Category Archives: Terrorism

Friday Night Video: Shikha Dalmia on Unskilled Immigrants


(April 19, 2013 11:41 PM, by David Henderson) With permission from ReasonTV, this is Shikha Dalmia on five reasons that unskilled immigrants are good for America. If you go to this link, you can find a fairly faithful transcript…. (1 COMMENTS)

Friday Night Video: Shikha Dalmia on Unskilled Immigrants
David Henderson
Fri, 19 Apr 2013 23:41:25 GMT


Pentagon Lawyer Looks Post-Terror – The Wall Street Journal: Is the War on Terror winding down

The Obama administration to its credit has wanted from the start to dial back the ‘war’ in the War on Terror.  It’s about time.

When terror became an issue and stopping Al Qaeda a priority waging war seemed appropriate; after all our soil had been attacked and more blood spilled than at Pearl Harbor.  But even at the start their was and is a problem with this the war paradigm.

Wars normally happen over limited and demarcated dimension of time and space.  They begin and end and thankfully for American have mostly been fought overseas for more than the last century and a half.

The War on Terror was different.  While it had a clear starting date of September 11, 2001 (though in many ways it might have been earlier, the fall of shah of Iran maybe), what would signal it s end seemed much less clear.

This raised a lot of questions.  We have wanted to treat the captured fighters as prisoners  of War; but since this war may not end for a long time:  would we ever release them?   The front included not just remote lands but here at home to.  This has raised questions of how to protect our civil liberties.  We’ve tolerated a lot, and I would argue too much in this regard.  I dislike flying because of the heavy handed security that you must tolerate to do so.

The administration in the article that follows appears to be ramping the war down.

Enjoy full access to The Wall Street Journal Tablet Edition:

While this will be controversial, I think it is much better than an endless war.  The longer the War on Terror goes on, the more it endanger our liberties at home.  The longer we will hold detainee with no timely process to determine their culpability.  Both undermine the devotion of this country to the Freedom we purport to treasure.

The war paradigm has been overused to say the least.  We have a War on Drugs; and the War on Terror.  There may be others.  The War on Drugs has had costs in reduced freedom and increased power for the state as well.  The invoking of war as a motive seems to motivate a lot of people, so the politicians like it. 

Often time though, I’m reminded of 1984.   Global power waging endless war against one another, and using those wars to justify and maintain totalitarian control at home.  It’s an exaggeration to say that’s where we are now.  Given time though and the continuation of our wars and cultivation of fondness for that state of mind might get us there.  I’m glad to the extent we back away from war on at least one thing.

American Citizens on U.S. Soil May be Indefinitely Detained, Sent to Guantanamo or Assassinated

The Big Picture

via American Citizens on U.S. Soil May be Indefinitely Detained, Sent to Guantanamo or Assassinated.

Saturday Republican Debate

I thought Perry was really blatant in playing the answer the question you know the answer to, not what was asked. Poor Huntsman barely got to chime in.

Paul on foreign policy is the only one really making any sense in my view. The rest mostly have learned nothing from the experience since 9/11 other than to appeal to the prejudices of GOP primary voters. I’m feeling more like voting for Obama.

I know I sound too idealistic, but I don’t think we can make our policy one of going to war against Iran, and who knows who else to try to keep us much of a nuclear monopoly for ourselves as possible. Such a policy of endless war was basically what almost everyone on that stage except for Ron Paul was advocating.

What the world needs is to limit these weapons globally. I have no idea how to make that happen practically, but I think endless war to keep the bomb only in hands we think of as friendly just can’t be viable forever, nor do I think we have the right to do it even if we could.

It also amazed me that Cain and other castigate President Obama for supporting the Arab Spring, but denigrate him for not being supportive enough of anti-government forces in Iran.  How obvious do we have to be that we don’t give a damn about people in the Arab world:  we just want to support whoever we think will support our expedient and immediate interests.  I think you can do well by doing good, and I think the US historically has done that. There was none of that contemplated on that stage, just pure arrogent willingness to use blunt power to promote our own interests over those of other nations that we often hold in little more than contempt.

The Old Republic Is Dead-Bob Murphy

Consulting by RPM || Free Advice Blog

via The Old Republic Is Dead.

If I were more computer-savvy I’d have my blog play the Empire theme music right now. Regardless of your views on the wisdom of invading Afghanistan and Iraq, of torturing POWs, etc., surely you can agree with me that we have definitively crossed “the line.” I probably put the line in a different ZIP code from where you do, but even so, our government has crossed both of our lines. From Reuters (HT2 Alex Tabarrok):

American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

Now people like Glenn Greenwald are emphasizing that this report quotes White House officials admitting the evidence against Awlaki was “patchy.” I don’t even care about that. Just go read the two paragraphs above. Seriously, please re-read those two paragraphs.

The Old Republic is dead. My American friends, we are the citizens of an empire. If the people running the US government decide you are an enemy, they can put you on a list and have a drone blow you up. Case closed. If you don’t want to get blown up, just make sure they don’t have a reason to want you dead.

TSA policies must change


CNN reports:

The Transportation Security Administration stood by its security officers Sunday after a Florida woman complained that her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper while going through security….

"While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner," the federal agency said. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."

Jean Weber told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Sunday that the security officers may have been procedurally correct, but she still does not believe they were justified, especially given her mother’s frail condition. "If this is your procedure — which I do understand — I also feel that your procedure needs to be changed," she said.

How much longer are we going to tolerate living in a police state where this sort of absurd security theater takes place? I simply don’t believe TSA makes us safer. What makes us safer are secure cockpit doors and passengers who will no longer stand by like sheep when terrorists strike. The rest is all costly bull sh*t.

TSA policies must change
Steve Bainbridge
Mon, 27 Jun 2011 22:28:56 GMT

Killing Bin Laden: Being a Candidate versus Being a Leader

Let me just start by saying, if you haven’t noticed, that on this blog I often post items that take different views on a question or issues.  That is I post, and like to post on both side of issues, especially if I find the argument at least thought provoking if you quite convincing.

This post by Russ Roberts seem to skate very close to saying maybe we shouldn’t have hunted down Osama.

It’s an unusual point of view and posted it as an interesting contrarian thought, but to remove doubt:  I don’t agree.

Given that he ordered the murder of 3,000 US citizens in act of aggression comparable to Pearl Harbor, I think we had no choice to but to hunt down and kill him.  Hats off to President Obama for doing so.   President Bush also is to be applauded to the extent he helped set this up to be successful.

Go back to the campaign of 2008, McCain (remember him?) and Obama. Suppose in the middle of the campaign, someone returned from the future and told you that by 2011, the President of the United States will have kept Guantanamo Bay open, launched a war against Libya, and crossed covertly into an ally’s territory to assassinate Bin Laden. Who would you think that would be? McCain or Obama?

Couldn’t be Obama. The man who was repulsed by American exceptionalism, who pledged to close Guantanamo Bay, the man who said the way to deal with bad guys is to talk to them, not attack them.

What happened?

Three possibilities come to mind. The first is that politicians on the campaign trail lie and dissemble. They need to motivate their base, craft an image, and so on.

The second possibility comes from a CIA economist who told me in the middle of the 2008 campaign that when Obama becomes President, he’ll know what Bush knows (meaning horrific and frightening classified information) and he’ll do the same thing as Bush.

The third possibility is that when you get into power, you change. It’s fun to play video games with real lives. You can’t help yourself. It’s easy to convince yourself (given that classified information) that you have no choice.

I think it’s a mix of two and three. I think Obama the candidate really thought he would be different. President Obama is not so different.

What we’ve learned about Obama (and power)
Russ Roberts
Wed, 04 May 2011 13:20:05 GMT

Another Reason to be Disappointed in Obama

As if this Libyan fiasco wasn’t enough.  This is from the Wall Street Journal.


New rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades.

European Pressphoto Agency

Courtroom sketch of bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.



The move is one of the Obama administration’s most significant revisions to rules governing the investigation of terror suspects in the U.S. And it potentially opens a new political tussle over national security policy, as the administration marks another step back from pre-election criticism of unorthodox counterterror methods.

Guest Post: Everything You Need to Know About Torture

naked capitalism

Guest Post: Everything You Need to Know About Torture
George Washington
Sun, 06 Mar 2011 06:24:36 GMT

 Washington’s Blog

Here is a succinct executive summary of everything you know about torture:

Yes, Waterboarding IS Torture

  • Everyone claiming waterboarding is not torture has changed their tune as soon as they were exposed to even a small dose of it themselves. See this, this and this

No, Torture Does NOT Make Us Safer

The Insanity of What Actually Happened

Other Relevant Facts

Should We Prosecute?

Not From the Onion: The CIA, the NYTimes and Playboy

Marginal Revolution

via Not From the Onion: The CIA, the NYTimes and Playboy.