Tag Archive for Congress

Congress should override Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)

Congressional Republicans and Democrats have vowed to override President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, S.2040, known as JASTA, and both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have stated they would sign the bill into law if they were president. It would allow 9/11 family members to bring a lawsuit in federal court against Saudi Arabia. The lawsuit seeks justice; Islamists slaughtered 3,000 men, women, and children on our soil.

It is also a quest for truth. Here’s some: former Senator Bob Kerry refuted claims that the 9/11 Commission cleared the Saudi government of complicity in the September 11 attacks:

Stated most simply, our investigation found substantial evidence that one or more Saudi government employees located in the United States provided direct aid and support to the 9/11 hijackers. Those Saudi government employees were associated with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the same arm of the Saudi government that had primary responsibility for implementing the Kingdom’s global efforts to propagate the radical Wahhabi stream of Islam, and that was responsible for supervising Wahhabi proselytizing organizations that directly sponsored al Qaeda, like Al Haramain.

[See here and here for State Department terror designations of Al Haramain.]

Andrew J. Maloney, Liaison Counsel at Kreindler & Kreindler LLP for the plaintiffs, added (in response to our request for comment):

“While the International Islamic Relief Organization [the IIRO is Saudi Arabia-based] has been deeply involved with al Qaeda since the founding of al Qaeda in Pakistan in 1988, over the past few years our investigation has led us to the bigger picture role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs. While the MOIA has provided oversight of the al Qaeda charities, it has also trained and deployed al Qaeda members and supporters worldwide. And that is just the tip of the iceberg!”

Indeed, the plaintiffs’ 157-page complaint should easily meet JASTA’s litigation threshold requirements. Read it and, in small part, you will discover:

* “In 1993, [Saudi] King Fahd established a new “Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment (Waqf), Guidance and Da’awa” (the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Da’awa). … With its formation, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Da’awa assumed primary responsibility for supervising and directing the activities of Saudi Arabia’s charity alter-egos, including among others the MWL, IIRO, WAMY, and al Haramain, in keeping with the new ministry’s authority over all Saudi da’awa activities outside of the Kingdom.”

* “In addition to the support that flowed to al Qaeda from the Kingdom’s charity agents and alter-egos, investigations by the United States and its allies have confirmed that officials within the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Da’awa collaborated directly with al Qaeda members, and that agents of the Saudi government, including representatives of the Islamic Affairs Departments in the Saudi embassy in Berlin and the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, provided direct assistance to the September 11th plotters and hijackers, which was essential to the success of the attacks.”

* “As the 9/11 Commission correctly observed, the two hijackers [Hazmi and Mihdhar] were “ill prepared for a mission in the United States. Their only qualifications for this plot were their devotion to Usama Bin Ladin, their veteran service, and their ability to get valid U.S. visas. Neither had spent any time in the West, and neither spoke much, if any, English.” … The Commission concluded it was therefore “unlikely that Hazmi and Mihdhar – neither of whom, in contrast to the Hamburg group, had any prior exposure to life in the West – would have come to the United States without arranging to receive assistance from one or more individuals informed in advance of their arrival.””

* “On February 1, 2000, Bayoumi and Caysan bin Don (a/k/a “Isamu Dyson”) got into Bayoumi’s car and drove nearly two hours from San Diego to the Saudi Arabian Royal Consulate in Los Angeles. Bayoumi had previously disclosed to friends at the ICSD that he had friends at the Saudi Consulate. Although the stated purpose of the trip was to resolve a visa issue and obtain Islamic religious materials and Korans, Bayoumi had told at least one other person prior to the trip that he was going to Los Angeles to pick up visitors.”

* “Upon arriving at the Saudi Consulate, Bayoumi met for an hour with an official from the Consulate’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs office, Fahad al Thumairy. U.S. officials have concluded that Thumairy and Bayoumi discussed the recent arrival of future 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar in the United States, and Bayoumi was tasked with getting them welcomed and assimilated into the San Diego Muslim community. … Thumairy, who was twenty-nine years old at the time of the meeting with Bayoumi, graduated with a degree in Islamic studies from the Imam Muhammad Bin Saudi Islamic University in the Kingdom and immediately joined the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs.”

* “Thumairy was an accredited diplomat at the Saudi Consulate from 1996 to 2003, and further served as a religious leader at the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, CA, a mosque that had been built with financial assistance from the government of Saudi Arabia. As of January 2000, Thumairy acted as the Saudi Consulate’s liaison to the King Fahd Mosque, per the request of his superiors at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. After arriving in the United States on January 15, Hazmi and Mihdhar reportedly spent time at the King Fahd Mosque until their move to San Diego a few short weeks later.”

* “Bayoumi (a/k/a “Omar Ahmad Mustafa Al-Baioomi”), was a long-time employee of the Saudi Arabian government … a top FBI official has stated that “We [the FBI] firmly believed that he [Bayoumi] had knowledge [of the 9/11 plot], and that his meeting with them [Hazmi and Mihdhar] that day was more than coincidence.””

* “Evidence further indicates that an additional source of Saudi government funding used to support the activities of Hazmi and Mihdhar while in the United States came by way of Bayoumi’s relationship with Osama Yousef Basnan, another agent of the Saudi government who was being groomed to replace Bayoumi in San Diego. Basnan, known as a vocal al Qaeda sympathizer and further described by U.S. intelligence as an “ardent UBL [Osama bin Laden] supporter” who “has been in contact with UBL family members,” was a target of FBI investigations as early as 1992.”

* “… on October 17, 1992, Basnan hosted a party in Washington D.C. for Omar Abdul Rahman (a/k/a the “Blind Sheikh”) who is currently serving a life sentence following his conviction for his role in supporting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and for plotting a “day of terror” in which he planned to attack the United Nations in New York City, bomb the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and assassinate then-Senator Alfonse D’Amato. … FBI sources further report that in September 2000, Basnan was in phone and email contact with senior al Qaeda member and key facilitator for the September 11th attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh. Binalshibh himself confirmed his relationship with Basnan during interrogations by U.S. officials following his capture in Karachi, Pakistan on September 11, 2002.” [Binalshibb is alleged to be the 9/11 plot coordinator, then located in Germany, and is currently awaiting trial by Military Commission at Guantanamo Bay alongside Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.]

* “The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs is further implicated in the September 11th terrorist attacks by virtue of the relationship between the 9/11 plot’s “Hamburg cell” and the head of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs office in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Berlin, Germany, Muhammad Jaber Hassan Fahiki. The “Hamburg cell” consisted of key operatives in the September 11th attacks, including Mohammed Atta (the ringleader of the 19 hijackers who piloted American Airlines Flight 11), Marwan al Shehhi (piloted United Airlines Flight 175), Ziad Jarrah (piloted United Airlines Flight 93), Ramzi Binalshibh, Mounir el Motassadeq, Said Bahaji, Zakariya Essabar, Abdelghani Mzoudi, and others.”

Congress should override Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

9/11 family members deserve the opportunity to present their case in federal court. Yet every American needs to know if and when Saudi Arabia replaced Iran as the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

Obama and Senate Intel Cmte tortured the truth about CIA’s enhanced interrogation program

President Barack Obama said on Friday, “In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right. But we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.” Yet the Department of Justice has twice closed investigations of alleged torture by the CIA without filing charges against anyone. Obama’s remarks were not only politically self-serving and contrary to the findings of fact, they went viral in the Muslim world and provided Islamist radicals with ready-made propaganda with which they will recruit many to the jihad.

In February 2013, I did what the Senate Intelligence Committee did not do while it spent years and $50 million dollars “investigating” whether EITs provided credible intelligence; I interviewed a top official directly involved with the program, Jose Rodriguez who headed the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. He directed the enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees, and led worldwide intelligence collection programs and covert action operations. Here is the complete audio of my Freedom Radio interview of him:

If you listened, you heard Mr. Rodriguez tell of how the enhanced interrogation program was developed and that it was briefed to leaders in Congress in August and September of 2002, including those on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

A detainee — after he became compliant through the use of EITs — was the first to tell the CIA that Ahmed al-Kuwaiti was bin Laden’s courier; interrogating and observing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confirmed that it was credible information. Subsequently, the CIA got the courier’s real name through human intelligence and traditional trade craft, they spotted him in Pakistan, and he led them to Osama bin Laden:

“No doubt about it; the information that was obtained from al Qaeda terrorists in our custody at our black sites using enhanced interrogation techniques led to the demise of bin Laden.”

It is important to understand the scope of the intelligence gained. Mr. Rodriguez described it:

“The intervening ten years we were up against all kinds of threats, a second wave of attacks. We also knew they had a nuclear program, they had a biological weapons program, they had operatives that were coming after us, and the enhanced interrogation program gave us the intelligence that allowed us to capture all of them or kill them. We were actually able to decimate al Qaeda because of this program.

“This program was the key to doing that. And to say otherwise is to try to rewrite history, and it based on ideology and politics which really is of great concern to me. We need an honest assessment of the value of these techniques, and if we can’t be honest with ourselves, I think we are in big trouble.”

What we did right after 9/11 included not rewarding unlawful enemy combatants with the Geneva Conventions protection to not answer questions. Overwhelming, Americans believe those protections should only be provided to lawful enemy combatants who follow the Rules of War.

My family and I thank those who did what was necessary to defend our Nation. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,000-page deception about the effectiveness of EITs and President Obama falsely claiming that detainees were tortured will not diminish our appreciation.

Did North Carolina voters ask liberal Bob Etheridge ‘Who are you?’

Congressman Bob Etheridge was the only Democrat incumbent from North Carolina in a toss-up race to end Election Day behind in votes in their Congressional District.

Election night results in the four North Carolina ‘toss up’ races

Congressman Bob Etheridge’s grabbing a “reporter” by the arm and striking him in the head this past June likely contributed to his apparent defeat in the midterm election. (Etheridge has stated he will ask for a recount if the vote is within one percent after the absentee ballots are counted and the race is certified.)

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Yet also look at the 111th Congress voting records for the four “at-risk” Democrats running for reelection in North Carolina:

NC-2 48.6% Etheridge – 49.5% Ellmers
HEALTH CARE BILL Yes
STIMULUS PACKAGE Yes
TARP Yes
ENERGY BILL Yes

NC-7 53.8% McIntyre – 46.2% Pantano
HEALTH CARE BILL No
STIMULUS PACKAGE Yes
TARP No
ENERGY BILL No

NC-8 52.9% Kissell – 44.0% Johnson
HEALTH CARE BILL No
STIMULUS PACKAGE Yes
TARP N.A.
ENERGY BILL No

NC-11 54.3% Shuler – 45.7% Miller
HEALTH CARE BILL No
STIMULUS PACKAGE No
TARP No
ENERGY BILL Yes

In addition, Congressman Etheridge consistently voted for closing Guantanamo Bay and for bringing Gitmo detainees to the U.S. for a civilian trial. Coupled with his weak response to Renee Ellmers’ ‘No Mosque at Ground Zero‘ campaign advertisement, they served to highlight Etheridge’s alignment with the politics of President Obama:

Bob Etheridge has never thought building this mosque and community center so close to Ground Zero is a good idea, spokesman Mike Davis said in a statement Tuesday. Davis labeled the ad a political tactic designed to distract voters. [Davis later added that Etheridge had not previously commented because it was “a New York” issue.]
Etheridge has the clear financial edge in the race, sitting on more than $1.2 million as of his latest campaign filing. Ellmers has raised $355,000 to date, which her campaign notes is more than any of Etheridge’s previous GOP challengers have raised.

Renee Ellmers ran against Congressman Etheridge’s liberal voting record. He stood out as compared to the more conservative Democrats in North Carolina and that likely also contributed to why he lost the NC-2 election.

Vote out those House Democrats who flip-flopped to give KSM a civilian trial (Updated)

Updated, 4:55 a.m. Eastern. Nov 25:

While the win-loss tally for the Gitmo switchers was close to an even split, the Democrats lost the House and their vote to bring terrorists into U.S. federal courts for trial contributed to that loss.

In addition, a significant number of House Democrats who consistently voted to bring Gitmo detainees to the U.S. were defeated. They are:

Joe Sestak, PA-7, lost to Pat Toomey in the PA Senate race.

Bob Etheridge, NC-2, lost to Renee Ellmers

John Spratt, SC-5, lost to Mike Mulvaney

Rich Boucher, VA-9, lost to Morgan Griffith

Scott Murphy, NY-20, lost to Christopher Gibson

Steven Kagen, WI-8, lost to Reid Ribble

Phil Hare, IL-17, lost to Robert Schilling

James Oberstar, MN-8, lost to Chip Chavaack

Travis Childers, MS-1, lost to Alan Nunnelee

Gene Taylor, MS-4, lost to Steve Palazzo

Chet Edwards, TX-17, lost to Bill Flores

Ciro Rodriguez, TX-23, lost to Francisco Canseco

John Salazar, CO-3, lost to Scott Tipton

Steve Driehaus, OH-1, lost to Steve Chabot

Solomon Ortiz, TX-27, lost to Blake Farenthold

So far, 41 Democrats who voted on October 15, 2009 to bring Gitmo detainees to the U.S. for trial have lost their congressional races. There remains one undecided race (NY-1).

——

Original Post, October 31, 2010, 7:11 AM:

President Barack Obama has indicated he will again attempt to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into the U.S. for a federal trial after the midterm elections. The good news is the House Armed Services Committee cut off the funding this past spring when poll after poll showed a strong majority of the American people are opposed to the plan. If the House shifts to a Republican majority, it is unlikely the funding will be restored. We will be watching for the reelection results of those Democrats who first voted, in a non-binding vote on October 1, 2009, against authorizing the President to bring Guantanamo detainees into the U.S. for trial and then, when it counted a mere two weeks later, they switched their votes.

Two-thirds of these flip-flopping Democrats are in toss up, leans GOP, or likely GOP races with Election Day nearing. One particularly arrogant Congressman, Baron Hill of Indiana’s 9th District, is in a leans GOP race against Todd Young, a former Marine and Deputy Prosecutor in Orange County, IN. Congressman Hill had this to say last October after switching his vote:

“I haven’t had one person ask me about Guantanamo,” said Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind. He added that he does “not in the least” fear it as an issue in next year’s elections.

Maybe Hill is correct; his votes for the health care, stimulus, and energy bills are perhaps why he is behind in the polls.

Yet in comparatively liberal New York, Congressman Daniel Maffei (NY-25) made those same votes, including switching to allow civilian trials for terrorists, and he has lost his lead against challenger Ann Marie Buerkle. Maffei had this to say about his Gitmo switch:

It’s a non-issue. Inside the beltway stuff,” said first-term Rep. Dan Maffai [sic], D-N.Y. “People care about jobs, the economy, health care.”

A third example is Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D, IN-8) in a likely GOP race for that open Senate seat against Dan Coats. While Ellsworth voted for both the health care bill and TARP, Coats slammed Ellsworth for his Gitmo vote in his very first television advertisement.

There are others, like Melissa Bean (IL-8) in a tight race against Joe Walsh, Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8) in a toss up race against Marine veteran Jesse Kelly, and Ron Klein (FL-22) in a leans GOP race against retired Army veteran Lieutenant Colonel Allen West.

To be clear, we would like to see every Congressman who voted to afford the enemy a civilian trial voted out of Congress. But for now, we will be watching the Gitmo flip-floppers listed below (on the left). We urge our fellow Americans to vote for their opponents (listed on the right).

Michael Arcuri, NY-24, versus Richard Hanna *

Melissa Bean, IL-8, versus Joe Walsh *

Tim Bishop, NY-1, versus Randy Altschuler u

* Sanford Bishop, GA-2, versus Mike Keown

John Boccieri, OH-16, versus Jim Renacci *

Rick Boucher, VA-9, versus Morgan Griffith *

* Dennis Cardoza, CA-18, versus Michael Berryhill

* Russ Carnahan, MO-3, versus Ed Martin

* Ben Chandler, KY-6, versus Andy Barr

* Jim Costa, CA-20, versus Andy Vidak

* Jerry F. Costello, IL-12, versus Teri Newman

* Henry Cuellar, TX-28, versus Bryan Underwood

Kathy Dahlkemper, PA-3, versus Mike Kelly *

Lincoln Davis, TN-4, versus, Scott DesJarlais *

* Peter DeFazio, OR-4, versus Art Robinson

Brad Ellsworth, IN-8, versus Dan Coats (for U.S. Senate) *

* Gabrielle Giffords, AZ-8, versus Jesse Kelly

Alan Grayson, FL-8, versus Daniel Webster *

Debbie Halvorson, IL-11, versus Adam Kinzinger *

* Martin Heinrich, NM-1, versus Jonathan Barela

* Brian Higgins, NY-27, versus Leonard Roberto

Baron Hill, IN-9, versus Todd Young *

* Jim Himes, CT-4, versus Dan Debicella

Paul E. Kanjorski, PA-11, versus Lou Barletta *

* Larry Kissell, NC-8, versus Harold Johnson

Ron Klein, FL-22, versus Allen West *

Suzanne M. Kosmas, FL-24, versus Sandy Adams *

* Daniel Lipinski, IL-3, versus Michael A. Bendas

* Stephen Lynch, MA-9, versus Vernon Harrison

Daniel Maffei, NY-25, versus Ann Marie Buerkle *

Betsy Markey, CO-4, versus Cory Gardner *

Jim Marshall, GA-8, versus Austin Scott *

* Jim Matheson, UT-2, versus Morgan Philpot

Kendrick B. Meek, FL-17, versus Marco Rubio (for U.S. Senate) *

* Mike Michaud, ME-2, versus Jason Levesque

Scott Murphy, NY-20, versus Christopher Gibson *

Patrick Murphy, PA-8, versus Michael Fitzpatrick *

Glen Nye, VA-2, versus Scott Rigell *

* Ed Perlmutter, CO-7, versus Ryan L. Frazier

Tom Perriello, VA-5, versus Robert Hurt *

* Collin Peterson, MN-7, versus Lee Byberg

Earl Pomeroy, ND-1, versus Rick Berg *

* Mike Ross, AR-4, versus Beth Anne Rankin

* Bobby Rush, IL-1, versus Ray Wardingley

* Loretta Sanchez, CA-47, versus Van Tran

Mark Schauer, MI-7, versus Tim Walberg *

* Kurt Schrader, OR-5, versus Scott Bruun

* Allyson Schwartz, PA-13, versus Dee Adcock

* Heath Shuler, NC-11, versus Jeff Miller

Ike Skelton, MO-4, versus Vicky Hartzler *

* Adam Smith, WA-9, versus Richard Muri

Dina Titus, NV-3, versus Joe Heck *

Charlie Wilson, OH-6, versus Bill Johnson *

* John Yarmuth, KY-3, versus Todd Lally

——

Note:

See RealClearPolitics.com for election race assessments.

November 2 is also All Souls’ Day and we remember 2,976 of those who departed on 9/11.

Renee Ellmers for Congress; No Mosque at Ground Zero

We concur with North Carolina’s Renee Ellmers that “The terrorists haven’t won. We should tell them in plain English, ‘No; there will never be a mosque at Ground Zero.'” Ellmers spoke with Freedom Radio about the mosque and her campaign to unseat Congressman Bob Etheridge:

Last year, eight Muslim residents of her Congressional district were arrested for plotting to attack the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia which demonstrated the threat posed by the rise of radical Islamists here is a national security concern.

Her opponent for North Carolina’s 2nd District seat, Congressman Bob Etheridge, reportedly “has never thought building this mosque and community center so close to Ground Zero is a good idea.” Yet his campaign spokesman Mike Davis “acknowledged that Etheridge has never offered his opinion publicly, but said that’s because ‘he’s not going to get involved in it. … That decision is for New York.'”

We join Renee Ellmers in her call for the leadership of the Republican and Democrat caucuses in Congress to support a resolution opposing the Ground Zero Mosque.

Ceding ground to those who promote the establishment of discriminatory sharia law here in America would encourage both the violent and “non-violent” jihad being waged against our Nation.

America was attacked on 9/11; the Stars and Stripes is the only victory flag that should ever fly over our sacred ground.