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Damn the military can be stupid sometimes


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Politcally Correct BS lives on:

A U.S. Air Force enlisted man has become the second service member to be accused of espionage at the U.S. naval base prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he translated interrogations of Arabic-speaking Taliban and al Qaeda terror suspects.

Also yesterday, a Pentagon policy document revealed that the military appointed its Muslim chaplains based on suggestions or training from three U.S. Muslim groups, each of which was linked to radical elements of Islam.

The Pentagon announced the charges against Senior Airman Ahmad al Halabi, while it also investigated whether the prison's lone Muslim chaplain, Army Capt. James J. Yee, committed espionage and aided the enemy. Officials say they also are investigating whether any link exists between Senior Airman Halabi and Capt. Yee.

Officials said Senior Airman Halabi was arrested July 23, nearly two months before Capt. Yee's Sept. 10 apprehension. The Air Force imprisoned the airman at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. He had been assigned to Travis Air Force Base in the same state.

The Air Force charged him with five counts of espionage, three counts of aiding the enemy, nine counts of giving false statements to interrogators, 11 counts of failing to obey a lawful order and one count of bank fraud.

Normal military judicial procedure would be for Senior Airman Halabi to get a pretrial Article 32 hearing. An Air Force convening authority would decide afterward whether to court-martial him, administer nonjudicial punishment or dismiss the case.

One of the three Muslim groups involved in training or approving chaplains is the Graduate School of Islamic Social Sciences in Leesburg, Va. U.S. government agents raided that group last year as part of a sweep of organizations suspected of having ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network. The graduate school trains would-be military chaplains. The other two groups endorse the candidates.

The American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council in Arlington sponsored Capt. Yee's chaplaincy.

Capt. Yee, a West Point graduate, resigned from the Army in the early 1990s and traveled to Damascus, Syria, to receive training in Arabic and traditional Islamic beliefs. He returned to the United States, rejoined the Army and was posted to Guantanamo in November.

His main job was to advise the Task Force Guantanamo commander, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, on Muslim customs. Capt. Yee received unlimited access to prisoners who sought his counsel and led Friday prayers.

The defense department documents showed that the Veteran Affairs Council was a designee of the American Muslim Foundation (AMF), which also was included in the Justice Department sweep.

The AMF was co-founded by Abdurahman Alamoudi, an acknowledged supporter of the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Mr. Alamoudi in 2000 contributed money to the Senate campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She returned it after Mr. Alamoudi's anti-Jewish sentiments were made public.

The second Pentagon-approved endorser is the Islamic Society of North America. One of its board members, Siraj Wahhaj, was named in 1995 by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as one of more than 100 "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the attempt to blow up New York monuments.

Mr. Wahhaj also served as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abel Rahman, who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Mr. Wahhaj was never convicted of a crime.

The disconnect between the Justice Department and the Pentagon was similar to the breakdown that led to the September 11 attacks, said Rita Katz, author of "Terrorist Hunter" and director of the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute.

"This is not intentional, but the things, the lack of sharing information, is still happening," Miss Katz said. "In this case, the Pentagon is relying on groups that the Justice Department is raiding. And neither agency was aware of what the other was doing. The system has to be re-examined and these agencies have to share more information."

Pentagon spokesmen said this week there are no plans to review the chaplain accreditation process. Of more than 5,000 chaplains in the military, 12 are Muslims. About 4,200 Muslims serve on active military duty.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, has called for an expedited investigation into these groups, which he says are "financed by Saudi Arabia and follow the radical Wahhabi sect of Islam."

He said the Defense Department told him in March that it would look into the selection process for Muslim chaplains and whether radical forms of Islam were preached to servicemen.

"It's shocking that the Defense Department has been silent on this issue and is now issuing public comments that no such examination is under way," Mr. Schumer said yesterday at a press conference. "The fact that a chaplain who was detained for supposedly stealing classified documents was trained by a group under investigation for terrorism should set off alarms at the highest levels."

Mr. Schumer said that the "only ministers you can get" for Muslims in the armed forces are those trained in Wahhabism, an antimodern group founded in the 18th century whose adherents include bin Laden and other anti-West zealots.

"There ought to be other groups let in as well," Mr. Schumer said, citing the more moderate Shi'ite and Sunni sects of Islam.

For months, the Universal Muslim Association of America, which is aligned with Shi'ite Islam, has tried to become an endorser of Muslim clerics in the military and federal prisons. But the group says it has been ignored, despite its warnings that the Wahhabi form of Islam is being propagated to troops and prisoners.

"We would like to become an endorser before any more damage is done," said spokesman Agha Jafri. "The Defense Department should have been aware that there are two main forms of Islam and that it was only Wahhabism that is being represented."

The Army had not filed formal charges against Capt. Yee, who was arrested in Jacksonville, Fla., as he got off a military charter flight from Guantanamo Bay. The FBI and military authorities questioned him over several days. He was committed to the Naval Consolidated Brig at Charleston, S.C.

A military magistrate agreed Sept. 15 to prosecution demands to incarcerate Capt. Yee while an investigation continued. A government document reviewed by The Washington Times lists six accusations against Capt. Yee, including espionage, spying, sedition and aiding the enemy. Legal analysts say that to hold Capt. Yee the government had to convince the magistrate that the officer was likely to continue committing the crimes.

When the FBI arrested Capt. Yee, agents found classified documents, including a list of detainees. Some law-enforcement officials feared that if the list fell into enemy hands it would tell al Qaeda which operatives might be talking to the United States and which terror plans needed to be changed.

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Now, Sarge, c'mon,

I still remember the scandal when, supposedly, a Marine guard assigned to the US Embasy in Moscow supposedly began dating a Russian woman (suspected of being a spy), and supposedly brought her into the embasy to show her around where he worked.

The tour supposedly included the crypto room.

Everybody where I was working at the time wondered how the Marine could've been so dumb as to fall for that.

I wondered who gave the guard the combination to the code room door.

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This Islamic espionage shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Unlike Christianity's "render unto Cesar what is Cesar's, and to God what is God's", there is no parallel in Islam to a strictly adhering Muslim. To Muslims, Islam is first and all worldly things - national boundaries, duty to country and to station, even obligations to tell the truth - are secondary if one is serving that purpose.

And you're right, Sarge, getting job references from Muslims with terror links is absolutely stupid and inexcusable. I hope they take down those organizations too for this.

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And, oh, BTW, about the subject of this thread:

Do you really expect us to believe that you're a Sergeant in the USAF and didn't know "Damn the military can be stupid sometimes" 'till now?

That's almost as bad as listening to the right-wingers on talk radio trying to trash Wesley Clark by saying "He's just a four-star general. He doesn't know anything about politics."

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I've known that since I joined 18 years ago:D It got me in trouble as a young, dumb airman when I pointed out stupid stuff to higher ups, mainly because I would say something along the lines of "That's fu(king stupid" instead of framing it a little more diplomatically. Now, as a Master Sergeant, I can say things like that up to around Major/LT Col rank and get away with it. LOrd help the Air Force if I ever make Chief. But yeah, we do some stupid stuff at times, like the incident I posted.

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When I was end we all knew that those at the pentagon werent always the brightest bulb or always out for our best interest.

And I did get in trouble but because on navy ships there were only one type of tech to maintain critical systems back then I would get the hard slap on the hand and told to keep my mouth in check.

Larry actually those right wingers are right

He doesnt know anything about politics and he isnt wasnt that popular while he served either.

Last night Clark was asked about how in 2001 he could laud praise on Reagan and Dubba ya and now take shots at him.

Of course he did the democratic back pedal.

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Now, as to Clark (or any other Gen'rul) being popular while he served. . .

I remember some show (I think 60 Minutes) did a thing about Schwartzkopf. They interviewed a bunch of retired associates of his, who kept saying he's a perfectionist, a controll freak, he's abusive to subordinates, always wants things done his way, and I kept thinking:

"And this is bad in a General because . . . ?" :)

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A stand for bravery when politics calls

By Wesley Pruden

The commander in chief has a problem in the ranks, and duty (and honor and country) will require him to be as bold in resolving it as the men and women he put in harm's way to resolve a problem in Iraq.

Some of the men of the "religion of peace," as President Bush invariably calls it (and maybe it is), seem to be up to no good. The investigation into suspicions of Muslim espionage at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, where 660 al Qaeda suspects are held, reveals a threat not only to the Bush election strategy next year, when the Muslim vote will be important in several states, but to the security of the nation as well.

The arrests of a chaplain and a translator, both Muslims, for aiding and abetting the terrorists imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, should be the wake-up call to convince the president and his men that they have a complicated, unpleasant and sticky situation fraught with all manner of peril, not only to national security but to the Constitution and the American traditions of religious freedom.

What makes espionage at Guantanamo Bay particularly worrisome is that the administration may have been tempted to deal with it by praying it would go away, like a wisp of vapor from Aladdin's lamp, and hoping nobody would ever know about it.

Politics has complicated the situation, as politics will. The Bush administration has a weakness for going all gooey-eyed for the Saudis, who regularly demonstrate an indifference to religious tolerance and a deadly contempt for America. Fortunately, politics can be therapeutic, too. The administration finally moved yesterday, however reluctantly, to do something, encouraged by the threat of a bipartisan congressional investigation into whether the not-so-peaceful teachings of Wahhabi Islam, of which Saudi Arabia is the worldwide distributor, have infiltrated the theology of the military's handful of Muslim chaplains.

What the senators want to know, among other things, is how the Pentagon, so skillful in directing its forces to kill people and break things, could be so oblivious of everything else that it turned for advice on whom to choose as Muslim chaplains to Islamic organizations regarded by the Justice Department as suspicious and probably subversive.

The Pentagon said it would "review" how it recruits its chaplains, and specifically how and why it listens to recruiting advice from two groups with ties to the radical Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia. There's nothing like a pointy-toed boot in his ample bottom to encourage a bureaucrat, military or otherwise, to do the right thing.

John Kyl, the conservative Republican senator from Arizona, and Charles E. Schumer, the Democratic liberal senator from New York, are on the case. "My subcommittee," says Mr. Kyl, "is continuing to examine what is clearly an ongoing and systematic effort by the radical Wahhabi sect to infiltrate and recruit terrorists within the United States, focusing primarily on chaplains in the prison systems and in the U.S. military."

The senators, like the government, must be wary of going where the government must not go, to examine authentic religious faith. But they, like the government, must be equally wary of turning a blind eye to bad guys professing to be saints doing the work of Allah. We saw some of this handiwork on September 11. A political ideology can parade as religion in an open society like ours, and the government has no business taking notice. But if ideology-as-religion preaches a gospel of violence the government must act, swiftly.

This inevitably raises the question, which nobody wants to put into words: Is a radical Islamist in uniform a Muslim or an American? Can an American soldier, who may be a Methodist, a Jew, a Seventh-day Adventist, a Catholic or an atheist, trust a Muslim soldier at his side? The soldiers who served in Kuwait last winter with Sgt. Hasan Akbar, an American and a Muslim, learned to their pain that they could not. He rolled a grenade into the tent of two commanding officers with a taunt: "You guys are coming into our countries, and you're going to rape our women and kill our children." Two American officers, who had not tried to rape or kill anyone, died.

One incident proves nothing; a second incident, at Guantanamo Bay, doesn't prove anything, either. But it does indicate that the issue of Muslims in the American military, when millions of Muslims want to make the war on terrorism a clash of civilizations, is an issue that those at the highest level of the government cannot ignore, even in the name of tolerance.

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