Category Archives: Al Qaeda

News Roundup – Scott Brown, ISIS / ISIL, Syria

Scott Brown was known for decisive action when he was in the Senate. He’s now running for Senate, again, in New Hampshire. This time he understands the Islamic threat. He is not confused. He is serious, very serious (if he says so).

Last night the US struck targets in Syria. We have a coalition. At least that is what we are being told. I have no idea if this is true or not. Obama said, “The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone… Above all, the people and governments of the Middle East are rejecting ISIL (ISIS), and standing up for the peace and security that the people of the region and the world deserve.”

F-22 Raptor flew some of the bombing missions. This makes the first time that the F-22 has been flown in combat. I’m surprised. The F-22 has been around for awhile. I thought that it flew missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was wrong.

I understand the threat of ISIS / ISIL. I didn’t really understand… Well, to be honest, I had never heard of Khorasan. This is reportedly a militant group that was associated with Al Qaeda somehow. They were some type of growing threat and we took them or some portion of them out with missile strikes. From WSJ – U.S. officials have viewed Khorasan with growing alarm in recent weeks and some have said it would be irresponsible to strike in Syria and not take aim at an al Qaeda affiliate long considered to be dangerous to the U.S. and its allies. Islamic State militants are seen as primarily focused on taking and holding territory in Iraq and Syria, with attacks on the U.S. representing a secondary goal. It severed its ties with al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan.

I don’t really understand the deal surrounding the White House fence jumper. So, we were first told that this was some harmless knucklehead. Then we find out that Omar Gonzalez was stopped earlier this summer with rifles, 4 handguns and ammunition. Now we are told the Secret Service had a major security breach. Gonzalez had over 800 rounds of ammo in his car. This guy jumped the fence and sprinted into the north entrance of the White House. From what I understand he did get inside before being tackled. What if he had a bomb strapped to him? Secret Service studied this 20 years ago. It looks like they did nothing to fix the problem. Omar Gonzalez is a Vet. I hope that he gets the help that he needs. Continue reading

News Roundup: Taliban, Miami Dolphins, Sid Caesar

The Taliban is still alive and well. Pakistan is worried.

New report finds Miami Dolphins locker room was a den of intolerance. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who understands the NFL and the psyche of the young, twenty-something male. “Harassment, racism, bullying, homophobia” should not be a surprise to anyone. As a matter fact, I would be surprised if they found an atmosphere of tolerance. It is clear that the NFL has to do better. This is not the 1950s.

Sid Caesar has died. He was 91. I knew of Sid Caesar, just barely. I know my daughter probably has no idea who he was. I know my grandson has got no clue. :-) In the early days of television, Sid Caesar was huge. He had a 90-minute live variety show called Your Show of Shows. It ran from 1950 to 1954. Writers like Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner got their start with Sid Caesar. One of Neil Simon’s plays, My Favorite Year, was based on his experiences with Sid Caesar. The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was the brainchild of Carl Reiner, was basically based on Sid Caesar shows. The producer behind one of the greatest television shows of all time, M*A*S*H, got his start with Sid Caesar (his name is Larry Gelbart). Unfortunately, Sid Caesar had a problem with pills and alcohol. As television took off in the ’60s, it basically left Sid Caesar behind. Continue reading

The August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing

I wrote this a couple of years ago about the importance of the August 6th PDB. I still like it. 

Bush working on his crawford mansion

No other document, in my opinion, reveals how clueless the Bush administration truly was prior to 9/11. This document is little over a page long, yet it holds some alarming information. First, read the memo. Now, re-read the memo and imagine that you are the President of the United States in August 2001. You are responsible for the well being of over 275 million people. Secondly, focus on the title – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US. Now, in August of 2001, this was not common knowledge. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed, but it is not clear to me that the Bush White House (well, I’m really talking about Bush, Cheney and Rice) clearly understood the connection between Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden. US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya are bombed in 1998. Hundreds of Africans were killed. A third Embassy was targeted but the attack was thwarted by the Ugandan police. October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed. 17 sailors were killed. We cannot forget the Millennium Day Bomber who intended to bomb the LA airport. Just because he was caught does not mean that he isn’t part of the picture. As a matter fact, the Millennium Day Bomber is probably the most vivid example of Al Qaeda (he trained with Al Qaeda) trying to come into the United States. It was due to nothing but a lot of luck and some skill that this plot was thwarted. The US Customs agent said that the Millennium Day Bomber was acting hinky.

This should be the most superficial knowledge that the president should have as he was reading the August 6th daily brief.

The seventh paragraph of the PDB should have sent chills up and down the spine of any American who read it.

Al Qaeda members – including some who are US citizens – have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two Al Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-’90s. Continue reading