Late last week, the United States announced that it would offer millions of dollars in rewards for information leading to the capture of leaders of the Somali militant group al-Shabab, with bounties ranging from $7 million for the capture of the group's leader Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamud Godane to $3 million for various spokesmen and senior advisers.
Making up in moxie what they lack in potable water, the Somali militants responded with a counter-offer.
"Whoever reveals the hideout of the idiot Obama will be rewarded with 10 camels, and whoever reveals the hideout of the old woman Hillary Clinton will be rewarded 10 chickens and 10 roosters," senior militant official Fuad Muhammad Khalaf announced, according to the BBC.
Yesterday, our man in Mogadishu, Johnnie Carson, did not have the presence of mind to reveal the "hideout" of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and take the damn camels…
When asked about al-Shabab's offer at a news conference, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs said: "The question is so absurd it does not deserve a response."
He said his trip to Mogadishu, which lasted a matter of hours, was to note the "significant progress" made against al-Shabab.
This is what happens when we let Democrats run the State Department. Is a ratio of 10 camels to 20 chickens really that different from the 77 cents on the dollar that American women earn relative to men, that we have to reject it as "absurd?" Senate Republicans wouldn't think so.
It's not clear that President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton have heard the offer, but I imagine, "You don't bring a camel to a drone war," would be part of their response.
Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Somalia, Terrorism
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
On Tuesday, the New York Times revealed that not only is Barack Obama our first black president and our first winning-a-Nobel-Prize-prior-to-accomplishing-anything president, he's also our first Black Nobel Prize Winning Kill List President.
But just how does one get nominated to join the terror elite? Is it just the president's decision or is it like the Oscars, where an Academy of old, white men make the tough calls with the helpful input of a multi-billion dollar industry?
Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government's sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects' biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die…The video conferences are run by the Pentagon.
Like the Oscar's, but actually deadly rather than just deadly dull. But how does the president and other participants in the "Terror Tuesday" meetings (among the attendees is political adviser David Axelrod, so let's take a moment to imagine the fit liberals would throw if Axelrod was spelled R-O-V-E), know that the killer robot drones are killing the bad people?
Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
The killer flying robots only kills combatants because everyone killed by the flying robots is a combatant. This should leave us impressed — Joseph Heller was an amateur compared to the lawyers at the CIA — and concerned: just how do we manage to extricate ourselves from this Catch-22? Some concerned petitioners, roughly 1,900 at the time this post was written, think the answer is a Do Not Kill List…
The New York Times reports that President Obama has created an official "kill list" that he uses to personally order the assassination of American citizens. Considering that the government already has a "Do Not Call" list and a "No Fly" list, we hereby request that the White House create a "Do Not Kill" list in which American citizens can sign up to avoid being put on the president’s "kill list" and therefore avoid being executed without indictment, judge, jury, trial or due process of law.
Since the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, it's clear that Americans who don't put their names on a Do Not Kill list are eligible for placement on the Kill list. Unfortunately, the only people who would sign up for a Do Not Kill are individuals who fear being branded enemy combatants, which is a good sign that they belong on the Kill List. You can see the conundrum.
Photo by Rich Sugg-Pool/Getty Images/Getty Images
Tags: al Qaeda, Barack Obama, Military, Terrorism
Back in 2008, everyone agreed Obama was the candidate to save the economy. His Achille's Heel was military weakness, fighting terrorism. How could a liberal professor protect us from all the things that go boom in the night?
Turns out killing terrorists is far easier than killing unemployment. Barack Obama has become so good at it, he even maintains a secret kill list…
It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals: Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects' biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.
This secret "nominations" process is an invention of the Obama administration, a grim debating society that vets the PowerPoint slides bearing the names, aliases and life stories of suspected members of Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen or its allies in Somalia's Shabab militia.
It used to be an honor to be included in a secret list of the president's enemies. Big stars like Paul Newman and Howard Stein (who, I presume, is an even more Jewish Howard Stern) topped Nixon's list back in the 70's.
Now, any old no-name terrorist can land on it without even causing a single international catastrophe.
William M. Daley, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff in 2011, said the president and his advisers understood that they could not keep adding new names to a kill list, from ever lower on the Qaeda totem pole….
"One guy gets knocked off, and the guy's driver, who's No. 21, becomes 20?" Mr. Daley said, describing the internal discussion.
Drones are sent off. Casualties are purposefully undercounted. No American soldiers die. Who knew when it came to foreign policy, Obama would just be a competent Bush?
Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: al Qaeda, Barack Obama, George, Military, Richard Nixon, Terrorism
Among the disadvantages of spending all one's time on the campaign trail while remaining a member of Congress is that the invisible hand does a poor job of casting votes in the House of Representatives. You really have to be physically present to make your voice heard.
This year, Ron Paul has missed 79% of all House roll call votes, but since taking a more laissez faire approach to securing delegates to the Republican National Convention, the Texas congressman has had time to be ignored in Washington, rather than on the campaign trail, for a change. Yesterday, Paul joined a press conference led by the aptly named Adam Smith, a Washington State Democrat, to speak in opposition to the indefinite detention of American citizens…
Smith has an amendment with Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John Garamendi (D-Calif.) that would undo provisions in last year's defense authorization bill and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that allow terror suspects captured on U.S. soil to be detained indefinitely.
"I do not believe a republic can exist if you permit the military to arrest American citizens and put them in secret prisons and be denied trial," Paul said of supporting the amendment.
Such crazy talk! Everyone knows the government only makes mistakes on relatively mundane matters of social and economic policy, but would never err in cases of life and death.
It's by this logic that the House voted last week to cut funding for food stamps — government can't run welfare schemes without fraud and abuse. And it's why House conservatives oppose stricter financial regulation — government bureaucrats are incompetents, who only dream of tying up American business in a tangle of regulatory bondage, like a desperate Fifty Shades of Gray-reading housewife. But on matters of national security, government achieves God-like omniscience — because magic.
It's this scale of risk versus competence that allows us to permit teenagers to pilot commercial airliners, while forbidding them from driving cars. Oh, we don't do that? Because that's an insane assessment of potential dangers?
Well, don't tell Congress. This morning, the amendment to bar detention without trial was voted down 238-182, with just 19 Republicans joining Paul in supporting the measure.
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Civil Rights, House of Representatives, Ron Paul, Terrorism