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21 April 2013


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More SNL:

Limited Authority

Graham said he was told “the system is not as robust as you’d think.” The FBI official said the legal authority to monitor such activity is limited, absent information that corroborated the Russian tip, he said. Congress should study the episode to determine if the FBI should be given more legal authority for monitoring, he said.

All the FBI needs to do is to request a warrant (assuming that is still the norm). Since 9/11, there have been something like 1,700 requests - 2 denied by that special panel that sits inside the Dept of Justice.

Babak Makkinejad

Since you have clearly entered the realm of science fiction, may I suggest an alternative:

1. Invest in discovering of Earth-like planets.
2. Assign one to each group of people who would want to be recognized as a distinct ethnicity.
3. Develop interstellar transportation technologies based on fusions ships (like those in Project Orion), or Worm-holes, or Warp-drives etc.
4. Ship every ethnicity to a different planet but do not share the coordinates of those plants among these ethnic groups.

There would be an America II, a Free Quebec, a Free Scotland, Rusland, etc.

I expect Israelis can then literally inherit the Earth and live in splendid isolation until Meshakhak shows up.

Charles I: I have not forgotten you, there would be a Freedonia as well.

[By the way, the idea you are proposing was used in an episode of the English Sci-Fi TV series called "The Tomorrow People"]

William R. Cumming

Thanks PL for answering my frequent questions! These and many others!

And I expect the possibility of two SCOTUS seats opening at the end of this term. Perhaps the lame duck will arriving sooner than some expected.

I have always argued that it takes almost a decade before we know what a SCOTUS Justice brings to the table. So the fact that 5-4 decisions are reflective of a deeper political crisis can only be expected to continue whomever sits on SCOTUS. Chief Justice Roberts is rumored to really really hate his job. Being an advocate and being a judge are very very different aptitudes and competencies.


Goood point, but our own definition is problematic. An element of Title 18 charge of international terrorism is that the acts:
B)appear to be intended—
(i)to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii)to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii)to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;

"Defense of Islam" in an of itself, would not appear to fit within that. This is obviously a crime, but whether it fits our federal definition of terrorism is not clear at this point. Recall that legal experts have wrestled with the definition of terrorism for years.

Clifford Kiracofe

"In the past decade, Islam in Dagestan has been polarized between the Salafist school of orthodox Sunni Islam - which the authorities consider an alien import to the region - and the officially tolerated Sufi school, the traditional form of Islam in the Caucasus for centuries but which rebels now denounce....

Sufi clerics have been killed by Salafist attackers. Young Salafists, whose ideas chime with those of puritan radicals in the Middle East, have been rounded up and, say rights activists, tortured by the police.

Tamerlan's trail on social media sites and in Russian-language videos posted on YouTube shows that he had taken sides in the dispute. Among his five favorite videos on YouTube is one that denounces Dagestan's traditional Sufi Muslims as heretical idol worshippers.

The young man who posted that video, but did not create it, told Reuters the sentiment it expressed was typical of the region's Salafists, who see themselves as part of a religious war: "His videos are pretty typical of Muslim youths here today: We are against the Sufis, they are against us. There is nothing strange in that," said the man, as he scrolled through Tamerlan's YouTube account in a Makhachkala Internet cafe."

As I noted on the open thread, Saudi Arabia for some three decades has promoted Wahhabism in this region, specifically Chechnya and Dagestan. In the early days of this penetration, this foreign penetration was very well noticed by the loocals who deemed the foreigners "Wahhabis."

Thousands of Dagestani youth have been reported to have obtained scholarships to "study" in Saudi Arabia.

The strategy of the Saudi Wahhabintern, as elsewhere, is to penetrate the religious mileu and then move to eliminate local moderate influence and to replace it with persons foreign and domestic subscribing to Wahhabism and under Riyad'd direction. Saudi Arabia has renovated and built mosques in the reqion placing their people in charge and so on.

US media has failed to report the Saudi role in the Caucasus and its impact of radicalization and the accompanying increase of terrorist violence. At the moment, this is referred to loosely as 'salafi' influence when in fact the historical situation indicates direct Saudi Wahhabi influence.

If we consider the Caucasus as a covert second front operation of the Western anti-Soviet crusade beginning in 1979 things may fall into a broader context. The case of Syria today with the West plus the Saudi Wahhabis launching guerilla warfare and terrorism is instructive.

Clifford Kiracofe

Here is an open source study of Basayev from Foreign Military Studies series, Dept of the Army, DOD. It is dated 1997, about two decades ago:



I am confused about something and perhaps someone on this forum could help me. Why was Boston "locked down" during the manhunt for this kid? Its very expensive to shut a city down. You lost one day of production. Was the idea that he was a particular danger to the public because he might be tempted to become a suicide bomber? Or was it to help catch him. Anyone left on the streets is definitionally suspicious?

For me, this kind of civilian curfew is very odd outside of a warzone. It makes me think about a drift towards martial law in the US. Im surprised the media didnt ask any questions about this move. It makes no sense to me - well it makes some sense but it seems a highly questionable decision.



I found the spectacle of thousands of police, national guard, etc. hunting one wounded kid to be appalling. IMO he deserves the death penalty but the chittering fear that gripped Boston not admirable. pl



"(i)to intimidate or coerce a civilian population" Seems to me that the crime fits this description. pl


"Why was Boston "locked down" during the manhunt for this kid?"

First panic by the leadership followed by an authoritarian power grab.


And if in your sci-fi fantasy the terrestial planets are inhabited with other humans that don't want people who have failed to live and let live?

There is a Fredonia in Mercer County Pennsylvania.

Also in the county is this place:


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