Last week, the National Counter Terrorism Center released its 2011 Report on Terrorism, highlighting the contrast between the apocalyptic rhetoric associated with a terrorist threat and the reality that attacks are on the decline. And of the 13,288 people killed in terrorist incidents last year, only 17 (or 0.1 percent of the total) were private U.S. citizens.
All this would be welcome news, were it not reported in this fashion: "According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year."
Great, another thing to be panicked about. We've known the criminal network responsible for the world's most heinous crimes to be spelled in so many different ways. Al Queda, al-Qaida, al-Qa'ida. Turns out it's spelled IKEA. Indeed, from 2008 to 2010, the Consumer Products Safety Commission estimated that an annual average of 43,400 emergency department-treated injuries and a total of 293 reported fatalities were the result of "instability of televisions, furniture and appliances."
For years, we've been warned that northern Europe represented a safe haven for the world's most dangerous criminals, but now we've at least narrowed our targeting down to Sweden. And although the furniture threat may come as news to intelligence analysts, it comes as no surprise to anyone who has bought from IKEA. Only a terror-sowing criminal mastermind with a pathological hatred of humanity could devise such assembly instructions.
On the bright side, at least IKEA will have an excuse for parts missing in its assemblies. You try delivering a whole DAGSTORP sofa amid President Obama's drone strikes.
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Sweden, Terrorism
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was voluntarily gave himself up to authorities in London last night and is currently fighting extradition to Sweden, where he faces jail time — for twice having sex without a condom — and possible extradition to the United States, where some politicians want to have him executed for releasing kind of embarrassing information that was provided to him by a member of the U.S. military.
Yes, this is a for real thing…
Mr. Assange was ordered to remain in custody until a further court session on Dec. 14, the latest twist in the drama swirling around WikiLeaks following its publication of leaked documents.
Mr. Assange's associates said his detention would not alter plans for further disclosures like those it has made in recent months relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and, over the past nine days, disclosing confidential diplomatic messages between the State Department and American representatives abroad.
"Today's actions against our editor-in-chief Julian Assange won't affect our operations: we will release more cables tonight as normal," a posting on the WikiLeaks Twitter account said.
The world collectively shudders in anticipation of horrific gossip memos will be loosed upon this frail global village.
Tags: Julian Assange, Sweden, United Kingdom, WikiLeaks
Julian Assange may look like a James Bond villain, but he swears up and down he didn't touch any ladies in the bad way. In a video interview with some wacky Swedes, Assange strongly denies the claims of two Swedish women who reported that he sexually assaulted them…
As I have said before, there was clearly a smear campaign, and who was behind this, we do not know. Now, whether that turns out to be a smear campaign done by a couple of people for personal motives or ideological motives, or that is larger and involves geopolitical concerns, or whether it is a mixture of all those, we do not know, as I said at the time, until we have clear proof I will not be making clear allegations. But we do have a lot of circumstantial, suggestive material — a great deal.
Asked if he had anything to say about the two women who reported him to the police, Mr. Assange said…
My cultural values are to protect people’s private lives and to never criticize women. I think that is correct and I will continue to do that in this case.
Soooo… is that a nice way of saying, "I didn't rape those chicks, but we definitely consensually humped?" Or is it a nice way of saying, "Look, free speech heroes are ALLOWED to get hornaaaaay, amiright? Shit was hella consensual, bro!" It does seem more than a teensy weensy bit suspicious that these terrible accusations would just HAPPEN to arise after three of the world's biggest newspapers just HAPPENED to publish a story based on 90,000 pages of documents that just HAPPENED to be posted on Assange's website.
Is that a conspiracy we smell… Or is it the scent of whatever weird hair product Assange uses to get that pale semi-but-not-quite blond hue? The world may never know.
Tags: Crime, Julian Assange, Sex, Sweden, WikiLeaks
Danish Anti-Piracy Group lobbyist Johan Schlüter — speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event — on the upside to child pornography…
"Child pornography is great. It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites."
Hey, you know, if Schlüter's music-industry job ever falls through, I hear NAMBLA's always looking for seasoned lobbyists.
Tags: Denmark, Internet, Movies, Music, NAMBLA, Porn, Quote Unquote, Sweden
You know that video of "the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff" that everyone was watching last week? Your Aunt Ginny probably forwarded it to you along with that montage of the kittens sneezing. Well, that video (the murder one, not the kitten one) was released via WikiLeaks, a Sweden-based website that publishes leaked (and often embarrassing) documents and videos anonymously to the Internet.
Last night, Stephen had WikiLeaks director Julian Assange on the show to discuss his hilarious contribution to Internet chatter…
The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30pm / 10:30c.
Tags: Australia, Iraq, Julian Assange, Military, Stephen Colbert, Sweden, The Colbert Report, Video, WikiLeaks