I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jose Padilla also rules Iraq

(updated below)

The New York Sun has a really, really scary column this morning about The Terrorists and how much stronger they are now because the Democrats won:

The bad guys are now celebrating the Democratic Party's sweep of Congress in the belief that the American electorate has pronounced its verdict on the grand visions of the neoconservatives — the fall guys for what is hyperbolically called the "catastrophe in Iraq."

Democrats are soul mates not just with The Terrorists generally, but also specifically with the New Head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (an entity that did not exist until our invasion made Iraq nice and chaotic for them):

The most compelling example of this jubilation has been the audio message released by the current head of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the elusive Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, who read the election results as a victory for his dark cause. At this stage, as the Democrats articulate their plan for Iraq, they need to ponder why evil men are hailing their anti-war talking points.

The Sun helpfully provides a photograph of this "elusive" but really scary Terrorist al-Muhajir (D-Iraq):

[NOTE: see UPDATE II below]

Just to get a sense for how scary and evil The Terrorists are, that's the same person who calls himself "Jose 'The Dirty Bomber' Padilla" and who is currently sitting in a federal prison cell in Miami, awaiting trial for being a Terrorist:

So it seems he's running Al-Qaeda in Iraq (and rooting for the Democrats) from prison. That's what happens when you give Terrorists trials.

And apparently, we're supposed to base our policy in Iraq not on what we assess is best for American interests or what is right, but rather, as a reaction to the rantings of Al-Qaeda Chief Padilla/Al-Muhajir:

But the enemy is evil nonetheless. There will not be a let-up if you meet the terrorists' demands. Al-Muhajir flaunts his evil for all to hear when he says that "we have not yet quenched our thirst" for American blood. Whether the American public, or the Democrats, choose to hear him or not at this stage is beyond the point: Al-Muhajir plans to make his evil presence felt and soon. And it will be painful — if Al Qaeda's declaration of victory in Iraq is left unchallenged.

Padilla/Al-Muhajir might be imprisoned, but his plan for world domination -- modestly beginning with a total takeover of Christendom, accomplished via the easy task of extending Al Qaeda' domination from Iraq over to Spain -- is progressing rapidly: "And where is the current phase going? To Spain, naturally. For al-Muhajir vows not to rest until he is shaded by the 'olive groves of Rumiyyeh,' which in this context means the lands of Christendom, or at least the olive growing parts of it.'"

These people are less serious than comic book writers. Does The New York Sun and their neoconservative sources have some computer file somewhere with scary photographs of vaguely dark males which they pull out when it's time to present the latest villain? Is that how they forgot that they already used this photograph of the New Iraqi Hitler in the Jose Padilla drama?

Neoconservatives are clearly afraid not only of Al Qaeda worldwide control, but also what might be in store for them as a result of their deceit:

Coming in rapid succession, Saddam was sentenced to hang by an Iraqi court in Baghdad, and the neoconservatives are due to be lynched by an angry Washingtonian mob. Draping a noose around Saddam's deserving neck had been the vision of many neoconservatives, but now they must face their own reckoning for tinkering with the status quo in the Middle East.

The treatment of the poor, persecuted neconservatives is comparable to Saddam Hussein, who is about to be hanged from a rope until his neck snaps. All neoconservatives ever wanted to do was liberate Iraq and now everybody is mad at them. Al Qaeda wants to take over the whole world and is on the verge of ruling all of Europe, and they are working hand-in-hand with Democrats. It is tempting to want to mock these people and the things they "think" all day long until one realizes that the U.S. has been driven by this mentality for the last five years and, to a large degree, still is. That's when it stops being entertaining.

UPDATE: At the risk of sounding like Charles Johnson, it is striking that when Padilla was abducted in May, 2002 and branded by John Ashcroft as "The Dirty Bomber," the only photograph that was ever used of him was the darkened, meancing one above. But when Padilla finally emerged from his black hole 3 1/2 years later, it turned out that he really didn't bear much of a resemblance to that dark-skinned image:

I have no idea whether there were any deliberate alterations made back then to the photograph, but I do know that the total dehumanization of Padilla -- allowing him to be dubbed with cartoon villain names and accused of plotting the most heinous crimes, while he was not permitted to be either heard from or even seen (except in one dark and extremely menacing photograph) -- was a critical factor in enabling the Bush administration to throw him into a black hole and detain him incommunicado without provoking much protest from Americans or their media.

UPDATE II: After this was posted, the Sun removed the photograph from its page with no indication that it had made a mistake or that there was ever a photograph there. It just deleted it from existence and said nothing, much like The Washington Post recently did with its express acknowledgment that the President "misled" reporters about the circumstances surrounding Don Rumsfeld's firing. That seems to be a burgeoning journalistic trend -- just zapping embarrassing material out of existence.

After I posted this, I e-mailed the author of the Op-Ed, Nibras Kazimi, about the photograph, and he responded, so I know they received notice. I also left a comment to the article about the photograph, but they have not posted the comment. Although the photograph has been removed from the article itself, it is still sitting on the Sun's server, and that is what is now linked to above (h/t Hooboy). Since the photograph used by the Sun is no longer on the page, I can't use the exact one they posted, but it is very similar, if not identical, to the first photograph above.

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