role in discrediting and providing alternatives to violent Islamist ideology," the committee concluded.





(C) 2007 BY NATIONAL JOURNAL GROUP, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Remenber "Manifest Destiny"? Forget it! It's now "Global Destiny"! And don't you forget it!

GLOBAL ELITE GATHER IN D.C.

Trilateral Commission members want suffering U.S. taxpayers to shell out even more money

The Trilateral Commission—one of the three most powerful globalist groups in the world—held closed-door meetings right here in Washington, D.C. from April 25 to 28. True to form, those members of the media who knew about the meeting—or were themselves participants in the proceedings—refused to discuss what went on inside or report on the attendees. Luckily, AFP’s own editor, Jim Tucker, was on the scene to bust this clandestine confabulation wide open.

By James P. Tucker Jr.

Luminaries at the Trilateral Commission meeting in Washington expressed confidence that they own all three major presidential candidates, who, despite political posturing, will support sovereignty-surrendering measures such as NAFTA and the “North American Union.”

“John has always supported free trade, even while campaigning before union leaders,” said one. “Hil and Barack are pretending to be unhappy about some things, but that’s merely political posturing. They’re solidly in support.”

He was referring to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Mrs. Clinton, they noted, held strategy sessions as first lady on how to get Congress to approve NAFTA “without changes.” As president, they agreed, she would do no more than “dot an i or cross a t.”

Candidate Obama has not denied news reports in Canada that his top economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, assured Canadian diplomats that the senator would keep NAFTA intact and his anti-trade talk is just “campaign rhetoric.”

PETRIFIED ABOUT PAUL

While they are confident they can deal with any “potential president,” the Trilateralists paid huge tribute to Ron Paul in an equally large twist of irony, by expressing alarm that he is causing “significant future damage.”

They expressed concern that Paul’s rallies have attracted multitudes of young people who are getting “their political education.” They want Republicans to pressure Paul to drop out now and stop his education rallies. This assignment was given to Thomas Foley, former U.S. House speaker.

The reasons Paul’s “education campaign” strikes fear into Trilateral hearts are obvious. Paul would refuse to surrender an ounce of U.S. sovereignty to an international organization and TC wants world government.

Paul would immediately bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan and from 130 UN “peacekeeping” missions around the globe. TC wants to enjoy war profiteering and global power. Paul would abolish the federal income tax while the TC wants to pile on a global tax payable to the UN.

The formal agenda was loaded with everything Paul and American patriots detest: higher taxes, more foreign giveaways, more immigration, both legal and illegal, into the United States and “engaging Iran,” among others.

AMERICA NEEDS TO PAY HER FAIR SHARE?

The Trilaterals got down to real work on Saturday, April 26, with a high-powered panel called “U.S. Foreign and Domestic Policy: Broad Outlines for a New Administration.”

It was presided over by journalistic pimp David Gergen, who will write nothing about TC in his magazine, U.S News and World Report. Also participating were Kenneth Duberstein, former White House chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan; Strobe Talbot, president of the Brookings Institution and former deputy secretary of state; and Joseph Nye, former assistant secretary of defense. Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and long-time Bilderberg leader, was present and listed as a participant. But a TC staff member crossed his name out. Some speculated he had throat problems.

This panel had these orders for the next president: increase foreign aid across the board because “America does not pay its fair share,” pay up the arrears in UN dues, allow as many immigrants into the United States as want to come and provide “amnesty” for illegal aliens already here.

Little, if anything, was said about the fact that American taxpayers pay one-fourth of the UN’s operating costs and one-third of the cost of 130 “peacekeeping missions” or the fact that immigrants from South America depress wages here and the average immigrant family costs the government thousands of dollars a year in welfare, health and other “benefits.”

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank and another long-time Bilderberg boy, largely echoed these views in a sweetheart “interview” by another journalistic strumpet, Lionel Barber, editor of The Financial Times, who will obediently report nothing.

FIGHT WARMING; ALLOW IMMIGRANTS

There were “subgroup” meetings on “climate change,” “water and sanitation” and “migration and development.” Every nation, especially the U.S., should spend big bucks to fight “global warming,” they agreed. The United States should spend more “because Americans cause the most pollution,” one argued. Americans should send more money to Africa so natives can drink clean water and scrub themselves, they said.

Antonio Garrigues Walker, chairman of Garrigues Abogadas y Asesores Tributarios, joined Peter Sutherland, the UN secretary-general’s “special representative on migration and development,” to call on the United States to not only allow unlimited immigration, but to throw more money at Mexico and other impoverished Latin countries. It was, somehow, their “right” to have more U.S. dollars. Sutherland is chairman of British Petroleum and Goldman Sachs International. He is also a long-time Bilderberg leader.

MEDIA BLACKOUT

Bill Emmott, another kept journalist, spoke on “the rise of Asia” at a reception-dinner held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Emmott, former editor of The Economist, will report nothing.

Sunday morning, Robert Blackwill, former U.S. deputy national security adviser for Iraq, led a panel discussion on “engaging Iran and building peace in the Persian Gulf Region.” For the first time, there was dissent. Blackwill tried to rationalize the invasion of Iraq. Others doubted that Saddam Hussein was connected to the 9-11 terrorist attacks or was a nuclear threat. Blackwill said the military option remains but he hopes diplomatic efforts succeed.

Other participants were Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations, which functions as the propaganda ministry for TC and Bilderberg; Volker Perthes, head of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and Hitoshi Tanaka, former Japanese deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.

MORE, MORE, MORE MONEY

More foreigners demanded more U.S. money at a lunch panel called “European and Asian views on U.S. Foreign and Security Policy.” Participants were Elisabeth Guigou, a member of the French National Assembly and former minister for European affairs and Han Sung-joo, former minister of foreign affairs for South Korea.

An afternoon session addressed “global health” with more calls for American tax dollars. A major voice in this cause came from Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of Global Development Programs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates has attended at least one Bilderberg meeting.

EXCUSES FOR IRAQ; PLANS FOR IRAN

John Negroponte, U.S. deputy secretary of state, addressed the evening dinner on “U.S. foreign policy perspectives.” Again, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were rationalized and an invasion of Iran held out as a possibility.

The Monday morning finale addressed the Global Financial Crisis involving these luminaries: Robert Kimmitt, U.S. deputy secretary of the treasury; Martin Feldstein, former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; David Rubenstein, managing director of The Carlyle Group; Naoki Tanaka, president of the Center for International Public Policy Studies and Sir Andrew Crockett, president of JP Morgan Chase International.

Among them, there was much talk of the U.S. government’s “duty” to “intervene” on behalf of “financial institutions under stress.” Little or nothing was said of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are losing their homes because financial institutions lured them into buying houses they could not afford.

Throughout the weekend, no American voices were heard objecting to the demands on their country. Instead, there were smiles, nods and applause.

AFP editor James P. Tucker Jr. is a veteran journalist who spent many years as a member of the “elite” media in Washington. Since 1975 he has won widespread recognition, here and abroad, for his pursuit of on-the-scene stories reporting the intrigues of global power blocs such as the Bilderberg Group. Tucker is the author of Jim Tucker’s Bilderberg Diary. Loaded with photos—many never published before—the book recounts Tucker’s experiences over the last quarter century at Bilderberg meetings. $25 from AFP. No charge for S&H in U.S.

(Issue # 19, May 12, 2008)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

He should be hung (after a 2 minute trial) ! Who? Kevin Trenberth! and Al Gore with him!

A hat tip to Gerry Phelps http://www.gerrycharlottephelps.com/

May 14, 2008



Warming "Denier" - Top Expert on Hurricanes





Dr. Christopher Landsea at work


(Image by blogs.chron.com)


The Hurricane Expert Who Stood Up to UN Junk Science


Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, 2-2-07, at http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=ae9b984d-4a1c-45c0-af24-031a1380121a&k=0 . His article is below:


You're a respected scientist, one of the best in your field. So respected, in fact, that when the United Nations decided to study the relationship between hurricanes and global warming for the largest scientific endeavour in its history -- its International Panel on Climate Change -- it called upon you and your expertise.


You are Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory. You were a contributing author for the UN's second International Panel on Climate Change in 1995, writing the sections on observed changes in tropical cyclones around the world. Then the IPCC called on you as a contributing author once more, for its "Third Assessment Report" in 2001. And you were invited to participate yet again, when the IPCC called on you to be an author in the "Fourth Assessment Report." This report would specifically focus on Atlantic hurricanes, your specialty, and be published by the IPCC in 2007


Then something went horribly wrong. Within days of this last invitation, in October, 2004, you discovered that the IPCC's Kevin Trenberth -- the very person who had invited you -- was participating in a press conference. The title of the press conference perplexed you: "Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity." This was some kind of mistake, you were certain. You had not done any work that substantiated this claim. Nobody had.


As perplexing, none of the participants in that press conference were known for their hurricane expertise. In fact, to your knowledge, none had performed any research at all on hurricane variability, the subject of the press conference. Neither were they reporting on any new work in the field. All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability, you knew, showed no reliable upward trend in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. Not in the Atlantic basin. Not in any other basin.


To add to the utter incomprehensibility of the press conference, the IPCC itself, in both 1995 and 2001, had found no global warming signal in the hurricane record. And until your new work would come out, in 2007, the IPCC would not have a new analysis on which to base a change of findings.


To stop the press conference, or at least stop any misunderstandings that might come out of it, you contacted Dr. Trenberth prior to the media event. You prepared a synopsis for him that brought him up to date on the state of knowledge about hurricane formation. To your amazement, he simply dismissed your concerns. The press conference proceeded.


And what a press conference it was! Hurricanes had been all over the news that summer. Global warming was the obvious culprit -- only a fool or an oil-industry lobbyist, the press made clear, could ignore the link between what seemed to be ever increasing hurricane activity and ever increasing global warming. The press conference didn't disappoint them. The climate change experts at hand all confirmed the news that the public had been primed to hear: Global warming was causing hurricanes. This judgement from the scientists made headlines around the world, just as it was intended to do. What better way to cast global warming as catastrophic than to make hurricanes its poster child?


You wanted to right this outrageous wrong, this mockery that was made of your scientific field. You wrote top IPCC officials, imploring: "Where is the science, the refereed publications, that substantiate these pronouncements? What studies are being alluded to that have shown a connection between observed warming trends on the earth and long-term trends in tropical cyclone activity? As far as I know, there are none." But no one in the IPCC leadership showed the slightest concern for the science. The IPCC's overriding preoccupation, it soon sunk in, lay in capitalizing on the publicity opportunity that the hurricane season presented.


You then asked the IPCC leadership for assurances that your work for the IPCC's 2007 report would be true to science: "[Dr. Trenberth] seems to have already come to the conclusion that global warming has altered hurricane activity and has publicly stated so. This does not reflect the consensus within the hurricane research community. ... Thus I would like assurance that what will be included in the IPCC report will reflect the best available information and the consensus within the scientific community most expert on the specific topic."


The assurance didn't come. What did come was the realization that the IPCC was corrupting science. This you could not be a party to. You then resigned, in an open letter to the scientific community laying out your reasons.


Next year, the IPCC will come out with its "Fourth Assessment Report," and for the first time in a decade, you will not be writing its section on hurricanes. That task will be left to the successor that Dr. Trenberth chose. As part of his responsibility, he will need to explain why -- despite all expectations -- the 2006 hurricane year was so unexpectedly light, and at the historical average for the past 150 years.


- Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute and Consumer Policy Institute, divisions of Energy Probe Research Foundation.


And who is Christopher Landsea and what are his scientific credentials? Here is his CV (Curriculum Vitae):


Christopher Landsea received his doctoral degree in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. A research meteorologist at the Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he was chair of the American Meteorological Society's committee on tropical meteorology and tropical cyclones and a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Banner I. Miller Award for the "best contribution to the science of hurricane and tropical weather forecasting." He is a frequent contributor to leading journals, including Science, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Journal of Climate, and Nature.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Will historians call it World War Chavez

See more headlines below article.

May 10, 2008
Oily Chavez Oozes Beyond Venezuela

The Hemisphere: Oil spiked $4 Friday on new evidence of Venezuela's deep involvement in terrorism. There's no glossing over such news: Hugo Chavez intends to destabilize the region. The U.S. will need to take action.

After poring over some of the 10,000 documents captured from the computer of dead FARC terrorist Raul Reyes, killed in a raid on March 1, U.S. intelligence officials are convinced that Chavez's involvement is deeper than anyone realized, according to a front-page story by the Wall Street Journal. "There is complete agreement in the intelligence community that these documents are what they purport to be," a U.S. official told the Journal.

The oil market understood the implications of this: The U.S. probably would be forced to declare Venezuela a state sponsor of terror and then end Venezuela's role as a top oil supplier, as required for other rogue states such as Iran.

With global oil supplies scarce, and Venezuela accounting for 12% of U.S. oil imports, the U.S. economy would feel the effects.

Yet the alternative of doing nothing probably is worse.

The new documents show Venezuelan complicity in the FARC's war on Colombia well beyond any past estimates. Chavez offered the drug-dealing Marxist terrorists rocket-propelled grenades and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down U.S. and Colombian aircraft.

Such rockets, remember, enabled ragtag Afghan tribesmen to chase out invading Soviet troops in 1989.

Chavez also offered port access for Russian arms shipments in Maracaibo to FARC's jungle bases. He offered FARC rest and recreational bases, along with state medical care. To cap it, he offered the terrorists a $250 million "loan," payable upon the overthrow of Colombia's government.

This is astonishing support for some of the worst terrorists on Earth. FARC is reviled by average Colombians. It should be dead or disarmed at this point because President Alvaro Uribe's courageous efforts to confront FARC have been relentless. Yet he hasn't won yet, thanks to FARC's clandestine support from Venezuela.

It's hard enough to win an asymmetrical war like this, harder still if the insurgents are stoked from other states. Chavez not only supports these jungle thugs, he's urging the West to take these killers off international terror lists, so they can openly raise more funds.

So long as America buys Venezuelan oil, Chavez will have the money to help FARC eventually destroy Colombia. He won't stop on his own, and the clandestine nature of his aid suggests he'll seek new ways to do it on the sly.

It's part of Chavez's strategy to use his petrodollars to take over the hemisphere — or at least become its main power broker.

Thus far, the open side of Chavez's quest is clear. Using democratic elections, Chavez seeks to get Latin leaders elected who will be his vassals. He does so by secretly buying off leftist political parties, and manipulating elections and the minds of poor voters. He has helped put socialist cronies in power in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Now, he has his eyes on his next prize: U.S. ally El Salvador.

Bad as that is, the new FARC computer documents show an even darker side: Any nation that resists his charms, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil cash, gets destabilized.

Colombia may be the scariest example of Chavez's destabilization efforts, but others are threatened, too — including Mexico and Peru, two stalwarts who have no interest in being Chavez's puppet states. It's significant that Mexico's and Peru's ambassadors were recently seen with President Bush at the Council of the Americas Wednesday pleading to Congress for free trade for their neighbor Colombia, whose economic success is as vital to them as their own.

All three nations are under fire from Chavez, and need vibrant economies to withstand him.

Peru is fighting Chavista infiltration through the dictator's newly formed "Houses of Alba" and has seen a resurgence of the Shining Path Marxist guerrillas it stomped out a decade ago.

Mexico's fighting a terrible war against drug-dealing criminals whose prime support from abroad is FARC terrorists. Last Thursday the chief of Mexico's national police was gunned down by these thugs in Mexico City, striking into the heart of the Mexican state.

Meanwhile, the raid that killed Reyes also revealed the presence of Mexican operatives in Colombia believed to be in training to destroy Mexico's oil pipelines, which supply much of America's oil.

It's an ugly picture for the U.S. We must either de-fang Chavez soon, or watch democratic neighbors collapse to his vast dictatorship. If that happens, oil prices will rise as high as his ambition.

Venezuela's Chavez to buy Chinese K-8 planesReuters - 19 hours agoVenezuela and China on Friday signed an accord to build a refinery on Chinese soil as part of a broader plan to reduce Venezuela's reliance on US energy ...Around the world Houston ChronicleVenezuela to buy Russian weaponry worth $2 bln - paper RIA NovostiNight Hunters Heading for Venezuela Kommersant

Venezuela says German spat threatens bilateral tiesReuters UK, UK - 17 hours agoCARACAS, May 13 (Reuters) - Germany's criticism of President Hugo Chavez threatens bilateral relations, Venezuela said on Tuesday, after the leftist ...Venezuela Says Merkel `Attacks' May Hurt German Ties (Update1) BloombergVenezuela says Germany's Merkel doesn't speak for Europe International Herald TribuneVenezuela replies that Merkel does not speak for whole of Europe TopNewsReuters - PRESS TV

Chavez Says Colombia Seeks War With Venezuela - May 11, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our FBI and CIA have been infiltrated by Muslim...

The Translator Scandal Ripens

by Jerry Gordon (May 2008)

For over a year, we have been waging a relentless, nearly solitary battle in apprising the Congress and the American public about a billion dollar boondoggle and scandal: the lack of credible Arabic translators for our national security and intelligence agencies. As a result hundreds have been killed in Iraq from infiltration of our military and civilian intelligence agencies by agents of Islamist terrorists. Our FBI and CIA have been infiltrated by Muslim linguists who have successfully evaded polygraph tests and been able to pass on vital information to terror groups in the Middle East such as Hezbollah. Tens of thousands of documents, containing vital information on potential threats have gone untranslated in large measure because of bias in hiring practices against qualified Arabic, Farsi and Urdu speaking Christians, Jews and apostate Muslims. The result has been “chaos” according to a knowledgeable counter terrorism source. The problem is one of political correctness. Our government has been gulled by the argument that only Muslims can translate accurately their “holy language.” This is pure taqiyyah or religious dissimulation sanctioned by Islam.

Now, at least one group in Congress, the House Anti-terror Caucus, a bi-partisan group led by Rep. Susan Myrick (R.-NC) is taking action. It issued on April 18, 2008 an agenda for Congressional investigation, akin in many ways to one we suggested a year ago in the New English Review, “Muslim Extremism in America: A Suggested Agenda for Congressional Hearings.”

In that article, I raised the following question:

Why are our national security and law enforcement agencies biased against the hiring of qualified non-Muslims linguists, translators and analysts in critical languages? How do we remove barriers for the employment of these qualified non-Muslims in important intelligence and national security activities?

Called “Wake Up America” the Myrick proposal has ten points regarding investigation of the threat and infiltration of radical Islamist elements in America. Point three mirrors our earlier recommendation and investigations:

Will call for the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate the selection process of Arabic translators in the FBI and DoD.

This article will endeavor to lay out the factual background in support of this agenda by elucidating the depth of the translator scandal. Perhaps now Congress will finally investigate and undertake overdue remedial actions on this issue.

Infiltration and Translator Disasters in Iraq

In the U.S. Eastern District Court in Brooklyn on Valentine's Day in 2007, Noureddine Malki, a Muslim and naturalized American citizen with five different aliases – stretching from Mauritania to Morocco to Lebanon – pleaded guilty to a charge of illegally possessing classified documents and allegations about passing on information to insurgents. Federal agents had found these documents on his home computer hard drive.

Malki was sentenced to 13 years, according to a report in the New York Sun – a light sentence for committing espionage and passing classified documents to Iraqi Sunni insurgents during one of his two stints in Iraq. Federal prosecutors allege he did this when deployed at Al Taqqadam Air Base west of Baghdad in March 2004.

Malki also committed immigration fraud to become a naturalized US citizen. He passed information on to the insurgents in Iraq, during his time in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and upon his return to America in 2005. Malki had worked for Titan Corporation-a major defense contractor in Iraq back in 2003 and 2004.

At a hearing in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn a year later in February, 2008, regarding the suspect, an Army officer with the 82nd Airborne Division described some of the reports that Malki had obtained.

"The information is so critical that you do not want the information to get into the hands of anyone without the need to know," Lieutenant Colonel Michele Bredenkamp said, referring to a mission analysis report for the 82nd Airborne, to which Malki was attached. The document, among other things, described convoy routes and named known terrorists the Army was targeting. Between 60 and 70 individuals had authorization to view the document, which could be accessed through a secure computer, Colonel Bredenkamp testified.

"Would this be the type of thing for a soldier to take for a keepsake?" a prosecutor, John Buretta, asked.

"That's absurd," Colonel Bredenkamp said.

It is absurd that Malki, now incarcerated in a Federal prison after being sentenced to 13 years in February, 2007, would be hired as a translator without being vetted. It is absurd that our military contracted for billions of dollars of translation services awarded to “beltway bandits” and didn't hire competent loyal non-Muslim American citizens as translators.

The irony is that his military superiors reportedly gave Malki high marks for his work with an intelligence unit in Iraq. Little did they know what he was really doing. He was found out when he applied for a security clearance. He even entered the U.S. back in 1989 under false pretenses seeking political asylum.

The information he passed on may have caused the deaths and injuries of hundreds of U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqi civilians in the horrific Najaf battle in 2004. In his Brooklyn apartment on his home computer was evidence that he was an al-Qaeda sympathizer. One example cited in the New York Daily News was a photo of the second airliner that hit the Twin Towers on 9-11 with the caption "We fly straight to you."

Malki was recruited originally as a translator for the 82nd Airborne in Iraq by a multi-billion dollar U.S. company headquartered in Manhattan, L-3 Communications-Titan Group. Titan has received several billion dollars in procurements for in-country translation services in Iraq from INSCOM, the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, since it began contract translation services in 1999.

In 2005, Titan merged with giant L-3 Communications, a defense contracting firm specializing in global communications, surveillance and intelligence technology. This followed SEC investigations about bribery charges and Army procurement penalties concerning Titan because of the revelations involving translators in the detainees controversy at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The combined entity continues to be awarded translation services contracts by the Army.

This Brooklyn federal court trial of an al-Qaeda translator is just the tip of the iceberg confronting the Pentagon and its contractor, Titan, concerning Iraqi insurgent infiltration of our military in the field – which wreaks death and destruction on our soldiers and loyal Iraqis.

According to a report in USA today, one hapless Titan linguist, an Iraqi Kurd, was captured and beheaded in October 2004 in a grisly video posted on the Internet. Of the more than 665 contractor deaths in the war in Iraq, L-3 Communications-Titan Group Iraqi translators accounted for nearly one-third, or 216 fatalities. This is “deadly duty,” blared the headline of a San Diego Union-Tribune report. The question is, how many of these deaths, as well as countless others, were the result of infiltration by insurgent sympathizers like Malki?

How did we let this counterintelligence debacle occur with such disastrous results?

The short answer was Titan's screening program for local personnel in Iraq enabled infiltration through ineffective and unprofessional interrogations. When information gathered by professional counterintelligence linguist/analysts was presented to U.S. military commanders pointing this out, it was sloughed off.

According to informed sources, the late Saddam Hussein and his intelligence cadres prepared the way. Beginning in 2002, he enlisted Iraqis loyal to him to infiltrate as English-speaking operatives into American bastions in the event of a conquest. These operatives were trained to gather intelligence and foment insurgency.

When President Bush gave his stirring graduation speech at West Point in June 2002 in the run up to the Iraq war, Hussein allegedly ordered an accelerated English-language training program for qualified members of his intelligence and Baathist cadres to become “lay behind assets” in the event of an American invasion and conquest. The purpose was to infiltrate the unwary American military forces and bore from within by providing intelligence and targeting for insurgents. As one of my sources said, “Pretty wily, but effective strategy.”

To find out how this incredible lapse in counterintelligence occurred, I spoke with qualified sources who conducted screenings of Iraqi personnel at Camp Falcon in South Baghdad. The sources were former military intelligence specialists and linguists working under separate contractual arrangements.

In the aftermath of the conquest of Baghdad in April 2003, local U.S. military intelligence personnel were approached by English-speaking Iraqis offering to be of assistance. In May of 2003, the first of a series of contracts with Titan was awarded to procure U.S. law enforcement trained personnel to assist military commanders at Camp Falcon in screening local employees.

According to these sources, the Titan Local Employment Personnel screenings resulted in a rejection rate of less than 8 per 5,000 persons. That contrasted with a rejection rate of former military intelligence specialists and linguists of one-third (33 percent). Camp Falcon was heavily infiltrated by Hussein's lay behind assets, and the information they provided to insurgents resulted in the deaths of several hundred Iraqis and U.S. personnel.

The sources indicated that they passed the counterintelligence information up the line from Camp Falcon to CENTCOM intelligence, only to receive little or no response. One of the other U.S. contractors, Kellogg Brown & Root, found the procedures and information helpful and implemented more effective screening, filtering out suspected insurgents and sympathizers.

These sources indicated that after they left Iraq, “the situation worsened.”

The media was pre-occupied by the alleged abuses in the Abu Ghraib Prison and litigation by Iraqi detainees against defense contractors like Titan and CACI. No attention has been paid to how insurgents infiltrated Camp Falcon and the defective screening procedures put in place by Titan. Camp Falcon blew up in October, 2006 when insurgent mortars hit an ammo dump.

In March, 2007, INSCOM awarded a $4.6 billion contract to Global Linguistics Solutions (GLS), LLC, and a joint venture of another defense contracting giant DynCorp International and McNeil Technologies. The award covers procurement hiring of more than 6,000 local in-country translators and 1,000 U.S. citizens with security clearances in Iraq. The president of GLS is retired Maj. Gen. James Marks, former CNN military analyst and Iraq land war intelligence chief with the Coalition forces' Land Component Command, who holds controversial views on the inadequacy of pre-war intelligence. GLS vice president is the former commandant of the Defense Language Institute, retired Col. Michael R. Simone.

The Hezbollah Translator Sisters

A Stratfor terrorism report revealed the stunning cases of three Lebanese Muslim women, all roommates in the Detroit area, who entered the US on student visas, Khalil Nabbouh who became USMC Captain Spinelli, FBI Agent and later CIA case officer Nada Nadim Prouty, and her sister Elfat El Aouar who married a fugitive Hezbollah fund raiser. These women exploited our immigration system, committed marriage fraud and ended up serving as a Marine, an FBI agent and a CIA case officer in highly sensitive positions. Their cases demonstrate how easily our national security and intelligence community can be penetrated and duped by cultural and religious ignorance. This could potentially be a major intelligence scandal of significant proportions with Hezbollah and Iran as the beneficiaries of a veritable treasure trove of information on domestic counter terrorism programs and military deployments in Iraq. The information should be the basis of a thorough Congressional investigation of the weaknesses of our Middle Eastern strategic and military intelligence, as well as domestic counter terrorism and counter intelligence apparatus. A veritable purge of counter terrorism and counter intelligence functions in the FBI and DNI would seem to be the order of the day.

Here are some telling observations from the Stratfor report:

These cases highlight the gaps in U.S. immigration policy and demonstrates the ways in which individuals — and militant organizations — can exploit those vulnerabilities to enter or remain in the United States fraudulently.

Furthermore, the cases demonstrate that the FBI, CIA and Marine Corps all failed to detect this web of sham marriages when they conducted background investigations on the women in question, especially since the marriages were within the seven-year investigative window required for Prouty’s FBI clearance and Spinelli’s enlistment in the Marine Corps. A full field background investigation should have been able to determine the nature of the sham marriages, given that the women never lived with their purported husbands.

It is important to note, however, that the FBI did, and still does, employ relatively few native Arabic speakers, and even fewer special agents who speak the language. The bureau is a hierarchical organization with a very agent-oriented culture, meaning agents are regarded far more highly than are analysts, technicians or translators. Agents trust other agents and will often discuss matters among themselves that they will not discuss with outsiders or translators. They also will seek assistance from fellow agents who have rare skills, such as native Arabic ability. So, although Prouty was assigned to a squad with an extraterritorial focus, she undoubtedly was given access to many cases that she was not officially assigned to work, gaining insight into the bureau’s domestic counterintelligence capabilities in relation to Arabic-speaking terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.

After Prouty’s arrest, an FBI spokesman noted that she passed a polygraph test before being hired (she undoubtedly also passed one before being hired by the CIA, as it is standard agency procedure). However, the U.S. government has long known that the results of polygraph tests administered to Middle Easterners, Muslims in particular, can be seriously flawed. The reason, frankly, is that for a host of cultural and religious reasons, lying does not stress Middle Easterners and Muslims as much as it does Western Christians. This allows them to defeat polygraph tests.

The Army Tries To Recruit Muslim Translators

The US Army desperate for Arabic translators in Iraq recruits in major Muslim communities in America like the Detroit and Chicago areas, even resorting to using billboards in Arabic.

There is a yellow billboard in Detroit in Arabic, with the exception of the contact person, “Call Mona” in English with a phone number. These billboards have popped up in concentrated Muslim areas like Detroit and Chicago. The Army alleges it has tough problems recruiting Arabs although it picked up 270 Arab translators via this route last year.

The Arab translator problem in our military, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security agencies is a disaster mostly self-inflicted. After 9/11, thousands of Christians and Jews who spoke critical languages like Arabic, Farsi, Pashto and Urdu were brushed aside and not considered. The government had been cajoled into thinking only Muslims could speak and interpret Arabic, the “holy language” of Islam. This has led to Muslim translators, as we have seen, passing information to insurgents in Iraq and to Hezbollah in Lebanon and doubtless on to Syria and Iran.

However, despite this, the Army persists in the delusion that this is an important track to fill its quota of desperately needed Arabic translators.

Witness this excerpt from an AP account of the Army program that demonstrates the futility of recruiting from the ummah, even here in the US:

“At first, it was more hostile from the community. It was at the peak of the invasion,” said Mona Makki, a community liaison and language specialist with a company that helps the Army with recruitment. “They perceive us now in a positive way.”

Hassan Jaber, executive director of the Dearborn-based Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, said the Army has built some credibility in the community, but it is not fully embraced.

“To my knowledge, people who are volunteering and taking these jobs are doing it in secret,” he said. “It might be a factor of shame, and that they go in there ... because of the money offered, not necessarily because they feel the war is justified.”

Sgt. Mario Banderas, a 39-year-old native of Lebanon, joined the Army in Detroit and served a tour of duty in 2005 as translator in Iraq. He returned as a recruiter.

“I had the idea in my mind that I can go talk to this community and probably get at least two or three people a day to join the Army. This is not the case,” said Banderas, whose name is an alias because the Army does not release translators' real names to protect their safety.

“The idea that people have here, as soon as they see me in uniform is: 'Oh, you're in the U.S. Army? You're in Iraq killing your own people?'”

The Peculiar Case of a Former FBI Muslim Agent

Youssef Bassem, a decorated FBI agent, born in Egypt, has gone public on his “whistleblower” lawsuit.

Bassem alleges that FBI counterterrorism agents lack language skills and cultural understanding. Bassem, an Egyptian born Muslim is partially correct. He noted in a Philadelphia press conference in January, 2008 reported by the AP:

“The FBI has publicly stated that expertise in working counterterrorism matters, and cultural understanding of the Middle East and the radical Islamic groups, as well as the language, are not necessary to run the counterterrorism division,” said Youssef, speaking publicly for the first time on the subject Saturday at an American Library Association meeting.

Youssef, 49, the highest ranking Arab-American agent, has a discrimination lawsuit pending against the bureau. He has also raised concerns about the FBI’s alleged misuse of warrantless searches.

The FBI denied discriminating against him and trumpeted it allegedly had 46 agents and 285 language analysts who speak at least conversational Arabic.

According to information received from our contacts, the FBI had only an estimated 33 Arabic speakers employed as agents and language translators in 2007. We also have a comment from a source active in the counter terrorism community that the Washington field office language laboratory of the FBI is in “chaos.”

Bassem is disingenuous as the FBI and even government contractors go out of their way to hire Muslims as recruiters who are critical language speakers. That means that they insinuate fellow Muslims into language analyst positions thereby engaging in taqiyyah -religiously sanctioned dissimulation. Doubtless, Bassem will have amici briefs filed in his whistleblower suit by Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR and ISNA. FBI director Mueller has gone out of his way to engage in outreach to these groups and even taken them on tours of local field offices.

The Evidence of Bias in Translator Hiring-The American Congress for Truth Survey Results

In January, 2007, my colleague at American Congress for Truth (ACT), Brigitte Gabriel and I put out an action alert to our membership requesting instances of bias in hiring of non-Muslims as translator analysts by our national security agencies. The response was overwhelming. As we have found out in our inquiries first rate Arab and Farsi linguists who are Middle Eastern Christians, Jews and apostate Muslims were disappointed that their talents had gone unused because of political correctness and frankly outright intimidation by Muslim linguists in our security agencies.

This survey was limited, but nevertheless, it is indicative of concerns about why our government persists in denying employment to loyal American citizens who offered aid in reducing the mountainous backlog of untranslated Arabic and Farsi intelligence documents and intercepts.

How mountainous is the backlog of untranslated intercepts? Read this comment from a National Security Agency (NSA) official quoted from Congressional hearings in a Washington Times article on the subject written by Rowan Scarborough and Bill Gertz in their column “Inside the Ring” entitled: “Intelligence backlog.”

NSA director, Army Lt. Gen. Keith in commenting in written response to Senators on the large backlog of time consuming labor intensive foreign language intercepts on terrorism noted:

“Today’s backlog is no longer confined to Arabic and its multiple dialect but also less commonly taught languages where linguists are in short supply.”

One knowledgeable insider in our national security apparatus wrote in response to the ACT action alert:

“The fact that the FBI and the military don’t have enough linguists/translators especially after 9/11 is a disgrace and the fact that those they have are possibly not reliable or trustworthy makes it imperative that new competent resources are found.”

Here are some examples of the responses received from ACT members and others. I will begin with Brigitte Gabriel’s experience. She is one of many Christian Lebanese who tried to help but got nowhere.

Brigitte Gabriel, ACT Founder, Lebanese Christian

Brigitte applied three times to the FBI in 2001 and 2002 volunteering her services to help translate, in whatever capacity she could be used, to help our country in the fight against terrorism. She never got an answer. Finally the Government sent her a government application that stated that translators must be between the age of 25 and 35, (she had just turned 36), must have graduated with a degree in the language they wish to apply to translate and must have three years on the job experience as translators (utterly ridiculous bureaucracy). Meanwhile, government agents were complaining on television that they did not have enough translators.

Brigitte Gabriel speaks not only the classical Arabic which is the official language of most of the Middle East, but also the local dialects, Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, Palestinian, and Jordanian.

From an Iraqi Christian

“I applied twice for the FBI. I never got an answer from them. I heard that the Recruiters are Egyptians and want translators with an Egyptian dialect. I don’t know if religion is a factor, but I’ve given up. I think it will be very intimidating under these circumstances. By the way I’m an Iraqi Christian living in the U.S. I worked as a linguist for the U.S. Army in Iraq.”

From a Lebanese American Christian

“I was deployed from Ft. Benning, Georgia in May, 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Supporting our armed forces and intelligence units. In October 2004, I was injured by a suicide bomb blast inside the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. I had to come back for treatment. A year ago I was released by all doctors and they recommended that I could go back to work, but not in Iraq. I called my employer and to my amazement they offered me a job back in Iraq but not a stateside one because I lacked a security clearance. I refused and they sent me a letter in January, 2006 laying me off. I have tried in vain to find a job with the government or defense contractors. The recruiters are usually Muslim and some have told me that they have relatives working for al Jazeera TV. Can you believe that!”

From a Persian American Jew

“I volunteered to help with Farsi translations. I heard back from them that they were interested in my Hebrew skills!! I didn't see how Hebrew came into the equation with dealing with our country’s dangers. The response was very bureaucratic in nature. I have since done Farsi translation for a private think tank.”

From a Coptic Christian American

“I am a Christian Egyptian who applied for a linguist position with the FBI after 9/11, went through the testing process and was sent a rejection letter. I would love to contribute to your cause, if I can be of assistance.”

Rejection of American Israeli citizens

“I know personally of such a case where a loyal American applied for such service and got nowhere. This American Israel Jew got the same treatment. He is young, intelligent eastern looking guy who could make a real contribution to the efforts. Something funny is going on.”

What these ACT responses do is to reinforce previous reports of bias against Middle Eastern Christians, Jews and apostate Muslims chronicled in reports from WorldNetDaily and by investigative authors Rita Katz - an Iraq born American Jew - in her book Terrorist Hunter and Paul Sperry in his engrossing book Infiltration.

Agenda for a GAO investigation

Almost four fifths of both Arabic and Farsi speakers in the U.S. are non-Muslims: Middle East Christian Copts, Maronites, Orthodox, Assyrian Chaldeans, Mizrahi Jews, and Zoroastrians. Add to that, native American language specialists and apostate Muslims and you begin to see a pattern of discrimination in our national security agencies: FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, and others. It is largely a product of moral equivalency – a willful blindness in the lackluster recruiting efforts of our national security system and intimidation by American Muslim community advocacy groups.

The result is that we have a large gap in un-translated intelligence information and a deficit in HUMINT analysis and assessments that has stifled development of National Security strategies in the war against Islamic Jihad in the Middle East and globally.

Walid Phares of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy had indicated interest in this issue. In an email exchange following his review of a letter we sent to Senator Joseph Lieberman of the US Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, he said:

“This is a very important task. The way you are addressing it is very smart. Keep me posted…”

Dennis Hale, Political Science professor at Boston College, remarked in an email response:

‘Great idea, good letter….You’ve at last gotten the problem presented to someone who might be able to do something about it.”

Given the agenda that Rep. Susan Myrick and the House Anti-terror Caucus released on April 18th a GAO investigation of the Translator Scandal is imperative.

The basic idea is to shut the United States up.

It's Islamic jihad, not extremism, Uncle Sam

By Diana West



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com A few years ago, Harvard psychiatric instructor Kenneth Levin wrote "The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege." In this illuminating book, Levin examines the Israeli experience of concessionary negotiations with a "peace partner" openly dedicated to Israel's destruction. He also examines the historical Jewish Diaspora experience in which Jewish populations typically identified with their tormentors and even echoed their antisemitism.


Such interactions are driven by a permanent condition of siege mentality, Levin explains, and clearly manifest two kinds of delusional thinking.


First, there is the fantasy about the intentions of the aggressor (Arab Muslim or European Christian); then, there is the fantasy about changing the aggressor's intentions. Such thinking, Levin says, is common to victims of chronic abuse, particularly children. They fool themselves into thinking that they, the victims, control the abuser by linking the abuse they suffer to their own behavior.


In other words, they believe they cause their own abuse. This mind game, Levin says, actually gives victims a sense of control over situations beyond their control (an abusive parent, for instance). This allows them to avoid feelings of helplessness and despair.


And so the besieged victim pretends: Daddy doesn't really want to hurt me; if I'm a better girl, he'll stop. Israel pretends: Muslims don't really want to destroy our state, and so we'll give them land for peace. Jews in pre-Nazi Europe pretended: The anti-Semites are really right; we deserve a pogrom. Intriguingly, Levin writes:


"But the book's themes have a still broader relevance. Even ostensibly powerful and secure populations, under conditions that entail ongoing threat and vulnerability, can manifest similar trends."


I got a new one for the doctor: a trend of delusion so enormous as to beg for immediate hospitalization and a transfer of power of attorney. Problem is, the patient here is the United States government (USG), which now says: If we just stop talking about jihad, Muslims will neither become jihadis nor sympathize with them.


Such is the message of a crazy new government guide called "Words that Work and Words that Don't" urging federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, to eliminate all references to Islam when discussing, well, Islamic terrorism.


Not only does that mean no more talk of "Islam," it also means no more talk of "jihad." ("Extremism" is the new "jihad.") And forget about the "caliphate." (Try "global totalitarian state.") Even such politically correct terms as "Islamist" and "Islamofascist," which take the traditional teachings of Islam off the hook, are now verboten. And so, more curiously, is the term "Muslim moderate." Says the government: "The term `moderate' has become offensive to many Muslims, who believe that it refers to individuals whom the USG prefers to deal with, and who are only marginally religious."


So "moderates" don't want to look like patsies next to "jihadists," and the USG doesn't want to be insensitive to their needs. Sounds like a rest cure for Uncle Sam is long overdue.


Of course, the no-Islam (no-"moderate") lexicon itself — which reads like disinformation designed to confuse the American public — is just scratching the delusional surface. Animating the directive, written with considerable input from unidentified American Muslim "experts," is the delusional belief that what we say (or don't say) has transformative power over Muslim attitudes and behaviors regarding Islamic terrorism, the Islamic caliphate, the advance of Islamic law (Sharia) and the so-called war on (Islamic) terror — rebranded here, no kidding, as "A Global Struggle for Security and Progress." ("Liberty," Uncle Sam tells us, was "rejected" as "a buzzword for American hegemony.")


The basic idea is to shut the United States up. Or, more diplomatically: "The terminology ... should avoid helping the terrorists by inflating the religious bases and glamorous appeal of their ideology." (Glamorous?) For example, "When we respond loudly (to Osama bin Laden and other jihadists), we raise their prestige in the Muslim world."


"We" raise their prestige? Come on. If a human being thinks turning passenger jets into WMDs is an abomination, nothing anyone says can raise the perpetrators' "prestige." Could our government rationally think otherwise?


Alas, reason escapes the Oslo Syndrome sufferer.


This may explain why Uncle Sam is now actually assuming responsibility for jihad itself: "Our terminology must be properly calibrated to diminish the recruitment efforts of extremists (read: jihadists) who argue the West is at war with Islam."


News flash for Uncle Sam: Islam, in myriad forms, is at war with the West. And even if we never say the words, we can still darn well lose.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Are you safer in California...or Iraq? You make the call.

A hat tip to my friend Jim "Hoot" Gibson in San Antonio, Texas for sending me this story.

Subject: Comparable California

An interesting perspective about our "Drive by Media.

Victor Davis Hanson was a professor at Fresno State. See his credentials at the end of the article.

Eye of the Beholder
by Victor Davis Hanson
The American Enterprise Online


War torn Iraq has about 26 million residents, a peaceful California perhaps now 35 million. The former is a violent and impoverished landscape, the latter said to be paradise on Earth. But how you envision either place to some degree depends on the eye of the beholder and is predicated on what the daily media appear to make of each.

As a fifth generation Californian, I deeply love this state, but still imagine what the reaction would be if the world awoke each morning to be told that once again there were six more murders, 27 rapes, 38 arsons, 180 robberies, and 360 instances of assault in California yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every day. I wonder if the headlines would scream about "Nearly 200 poor Californians butchered again this month!"

How about a monthly media dose of "600 women raped in February alone!" Or try, "Over 600 violent robberies and assaults in March, with no end in sight!" Those do not even make up all of the state's yearly 200,000 violent acts that law enforcement knows about.

Iraq's judicial system seems a mess. On the eve of the war, Saddam released 100,000 inmates from his vast prison archipelago. He himself sat in the dock months after his trial began. But imagine an Iraq with a penal system like California's with 170,000 criminals - an inmate population larger than those of Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Singapore combined. Just to house such a shadow population costs our state nearly $7 billion a year or about the same price of keeping 40,000 Army personnel per year in Iraq. What would be the image of our Golden State if we were reminded each morning, "Another $20 million spent today on housing our criminals"?

Some of California's most recent prison scandals would be easy to sensationalize: "Guards watch as inmates are raped!" Or "Correction officer accused of having sex with under-aged detainee!" And apropos of Saddam's sluggish trial, remember that our home state multiple murderer, Tookie Williams, was finally executed in December 2005 - TWENTY SIX years after he was originally sentenced.

Much is made of the inability to patrol Iraq's borders with Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. But California has only a single border with a foreign nation, not six. Yet over 3 million foreigners who sneaked in illegally now live in our state. Worse, there are about 15,000 convicted alien felons incarcerated in our penal system, costing about $500 million a year. Imagine the potential tabloid headlines: "Illegal aliens in state comprise population larger than San Francisco!" or "Drugs, criminals, and smugglers given free pass into California!"

Every year, over 4,000 Californians die in car crashes - more than the number of Americans lost so far in the years of combat operations in Iraq. In some sense, then, our badly maintained roads, and often poorly trained and sometimes intoxicated drivers, are even more lethal than IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices.) Perhaps tomorrow's headline might scream out at us: "300 Californians to perish this month on state highways! Hundreds more will be maimed and crippled!"

In 2001, California had 32 days of power outages, despite paying nearly the highest rates for electricity in the United States. Before complaining about the smoke in Baghdad rising from private generators, think back to the run on generators in California when they were contemplated as a future part of every household's line of defense.

We're told that Iraq's finances are a mess. Yet until recently, so were California's. Two years ago, Governor Schwarzenegger inherited a $38 billion annual budget shortfall. That could have made for strong morning newscast teasers: "Another $100 million borrowed today - $3 billion more in red ink to pile up by month's end!"

So is California comparable to Iraq? Hardly. Yet it could easily be sketched by a reporter intent on doing so as a bankrupt, crime-ridden area with murderous highways, tens of thousands of inmates, with wide-open borders.

I recently returned home to California, without incident, from a visit to Iraq's notorious Sunni Triangle. While I was gone, a drug-addicted criminal with a long list of convictions broke into our kitchen at 4 a.m. was surprised by my wife and daughter, and fled with our credit cards, cash, keys, and cell phones. Sometimes I wonder who really was safer that week.

- - - - - - -

(c)2006 Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson was a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a Professor Emeritus at California University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.

He was a full-time farmer before joining California State University, Fresno, in 1984 to initiate a classics program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country's top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin.

Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (200 2), Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001) and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002).