The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on December 28 that police officers need sufficient reason to believe a suspect is dangerous before shooting them with a Taser, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on December 29.
Reports from two investigations into the intelligence community’s mishandling of crucial information relevant to the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 by Nigerian Umar Abdulmutallab are being released today. President Obama ordered the probes after initial investigations in wake of the failed terrorist attack revealed that the CIA, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security all had foreknowledge of a Nigerian whose father reported had adopted extremist views was in Yemen receiving training from known al-Qaeda operatives based in that country.
As reported yesterday by The New American, a second person of interest was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers after the failed attempt by Umar Abdulmutallab to bomb Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. According to information published Wednesday, customs agents at Detroit Metro Airport apprehended, handcuffed, and removed an unidentified man while the other passengers remained quarantined in a crowded waiting room awaiting further questioning by border patrol officers.
As is typical in the aftermath of this sort of occurrence, there is a maelstrom of stories swirling around Umar Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bomb Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. Curiously, though, two of these stories are being roundly ignored by most media outlets despite the intriguing facts they contribute to the still poorly defined though compelling narrative of the foiled terrorist attack and the young well-educated Nigerian accused of attempting it.
New York City is headed for a record-low number of murders in 2009, according to the New York Times for December 28. As of December 27, 461 murders had been committed, nearing the current lowest record of 496 in 2007.
As the Airbus 300 from Amsterdam packed with holiday travelers descended toward Detroit on Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab returned to his seat after spending about 20 minutes in the lavatory. Upon returning to his seat, Abdulmutallab pulled a blanket over his legs and stomach, informing the passenger seated next to him that he wasn’t feeling well.
When the New York Times announced in their lead article on the front page of their Christmas Eve edition that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Goldman Sachs for allegedly self-dealing, it was a moment of surprise for many and, for others, a moment of clarity and confirmation.
The FBI’s preliminary crime statistics for the first half of 2009 show the crime rate falling all across the nation despite high unemployment and a deep recession. Even murder and manslaughter dropped 10 percent during this time.
Did you know that, technically, it is illegal to cram a week’s worth of medications into one convenient bottle? And if airport screeners want to randomly check your carry-on for valid prescription labels, they may — and without probable cause, too? Remember Rush Limbaugh and baggage screeners’ inspection of his bottle of Viagra? Suddenly, actions nobody ever thought about are suspect to bureaucrats, whose primary purpose in life is to ensure increases in the size of their workforces and budgets. The Drug Enforcement Agency is just one more government entity that now has a role in Homeland Security.
It is a bucolic region of verdant meadows, rolling hills, and babbling brooks, a largely peaceful place where big city hustle and bustle and crime are very far away. Yet, like a pig in a beauty contest, within this pastoral setting lies something incongruent: a Jihadist training center. In this compound, women are taught to slit throats and mount assault-weapon attacks and, presumably, some brand of Islamic piety is the order of the day. But this place isn’t found in the Mideast’s Fertile Crescent or in sub-Saharan Africa. It's name is Islamberg. It's in the town of Hancock.
George Orwell, in his chilling classic, 1984, described how people could commit crimes without any physical act at all. This type of offense, a "thoughtcrime," was not originally coined by Orwell. Victor Kravchenko, the high ranking Soviet official who left his slave empire while he was stationed in America in 1944, used the word "thoughtcrime" in his 1946 book, I Chose Freedom. Our minds are free, or so America from colonial days on has maintained. We are free to wish for whatever we want, provided that we take no overt measures to implement a crime.