Trying to shoot the messenger did not work
The Crown Prosecution Service and West Midlands Police will apologise in the High Court today for wrongly accusing a Channel 4 film of faking an expose of Islamic extremism. The producers of Undercover Mosque, a Dispatches investigation that showed preachers predicting jihad and calling for the murder of non-believers, have also accepted a six-figure libel settlement.
The programme, screened last January, showed footage gathered at a number of mosques in the West Midlands using hidden cameras. It included one preacher who praised the Taleban for killing British soldiers. Another, Abu Usamah, a preacher at the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham, was filmed saying: “If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that is my freedom of speech isn't it?”
However, instead of pursuing a prosecution of the preachers, police and the CPS began an investigation into the producers, accusing them of selective editing and distortion. The film-makers were accused of undermining community relations. The police took the highly unusual step of referring Dispatches to Ofcom, the media watchdog.
Ofcom threw out the complaint. It found that the programme had “accurately represented the material it had gathered and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context”. It was a “legitimate investigation, uncovering matters of important public interest”. Each quote was “justified by the narrative of the programme and put fully in context”.
Hardcash Productions, which made the film, joined Channel 4 in a libel complaint against the police and CPS over the “distortion” claim. West Midlands Police and CPS will apologise unreservedly for comments that they accept were incorrect and unjustified. They said that there was “no evidence that the broadcaster or programme-makers had misled the audience or that the programme was likely to encourage or incite criminal activity”.
MPs criticised the police and the CPS, which dropped any prosecution of Channel 4 because of “insufficient evidence”, for trying to censor television producers. David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Police scrutiny of editorial decisions of a television producer is not only an inappropriate law enforcement function, it also risks deterring legitimate investigative journalism.” Don Foster, the Liberal Democrats' media spokesman, said: “What the police thought they were doing in the first place is beyond me.”
David Henshaw, the managing director of Hardcash Productions, said: “This was a detailed one-hour documentary, made over nine months and at personal risk to the undercover reporter. The abhorrent and extreme comments made by fundamentalist preachers in the film speak for themselves.” He added: “They [the preachers] later claimed they had been taken out of context — but no one has explained the correct context for arguing that women are 'born deficient', that homosexuals should be thrown off mountains, and that ten-year-old girls should be hit if they refuse to wear the hijab.”
Kevin Sutcliffe, deputy head of current affairs at Channel 4, said: “This is a total vindication of the programme team.” A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We have paid a sum agreed with the programme-makers into a charity of their choice.” The substantial damages will be donated to the Rory Peck Trust, which supports the families of journalists killed in the line of work. The CPS declined to comment.
Leftist denial over Iran
By Dan Mandel
LIBERALS continue to slam Sen. John McCain for his supposed misstatement, back in March, that Iran is aiding al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq. In fact, there's plenty of evidence of just that. This week, Robert Naiman at the Huffington Post accused McCain of making this "totally unsubstantiated allegation." In recent weeks, McCain's been attacked on the same ground time and again - in the pages of the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The New Republic and the British Guardian, to name a few.
McCain retracted the claim before the end of the press conference where he made it - which has lead the anti-conservative Media Matters for America to describe it as an "admittedly false claim." In fact, McCain was right the first time. Iran has helped al Qaeda, inside and outside Iraq, considerably - and still does.
Indeed, a source that Democrats generally deem unimpeachable, the 9/11 Commission, pointed to the al-Qaeda/Iran connection as dating back to at least '92. That's when Iranian representatives met with al Qaeda leaders in Sudan and agreed to help with training - later provided by Iran's Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon to an unknown number of the terrorists. And when al Qaeda relocated to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, Iran provided transit for many of the group's operatives - including, the commission believed, eight to 10 of the 9/11 hijackers.
What of al-Qaeda-in-Iraq? The last year or so has furnished much evidence of systematic and continuous Iranian support:
January 2007: US forces in Iraq captured members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, as well as documents indicating that the Guard was collaborating with al Qaeda inside Iraq.
March 2007: Kurdish forces in northern Iraq repelled the twelfth incursion from Iranian territory that year by an al Qaeda affiliate, Ansar-al-Islam.
April 2007: US forces operating against al Qaeda in Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad found substantial amounts of Iranian-made weaponry.
May 2007: Coalition forces in Iraq captured a courier bearing messages from al Qaeda field commanders addressed to senior al Qaeda leaders ensconced in Iran - including Osama bin Laden's son, Said.
February 2008: As the Sunni "Awakening Councils" began to show marked success in turning local Sunnis against al Qaeda, the Iraqi intelligence head and a senior advisor to the councils pointed to Iranian intelligence targeting the new US allies via car bombs, suicide bombers and other means. To camouflage their involvement in these efforts, they have fake Iraqi Shia groups claim credit for these operations.
The al Qaeda/Iran nexus isn't one of dubious meetings and unsubstantiated clues, but one of multifaceted cooperation. It makes sense for Iran to assist al Qaeda in Iraq, if only to keep the Sunni Islamists and Americans killing each other. Both al Qaeda and America are thereby distracted from other theaters of deep interest to Iran, like Pakistan.
Some insist that Iran's extremist Shia regime would never cooperate with the Sunni Islamists of al Qaeda. In fact, Tehran regularly aids Sunni terrorists - witness Iran's outpouring of arms, munitions and training to the Sunni Hamas terrorists running Gaza and to the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Courts militia in Somalia.
So why the obtuseness? A failure of imagination - and, at times, of honesty. Naturally, Democrats seek to score a point against McCain. Beyond that, however, many Americans would prefer to believe that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats to wipe out Israel are mere noise. And few want to hear facts that argue for further US military action in the Mideast. To such people, news of Iran working hand-in-glove with al Qaeda is unwelcome; obtuseness becomes a virtue.
So expect to see more flat-earth denials of al-Qaeda/Iran co-operation from countless "experts," as well as much of the media and anyone else who opts for wishful thinking about Iran and its drive for nuclear weapons.
Democrats' pretend-conservative strategy
Republicans are constantly linking the local hayseed Democrat to national liberals like John Kerry. The technique goes back at least to Michael Dukakis in 1988.
It is beyond outrageous for liberals to complain about the practice of linking Democrats to the national party when their calculated strategy in race after race in the red states has been to run Democratic candidates who appear to be Americans. They're not Americans. They're liberals! I don't care how much hay is sticking out of their straw hats.
In the 2006 midterm elections, Sen. Chuck Schumer and erstwhile ballerina Rep. Rahm Emanuel (now there's a couple of raw-boned Americans for you!) famously rounded up yokels from the local square dance contests to run as "macho Dems" - as the Times admiringly called them. Schumer and the ballerina were hailed for their brilliant strategy to fool the hayseeds.
The phony blue-collar Democrats won their elections by driving around in pickup trucks and shooting guns, then moved to Washington and began voting against war in Iraq and in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions.
One of the Democrats' paragons of regular guy-ness that year was Jon Tester of Montana, who wore cowboy boots and had a buzz cut. The crew cut absolutely transfixed liberals in places like Manhattan. Search "Jon Tester and crew cut" on Google, and you'll get more than 200,000 hits. Even this tonsorial affectation was a liberal fake-out, inasmuch as Tester has no military service.
After campaigning throughout Montana in a pickup truck, Tester got to Washington and compiled a voting record more liberal than Chuck Schumer's, according to the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (Tester: 95 percent; Schumer: 90 percent). Tester also has a 100 percent rating from the pro-abortion group NARAL. There's your truck driving, gun-totin' Democrat.
Sen. Bob Casey Jr. was another consumer fraud perpetrated on voters in 2006 by the Democrats. Casey ran for office on the strength of his father's name and his alleged pro-life position. It was the pro-life position of his father - the popular Democratic governor of Pennsylvania - that disqualified Casey Sr. from speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.
Despite rumors that Schumer had assured Hillary Clinton that Casey was not really pro-life, the good people of Pennsylvania made him their senator, throwing out Rick Santorum, the kind of pro-lifer who actually opposes abortion.
In Casey's first year in office, he voted in favor of an amendment to a foreign appropriations bill introduced by the fanatically pro-abortion Barbara Boxer that overturned U.S. policy against providing taxpayer money to groups that perform abortions overseas. It also granted overseas abortion providers taxpayer money. There's a "pro-life Democrat" for you.
In elections in the patriotic parts of the country, Democrats keep producing candidates that look like they're out of a Norman Rockwell painting but vote like Karl Marx - which is to say, they vote like the typical member of the Democratic Party. Naturally, Republicans respond to this tactic by linking the local phonies to the national party. As soon as the Democrats stop running these mountebanks, Republicans will stop exposing them as lickspittles for their liberal masters in Washington.
Outrageous: Student forced to leave training because of his helper dog
Post below recycled from Fausta. See the original for links
Political correctness and dhimmitude trump the American With Disabilities Act: SCSU student leaves training at Technical High School
A St. Cloud State University student in a teacher-training program at Technical High School left the school in late April because he says he feared for the safety of his service dog. ..... [Tyler] Hurd said a student threatened to kill his service dog named Emmitt. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has seizures. The seizures, which can occur weekly, are from a childhood injury. The dog has a pouch on his side that assists those who stop to help Hurd.Who threatened to kill the dog, you may ask?
The threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim, according to Hurd, St. Cloud State and school district officials. The Muslim faith, which is the dominant faith of Somali immigrants, forbids the touching of dogs.The district is clueless: their "diversity coordinator" says "I'm not quite sure where the breakdown comes into play here." Let me explain it to them, then: What the district needs to do is to tell ALL and every students that according to the law and to American values, the handicapped student has a right to do his work for which he needs his dog, unimpeded by threats coming from punks and thugs. It might also be worth training the dog to attack.
Hurd trained at Talahi Community School and Tech. He said his experience at Talahi was good. The Somali students there warmed to the dog and eventually petted him using paper to keep their hands off his fur, Hurd said. Things didn't go as well at Tech, Hurd said. Students there taunted his dog, and he finally felt he had to leave after he was told a student made a threat. Hurd met with Lockhart but said he did not feel comfortable continuing.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.