Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Tag

Can We Stop Fighting Yet?   9 comments

September 11, 2001 – Where were you and what did you do when you heard about the 911 attacks? What did you do to move on?

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So I have previously blogged about my experience on September 11, 2001. I don’t wish to revisit those times, but to instead focus on healing, though as I typed this, four GA airplanes flew overhead in less than an hour, starkly reminding me of that day when the only planes in our hunting season sky were fighter jets.

Image result for image of 9-11Like virtually everyone else in the country, I was shocked, numb and confused on September 11. By September 12, I was grateful for everything I had. By September 18, I — along with almost everyone else in the country — was angry and wanted some payback.

A friend of mine had an uncle who had just retired from a financial firm with offices in the Towers. He had chosen “semi-retirement” as a mentor and he was supposed to be there that day for a morning meeting, but the weather was lovely and he decided to be decadent and go for a walk in the park instead. Thus, he was having breakfast when an airliner obliterated the boardroom where all of his colleagues were sitting. They never even got a chance to flee the building.

A coworker of mine had a brother who worked in the Pentagon building. His office was a long way from the center of operations, in the outside ring. He was invited down the hall for coffee and donuts to celebrate a coworker’s birthday and so he wasn’t in his office when it was destroyed by the terrorists using an airliner as a missile.

I live in a big military town, so I knew men and women who were almost immediately deployed to Afghanistan and who later returned emotionally and physically shattered.

I’ve also known at least a half-dozen contractors who spent time in Afghanistan and Iraq. One friend’s brother was killed over there. He was an unarmed electrician working to restore power to a city Saddam had deemed didn’t need power some 20 years before. He was up a telephone pole hooking up a transformer when a sniper shot him in the head.

Alaskans fly a lot and I am much more cognizant of what’s going on within an aircraft cabin than I used to be. I hate that I occasionally feel a moment of concern when certain types of men are on board. They’re probably innocent of what I am silently accusing them of. I get over it and I move on, but I won’t pretend it doesn’t happen. I’m told by two friends (one an immigrant from Iraq and another from Egypt) that they feel the same way in similar circumstances. They know they are not terrorists, but they aren’t so sure of Middle Eastern strangers, especially if they are speaking in Arabic. Our friend from Egypt can speak Arabic, so she says she always eavesdrops and always has had her fears allayed. She expresses sympathy for those of us who don’t have that skill. We’re not wrong to have those concerns, because we know for a fact that there were Middle Eastern passengers bent on our deaths. It’s foolish to think it can’t happen again.

But here’s the thing – over time, my anger waned and I began to realize that what we were doing “over there” wasn’t making us any safer and was probably making us less safe. My daughter and son are now of draftable age (women aren’t required to register yet, but they can be drafted – thank President Obama for doubling down on stupid) and I worry about them, which makes me more aware of the other mothers’ sons and daughters who might die or be maimed in wars that the United States has no business being in. You can disagree with me, but now that fracking has given the US the ability to  be a net exporter of oil (not that we are at the moment), why are we conducting these wars on foreign soil? We don’t need to. About one-quarter of the US debt is attributable to these wars we seem to have no intention of ever getting out of. The larger that debt grows, the more likely the country is to enter a Greater Depression from which long-term recovery is unlikely.

I had a Muslim coworker (Amisa) who I prayed with on that day 16 years ago. She is a nice gal who never meant anyone harm and she was as upset with what happened as we were. I knew “Mark” (Mahmood is his real name) for more than a decade before 9/11. I knew not all Middle Easterners were terrorists and I’ve had that long relationship to bring me back to sanity. I have since met Christine, who is from Egypt. I know other Middle Easterners on the Internet or through friends. My daughter belly-danced with some. I don’t excuse the behavior of terrorists, but I know they are a small fraction of the larger population. So I’m not angry at Middle Easterners or Muslims in general.

My faith teaches me to forgive and to hope for the future and I have tried to put that into practice. The world is probably no more dangerous than it was September 10, 2001. It just feels more dangerous. Human nature has sucked since the Fall. Why am I surprised that human beings can be so inhumane to human beings? I no longer want payback. I think my initial impulse was a mistake, but I also think the terrorists had payback coming and that the Afghan government should have gotten out of our way as we pounded Al Qaeda. Then we should have left and let them deal with the aftermath because at some level, the Afghanis were co-responsible for what happened. But 16 years of war … it shouldn’t have been longer than 16 months.

So, how did I get over it? I don’t think we as a nation or I individually are over it. It’s not over until we can move on and we can’t move on as long as we are continuing to devote blood and treasure “over there.” But, for myself … I don’t fear Muslims anymore than I fear other potentially unstable people. I carry concealed now in situations where mass shootings might occur and I’m not going to apologize for that. If someone opens up in a movie theater while you and I are watching a movie, I might just save your life. I am reminded of dark thoughts every time the TSA feels me up so I can get on an airplane. I object, but Alaska is not connected to the Lower 48 in a way that makes driving somewhere feasible, so … it seems a shame that we have to submit to sexual molestation in order to travel because we refuse to  effectively handle the threat that still exists. There are better ways to do it than treating law-abiding American citizens like potential terrorists, but ….

I’m writing a series about terrorism. I haven’t revealed who the terrorists are, but some of them are Middle Easterners and some of them are another cultural group or three. I incinerated 30 million people in the first book. But I also have a lovely Egyptian immigrant in the third book. Why? Because I don’t think Middle Easterners are all responsible for what happened.  I try to show people working together is the norm, but I admit, in the third book, that might not always be the case. In some sense, Transformation Project grew out of the events of September 11, 2001, because those events made me ask:

What would happen if …?

I think after 16 years, I am largely over 9-11, but let’s be honest here … none of us can really be over it until we finally stop killing Middle Easterners who object to our invading their countries. Then and only then will true healing actually begin.

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Posted September 11, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Presidents of Mass Murder   1 comment

That didn’t take long!

In case you missed it, Donald Trump has joined the gallery of presidents who are killers.

Gotta be tough. Gotta show the terrorists who’s boss.

An 8-year-old girl was killed after being shot in the neck during a US SEAL raid in Yemen. Supposedly it was raid on Al Qaeda, but the grandfather of the murdered girl claims that this was an enclave of tribal sheikhs fighting the Yemeni govenrment … the government that is supported by Iran-backed Houthis. The 8-year-old daughter was the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric and U.S. citizen who was killed in a drone strike in 2011.

Eight years old? Was Nawar al-Awlaki a terrorist? Or was she just a little girl with a famous daddy who got caught in the cross-fire of an unjust attack?

 

More than a dozen civilians were also killed in the operation, but we American were supposed to be in mourning for the SEAL team member who was also killed by people defending their own lives.

 

Anwar al-Awlaki, her father, was killed in 2011 in a CIA-led U.S. drone strike, marking the highest-profile takedown of terror leaders since the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound. He was also a US-born American citizen, who became a militant Islamic cleric who became a prominent figure with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He was involved in several terror plots in the United States in recent years, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks. President Obama signed an order in early 2010 making him the first American to be placed on the “kill or capture” list.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer claims the raid yielded an “unbelievable amount of intelligence.”. A defense official told the Associated Press that the mission was planned by the Obama administration but authorized by Trump. Then a US official told Reuters that surveillance of the compound was “minimal, at best.”

“The decision was made … to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected,” that official said.

In other words, the Trump administration could have waited indefinitely to conduct this raid and thereby saved the lives of all those civilians, including an 8-year-old girl whose only “crime” was having the “wrong father” who died when she was only a year or two old.

 

Before you start freaking out about how horrible and war-mongering Donald Trump is and how we should have elected Hillary Clinton, let’s not forget that she was Secretary of State when Obama dropped that drone on an American citizen without benefit of a trial. And it wasn’t the last time.

Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis. The U.S. eventually claimed that the boy was not their target but merely “collateral damage.” Abdulrahman’s grief-stricken grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, urged the Washington Post “to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman,” which explained: “Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies. His Facebook page shows a typical kid.”

While you could logically (but not legally or Constitutionally) justify killing the father for his activities, there is no argument for killing his children. There is no evidence they were involved in terrorism and they were American citizens who had a right to a trial.

Few events pulled the mask off Obama officials like the death of Abdulrahman. It highlighted how the Obama administration was ravaging Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries. This man made a mockery of the Nobel Peace prize, so no one can claim he is a better man than Donald Trump or George W. Bush. They’re all murderers. Bush at least seems to regret some of it and at least he didn’t target American citizens.

In a hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism, Nasser al-Awlaki just lost another one of his young grandchildren to U.S. violence.

 

Posted February 4, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Tyranny

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After A Good Week … Epic Fail!   Leave a comment

So Donald Trump had a good first week in that he took first steps to keep quite a few of his campaign promises … more than I can remember any other modern president doing so early in his presidency.

I didn’t agree with all of his actions, but I cheered quietly that he remembers who elected him to the Oval Office.

And then he got around to addressing Muslim countries. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/29/trumps-facile-claim-that-his-refugee-policy-is-similar-to-obama-in-2011/?utm_term=.669acacd5f48

Image may contain: 2 people, meme and textObama did do something similar back in 2011, but Trump’s executive order is much more stringent. I agree that there needs to be a tightening of refugee visa screening. Currently, we essentially trust the UN vetting process on whether we’re allowing people into our country. We should not be doing that. And once inside the country, we should be keeping a closer eye on these folks. The wife in the San Bernardino case should have been caught in the screening process as should the older brother in the Boston case. They weren’t refugees per se … which means the government had a lot less pressure to just let them in and yet the screeners missed their obvious terrorist ties because …. The refugee screeners are much more likely to miss the truth because there is so much pressure to rescue people from difficult circumstances. We need to slow down and be smart.

Since terrorism is not a state-based threat, it’s probably ridiculous to do this by country. Yes, it would slow down the rate of refugees coming into the country. It might also slow down the rate of terrorists entering the country.

So a judge has ruled that the Donald can’t do it his way, and that was a right decision, but let’s be clear here. An enhanced screening similar to what Obama put in place in 2011 for Iraqi refugees needs to exist for all Muslims coming from any state … and that includes European states … and resources need to be directed toward checking the refugees already in the country … because it’s the smart thing to do. We have got to get over the idea that we trust people until they shoot up a night club or workplace. People seeking access to the United States need to receive actual vetting … which the UN does a shoddy job of, because it’s not their their friends or family who will be killed if they’re wrong.

And that is an entirely separate issue from what Trump did on Friday. That was ill-thought-out. But I’m going to continue to be fair about Donald Trump and not bash everything he does. I don’t think he’s the devil and the more people try to portray him as such, the more I feel sympathy for him.

Stop freaking out, folks! This is what a change of direction in governance looks like. I know you didn’t care in 2009, but this is why the Teaparty gathered peacefully in parks and waving signs. It just didn’t matter so much to you because the change was what you wanted … regardless of what it did to your neighbors. Now that you’re no longer in charge of the reins of power, why do you believe that gives you a right to destroy property and threaten people’s lives or circumvent the democratic process?

Scary Scenes   Leave a comment

I haven’t been ignoring the Brussels attacks, but I had a busy week at work and I caught a cold so really haven’t had time to blog about it.

No argument – the Belgians have been through a rough time and have every reason to be scared. I mourn for the loss of life and hope the terrorists will be caught and punished.

But … as Brad and I watched the news from Brussles, we both felt horribly uneasy and it took our teenager to point out why.

A look at these pictures tells the story. Police, in camouflage and balacavas, with fully automatic weapons at the ready, crowding the streets, search bags and asking people for their papers.

Does this make anyone safer? It certainly didn’t stop the terrorist attacks in the first place. And then the American press gets ideas from it. “We need that here!” A government official says it’s not politically correct to say that here, but we “need that sort of vigilance.”

Bull! NO, WE DO NOT!

How much freedom of speech do you suppose goes on in the plazas of Brussles under the watchful eyes of the highly armed police? Those guys look pretty intimidating to me.I think they’re meant to look intimidating and I’m willing to bet that a substantial slice of the Belgian population does not feel warm and fuzzy when they see them.

They give up essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither. Benjamin Franklin

And, it doesn’t make the Belgians any safer because not they’ve just exchanged one form of terror for another form of terror. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a military town and know a lot of soldiers, but the idea of them patrolling my streets under the pretense of “keeping us safe” fills me with cold dread. The last thing any people needs is a bunch of armed control freaks under government auspices “protecting” us. It’s not protection. It’s tyranny.

When are we going to realize that government is the larger sponsor of terrorism that our world has today? The Belgians may not experience another bombing for a while, but they will get to experience tyranny every day from now on.

Wake up, people!

Posted March 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Tyranny

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Announcing the Transformation Project   Leave a comment

I started drafting the Transformation Project during the 2008 Presidential election. Originally, it was a political thriller with Shane (arguably the main character of an ensemble cast) protecting the female vice president after a terrorist attack seemingly wipes out most of the government.

The genesis came from my husband who insisted that if Obama lost, the liberals would start blowing things up to express their displeasure. You’d have to be familiar with Brad’s histrionic talents to understand just how entertaining that was. Most of the story was them trying to get west to his hometown where he could keep her safe. My mom’s hometown in North Dakota would host a plane that would take her home to Alaska.

It would have been a cool story to actually write, but after the 2008 election turned out the way that it did, it felt too much like fantasy, so I didn’t write it. But Shane wouldn’t go away. I’m a character-driven writer and he had a story he wanted to tell. It was an intriguing story of being a non-Christian in a Christian family, the black sheep, a mercenary with lethal skills in a town that has never needed that before … I quickly realized that I was much more interested in the story of a small town trying to survive when the nation’s infrastructure is in disarray than in writing a thriller.

From that was born an apocalyptic series of at least four books – The Transformation Project — of which Life As We Knew It is the first. A friend called it a “cozy” apocalyptic. There is a larger story of a terrorist attack, but that’s just backdrop for the story of a community dealing with a crisis.

I moved the location south because Mom’s hometown is not on any major transportation routes (which worked for a thriller) and seemed very remote from the big cities I wanted to attack. I couldn’t imagine a lot of traffic through North Dakota, but I could imagine Kansas being a crossroads for the sort of mass migration that apocalyptic events would inspire. The existence of a nearby interstate would serve as a reminder of bygone times as well. All I had to do was look at a Google map and see issues of resources that I wanted to explore.

Yes, I’m drawing on many of the subjects I’ve touched on in my blog … including anarchy. You won’t see much of that discussion in the first book, but in future volumes — well, you’ll have to stick around to find out.

Look for Life As We Knew It, Book 1 of the Transportation Project this spring – April or May. The countdown starts NOW.

Interview with Khalid Muhammad   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Khalid Muhammad, author of Agency Rules: Never An Easy Day at the Office, a political thriller set in Pakistan.

 

Khalid MohammedTell us something about yourself, Khalid. 

Sure, Lela. First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me about my writing and my debut military/espionage thriller, Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office.

In terms of my background, I was born in Pakistan, raised and educated in the United States and returned to Pakistan in 1997 to pursue emerging business opportunities. I’ve spent my time in the country comparing the on-ground Pakistan with everything that I heard in the media. What a difference! There are times when I think they make up the stories that are written about my country.

 

 

I suspect they do, Khalid, for American political reasons.

As an entrepreneur, I have been able to build a successful marketing and brand management company in Karachi that services both domestic and international clients, which has helped with supporting my family while I build my writing career.  Since publishing Agency Rules in January 2014, I have written for a number of domestic publications and a few international ones, while I work on the next two books of the Agency Rules series.

Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office is my debut novel – the first in a series of 4 – 5. I chose to put focus on the story of my home country, Pakistan, because it is the most discussed country in the world because of our terrorism problem. Interestingly, while it is the most discussed, it’s also the least understood because the media doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s what I like to call “sound byte reporting”. So, I take my readers back to the 1990s, right after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan and the Mujahideen had returned to Pakistan, radicalized and with no one to fight. They turned their sights on Pakistan and reforming the country through violence and intimidation. The story follows Kamal Khan, a precision sniper in the Pakistan Army and member of Pakistan’s most feared intelligence service, the ISI. Kamal is a fantastic protagonist because he is struggling with everything that he must do to accomplish his objectives. It will be hard for the reader to not identify with him or experience the world he is living in.

 

I’m reading the book now and finding the character of Kamal compelling and the Pakistan you describe to be quite different from the one I hear about in the news. You live in Pakistan. I could do an interview just on that — forget about the book. And we might actually do that separate from the interview. Talk about living in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a fantastic country, but no different than any other. We have gotten a bad knock in the War on Terror, even though we are a frontline state in the war, but the country is so diverse and amazing that when people visit from abroad, they are shocked that it is so different than what they have been told in the print and electronic media.

The nation has had a very difficult and interesting road since 1947, when the country came into existence. We have long struggled with the “extremism” elements both in political parties and fringe religious groups, but the Afghan War, or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1970s, really brought it all out in the open. Prior to that, Pakistan was a progressive, liberal country. Shocking, I know!

 

What little I know of your history it isn’t shocking to me, but how did things deteriorate to where they are now?

What happened in 1977, and for many years after, was the rise of General Zia-ul-Haq, a ruthless, highly fundamentalist dictator that ruled throughout the Afghan war. General Zia took it upon himself to align with the ultra-conservative elements in Pakistan to create, what we call, the “Islamic” laws. These laws included the Hudood Ordinance, which virtually stripped women of all their rights in terms of criminal prosecution of rape and adultery, and the blasphemy law, which is well known to everyone around the world. Zia’s government was probably the darkest time in Pakistan’s history because of the way he ruled the country. Let me give you some examples.

There were public beatings in stadiums of those who had violated his Islamic laws, which I should point out had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with his brand of morality. The media was silenced. There were literally newspapers published with big black rectangles covering stories that the government didn’t want the public to see. They actually monitored every newspaper in the country, which at the time wasn’t difficult because there were about 4 newspapers.

It was during his rule that two things happened that impact Pakistan to this day. First, Zia selected political nobodies and turned them into household names. Those people are still in politics in Pakistan, including current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. These people promised to carry forward Zia’s mission for Pakistan after he died in a fiery helicopter crash with the then US ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel.

The second thing that he did that continues to eat Pakistan alive is the massive growth of jihadi and extremist madrassahs. During the Afghan war, these madrassahs were setup to funnel motivated fighters to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Mujahideen against the Soviets, but when the war was over, they didn’t have an enemy – so they turned their sights on Pakistan. These madrassahs have created and supported most of the terrorist elements in the country until today. This was also when the financial links between Saudi Arabia and these madrassahs were created.

During the Afghan war, for every dollar that the CIA pumped into Pakistan to support the Mujahideen, the Saudis pumped in $100. These funds were, and are, funneled straight to the radical elements in Pakistan to teach them the Wahabi form of Islam. Wahabism is an extremely fundamentalist form of Islam that believes that the religion cannot progress and that the most extreme form of Sharia law is the only acceptable law for a Muslim country. This is the law that is followed in Saudi Arabia, where no woman can drive, leave the house without her husband or father and has no rights under the state. This is what they wanted for Pakistan as well. I should say still want for Pakistan.

Today, and for the past 12 years, our military has been fighting against these radicals. Our fight has cost us close to 70,000 innocent lives in terrorist attacks and military operations. We are finally making headway but the current government could pull the plug anytime they want – but we can get into that if you want to talk more about Pakistan.

 

When did you first start writing and what was the story?

I first started my writing when I was in the 7th grade. I had a fantastic English teacher that encouraged us to write from our imaginations. I can’t remember the first story that I wrote, but I know it was crime related. At that point in time, I was living a very troubled home life and all I was reading was true crime novels that I would get from the local library.

There was a great deal of frustration and anger in my writing at that age, which has matured now into a much cleaner, sadistic writing style.

I stopped writing when I was in university because life got me busy and didn’t really touch it outside of professional papers during my career. It was after the War on Terror started and I was reading/watching what was being said about Pakistan that I started thinking about starting again.

 

I think most writers write to get something out of ourselves that perhaps lives more safely in a fictional environment. My neighbors would not like it if I ran around the neighborhood with a big sword smiting people. Alaskans are fine with everybody being armed, but they don’t much like gunfire outside of the gun range. I write so my psyche can do things that aren’t exactly socially acceptable. Can you relate to that idea?

Completely! I have an extremely sadistic side to my personality when it comes to injustice. My writing has given me an outlet to express my feelings, ideas and sometimes hatred without the repercussions of criminal cases. I come from a violent childhood that has done a good deal of damage to my internal structure and belief system. I think my writing lets me express that. My wife likes to say that my writing is a catharsis because many of the things I would like to do to people (and probably would since Pakistan is a lawless country) come out in my writing.

 

Agency Rules Never EasyWhere did you get the idea for Agency Rules?

Agency Rules is a journey for me and Pakistan. Too many people only know what they see in the media about Pakistan and that is so slanted that I don’t even recognize my country when I read the foreign press. I wanted to tell the story that people don’t know, what we have struggled with for years, the battles that we have fought ideologically, religiously and sometimes physically over the past 30 years. The Pakistan that you see in the media is not Pakistan. Agency Rules is my way of setting the record straight by introducing you to the political and military gamesmanship, the corrupt and uneducated imams and the people who are struggling under the weight of all of it just to survive.

 

Tell us about the story.

The story is centered around the years immediately after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the impact on Pakistan. The reader gets the story from the point of view of Kamal Khan, a highly decorated sniper in the Pakistan Army who gets recruited into the elite Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Kamal takes you behind enemy lines into a terrorist camp to show the reader how people are indoctrinated, seduced and recruited into that life. There are many facets to the story that I can’t talk about because it would give too much away, but suffice it to say, the reader gets a clear picture of everything that goes on in Pakistan and why the country has so many problems decades later.

What’s interesting about the story is that it is roughly 6 years in the making. I have read de-classified documents from US and Pakistani intelligence, dossiers on terrorists, books, watched movies and documentaries to get all my research on target with the whole series. I like to tell my readers that everything that you read in the pages of Agency Rules novels has actually happened or is happening in Pakistan. There is a level of realism to the story that I couldn’t have gotten without the sheer amount of research that I did before I started planning and writing.

Never an Easy Day at the Office is the first book of the series and the foundation of the whole story.

 

What are your future literary plans? Will there be a sequel or other books to follow? If so, what and when?

Like I said, this is the first book in the series. I envisioned this as a 4 or 5 book series when I first planned it out, but the response and demand for the book has been so great that I might continue it beyond 5 books.

The sequel to Never an Easy Day at the Office is due out in early January 2015. I will be publishing two books within weeks of each other to bring the story to modern day Pakistan. I’ve finished (I hope) writing the next book of the series and we will start marketing it towards the end of the month, probably after Christmas.

I do plan on writing a crime thriller novel at some point because that genre has always been of interest to me. But it all depends on when I get some time away from Agency Rules to work on it.

 

Book Pages:

 

Amazon:             http://www.amazon.com/Khalid-Muhammad/e/B00HVE71KU/

Goodreads:        https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7243288.Khalid_Muhammad

 

Agency Rules on the Web:

 

Website:              http://www.agencyrules.com

Twitter:               http://twitter.com/AgencyRulesPK

Facebook:          http://facebook.com/AgencyRulesPK

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon:                             http://smarturl.it/amazon-ar

Barnes & Noble:               http://goo.gl/lNMQo0

iTunes/iBooks:                http://goo.gl/6MK31X

Kobo:                                    http://goo.gl/mUtIS8

 

Dad Accuses FBI of Setting Up Son in Bomb Plot   Leave a comment

http://abcnews.go.com/US/dad-accuses-fbi-setting-son-bomb-plot/story?id=28240751

Here’s the thing — on the surface, this guy may be a terrorist, but the involvement of an FBI informant makes me wonder.

Here in Fairbanks, Alaska, we have a long history of venting against the federal government. Nobody has blown up any federal buildings. It’s mostly talk with some storage of guns, ammo and food.

Schaeffer Cox is a young man who was very eloquent in his arguments against the federal government. I didn’t agree with some of his arguments, but he did a good job of communicating them … which attracted FBI attention. When he was arrested on federal charges, the State of Alaska refused to participate in the case and released the transcripts from the FBI informant the feds had sent to stalk Schaeffer. Reading the transcripts, which were posted online by our local newspaper, was like a class in entrapment. The informant was very good at bringing up scenarios where Cox and his handful of like-minded friends thought they might use force — in the future — if the government collapsed — and if they had no other choice. Cox had some guns — all Alaskans have guns — and he had once experimented with turning a semi-auto rifle into a full-auto rifle, breaking the gun in the process. He’d kept it as a memento, but it was a non-working gun.

From this gossamer, the FBI built a case and now Schaeffer is serving 26 years for … well, for talking.

This sounds similar except that the young man had a ISIS connection, which I once would have said was a good reason to put him in jail, but since the government saw fit to make talking against the government illegal, I’m now thinking I was wrong.

What are we doing to our country, people? Seriously? Would this young man have plotted to blow anything up if an FBI informant hadn’t encouraged him to do so? Were bomb-making materials collected? Were bombs made or set? No! He bought two semi-automatic rifles, which is perfectly legal under US law.

Are we really going to make disagreeing with the United States government illegal? Do we think that’s going to end well?

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