Another Muslim “student” from abroad has been sentenced to a lengthy term in prison. This time, it is a 22-year-old native of Uzbekistan, one of the many “stan” countries northeast of Iran and south of Russia. He landed in the United States June 19, 2009 on a student visa, but became an illegal alien because he did not leave the country when the government revoked his visa after learning that he did not re-enroll in school.
President Obama’s drone fever is contagious and is spreading worldwide, and the American industries that build the drones are slavering over the chance to supply the demand. Christopher Ames, the director of international strategy development for Pentagon contractor General Atomics Aeronautical, was almost gleeful in his statement to Reuters regarding the opening of a potentially lucrative overseas market for his company’s remote control killing machines.
If the definition of the word “terrorist” has seemed somewhat flexible to many Americans in recent years, that state of befuddlement is shared by the U.S. government. The difficulties of defining a “terrorist” were on display on Capitol Hill when a high-ranking State Department official declared that the Nigerian Jihadist group Boko Haram — one of the most violent Islamist organizations in Africa — to be a “terrorist” organization, while explaining that it was not a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
On Monday a group representing about 7,000 drone manufacturers and operators from government organizations, industry and academia released an industry-wide code of conduct to allay fears of privacy violations. According to the press release issued by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, describes the code as “a set of guidelines to provide AUVSI members – and those who design, test and operate UAS for public and civil use – with recommendations for their safe, non-intrusive operation.”
Today, as I stand for exactly the same ideals of American liberty as I did in 1967, I have just been labeled a threat to my country by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In fact, they say I am a right wing extremist, a racist and a potentially violent domestic terrorist.
Newly-elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi shocked the Obama administration with a call for the release of the release of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the terrorist associated with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Although the Obama administration has been a bit more forthcoming lately in its admission of its policy of using drones to kill enemies by remote control, there is still an official reluctance to let too much information reach the public.
In the last year or so, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a group of reporters have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petitions requesting that the federal government provide greater access to operational details of the drone program and the legal arguments forwarded by the Obama administration in justifying not only the use of the drones, but their use in the killing of thousands in Pakistan alone.
The 22-year-old Saudi “student” who landed in the United States with a visa to study and a dream to murder Americans was convicted in court of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the FBI said. Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari could get life in prison for hatching the plot.
Now that Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two U.S. Attorneys to investigate the alleged “leaks” of classified information many suspect originated in the White House, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence is piling on by announcing that all intelligence agents and officials may be subjected to polygraph testing if they are suspected of leaking information to the media.
Many Americans are justifiably anxious about drone use by the federal government against the American people, but the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations says that concerns about our privacy are overblown.“While many are understandably anxious about the seemingly inevitable expansion of drones a cross the United States, I argue that many fears are either overblown or based on misperceptions,” wrote Micah Zenko on the Council on Foreign Relations website June 21.