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December 20
, 2009


A weblog about the politics and affairs of the old and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel Van Riper. If you wish to make a response, have anything to add or would like to make an empty threat, please contact me.

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December 20, 2009

Scapegoats For Endless War

Now we know why Albany’s Yassin Aref And Mohhamed Hossain have been perjured into prison

The Wife knows why the President of the United States recently made the biggest and most fatal political error of his presidency, one so big it will not only destroy his career but may eventually destroy the United States itself. Or, to be more accurate I should say that she knows exactly what massive piece of misinformation that Barack Obama has used to justify his open ended escalation of the War Against Afghanistan.

The day that Mr. Obama gave his war justification speech at West Point, The Wife had a grim look on her face. “Did you hear his speech?” she asked me. “Did you hear the most important part?” She meant this:

So no - I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. This danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al Qaeda can operate with impunity.

What “extremists within our borders?” What the hell is this guy talking about? How about we name some names, and then examine their cases carefully? Not even the name of one “terrorist” either in the speech or in press releases afterwards?

President Obama Caught Reading "The Post-American World" By Fareed Zakaria
President Obama Caught Reading "The Post-American World" By Fareed Zakaria

I would guess that Mr. Obama, who is by himself much smarter than the entire Cheney-Bush administration combined, knows better than to turn people’s focus on to the bogus manufactured “terrorist” cases that he appears to be talking about. Any name he might have mentioned, even in passing, would be carefully examined and picked apart by the public. The lies would come to light. The man knows very well that none of these domestic “terrorist” cases hold up to scrutiny.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a department of the White House’ so-called Justice Department. By all appearances this autonomous secret police agency has been completely out of control since Nine Eleven. The FBI, with support from the dysfunctional federal court system, has been carefully selecting and persecuting unsuspecting Muslim scapegoats from every population center in America, including Albany.

We know for a fact that the shameful Cheney-Bush administration began this illegal farce by directing the FBI to create Muslim scapegoats (such as our own Mr. Aref and Mr. Hossain) to justify their incompetent policy of forced national ruination. And we know that after the current administration moved into the White House the FBI has continued to select and scapegoat Muslims, and perjure them into prisons right up to the present day.

Cops Pose For The Cameras As Yassin Aref (Left) And Mohammed Hossain Are Paraded In Chains
Cops Pose For The Cameras As Yassin Aref (Left) And Mohammed Hossain Are Paraded In Chains

After listening to the President’s speech I’ve started to think that maybe the FBI is not so out of control. Perhaps now we know why the FBI has been getting away with perjury since January, covering their lies with illegal “secret evidence” as part of a series of carefully staged political kangaroo trials. Perhaps now we know why Albany citizens Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain have been perjured into prison, and why the Obama Justice Department has been deaf to appeals to reaximine the unlawful procedures that the FBI used to get a false conviction.

But foolish simple minded me, I assumed (as did a lot of other people) that after January 20 2009 the FBI has been acting without authorization, continuing to ruin the lives of innocent people merely to cover their own sorry unamerican butts. I’ve always assumed that sooner or later the new President would get around to booting out the Republican Party hacks from the Justice Department and eventually purge the FBI of traitors and corrupt perjurers. I have always assumed that whatever his faults, Barack Obama believes in the rule of law and has America’s best interests in mind.

This is starting to look like it was wishful thinking on my part.

The Wife is a core organizer and founder of Project SALAM, an acronym which stands for Support And Legal Advocacy For Muslims. Basically, Project SALAM is all about watching the watchers, collecting in one database easily obtainable public information on the tactics and methods that the secret police use to incriminate and perjure hapless American Muslims, extralegal tricks designed to manufacture phony terrorists and undermine rule of law for everyone.

March To Support Aref And Hossain,  Central Avenue In Albany, August 2009
March To Support Aref And Hossain,
Central Avenue In Albany, August 2009

The organizers of Project SALAM include several lawyers, so the website (which BTW is maintained by The Wife) explains itself with the kind of qualifiers that lawyers are famous for. The purpose of Project SALAM is:

. . . Devoted to researching and documenting the likelihood that the United States Justice Department’s post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecutions and convictions have included a significant number of Muslims who were in fact innocent of any crime. Other cases were severely overcharged and/or over sentenced . . . Following 9/11 the FBI and Justice Department indicated that they were operating under a new paradigm of preventing terrorist attacks before they occurred. This paradigm suggested that charges could be brought against people who they suspected might commit crimes in order to obtain convictions before any crimes actually occurred. Such prosecutions seem in fact to have occurred and it appears that completely innocent Muslims have been convicted and sent away for long prison sentences based only on suspicion and concocted charges.

Yeah, privately these folks at Project SALAM will tell you that so far they have yet to find one single real terrorism case out of hundreds across the country that the dysfunctional federal “justice” system has manufactured. They’ve found plenty of minor bits of nonsense blown up into “terrorism,” such as what happened to the working class kids from New Jersey labeled by the corporate media The Fort Dix Five.

Three of these boys are brothers named Duka. They are the children of immigrants from Albania. For those who are geographically challenged, Albania is a European country, a place where the people currently are very friendly with the United States. The people of Kosovo, which is eighty percent ethnic Albanians and now considered part of Albania, recently demonstrated their love of our country by erecting a big public statue of former President Bill Clinton.

These three young guys were given life in prison plus . . . for planning an attack on the Fort Dix military facility with a pair of hunting rifles! Really, no kidding, that was the charge. Actually these kids, who worked for the family roofing business, did what millions of other Americans are fond of doing. They liked to spend weekends and vacations partying in the woods,usually at a nearby resort in the Poconos.

Four of the Fort Dix Five, from left to right, Serdar Tartar, Eljvir (Elvis) Duka, Dritan (Tony) Duka, and Shaheen (Shain) Duka
Four of the Fort Dix Five, from left to right, Serdar Tartar, Eljvir (Elvis) Duka, Dritan (Tony) Duka, and Shaheen (Shain) Duka

These bad boys on vacation did what plenty of guys in their 20s often do, which is videotape their antics for later laughs, imagining that such idiocy is worth preserving. I understand that they sure got rowdy. The video shows them horseback riding, swimming, and engaging in pillow fights. But unlike most American boys in the woods they didn't get drunk, they are after all Muslims.

The video also shows them firing their rifles at a firing range. Being the offspring of immigrants, while they fired their guns at the firing range they hollered a lot in three languages, English, Albanian and... uh oh... Arabic. You see, almost all Muslims know at least some Arabic, the same way all Catholics born before 1965 know at least some Latin. Arabic is the language of religion, no matter where Muslims come from.

Well, these boys proudly took their antics video to a chain drugstore to process, where some numbskull clerk who watches too much TV got all excited and called the secret police. It’s funny how many people trust these Hoover Boys, eh? Some eighty years of intense propaganda has legitimized the FBI in many people’s minds, when in fact the FBI has no legal constitutional basis for existing let alone exercising police authority.

This video, along with the FBI’s phony baloney “secret evidence” which “could not be presented in the open courtroom because of national security” was used for show by the FBI to justify their perjury against these kids. Other than these two nothings, there was absolutely NO EVIDENCE that they plotted anything other than to party in the woods. And yet they received life in prison.

Scary Looking Teenager, Child Of An Immigrant From Africa
Scary Looking Teenager, Child Of An Immigrant From Africa

Are these Mr. Obama’s “apprehended extremists” that have been “sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror?” A bunch of working class kids on vacation? Boys with an immigrant father, just like the president?

So where are the extremists from Pakistan? Albania is about 3000 miles from Pakistan. Albany’s Yassin Aref comes from Kurdistan, which is the only part of Iraq that actually supported the unprovoked US invasion. Mohammed Hossain, the other Albany victim of FBI terror, comes from Bangladesh which is closer to the war, but Bangladesh tends to be hostile to Pakistan for recent historical reasons.

If you want to hear more about these imaginary “terrorist” cases go find The Wife. Lately she’s been disrupting dinner parties and social gatherings by rambling on endlessly about these hapless scapegoats. She’s even traveling around the Northeast to speak on behalf of the families of Muslim men who have been perjured into prison, since their family members tend to be too terrorized by the FBI to speak for themselves.

The point I’m making is that either Mr. Obama is a dumb cluck who has been duped by a hostile secret police agency, which does not seem likely. He’s not George W. The more likely and much sadder conclusion that our President is consciously and voluntarily going along with this extralegal policy of scapegoating innocent people that was practiced by the Cheney-Bush regime so as to justify his agenda of endless war.

The moment the President made his West Point war speech he lost many if not most of his core supporters in America. I’ve been hearing it from one person after another, I’ve been reading one commentary and posting after another on the internet. This is baseball, and Barack Obama has now swung and missed three times:

1) The Financial Corporation Bailout Mr. Obama gave trillions of dollars to Citigroup, Goldman Sachs etc. after choosing as his chief financial advisors the very same people who ran Citigroup, Goldman Sachs etc. into the ground. Rather than take this opportunity to impose regulations on these irresponsible scam outfits, he actually gave them more latitude to siphon off America’s wealth.

Goldman Sachs' Timothy Geithner Carefully Watches The President
Goldman Sachs' Timothy Geithner Carefully Watches
The President

2) The Big Health And Big Pharma Giveaway What we want from health care reform is to eliminate the useless middleman corporations which do nothing but siphon off money, drive up costs and deny coverage to those of us who need it. Corporate Death Panels are condemning Americans to death while you read this. But Mr. Obama has been working vigorously to squash Single Payer Medicare For All, which would have drastically reduced the cost of healthcare in America. Instead he pushed through a 500 billion dollar subsidy to the useless corporations, and the new bill grants these parasites the power to force us to give them money, even if we don’t want to!

3) Stepping Up Endless War Like the War Against Iraq which is still ongoing and not likely to end soon, the War Against Afghanistan is fought to feed money into the military industrial complex. But the Afghan Adventure is also being fought for the ultimate purpose of building an oil pipeline snaking from what’s left of the Caspian Sea across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. So there is a concrete reason for this war of conquest, essentially a subsidy of dead bodies for the oil corporations.

That was strike three and as far as his supporters are concerned Barack Obama has struck out. These three massive expansions of corporate power are the sort of things Republican politicians would do to America if they were competent, which they most certainly are not. The sad conclusion is that Barack Obama is no more or less than a corporate Republican trying to overthrow the US Constitution just like any other typical Republican. Except he’s better at it ‘cause he’s much smarter.

You did not read about the disappearance of Barack Obama’s political base of supporters in the corporate media, but I can assure you that the corporations and their media are well aware of the President’s nakedness.

Wonkette's Caption: Bushes Protect Obama From Scary Old Democrats
Wonkette's Caption: Bushes Protect Obama From Scary Old Democrats

It looks like our current President has made the same error that former President Clinton made. Both men seem to have thought that if they made massive concessions to corporate power and wealth, then the corporations would not sic their media on them. Mr. Clinton did not appease the corporations by pushing through NAFTA etc., they organized their Republicans and their media into an attack machine and never let up to this very day.

Does Mr. Obama think the corporate media will behave differently for him? True, the corporate media has less power now than in the 1990s when they had no competition from the internet, back then they had a virtual monopoly on information. But as we can see with these recent staged disruptions of health care town hall meetings by the Teabaggers, lots of small minds still take orders from their TV sets.

Mr. Clinton was hated by the Dittoheads of the 1990s because “he might as well be black,” while Mr. Obama is hated by the Teabaggers because he IS black. Nevermind that like the teabaggers, he is working for the corporations. No amount of political and financial concessions to their corporate overlords will make those America-hating radical righties suddenly admire Mr. Obama, any more than they liked Bill Clinton before him.

The year 2010 is going to be a very bad one for Chief Executive Obama. I predict that after the new year the corporate media will launch an all-out propaganda assault against Mr. Obama that will dwarf the coordinated slander campaign against Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Then come November the electronic voting machines will be programmed to create a bogus “Republican victory” for seats in Congress. By year’s end the President will be sporting gray on his head and deep lines on his face.

He Was Supposed To Save Us From Republicans And Corporations
He Was Supposed To Save Us From Republicans And Corporations

What is the ultimate goal of this transference of power from the elected US government to the autocratic corporations? What exactly is the corporate political agenda? Well, if things keep continuing the way they’ve been going, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights will become nothing but pieces of paper. Instead we will wake up one day and notice that we have a de facto corporate dictatorship in control of our nation and of every intimate detail of our lives.

Recently a euphemistic name has floated in the corporate media for this eagerly anticipated corporate dictatorship, the “East Asia Model.” Has anybody considered what this means?

For the most part “East Asia Model” refers admiringly to China. By using this term the rad righties and the corporate media are stating their preference for the structure of the Chinese government, which is a strict corporate system called “communism.” Succession of the CEO (or Party Chairman) is chosen by an insular group of insiders called a politburo (a board of directors.) As with any corporation, there are no meaningful elections in China, there is no serious political input from the bottom of the pyramid where wealth originates.

Stalinist “communism” is nothing more than a top down corporate government, this is why “communism” has been failing as a system. And yet our own steadily collapsing Republic is literally riddled with corporatist politicians who are working vigorously for the establishment of a corporate dictatorship in America. Why do these American politicians hate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights so much? Do they hate themselves, and wish to take out their self hatred on the nation?

He Was Supposed To Save Us From Republicans And Corporations
Roofing Contractor Ferik Duka, Father Of Three Of The Fort Dix Five

Lately our elections have been presenting a choice between flavors of corporatists. In the 2008 presidential election we were presented with the Dumb Incompetent Republican Corporatist or the Smart Competent Democratic Corporatist. Either way we get a corporatist. Which is worse for the rest of us, the Dumb Corporatist or the Smart Corporatist?

So many decent, patriotic Americans have had so much hope for Barack Obama’s presidency, hoping he would fix all the degradations that the Republican Party and their compliant Democrats have imposed upon this nation. But from 1969 onward a succession of US presidents have steadily handed public power and assets over to the international corporations. As of right now the President of the United States may no longer have the power to defy these corporations.

I don’t see much hope for our country over the next few years. After 2010 and the upcoming phony “resurgence of the Repub Party” through manipulation of electronic voting machines, I predict that the corporate radical right will make their move. They will try to seize power on behalf of their corporate sponsors.

In 2011 I see the FBI secret police extending their terroristic tactics from the Muslim community to the rest of the US population. I see the FBI and right wing militias and Teabaggers joining with elements of the local police, parading through the streets to advertise their control of society. (Perhaps even a torch light procession at night.) I see a widespread imposition of disorder followed by the massive looting and destruction of our private property by the corporations, like happened in Baghdad. It will be the triumph of Disaster Capitalism in America.

The other day some wiseguy mockingly asked me if I thought my phone was tapped by the FBI. Well, I briefly described The Wife’s activities on behalf of scapegoated Muslims and the repeated condemnations of the FBI that I’ve been writing on this blog. Yeah, I told this character whose eyes got wide, they’re probably watching us. They like to watch. Let’s hope, I said, that’s all they continue to do.

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If you are having difficulties posting a comment, please email Daniel Van Riper. We are experimenting with our spam filters, and we do not want to exclude any legitimate commenters, just spammers!

Posted by: Roger Green
Posted on: 12/21/2009
Came to the peculiar conclusion that Obama will be primaried in 2012, probably from the left (Feingold? Hope it's not Kucinich; though he's correct on the issues, he's been too marginalized by the media.)

Posted by: Claire
Posted on: 12/21/2009
As Usual: Dan and albanyweblog tell it like it is! Thank you for a thoughful and insightful Blog.

Posted by: You Know
Posted on: 12/29/2009
Whatever happened to the precautionary principle, that the environmentalists keep telling us about?

We all know Muslisms are bad terrorist people -- or at least some of them are, and if we don't stop them first, they will take away our freedom.

Posted by: Dan Van Riper
Posted on: 12/30/2009

Why didn't we use your "precautionary principle" to prevent this recent act of terrorism:

We all know that working class American men are bad terrorist people - or at least some of them are, and if we don't stop them first, they will take away our freedom.

Posted by: Dan Van Riper
Posted on: 12/30/2009

Then again, maybe "You Know" is on to something:

Note the sticker on the back of this terrorist's car. Perhaps we should use his "precautionary principle" on all Republicans... just in case.

Posted by: cek
Posted on: 12/30/2009
Thanks, Dan, as always.

Posted by: Gabe
Posted on: 01/01/2010
I think it's more likely that he's trying to score political points with Americans who think the Democrats are "soft" on terrorism. Alas, those of us who are opposed to all this are forced to vote for Democrats anyway, so we're "safe" votes. It's the "moderate" Pennsylvanians, Floridians, and North Carolinians that he's courting.
We have met the enemy, and he is us!

Posted by: Gabe
Posted on: 01/01/2010
Incidentally, this is one failure of not allowing majority parties to call snap elections when their numbers are low. In countries like the UK and Canada, with parliamentary systems, leaders who are under fire from the opposition can, in essence, can say "OK, smarty pants, let's have an election in three weeks!". Usually that gives the PM's party a nice bounce and he can continue to govern without resorting to dumb rhetoric aimed at a particular constituency.

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