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28 December 2010

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Jake

Not all of Emerson's contributors are "expert witnesses" and/or self styled experts who know as much about intelligence and terrorism as I do about the back end of Mars. While many of the projects contributors are wealthy Jewish Senior Citizens, who are routinely pounded with threat analysis of which many do not understand.

I believe that the Investigative Project should not be exempt from reporting its contribution sources that are required by other 501c3 Organizations. Its simple, Emerson wants his funding sources protected not just from terrorists but other 501c3 competitors.

Moreover, Emerson is still all about Emerson. Though I do admit that age has begun to settle down that hot temper that he was once known for.

I do take note of Emerson's reports, and then do my own analysis for confirmation. Steve's problem is that he still see's way to many Islamic terrorists under his bed.

My other problem with Steve is that he supports the ever growing security apparatus in this country.

Because of people like Emerson, we Americans are surrendering our liberty for the sake of security.

Twit

Col,

His people also testify before Congress, write reports for DHS, DOD, and the Treasury, and are on the regular speaking circuit to banks about the 'threat of terrorist finance.'

I've had the misfortune of hearing them in person many times and few observations:

1. They speak of and draw conclusions about 'Islamic terrorism' but their examples are typically almost exclusively about the activities of HAMAS and Hezbollah. They know a lot about these groups (which are Israel's enemies but, correct me if I'm wrong, pose at worst a nuisance and indirect threat to the US), but seem to know no more than the average newspaper reader about al Qaeda or the international takfiri jihadist movement.

2. They equate giving money to any Muslim organization that is not explicitly sympathetic to both the War on Terror and Israel as either 'terrorist finance' or at least 'suspicious activity' that should be investigated and discouraged. By Muslim organization, I mean any group representing any political or social cause that focuses on giving aid to Muslims or is based in Islamic religious belief.


It's always been obvious that the IPT is an exclusively self interested organization that offers its people access to at least a taste of influence and status, but this article also shows that it was a vehicle for Steve's own financial profit. What's telling is which particular terrorists Steve, as a businessman, assessed would be most profitable for his project to investigate.

confusedponderer

There appear to be a couple of faux experts abound in the US, giving questionable testimony about 'the threat posed by THE ISLAMOFASCISTS™ '.

I just read about what one of them, Walid Shoebat told a group on a speaking engagement:

A counter-terrorism consultant told a meeting of law enforcement officials that the way to combat militant Muslims is to "kill them ... including the children," says a news report.
That guy has iirc also been a guest on some of pastor Hagee's events. I recall him having mentioned the name.

I remember reading of similar quality 'expert testimony' from an article iirc co-written by Jeff Stein about homeland security, surveillance and how it impacts local police forces. Can't find the link atm though.

William R. Cumming

The Crusades overlap US Tax policy and administration. My own non-profit is deliberately not tax exempt and all federal, state, and local taxes are paid. The Exempt Organizations office of IRS is a fascinating group of people. I was briefly assigned there in 1967 before reporting to Active Duty. The Scientology request for exemption as a church had just been received. Granted exemption only years later. My bottom line is simple.

The openess of the American economy and its receptiveness to flight capital makes it hospitable to various forms of financing of terrorism and the converse. The battle is really here. Evidence of course would be readily available if foreign contributions to political campaigns, that are illegal by the way, were properly disclosed and policed. The book has yet to be written on these foreign contributions and theiir impact on American politics. Most are hidden through cutouts. Basically the game of anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism is funded on both sides by the US either directly through foreign assistance and INTEL or by the failed energy policies of the US and devotion to the automobile. Hey the Roman roads ran both ways, remember?

Basilisk

Not difficult to be an expert when you create all the details of the "plots" you uncover, huh?

I'm thinking Steve should be in the running for the Pen Faulkner award for fiction--including his submissions to the IRS.

Phil Giraldi

Emerson is a liar who has become rich tapping into the desire of the usual players to go after Muslim groups. The comments to the article in Forward absolutely slay me. The belief that there is some kind of Muslim lobby out there that is manipulating policy is ridiculous. There is such a group, but it is not Muslim and is called AIPAC. It is currently engaged in starting a war against Iran.

There should be no room in the US for people who owe ultimate allegiance to another country. I really do wish that the many Americans citizens who prosper here but hold Israel closest to their hearts as exemplified by several of the Forward comments would pack up and leave. See how they like actually living there.

Harper

A number of years ago, Emerson sued a local weekly newspaper in Florida, after they checked out his claims that Federal agents had warned him about plots against his life, and got formal statements from DOJ and FBI to the effect that Emerson was lying. The law suit came to a sudden halt when it came time for Emerson to answer interrogatories and appear for a deposition. He sued the paper thinking they'd be intimidated and back down, but turns out they had deep pockets and libel insurance, and hired competent investigators to probe into Emerson's entire background. That was too much for Emerson. So he dropped the suit. One skeleton that has been reported: While working as a Senate staffer years ago, Emerson was snared passing classified documents on to Israeli government officials. He left the Senate under a cloud, and may have struck some kind of deal with the FBI to avoid prosecution. It was around the same time--late 1970s, early 1980s--when Stephen Bryen was caught up in a similar web, and just before Pollard started his career of spying for Israel. Oh, what a web!

Patrick Lang

All

His "associates" (at least one - Evan Kohlman) get $300/hour from the USG for prep time and testimony. I heard that in a federal court. pl

J

Colonel,

Kohlmann is a useful tool for Israel's black propaganda operations at play here in our U.S.. So he gets $300/hour for his ignorance of Middle East politics and culture, one has to wonder how much 'seed information' that Mossad is passing onto Kohlmann, Katz, Emerson, and the other 'tools' that Israel's intel/propaganda apparatuses are using. Why our government is using outsiders like Kohlman instead of relying on individuals whose government credentials have been proven in fire (yourself, Phil, etc.), does make one step back and pause with incredulity.

J

Phil,

I wouldn't give those individuals you describe living very long in Israel to loose their 'love' living in a Totalitarian Fascist Police State that uses WWII Nazi-era Gestapo tactics against both their own citizenry and outsiders. They would be severely disillusioned to see that the Israel of their minds/hearts (Biblical pipe-dream) and the reality that is the Zionist state are diametric opposites.


confusedponderer

$300/hour? Profitable.

More on Shoebat, and eventually the article I have been referring to earlier, not by Jeff Stein, but Dana Priest and William M. Arkin: Monitoring America and the particular passage I had in mind:

Expert training?

Ramon Montijo has taught classes on terrorism and Islam to law enforcement officers all over the country.

"Alabama, Colorado, Vermont," said Montijo, a former Army Special Forces sergeant and Los Angeles Police Department investigator who is now a private security consultant. "California, Texas and Missouri," he continued.

What he tells them is always the same, he said: Most Muslims in the United States want to impose sharia law here.

"They want to make this world Islamic. The Islamic flag will fly over the White House - not on my watch!" he said. "My job is to wake up the public, and first, the first responders."

With so many local agencies around the country being asked to help catch terrorists, it often falls to sheriffs or state troopers to try to understand the world of terrorism. They aren't FBI agents, who have years of on-the-job and classroom training.

Instead, they are often people like Lacy Craig, who was a police dispatcher before she became an intelligence analyst at Idaho's fusion center, or the detectives in Minnesota, Michigan and Arkansas who can talk at length about the lineage of gangs or the signs of a crystal meth addict.

Now each of them is a go-to person on terrorism as well.

"The CIA used to train analysts forever before they graduated to be a real analyst," said Allen, the former top CIA and DHS official. "Today we take former law enforcement officers and we call them intelligence officers, and that's not right, because they have not received any training on intelligence analysis."

...

Like Montijo, Walid Shoebat, a onetime Muslim who converted to Christianity, also lectures to local police. He too believes that most Muslims seek to impose sharia law in the United States. To prevent this, he said in an interview, he warns officers that "you need to look at the entire pool of Muslims in a community."

When Shoebat spoke to the first annual South Dakota Fusion Center Conference in Sioux Falls this June, he told them to monitor Muslim student groups and local mosques and, if possible, tap their phones. "You can find out a lot of information that way," he said.

A book expanding on what Shoebat and Montijo believe has just been published by the Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based neoconservative think tank. "Shariah: The Threat to America" describes what its authors call a "stealth jihad" that must be thwarted before it's too late.

The book's co-authors include such notables as former CIA director R. James Woolsey and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, along with the center's director, a longtime activist. They write that most mosques in the United States already have been radicalized, that most Muslim social organizations are fronts for violent jihadists and that Muslims who practice sharia law seek to impose it in this country.

Frank Gaffney Jr., director of the center, said his team has spoken widely, including to many law enforcement forums.

"Members of our team have been involved in training programs for several years now, many of which have been focused on local law enforcement intelligence, homeland security, state police, National Guard units and the like," Gaffney said. "We're seeing a considerable ramping-up of interest in getting this kind of training."

Government terrorism experts call the views expressed in the center's book inaccurate and counterproductive. They say the DHS should increase its training of local police, using teachers who have evidence-based viewpoints.

Cloned_Poster

ALL, you are American Citizens, who should take control.

Jackie

Cloned Poster: Who should take control? I'm guessing not the loonies being discussed here. Emerson and crew seem to be detached from reality. Although, it does appear there is a lot of money to be made with all the scare mongering.

Larry Kart

Interesting, no, that the Jewish Daily Forward is blowing the whistle on this sinister clown.

Charles I

Thank you Harper, had an uncle named Harper, thanks for reminding me, but thanks for the vignette of the day.

The breadth and quality of infobits that come through here are a testament to our host, thanks for attracting such quality posters, self excepted.

J., we are the outsiders. Emerson et al and those that hire and pay them are the insiders. Their Venn diagrams of personal/American interests are just arranged differently than yours, almost certainly to your credit.

Phil Giraldi, I don't read many comments outside this forum, but I do note that since the Gaza war the comments section in Ha'aretz has morphed into a preponderantly reasonable call for peace and humanity, even if only out of self prteservation. A heartening, if sad contrast to those further west.

J

Harper,

Your "One skeleton that has been reported: While working as a Senate staffer years ago,

    Emerson was snared passing classified documents on to Israeli government officials.
He left the Senate under a cloud, and may have struck some kind of deal with the FBI to avoid prosecution. It was around the same time--late 1970s, early 1980s--when Stephen Bryen was caught up in a similar web, and just before Pollard started his career of spying for Israel. " has indeed spoken a mouthful regarding Mr. Emerson and his activities.

Adam L. Silverman

Sir: One of the interesting things about all this, essentially an ironic parallel, is that Mr. Emerson's first real name/reputation making in regards to terrorism was through a documentary entitled Jihad in America, which, if I recall correctly, aired as a PBS Frontline investigation. Part of its focus wound up being on Dr. Sami al Arian, the USF computer scientist, who was teaching politics of the Middle East through a research center he'd set up on campus: World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). Part of the reason that al Arian came to notice was that he seemed to be commingling the funds between WISE and an off campus not for profit (I believe it was called the International Committee for Palestine or ICP) dealing with raising money for Palestinian issues. Eventually he was alleged to be a major money man for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and after 9-11 the DOJ finally indicted him after he was a subject of investigation for a series of years. While his eventual trial was a mess, as the DOJ threw everything at the jury but the kitchen sink, he ultimately agreed to a plea deal on one charge. The interesting parallel, to my mind, is the funding issue, which really is what got the ball rolling for the criminal investigation: where was the money coming from, who was it going to (the allegations were to PIJ), and was he using his university center as a cut out and pass through for money and communications (the current head of the PIJ worked as adjunct faculty for his center at one time, as did the brother of the former head of the PIJ). So the financial irregularities seem to be almost a sauce for the goose type of situation.

What I always find interesting about this is the connections to others, which many here have identified. My understanding was that Dr. Pipes initially provided (some? all?) of the financial support for Mr. Emerson to set up the Investigative Project, just as Mr. Emerson would eventually help to set up Mr. Kohlmann and others, but I can't seem to find anything to confirm what I had been told/led to believe years ago. This group of self professed and self made experts is quite fascinating. As you've written about in the Kohlmann post, you've got a small set of experts that have managed to get lucrative consulting gigs or do expert witnessing or soak up grant money and other funding. They all seem to track back to each other, share publicists, and I've yet to meet one (I worked for one and know another) or read about one that actually has any training on Islam or religion or Arabic or anything like that. Some are native speakers and self professed reformed/former terrorists, such as Mr. Shoebat, while others are just opportunists. One of these gentlemen, a former professor at a university in South Florida (not USF), is a Lebanese Christian who did great research work on conflict resolution. Now he works for one of these counter-terrorism foundations, is frequently used as an expert witness for the government in terrorism cases, and according to an article in the Atlantic some years back admitted on the stand that he'd never studied Islam. The one I worked for - he just wants to be recognized as as big a name as Gaffney, Woolsey, and Pipes.

For full disclosure: I'm a coauthor on an analysis of the pre jury selection surveying that was done in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Atlanta to determine if Dr. al Arian could receive a fair trial in any of those locations as a result of media coverage, which there was a ton of as the Tampa Tribune ran regular stories for several years following the allegations, the case, linkages to strange goings on in regards to CENTCOM (one of the Tampa Trib articles alleged that an al Arian supporter, a retired Army O5 who'd worked Intel, had been involved with some sort of terrorism and the Middle East conference in the early/mid 90s at CENTCOM and that he'd some how brought in a Sudanese expert known to the participants as Yahya. According to the reporting at the time it was eventually believed that Yahya was actually Hassan Turabi, which seems quite far fetched, but this investigative series in the local paper was HUGE for several years running. In terms of publicity it didn't help that Dr. al Arian couldn't keep himself away from TV either...), the trial, etc. The manuscript was written prior to my going to work for the Army and was published in late 2007/early 2008 if I recall correctly. My contribution was basically the history and back story surrounding Dr. al Arian. My late father, a criminology professor at USF, was one of three faculty members to ask for/begin an investigation (if I recall correctly, Dad at the time was head of the faculty senate's investigative committee) of WISE and the courses it offered in conjunction with/through the international studies program. Students had been complaining to my Dad, and several other professors, that a professor without credentials in polisci or IR was teaching Middle Eastern politics and presenting the material in an exceedingly biased manner. That professor was Dr. al Arian, whose faculty appointment was in computer science. Internally to the university, at least, that's how the inquiry got started. So I had an almost ring side seat to the entire circus.

Jake

Have we gone to far?

Top Secret America.. ( http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/ )

I can tell you this much. Some of the folk I have encountered that are part of an Infusion Center are just as scary as some some of the folk they wish to protect us from.

J

Jake,

You're talking about the 'control freaks' that are now camping out within the whole 'homeland security' apparatuses debacle(which includes their 'friction' centers), right?

Adam L Silverman

Jake: you've hit on something very important in your initial comment about soliciting of donations. In this case you've identified American senior citizens who are Jewish and who are deluged with scare mongering direct mail and email appeals for support. This is rampant across the spectrum for other issues as well and the largest target audience is simple American senior citizens. In many ways it is the postal or email equivalent of the "Irish" (in quotations because most aren't actually Irish) traveller/tinker scams that Ive watched all my life living in Florida (the Deity's waiting room). These guys come through and prey on elderly folks by basically befuddling them with kindness after a storm or severe cold patch by offering to clean up for a small fee. Then they discover (cause) some real damage, claim to be contractors or know a contractor who can fix it, and the next thing you know someone's parents have been fleeced.

In the specific case you're referring to there are many aging to elderly American Jews who remember when anti-Semitism in the proper use of the term was a real day to day issue even in the US (and I'm not saying we still don't have it, we do, but it's basically a marginal nuisance now for the most part, with the exception that we've allowed it to be fully directed at Muslims; Islam - the other Semitic religion...) and so the equation of threats to Israel with threats to Judaism with anti-Semitism will get a donation. I've seen equivalents directed at American seniors in general run regarding the government taking away Medicare and social security by making them government programs even though they are government programs. I know there's a ton of good data on how much money was raised on the death panels canard from the same elderly demographic, not to mention numerous other issues in the US. While I'm a huge fan of free speech, in the cases of fleecing the elderly for funds that basically just go to prop up political operatives and their operations, it might be a very good idea to create some consumer protection.

Finally, I'm not implying that America's seniors are all feeble and deluded. These scams are purposefully targeted at the most vulnerable ones using tested practices that indicate that if you make it look official and send it to an elderly person living alone and make it inflammatory and scary, they'll send money in. If you can add religion to it it just makes it more effective. And the research shows that this is especially effective when targeted at elderly people.

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