The report repeatedly referred to al Qaida as solely responsible for the attack on the compound, and made no mention of Ansar al Shariah, the Islamic extremist group that controls and provides much of the security in restive Benghazi and that has long been suspected in the attack. While the two organizations have worked together in Libya, experts said they have different aims – al Qaida has global objectives while Ansar al Shariah is focused on turning Libya into an Islamic state.
It is an important distinction, experts on those groups said. Additionally, al Qaida’s role, if any, in the attack has not been determined, and Logan’s narration offered no source for her repeated assertion that it had been.
“I think there are definitely connections, but I am not sure there is command and control” between al Qaida and Ansar al Shariah, said Aaron Y. Zelin, the Richard Berow fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who studies insurgent activity in North Africa.
Logan claimed that “it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaida in a well-planned assault.” But al Qaida has never claimed responsibility for the attack, and the FBI, which is leading the U.S. investigation, has never named al Qaida as the sole perpetrator. Rather it is believed a number of groups were part of the assault, including members and supporters of al Qaida and Ansar al Shariah as well as attackers angered by a video made by an American that insulted Prophet Muhammad. The video spurred angry protests outside Cairo hours beforehand.
21 documents found in 0.002 seconds.
- BP Gulf Oil Spill
- Barack Obama
- Barney Frank
- Breaking news
- Carl Levin
- Catholic Church
- Concentration camps
- Congressional Oversight
- Deepwater Horizon
- Democratic Party
- Federal Reserve
- Financial Crisis
- Fox News
- Great Depression
- Gulf of Mexico
- Jerome Corsi
- John Kerry
- Ku Klux Klan
- Lara Logan
- Minerals Management Service
- Nazi Germany
- Offshore drilling
- Patriot movement
- Reproductive rights
- Right Wing Pundits
- Sean Hannity
- Shepard Smith
- Sonia Sotomayor
- Stupak amendment
- Supreme Court
- The House
- Thomas Jefferson
- Times Square bomber
- abortion rights
- banking crisis
- financial reform
- gordon liddy
- housing market
- insurance company
- mail records
- oil leak
- oil rig
- oil spill
- times square
This is good. This kind of information should be helpful in trying to figure out what to do next:
NEW ORLEANS — With mystery swirling over how much oil may be lurking beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a research vessel leaves Wednesday on a nine-day mission: To find and study a potentially toxic stew that oceanographers fear could be catastrophic for marine life.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Thomas Jefferson, one of the most technologically advanced vessels for finding hazards on the seafloor, has been diverted from a recent trip to map the ocean floor off Galveston, Texas, to the belching Deepwater Horizon oil leak.
Like most everything involved with the spill, there are more questions than answers. "The business of trying to detect submerged oil is not a settled science," Cmdr. Shepard Smith, the ship's commanding officer, said Tuesday during a tour of the ship for McClatchy. "There isn't a great body of experience with how to do this because it's a really very unusual circumstance."
The 208-foot, 36-person ship has been equipped with a variety of methods to detect oil. Smith said researchers have some idea how the sensors may react, he but added, "We don't know for sure, because we don't know the form it might take, and we've never done it before."
The ship and its researchers traditionally focus on changes to the seafloor that could present a threat to navigation — "usually we ignore what's in the water, we're more interested in the seafloor," Smith said. To help interpret the data, scientists from NOAA and other research facilities who specialize in studying ocean water and marine life have been brought aboard.
"It's totally new, we're really testing the feasibility of the approach, we don't know whether it will work or not, but it's certainly worth trying," said one of those researchers, Larry Mayer, the director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire. "What is the nature of submerged oil, if there is oil? We just don't understand its properties yet."
Some researchers have found what they say are vast plumes of oil suspended beneath the Gulf's surface, though BP has disputed those reports. Members of Congress and other researchers have been pressing the White House for weeks to do more to determine how much oil is suspended under the surface.
I hope it isn't too late to save natural treasures like this.
It was known long before the Obama administration took over that the MMS was rubber stamping every drilling application that came along. So why didn't they clamp down on this from the beginning?
Regulators at the Minerals Management Service exempted 27 additional offshore drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico from performing an in-depth environmental analysis—even after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, according to reporting by McClatchy. One of those exemptions went to BP.
The Deepwater Horizon rig had also been exempted from having to perform an in-depth environmental analysis using something known as a “categorical exclusion.” Categorical exclusions are used to fast-track drilling plans by eliminating paperwork that is deemed to be unnecessary or redundant because the drilling would probably have no significant effect on the environment.
While the granting of an exclusion is not the final step before a company is free to drill, it does expedite the review process.
The Department of Interior has put a temporary moratorium on new permits to drill offshore. MMS officials told McClatchy that giving a categorical exclusion isn’t the same as giving final approval to drill, and they “could not say” whether the exemptions would stand when the moratorium is lifted.
BP’s massive oil spill was already in progress when MMS applied the categorical exemptions to these 27 projects in the Gulf, exempting them from having to produce site-specific environmental impact statements as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
“The BP rig still burning. The oil is spilling,” Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, told me. “And they give another categorical exclusion to BP, saying there’s no chance of a spill. It’s just insane.”
BP’s Deepwater Horizon plans were also thought to pose minimal risk to the environment. In its exploration plan for the rig, submitted to MMS years ago, BP said “no significant adverse impacts are expected” to the environment and stated that a spill was an “unlikely event.”
In the three weeks after the rig exploded, MMS gave BP a categorical exclusion for a plan to drill “at a depth of more than 4,000 feet,”according to McClatchy. Another company, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., was given approval for a plan to drill in more than 9,000 feet of water.
Hmm. So while Shahzad wasn't a fan of the Beckster, it appears that neither was he a member of any radical Islamic group. I wonder how many wingnut heads will explode now:
WASHINGTON — No credible evidence has been found so far that the Pakistani-American man accused in the Times Square bombing plot received any serious terrorist training from the Pakistani Taliban or another radical Islamic group, six U.S. officials said Thursday.
"There is nothing that confirms that any groups have been found involved in this for certain," one U.S. official told McClatchy. "It's a lot of speculation at this point."
Faisal Shahzad may have, at the most, had "incidental contact" with a terrorist organization, and he may have been encouraged to act, said one of the officials, who declined to elaborate further.
Four U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials and two other U.S. officials with knowledge of the case spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss classified intelligence or the ongoing investigation publicly.
According to a five-count criminal complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, Shahzad admitted after his arrest on Monday to receiving bomb-making training in Waziristan, a part of Pakistan's tribal area bordering Afghanistan, during a five-month trip to his homeland that ended in February.
According to the criminal complaint, Shahzad admitted that he'd parked a Nissan SUV loaded with propane tanks, gasoline canisters, fertilizer and fireworks coupled to two alarm clocks in New York's Times Square on Saturday evening and fled.
The vehicle began smoldering, but failed to explode. Shahzad was apprehended on Monday night on a Dubai-bound Emirates flight at John F. Kennedy Airport that he'd been allowed to board even though his name was on the "no fly" list.
The U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials, however, said that the bungled nature of the bombing and the trail of clues that led the FBI to him suggest that he never received even rudimentary terrorist training or instructions on how to evade arrest.
Nor has any credible evidence been uncovered verifying his story of being trained in Waziristan, they and the other U.S. officials said.
"We've seen nothing suggesting that Shahzad received even minimal training, and everything about what he did suggests otherwise," one U.S. official said.
Here's what the Beltway crowd still doesn't seem to get: If any of us stole from the company till, or forged documents, we'd be in jail right now. So average Americans, smarting from the fallout of these far-reaching and fraudulent deals that left so many people out of work, are wondering why there seems to be a separate standard of justice for Wall Street bankers. How do you respect your government when jail time only applies to the pot dealer down the street?
When are some of the bigwigs behind these scams going to prison?
WASHINGTON — A Senate panel investigating the causes of the nation's financial crisis on Thursday unveiled evidence that credit-ratings agencies knowingly gave inflated ratings to complex deals backed by shaky U.S. mortgages in exchange for lucrative fees.
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hold a detailed hearing on Friday, where its chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., will introduce e-mail records in which executives from Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service acknowledge compromising the integrity of ratings to win business from big Wall Street firms.
"They did it for the big fees they got," Levin told reporters on Thursday after outlining the broad strokes of what he'd pursue Friday when he puts current and former ratings agency officials on the hot seat.
The documents to be released Friday confirm what a McClatchy investigation revealed in October _ that pressure from top ratings-agency executives to retain market share and the fees that it brought meant that ratings on complex deals were malleable. Some fees were as high as $1.4 million.
The agencies rate the quality of financial products such as bonds and serve as guides trusted by investors. Many of the bonds they rated as top-quality in the recent crisis turned out to be junk. The fallout from their deference to Wall Street's financial firms was a housing collapse that triggered a global financial crisis.
In one example obtained by the committee, Yvonne Fu, a Moody's employee, sent an e-mail to a banker at Merrill Lynch in June 2007, pressuring the investment bank to lock down a big fee in exchange for a positive rating.
"We have spent significant amount of resource on this deal and it will be difficult for us to continue with this process if we do not have an agreement on the fee issue," Fu wrote.
Apparently the Catholic Church, just like the other Beltway lobbyists, now writes our legislation.
The drama had built for months, pitting a group of Democrats against the Catholic Church. Priests and bishops were calling members to lobby for stricter language to limit abortion coverage, members and aides said last week.
But the final decision played out over a few furious hours Friday night as the fate of the broader bill still hung in the balance and stirred up long-dormant tensions within the Democratic Party over reproductive rights.
The beneficiary of this impasse was Stupak, an outspoken abortion-rights opponent whom the leadership had tried to circumvent, in order to pick up the votes he claimed to represent. After months of stalemate, the speaker was forced to accept language Stupak first drafted over the summer that would bar any insurance company that participates in the exchange — including the government option — from offering insurance plans that would cover abortions.
“Normally, at the end of the day, you’re arguing over fine-tuning,” said an aide whose boss was involved in the negotiations. “But this is a sizable change to current policy. So everyone was kind of stunned.”
For more than a decade, the Hyde amendment has prohibited the federal government from paying for abortions through any existing government program. The law needs to be reauthorized each year as part of the appropriations process, but the two sides had come to something of a détente.
The health care fight, however, disrupted that balance, and a big bloc of anti-abortion Democrats were threatening to derail the entire bill unless party leaders agreed to stronger restrictions the church could accept. Since mid-September, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had been working closely with Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) to craft language that would thread what proved to be an impossible needle.
Ellsworth, in consultation with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was trying to amend legislation passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee to make sure insurance companies that receive federal funds under the programs created by the bill don’t use any of that money to pay for abortions.
The next time some bobblehead starts talking about how this crisis "is about people living beyond their means", remind them of this latest proof that the financial services industry was thoroughly and aggressively corrupt, and that was a much bigger problem:
WASHINGTON -- As the housing market collapsed in late 2007, Moody's Investors Service, whose investment ratings were widely trusted, responded by purging analysts and executives who warned of trouble and promoting those who helped Wall Street plunge the country into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
A McClatchy investigation has found that Moody's punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings.
Instead, Moody's promoted executives who headed its "structured finance" division, which assisted Wall Street in packaging loans into securities for sale to investors. It also stacked its compliance department with the people who awarded the highest ratings to pools of mortgages that soon were downgraded to junk. Such products have another name now: "toxic assets."
As Congress tackles the broadest proposed overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s, however, lawmakers still aren't fully aware of what went wrong at the bond rating agencies, and so they may fail to address misaligned incentives such as granting stock options to mid-level employees, which can be an incentive to issue positive ratings rather than honest ones.
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a blistering report on how profit motives had undermined the integrity of ratings at Moody's and its main competitors, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, in July 2008, but the full extent of Moody's internal strife never has been publicly revealed.
Moody's, which rates McClatchy's debt and assigns it quite low value, disputes every allegation against it. "Moody's has rigorous standards in place to protect the integrity of ratings from commercial considerations," said Michael Adler, Moody's vice president for corporate communications, in an e-mail response to McClatchy.
Insiders, however, say that wasn't true before the financial meltdown.
"The story at Moody's doesn't start in 2007; it starts in 2000," said Mark Froeba, a Harvard-educated lawyer and senior vice president who joined Moody's structured finance group in 1997.
"This was a systematic and aggressive strategy to replace a culture that was very conservative, an accuracy-and-quality oriented (culture), a getting-the-rating-right kind of culture, with a culture that was supposed to be 'business-friendly,' but was consistently less likely to assign a rating that was tougher than our competitors," Froeba said.
After Froeba and others raised concerns that the methodology Moody's was using to rate investment offerings allowed the firm's profit interests to trump honest ratings, he and nine other outspoken critics in his group were "downsized" in December 2007.
Sean Hannity hosted not one but two whole segments last night devoted promoting the new book by Jerome Corsi -- godfather of the Swift-Boating of John Kerry -- titled America For Sale, which is basically an extended black-helicopter-style conspiracy tome straight out of the Patriot movement of the 1990s, updated for the new century.
This is a classic case of conservatives mainstreaming extremist ideas. I haven't read all of Corsi's book yet, but it differs very little in ideas and content and overall thesis from the kinds of books you could buy at militia-meeting tables in the '90s.
I haven't yet found whether Corsi decided to include his recent reportage for WorldNetDaily detailing the nefarious Obama conspiracy to round up conservatives and imprison them in concentration camps. Hannity managed to not bring up that point last night.
But yes, that's what Corsi wrote:
The proposed bill, which has received little mainstream media attention, appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany.
Funny, I still have a Militia of Montana book that outlines this very same nefarious plot being concocted by Bill Clinton.
In truth, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., has proposed a bill that would order the Homeland Security Department to prepare national emergency centers — to provide temporary housing and medical facilities in national emergencies such as hurricanes. The bill also would allow the centers to be used to train first responders, and for "other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security."
Of course, Corsi and Hannity aren't the only ostensibly mainstream conservatives peddling this paranoiac fearmongering: So is Michelle Bachmann, among others:
"There is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service," Bachmann told a Minnesota radio station.
"And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."
Why, exactly, does Sean Hannity so avidly promote Jerome Corsi and his conspiracy theories anyway? Look at his record:
It's just another day here in the Obama Whiplash Derby, in which I'm either saying, "God, I can't believe I voted for this guy!" or "Wow, great idea!" - sometimes within the same five minutes. (Boy, does my neck hurt.)
Of course, we have to see what's in the final legislation, but this is one of those good ideas:
WASHINGTON — Among the sweeping changes in government regulation that President Barack Obama will propose Wednesday is the creation of an independent and powerful Consumer Financial Product Safety Commission to regulate financial products such as mortgages and credit cards.
With an eye toward protecting consumers and ordinary investors, the Federal Reserve and other bank regulators would lose their oversight over mortgages, credit cards and other financial products that are sold to consumers. It's a radical shift in approach and a tacit acknowledgment of federal failure.
"Lets face it, the (Federal Reserve Board) has had the power to engage in aggressive consumer regulation at least since 1994," Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel, which oversees how Wall Street bailout money is being spent, told McClatchy in an interview. "They clearly had the power to stop the mortgage crisis before it started. And what did they do with that power? Nothing."
Warren's view was echoed by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the chairman of the influential House Financial Services Committee, which will write the legislation to implement and perhaps build on Obama's proposals.
"We definitely should take consumer protection away from the Fed," Frank said.
The Right is throwing every little bit of ugliness they can at Sonia Sotomayor in hopes of derailing her nomination to the Supreme Court.
They've called her a racist. They've compared the National Council of La Raza to the Ku Klux Klan. They've called her a "lightweight" and "anti-white." They've suggested she lacks the right temperament, since she's just another stereotypical hot-blooded Latina. They've even suggested she's unfit to be a judge because she menstruates.
OK, we get it, fellas. The kid gloves are off.
Presente has organized a grassroots campaign to let ordinary citizens send the following message to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
We are outraged by the smear campaign against Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Instead of discussing her record, right-wing activists have sought to question Sotomayor’s intelligence and temperament, and suggested that her racial identity will prevent her from ruling fairly. This thinly veiled racism and sexism is not only insulting to Sotomayor, it's an affront to anyone who believes that a nominee should be judged on her record, not her heritage or skin tone.
The reality is that Sotomayor is an accomplished judge who would start with more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years. In her more than 3,000 panel decisions and almost 400 opinions, she has consistently protected the rights of working Americans and become one of the nation’s most respected legal minds. Sotomayor is not only a superbly qualified nominee; she is a powerful example of the American dream and knows how the law affects the daily lives of Americans.
I stand with Judge Sotomayor, and urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to give her nomination a speedy hearing and a positive confirmation.
Go here to sign it.