09/23/20

Mask or Burka — Two ways to one goal … submission

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Growing up in a society ruled by a religious deep state drove me to begin thinking about living elsewhere in the world in spite of the fact that Islamic Sharia was not yet constitutional before I left Egypt. The imposition of and control by religious rules and my inability to counter them frustrated me to no end. Despite my youth, I had a tremendous amount of self-control, but I had not a go along, get along personality, and knew it best to remove myself from the dysfunctional culture of the Nasser regime.

My angst began during my elementary years when I attended a private Christian school run by the Coptic Christian Church and its non-profit organization. Our Christian religion education hour was forfeited and spent outside playing in the schoolyard while enrolled Muslim students attended the Islamic religion class inside with a special Islamic teacher. At an impressionable age, I sensed the injustice of this and felt marginalized.

This injustice came on top of an already damaged sensibility as I had been exposed since birth to caustic accusations from loudspeakers directed toward Christians during the five daily Islamic prayers (Azan). As a child, this felt like torture to me. It began daily at the aurora and ended around supper time.

Once a week on Friday at 10:00 in the morning I would watch what I called a massive incubator of hate assemble before my eyes. Islam, with its political and cultural privilege, was able to dominate the Cairo street below our apartment balcony with a thirty-meter distance of prayer rugs in preparation for the day’s prayer gathering. This menacing and threatening spectacle separated our home from the rest of the city.

Dreading the late morning when I would be forced to hear the amplified microphone shriek through our shut windows and vibrate our apartment walls the anticipation was enough to unnerve me at a very young age. This was a type of torment for me as I was unable to escape the chanted prayers of hatred spewed out against Christians and Jews – the expression of Islam in the heavenly, Arabic language.

In all these ways at an early age, I learned how powerful the majority mind-set could be in a culture, enough to overwhelm others with actions even when no laws existed to back them up. At the same time, we were bombarded with messaging from the president of the country who falsely claimed to bring us liberty and democracy just like the free world. Henceforth, the difference between what I witnessed and what I heard from officials became my education in cultural and government hypocrisy.  This condition was essentially unlivable especially if one’s definition of freedom included equality and individual will.

I finally left Egypt for Europe where I could breathe and speak freely. After some time had elapsed and I returned for a visit to my family, Sadat was already the Egyptian president, and there was a visible increase of Islamic legalism. Seeing a “chador” worn in the street (a black-tented woman walking) for the first time in Cairo shocked me because I knew immediately that her high-profile was seen as submission to a state-religious system against the will of the people. Until then, the burka (face covering) had forced women’s anonymity only in the poverty sections of the city.

Understanding all the spurious parts of the worldwide pandemic lockdown from the time of its “outbreak,” I have experienced the same “shock of the chador in Egypt” moment at the sight of masks worn in the United States under prolonged Covid-19 restrictions despite data proving the pandemic was non-existent with a survival rate of 99 percent. In both cases, the ignorant and fearful have been persuaded to submit.

When the Islamic deep state in Egypt began to spread Islamic fundamentalism through a media campaign and force face coverings for Islamic women against their will there was also great shame for Christian women who refused to do the same. Both virtue signaling and shame have been motivational for mask-wearing in the US as the media spreads fear of a “pandemic.”

In the West, a neighbor wearing a mask chastises another for choosing not to wear a mask even reporting them to retailers who in turn feel bullied into refusing service to unmasked customers or risk penalties. This relates to the Ramadan penalties in Egypt for retailers who dare to open coffee shops and restaurants and face arrest. Egypt, like the US to date, has no laws making noncompliance a crime, however, the influential and indoctrinating information from the TV renders laws unnecessary.

As Muslim women are discouraged against speaking out about their conditions of life in Islamic cultures, the face-covering is effectively a muzzle silencing them. In 2020, the free world populations experienced a similar sensory deprivation. Local regions mandate compliance without allowances to contest it on any basis and are bolstered by the national media campaign promoting masks and social distancing continuance as it censors varying opinions.

At the root of the mask and the burka mandates lie something more than meets the eye. At least since Nasser, Egypt’s government has been linked to Muslim Brotherhood power and its Freemasonic origins within the state to use religious fatwas as civil law to assert ultimate power and control by the state. What is the takeover of personal health by the state if not medical tyranny functioning much like a religion for those who refuse to think for themselves and sort out the truth. This proves there is more than one way for the state to sink the human spirit into lockstep and achieve the goal of humanity’s subordination.

09/22/20

Clare Lopez on American Truth Project to Discuss 9/11 and Lessons Learned

By: Citizens Commission on National Security

CCNS member Clare Lopez was a recent guest on the American Truth Project with Barry Nussbaum to talk with him and another guest, Dr. Bill Warner. The topic was about revisiting the attacks on America on 9/11/2001. What lessons did we, and should we have learned about Islam? It’s a fascinating discussion.  about Biden’s unexpected response to a question from CBS News about whether or not he had taken a cognitive test. Biden’s response was quite unexpected. They also discuss possible scenarios for the upcoming presidential debates.


09/21/20

When Iran Buys Arms, Tanks and Air Defense Systems, Blame Europe

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The 3rd Khordad system, which is based on the Russian S-300 and shot down a U.S. sophisticated large Global Hawk US drone in June 2019. Iran is the major supplier of weapons to Syria.

Iran’s foreign minister says the country will meet its strategic needs by purchasing weapons from Russia and China, and has no need for European weapons once the UN embargo is lifted in October.

Iran announces mass production of domestic main battle ...

(Bloomberg) — European governments that aren’t backing the U.S. re-imposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran are wedded to the “silly” 2015 nuclear deal and haven’t proposed an alternative for preventing new conventional arms sales to Iran, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said.

With European powers stressing their commitment to the accord on Sunday, Pompeo doubled down on the U.S. decision to invoke the “snapback” of sanctions in a dispute that’s helped estrange President Donald Trump’s administration and Europe.

“The Europeans who have not joined us in this, they know we’re right,” Pompeo said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “They tell us privately they don’t want the arms sales to come back” and expressed this view in a letter “that they’re very concerned about these arms sales.” He didn’t elaborate on who sent the letter or when.

The U.S. on Saturday said that all of the UN resolutions on Iran that were in place before the 2015 deal — from a ban on arms deals to restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile activity and its nuclear enrichment — have now gone back into effect. But 13 of 15 Security Council members say they don’t consider the U.S. move valid.

Can’t Proceed

“It is illegitimate for the U.S. to demand the Security Council invoke the snapback mechanism” because it is no longer a participant of the deal, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Saturday that was seen by Bloomberg News.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also weighed in on the disagreement on Saturday, noting in a letter that he couldn’t proceed in acting upon the U.S. snapback because of the “uncertainty over whether or not the process” was “indeed initiated”.

Although Europeans have expressed private concern, “they haven’t lifted a finger, they haven’t done the work that needs to be done” or have outlined an option to the U.S. snapback, Pompeo said. “I hope they’ll join us. I hope they get to the right place. They’re still wedded to this silly nuclear deal that was signed now five years ago.”

Weapons Purchases

Absent the snapback, Iran would be able to resume buying arms, tanks, and air defense systems, Pompeo said. “All of those in a couple of weeks would have been permitted to have been sold,” he said.

European powers on Sunday stressed their commitment to the nuclear agreement.

“We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so,” the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the U.K. said in a statement. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said the accord is “a key pillar” of nuclear non-proliferation that deserves support.

Since quitting the accord in 2018, the Trump administration has plowed ahead with efforts to undermine the deal, ratcheting up sanctions on Iran and threatening allies if they do business with the Islamic republic. Trump is expected to speak on Tuesday to the UN General Assembly, which is being held virtually this year.

The U.S. campaign has united partners such as the U.K., France, and Germany with Russia and China, all of whom have sought to salvage the accord. Their support for the deal has left the U.S. isolated on the United Nations Security Council.

Why U.S., Other Powers Differ on Iran Nuclear Deal: QuickTake

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, at a cabinet meeting on Sunday shown on state television news, called the U.S. move a sign of “certain failure” which only demonstrates that President Donald Trump’s strategy has resulted in “maximum isolation” for Washington.

On Saturday, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened Iran would set U.S. military outposts in the Persian Gulf “on fire at once” if its adversary tried to start a war.

To enforce those measures, if countries like Russia and China disregard them, the U.S. could use tools such as secondary sanctions on shippers, insurers, and banks. It could even threaten interdictions of ships at sea.

Read More: Iran Warns U.S. Against War Before UN Sanctions Showdown

“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in his statement on Saturday. “Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed.”

Speaking Sunday at a church in Plano, Texas, Pompeo, said he prays that “the Iranian people that they will get a government that they deserve that respects the dignity of the lives of the Iranian people.”

The Iranian rial hit a low on the unregulated open market on Sunday, weakening 4.6% compared with last week and briefly breaching 280,000 per U.S. dollar, according to two currency trading channels on the Telegram messaging app.

09/21/20

A Win for Freedom of Speech Against Islamist “Cancel Culture”

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

Long before the term “cancel culture” was ever coined, Islamist groups in the United States and elsewhere in the West had embarked on a massive campaign to suppress freedom of speech on campus, in the media, in Hollywood, and in the book publishing industry by claiming that any mention of the term radical Islam or any of its evil concepts was a “racist slur” against the Islamic religion.

But something happened to the successful campaign of intimidation by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

A federal judge last month dismissed CAIR’s latest attempt to censor discussion of links between Islamic doctrine and terrorism at Arizona’s Scottsdale Community College (SCC).

As we reported in June, the lawsuit sought “an injunction against the Maricopa Community College District, which SCC is part of, and Professor Nicholas Damask to block use of course materials deemed to ‘have the primary effect of disapproving of Islam.’”

Even if this were an accurate summary of Professor Damask’s course materials, which it was not, it is not illegal in the United States to disapprove of Islam or any other religion. Yet SCC student Mohamed Sabra took exception to these three questions on one of Damask’s exams, and CAIR wanted to block the use of such material. The offending questions and answers were:

Q. Who do terrorists strive to emulate? A. Mohammed

Q. Where is terrorism encouraged in Islamic doctrine and law? A. The Medina verses [i.e., the portion of the Qur’an traditionally understood as having been revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career]

Q. Terrorism is _______ in Islam. A. justified within the context of jihad.

Sabra’s lawsuit asserted that “the only objectively reasonable construction of Damask’s actions is that his primary message is the disapproval of Islam. Damask’s module quiz forced Sabra to agree to his radical interpretation of Islam. When Sabra did not, he was penalized by getting the questions wrong and impacted his grade.”

These questions and answers cannot reasonably be construed as denigrating Islam, as the fact that Islamic terrorists refer to their understanding of Islamic teachings to justify their particular actions is widely known, and nowhere does Damask assert that this is the only possible understanding of Islamic teachings, or that all Muslims believe the same things. The lawsuit was an attempt to stigmatize any discussion of how terrorists use Islamic texts, and to foreclose upon any possibility of understanding their perspectives, motives and goals.

Defining Jihad

The lawsuit also took issue with Damask’s use of terrorism and Middle East expert Walid Phares’s book, Future Jihad. Phares, according to the lawsuit, is an “Islamophobe” and should not be taught. “Within this mandatory reading assignment,” the lawsuit states, “Phares explains that jihad is not a ‘spiritual phenomenon that would be and was abused by extremist ideologies,’ but rather a call for physical action. Damask failed to articulate that other more acceptable, and in fact ‘mainstream’ views of jihad have nothing to do with violence, but instead he improperly urged students to accept his personal opinions.”

Phares, however, pointed out that “the [Muslim] Brotherhood scholars read terrorism differently than the U.S. The Brotherhood and CAIR [are] trying to impose a vision of their own on all Muslims in America.” In fact, numerous Islamist scholars and leaders, including Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna, Osama bin Laden mentor Abdallah Azzam, and 13th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya have insisted that there is only one meaning to jihad – “fighting” to impose Islam.

According to al Banna: “In [Muslim] Tradition, there is a clear indication of the obligation to fight the People of the Book [that is, Jews and Christians], and of the fact that God doubles the reward of those who fight them. Jihad is not against polytheists alone, but against all who do not embrace Islam.”

“It has become an individual obligation, which there is no evading, on every Muslim to prepare his equipment, to make up his mind to engage in jihad, and to get ready for it until the opportunity is ripe and God decrees a matter which is sure to be accomplished.”

Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”

During a visit to Brooklyn in the late 1980s, the leader and founder of the Afghan Jihad Abdallah Azzam stated, “The word jihad has a special meaning, every time it is mentioned in the Quran and Sunna. That meaning is fighting.”

CAIR’s lawsuit failed. On Aug. 18, UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh broke the news about U.S. District Court Judge Susan M. Brnovich’s ruling, which Volokh hailed as “an important victory for academic freedom; professors, including those at public colleges, have to be able to speak freely about religious belief systems (whether Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or anything else), no less than other belief systems.”

The College Fix, which had provided excellent coverage of the entire controversy from the beginning, reported that Brnovich “used the Lemon test to determine the course did not violate First Amendment provisions on free exercise or the establishment of religion. The test states that government actions toward religion are only lawful if they have a secular purpose, do not advance or inhibit a religion, and do not become excessively entangled with religion in any way.” In her ruling, Brnovich observed that “this case tests the limits of the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses.”

It is hard to understand CAIR’s claim that this course had anything to do with the First Amendment at all: that amendment does not specify the content of any religious belief. But CAIR and Sabra claimed that Damask’s course crossed a Constitutional line by saying that Islam “‘mandates’ terrorism and the killing of non-Muslims.”

Because of that, Sabra claimed that Damask’s course forced him to choose between giving the answer Damask considered correct, and thereby denouncing his own religion, or getting a lower grade.

No Coercion

But Brnovich found that Sabra only had to “demonstrate an understanding of the material taught.” She said that it was “simply not correct” that Sabra would have gotten a lower grade for affirming his Islamic faith. Neither was Sabra required to agree with the authors whom Damask cited. All Sabra had to do, Brnovich wrote, was “demonstrate an understanding of the material taught.”

The judge also concluded that Damask’s course didn’t prevent Sabra from exercising his religion. All it did was expose Sabra to “attitudes and outlooks at odds” with his own understanding of Islam. That is not a violation of the First Amendment.

Brnovich also pointed out that CAIR and Sabra had misstated the function of Phares’s work in Damask’s course. CAIR and Sabra had claimed that students were forced to adopt Phares’s view of Islam. But the work “merely asks students to identify the opinion of Walid Phares regarding Islam,” Brnovich found, “not to adopt his position on Islam.”

This case marks the latest in a long line of CAIR efforts to remove material it considers derogatory against Islam. It entered into a formal partnership in 2010 with the 57-nation global Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to “redress the image of Islam and Muslims in textbooks.” Like CAIR, the OIC condemns connecting Islamic doctrine and terrorism in the minds of Westerners, claiming that such a connection is “unfair” and that it has “created an unfair misinterpretation of the Islamic message in the Western and Non Muslim worlds.”

“Education and engagement are key to challenging the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia,” CAIR co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad said at the 2010 OIC conference. The SCC lawsuit, however, demonstrates the baseless foundations of these Islamophobia claims: apparently Awad and his cohorts see any material they find objectionable as “Islamophobic” and demand their removal from curricula.

The fact that CAIR is taken seriously as a Muslim “human rights ” or “civil rights” group by such media outlets as the New York Times and the Washington Post as well as the ACLU and many Democratic lawmakers is a slap in the face to authentic human rights groups. CAIR was created in 1994 to be a part of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Hamas support network, and it was named an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Hamas money laundering trials of the top officials of the Holy Land Foundation. It has a long record of supporting and rationalizing Islamic terrorism as well as making anti-Semitic comments.

Those who value academic freedom can only hope that Brnovich’s ruling in Sabra v. Maricopa County Comm. College Dist. becomes an important and oft-cited precedent.

This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

09/1/20

AMP Leader Abuirshaid Gushes Over Latest Meeting with Hamas-Supporting Erdogan

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

He’s a saber-rattling authoritarian who jails journalists and opponentsthreatens neighbors, and wants to rebuild an Islamist empire.

But to Osama Abuirshaid, executive director of the anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine, Turkey’s president is “a leader in the meaning of the word and a legitimate ruler, and he is above this and is humble in manners.”

Abuirshaid raced onto Facebook Monday with Ed Grimley-like excitement to tell the Arabic-speaking world about his latest meeting with his newest, bestest pal, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan keeps a busy social calendar. Two days earlier, he hosted a Hamas delegation which included the group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

That prompted a rebuke from the U.S. State Department against the head of its NATO ally.

“President Erdogan’s continued outreach to this terrorist organization only serves to isolate Turkey from the international community, harms the interests of the Palestinian people, and undercuts global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Gaza,” the State Department said. “We continue to raise our concerns about the Turkish government’s relationship with Hamas at the highest levels. This is the second time President Erdogan has welcomed Hamas leadership to Turkey this year with the first meeting occurring February 1.”

Erdogan’s support for Hamas, however, runs much deeper than a meeting.

“Turkey has given passports to a dozen Hamas members in Istanbul,” Reuters reported Wednesday, citing a senior Israeli diplomat.

“These are not foot soldiers but the most senior Hamas operatives outside of Gaza,” an unnamed source told the Telegraph earlier this month. “[They] are actively raising funds and directing operatives to carry out attacks in the present day.”

Those tasks are made easier for Hamas operatives carrying Turkish passports, who can travel more freely throughout the world.

And that support might help explain Abuirshaid’s giddiness about meeting with Erdogan. A dossier published last month by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) chronicled Erdogan’s connections to two groups which were part of a U.S.-based Hamas support network, and how his organization, AMP continues to engage in similar fundraising, propaganda and lobbying today.

Abuirshaid’s embrace of Erdogan’s Turkey dates back years. In 2016, for example, he posted a picture of himself shaking Erdogan’s hand. Erdogan’s foes, Abuirshaid wrote, “hate him because he stands with the ambitions of Arab peoples with freedom and dignity…They hate him because he said no to Israel and stepped on decades of Turkey’s collusion with the time of ′secularists′ rule …”

Last February, Abuirshaid spoke in Istanbul at the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad. “America,” he said, “represents the umbilical cord to the existence of that state [Israel] and the endurance of its power and to remain the dominant power in the region, which enjoys all of the American support that practically made it the number one power in the entire region.”

And a related IPT video shows Abuirshaid blaming Israel for virtually all Middle East turmoil.

When tearing down Israel is your life, face time with a stalwart Hamas supporter like Erdogan does seem like a big deal.

Monday’s meeting wasn’t planned, Abuirshaid explained. He was among a group U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) members en route to Lebanon to see the damage done by the Aug. 4 ammonium nitrate explosion at Beirut’s port – a flight that stops in Istanbul – so they thought, ‘Why not see if Tayyip is around?’

Okay, we’re embellishing. Abuirshaid didn’t write it like that. But he did note that they received an immediate response and the meeting was on. But our snark is justified as the following extended excerpt of Abuirshaid’s fawning post, translated by the IPT, shows:

I was asked to read a certain topic, and I was honored. I addressed him: ′′Mr. President,” and he addressed me with ′′Osama,” “Mr. Osama,” and sometimes he addresses us all with ′′my brothers.”

After we finished he gave us a group of gifts of high symbolic value, one of which is his vision for new Turkey, and the book below is signed in my name.

Don’t blame people for their love of Erdogan, as he is the maker of the renaissance of his country, and the supporter of many oppressed people, in Palestine, Syria, Libya… etc.

Some will claim that he only cares about Turkey’s interests, although this is half the truth, he also cares about the pride of Muslims, I reply by saying, I wish many of our leaders would be like him and also care about their country’s interests.

Abuirshaid posted this image from the autographed book Erdogan gave him.

Turkey’s economy has suffered greatly under Erdogan and may be on the brink of collapse. He has fighters in Libya, Syria, and Iraq and is widely believed to harbor aspirations to be seen as the leader of the Sunni world. But he’s hostile toward Israel and supportive of Hamas. To Abuirshaid, that’s all that matters.

Research Analyst Teri Blumenfeld contributed to this report.

This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

08/31/20

Maoists Burn Kenosha

By: Trevor Loudon | The Epoch Times

A man on a bike rides past a city truck on fire outside the Kenosha County Courthouse during riots following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23, 2020. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY via Reuters)

The rioters who attacked police officers with Molotov cocktails and fireworks and torched numerous buildings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for about a week included members of the same pro-China communist group that “sparked” the May riots in Minneapolis after the police-involved killing of George Floyd.

Maoist activists from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) can take most, if not all, of the credit for inciting the recent rioting in Kenosha. The town of 100,000 people has been torn apart, businesses and cars have been razed, multiple people have been arrested, and two people have died—yet no one seems to want to call out the real culprits.

FRSO is based in the Midwest. It has maintained a strong presence in Chicago and Minneapolis for decades. The subversive organization has expanded in recent years into Milwaukee and the smaller university towns of Oshkosh and Kenosha, where new cadre are recruited through campus branches of FRSO’s youth wing: New Students for a Democratic Society.

On Feb. 20, 2017, the day President Donald Trump was inaugurated, FRSO political secretary Steff Yorek declared to a crowd of Washington protesters: “We need to stay in the streets the entire four years opposing Trump and making the country ungovernable.”

In November 2019, FRSO convened a conference in Chicago to form a new nationwide front organization: the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).

More accurately, it was a re-founding of an old Communist Party USA-front of the 1970s of the same name. The original NAARPR was set up to free iconic communist Angela Davis, who was then under arrest for alleged complicity in the murder of a California judge. Davis was eventually acquitted of the murder charge in 1972, and she even came to Chicago to confer her blessing on the new organization.

Headed by FRSO Central Committee member Frank Chapman, the new NAARPR is clearly designed to confront police about alleged issues of racism and police brutality. Chapman told FightBack! News:

“Black and brown communities are over-patrolled and under-protected and must confront police harassment, racial profiling, torture, and murder on a daily basis. This is not happening in just Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles; this happening throughout the nation.

“We believe the enormity of the problem of police tyranny has created a mass demand for community control of the police. We believe this problem can best be confronted by a national movement organized by a refounding of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).”

The NAARPR quickly established branches and alliances all over the country—all affiliated with FRSO or sympathetic communist groups.

It was the Minneapolis affiliate of the NAARPR—the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar—headed by FRSO comrades Jess Sundin and Lorraine VanPelt that is credited with sparking the Minneapolis riots.

When protesters gathered in downtown Kenosha after the Aug. 23 police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, three banners were clearly visible at the head of the several-hundred-strong crowd: the bright red FRSO banner, the green banner of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the smaller black flag of New Students for a Democratic Society—probably the local University of Wisconsin—Parkside branch.

Just before the march, a young woman led the crowd in a chant of “long live the revolution” directly in front of the signature FRSO banner. FRSO Facebook pages (both Wisconsin and national) contain extensive coverage of the protests and riots—as does the FRSO-affiliated website FightBack! News.

The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Facebook page issued a call to free arrested protester Adelana Akindes—a leader of the UW–Parkside New Students for a Democratic Society.

The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is led by FRSO member Lauryn Cross.

A Wisconsin FRSO Facebook page post on Aug. 25 features a quote from Mao over a picture of the Kenosha protest and the hashtags #Justice4JacobBlake #NationalLiberation and #Kenosha.

“The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” — Mao Zedong

The Facebook post then highlights “our comrades on the frontlines down in Kenosha tonight.”

FRSO’s FightBack! News declared:

“Members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and Freedom Road Socialist Organization are participating in the protests.”

The morning after the first riots, FightBack! News described the previous night’s chaos as an “Uprising underway in Kenosha:”

“Riot police assembled at the scene of the shooting as the crowd began to gather, including members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Those assembled quickly grew restless in their anger. Squad cars were smashed and Molotovs were thrown. The people chased the cops away and then set off on a march to the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) downtown.

“When protesters arrived at the KPD building, they rallied in the front parking lot. As the crowd swelled, SWAT trucks and riot cops rolled onto the scene. Tear gas was deployed, but not enough to disperse the crowd. The riot police formed a line and attempted to push the crowd away from the building and out of the parking lot. The people met them with linked arms and prevented their advance. Holding strong, the people chanted ‘No justice, no peace!’ and ‘Jacob Blake!’

“Eventually, the riot police began to retreat into the police station. People from the crowd threw fireworks behind the row of cops. Then the second wave of tear gas was fired into the line of protesters, this time in a more substantial quantity, forcing them to break up. In spite of these efforts, people would not quit. More cop cars were smashed and other vehicles used by KPD to block roads were set on fire.”

The language is similar to that used in the wake of the Minneapolis riots. During an interview with the Green Flame podcast (that has since been removed from their website), Minneapolis FRSO comrade and protest organizer Sundin said:

“The first two weeks after George Floyd was killed saw an intensely high level of organizing all day and all night every day. During the day we would have marches and rallies and at night the focus was often at the Third Precinct. Which is the police station where George Floyd’s killers were working out of … I can’t tell you the joy it brought all of us to see the Third Precinct destroyed.”

Speaking to a crowd in Milwaukee two days before Blake was gravely wounded in Kenosha, prominent Wisconsin FRSO leader Ryan Hamann publicly praised the arson of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police station:

“On May 28, thousands more in that city organized and marched and forced the police into a full retreat from the Third Precinct police station and it was righteously burned.”

The FRSO follows the Chinese Communist Party line. Their connections to the riots in Minneapolis, Kenosha, and more than a dozen other cities across the United States aren’t hard to find.

Are authorities loathe to point out that China’s loyal American comrades are burning American cities?

How many more cities have to be destroyed before authorities are willing to act?

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics. He is best known for his book “Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and his similarly-themed documentary film “Enemies Within.” His recently published book is “White House Reds: Communists, Socialists & Security Risks Running for U.S. President, 2020.”

08/21/20

Hamas Resumes Arson Attacks to Coerce Concessions

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

Tensions are on the rise between Israel and Hamas after the terrorist group recently resumed its arson terrorism campaign, encouraging Palestinians to launch incendiary balloons and kites into Israeli territory.

Israeli aircraft and tanks targeted several terrorist sites in Gaza Thursday morning following a sustained campaign of arson attacks over the past week which ignited more than 80 fires in Israel.

Residents of Sderot, an Israeli city bordering Gaza, this week reported hearing explosions from these airborne weapons. Suspected explosive devices mounted to balloons were also recently found in other neighboring Israeli communities.

Two years since adopting the tactic, Hamas continues to deploy incendiary devices to agitate Israel and impose heavy costs on the Jewish state. However, the most recent escalation is mainly driven by a desire to coerce Israel into adhering to Hamas’ demands – including open border crossings and financial transfers.

Hamas told Egyptian and Qatari mediators that it is prepared to escalate violence for what it sees as Israel’s failure to adhere to understandings in a 2018 ceasefire, a Hamas official told to Al-Monitor. The Hamas official acknowledged that the latest arson terror campaign is aimed to force Israel into offering further concessions.

Hamas started to plan and encourage arson terrorist attacks in March 2018 with the onset of riots on the Israel-Gaza border.

The terrorist group initially used arson terrorism as a pretext to provoke Israeli retaliation on Hamas targets in Gaza. Following Israeli reprisals, Hamas could then claim that the group was justified in launching barrages of rockets and missiles at Israel.

By fueling arson terrorism and violent demonstrations on Israel’s border, Hamas was seeking to establish new “rules of engagement” with Israel, framed as a legitimate tit-for-tat confrontation.

Hamas leaders also openly acknowledged the group’s role in stoking violence on Israel’s border as a means to distract the Palestinian population from internal political problems.

Considerable evidence, including statements from its own leaders, confirm that Hamas controls the tempo of these types of attacks despite being previously framed as popular or sporadic responses from ordinary Palestinians.

Over the past two years, many of these incendiary devices landed on Israeli territory, sparking destructive fires that burn thousands of acres of crops and natural forest areas. Containing the fires is a major strain on Israel’s resources and significantly disrupts civilians’ lives.

Despite facing a growing financial and political crisis in Gaza, Hamas continues to prioritize its terrorist campaign against Israel to provoke retaliation and coerce further concessions.

But Hamas’s strategy may be backfiring. Israel restricted non-essential goods from entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing on Monday and cut Gaza’s fishing zone from 15 to eight nautical miles in response to the latest cross-border terrorist campaign.

Following more terrorist attacks, Israel prohibited fuel imports to Gaza on Thursday.

Despite these measures, Israel continues to work towards improving Gaza’s deteriorating economic situation. Mossad head Yossi Cohen reportedly asked Qatari officials to continue sending money to Gaza to alleviate the economic situation in the Palestinian enclave.

Qatar’s financial transfers to Gaza are set to expire in September.

But financial transfers and humanitarian projects will not fix Gaza’s financial and governance crisis as long as a terrorist organization continues to prioritize fighting Israel over the well-being of its population.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh recently told Qatar’s daily Lusail that Hamas rejected a $15 billion deal to build major economic projects in Gaza in return for disarming its military wing, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported.

While this agreement would benefit the people of Gaza, Haniyeh acknowledged that Hamas’ main priority is to enhance its terrorist infrastructure and facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state “from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river” – a common call for the destruction of Israel in any form.

Haniyeh’s response mirrored comments by another Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who previously stated that “most of Hamas’ funds and efforts are invested in the resistance and military preparations.”

Despite ongoing ceasefire negotiations with Israel, Hamas has no interest in implementing a long-term peace agreement. It only seeks to exploit a potential ceasefire to buy time and strengthen its terrorist capabilities.

Since firmly taking control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has continuously diverted international aid and financial transfers meant for civilian reconstruction efforts to build its military capabilities — including upgrading its missile arsenal, expanding its offensive tunnel infrastructure, and developing elite units meant to infiltrate Israel.

Provocation, diversion, and coercion are just some of the reasons Hamas uses violence against Israeli civilians to remain in power and ensure a constant stream of financial assistance from abroad.

This strategy may help prevent Gaza from imminent collapse.

But it will not lead to a sustainable resolution to Gaza’s woes.

This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

08/13/20

Seizure of Three Terror Finance Cyber-Enabled Campaigns

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The Justice Department today announced the dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns, involving the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).  This coordinated operation is detailed in three forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia.  These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context.

These three terror finance campaigns all relied on sophisticated cyber-tools, including the solicitation of cryptocurrency donations from around the world.  The action demonstrates how different terrorist groups have similarly adapted their terror finance activities to the cyber age.  Each group used cryptocurrency and social media to garner attention and raise funds for their terror campaigns.  Pursuant to judicially-authorized warrants, U.S. authorities seized millions of dollars, over 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages all related to the criminal enterprise.

Funds successfully forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may in whole or in part be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (http://www.usvsst.com/) after the conclusion of the case.

“It should not surprise anyone that our enemies use modern technology, social media platforms and cryptocurrency to facilitate their evil and violent agendas,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.   “The Department of Justice will employ all available resources to protect the lives and safety of the American public from terrorist groups.  We will prosecute their money laundering, terrorist financing and violent illegal activities wherever we find them.  And, as announced today, we will seize the funds and the instrumentalities that provide a lifeline for their operations whenever possible.  I want to thank the investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the prosecutors from the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office and National Security Division for their hard and innovative work in attacking the networks that allow these terrorists to recruit for and fund their dangerous actions.”

“Terrorist networks have adapted to technology, conducting complex financial transactions in the digital world, including through cryptocurrencies. IRS-CI special agents in the DC cybercrimes unit work diligently to unravel these financial networks,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.  “Today’s actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to holding malign actors accountable for their crimes.”

“The Department of Homeland Security was born after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and, nearly 20 years later, we remain steadfast in executing our critical mission to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf.  “Today’s announcement detailing these enforcement actions targeting foreign terrorist organizations is yet another example of the Department’s commitment to our mission. After launching investigations that identified suspected online payments being funneled to and in support of terrorist networks, Homeland Security Investigations skillfully leveraged their cyber, financial, and trade investigative expertise to disrupt and dismantle cyber-criminal networks that sought to fund acts of terrorism against the United States and our allies.  Together with our federal law enforcement partners, the Department will utilize every resource available to ensure that our Homeland is and remains secure.”

“These important cases reflect the resolve of the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office to target and dismantle these sophisticated cyber-terrorism and money laundering actors across the globe,” stated Acting United States Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.  “While these individuals believe they operate anonymously in the digital space, we have the skill and resolve to find, fix and prosecute these actors under the full extent of the law.”

“IRS-CI’s ability to trace funds used by terrorist groups to their source and dismantle these radical group’s communication and financial networks directly prevents them from wreaking havoc throughout the world,” said Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation.  “Today the world is a safer place.”

“As the primary law enforcement agency charged with defeating terrorism, the FBI will continue to combat illicit terrorist financing regardless of platform or method employed by our adversaries,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “As demonstrated by this recent operation, the FBI remains committed to cutting off the financial lifeblood of these organizations that seek to harm Americans at home and abroad.”

“Homeland Security Investigations continues to demonstrate their investigative expertise with these enforcement actions,” said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Matthew T. Albence.  “Together with law enforcement partners, HSI has utilized their unique authorities to bring to justice those cyber-criminal networks who would do us harm.”

Al-Qassam Brigades Campaign

The first action involves the al-Qassam Brigades and its online cryptocurrency fundraising efforts.  In the beginning of 2019, the al-Qassam Brigades posted a call on its social media page for bitcoin donations to fund its campaign of terror.  The al-Qassam Brigades then moved this request to its official websites, alqassam.net, alqassam.ps, and qassam.ps.

The al-Qassam Brigades boasted that bitcoin donations were untraceable and would be used for violent causes.  Their websites offered video instruction on how to anonymously make donations, in part by using unique bitcoin addresses generated for each individual donor.

However, such donations were not anonymous.  Working together, IRS, HSI, and FBI agents tracked and seized all 150 cryptocurrency accounts that laundered funds to and from the al-Qassam Brigades’ accounts.  Simultaneously, law enforcement executed criminal search warrants relating to United States-based subjects who donated to the terrorist campaign.

With judicial authorization, law enforcement seized the infrastructure of the al-Qassam Brigades websites and subsequently covertly operated alqassam.net.   During that covert operation, the website received funds from persons seeking to provide material support to the terrorist organization, however, they instead donated the funds bitcoin wallets controlled by the United States.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia also unsealed criminal charges for two Turkish individuals, Mehmet Akti and Hüsamettin Karataş, who acted as related money launderers while operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Al-Qaeda Campaign

The second cyber-enabled terror finance campaign involves a scheme by al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, largely based out of Syria.  As the forfeiture complaint details, these terrorist organizations operated a bitcoin money laundering network using Telegram channels and other social media platforms to solicit cryptocurrency donations to further their terrorist goals.  In some instances, they purported to act as charities when, in fact, they were openly and explicitly soliciting funds for violent terrorist attacks.  For example, one post from a charity sought donations to equip terrorists in Syria with weapons:

Undercover HSI agents communicated with the administrator of Reminder for Syria, a related charity that was seeking to finance terrorism via bitcoin donations.  The administrator stated that he hoped for the destruction of the United States, discussed the price for funding surface-to air missles, and warned about possible criminal consequences from carrying out a jihad in the United States.

Posts from another Syrian charity similarly explicitly referenced weapons and extremist activities:

Al-Qaeda and the affiliated terrorist groups together created these posts and used complicated obfuscation techniques, uncovered by law enforcement, to layer their transactions so to conceal their actions.  Today’s complaint seeks forfeiture of the 155 virtual currency assets tied to this terrorist campaign.

ISIS Campaign

The final complaint combines the Department’s initiatives of combatting COVID-19 related fraud with combatting terrorism financing.  The complaint highlights a scheme by Murat Cakar, an ISIS facilitator who is responsible for managing select ISIS hacking operations, to sell fake personal protective equipment via FaceMaskCenter.com (displayed below)

The website claimed to sell FDA approved N95 respirator masks, when in fact the items were not FDA approved.  Site administrators claimed to have near unlimited supplies of the masks, in spite of such items being officially-designated as scarce.  The site administrators offered to sell these items to customers across the globe, including a customer in the United States who sought to purchase N95 masks and other protective equipment for hospitals, nursing homes, and fire departments.

The unsealed forfeiture complaint seized Cakar’s website as well as four related Facebook pages used to facilitate the scheme.  With this third action, the United States has averted the further victimization of those seeking COVID-19 protective gear, and disrupted the continued funding of ISIS.

The claims made in these three complaints are only allegations and do not constitute a determination of liability.  The burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.  Further, charges contained in criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit (Washington, D.C.), HSI’s Philadelphia Office, and FBI’s Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles field offices are investigating the case. Assistant U.S Attorneys Jessi Camille Brooks and Zia M. Faruqui, and National Security Division Trial Attorneys Danielle Rosborough and Alexandra Hughes are litigating the case, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Brian Rickers and Bria Cunningham, and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick.  Additional assistance has been provided by Chainalysis and Excygent.

08/7/20

The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Forgotten Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across America

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

America’s “The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across AmericaThe Book of Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun. And while many have spoken of the “unprecedented” nature of the rioting in the early summer of 2020, it is actually quite precedented.

The Long, Hot Summer of 1967 was the peak of urban unrest and rioting in the United States in the lead up to the 1968 election. While there are certainly a number of key differences, there are also a number of striking parallels that make the topic worthy of discussion and examination.

The long-term impact of the urban unrest of the summer of 2020 is unclear, but the long-term impact of the Long, Hot Summer of 1967 and related urban rioting was a victory for Richard Nixon in 1968 and landslide re-election in 1972. One must resist the temptation to make mechanistic comparisons between the two, and we will refrain from doing so here. But the reader is encouraged to look for connections between these events and more recent ones.

Prologue: The Ghetto Riots

The riot wave in America’s urban ghettos might have peaked in the summer of 1967, but it certainly didn’t begin there. 1964 is generally thought to be the beginning, with a riot that began in Harlem after the shooting of a 15-year-old black teenager named James Powell.

The story of how this happened is familiar to anyone who read the news in the summer of 2020: The superintendent of a building in a predominantly white working-class neighborhood turned a hose on black students who had been congregating on the stoops of his buildings. The black students alleged that he used racist language with them, a charge that he denied. It is worth noting how often alleged racial slurs are invoked as an excuse for violence. In any case, no one disagrees that the students then began throwing garbage can lids and bottles at him. He retreated into his building where he was pursued by three of the students, one of them being James Powell.

A white off-duty police officer, Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan, arrived on the scene and fired three shots at Powell. One of these was a warning shot, but the other two connected with Powell’s forearm and abdomen. Lieutenant Gilligan claimed that Powell had a knife, raised it, and then he fired first a warning shot, then a shot into the forearm to disarm him before firing the third shot. Gilligan had an impeccable record with the New York Police Department. Powell had a few interactions with the law: twice for boarding a subway car without paying, once for breaking the window of a vehicle and once for an attempted robbery (he was cleared of the robbery).

The result was a week of rioting that left one dead, 118 injured and 465 arrested.

Between the Harlem Riot of 1964 and the Long, Hot Summer of 1967, there were riots in Rochester, New York, Dixmoor, IllinoisPhiladelphia, Watts, Chicago, Cleveland, Waukegan, Illinois, San Francisco and Benton Harbor, Michigan. But the Long, Hot Summer was when things really picked up.

Chapter One: The Long, Hot Summer of 1967

America’s “The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across AmericaIt would be impossible to cover all of the riotings that occurred throughout the summer of 1967. All told, there were 159 riots that summer. The worst of these was in Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan. The riots left over 85 dead, over 2,100 injured and over 11,000 arrested. They also caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage.

The first of these riots was the Cincinnati riot of that year, which began in the Avondale region of the city, in response to the conviction of “Cincinnati Strangler” Posteal Laskey Jr. for a series of rapes and murders. Laskey’s cousin, Peter Frakes, protested the decision and was arrested for blocking the sidewalk, in stark contrast to the protesters of today who are allowed to block off highways. The next day there was a protest in support of Frakes that spiraled out of control, quickly becoming an orgy of violence, destruction, and looting that spread throughout the city.

Resulting in one death, 63 injured, 404 arrested, and $2 million in property damage (over $15 million in 2020 dollars), the riot was only quelled when the National Guard was deployed.

Cincinnati was the first, but the two biggest riots were in Newark and Detroit.

Newark was one of the earliest and most extreme examples of white flight in the nation. Its manufacturing base had largely abandoned the city by the time that the riots began. The city had been on edge for a while, but things began to boil over in July 1967, after Newark white police officers John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli beat black cab driver John William Smith, who they claimed assaulted them. A rumor began to spread that Smith was beaten to death and a crowd formed outside of the police station. Witnesses disagree as to what happened first – the crowd throwing things or the police emerging with hard hats and clubs.

The crowd demanded that Smith be moved to Beth Israel Hospital, a request granted by the police. That night there was a march to protest police brutality, during which an unidentified female smashed the windows of the police precinct with metal bars. Looting and firebombing of local businesses began soon after, with the looting of liquor stores being a predominant feature of the rioting.

Six days of rioting left 16 civilians, eight suspects, a police officer, and a firefighter dead. There were 727 injuries (including 67 police officers, 55 firefighters, and 38 military personnel) and $10 million in property damage (roughly $77 million in 2020 dollars). Many believe that the city never fully recovered from the riots even to this day.

The riots in Detroit took place from July 23 to 28. At around 3:45 a.m., Detroit police broke up a party at a “blind pig” (unlicensed private drinking club). They expected to find only a few but instead were greeted by an 82-person strong celebration of the return of two GIs from Vietnam. The police made the decision to arrest everyone there. A crowd began to gather to watch the raid. William Walter Scott III, the doorman, and son of the organizer of the blind pig, later admitted to starting the riot by throwing a bottle at a police officer in his memoirs.

The next afternoon, the first fire was set at a grocery store. The local media tried simply ignoring the riots in an attempt to maintain calm. Tigers left fielder Willie Horton, who was born in Virginia but lived in and grew up in Detroit, drove to the center of the rioting, and stood on his car in uniform, passionately imploring the crowd to stop the violence, but failed to do so.

Chaos began on the second day of rioting. There were 483 fires, with 231 incidents reported every hour and a whopping 1,800 arrests in a single day. Hardy’s drug store, a black-owned business known to fill prescriptions on credit, was one of the first to be burned to the ground. Indeed, the black business district was not spared. Firefighters were shot at as they attempted to put out fires. U.S. Representative John Conyers tried to address the rioters via loudspeaker out of his car but had rocks and bottles thrown at him.

All told, there were at least 23 deaths and 696 wounded, with property damage pegged somewhere between $40 million to $45 million (between $300 and $350 million in 2020 dollars). Among those dead were 4-year-old Tanya Blanding.

The final riot in the Long, Hot Summer of 1967 was the Milwaukee riot, which left four dead, 100 injured and 1,740 arrested. This began after two police showed up to break up a fight between two black women, around which a crowd of 350 had gathered. The property damage was relatively scant because it was mostly confined to broken windows: it came in at around $200,000 at the time.

Chapter Two: The King Assassination Riots of 1968

The next wave of rioting took place following the assassination of Martin Luther King in the spring of 1968. This wave of riots engulfed the nation’s capital, Chicago, BaltimoreKansas City, Detroit, New York, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Trenton, Wilmington, and Louisville. New York’s riots were quickly quelled by mayor John Lindsay, who went directly to Harlem and gave a speech about addressing poverty. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is largely credited with saving Indianapolis, with his speech there following King’s assassination. A James Brown concert in Boston is similarly credited with keeping the peace there. Memorials were held in Los Angeles that averted a repeat of the 1965 Watts riots.

Washington, D.C. was the first to experience rioting, beginning on the day of King’s assassination, April 4. Ironically, the rioting here was started by a mob following Stokely Carmichael of the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who quickly began breaking windows. The riots devastated the black business district of the city, which had an incredibly difficult time finding investment to rebuild after the riots were over. Some areas of the city remained little more than piles of rubble until 1999.

Riots in Chicago came next, starting the day after King’s assassination. The damage here was over $10 million (over $77 million in 2020 dollars), with 11 dead, 500 injured, and 2,150 arrested. Baltimore was next, two days later. The swift and sharp response of Governor Spiro T. Agnew (thousands of National Guard and 500 Maryland State Police were deployed the very day that unrest began) was likely what attracted then-candidate Richard Nixon to choose him as his running mate.

The riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. were comparatively minor when contrasted with the Long, Hot Summer of 1967. However, it is worth noting that they happened as part of a more general pattern of lawlessness and urban unrest in the United States in the late 1960s.

It is now generally agreed that the wave of rioting in 1968 helped to sweep Richard Nixon into the White House. The riots outside of the Democratic National Convention in 1968 likewise didn’t help matters. However, whether or not the 2020 election will be a replay of the 1968 election (which also took place during a pandemic that left over 100,000 Americans dead) remains to be seen. At the very least, the Democrats are going to spare themselves unrest by holding their convention virtually.

Epilogue: The Hard Hat Riot

America’s “The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across AmericaFor every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This might be a law of physics, but it often holds in politics as well. The reaction to urban rioting and leftist violence in general that plagued the late 60s and early 70s is a little-known incident in American history known as the Hard Hat Riot.

The Hard Hat Riot took place on May 8, 1970, in New York City of all places. It’s worth remembering that in 1970, most of New York was a lot more like blue-collar forklift operator Archie Bunker of All in the Family rather than Lena Dunham – Bunker lived in Astoria, Queens, which is a much different place today than it was at the time of the Hard Hat Riot.

Unlike the hippies and college students of America, blue-collar workers tended to support Nixon and his Vietnam War policies. Peter J. Brennan, who was the head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, was one of the most vocal supporters of Nixon and the Vietnam War.

The Hard Hat Riot started as a counter-protest to a protest against the killing of four students at Kent State by the National Guard. It started with a few hundred college and high school students but quickly ballooned to over 1,000. They were soon met by about 200 construction workers carrying American flags and patriotic signs. Their numbers doubled when people working in the surrounding area joined the construction workers. The construction workers began beating anyone with long hair in the vicinity of their counter-protest.

After this, the construction workers stormed city hall and raised the flag, which had been at half-mast for the Kent State students, back to full mast. They were joined by city workers, including a postal worker who raised an American flag on the roof of City Hall. Most of the rioters were Catholic and turned their attention to the nearby Episcopal church in the neighborhood.

Six rioters were arrested and Mayor John Lindsay denounced the rioters, as well as the police for their lack of action. A massive influx of phone calls to local union offices was 20 to 1 in support of the rioters. On May 11 and May 16, there were additional protests denouncing Mayor Lindsay as a “commie” and a “rat.” It’s worth noting that “rat” is a term approximating “scab” in the building trades. On May 20, 150,000 pro-war demonstrators marched through the city without opposition. Many workers who were on the job showered the demonstration with ticker tape.

Peter J. Brennan met with Nixon and 22 other labor leaders on May 26, presenting the president with a hard hat. Brennan later met privately with the president on Labor Day. He is considered instrumental in securing a second term in the White House for President Nixon and was rewarded for his efforts with the Secretary of Labor position.

What all of these have in common is a template for community unrest in advance of an election year. While not a direct reaction to the urban riots, the Hard Hat Riots were largely the urban white working-class saying “enough” to the racialized and political violence that had plagued the country for the last several years.

While 2020 saw the merger of racialized and political violence running rampant in the early summer, it has yet to see any kind of organized – and we use that term loosely – pushback of the order of the Hard Hat Riots. Americans are a tolerant and patient people, but their tolerance and patience have a limit. Whether or not there will be an analog to the Hard Hat Riots in the future is anyone’s guess, but if history repeats (or even, as Mark Twain once said, rhymes) we will be seeing something not unlike the Hard Hat Riots in the near future.

08/7/20

Extortion 17 – AUG. 6, 2011 – When Biden’s Loose Lips Killed SEAL Team 6

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Former Benghazi liar and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has seemingly risen to the top of Joe Biden’s VP list which would make a unique pairing of someone who can’t tell the truth and someone who can’t remember the truth. Thie pick will no doubt be finalized after “Bunker Biden” sniffs the hair of the potential picks.

One of the chief unmaskers of Trump officials caught up in deep state surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign and an architect of the attempted coup against Trump, Rice recently lied again by pushing the false claim that Trump ignored reports of Russian bounties for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and was doing Putin’s bidding by callously letting American soldiers get killed. As reported by Axios:

Former national security adviser Susan Rice says President Trump sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin following news that Russia allegedly offered bounties for those who targeted American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Rice said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday: 

“And now we learn that even when it comes to the blood of American service members, this president picks Putin over our troops.”

This was, as Trump says, fake news, The Russians have little money to throw around and the Taliban is trying to kill our troops anyway, for free… troops Trump is bringing home. Yet the woman who went on five talk shows to spread the lie that an Internet video got four Americans killed, including a U.S. Ambassador, at a Benghazi compound that Obama/Biden/Rice left unprotected and refused to send help to, has the chutzpah to express concern about the safety of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Of course, she has said she wants to see Joe Biden elected and would willingly be his VP. She would be Biden’s Rasputin, pulling his strings, completing the fundamental transformation of America begun by Barack Hussein Obama. So she ignores Biden’s culpability for Benghazi, as she ignores her own, and ignores Biden’s key role in getting Navy Seal Team 6, the unit that killed Bin Laden, slaughtered in a revenge ambush in Afghanistan.

Biden is not above exploiting the sacrifice of our young men and women who put themselve3s in harm’s way on our behalf. He’s done it before and has gotten them killed in the process. Biden should not be trusted with the nation’s security or the lives of its heroes.

Yet while critics of President Trump’s foreign policy accuse him of a degree of recklessness and immaturity that place the nation’s security at risk, Biden’s service in an administration that gave us the criminal negligence and incompetence of Benghazi provides us with an example of why he should not be trusted with the nation’s security or the lives of its heroes. That example is the tragedy of an operation known as Extortion 17.

As author and attorney David Shestoksas points out in his review of  Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, Biden betrayed the heroes that killed Ben Laden to further his political ambitions:

On May 1, 2011, Aaron Carson Vaughn, member of America’s elite special operations force, Seal Team VI, called his father, Billy Vaughn and exclaimed:

“Dad, we got him!”

 The elder Vaughn asked:  “Got who, son?”

Aaron Vaughn replied:  “Who do you think? Go turn on the TV.”[1]

On television shortly thereafter, President Obama declared to the nation that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the deadly attacks of September 11, 2001, was dead.

Vice-President Biden Applauds and Endangers the Seals

Vice-President Joe Biden, at an awards banquet on May 3, 2001,[2] remarked:

“Admiral James Stavridis … can tell you more about … the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday… I’d be remiss also if I didn’t say an extra word about the incredible events, extraordinary events of this past Sunday.  As Vice President of the United States, as an American, I was in absolute awe of the capacity and dedication of the entire team, both the intelligence community, the CIA, the SEALs.” (emphasis added)

Less than a day after Biden’s remarks Aaron Vaughn called his mother Karen:

“There’s chatter and all of our lives are in danger including yours, Mom.”

Three Months Later A Deadly Attack on Seal Team VI

On August 6, 2011, in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan, Aaron Vaughn and 30 other Americans,[3] including 15 members of SEAL Team VI[4] were killed when their fifty-year-old helicopter, designated Extortion 17, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Leon Panetta is one who has taken President Trump to task for his alleged “loose lips.” Panetta himself, it would seem, was also one who needed to be surrounded by adults to keep his loose lips in check, having put the lives of those who took out Osama bin Laden at risk. As Breitbart reported:

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, for example, told CNN on Tuesday that Trump “cannot just say whatever the hell he wants and expect it doesn’t carry consequences.”

Panetta should know because it was his loose talk after the Osama bin Laden raid that exposed a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, who helped locate the Al Qaeda leader.  As a result, Afridi was imprisoned on fabricated charges and will live under the fear of assassination for the rest of his life.

As Breitbart News noted in 2013, a Pakistani report on Dr. Afridi reportedly concluded “Dr. Afridi was implicated by a ‘statement by the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was the CIA Director when May 2 happened, confirming the role of Dr. Afridi in making the U.S. assassination mission a success.’”

Panetta did not reveal that critical intelligence in a private meeting with a foreign emissary, but to the entire world, on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.

Then there is Joe Biden, whose loose lips got members of SEAL Team 6 targeted for revenge and killed in an Afghan mission known as Extortion 17: As Investor’s Business Daily recounted on May 28, 2013:

Extortion 17 was the call sign of a special operations mission in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011, that responded to an Army Ranger unit engaged in a firefight with the Taliban and in need of backup.

The Chinook helicopter carrying the rescue team was shot down by a Taliban-owned rocket-propelled grenade over the Wardak Province on Aug. 6, 2011, killing 38, including 30 Americans and 15 members of Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden just three months prior.

The shoot-down was described at the time as a “lucky shot,” but the families of the dead SEALs believe that, like Benghazi, it was a pre-planned operation of revenge facilitated by a government that put them in harm’s way without adequate support and with a bulls-eye painted on their backs.

At a Pentagon briefing on Monday, May 2, 2011, a senior defense official was asked if it was a Navy SEAL team that found and killed the world’s most wanted man. The terse and proper response was: “Not going to comment on units or numbers.”

Then on May 3, Vice President Joe Biden got up to speak at a dinner at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel marking the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council to spill the beans about Adm. James Stavridis and “the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.”

From that moment, the families believe, the Taliban looked for an opportunity for revenge, and a government more concerned with politically correct rules of engagement than victory helped them get it.

Biden skated on the leak that got SEAL Team 6 targeted for revenge. Panetta and Biden, like Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, put lives in jeopardy and got men killed.

The deaths of more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that took out Osama bin Laden is connected to a loose-lipped Vice President who likes to sometimes pose as a presidential action figure.

To be a politician takes more chutzpah than courage. The chattering class, as the mainstream media is sometimes called, was more worried about how the successful Bin Laden raid by Navy SEALs might affect President Obama’s reelection chances in 2012. So did administration officials, as the leaks and chest-thumping began almost immediately.

SEAL missions depend on bravery, courage, skill, daring – and secrecy. Initially, when President Barack Obama announced that “a small team of Americans” had killed Osama bin Laden, he did not identify it was the SEALs.

Karen Vaughn, the mother of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn blames Joe Biden for her son’s ambush and death:

On May 3, at an event in Washington, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did the unthinkable: He publicly revealed the identity of the special-operations unit responsible for bin Laden’s killing. His reckless action put at risk the lives of every member of SEAL Team 6. The Taliban and other jihadists eager to avenge bin Laden now knew which unit to target. Stunned and shocked, SEAL members immediately realized they were going to be hunted by al Qaeda sympathizers.

Karen Vaughn, the mother of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn, says that within hours after Mr. Biden’s comments, her son called to tell her to wipe away every piece of information regarding the family on social media, Facebook and Twitter. “I never heard Aaron that afraid in his life,” Mrs. Vaughn said in an interview. “He told me: ‘Mom, we’re picking up chatter. We’re not safe. You’re not safe. Delete everything.’”

According to Mrs. Vaughn, Mr. Biden essentially placed a bulls-eye on her son’s back — and that of all the other SEALs. He leaked classified information. SEAL Team 6 is a covert unit, which is supposed to operate in the shadows. This is how they are able to conduct deadly raids on terrorist groups. Their reward, however, for killing the world’s foremost terrorist mastermind was to be outed by their own government.

In a damning video speech, Charles Strange, the father of Navy SEAL Michael Strange, also lays the ambush of Extortion 17 right at the feet of Joe Biden.

The RPG that felled the SEALs could have just been a random act of war. The Taliban could have just gotten lucky. Or they could have been plotting and waiting for revenge, looking for helicopters that might be carrying more SEALs on another mission, a big bulls-eye painted on their backs by a Vice President who forgo that loose lips can sink ships, and they can also get Navy SEALs killed.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.