The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rudy Giuliani and the Fort Dix Six

Two weeks ago, much hoopla was made over six Muslims arrested for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack against Fort Dix in New Jersey. According to U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, the six men intended "to create carnage at Fort Dix," and "This is a new brand of terrorism where a small cell of people can bring enormous devastation." FBI Special Agent Jody Weis claimed that "we dodged a bullet." Such rhetoric would have one believe that the Fort Dix Six had hatched a plan to blow up the installation or perhaps use dreaded WMDs, such as chemical or biological weapons.


The plot was for the six men to attack Fort Dix using automatic weapons. If the Fort Dix Six are representative of the terrorist threat in America, we should be so fortunate. Yes, it is a good thing that these men were caught before they could kill anyone. But their alleged plot was amateurish at best. Of all the potential targets to attack, a U.S. military installation that has a security perimeter manned by trained and armed personnel is the worst possible choice. Why pick a defended target that can shoot back at you? (Fort Dix is a training base for the U.S. Army, which means an even greater likelihood that soldiers on the base will be armed or have relatively easy access to firearms. With roughly 3,000 soldiers on the base and six would-be attackers, you do the math.) If their intention was to kill as many people as possible with rampant gunfire, a better choice would have been a shopping mall or a school (the massacre at Virginia Tech is tragic evidence of what a lone gunman can do).

If, on a scale of 1 to 10, the Sept. 11 attacks were a 10+, then the Fort Dix plot barely registers a one. In other words, it's on par with the group in Miami that fantasized about bringing down the Sears Tower in Chicago, or Iyman Faris wanting to cut the suspension cables on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Equally ludicrous is Rudy Giuliani's assertion that the Fort Dix Six is a reason the United States needs to stay in Iraq. When asked at the May 15 Republican presidential debate in South Carolina about an open-ended commitment to Iraq, the former Big Apple mayor responded that a timetable for retreat was "highly irresponsible" because "these people do want to follow us here and they have followed us here. Fort Dix happened a week ago." Yet none other than Fox News had reported the previous week that the "three brothers charged in the alleged Fort Dix terror plot have been living illegally in the U.S. for more than 23 years." And only one was of Middle Eastern descent: "Four of the arrested men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one was born in Jordan, and one came from Turkey, authorities said. Three were in the United States illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay in this country permanently; and the sixth is a U.S. citizen." The reality is that all of the Fort Dix Six had been in America well before the Iraq War.

(Further proof of Giuliani's cluelessness came during the debate when he said, "That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th." The statement Giuliani was referring to was by Rep. Ron Paul: "Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East." To begin, Paul never said that we invited that 9/11 attacks. But more importantly, Giuliani has obviously never heard of the former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, who asserts, "The fundamental flaw in our thinking about bin Laden is that 'Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than what we do.' Muslims are bothered by our modernity, democracy, and sexuality, but they are rarely spurred to action unless American forces encroach on their lands. It's American foreign policy that enrages Osama and al-Qaeda, not American culture and society." That Giuliani is living in the same fantasy world as President Bush was evident in his post-debate interview with Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes when he defended his attack on Paul: "Look, it's real simple what happened. These people came here and killed us because of our freedom of religion, because of our freedom for women, because they hate us.")

That is not to say that the alleged plot to attack Fort Dix should be taken lightly. First, the fact that the would-be plotters had been living in the United States for many years and that one of them was a U.S. citizen highlights the potential problem of homegrown terrorists and radicalization of American Muslims. Given that three of the group entered the United States more than 23 years ago when they were all less than 6 years old, Giuliani's argument that "these people came here and killed us because of our freedom of religion, because of our freedom for women, because they hate us" hardly holds water. So we must look beyond platitudes to find motives for Muslims to become terrorists, including anger over the Iraq war and U.S. foreign policy (exactly what Rep. Paul said in the May 15 Republican presidential debate in South Carolina).

Second, the three Dukas brothers were ethnic Albanians. Because Osama bin Laden is Saudi and the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and Egyptians, we tend to equate al-Qaeda and radical Islamic terrorists with being Middle Eastern or Arab. But Muslims from the Balkans are anything but Arab (ditto for Muslims from Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world). So we have to ask ourselves whether the Fort Dix Six might be an example of blowback for U.S. interventionist policy in the Balkans during the Clinton administration.

And there is this important lesson to be learned: the Fort Dix Six were thwarted by good old-fashioned police work. In other words, the so-called war on terrorism is waged and won less by the military and more by law enforcement – despite President Bush's assertion otherwise:

"I know that some people question if America is really in a war at all. They view terrorism more as a crime, a problem to be solved mainly with law enforcement and indictments. After the World Trade Center was first attacked in 1993, some of the guilty were indicted and tried and convicted, and sent to prison. But the matter was not settled. The terrorists were still training and plotting in other nations, and drawing up more ambitious plans. After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got."

Indeed, it is worth noting that the 14 most high-value terrorists now residing at Gitmo were all captured in law enforcement and intelligence operations – not military operations.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Immigration Bill Could Outlaw Gun Shops

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First, there was the McCarthy-Dingell bill. The folks on Capitol
Hill have been telling you we need HR 297, a bill to greatly expand
the Brady Law. They say it will stop future Virginia Tech shootings.
And, oh yes, there's one more thing: they want you to believe the
McCarthy-Dingell gun control bill isn't really gun control.

Now, they want to bring you an anti-gun immigration amnesty bill.
Already you're hearing it's not really an amnesty bill. (Yeah,
right.) So don't be surprised if they tell you it's not an anti-gun
bill either.

Forget, for a moment, the fact that the immigration package
negotiated in the Senate could grant amnesty to up to a hundred
million illegal aliens who have flaunted our laws.

Forget, for a moment, that it would pull the rug out from under the
growing number of states that have vetoed the anti-gun National ID
bill passed by Congress in 2005.

Forget, for a moment, that the bill will strengthen existing laws by
requiring all legal Americans (like you) to own a National ID card
before you can get a job.

In addition to all these things, the bill could, in the hands of an
anti-gun administration, result in the closing of every major gun
store in America.


Senator Ted Kennedy and the anti-gun zealots who wrote the bill just
couldn't resist the temptation to get their hands on our guns. They
have included language that GOA has been able to defeat in the past.

When Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced these anti-gun provisions
in 1998, the GOA grassroots were able to convince seven senator
cosponsors to pull their names from Hatch's bill.

At the time, The Hill newspaper credited GOA with having "generated a
significant number of postcards" into Senate offices. "The
[seven] senators, echoing the concerns of the GOA, are apprehensive
about the violation of Second Amendment rights," reported The Hill.

The current language in the amnesty bill is only slightly different
from Hatch's original language almost 10 years ago, but it would
essentially do the same thing -- threaten every gun store in America.

In Section 205, for example, all it takes for the employees of a gun
shop (of five or more persons) to become a "criminal gang" is:

* For them to commit two or more violations of ANY federal felony gun
offense -- which includes virtually all gun offenses, including
paperwork violations; and

* For the anti-gunners to find that violating gun laws was a "primary
purpose" of the group.

So let's say your local gun store sells two or three firearms to
Mayor Bloomberg's thuggish agents under New York City's
extraterritorial "sting" operations. Your gun shop is now a
"criminal gang."

This provision could even be used against a family of five who drives
by two schools on the way to a movie with a gun in the glove
compartment. Certainly under a Hillary administration, it would not
be surprising to see them treat this infraction as a "felony" under
the weird language of Gun Free School Zones Act. Thus, you and your
family would become a "criminal gang."


There is still no official immigration bill -- that is, the working
draft does not have an official senate number. The draft was
concocted by senators who put it together behind closed doors, all
the while bypassing the normal committee process.

While this unofficial draft has been "the buzz" around the country
this past week, several things have been overlooked. One thing, to
be sure, is the threat to gun owners' rights mentioned above. But
also ignored is the fact that the negotiating draft imposes draconian
penalties for those who live in states that have the audacity to veto
the National ID card (which passed as part of the REAL ID Act of

If you live in a state such as Montana, Maine, Idaho, etc. which has
passed legislation opposing the government's efforts to turn your
driver's license into a National ID card, YOU COULD BE DENIED

Gun Owners was already concerned about this law -- which has yet to
be implemented -- because of the threat it poses to gun owners'
privacy. But now the immigration bill will go even further by
requiring all present and future private sector employees to be
screened by the Electronic Employee Verification System (EEVS).

And in Section 1(a)(4)(i) of the draft legislation, the bill allows
for EEVS approval of your continued employment only if your private
employer meets "strict standards for identification documents that
must be presented in the hiring process, including the use of secure
documentation that contains a photograph, biometrics and/or complies
with the requirements [of the] REAL ID Act...."

Hence, no National ID card... no job.

ACTION: Please use the letter below to contact your Senator. You can
use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by
visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center at (where phone and fax numbers
are also available).

-----Pre-written letter-----

Dear Senator:

Why does the Congress seem bent on pushing gun control every chance
it gets? First, there was the McCarthy-Dingell bill in the House (HR
297) that would greatly expand the Brady Law. We don't need more gun
control as a response to Virginia Tech shootings. We need to repeal
the gun free zones that turn people into mandatory victims!

Now, the Senate wants to sneak gun control past us in the form of an
immigration bill. The Senate immigration package is a horrid piece
of legislation in such a wide variety of respects.

But, in addition to everything else, section 205 could, in the hands
of an anti-gun administration, PUT EVERY MAJOR GUN SHOP OUT OF

All it would take is for the shop to commit two felony paperwork
violations -- and an anti-gun administration willing to find that
this was a "primary purpose."

Similarly, a family driving to church or to the movies -- with a gun
in the glove compartment -- could be a "criminal gang" if it passed
two schools, and an anti-gun administration determined that
protecting his family was one of the father's "primary purposes."

Again, I urge you to OPPOSE the immigration package as long as this
anti-gun language remains in the bill.

To subscribe to free, low-volume GOA alerts, go to on the web. Change of e-mail
address may also be made at that location.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ron Paul Excluded from Future Debates (

Washington - Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has been officially excluded from all future Republican Presidential Debates. Paul, who officially entered the race in February of this year, has participated in the first two debates, and was ranked in the top tier of participants in several Internet polls.

Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), Republican Party General Chairman, made the announcement late Thursday afternoon shortly after reviewing the results of the second Republican Candidate debate on Tuesday.

"These debates are intended as a means for people to get a look at the candidates, evaluate their positions, and make an informed decision in the primaries based upon the facts and issues as we outline them," he explained. "We can not allow low tiered candidates with contrary positions to pollute the discussions with arbitrary issues such as the constitution, liberty, and limited government."

Congressman Paul is noted for his strict constitutional positions and application of those principles in his congressional votes. He is consistently rated at 100% by most conservative rating institutions. During the second debate, he made a controversial statement pointing out that American foreign policy, as practiced by our elected officials for the past sixty years, contributed to the motivation of the 9/11 terrorists. The statement incited the ire of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, another debate participant, who condemned Paul's statement as absurd although common sense, the CIA, and the 911 Commission Report all concur with Paul's opinion.

"There are several good, dedicated Republican candidates who reflect the Republican party line as dictated by the currently elected Republicans," Martinez continued. "When a candidate such as Mr. Paul refuses to follow that party line and insists upon making statements that embarrass more favored candidates, it only results in confusion in the minds of potential voters who are so easily led astray by the truth."

FOX News Channel, MSNBC, and ABC have also all indicated that they would exclude Dr. Paul from any future debates as well as continue the media blackout on his campaign.

A FOX News spokeswoman who asked to remain anonymous so she would not be sexually harassed by corporate management and on-air staff stated, "Ron Paul's positions on limited government as outlined in the constitution would so severely reduce the responsibilities of the government that we would have nothing to report and would have to fill the airwaves with other news. Just how long can we report on Paris Hilton and Rosie O'Donnell until the viewing public wakes up? If people stopped watching, it would be disastrous to our stock options. Think of the children of Fox News employees who would suffer if our stock options took a dive. What about all the senior citizens who own our stock? Is Ron Paul against children and senior citizens? We can not, in good faith, give this man a forum in which to spew his anti-American vile."

Rudy Giuliani was unavailable for comment until he reads the 911 Commission Report to determine how we will twist this mistake to his favor.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Why Did They Torture Jose Padilla?

by John Grant

There’s a rancid odor escaping from the cracks in the Jose Padilla case. Padilla is the American citizen arrested in Chicago and declared by President Bush to be an “enemy combatant.” He was then kept for nearly two years in a South Carolina brig without access to a lawyer, family, or friends.

The courts finally forced the Bush administration to release Padilla into the justice system, and he is now imprisoned in Miami awaiting trial on charges that have nothing to do with what he was arrested for — an alleged plot to use a dirty bomb in the United States. It is claimed he had al-Qaeda connections.

What makes this case so insidious is that, according to a psychiatrist who examined him over a 22-hour period, the treatment Padilla received in the South Carolina brig was such that he now “lacks the capacity to assist in his own defense.” In other words, a U.S. citizen was secretly worked over for 21 months to the point he is unable to think well enough to engage with his lawyer.

What needs to be pointed out is that the procedures that broke down Padilla’s mental equilibrium weren’t dreamed up by his jailers in South Carolina. According to Alfred McCoy in a new book called A Question of Torture, they are the result of decades and billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research.

“From 1950 to 1962,” McCoy writes,

the CIA became involved in torture through a massive mind-control effort, with psychological warfare and secret research into human consciousness that reached a cost of a billion dollars annually — a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind.

This research amounted to “the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in more than three centuries.” This “black budget” research has never stopped and elements of it were rushed into practice after 9/11.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

A New Improved America

Something is wrong with the United States. I think most of us have noticed it. There is a mortal rot in the country, made manifest by many little rots that are hard to integrate mentally yet are, I think, somehow related. The change is grave, accelerating, probably irreversible, and fascinating. Things are not as they were.

The United States is the most hated country on the planet, followed by, to the extent that there is a distinction, Israel. So far as I know, there are no other contenders. You can say “Who cares?” as many will say, or “Screw’em if they can’t take a joke,” or “I’d ratherh be feared than loved.” All very droll. Still, it is an interesting datum. No country ever lives up to its own PR, but there was a time when America was widely admired. Now, almost universally, it is seen as a rogue state. And is.

This carries a price. The US consulate in Guadalajara is part fortress, part prison, with barriers and cameras and bars and rentacops, and they take away a woman’s lipstick if she is going to enter. Maybe a country that fears lipstick needs to think. The French consulate around the corner is wide open, like all others that I know of. The French, Chinese, Japanese and so on aren’t hated.

The US government now lives in its own, strange, insulated world.

(2) The United States is the most militarily aggressive country on the planet, followed closely by Israel. I am aware of no other contenders.

Some of this combativeness is obvious—attacking Iraq for no good reason, occupying Afghanistan, threatening Syria and Iran, attacking Lebanon by proxy, bombing Somalia, putting troops in the Philippines to hunt Moslems. The US is also looking for trouble with Venezuela, threatening North Korea, moving to “contain” China (Doesn’t a container need to be bigger than its scontents?), embargoing Cuba, pushing into Central Asia, increasing the military budget, and pushing NATO ever closer to Russia. (How stupid can you get? Very. Stay tuned.), And the Pentagon now has Africom, African Command. Africa is now America’s business.

(3) Powerful domestic hostilities grip the United States. Maybe you have to be outside of it really to see it. I live in Mexico. You can go for…well, five years and counting, without hearing angry talk about this or that group. In America, women hate men and men are getting sick of American women. Blacks hate whites hate Hispanics. “Affirmative action” engenders intense hastily that doesn’t go away. It isn’t the normal friction found in any country. It is serious antagonism quashed by federal force.

And the black-white-brown thing has very real potential for getting nasty. This we don’t talk about.

(4) A curious state fear prevails in America, but it is a governmental creation, a calculated manipulative Disneyland. Perhaps soon we will have Terror Mouse.

Recently I was in Washington. Everywhere there were the artificialities of fear. The steel pop-up barriers in the roads, the stop’em-bombs steel poles on sidewalks, the endless warnings to report suspicious behavior on loudspeakers in the subway. The searches of everything, the metal-detecting doorways even on buildings of country governments, of schools. (Schools, for Chrissakes. What is wrong here?) And of course the confiscation of shampoo at the airport. This is nuts.

(5) The bullying of people entering the US. Any country has the right to determine who enters. Fine. If you don’t want them to enter, don’t give them visas. If you issue a visa, try to be courteous.

Violeta had a visa, issued by the consulate, both times when we went to the US. Still she got bullied by the border Nazis. It was ugly. I am obviously not a Mexican, but I get the same hostile questioning as to where I am going, why I was in Mexico, and so on. It is none of their business where I go in my country. Or shouldn’t be, but there are no limitations on governmental powers now. A friend, married to a Mexicana, again with a visa, got separated from her, and both got abusive questioning. She came out crying.

America was not like this. Now it is.

Compare this with the real world. I land in Beijing—evil commie Beijing, right? Maybe twenty seconds to see whether my visa was valid, clonk of stamp, thank you, no baggage search, into a taxi. Vi and I land in Paris, en route to Italy. Glance at passport, yep, it’s a passport, no stamp, no nothing, on we go. Italy didn’t even look at our passports. Grown-ups.

I am not ashamed of the United States. It is a hell of a country. Been there, done that, loved it. In two weeks in DC with Violeta, although she is clearly not American, she was everywhere, always, treated with perfect courtesy and friendliness, whether on Cap Hill or Farmville, Virginia. Americans really are good folk. The government isn’t. It’s the gravest problem we face, both internationally and domestically.

(6) The Constitution really is going away, or has gone. It never did work as well as it should have, but few things human ever do. Habeas corpus is dead, right to an attorney, congressional right to declare war—it’s not even worth listing the list. Joe iPod in the burbs doesn’t care because it doesn’t affect him, yet. Git them Hay-rabs, ain’t no draft, plenty sushi. Urg.

(7) The increasing, detailed, intrusive regulation of life, the national desire for control, control, control. Everything is the business of some form of government. Want to paint your shutters? The condo association won’t let you. Let dogs in your bar? Never. Decide who to sell your house to? Racial matter. Own a dog? Shot card, pooper-scooper, leash, gotta be spayed, etc. Have a bar for men only, women only, whites or blacks only? Here come the federal marshals. What isn’t controlled by government is controlled by the crypto-vindictive mob rule of political correctness. This wasn’t always in the American character.

Add the continuing presence of police in the schools, the arrest in handcuffs of children of seven, the expulsions for drawing a picture of a soldier with a gun. Something very twisted is going on.

How much of the public knows what is happening, or even knows that something is happening? I don’t know. But I don’t think that it’s going to go away. In ten years it will be an entirely different place with the same name. Almost is now.

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