The Two Dangers of Holding Al Qaeda in US Prisons

The Two Dangers of Holding Al Qaeda in US Prisons

We are a mere four months away from President Obama’s promised date to close Guantanamo Bay prison, and some are expressing worries. There are two real threats to worry about, however I don’t see preparations going on to forestall either at present.

Al Qaeda and their ugly creed are nothing if they are not persistent in their evil. If they stop then the mask falls off, their justifications and rationalizations are undone, and they are revealed as the sociopathic madmen, murderers, and losers that they are. Since the dangerously defective are true rarities in society, Al Qaeda values every member.

If you look at their membership you will find an assortment of followers; generally sociopathic misfits fueled by anger, dangerous criminals looking for an angle, and quite a few mental deficients. You will also find their leaders, sociopaths as well, but sociopaths who are highly competent at one thing: finding other defectives and personalizing Wahhabi jihad and Takfirism to fit the target’s worldview and situation so they can use them as pawns.

Many of these leaders are concentrated in Gitmo right now, and President Obama’s plans to bring them to US prisons puts them among the population in the US most likely to succumb to their message and leadership. As the current conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Southern Thailand, Gaza, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan demonstrate, AL Qaeda is expert at exploiting tribal, political, and sectarian conflicts to maximum effect.

Prisons tend to be boiling pots of tribal factionalism. AQ will pick at scabs of any and every faction, exploit and exacerbate all conflicts, and target any other strong leaders in the prisons they are put in to subvert and convert new causes and new recruits.

If and when these evil men are moved to US prisons steps must be taken to ensure that doesn’t occur. Everyone will focus on Nation of Islam since they have strong contingents in the prisons, and are already Islamic, but the AQ leaders are as likely to target Aryan Nation as well. (Before you go to thinking that’s ridiculous keep in mind that Neo Nazi groups have dabbled in every religion and subverted teachings themselves – from Asatru to Hinduism, from Christian Identism, to even odd sorts who think the Aryans are the the true Jews, the lost tribe of Israel.)

This is the long term greater danger of holding Al Qaeda, but there is another that most are focused on, which is why it comes second here.

The second thing to worry about is the high probability of prison break attempts. Al Qaeda is known for these, truly dangerous proponents of radical Islam who are willing to act on it are a small minority of a small minority – so they must try to rescue prisoners. They’ve attempted many prison breaks and succeeded in some. These have occurred everywhere from Afghanistan, to Belgium, to Yemen. They come in two flavors: complex attacks involving multiple truck bombs and vans or cars of gunmen, and subversion through bribery and threat from the inside.

Taking hostages of prison guard families has occurred, and complex attacks have occurred. All of these threats are guarded against in normal prisons, but only in a minor way. There aren’t prisons that can stand up to a complex military attack involving 20 or more Al Qaeda members, multiple truckbombs, and possible insiders, so further steps must be taken to harden the external defenses of any prison that AQ members are placed in before they are moved.

Many more articles on the history of AQ prison breaks can be found at this google search.

Great Questions About the Health Care Bill

Great Questions About the Health Care Bill

A lot of really important and good questions about the health care bill are going unasked because too many are too busy shouting the other side down and debating death panels etc. Charles over at LGF hosted a thread for questions on the bill, and it ran very long. One of the members, Keith Gabryelski, gathered them together, categorized them and put them on the web. This is a great read, and most of these are unanswered. I suggest there are things you might want to ask at your town hall.

Go here to read them all.

Rasmussen: Americans Don’t Want House Plan

It’s a cobbled together mess of input from staffers, lobbyists, and NGO’s. If you want to know who put what in the bill go back and look at who took Pelosi and Dingell staffers to lunch during the weeks leading up to the initial drafts being put forth.

Rasmussen: Americans Don’t Want House Plan

In the latest Rasmussen poll two thirds of Independent voters and 4 out of 5 Republicans say no bill passing is a better outcome than the House version(s) passing.

Not surprisingly, there is a huge partisan divide on this issue. Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats say passing the legislation in Congress would be the best course of action. However, 80% of Republicans take the opposite view. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 23% would like the Congressional reform to pass while 66% would rather the legislators take no action.

Voters who earn less than $20,000 a year are evenly divided but a majority of all other voters would prefer no action. Middle income voters, those who earn from $40,000 to $75,000 a year, are most strongly in favor of taking no action.

I’ve pointed out the weakness of the house version(s) several times here and in debates in many threads over at Little Green Footballs. It’s a cobbled together mess of input from staffers, lobbyists, and NGO’s. If you want to know who put what in the bill go back and look at who took Pelosi and Dingell staffers to lunch during the weeks prior to the initial draft releases.

This doesn’t mean that Americans are opposed to health care insurance reform – and remember, this bill does nothing to reform health care, it just reforms insuring care. So a few things that conservatives and the public are in favor of are in the bill, however they are tied to so many other negatives and unknowns that nobody wants the Pelosi version. Do the math: 40 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Independents, and 80 percent of Republicans opposed. That’s a large majority opposed. If you are a Democrat you might say that Nancy and her staffers pretty much have let down the side on this.

UPDATE: Here are just two examples of the problems with the bill – to be able to characterize the bill as “budget Neutral” the money has to come from somewhere. Try a takeaway of half a trillion from Medicare based on pie in the sky imaginary savings, and new taxes. This is why the CBO report rocked O’s world so hard. I think most Americans are going to figure out this shell game flim flam before the recess is over.

So the hardball questions aren’t really about death panels – they are about what are you cutting in Medicare?*** Who’s determining that? Whose Taxes are you raising and how?

***People dwelling in the real world know that the “cuts” are political legerdemain for “we’ll just hide the costs in Medicare and let the next generation deal with the shortfall.” The first time any senior died or got denied care post passage it would be nationwide news quicker than you could say “Schiavo” and you also know that the Erin Brokovich fans on the left would be demanding congressional investigations vociferously.

Obama is Failing IV

Obama is Failing

It’s now more that a month past my first post about President Obama’s First two quarters in office,  and the outlook is not any better. Obama is presiding over an economy with accelerating  job losses when he promised job gains with TARP’s passage. The economy is the key thing worrying the country right now, and his entire party and administration seems oblivious to that fact.

Here’s a graphic map that visualizes job losses through time at Slate, please hit the start button, then the green play button. You will see that job losses accelerated dramatically from November when he was elected through to the present.

Even his most ardent supporters cannot step forward in the face of this and say that he is succeeding in his election promise of saving and creating jobs. If he wants success there he’s got several long rows to hoe and with the course that he has set the outcome will be Congress facing elections with the US poorer and unemployment still high in 2010. This will occur even though the economy has turned and our basic economy is sound.

The contentious cap and trade and health care bills in Congress insure economic restraint through uncertainty if they are passed, and if they fail then they must fail dramatically to end the uncertainty. Both will introduce huge new costs to consumers, businesses, state economies, and local economies. These costs are unknowns which keep bean counters at every business in America awake at night because they can’t make forecasts with any hope of reasonable accuracy.

Bottom line:

  • High energy prices created by Cap and trade legislation will turn the economy down, not up, as President Obama promised.
  • Increased taxation from the Health Care bill will retard rather than progress the economy as Obama promised.

Cap and trade has been called “Cap and Tax” for a reason: one outcome will be increased energy costs for consumers and businesses, and high energy prices  drive all other things in the economy.

Indeed there are good arguments to be made that the rest of the world’s countries implementing cap and trade policies in prior years led to the fragility which tipped us over the brink in the banking and mortgage loan industries. Without high energy prices the past several years the system might have been able to sustain with a lower burden of defaults, and mortgage companies might not have so many “toxic assets” on the books. High energy costs stifle economies worldwide, so why would you intentionally make them higher at a time of severe economic malaise?

The other problematic bill in congress is the Health care bill  – the unknowns are more daunting than the knowns since the bill is a nightmare of cut and paste confusion as Pelosi’s staffers and lobbyists crammed like they were writing a term paper they had blown off all semester to get this before Congress in time. The resultant mess in the lower congress from “rushing to woo” the public is a crazy patchwork quilt of conflicting measures that can be interpreted any way opponents want to. This has been a real boon for grenade throwers like Sarah Palin and others.

The outlook for both bills has seriously worsened since I wrote this post, however I still expect pared down versions of both to pass. You can bet that some Republicans in congress do want some of the energy investments in the “energy bill portion” of Cap and Trade, and you can bet there are some health care reforms that Republicans and Blue Dogs could get behind. If Obama wants a cosmetic win in getting both passed then he’s going to have to give up the Pelosi and Waxman versions and cross the aisle to sanity.

To me that’s a failure since the Dems have a big lock on majority and should be able to get pretty much anything through. The struggles they are having now really demonstrates how truly incompetent their legislators are.

UPDATE: Charles hits the nail on the head about the political sideshow of the “DeathPanel” debate, with fact checking on the provisions provided by ABC. Also note that Rick Moran’s been taking a lot of heat over his stance on this, but he’s right.

UPDATE: Slick Willie Preps the diehards for the deal they will have to make if they want a health care bill.

UPDATE: Middle Class and Independent voters would prefer no Bill instead of House Plan by strong majorties.

Deep Space and That Sense of Wonder

Deep Space and That Sense of Wonder

Few things inspire true awe and wonder about the Universe as much as it’s immense size and age. Get your heaping helping of “sense of wonder” for today by watching this video. You’ll find that the “Great Nothing” isn’t so empty after all, watch and take a voyage to the far side of the universe.

Mt. McKinley


Mt. McKinley

I know it’s supposed to be “Denali” now, but I grew up calling it Mt. McKinley, and I’m not going to change that. This was taken from a moving train, so it’s not the best photo of the park you will ever see. I would love to get back up there someday and take a series of photos with varying settings and meld them to get the perfect photo, but that’s not going to be soon.