Saturday, December 26, 2009
Help knock out CAIR in Round 1
It’s the unbelievable story you won’t hear about anywhere else
The media, from Fox News to CNN to ABC and the New York Times, are all pretending there is no threat to the First Amendment being made by the Council on American-Islamic Relations – the Muslim Brotherhood's walking, talking public-relations factory based right here in Washington. CAIR is trying to end-run freedom of the press in America by challenging the publication of a breathtaking expose of the group by WND Books and authors P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry.
It's called "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America" – and not one news agency in America other than WND has had the guts or the chutzpah even to tell you the amazing revelations found in it. That's right. There's been a total media blackout – including by Saudi-friendly Fox News. (You've probably heard about Rupert Murdoch's deal with Prince Al-Walid bin Talal – a story also broken exclusively by WND.)
Instead of telling you the truth about CAIR – namely that it is an unindicted terrorist front group operating with impunity in America – the media have allowed CAIR easy and open access to airwaves to spread their pro-Hamas, pro-Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. But now, thanks to WND and the brave work of the "Muslim Mafia" authors, all that might be about to change.
CAIR sued author Gaubatz and his son, who penetrated CAIR's inner circle operations, posing as an intern and ferreting out thousands of pages of documents headed for the shredder. WND sprang to their defense, bringing in a remarkable legal team, including Martin Garbus, Daniel Ellsberg's attorney in the Pentagon Papers case. As a result, CAIR is now on the run.
This week, CAIR found itself on defense – facing accusations that it has no standing to file suit. It's not even a legal corporation in Washington, D.C., as it claims, WND's legal team pointed out. In other words, CAIR doesn't even legally exist!
It seems just two weeks after CAIR was named by the Justice Department in May 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist finance case in U.S. history, the organization changed its name to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network, explains attorney Daniel Horowitz in a motion to dismiss the case filed in federal court in the nation's capital. But that's not the organization that sued over "Muslim Mafia."
A federal judge in Washington issued a restraining order Nov. 3 barring the Gaubtazes from further use or publication of the material – 12,000 pages of documents along with audio and video recordings – and demanding that they return it to the Muslim group's lawyers. But the FBI also has shown interest in the material, stepping in with a warrant Nov. 23 to examine the papers and recordings, apparently as part of its concern about CAIR and its terrorist links to Hamas.
Of course, none of this is newsworthy, according to the rest of the media - including Saudi-friendly Fox.
* A book that exposes a supposed civil-rights organization for Muslims as a terror front.
* A suit filed against the authors that attempts an end-run around the First Amendment.
* The FBI steps in to subpoena the documents before they go back to CAIR under court order.
* Now the defense team shows CAIR has been masquerading not only as a Muslim civil-rights group, but even as a legal corporation in the nation's capital.
Not a story here? Right! Honestly, my expectations are that the rest of the media will continue to bury their heads in the oil-rich Saudi sand, so to speak.
Britons shun PM's roadshow to "define" Britishness
After his government has done its best to destroy all that is traditionally British, this nut thinks he can re-invent it
Gordon Brown’s national roadshow to promote the concept of Britishness has turned out to be an expensive flop. The public, councillors and even ministers have declined to attend events organised to determine if there is a case for a full British Bill of Rights and duties, or a written constitution.
The Conservatives say ten members of the public turned up to the first event in Leicester in December 2007, which cost £37,000 and was hosted by Jack Straw. They say that after that embarrassment, his Ministry of Justice restricted attendance at Governance of Britain events to people selected, and even paid, by the ministry.
They also claim that councillors have increasingly spurned the events. A total of 21 local authority representatives turned up in Leicester, but attendance fell at subsequent events to 11, then 10, 7 and 2. Finally, at an event in Newcastle on November 21 this year no councillors or officials turned up.
Even ministers are understood to have snubbed the roadshow. Nick Brown, the Labour Chief Whip and Minister for the North East, pulled out of last month’s event. Michael Wills, the Justice Minister, who had attended the previous events, also failed to attend.
Eleanor Laing, the Shadow Justice Minister, said: “Since 2007 we have had gimmick after gimmick on what it means to be British . . . Now, the public has spoken: Gordon Brown’s Britishness roadshow is a colossal waste of money. With the public finances in a mess, any plans for an even bigger nationwide non-event should be scrapped now.”
Mr Brown laid out his vision of a Britishness roadshow in his first statement to Parliament as Prime Minister. “It is right to involve the public in a sustained debate,” he said, urging Britons to consider their common values and the case for going farther with a single document codifying the duties and rights of citizens.
Mr Wills hit back yesterday at the Conservatives. “It’s disappointing that they have such little regard for what it means to be British and the importance of this identity in a challenging world,” he said. The total bill for the Britishness events was expected to be less than £1 million, he added.
Labour officials denied that the public had snubbed the events. They claimed that 457 of the 500 people invited to the first five events had attended; and 225 of the 240 invited to return for the reconvened events had done so. They insisted that small payments were the norm in research of this kind, to recognise the time and commitment that participants had given.
British hunters have another win
Judge casts doubt on legality of covert filming by anti-hunt activists
Scores of foxhunters can sit easier in their saddles on the biggest day of the sport’s calendar today after a judge cast doubt on the legality of covert filming by anti-hunt activists. The ruling, in a case that cannot yet be reported, lays down that covert surveillance by third parties must be authorised in line with procedures in the Regulation of Investigating Powers Act (Ripa).
The Home Office says that the Act must be used in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. “It also requires, in particular, those authorising the use of covert techniques to give proper consideration to whether their use is necessary and proportionate,” official guidance states. This suggests that the type of speculative surveillance carried out by some organisations and hunt monitors cannot be authorised because it is not necessary or proportionate for the prevention or detection of an offence under the Hunting Act.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is so anxious that forces may be acting unlawfully that it has asked for advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. Richard Crompton, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire and Acpo’s spokesman on rural affairs, said that until the prosecutors’ guidance had been received, police would continue to accept information from members of the public and third parties if they believed that the Hunting Act had been broken.
Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, however, has written to all chief constables to notify them about the court ruling. He said: “It means that police forces are regularly being presented with evidence unlawfully gathered without authorisation under Ripa. Most examples of covert surveillance we are aware of in relation to hunting could never be authorised whoever was carrying it out as the surveillance was in no way proportionate to what it sought to achieve.”
As more than 300 hunts gather in towns and villages for Boxing Day meetings, the ruling should help to make the mood the most optimistic it has been for years. Enthusiasts are also convinced that this is the last season when the ban on their sport will be in force. The Conservatives have pledged a free vote on repealing the legislation if they win the election.
Julian Barnfield, huntsman with the Heythrop Hunt, in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, is a frequent target for anti-hunt activists. He said: “To be frank, I am plagued by them. They don’t just film me and the hunt openly and covertly, some are verbally vile.” Four charges against him of illegal hunting have been dropped for lack of evidence. Covert footage was used but Mr Barnfield and his lawyers did not make an issue about the legality of it because they were unaware that there might have been a problem. Mr Barnfield, 46, has raised the issue with David Cameron and said that the Tory leader was sympathetic. “He doesn’t hunt with us any more but he supports us,” he said.
The Illegal-Settlements Myth
The conviction that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal is now so commonly accepted, it hardly seems as though the matter is even open for discussion. But it is. Decades of argument about the issue have obscured the complex nature of the specific legal question about which a supposedly overwhelming verdict of guilty has been rendered against settlement policy. There can be no doubt that this avalanche of negative opinion has been deeply influenced by the settlements’ unpopularity around the world and even within Israel itself. Yet, while one may debate the wisdom of Israeli settlements, the idea that they are imprudent is quite different from branding them as illegal. Indeed, the analysis underlying the conclusion that the settlements violate international law depends entirely on an acceptance of the Palestinian narrative that the West Bank is “Arab” land. Followed to its logical conclusion—as some have done—this narrative precludes the legitimacy of Israel itself.
These arguments date back to the aftermath of the Six-Day War. When Israel went into battle in June 1967, its objective was clear: to remove the Arab military threat to its existence. Following its victory, the Jewish state faced a new challenge: what to do with the territorial fruits of that triumph. While many Israelis assumed that the overwhelming nature of their victory would shock the Arab world into coming to terms with their legitimacy and making peace, they would soon be disabused of this belief. At the end of August 1967, the heads of eight countries, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan (all of which lost land as the result of their failed policy of confrontation with Israel), met at a summit in Khartoum, Sudan, and agreed to the three principles that were to guide the Arab world’s postwar stands: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. Though many Israelis hoped to trade most if not all the conquered lands for peace, they would have no takers. This set the stage for decades of their nation’s control of these territories.
The attachment of Israelis to the newly unified city of Jerusalem led to its quick annexation, and Jewish neighborhoods were planted on its flanks in the hope that this would render unification irrevocable. A similar motivation for returning Jewish life to the West Bank, the place where Jewish history began—albeit one that did not reflect the same strong consensus as that which underpinned the drive to hold on to Jerusalem—led to the fitful process that, over the course of the next several decades, produced numerous Jewish settlements throughout this area for a variety of reasons, including strategic, historical and/or religious considerations. In contrast, settlements created by Israel in the Egyptian Sinai or the Syrian Golan were primarily based initially on the strategic value of the terrain.
Over the course of the years to come, there was little dispute about Egypt’s sovereign right to the Sinai, and it was eventually returned after Nasser’s successor Anwar Sadat broke the Arab consensus and made peace with Israel. Though the rulers of Syria have, to date, preferred the continuance of belligerency to a similar decision to end the conflict, the question of their right to the return of the Golan in the event of peace seems to hinge more on the nature of the regime in Damascus than any dispute about the provenance of Syria’s title to the land.
The question of the legal status of the West Bank, as well as Jerusalem, is not so easily resolved. To understand why this is the case, we must first revisit the history of the region in the 20th century.
Though routinely referred to nowadays as “Palestinian” land, at no point in history has Jerusalem or the West Bank been under Palestinian Arab sovereignty in any sense of the term. For several hundred years leading up to World War I, all of Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan, and the putative state of Palestine were merely provinces of the Ottoman Empire. After British-led Allied troops routed the Turks from the country in 1917-18, the League of Nations blessed Britain’s occupation with a document that gave the British conditional control granted under a mandate. It empowered Britain to facilitate the creation of a “Jewish National Home” while respecting the rights of the native Arab population. British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill later partitioned the mandate in 1922 and gave the East Bank of the Jordan to his country’s Hashemite Arab allies, who created the Kingdom of Jordan there under British tutelage.
Following World War II, the League of Nations’ successor, the United Nations, voted in November 1947 to partition the remaining portion of the land into Arab and Jewish states. While the Jews accepted partition, the Arabs did not, and after the British decamped in May 1948, Jordan joined with four other Arab countries to invade the fledgling Jewish state on the first day of its existence. Though Israel survived the onslaught, the fighting left the Jordanians in control of what would come to be known as the West Bank as well as approximately half of Jerusalem, including the Old City. Those Jewish communities in the West Bank that had existed prior to the Arab invasion were demolished, as was the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
After the cease-fire that ended Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, Jordan annexed both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But, as was the case when Israel annexed those same parts of the ancient city that it would win back 19 years later, the world largely ignored this attempt to legitimize Jordan’s presence. Only Jordan’s allies Britain and Pakistan recognized its claims of sovereignty. After King Hussein’s disastrous decision to ally himself with Egypt’s Nasser during the prelude to June 1967, Jordan was evicted from the lands it had won in 1948.
This left open the question of the sovereign authority over the West Bank. The legal vacuum in which Israel operated in the West Bank after 1967 was exacerbated by Jordan’s subsequent stubborn refusal to engage in talks about the future of these territories. King Hussein was initially deterred from dealing with the issue by the three “no’s” of Khartoum. Soon enough, he was taught a real-world lesson by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which fomented a bloody civil war against him and his regime in 1970. With the open support of Israel, Hussein survived that threat to his throne, but his desire to reduce rather than enlarge the Palestinian population in his kingdom ultimately led him to disavow any further claim to the lands he had lost in 1967. Eventually, this stance was formalized on July 31, 1988.
Thus, if the charge that Israel’s hold on the territories is illegal is based on the charge of theft from its previous owners, Jordan’s own illegitimacy on matters of legal title and its subsequent withdrawal from the fray makes that legal case a losing one. Well before Jordan’s renunciation, Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School and undersecretary of state for political affairs in 1967 during the Six-Day War, argued that the West Bank should be considered “unallocated territory,” once part of the Ottoman Empire. From this perspective, Israel, rather than simply “a belligerent occupant,” had the status of a “claimant to the territory.”
To Rostow, “Jews have a right to settle in it under the Mandate,” a right he declared to be “unchallengeable as a matter of law.” In accord with these views, Israel has historically characterized the West Bank as “disputed territory” (although some senior government officials have more recently begun to use the term “occupied territory”).
Because neither Great Britain, as the former trustee under the League of Nations mandate, nor the since deceased Ottoman Empire—the former sovereigns prior to the Jordanians—is desirous or capable of standing up as the injured party to put Israel in the dock, we must therefore ask: On what points of law does the case against Israel stand?
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 or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.