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Balkanization of Syrian War

Balkanization of Syrian War

“Today the UK Telegraph is reporting that the United States has facilitated the shipment of some 3,000 tons of weapons left over from the Balkan wars of the 1990s to Syria via Croatia. This radical escalation on the part of the US and UK is in clear violation of the European arms embargo of Syria and similar US administration pledges. And where are these weapons ending up? The US is facilitating the transfer of sophisticated weapons to terrorists who utilize al-Qaeda in Iraq style techniques such as planting roadside bombs. Here are Syria’s jihadist fighters showing off their latest gifts courtesy of the United States.” Continue reading

Bin Laden son-in-law court appearance reignites debate over handling of terrorism cases

Bin Laden son-in-law court appearance reignites debate over handling of terrorism cases

“With the surprise appearance in a New York courtroom of Osama bin Laden’s son in law on Friday, the US justice system’s handling of terrorism cases itself went back on trial.
Until now, alleged Al-Qaeda figures have been more likely to be blown apart by a missile from a US drone or to disappear into the netherworld of secret CIA or secretive military prisons, before resurfacing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But on this occasion, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, accused of conspiring to kill US nationals, was arraigned in a wood-paneled Manhattan federal courtroom, accompanied by three lawyers and witnessed by the media.” Continue reading

Is the U.S. at War with Al-Qaeda?

Is the U.S. at War with Al-Qaeda?

“Imagine Ma Barker’s gang or a gang of John Dillingers who unilaterally declare ‘war’ against the U.S. Would the U.S. in turn declare war against them? Metaphorically it might, in order to show a steely determination to capture and stop them. But does their declaration by itself entitle the U.S. to kill them without an attempt to capture them and place them on trial? Certainly not. Lynching is summary execution. No government can be trusted with the power of summarily killing someone, even if that person has ‘declared war’ on that government. Such a power is too easy to extend and expand and inflict upon the innocent.” Continue reading

U.S. diplomat warns of global effort to curb Internet freedom

U.S. diplomat warns of global effort to curb Internet freedom

“A number of countries are aggressively trying to control the Internet, a top US diplomat cautioned Thursday, insisting Washington would give no ground when it comes to curbing freedoms on the Web. The fact that many countries appeared to be investing heavily, ‘billions and billions of dollars’, in next generation surveillance technologies was an indication of their intentions to clamp down on Internet freedoms, Ross warned. The clamp-down was coming amid a clear shift of power all over the world from governments and other state hierarchies towards citizens and networks of citizens, he said.” Continue reading

Saudi rights activists given heavy jail terms

Saudi rights activists given heavy jail terms

“A Saudi court on Saturday dissolved a human rights group and handed down heavy jail terms to two of its members. He also upheld a six-year prison term for one the group’s members, Abdullah al-Hamed, by a court of first instance, while also handing him a new five-year sentence and an 11-year travel ban to come into force when he leaves jail. Another rights activist with the ACPRA, Mohammed Gahtani, was jailed for 10 years and banned from travelling for 10 years. The defendants were convicted of violating a law on cybercriminality by using Twitter to denounce various aspects of political and social life in the ultra-conservative kingdom.” Continue reading

The Truth Behind the Decline in Somali Piracy

The Truth Behind the Decline in Somali Piracy

“[P]rivate security forces thwarted Somalian piracy and not the mighty navies. It is interesting to note that while everyone from navies of different countries to ‘the transitional administration in Somalia’ becoming more successful are cited as causes of this, it notes that ‘For many in the shipping industry, the fall in attacks is a vindication of the decision to massively ramp up the use of armed guards’. It also notes that ‘So far, not a single ship with armed guards has been taken by pirates’. Looks like the risk/reward of being a pirate is not economical anymore. All due to private security. Walter Block would be happy.” Continue reading

Private Schools in India Serve the Poor, but Can They Survive Attacks by Government?

Private Schools in India Serve the Poor, but Can They Survive Attacks by Government?

“I despise policies such as corporate subsidies, bailouts and minimum wage laws. So you’ll understand why I’m particularly upset that the government of India is now trying to undermine opportunity for the poor by shutting down private schools. Because the government schools do a terrible job, there are millions of poor families who are sacrificing to send their kids to private schools. Apparently embarrassed by the fact that so many millions of poor families would rather pay for good private schools than go to free state institutions, the government is trying to regulate the private schools out of existence.” Continue reading

US DOT Blasts Mississippi For Diverting DUI Funds To Speeding Tickets

US DOT Blasts Mississippi For Diverting DUI Funds To Speeding Tickets

“Mississippi police agencies have been diverting federal grant funds intended to combat drunk driving into an expansion of the use of speed traps. The US Department of Transportation’s inspector general chided the NHTSA for its lax administration of the ‘Section 154’ grant program that failed to prevent the misuse of taxpayer money. 2926 citations were issued by 127 state and local police officers using the DUI grant money. The analysis found 73 percent of the officers issued no drunk-driving related citations at all. There were only 147 DUI arrests or citations, and the rest were for speeding, seat belt use or other minor infractions.” Continue reading