01/28/11

Of Gods And Men

Gateway Pundit: “Of Gods and Men” – New Movie Tells Story of Christian Persecution in Algeria

From the video: Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay… come what may. This film is loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996.

01/28/11

The Council Has Spoken! 01/28/11

From: The Watcher’s Council

The Council has rendered its judgment and the results of the Watcher’s Council contest this week are history. We had a very tight competition this week as you can see below, a testimony to how especially good all the entries were.

Our winner this week, The Razor, took a look at an interesting problem in East Asia’s most prosperous societies that it shares with Russia and much of Western Europe – a low birth rate among the native population. Some of these Asian societies have a built in animus towards migrants settling there, and the Razor came up with a fascinating look at Japanese culture to tell us why he feels Japan Will Not Be Saved Through Immigration:

…the Tokugawa Shogunate cut off all ties to the outside world. They cut loose the Japanese outposts in East and South Asia, forcing hundreds of thousands of Japanese there to fend for themselves. They banned contact with foreigners, making it punishable by death. Any foreigner found on Japanese soil (the Portuguese outpost of Nagasaki notably excluded) was immediately executed. And any Japanese that left Japan could never return. This policy was known as “Sakoku” – isolated country. That situation lasted until 1853 when the American Commodore Perry shelled Yokohama and made the Japanese accept foreign ships at their ports. I think Perry had to shell it a couple of times before the Japanese got it through their top-knotted skulls that he was serious.

Skipping to the modern era, sakoku thinking lives on in Japan today. The Japanese aren’t comfortable with foreigners at all. There is simply no place in their culture for them. It’s difficult for us to relate to this because our nation was built by immigrants, and our national identity for better or worse has been forged in the melting pot. Not so with the Japanese. For 90% of their history they have lived isolated amongst themselves. Some Japanese try to change things, but change is impossible; I learned that the hard way in Japan. Japan beat the liberal right out of me.

Japan will never accept foreigners. It will most likely automate (Japan leads the world in robotics) and eventually fade away. Don’t get me wrong, I love the crazy racist bastards – they are unimaginably interesting to watch – but I don’t think their future is bright. It’s a shame, because they gave us anime, addicting video games, and excellent electronics – not to mention Yukio Mishima, Akira Kurosawa and Zen.

In the Non-Council category we had a tie between:

Barry Rubin’s SCOOP: Explaining How The “Palestine Papers” Story Is A Fabrication That Teaches Us The Truth – a total fisking of the wikileaks-style journalistic joke pulled off by the Guardian and al-Jazeera and Sultan Knish’s Anglophobia or Islamophobia – What’s the Real Problem? – an examination of Islamism’s death grip on Britain.

In accordance with our by-laws, I put on my Watcher’s hat and broke the tie. While both pieces were excellent, Sultan Knish’s hit a little harder and closer to the bone to me personally, so the honors this week go to Anglophobia or Islamophobia – What’s the Real Problem?

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

01/28/11

Financial News Update – 01/28/11

The “Arrogant And Unethical” Corporate Culture At Fannie Mae From 1998-2004 Sounds Awesome

A US Official In Lahore Kills Two And Is Being Charged With Murder

The Truth About What Will Happen When America Loses Its AAA

Newt/Jeb: Let Broke States Go Bust

Dear Obama, It’s Time To End Our Dependence On Foreign Cocoa

The CEO Of Fannie Mae Had A Startling Response To Being Told His Firm Couldn’t Handle More Risk

It’s Time To Admit That This Earnings Season Is Not What The Bulls Were Hoping For

Big Government Puts Ozarks in the Crosshairs

Pipeline ‘Matter of Critical National Interest’

Air Force training scheduled on Outer Banks for Tuesday and Wednesday (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

Rep. West Hopes Obama’s References to ‘Investment’ Are Not ‘A Synonym’ For ‘Government Spending’ (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

GM food needed to avert global crisis, says Government adviser (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

DeMint interrupts Tea Party Caucus for Pledge of Allegiance (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

At White House, Axelrod Outlines Obama’s Post-SOTU Strategy (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

Market Manipulation, Why Gold and Silver Have Declined (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

First lady: Army health initiative may be a model (Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques)

Filibuster lives: Senate rejects changes in rules (Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques)

Obama and the Chinese : urgent

Spain jobless rate surges to 20.33%

Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie’s Health Director Quits

Chocolate drought? World’s supply of sustainable cocoa could run out by 2014

School Superintendent gets $1 million retirement package

Credit card rates at record highs near 15%; some have 59.9% APR!

Egypt Shows How Easily Internet Can Be Silenced

Huge anti-government protest in Albania

Thousands protest in Jordan, demand PM step down

GDP 4TH QTR: 3.2%

Less than expected; stocks slide

NASDAQ outage leaves traders scrambling

Irony, Chicago Style

BRACE YOURSELF: Moody’s Basically Just Threatened To Downgrade The US

US Futures Slipping, While India Is Taking Another Large Nosedive

Egypt Gets Even Worse: Now Stocks Are Off Nearly 11%

Jim Rogers Says The US And UK Are Lying About Inflation And Predicts More Government Failures Thanks To Food Prices

Obama Hoover

Why Even The Creator Of The BRICs Thinks India And China Are In For A Rough Year

Correction in Gold Nears a Key Target

Fall of Saudi Arabia to End Dollar Reserve System?

Appropriations Committee Loses Allure in U.S. Congress Targeting Spending

Ford Fourth-Quarter Profit Tumbles 79% on European Loss

Stocks Drop Worldwide as Oil, Dollar Surge After Egypt Protests

Clinton Unites PepsiCo, Coca-Cola at Davos Summit

Dimon Says Deficits, Spending Are New Global Risk

House Republican to Probe Federal Agency Dodd-Frank Spending

China Has Major Concerns Over U.S. Dollar

Obama Goes on Defense Over Health Care Law

FBI Issues Over 40 Warrants for Involvement in Cyber Attacks


CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR ORGANIZING BOYCOTT OF RUSH LIMBAUGH

Sleeper Cells in the USA (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

The first GM food crop containing human genes is set to be approved for commercial production. (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

EPA To Regulate Milk Spills (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Obama’s Message to America: The Era of Big Government is Back, Now Help Me Pay For It (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Obama Justice Department Colluded with ACLU to Attack Arizona’s SB 1070 According to Documents… (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Obama Recycles Waxman-Markey Utility Sector Target – Neglects to Inform Congress, Public (SOTU) (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Report: DOJ Stifled Investigation Into New Black Panther Party and Voter Intimidation Charges

Robert Redford Recognized for Eco-Hypocrisy

CBO Projects Social Security Will Be Drained By 2037: Do You Think The Next Generation Will See a Solvent Social Security System?

Did Obama administration stretch health care stat?

CBS’ Chip Reid Asks Why The President Isn’t At The Podium Talking About Egypt (Hat Tip: Brian B.) Very good question…

Middle East Unrest Could Push Oil Price Skyward, Threaten Recovery

Skinning the Cap-and-Trade Cat with Clean Energy Standards

Hands Off My Purse! Why Money Bills Originate in the House

Green Jobs Cronyism and Cannibalism

Yes Virginia, The Chinese CAN Dump The Dollar (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

The End of the Dollar (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

States make it illegal to video tape police (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

Egyptian Strife Sends Oil Close To $100 On Suez Canal Closure Fears

Obama Continues to Play the Middle As Violence Erupts in Egypt

Iranian Regime Hails New Islamic Middle East Taking Shape

A Culture of Violence… Obama’s OFA Members Vow: We Will Hang Republicans

Journolist Lives!… Media Coordinates SOTU Response – Networks All Describe Lib Obama As “Reaganesque”

Waivers for Favors: Big Labor’s Obamacare escape hatch

New Obama press secretary has solid conservative-smearing credentials

Warning Signs

No Kidding: Spam Text Message Blows Up Suicide Bomber (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

America Needs Community, Not Collectivism (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

The Troubling Doubling of Money Supply (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Dem, GOP suggest at hearing that Obama is failing to lead in budget crisis (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Will Gold, Silver and Oil Prices Soar on Social Unrest in the Middle East? (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

Barack Obama’s Lying Liars (Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques)

EGYPT LIVE BLOG: Private Jets Leave Egypt With Important Government Announcement Due Shortly

IT BEGINS: Wealthy And Famous Egyptians Flee Country On Board Private Jets

Dramatic Pictures From Today’s Riots In Egypt

Here’s How To Shut Down A Country’s Internet Access

This Is What It Looks Like When An Entire Country Leaves The Internet

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NIALL FERGUSON: Yes, The US Is Screwed

Why This Is Just The Beginning Of Egypt’s Crippling Demographic Crisis

WikiLeaks Spurs On Protests By Releasing New Egypt Corruption Cables

On The Matter Of The Suez Canal

Only One U.S. Bank Was Not At Risk Of Failing During The Financial Crisis… And It Wasn’t Goldman

Asia’s Great Democratic Hope Has Lost $200 Billion In Just Three Weeks

A Brief Tour Of The 7 Oil Chokepoints That Are Crucial To The World Economy

The Rest of the World and Obama (Hat Tip: Curtis Frantz)

Obama Defends Health Care Law: ‘Granny is Safe’

What Role is the Muslim Brotherhood Playing in Egyptian Protests?

Rand Paul Pushes Immediate Half-Trillion in Spending Cuts

SurvivalBlog:

The Fed Won’t Be Able to Combat Inflation by Raising Fed Funds Rate

US Panel Blames Banks for ’08 Meltdown, but not Central Banks

The Great Debt Shift

Greece Default with Ireland to Break Euro by 2016 in Global Investor Poll

Fed to Pursue QE Even as Business Lending Gains

Unemployment Rises in 20 States, Falls in 15

Only 47% of Working-Age Americans Have Full Time Jobs

A Three-Minute Lesson in Gold Investing

The End Is Near For Credit Cards

Watch Out For Hidden Inflation Costs As Packaging “Shrinks”

World moves closer to food price shock

Top 25 countries that could get crushed by food inflation

World Food Prices Reach Nominal High

What China’s Rising Inflation Means for You

Mock city rises at Marine base for urban training. It has 1,560 buildings!

Risk of Riots Rising as Governments Cut Food Subsidies, UN’s Sheeran Says

01/28/11

Egyptian Regime Isolated the Country

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

EGYPT has gone silent.

There is an incredible threat posed by regime thugs. People could wake up to a massacre. Voice of the Copts urges free world leaders and citizens to take immediate action to stop a planned massacre by Mubarak’s regime.

The Egyptian government has cut off internet and short messaging services in efforts to isolate the people that make us believe a plan of massive violence in enormous proportions will take place during today’s protests, on Friday, January 28.

Voice of the Copts is asking your help in condemning such cowardly action of the Egyptian regime.

We are demanding the immediate restoration of any communication service cut off by Mubarak’s regime. Furthermore, we request that all western political leaders closely monitor the Egyptian situation and make all needed efforts to avoid regime aggression against those who are asking to live freely after thirty years of a Nazi system.

Any political leader whom ignores supporting Egyptian citizens in their demand of freedom, liberty and dignity will be complicit in crimes against humanity.

Failing to condemn the actions of the government and to pressure them to return internet and phone service is not a matter of supporting U.S national security, but is a matter of being a potential accomplice to crimes against humanity.

——————

Egyptian News Updates:

The Egypt crisis; or, the Community Activist and foreign policy

Explosions, Gunfire Heard in Cairo as Protesters Defy Curfew

ElBaradei under house arrest

1,000+ arrested, many hurt

Mubarak to address nation; ruling party HQ on fire

Gov’t Shows How Easily Internet Can Be Silenced

BIDEN: Mubarek’s no dictator, shouldn’t step down – Biden should really just learn to shut up…

PAPER: Events ‘moving too fast for Obama administration’

White House responds — by TWITTER tweet

Dramatic video as thousands clash

Police members remove uniforms — join protests!

Iranian Media Hail Egypt ‘Revolution’

Thousands protest in Jordan, demand PM step down

Huge anti-government protest in Albania

ON THE BRINK

Should President Obama Have Same Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Used to Silence Opposition in Egypt?

Latest Updates on Protests in Egypt (Hat Tip: Brian B.)

REVOLUTION IN EGYPT? IS JORDAN NEXT? REGIONAL INSTABILITY RISING RAPIDLY

Waves of Unrest Spread to Yemen, Shaking a Region

Flights Suspended Out of Cairo, Reports of Over 800 Wounded

Background on Muslim Group Supporting Egypt Protests

Events Planned Across USA By Egyptian Organization

Clinton: “We Support the Universal Human Rights of the Egyptian People”

Cairo Protesters Try to Storm Foreign Ministry

What Would Change in Egyptian Regime Mean for U.S.?

Headquarters of Ruling Party in Egypt is Burning

Unspoken Concern Over Egyptian Uprising: Control Of Suez Canal And Price Of Gas (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

01/28/11

New Mexico Chili Cook-off

From: Ron The Cop

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there’s no hope for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in New Mexico.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better.

For those of you who have lived in New Mexico, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Santa Fe Plaza. Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chile taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield, IL.

Frank: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off… The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge #3.”

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

CHILI #1 – MIKE’S MANIAC MONSTER CHILI

Judge #1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge #2 — Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

Judge #3 (Frank) — Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These New Mexicans are crazy.

CHILI #2 – EL RANCHO’S AFTERBURNER CHILI

Judge #1 — Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.

Judge #2 — Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge #3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

CHILI #3 – ALFREDO’S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI

Judge #1 — Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.

Judge #2 — A bit salty, good use of peppers.

Judge #3 — Call the EPA. I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.

CHILI #4 – BUBBA’S BLACK MAGIC

Judge #1 — Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge #2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.

Judge #3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. Woman is starting to look HOT…. Just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

CHILI #5 – LISA’S LEGAL LIP REMOVER

Judge #1 — Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge #2 — Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.

Judge #3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off… It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.

CHILI #6 – VARGA’S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY

Judge #1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge #2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.

Judge #3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

CHILI #7 – SUSAN’S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI

Judge #1 — A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers…

Judge #2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.

Judge #3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me… I’ve decided to stop breathing. It’s too painful. Screw it; I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

CHILI #8 – BIG TOM’S TOENAIL CURLING CHILI

Judge #1 — The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge #2 — This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he’d have reacted to really hot chili?

Judge #3 — No report.

01/28/11

Nuclear Treason Part 3: Who’s Who at the Council for a Livable World?

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Nuclear Treason Part 2 here.

Council for a Livable World is a Washington, D.C. based non-profit advocacy organization “dedicated to reducing the danger of nuclear weapons and increasing national security.”

In reality, C.L.W. is a leftist pro-disarmament lobby group, which has bought itself huge influence on Capitol Hill.

C.L.W. was founded in 1962 by Leo Szilard, a Hungarian born Nuclear scientist and key initiator of the Manhattan Project. Szilard was a life-long communist sympathizer and an alleged agent of the Soviet Union.

C.L.W.’s former long-serving president, CEO and current Chairman Emeritus Jerome Grossman, is a committed leftist and at least, an associate of the U.S.’s largest Marxist organization, Democratic Socialists of America.

Several other leaders of this organization have connections to other Szilard creations, including the far left sister organizations Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and Federation of American Scientists, as well as Democratic Socialists of America and the far left Washington based “think tank,” Institute for Policy Studies – once described as the “perfect intellectual front for Soviet activities which would be resisted were they to openly originate from the KGB.”

Ruth Adams

Former C.L.W. Board members include:

  • Ruth Adams: 1980s Board member (died 2005) – An arms-control activist and a former longtime editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In 1962, Adams served on the Advisory Board of the Hyde Park Community Peace Center alongside Communist front activists Timuel Black, Robert Havighurst, Sidney Lens and Quentin Young. Comrades Black and Young would both go on to join Democratic Socialists of America and to befriend and mentor a young Chicago lawyer named Barack Obama. Adams would serve on The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in the 1980s with Quentin Young’s wife, the late Ruth Young, and also with future Obama “Science Czar,” John Holdren. Adams was also a chair of the Institute for Policy Studies and a supporter of a Communist Party USA front (with Timuel Black and Quentin Young), the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.
  • Bernard Feld: 1980s Board member – A member of Richard Nixon’s famed “enemies list,” editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and a member of the Soviet friendly, pro-disarmament American Committee on East-West Accord.
  • Jerome Frank: 1980s Board member – An affiliate of the Institute for Policy Studies and a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Federation of American Scientists.
  • Herbert “Pete” Scoville: 1980s Board member – Served as a former CIA Assistant Director of Scientific Intelligence and as Deputy Director for Research and later was Assistant Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Scoville was active with the Institute for Policy Studies in anti-NATO and disarmament projects since the 1960s. In January 1978, Scoville participated in the Washington, D.C. meetings of the World Peace Council Bureau, a well documented Soviet front.
  • Kosta Tsipis: 1980s Board member – Former Board member of the heavily communist and socialist infiltrated SANE – “A Citizens’ Organization for a Sane World.” A member of the Board of Directors for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  • Paul Warnke: 1980s Board member – A leading Arms Control expert under Democratic administrations in the 1970s and ’80s. A Trustee of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Julian Bond

Current C.L.W. National Advisory Board members include:

  • Julian Bond: Long time leader of the NAACP and a veteran of the Soviet front World Federation of Democratic Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland in 1962. Bond is a long time member of Democratic Socialists of America and has been affiliated with several Institute for Policy Studies spin-offs and to the communist front Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights. In November 2006, Bond traveled to Cuba to take a first-hand look at the island’s health system and especially to find out about the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) and its nearly 90 U.S. students.
  • Tom Downey: A former far left Democratic member of Congress from New York. While in Congress, Downey was affiliated with and supported by the Long Island Progressive Coalition, a front for Democratic Socialists of America.
  • Patricia Schroeder: A former far left Democratic member of Congress from Colorado. Schroeder was an affiliate of the Institute for Policy Studies and a protege of Democratic Socialists of America leader and Democratic Party women’s leader, Mildred Jeffrey.

On Feb. 4, 2010, the Council for a Livable World announced that David Bonior would be succeeding Patricia Schroeder as the next chair of PeacePAC, the organization’s arm dedicated to endorsing pro-disarmament candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time Bonior commented:

“I am honored to be selected as the next chairman of PeacePAC. I look forward to working with the experts on the committee’s Board of Directors to endorse and help elect strong, progressive candidates in the 2010 elections.”

David Bonior, formerly number 2 Democrat in the U.S Congress, had most recently been working as a member of the Obama Economic Transition Team to reunify America’s two rival labor federations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win.

Bonior was also a long-time affiliate of both the Institute for Policy Studies and Democratic Socialists of America. Since leaving Congress, Bonior has become an open member of D.S.A.

In May 2001, Erich Pfuehler from the office of Congressman David Bonior spent seven days in Havana, Cuba, for the purpose of “fact finding.” The trip cost $2,004.43 and was paid for by the leftist Christopher Reynolds Foundation.

In 2002, Bonior and two other far left Democratic Congressmen Jim McDermott and Mike Thompson, traveled to Iraq on a “fact-finding mission.” It was later revealed that Iraqi intelligence had funded the trip through a Michigan-based Muslim group headed by Muthanna Al-Hanooti.

Before he was indicted for allegedly spying for Saddam Hussein, Muthanna Al-Hanooti’s charity work and political activism provided him with access to the highest echelons of government.

Iraqi intelligence agents had reportedly received confidence that Al-Hanooti would be able to persuade Congress to lift economic sanctions against Iraq. A federal indictment unsealed in March 2008, accuses him of using his work with the Michigan-based Life for Relief and Development, formerly known as the International Relief Association, Inc., to become an Iraqi agent.

According to the indictment, Al-Hanooti drafted a plan to undermine the sanctions for the Iraqis, listing members of Congress who would support the move. He then led tours to Iraq, indirectly funded by the Iraqi government, with congressional leaders including the 2002 Bonior, McDermott, Thompson jaunt.

An intermediary for the Iraqis gave Al-Hanooti $24,000 in September 2002 to cover trip expenses, the indictment alleges. The next month, Al-Hanooti received $10,000 more. The indictment also claims he also was given the right to buy 2 million barrels of oil under Iraq’s Oil for Food program.

FBI agents interviewed Al-Hanooti in 2007. He denied knowingly meeting with any Iraqi intelligence officials and denied being offered the oil contract. That led to three counts in the indictment of providing false statements to federal agents

That is the caliber of the people who lead America’s most influential pro-disarmament Political Action Committee.