Archive | August, 2013

How To Wage War: U.S. Propaganda Exposed


We were lied to about the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, and now Syria, as the U.S. Government is ready to justify a new war any way possible.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14: U.S. President George W. Bush speaks to rescue workers, firefighters and police officers from the rubble of Ground Zero September 14, 2001 in New York City. Standing with Bush is retired firefighter Bob Beckwith and at (R) is New York Governor George Pataki. (Photo by Eric Draper/White House/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 14: U.S. President George W. Bush speaks to rescue workers, firefighters and police officers from the rubble of Ground Zero September 14, 2001 in New York City. Standing with Bush is retired firefighter Bob Beckwith and at (R) is New York Governor George Pataki. (Photo by Eric Draper/White House/Getty Images).


“One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror”— Former U.S. President, George W. Bush.

The fact of the matter is, the U.S. Government and American press is down-right dirty when it comes to using wartime propaganda. In fact news agencies like CNN have even be caught staging great spectacles[1], working off the “laws of power”.

The following video produced by, gives you a feel for the true nature of the U.S. Government and their long history of trickery.



[1] CNN Caught Staging News Segments on Syria With Actors –

[2] Syria Is a Lie –

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Syrian ‘Oil Positions’ – Murdoch & Rothschild Possess Crystal Ball


Why did Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild purchase a total of $11 million dollars of “equity positions” with Genie Energy Corporation (IDT) totaling an 11% stake in the corporation back in 2010?

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, USA and Co-Chair, Annual Meeting 2009 (Wiki Commons)

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, USA and Co-Chair, Annual Meeting 2009 (Wiki Commons)


By Shepard Ambellas

Right now you might be rolling your eyes.

However, it’s well known buy top businessmen that Murdoch and Jacob Rothschild have connections in and around the Syrian region. In fact, according to a November 15 2010, IDT “press release”, Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented, “Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets. Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well-regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”[1]

Other members of Genie Energy’s “Strategic Advisory Board” include key globalist figureheads such as Alan K. Burnham, PhD, Dick Cheney, Wes Perry, Stephen M. Trauber, Alan Sass, PhD, Michael Steinhardt, Eugene A. Renna, and Harold Vinegar, PhD.

Some are now speculating that the “Strategic Advisory Board” might have been hedging a bet on future oil drilling in the Syrian region and it looks like the hit their mark as a new war with Syria is at hand. This is startling to say the least, due of the fact that IDT is also heavily influenced by Israeli interests.

An about us bio right off of reads;

Genie Energy Corporation is a division of IDT Corporation (, a consumer services company with operations primarily in the telecommunications and energy industries.IDT Corporation’s Class B Common Stock and Common Stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IDT and IDT.C, respectively.

Genie Energy is comprised of IDT Energy, an energy services company that resells electricity and natural gas to residential and small business customers primarily in New York State, and Genie Oil and Gas, Inc., which consists of (1) American Shale Oil Corporation which holds and manages a 50% interest in American Shale Oil, LLC, a joint shale oil initiative in Colorado with Total, S.A., and (2) an 89% interest in Israel Energy Initiatives, Ltd., a shale oil initiative in Israel.[1]

Now nearly three years after Murdoch and Rothschild purchased their “equity positions” with Genie Energy the U.S. Government is rather pre-determined to Strike Syria on false allegations.

Does the dynamic duo posses a crystal ball?



[1] Business and Financial Leaders Lord Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch Invest in Genie Oil & Gas –

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An Overview of The Syrian Situation




According to journalist Sami Kleib the Syrians and their allies have set a dead line that is the beginning of year 2014 to retrieve all the Syrian regions and bringing them them back under the state authority.

According to the same journalist, the US has offered many deals to the Syrians through the Iranians and the Russians ,one of them is stopping supplying and arming the opposition if Assad does not present himself to the next elections which the Iranians refused after which the US said that the elections will be fraudulent which caused the Iranians to suggest an international committee that will supervise the whole thing . The US officials refused this suggestion.

Other offers were made- through Russians and Iranians- including stopping the war- against making peace with Israel and share the rule with the opposition which were declined by the Iranians as the Russians declined the Saudi offer.

The same journalist said that US cannot engage in an encompassing war because of Israel and the oil but cannot also remain actionless and it is expected that US undertakes a limited action . Turkey also cannot afford such war and the Turkish pound has already dropped drastically and Israelis will never recover from an open war. They are fighting right now in front of stores that sell protection masks that have been missing from the market.

It is expected for Russia and US to work together to reach a deal and an understanding that will benefit both . Both countries want to profit from the situation and this is what bring them again together.Mind you it is partly due to its pro Syrian stands that Russia has become a par to the USA observed the journalist.

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Syria – remember Guernica and Iraq


No one yet knows who was responsible for the horrific chemical attack in Syria, yet our political leaders and politicians have already found the Syrian government guilty. Missile strikes by Western nations on an already terrorised population will only add to the misery, will solve nothing and, without irrefutable evidence, would be irresponsible. Add to that the Western willingness to strike without UN Security Council support and you have the makings of yet another war crime. News media reports have made it clear that the ‘rebels’ are losing the battle to control Syria and anti-government forces have been appealing for Western intervention for some time. Had the Syrian regime anything to hide, would it have been keen to welcome the physicians of Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders or MSF), who were the first outsiders to arrive at the scene of the chemical weapons attack? Dr Bart Janssens, the MSF director of operations, in a statement said that when his team arrived medical staff had provided detailed information on the symptoms patients were exhibiting. Local officials told MSF that the capital’s suburbs were attacked by rebels with chemical weapons. The rebels, in their turn, blamed the attack on the Syrian Army. However, the MSF was not able to scientifically confirm the cause of the symptoms. We also have UN chemical weapons inspectors on site in Syria who have not finished their investigations – missile strikes by Western forces now are hardly likely to help in the gathering of evidence.


The Syrian people want peace, not more bombs. They certainly don’t want to be ruled by ‘rebels’ who include mercenary jihadists and terrorists. According to the Washington Times[1],“The rebel movement on the ground in many parts of Syria is led by Islamic extremist groups hostile to the United States and they are holding at least 15 Westerners hostage, most of them journalists.” Also, according to Britain’s Guardian[2] newspaper, Al-Qaida is a most serious terrorist threat in Syria; the newspaper referred to an intelligence and security committee report that warned of catastrophic consequences should militants get hold of chemical weapons.

When will we ever learn?

We should not so quickly forget the false evidence that led to the tragic Western bombardment and invasion of Iraq. Please remember that when US Secretary of State Colin Powell made his dissembling presentation of the American case for war against Iraq in 2003, United Nations officials covered up a tapestry reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s anti-war mural “Guernica”. Today Iraq is in ruins and its economy shattered, the Iraqi death toll due to Western military intervention, conservatively estimated by the medical journal The Lancet[3] at around 600,000. Yet it was the US, the leader of the coalition that invaded Iraq, that had knowingly co-operated with its erstwhile ally in the use of poison gas[4] in attacks on Iranian defence forces. Bombing men, women and children (they are always among the victims of such actions) cannot possibly protect them.

The world knows that it has been lied to in the past in attempts to justify Western military aggression. It is time for our political leaders to show some decency and refuse to be party to actions that can only lead to further suffering, chaos and instability.

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Egypt: Cry, Beloved Country


I DIDN’T want to write this article, but I had to.

I love Egypt. I love the Egyptian people. I have spent some of the happiest days of my life there.

My heart bleeds when I think of Egypt. And these days I think about Egypt all the time.

I cannot remain silent when I see what is happening there, an hour’s flight from my home.

LET’S PUT on the table right from the beginning what’s happening there now.

Egypt has fallen into the hands of a brutal, merciless military dictatorship, pure and simple.

Not on the way to democracy. Not a temporary transition regime. Not anything like it.

Like the locusts of old, the military officers have fallen upon the land. They are not likely ever to give it up voluntarily.

Even before, the Egyptian military had enormous assets and privileges. They control vast corporations, are free of any oversight and live off the fat of a skinny land.

Now they control everything. Why should they give it up?

Those who believe that they will do so, of their own free will, should have their head examined.

IT IS enough to look at the pictures. What do they remind us of?

This row of over-decorated, beribboned, well-fed generals who have never fought a war, with their gold-braided, ostentatious peaked hats – where have we seen them before?

In the Greece of the colonels? The Chile of Pinochet? The Argentina of the torturers? Any of a dozen other South-American states? The Congo of Mobutu?

All these generals look the same. The frozen faces. The self-confidence. The total belief that they are the only guardians of the nation. The total belief that all their opponents are traitors who must be caught, imprisoned, tortured, killed.

Poor Egypt.

HOW DID this come about? How did a glorious revolution turn into this disgusting spectacle?

How did the millions of happy people, who had liberated themselves from a brutal dictatorship, who had breathed the first heady whiffs of liberty, who had turned Liberation Square (that’s what Tahrir means) into a beacon of hope for all mankind, slide into this dismal situation?

In the beginning, it seemed that they did all the right things. It was easy to embrace the Arab Spring. They reached out to each other, secular and religious stood together and dared the forces of the aging dictator. The army seemed to support and protect them.

But the fatal faults were already obvious, as we pointed out at the time. Faults that were not particularly Egyptian. They were common to all the recent popular movements for democracy, liberty and social justice throughout the world, including Israel.

These are the faults of a generation brought up on the “social media”, the immediacy of the internet, the effortlessness of instant mass communication. These fostered a sense of empowerment without effort, of the ability to change things without the arduous process of mass-organization, political power-building, of ideology, of leadership, of parties. A happy and anarchistic attitude that, alas, cannot stand up against real power.

When democracy came for a glorious moment and fair elections were in the offing, this whole amorphous mass of young people were faced with a force that had all they themselves lacked: organization, discipline, ideology, leadership, experience, cohesion.

The Muslim Brotherhood.

THE BROTHERHOOD and its Islamist allies easily won the free, fair anddemocratic elections against the motley anarchic field of secular and liberal groups and personalities. This has happened before in other Arab countries, such as Algeria and Palestine.

The Islamic Arab masses are not fanatical, but basically religious (as are the Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries.) Voting for the first time in free elections, they tend to vote for religious parties, though they are by no means fundamentalist.

The wise thing for the brotherhood to do was to reach out to other parties, including secular and liberal ones, and lay the foundation for a robust, inclusive democratic regime. This would have been to their own advantage in the long run.

At the beginning it seemed that Mohamed Morsi, the freely elected president, would do so. But he soon changed course, using his democratic powers to change the constitution, exclude everybody else and start to establish the sole domination of his movement.

That was unwise, but understandable. After many decades of suffering from state persecution, including imprisonment, systematic torture and even executions, the movement was thirsty for power. Once it got hold of it, it could not restrain itself. It tried to gobble up everything.

THAT WAS especially unwise, because the brotherhood regime was sitting next to a crocodile, which only seemed to be asleep, as crocodiles often do.

At the beginning of his reign, Morsi drove out the old generals, who had served under Hosni Mubarak. He was applauded. But this just replaced the old, tired crocodile with a young and very hungry one.

It is difficult to guess what was going on in the military mind at the time. The generals sacrificed Mubarak, who was one of them, in order to protect themselves. They became the darling of the people, especially the young, secular, liberal people. “The army and the people are one!” – How nice. How naïve. How utterly inane.

It is quite clear now that during the Morsi months, the generals were waiting for their opportunity. When Morsi made his fatal mistakes and announced that he was going to change the constitution – they pounced.

All military juntas like to pose, in the beginning, as the saviors of democracy.

Abd-al-Fatah al-Sisi does not have an exciting ideology, as did Gamal Abd-al-Nasser (pan-Arabism) when he carried out his bloodless coup in 1952. He has no vision like Anwar al-Sadat (peace), the dictator who inherited power. He was not the anointed heir of his predecessor, sworn to continue his vision, as was Hosni Mubarak. He is a military dictator, pure and simple (or rather, not so pure and not so simple).

ARE WE Israelis to blame? The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says so. It’s all the making of Israel. We engineered the Egyptian coup.

Very flattering, But, I’m afraid, slightly exaggerated.

True, the Israeli establishment is afraid of an Islamic Arab world. It detests the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother of Hamas and other Islamic movements which are committed to fighting Israel. It enjoys a cosy relationship with the Egyptian military.

If the Egyptian generals had asked their Israeli colleagues and friends for advice on the coup, the Israelis would have promised them their enthusiastic support. But there is nothing much they could have done about it.

Except one thing. It is Israel that has assured the Egyptian military for decades its annual big US aid package. Using its control of the US Congress, Israel has prevented the termination of this grant through all these years. At this moment, the huge Israeli power-machine in the US is busy ensuring the continuation of the 1.3 billion or so of US aid to the generals. But this is not crucial, since the Arab Gulf oligarchies are ready to finance the generals to the hilt.

What is crucial for the generals is American political and military support. There cannot be the slightest doubt that before acting, the generals asked for American permission, and that this support was readily given.

The US president does not really direct American policy. He can make beautiful speeches, elevating democracy to divine status, but he cannot do much about it. Policy is made by a political-economic-military complex, for which he is just the figurehead.

This complex does not care a damn for “American Values”. It serves American (and its own) interests. A military dictatorship in Egypt serves these interests – as it does the perceived interests of Israel.

DOES IT really serve them? Perhaps in the short run. But an enduring civil war – on the ground or under ground – will ruin Egypt’s shaky economy and drive away crucial investors and tourists. Military dictatorships are notably incompetent administrations. In a few months or years this dictatorship will crumble – as have all other military dictatorships in the world.

Until that day, I shall weep for Egypt.


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Consistency in Criticizing Crypto-Zionism


Journalist Max Blumenthal is one of those Jews who claim to defend the Palestinians by “disavowing” Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon recently published on his website a video of Blumenthal being interviewed, denouncing Atzmon as “anti-Semitic”. Atzmon countered Blumenthal with his customary sarcasm (1).

Blumenthal is a leading member of the “hate industry”, a well-funded, Jewish-led movement which exploits the idea that Europeans are exceptionally xenophobic. White guilt has long been a weakness of the American left. Agents used allegations of “racism” against activists to undermine the movement against the Vietnam war. Covert Zionists are using similar techniques to undermine the campaign to persuade co-ops to boycott Israeli produce.

Blumenthal’s attempt to clean out the Palestine solidarity movement is part of the same strategy.

But he is at least more consistent than some of Atzmon’s supporters, who replace concern about “anti-Semitism”, with opposition to “Islamophobia”. Many of them believe that Islamic terrorist attacks are faked up by Western intelligence services to turn people against Muslims, and that violent conflict between Sunnis and Shi’ites is the result of Zionist manipulation. They employ victimology to give special rights to members of their favorite minority. An amusing example of this double standard can be found in a recent article by Shabana Syed on (2).

Blumenthal’s disavowal of “anti-Semitism” is consistent with his whining about “Islamophobia”. His writingsclassify ideas he disagrees with, rather than answer them (3). It’s an approach to evaluating ideas which was perfected by the Soviet Union, and is alien to Western skepticism: “this idea belongs to that category, therefore it can be dismissed out of hand”. An obvious example of this technique is labeling those who question the scale of German war crimes “holocaust deniers”.

The unanswerable allegation “Islamophobe” is just as much an attempt to stifle discussion as the use of the classification “anti-Semite”. It’s logically inconsistent to criticize Blumenthal’s attempts to politically correct the Palestine solidarity movement at the same time as endorsing his denunciations of “Islamophobes”. You can’t promote Soviet-style thought policing when you feel like it, then complain when it turns around and bites you.

Whether a viewpoint is “anti-Semitic” is irrelevant. Meaningful statements are more-or-less true or false. One cannot be concerned about their truth or falsehood at the same time as worrying if they might offend someone – if you encountered a concept which was both offensive and true, you would have to choose between these two approaches. The same applies to “Islamophobia”, etc..





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Resisting The Modernist Nightmare: Islam As Road To Peace?


Book Review: Eric Walberg’s From Postmodernism To Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization

Review by Richard Wilcox, Ph.D.

Following the end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, there was supposed to have been a “peace dividend” which would have allowed the world to stop wasting money on arms manufacturing and explore roads toward peace and commerce. However, the Cold War itself may have been a ruse to some extent in order to justify the growth of global totalitarian government and corporate power in both the West and East, and as a result a peaceful world was never achieved.

Even the most naïve observer could see that something was very odd, given that at the same moment that the Russian enemy was tamed and the Berlin Wall had fallen, a new, even more nefarious enemy was born: the Muslim Terrorist. This seamless transition that benefited the military industrial complex and zionist warmongers was practically lifted out of a Hollywood script. In fact, Hollywood played an important role in creating the caricature and stereotype of the “evil Muslim” through innumerable anti-Muslim Hollywood propaganda films. All the while, Holocaust films of Jewish suffering during WWII have never ceased, despite massive scholarly evidence to the contrary of that official mythology (2) .

After a series of mass slaughters in one country after another, we tragically find ourselves on the precipice of the US/UK/Zionist led slaughter against another country in the Middle East, Syria. There has never been a more important time for understanding the true nature and historical relationship between Islam and the West.

Eric Walberg is one of the most well-read, insightful, articulate and educational writers working in the alternative media today. His breadth and depth of historical issues defies easy pigeon holing even though he harbors a well intentioned and benign Leftist perspective. That said, he does not go soft on the failure of Communism but assesses the role of the rivalry between 20th century capitalism versus communism with an eye to what the real world results were for the countries under their (US or Soviet) influences. This provocative and original analysis was spelled out in his previous book Postmodern Imperialism (3).

In what can be viewed as the logical continuation of the latter, “Re-emerging Islamic Civilization” takes a decidedly pro-Islam stance, arguing that whatever Islam’s anachronistic flaws, they pale in comparison to a West hell-bent on literally destroying the entire planet due to unrestrained greed, violence and a desire to control and dominate every living thing on the planet. Walberg and I concur regarding the failure of the western model of “civilization,” along with Ghandi who famously quipped: “What do I think of Western Civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.”

Walberg writes in the introduction:

“Modernist icon Newton’s third law is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Using this law as a metaphor, in the face of the ‘modern’ West’s soulless secularism and outright hostility to Islam, there is an inexorable reaction, as the eternal values of Islam continue to manifest themselves. This is especially witnessed in the month of Ramadan, which continues to demonstrate the powerful spiritual calling of Islam. More than one billion people around the world endure a month of dry fasting from sunrise to sunset, not just as some grueling health gimmick, but a test of the spirit, the will, as proof of devotion. And it is precisely this cultivation of mass ‘mind over matter’ that frustrates western secularists, so used to indulging in every consumer fetish.

Why are Muslims so stubborn in nurturing ancient beliefs and rituals when they fly in the face of modern science and the touted (albeit deceptive ) prospect of material plenty? Secular critics dismiss Islam as a harmful, even dangerous anachronism….

The now rich and self-satisfied secular West, after centuries of conquest and imposition of its colonial and now neo-colonial order, has found itself at a nightmarish deadend. Wars, riots, drug addiction, corruption, famine, and ahead, ecological Armageddon…. the demand that the Muslim world follow in western footsteps rings hollow” (p. 20)

I know a teacher who has often presented the counter argument, stating that for all of its flaws, the Western liberal model has done the world more good than harm. But my friend relies on a mainstream New York Times revisionist and propagandized version of history. I once chided this particular teacher that, “well, I can’t say your thesis is completely invalid” but then laughed because I did not want to hurt his feelings too badly. Glaring, irrefutable examples of US aggression followed: the illegal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria; the CIA terrorist drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, who among other sovereign nations are and have been unfortunate targets of the murderous and malevolent zionist controlled US/UK/EU “foreign policy.” There was not much he could say to respond except smile and look up at the TV in the bar we were sitting in.

It is also interesting to compare how Walberg presents Islam as a force for peace and stability in the face of Western devastation of the planet, with another group of people who’s religious beliefs have not allowed them to be absorbed into secularism: the Amish. The Amish are a Christian religious people who immigrated from Germany to the midwestern US and have largely maintained their puritan ways. They reject modern technology, rely on tried and true farming techniques and God’s bounty. They live simple, decent, hard working and fulfillled lives and don’t owe any money to the usurious bank lenders. Most people respect the Amish and appreciatively purchase their delicious, organically grown foods and goods sold in Amish markets. It is a sign of hope that the small enclave of Amish can survive and indeed thrive in the midst of modern American decadence and decay.
By the same token, Walberg presents a countervailing argument against unrestrained western power, greed and militarism in the form of a re-emergent Islam. Whether Islam can indeed resist the west’s bludgeon of secular totalitarianism is an open question, given the steady cultural and military onslaughts the Muslim world must endure.

This book is a detailed primer and reference library for understanding Islamic history and is divided into key parts: A history of Islam, Christianity and Judaism from the 7th to 16th centuries; the re-emergence of Islamic civilization as a reaction to the western imperialist system, with its own internal dynamics; a survey of Islam as practiced around the world; an analysis of contemporary issues in Islam; and a consideration of Islamic culture in relation to both secular socialism and globalization.

The book also offers a glossary of terms for understanding the difficult terms for describing important aspects of Muslim culture.

Walberg’s book is a good way to begin a study of Islam and the Quran, which, for non-Muslims, needs cultural, political and historical context to reveal much of its wisdom. Walberg does a thorough and scholarly job of providing this background.

1. Eric Walberg (2013). From Postmodernism To Postsecularism: Re-Emerging Islamic Civilization. 368 pgs., Clarity Press.

2.The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie

3. Book Review ~ “Might Makes Wrong”­ Eric Walberg’s Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics And The Great Games

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TUT Broadcast: Buildup to war with Syria

TUT Broadcast Aug 30, 2013

by crescentandcross

We are joined by the boy genius Jonathon Azaziah to discuss the buildup to war with Syria and its implications.


Download Here


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NYPD reportedly designates mosques as terrorism organizations


ed note–Jewish organizations like AIPAC are pushing America into fighting wars all over the globe, leading to loss of American life and bankruptcy, they coordinate with spies to sell American military and industrial technology to our enemies, and yet it is THE MOSQUES rather than THE SYNAGOGUES that are ‘terrorist organizations’?

The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

Many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.

The documents show in detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent New York Muslims and put information about them in secret police files. As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials.

The strategy has allowed the NYPD to send undercover officers into mosques and attempt to plant informants on the boards of mosques and at least one prominent Arab-American group in Brooklyn, whose executive director has worked with city officials, including Bill de Blasio, a front-runner for mayor.

The revelations about the NYPD’s massive spying operations are in documents recently obtained by The Associated Press and part of a new book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” The book by AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman is based on hundreds of previously unpublished police files and interviews with current and former NYPD, CIA and FBI officials.

The disclosures come as the NYPD is fighting off lawsuits accusing it of engaging in racial profiling while combating crime. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the department’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups have sued, saying the Muslim spying programs are unconstitutional and make Muslims afraid to practice their faith without police scrutiny.

Both Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have denied those accusations. Speaking today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Kelly reminded people that his intelligence-gathering programs began in the wake of 9/11.

“We follow leads wherever they take us,” Kelly said. “We’re not intimidated as to wherever that lead takes us. And we’re doing that to protect the people of New York City.”

Getting on the inside

The NYPD did not limit its operations to collecting information on those who attended the mosques or led prayers. The department sought also to put people on the boards of New York’s Islamic institutions to fill intelligence gaps.

One confidential NYPD document shows police wanted to put informants in leadership positions at mosques and other organizations, including the Arab American Association of New York in Brooklyn, a secular social-service organization.

Linda Sarsour, the executive director, said her group helps new immigrants adjust to life in the U.S. It was not clear whether the department was successful in its plans.

The document, which appears to have been created around 2009, was prepared for Kelly and distributed to the NYPD’s debriefing unit, which helped identify possible informants.

Around that time, Kelly was handing out medals to the Arab American Association’s soccer team, Brooklyn United, smiling and congratulating its players for winning the NYPD’s soccer league.

Sarsour, a Muslim who has met with Kelly many times, said she felt betrayed.

“It creates mistrust in our organizations,” said Sarsour, who was born and raised in Brooklyn. “It makes one wonder and question who is sitting on the boards of the institutions where we work and pray.”

First Amendment

Before the NYPD could target mosques as terrorist groups, it had to persuade a federal judge to rewrite rules governing how police can monitor speech protected by the First Amendment.

The rules stemmed from a 1971 lawsuit, dubbed the Handschu case after lead plaintiff Barbara Handschu, over how the NYPD spied on protesters and liberals during the Vietnam War era.

David Cohen, a former CIA executive who became NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence in 2002, said the old rules didn’t apply to fighting against terrorism.

Cohen told the judge that mosques could be used “to shield the work of terrorists from law enforcement scrutiny by taking advantage of restrictions on the investigation of First Amendment activity.”

NYPD lawyers proposed a new tactic, the TEI, that allowed officers to monitor political or religious speech whenever the “facts or circumstances reasonably indicate” that groups of two or more people were involved in plotting terrorism or other violent crime.

The judge rewrote the Handschu rules in 2003. In the first eight months under the new rules, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division opened at least 15 secret terrorism enterprise investigations, documents show. At least 10 targeted mosques.

Doing so allowed police, in effect, to treat anyone who attends prayer services as a potential suspect. Sermons, ordinarily protected by the First Amendment, could be monitored and recorded.

Among the mosques targeted as early as 2003 was the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge.

“I have never felt free in the United States. The documents tell me I am right,” Zein Rimawi, one of the Bay Ridge mosque’s leaders, said after reviewing an NYPD document describing his mosque as a terrorist enterprise.

Rimawi, 59, came to the U.S. decades ago from the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“Ray Kelly, shame on him,” he said. “I am American.”

Necessary tactics

The NYPD believed the tactics were necessary to keep the city safe, a view that sometimes put it at odds with the FBI.

In August 2003, Cohen asked the FBI to install eavesdropping equipment inside a mosque called Masjid al-Farooq, including its prayer room.

Al-Farooq had a long history of radical ties. Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian sheik who was convicted of plotting to blow up New York City landmarks, once preached briefly at Al-Farooq. Invited preachers raged against Israel, the United States and the Bush administration’s war on terror.

One of Cohen’s informants said an imam from another mosque had delivered $30,000 to an al-Farooq leader, and the NYPD suspected the money was for terrorism.

But Amy Jo Lyons, the FBI assistant special agent in charge for counterterrorism, refused to bug the mosque. She said the federal law wouldn’t permit it.

The NYPD made other arrangements. Cohen’s informants began to carry recording devices into mosques under investigation. They hid microphones in wristwatches and the electronic key fobs used to unlock car doors.

Even under a TEI, a prosecutor and a judge would have to approve bugging a mosque. But the informant taping was legal because New York law allows any party to record a conversation, even without consent from the others. Like the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, the NYPD never demonstrated in court that al-Farooq was a terrorist enterprise but that didn’t stop the police from spying on the mosques for years.

And under the new Handschu guidelines, no one outside the NYPD could question the secret practice.

Martin Stolar, one of the lawyers in the Handschu case, said it’s clear the NYPD used enterprise investigations to justify open-ended surveillance. The NYPD should only tape conversations about building bombs or plotting attacks, he said.

“Every Muslim is a potential terrorist? It is completely unacceptable,” he said. “It really tarnishes all of us and tarnishes our system of values.”


Al-Ansar Center, a windowless Sunni mosque, opened in Brooklyn several years ago, attracting young Arabs and South Asians. NYPD officers feared the mosque was a breeding ground for terrorists, so informants kept tabs on it.

One NYPD report noted that members were fixing up the basement, turning it into a gym.

“They also want to start Jiujitsu classes,” it said.

The NYPD was particularly alarmed about Mohammad Elshinawy, 26, an Islamic teacher at several New York mosques, including Al-Ansar. Elshinawy was a Salafist — a follower of a puritanical Islamic movement — whose father was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, according to NYPD documents.

The FBI also investigated whether Elshinawy recruited people to wage violent jihad overseas. But the two agencies investigated him very differently.

The FBI closed the case after many months without any charges. Federal investigators never infiltrated Al-Ansar.

“Nobody had any information the mosque was engaged in terrorism activities,” a former federal law enforcement official recalled, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation.

The NYPD wasn’t convinced. A 2008 surveillance document described Elshinawy as “a young spiritual leader (who) lectures and gives speeches at dozens of venues” and noted, “He has orchestrated camping trips and paintball trips.”

The NYPD deemed him a threat in part because “he is so highly regarded by so many young and impressionable individuals.”

No part of Elshinawy’s life was out of bounds. His mosque was the target of a TEI. The NYPD conducted surveillance at his wedding. An informant recorded the wedding and police videotaped everyone who came and went.

“We have nothing on the lucky bride at this time but hopefully will learn about her at the service,” one lieutenant wrote.

Four years later, the NYPD was still watching Elshinawy without charging him. He is now a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the NYPD.

“These new NYPD spying disclosures confirm the experiences and worst fears of New York’s Muslims,” ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi said. “From houses of worship to a wedding, there’s no area of New York Muslim religious or personal life that the NYPD has not invaded through its bias-based surveillance policy.”

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Iran, not Syria, is the West’s real target


Iran is ever more deeply involved in protecting the Syrian government. Thus a victory for Bashar is a victory for Iran. And Iranian victories cannot be tolerated by the West

Before the stupidest Western war in the history of the modern world begins – I am, of course, referring to the attack on Syria that we all yet have to swallow – it might be as well to say that the cruise missiles which we confidently expect to sweep onto one of mankind’s oldest cities have absolutely nothing to do with Syria. 

They are intended to harm Iran. They are intended to strike at the Islamic republic now that it has a new and vibrant president – as opposed to the crackpot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – and when it just might be a little more stable.

Iran is Israel’s enemy. Iran is therefore, naturally, America’s enemy. So fire the missiles at Iran’s only Arab ally.

There is nothing pleasant about the regime in Damascus. Nor do these comments let the regime off the hook when it comes to mass gassing. But I am old enough to remember that when Iraq – then America’s ally – used gas against the Kurds of Hallabjah in 1988, we did not assault Baghdad. Indeed, that attack would have to wait until 2003, when Saddam no longer had any gas or any of the other weapons we had nightmares over.

And I also happen to remember that the CIA put it about in 1988 that Iran was responsible for the Hallabjah gassings, a palpable lie that focused on America’s enemy whom Saddam was then fighting on our behalf. And thousands – not hundreds – died in Hallabjah. But there you go. Different days, different standards.

And I suppose it’s worth noting that when Israel killed up to 17,000 men, women and children in Lebanon in 1982, in an invasion supposedly provoked by the attempted PLO murder of the Israeli ambassador in London – it was Saddam’s mate Abu Nidal who arranged the killing, not the PLO, but that doesn’t matter now – America merely called for both sides to exercise “restraint”. And when, a few months before that invasion, Hafez al-Assad – father of Bashar – sent his brother up to Hama to wipe out thousands of Muslim Brotherhood rebels, nobody muttered a word of condemnation. “Hama Rules” is how my old mate Tom Friedman cynically styled this bloodbath.

Anyway, there’s a different Brotherhood around these days – and Obama couldn’t even bring himself to say “boo” when their elected president got deposed.

But hold on. Didn’t Iraq – when it was “our” ally against Iran – also use gas on the Iranian army? It did. I saw the Ypres-like wounded of this foul attack by Saddam – US officers, I should add, toured the battlefield later and reported back to Washington – and we didn’t care a tinker’s curse about it. Thousands of Iranian soldiers in the 1980-88 war were poisoned to death by this vile weapon.

I travelled back to Tehran overnight on a train of military wounded and actually smelled the stuff, opening the windows in the corridors to release the stench of the gas. These young men had wounds upon wounds – quite literally. They had horrible sores wherein floated even more painful sores that were close to indescribable. Yet when the soldiers were sent to Western hospitals for treatment, we journos called these wounded – after evidence from the UN infinitely more convincing than what we’re likely to get from outside Damascus – “alleged” gas victims.

 So what in heaven’s name are we doing? After countless thousands have died in Syria’s awesome tragedy, suddenly – now, after months and years of prevarication – we are getting upset about a few hundred deaths. Terrible. Unconscionable. Yes, that is true. But we should have been traumatised into action by this war in 2011. And 2012. But why now? 

I suspect I know the reason. I think that Bashar al-Assad’s ruthless army might just be winning against the rebels whom we secretly arm. With the assistance of the Lebanese Hezbollah – Iran’s ally in Lebanon – the Damascus regime broke the rebels in Qusayr and may be in the process of breaking them north of Homs. Iran is ever more deeply involved in protecting the Syrian government. Thus a victory for Bashar is a victory for Iran. And Iranian victories cannot be tolerated by the West.

 And while we’re on the subject of war, what happened to those magnificent Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that John Kerry was boasting about? While we express our anguish at the hideous gassings in Syria, the land of Palestine continues to be gobbled up. Israel’s Likudist policy – to negotiate for peace until there is no Palestine left – continues apace, which is why King Abdullah of Jordan’s nightmare (a much more potent one than the “weapons of mass destruction” we dreamed up in 2003) grows larger: that “Palestine” will be in Jordan, not in Palestine.

 But if we are to believe the nonsense coming out of Washington, London, Paris and the rest of the “civilised” world, it’s only a matter of time before our swift and avenging sword smiteth the Damascenes. To observe the leadership of the rest of the Arab world applauding this destruction is perhaps the most painful historical experience for the region to endure. And the most shameful. Save for the fact that we will be attacking Shia Muslims and their allies to the handclapping of Sunni Muslims. And that’s what civil war is made of.

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