English: Pro-Hamas demonstrators at a rally in Damascus Syria in december 2008 during the Israel-Gaza conflict. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Muslim brotherhood military man in Egypt مؤسس تنظيم الظباط الأحرار في مصر (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Mr. Mohamed Badia -General Guide of Muslim Brotherhood- during opening ceremony of Alexandria Muslim Brotherhood main office العربية: الأستاذ محمد بديع -المرشد العام للإخوان المسلمين- خلال حفل افتتاح مقر الإخوان المسلمين بالإسكندرية (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Khaled Mashal, leader of Hamas Español: Khaled Meshaal, líder de Hamás (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Turkish Airlines to Sponsor Anti-Israel “Hatefest” in Illinois
By: Fern Sidman
An organization calling itself American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) has announced that they will be holding a four-day event called the “Conference for Palestine in the US: A Movement United,” in suburban Chicago from November 22-25. It has been reported that Turkish Airlines is one of the major corporate sponsors of the conference which is currently scheduled to take place at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort. The official state carrier of Turkey will be contributing as much as $15,000 for the event and in order to encourage attendance has announced that the “first 200 registrants will be entered into a raffle to win an international airline ticket from Turkish Airlines.”
Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst at www.RadicalIslam.org and a contributor to FOX News has reported in an article of October 16th that one of the central themes of the conference will be the successful establishment of Islamist interfaith partnerships with such Christian evangelical leaders as the Reverend Donald Wagner of “Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding” who is also slated to address the conference.
According to their web site, the mission statement of American Muslims for Palestine calls for attention to be brought to “the people of Palestine who have been living under occupation for decades,” adding that, “we believe once Americans know the truth that their tax dollars support the longest-lasting and the last military occupation in modern history, they won’t stand for it and will demand that Congress change our foreign policy in the Middle East to one that is more balanced.”
In an article of September 24th, author Michael Rubin of Commentary Magazine says, “American Muslims for Palestine is not any ordinary organization. Its home page depicts the conference logo — a map of Palestine made from birds showing the Palestinian state encompassing all of Israel. So much for the two-state solution.” He adds that, “The AMP conference is due to feature Fadwa Barghouti, wife of imprisoned terrorist Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for murder. For several years, the AMP has worked to promote nakba (catastrophe) commemorations on college campuses, with a goal to delegitimize Israel’s existence. The group’s national campus coordinator moved to disrupt a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC-Irvine back in 2010.”
Moreover, the roster of confirmed speakers at the conference reads like a “Who’s Who” of prominent Muslim Brotherhood personalities. According to Mr. Mauro’s investigation, “AMP board member Osama Abu Irshaid, another speaker at the conference, has described the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas as a form of “legitimate resistance.” Abu Irshaid had previously been the editor of an Arabic publication sponsored by the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, which according to the American Muslim Brotherhood’s internal documents identify it as having been one of its fronts set up to support Hamas.”
Also addressing the convocation will be Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As has been previously reported, the federal government named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial, listing it among “individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” Awad declard his support for Hamas in 1994. In 2004, he refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah, instead choosing to call them “liberation movements.
Other speakers include Safaa Zarzour, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of North America. FBI investigators identified ISNA as a Muslim Brotherhood front group as far back as 1987. A 1991 American Muslim Brotherhood document also lists it as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Jamal Badawi, a founder of the Muslim American Society, another Muslim Brotherhood front, has gone on record in justifying suicide bombings. In February 2009, he criticized the West for describing “martyrs” from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as terrorists. In March 2010, he said Islam justifies the “combative jihad” of Palestinians.
As recently as October 13th, the AMP participated in a conference sponsored by the Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East called, “Jews in Solidarity with Palestinians,” that was moderated by Ali Abunimah, a co-founder of the Electronic Intifada and author of “One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.”
Adding his name to the litany of apologists for the Palestinian cause and a featured speaker at the conference will be leftist Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, a former lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. He has proffered the theory that Israel has engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and blames the creation of the Jewish state for the lack of peace in the Middle East, arguing that Zionism is more dangerous than Islamic militancy, and has called for an international boycott of Israeli academics. Pappe supports the one-state solution, which envisages a binational state for both Palestinians and Israelis.
A campaign to exert pressure on the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort to cancel the conference is now underway by the grassroots Jewish community of Chicago. Cheryl Jacobs Lewin, Chicago chapter chairperson of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI), has said, “Since the AMP has known ties to Hamas, we are asking of the management of the Oak Brook Hills Marriott how they can justify renting their hotel to a group that has been designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization.” She added, Let’s not forget that the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the AMP clearly alligns itself with, was responsible for the recent destruction of the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and that the Brotherhood was also responsible for “security” in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the murders of four Americans, including the US Ambassador.
Offering his perspectives on the controversy swirling around the upcoming AMP conference, author Ryan Mauro said, “Can you imagine the outcry if this was an event by Christian extremists like the Westboro Baptist Church or an event about mocking Mohammed? I bet the hotel would cave rather quickly. This conference features speakers who legitimize Islamist violence and terrorist groups. In my article, I identified ten speakers that are closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood or promote it. Ten. At one event. How many would have to be there for the media to notice and for the hotel to think twice?”
He added, “The hotel shouldn’t be expected to be terrorism experts, but they should be expected to cancel their hosting of the event when confronted with the facts. The extremism of the speakers and their links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are thoroughly-documented.”
Muslims.. (Photo credit: Nasir Nasrallah)
THE GREAT APPEASER? SYMPATHIZER? (FOR YOU LIB READERS (Photo credit: SS&SS)
English: Arab-American writer and speaker Nonie Darwish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ex-Muslim: Islam ‘scares the hell out of me’
‘My culture of origin is infecting America with fear of speaking the truth’
Published: 15 hours ago
(Editor’s note: The following is Part 1 of a two-part interview with Nonie Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel. Part 2 is available below.)http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/truth-is-no-1-enemy-of-islam/#ooid=Rzc2UyNjp6QnVq4BeM2T0s2CswNSEkagIslamic countries indoctrinate children with hatred toward Israel and teach them Israel has no historic claim to the land or the city of Jerusalem, Nonie Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel, told WND’s Greg Corombos.Darwish shared her story of being born into a Muslim family in Egypt and being raised to hate Israel.
“It is the total annihilation of Israel and the Jews,” she said. “This is what the center of the educational system in the whole Arab world is. We were taught Jerusalem is a Muslim city; Jews had nothing to do with it, and we have to liberate it. … There’s no acknowledgement that Jerusalem has any roots in Judaism or Christianity. There’s total denial of history.”
Darwish said she only learned the truth after she came to America, because the Muslim world often filters and censors information.
“I actually worked in censorship when I was a journalist in the Middle East,” she explained. “Information is totally filtered, and the propaganda, at the same time, is daily, very intense. Islam lives on propaganda and denies the truth.”
She said any person who challenges the Muslim version of the truth is “immediately regarded as a traitor, and riots happen and this person’s life is threatened.”
Darwish warned, “This is now coming to the West, this fear that I used to live in in the Muslim world – which was fear of speaking my mind, fear of saying the truth – is now following me to America. … My culture of origin is now infecting America with fear of speaking the truth.
She continued, “Unfortunately, we have an administration now that is allowing this to happen and finding excuses for it. And that scares the hell out of me.”
Darwish said she wants to see Arabs and Israelis living side by side in peace, but that cannot happen as long as “the number one enemy of Islam is the truth.” She explained that Muslims have failed to deal with reality for the past 1,400 years and have irrationally loathed the Jewish people since they rejected Muhammad in the seventh century.
In Part 2 of the interview with WND, which can be heard below, Darwish said President Obama’s Middle East policy is a failure and it’s been proven by the events of the past three weeks.
She said it’s unthinkable that America’s consulate in Benghazi did not have enough security and that the Obama administration took 10 days to admit Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in a terrorist attack.
Obama called the murders a “bump in the road,” and Darwish wants to know, “A bump in the road to what? The road to what?”
She added, “The road in the Middle East is turning into hell. What road is he talking about?
“The Muslim Brotherhood already took over. Radical Islam and Shariah are being entrenched in the whole Middle East. The radical Islamist groups are ruling countries there now. They’re now ganging up to destroy Israel. They’re about to have nuclear weapons. We are in grave danger, and President Obama is talking about what? He’s talking about a road to destruction. … He thinks there is a road that will bring peace? What is he talking about?”
Darwish slammed what she considers Obama’s habit of apologizing to Muslims and said it’s unclear why America should be apologizing.
“We are giving them the impression that we are very weak, and we want to appease them,” she said. “We’re acting out of guilt for what?! We lost 3,000 citizens on 9/11, and we’re apologizing for what?”
She said Obama’s United Nations speech scared her – especially his statement that “the future does not belong to those who slander of the prophet of Islam.” Darwish said no religion should be above criticism, and Obama’s language reminds her of the repression inside her native Egypt. She also said the lack of media scrutiny for Obama policies reminds her of how the governments often control the media in the Middle East.
Finally, Darwish said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a “brave man” in his defiance toward the Iranian nuclear program, but she questioned whether Israel can successfully stop the program without any help from the United States. She said it may already be too late to prevent a nuclear Iran.
(Editor’s note: The following is Part 2 of the two-part interview with Nonie Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Channel 2 Action News investigation found that the State Department is sending millions of dollars to save mosques overseas. This investment has received criticism as the United States makes an effort to slash nearly $4 trillion in government spending.Plenty of outrage following the announcement made Thursday afternoon by a government commission that suggested huge cuts to the budget, including eliminating the interest education for home mortgage. This juxtaposed with the United States investing millions to refurbish mosques as a good-will effort in Muslim countries has upset many taxpayer groups.
“We are spending money we don’t have. This is all on a gigantic credit card right now,” said Jared Thomas, a taxpayer advocate.
Millions more dollars have been sent to places like Cyprus. The State Department displays before and after pictures of mosques refurbished with U.S. tax dollars.
“I think it is very hard to explain to the American taxpayer right now whose having an extraordinary time paying bills and making ends meet that this is why we took this out of your paycheck, so we can fund this,” said Thomas.
The State Department declined a Channel 2 Action News request for an interview. We wanted to ask why are we using tax dollars to refurbish religious buildings overseas. The State Department did send Channel Two Action News an e-mail saying that they are fighting Islamic extremism by building relationships with Islamic leaders.
Egyptian-American human rights activist Nonie Darwish told Channel 2 Action News anchor Justin Farmer that trying to buy respect in the Middle East only shows our weakness.
“This part of the world has a lot of respect for power and America is not showing its power, it’s showing its appeasement. They are laughing all the way to the bank,” said Darwish.
Darwish was born in Egypt and is now a former Muslim. Darwish told Farmer that she moved to America and has written several books critical of radical Islam. Darwish said that most of the mosques in Egypt are run by extremists who have ordered former Muslims like herself to be killed.
“We are rebuilding mosques to support the radicals, not to support the moderates. We are building mosques to issue fatwas of death against people like me,” said Darwish.
Your tax dollars also fund computers and mosques in places like Tajikistan and Mali. At an ancient mud brick mosque in Mali, the State Department has provided Internet service and computer equipment to local imams.
Taxpayer watchdogs wonder how the State Department can explain paying for Internet service while Americans struggle through the worst recession in decades.
“To the average person who has probably seen their paycheck shrink and not grow, this could be an insult to them,” said Pete Sepp, President of the National Taxpayers Association.
With radical websites inciting violence and extremism worldwide, there are concerns that the taxpayer-funded Internet service could be misused.
“That is not the job of the U.S. because giving them Internet access to imams and Muslim preachers who hate America,” said Darwish.
Critics say that it is time to review funding for all federal programs that do not directly benefit taxpayers.
“We are spending money we don’t have and certainly we can cut items like this,” said Thomas.
The Deficit Commission announced it would look at slowing the growth of foreign aid. Channel 2 Action News is not aware if there will be cuts in this particular U.S Aid program.
Apparently they think that putting hearts and butterflies on the new stamp will make most people not realize that the rest is Arabic and probably
Not something we want to support.
New Stamp – The second MUSLIM one!!!
USPS New 45-Cent Stamp Celebrates a Muslim holiday.
If there is only ONE thing you Forward today.. Let it be this!
President Obama has directed the United States Postal Service To REMEMBER and HONOR the EID MUSLIM holiday season with A new commemorative 45-Cent First Class Holiday Postage Stamp.
REMEMBER Adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp, If/when you purchase stamps at a post office.
All you have to say is “No thank you, I do not want A Muslim Stamp on my letters!”
The Flag of the USA Has always been my favorite.
Pass this along to every
Patriotic American you know
Get the word out!
Honor the United States of America !
(ABC/UNIVISION) – On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.
Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.
Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.
As part of Operation Fast and Furious, ATF allowed 1,961 guns to “walk” out of the U.S. in an effort to identify the high profile cartel leaders who received them. The agency eventually lost track of the weapons, and they often ended up in the hands of Mexican hit men , including those who ordered and carried out the attack on Salvarcar and El Aliviane, a rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez where 18 young men were killed on September 2, 2009.
In Mexico, the timing of the operation coincided with an upsurge of violence in the war among the country’s strongest cartels. In 2009, the northern Mexican states served as a battlefield for the Sinaloa and Juarez drug trafficking organizations, and as expansion territory for the increasingly powerful Zetas. According to documents obtained by Univision News, from October of that year to the end of 2010, nearly 175 weapons from Operation Fast and Furious inadvertently armed the various warring factions across northern Mexico.
“Many weapons cross the border and enter Mexico, but that [Fast and Furious] number, quantity and type of weapons had quite an impact in the war in this area” Jose Wall, an ATF agent stationed in Tijuana from 2009 to 2011, told Univision News.
Following the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry at the hands of Mexican bandits on December 14, 2010, media and Congressional investigations prompted hearings. On September 20, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General report, which opened the door for sanctions of 14 ATF and DOJ officials.
In Washington, the Fast and Furious scandal became politicized, diverting the attention from the human cost in Mexico to political battles on Capitol Hill. In June, a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt ignored the real tragedy in Mexico.
“Americans are not often moved by the pain of those outside [their country]…” Javier Sicilia, a Mexican poet whose son was killed in the midst of the violence, told Univision News. “But they are moved by the pain of their own. Well, turn around and watch the massacres.”
The Univision News investigation also found ATF offices from states besides Arizona pursued similar misguided strategies. In Florida, the weapons from Operation Castaway ended up in the hands of criminals inColombia, Honduras and Venezuela (link audio crumpler), the lead informant in the case told Univision News in a prison interview.
“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. “The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening.”
Other firearms under ATF surveillance were permitted to leave the country from Texas, according to court documents and the exclusive testimony of Magdalena Avila Villalobos, the sister of an ICE agent who survived a confrontation with cartel hit men on a rural highway in Mexico on February 15, 2011. His fellow agent, Jaime Zapata, was killed during the attacks.
“It’s not from Arizona and Fast and Furious,” Avila Villalobos told Univision News, speaking in her brother’s stead for the first time, “but it’s a very similar operation…” She later added, “Those weapons that have been recovered, it’s been confirmed that they were weapons used in the shootout that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila.”
The Texas-based operation and the firearms linked to the attack were bought by two trafficking rings in the state, according to Raymond Thomas, the Zapata family’s lawyer.
Earlier this year, Texas Senator John Cornyn had echoed Thomas’ assertions . Moreover, on September 25, Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley, the politicians behind the Fast and Furious congressional report released in July, sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, requesting an investigation into Avila’s and Zapata’s case.
God’s Vaginal Liquid Omnipresence baptized us with Her Eternal Divinity tonight (Photo credit: nayrb7)
Democrats boo vote to restore ‘God’
Chairman rams through platform change to jeers, shaking fists
Published: 5 days ago
Delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte today booed, jeered and shook their fists when the chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, declared that an amendment to the party’s platform that restored a mention of God had been adopted.
It took him calling for the vote three times before he could make the declaration that in his opinion, the ayes made up two-thirds of the vote.
After the first vote, which sounded like a dead heat between the yes and no votes, he said, “In the opinion of the … Let me do that again.”
The second vote sounded the same, and Villaraigosa looked offstage for help and advice.
A woman came up behind him and said, “Let them do what they’re going to do.”
On the third vote, Villaraigosa was prepared and stated that in his opinion, two-thirds of the voters said “aye,” apparently without considering the volume of the voice vote.
Shaking fists and jeers erupted before he could finish speaking.
The platform of the party drew nationwide astonishment just a day earlier when it removed a reference to God and a declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
The amendment, proposed by former Gov. Ted Strickland, chief of the platform committee, restored the notation that Americans were encouraged to reach their “God-given potential.”
It also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Strickland didn’t offer an explanation for why God and Jerusalem were removed, explaining only that “our belief in God is central to our American story” and “the president recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well.”
However, Obama’s position on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been a point of contention. White House spokesman Jay Carney pointedly refused to state that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital when confronted by White House reporters, including WND’s Les Kinsolving.
Radio host Michael Savage said the scenario could be the turning point in the 2012 presidential campaign.
“This is a big moment,” Savage said. “America is disgusted with this party of atheists and America haters.”
David Brody reported on the Brody File in CBN: “This has become a disaster for the Democrats and a boon to the Romney campaign. The DNC has now added God back into their platform language after originally taking it out. They have also added language back in that says Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. When they tried to change the language on the convention floor, there were boos! Oy-Gevalt.”
He said notwithstanding any corrections the Democrats have tried to make, the Romney campaign “can now argue that the Democrats don’t know what they believe on two very important topics. They can also argue that the Democrats only did this because of the pushback. That’s true.”
Romney told Fox News: “It’s a very sad say when we have our best friend in the Middle East … for us at a stage like this to take an action of that nature, to cease calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel, this is a very troubling development.”
He also said the Democrats’ initial decision to remove “God” from its 2012 platform “suggests a party which is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of American people. I think this party is veering further and further away to an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize it.”
The AP described the Democrats as “embarrassed” over the issue and explained that the language resurrected simply said: “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Several Democrats said the attempt to fix the platform was a mistake. Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim from Salt Lake City, told AP: “There are people who don’t believe in God and you have to respect that as well.”
Another delegate from Utah, Angela Urrea, told AP: “The majority spoke last night. We shouldn’t be declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.”
The Foreign Policy column at The Cable said Obama himself intervened to push the changes.
CBS New York said of the president before today’s reversal: “Obama handed the Republicans a new avenue of attack on a silver platter when he supported a Democratic Party platform change that does not state that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”
The platform previously was adopted with the statement, “We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.”
GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan told Fox News, “I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, the purges of God.”
At U.S. News, Peter Roff accompanied his commentary with a cartoon of a car carrying a “What Would Jesus do?” bumper sticker. But “Jesus” is crossed out and “Obama” written in.
“There are no doubt other examples but the message is clear,” he wrote. “One candidate, Romney, stands for the proposition that religious freedom is paramount to American liberty. The other, Barack Obama, seems to believe it is subservient to the desires of the state. For most of us, this would seem to be the more important issue upon which to base a vote for president.”
WND has full coverage of the DNC with these stories and columns:
Savage: Dems rejection of God ‘the turning point’
Bill Clinton: Yes, we’re better off
FARAH: ‘We belong to the government’
COULTER: Matthews a few race cards short of a full deck
RINGER: GOP’s afraid to say it: Obama is a bad man
RUSH: Making the election about race … again
ELDER: The 5 ‘reasons’ to re-elect Obama
CHASTAIN: Which platform is ‘extreme’?
English: Backscatter Imaging “Backscatter technology projects low level X-ray beams over the body to create a reflection of the body displayed on the monitor. Backscatter technology produces an image that resembles a chalk etching.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Feds anything but transparent on ‘nude scanners’
By blocking public comment, TSA‘s invasive searches shielded from judicial review
Published: 20 hours ago
by Bob UnruhEmail | Archive
Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after spending nearly three decades writing on a wide range of issues for several Upper Midwest
newspapers and the Associated Press
. Sports, tornadoes, homicidal survivalists, and legislative battles all fell within his bailiwick. His scenic photography has been used commercially, and he sometimes plays in a church worship band
More than three years after installation of the infamous nude-image body scanners at U.S. airports, the federal government still has not instituted the required period of public comment, but Obama administration attorneys contend there’s been no unreasonable delay.
The argument comes from U.S. Justice Department attorneys Mark Stern and John Koppel in a brief opposing a request to start the rule-making process immediately.
Privacy and health advocates have raised numerous concerns about the full-body scanners, which the Transportation Safety Administration began to widely implement in 2010.
In a case brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and dozens of other groups, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that while the screening would be allowed to go ahead, the Department of Homeland Security “failed to conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking” as required.
At the time, the court said, “Few if any regulatory procedures impose directly and significantly on so many members of the public.” The court ordered the government to “act promptly” on the routine process.
According to EPIC, a year has passed since that order for “prompt” action – and some two and a half years since the machines were first installed in the U.S. The group went to court asking for a mandate for immediate action.
Administration lawyers, however, responded that they now expect the process will be handled “by or before the end of February 2013.”
“TSA has been keenly aware of the importance of implementing the court’s directive, and has given high priority to the … rulemaking,” the attorneys said.
They blamed “personnel losses” in the agency for the time frame and said “almost all of the staff available to conduct the required economic analysis” had been assigned to the project.
“There has been no unreasonable delay in complying with the court’s mandate, much less the type of egregious delay that would warrant exercise of the court’s mandamus powers,” they wrote.
EPIC addressed the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act and said the time had come for the “court to end the agency’s unreasonable delay, and to set a date certain for the agency to issue a proposed rule or, in the alternative, to vacate the rule on which the agency relies.”
Once the rule is issued, there are various challenges that are possible, including “judicial review under the APA … which provides that a court may ‘set aside agency action … found to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” EPIC argued.
EPIC noted the administration decided in April 2009 to use the body scanners and set the decision in motion “without explicit statutory authority and without publishing a proper rule as required.”
The court decision in July 2011 said “the TSA has advanced no justification for having failed to conduct a notice-and-comment rulemaking.” EPIC said the court right now should “remove the [scanner] program from this ‘administrative limbo.’”
“In the three years since EPIC’s original petition to the agency for a rulemaking so that independent experts might express their views on the agency program, scientific evidence strongly suggests that WBI machines pose health risks to travelers,” the EPIC court filing continued.
And at the same time, members of Congress have determined the machines are “ineffective,” it wrote.
The delays are especially egregious because they “shield” the agency actions from judicial review under the APA, EPIC said.
Administration attorneys contended, however, “There has been no ‘waiting’ and no ‘delay.’ Petitioner’s repeated mandamus petitions reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of notice-and-comment rulemaking and the time and resources required to develop a proposed rule.”
Not so, challenged EPIC.
“The WBI program was first implemented more than three years ago, yet the secretary has not issued any notice of the rule or accepted public comments. This court made clear … that it may order the secretary to take action in response to its order within a date certain, or else set aside the unlawful action.”
Just weeks ago, the director of information policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, launched a petition drive to force action.
The petition, which later was taken down by the White House, had sought to “require the Transportation Security Administration to follow the law.”
The security procedures being ramped up by the TSA have made headlines in recent months. An agent groped a member of Congress and another patted down a hysterical 4-year-old. Several passengers staged protests by stripping nude for their TSA security check.
A separate challenge to the use of the enhanced procedures also has been beaten back by a federal appeals court, based on a “secret” order from the TSA. It was Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. who cited the undisclosed document in rejecting a complaint from passengers and pilots that the TSA invaded their privacy and violated their rights by demanding pat-down inspections or full-body scans.
The government, insisting that the “secret” order contains “sensitive security information,” has refused to make public the document outlining the procedures, according to John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.
Institute attorneys had argued that since the TSA “order” has remained “secret,” there has been no opportunity for the public to comment on it, and “passengers and pilots are not only being deprived of their Fourth Amendment rights, but also their due process right to a fair hearing on their challenge to the secret TSA policy.”
Whitehead said the ruling is a dark cloud.
“This ruling does not bode well for attempts to ensure transparency in government or efforts to safeguard Americans against virtual strip searches and other excessive groping of our bodies by government agents, especially when there’s no suspicion of wrongdoing,” he said.
“When civil liberties are tossed out the window – by government agents or by the courts – we all lose. No American should be forced to undergo a virtual strip search or be subjected to such excessive groping of the body as a matter of course in reporting to work or boarding an airplane when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing,” he said.
The fight over the invasive TSA procedures has been raging for several years. The government agency has implemented “enhanced” security screenings that present two options: an X-ray that is a virtual strip search of a passenger and a pat-down that critics have likened to sexual assault in public.
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, earlier proposed a change in the law that would specify that screeners are “not immune from any U.S. law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person.”
“It means they are not above the laws the rest of us must obey,” he wrote at the time.
On the state level, Texas fell narrowly short of moving forward with a bill that would have required “probable cause” for agents to act against a passenger. While the plan was under consideration, the federal government threatened to close down air traffic to and from the state.
U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy asserted that federal agents must be allowed to touch people when and how they want.
“The proposed [Texas] legislation would make it unlawful for a federal agent such as a TSO to perform certain specified searches for the purpose of granting access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation,” he told Texans at the time. “That provision would thus criminalize searches that are required under federal regulations in order to ensure the safety of the American public.”
Perhaps among the most dramatic expressions of concern came from Miss USA Susie Castillo, who was reduced to tears by federal agents ensuring she was not a terrorist.
Castillo produced a viral video describing her experience at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
“I mean, she actually… touched my vagina,” Castillo said through her tears. “They’re making me … choose to either get molested … or go through this machine that’s completely unhealthy and dangerous. I don’t want to go through it, and here I am crying.”
In a commentary at the Tenth Amendment Center by Connor Boyack with Brian Roberts and Michael Boldin, the organization supported plans to address the traveling public’s concerns.
“Castillo isn’t the only person who would be protected under this Texas legislation. All other innocent travelers would likewise be shielded. That includes the six year old girl who made the headlines last month for being groped by a TSA agent (an action which the TSA defended as being alright since it ‘followed the current standard operating procedures’), as well as the eight-month-old infant subjected to a pat down while cradled in the arms of her mother.”
MY TWO CENTS
This is just another example of when the government helps us, it removes our liberties at the same time. This “help” is spreading at an unprecedented speed! It’s for security purposes–to keep our nation safe–you say, but just as there are geniuses creating ways in which to take down the United States, there are geniuses working on ways to secure our country without tromping on the citizenry! Once we have the appropriate leadership, if ever, how many years will it take to undo all of the Fascist rules and regulations in place today? How much more will we be run over by Judicial-appointee, law makers? Stop the Bench! Stop the Feds! Stop the TSA! Stop the ubiquitous federal departments, run by special interests, and give us some breathing space! Stop-Stop-Stop!
The last time I flew was in 2010. I was stopped for a luggage search because I was told that something in my suitcase appeared to be a weapon. It turned out to be an Art Deco broach, elongated, and a common Deco shape. When I got home and unpacked, the broach was there, but two collar pins, of the US Flag, were missing. One was a family heirloom, and the other an inexpensive rhinestone trinket. Both were, as I said, collar pins: there size 1 inch by 1 inch, and neither could have been used as an effective weapon under anybody’s interpretation. These unreasonable search and seizures are simply contemptuous ways to steal from passengers without consequences! By the way, what do you think American Airlines told me when I called about my flag pins? Right–it was not there problem! However, TSA’s own notice claims that all contents are return to the searched luggage, but what about my collar pins!?
English: Transportation Security Administration: Notice of Baggage Inspection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)to legally steal from passengers without consequences. The pat-downs and x-rays are even worse!