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Constitutional Crisis: Dictator Obama Expands His Authorities Under Executive Action and Betrays Oath of Office By Making Law And Failing To Enforce Immigration Law, Obama Exceeds His Authorities — Impeach and Convict The Out of Control Dictator and Deport The 30-50 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Enforce Immigration Law Not Violate It — Constitutional Political Remedy Is Cut Funding Or Impeachment — Honk Twice For Impeachment! — Videos

Posted on March 3, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Money, Narcissism, National Security Agency (NSA_, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Private Sector, Psychology, Public Sector, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Story 1: Constitutional Crisis: Dictator Obama Expands His Authorities Under Executive Action and Betrays Oath of Office By Making Law And Failing To Enforce Immigration Law, Obama Exceeds His Authorities — Impeach and Convict The Out of Control Dictator and Deport The 30-50 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Enforce Immigration Law Not Violate It — Constitutional Political Remedy Is Cut Funding Or Impeachment — Honk Twice For Impeachment! — Videos

“What we’ve done is we’ve expanded my authorities under executive action and prosecutorial discretion as far as we can legally under the existing statute, the existing law.  And so now the question is, how can we get a law passed.”

~President Barack Obama

“When the government fears the people, there is liberty.

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

~President Thomas Jefferson

The Constitution of the United States

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. …

Section. 3.

… The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. ”’

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law. …

Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows …

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article. IV.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence. …

 

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

executive action obama impeachment Obama-Cartoon-B only-obama-canhug obama obama-immigrationonly-obama-canrepublican_cartoon_mainobama-impeachment-cartoon-

Congress Punts: Keeps Homeland Security Funded For 7 Days

Obama Accuses GOP of Holding DHS Hostage Over Immigration

Obama To Congress: Pass Immigration Reform Law | msnbc

Immigration Reform Will Move Forward Despite Courts | msnbc

Gowdy Warns Democrats on Obama’s Immigration Orders

In his opening statement at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive orders, Rep. Trey Gowdy again hammered the administration for ignoring the rule of law while warning Democrats of the long-term consequences of Obama’s actions.

Rep. Gowdy’s Questioning at Hearing on Immigration Executive Actions

Rep. Gowdy’s questioning at House Judiciary Committee at House Judiciary Committee Hearing “The Unconstitutionality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration.”

Gohmert: The Unconstitutionality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) attended a House Judiciary Hearing and talked to witnesses about the unconstitutionality of President Obama’s royal decree – to give amnesty to millions in the U.S. illegally.

Republican Explodes on House Floor Over DHS Funding

Ted Cruz: Only a Republican President Can Fix Immigration Problem

Graham Discusses DHS Funding, Opposes Shutdown of Vital National Security Agency

Obama Lies 22 Times Before Bypassing Congress on Amnesty for Illegal Aliens

Obama Lies Compilation – WAKE UP YOU SHEEPLE!

Will Republicans Impeach Barack Obama?

Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment

Andrew McCarthy Obama Committed Serial Fraud Impeachment Is a Remedy

McCarthy: Obama ‘Has Stepped Over’ Standard for Impeachment ‘Many Times’

Newsmax: Andrew McCarthy: Obama ‘Not Enforcing the Law’ on Immigration

The Obama administration’s claims of enforcing strict deportation standards were undercut Monday with the release of a report showing that 68,000 illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds were set free last year

Andrew C. McCarthy: Faithless Execution: Building a Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment

Andy McCarthy Talks Obama Impeachment – TheBlaze

OBAMA IMPEACHMENT over U.S. Immigration Reform Coming Soon?

John Boehner Blows Kisses to the Press, Won’t Budge on DHS

Gohmert Talks to The Blaze About DHS Senate Cave

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) spoke to Dana Loesch about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looking to avert a shutdown by offering Democrats a clean funding bill for DHS – that does not defund President Obama’s amnesty.

Reid, Pelosi Point Finger at GOP on DHS Funding

President Obama Stops Into Miami For Immigration Town Hall At FIU

Trey Gowdy Reacts To President Obama’s Illegal Immigration Executive Order

President Obama To Hold Immigration Town Hall At FIU

Full Video: Obama’s Immigration Town Hall | msnbc

Reid Opposes DHS CR, Criticizes Republican Majority for Inaction

President Obama To Hold Immigration Town Hall At FIU

“So in the short term, if Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote. I will veto that vote, because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do.”

“What we’ve done is we’ve expanded my authorities under executive action and prosecutorial discretion as far as we can legally under the existing statute, the existing law.  And so now the question is, how can we get a law passed.”

Obama Dares GOP: Go Ahead, ‘Have a Vote on Whether What I’m Doing Is Legal…I Will Veto’

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 422-424

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Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George — Interface

Posted on February 25, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Computers, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Family, Federal Government, Fiction, Freedom, Friends, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, People, Photos, Politics, Raves, Resources, Reviews, Systems, Talk Radio, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

stephensonInterface-Neal-Stephenson-Paperback15-lge neal-stephenson

Neal Stephenson on Optimism

Neal Stephenson Discusses Why His Novels Haven’t Been Made Into Movies

Neal Stephenson – “We Are All Geeks Now.”

Neal Stephenson on Anathem: The genesis of the novel and its main ideas

Neal Stephenson Creates a New Language for ANATHEM

Authors@Google: Neal Stephenson

Authors Neal Stephenson visits Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, Ca, to discuss his book “Anathem”. This event took place September 12, 2008, as part of the Authors@google series. For more info, please visit http://www.nealstephenson.com/

Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.

Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside “saecular” world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent’s walls. Three times during history’s darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Neal Stephenson is the author of seven previous novels. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Neal Stephenson interview – Reamde

Solve for X: Neal Stephenson on getting big stuff done

Neal Stephenson: 2011 National Book Festival

2012 10 18 LTA Bookclub Neal StephensonHQ

Black Hat USA 2012 – An Interview with Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson, Author – Turing Festival 2013 Keynote

ASTC 2013 Keynote – A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson is Awesome

 

Neal Stephenson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson 2008 crop.jpg
Stephenson at Science Foo Camp 2008

BornNeal Town Stephenson
October 31, 1959 (age 55)
Fort Meade, Maryland, United StatesPen nameStephen Bury
(with J. Frederick George)OccupationNovelist, short story writer, essayistNationalityAmericanPeriod1984–presentGenreSpeculative fiction, historical fiction, essaysLiterary movementcyberpunk, postcyberpunk,maximalismWebsitenealstephenson.com

Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer and game designer known for his works of speculative fiction.

His novels have been variously categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and “postcyberpunk“. Other labels, such as “baroque“, often appear.

Stephenson explores subjects such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired.

He has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system, and is also a cofounder ofSubutai Corporation, whose first offering is the interactive fiction project The Mongoliad. He has also written novels with his uncle, George Jewsbury (“J. Frederick George”), under the collective pseudonym Stephen Bury.

Life

Born on October 31, 1959 in Fort Meade, Maryland,[1] Stephenson came from a family of engineers and scientists; his father is a professor of electrical engineering while his paternal grandfather was a physics professor. His mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, and her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson’s family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1960 and then in 1966 to Ames, Iowa. He graduated from Ames High School in 1977.[2]

Stephenson studied at Boston University,[2] first specializing in physics, then switching to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe.[3] He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in geography and a minor in physics.[2] Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.[2]

Career

Discussing Anathem at MIT in 2008

Stephenson’s first novel, The Big U, published in 1984, was a satirical take on life at American Megaversity, a vast, bland and alienating research university beset by chaotic riots.[4][5] His next novel, Zodiac (1988), was a thriller following the exploits of a radical environmentalist protagonist in his struggle against corporate polluters.[4] Neither novel attracted much critical attention on first publication, but showcased concerns that Stephenson would further develop in his later work.[4] The Big U went out of print until 2001, when Stephenson allowed it to be republished after realizing that this book that he considered inferior to his others was being sold at inflated prices for used copies because of its scarcity and collectors’ value.[citation needed]

Stephenson’s breakthrough came in 1992 with Snow Crash,[5] a comic [6] novel in the late cyberpunk or post-cyberpunk tradition fusing memetics, computer viruses, and other high-tech themes with Sumerian mythology, along with a sociological extrapolation of laissez-faire capitalism and collectivism. Snow Crash can be considered to be the first expression of Stephenson’s mature style. Stephenson at this time would later be described by Mike Godwin as “a slight, unassuming grad-student type whose soft-spoken demeanor gave no obvious indication that he had written the manic apotheosis of cyberpunk science fiction.”[7] In 1994, Stephenson joined with his uncle, J. Frederick George, to publish a political thriller, Interface, under the pen name “Stephen Bury”;[8] they followed this in 1996 with The Cobweb.

Stephenson’s next solo novel, published in 1995, was The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, which introduced many of today’s real world technological discoveries. Seen back then as futuristic, Stephenson’s novel has broad range universal self-learning nanotechnology, dynabooks, extensive modern technologies, robotics, cybernetics and cyber cities. Weapons implanted in characters’ skulls, near limitless replicators for everything from mattresses to foods, smartpaper, air and blood-sanitizing nanobots, set in a grim future world of limited resources populated by hard edged survivalists, an amalgamation hero is accidentally conceptualized by a few powerful and wealthy creatives, programmers and hackers.

This was followed by Cryptonomicon in 1999, a novel concerned with concepts ranging from computing and Alan Turing‘s research into codebreaking and cryptography during the Second World War at Bletchley Park, to a modern attempt to set up a data haven. It has subsequently been reissued in three separate volumes in some countries, including in French and Spanish translations. In 2013, Cryptonomicon won thePrometheus Hall of Fame Award.

The Baroque Cycle, Stephenson’s next novel, is a series of long historical novels set in the 17th and 18th centuries, and is in some respects a prequel to Cryptonomicon. It was originally published in three volumes of two or three books each – Quicksilver (2003), The Confusion (2004) and The System of the World (2004) – but was subsequently republished as eight separate books: Quicksilver, King of the Vagabonds, Odalisque,Bonanza, Juncto, Solomon’s Gold, Currency, and System of the World. (The titles and exact breakdown varies in different markets.) The System of the World won the Prometheus Award in 2005.

Following this, Stephenson published a novel titled Anathem (2008), a very long and detailed work, perhaps best described as speculative fiction. It is set in an Earthlike world (perhaps in an alternative reality), deals with metaphysics, and refers heavily to Ancient Greek philosophy, while at the same time being a complex commentary on the insubstantiality of today’s society.

In May 2010, the Subutai Corporation, of which Stephenson was named chairman, announced the production of an experimental multimedia fiction project called The Mongoliad, which centered around a narrative written by Stephenson and other speculative fiction authors.[9][10]

REAMDE, a novel, was released on September 20, 2011.[11] The title is a play on the common filename README. This thriller, set in the present, centers around a group of MMORPG developers caught in the middle of Chinese cyber-criminals, Islamic terrorists, and Russian mafia.[12]

On August 7, 2012, Stephenson released a collection of essays and other previously published fiction entitled Some Remarks : Essays and Other Writing.[13] This collection also includes a new essay and a short story created specifically for this volume.

In 2012 Stephenson launched a Kickstarter campaign for CLANG, a realistic swordfighting fantasy game. The game uses motion control to provide an immersive experience. The game will contain a distinctive world and plotline. The campaign’s funding goal of $500,000 was reached by the target date of July 9, 2012 on Kickstarter, but funding options remained open and were still taking contributions to the project on their official site.[14] The project ran out of money in September 2013.[15] This, and the circumstances around it, has angered some backers.[16] There has even been talk, among the backers, of a potential class action lawsuit.[17] The project to develop the game ended in September 2014 without the game being completed. Stephenson took part of the responsibility for the project’s failure, stating that “I probably focused too much on historical accuracy and not enough on making it sufficiently fun to attract additional investment”.[18]

In late 2013, Stephenson claimed to be working on a multi-volume work, historical novels that would “have a lot to do with scientific and technological themes and how those interact with the characters and civilisation during a particular span of history”. He expected the first two volumes to be released in mid-to-late 2014.[19] However, at about the same time, he shifted his attention to a science fiction novel, Seveneves, which was completed about a year later and will be published in May of 2015.[20]

In 2014, Stephenson was hired as Chief Futurist[21] by the Florida-based company Magic Leap. Magic Leap claims to be developing a revolutionary form of augmented reality, not too different from technologies Stephenson previously has described in his science fiction books.

Non-fiction

The science fiction approach doesn’t mean it’s always about the future;
it’s an awareness that this is different.

– Neal Stephenson, September 1999[22]

Stephenson has also written non-fiction. In The Beginning Was The Command Line, an essay on operating systems including the histories of and relationships between DOS, Windows, Linux, and BeOS from both cultural and technical viewpoints and focusing especially on the development of the Graphical User Interface, was published in book form in 2000.[5] Various other essays have been published in magazines such as Wired.

With the 2003 publication of Quicksilver, Applied Minds debuted The Metaweb, an online wiki annotating the ideas and historical period explored in the novel. The project was influenced by the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, and its content included annotations from Stephenson himself.[23]

Style

In his earlier novels Stephenson deals heavily in pop culture-laden metaphors and imagery and in quick, hip dialogue, as well as in extended narrative monologues. The tone of his books is generally more irreverent and less serious than that of previous cyberpunk novels, notably those of William Gibson.

Stephenson at the Starship Century Symposium at UCSD in 2013

Stephenson’s books tend to have elaborate, inventive plots drawing on numerous technological and sociological ideas at the same time. This distinguishes him from other mainstream science fiction authors who tend to focus on a few technological or social changes in isolation from others. The discursive nature of his writing, together with significant plot and character complexity and an abundance of detail suggests a baroque writing style, which Stephenson brought fully to bear in the three-volume Baroque Cycle.[24] His book The Diamond Age follows a simpler plot but features “neo-Victorian” characters and employs Victorian-era literary conceits. In keeping with the baroque style, Stephenson’s books have become longer as he has gained recognition. For example, the paperback editions of Cryptonomicon are over eleven hundred pages long[25]with the novel containing various digressions, including a lengthy erotic story about antique furniture and stockings.

Works

Stephenson at the National Book Festivalin 2004

Novels

Short fiction

Other fiction projects

  • Project Hieroglyph, founded in 2011, administered by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination since 2012. Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, ed. Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer, which includes contributions by Stephenson, was published by William Morrow in September, 2014.

Non-fiction

References

  1. Jump up^ Fisher, Lawrence M. (April 17, 1994). “SOUND BYTES; Orwell – Class of 1994″. The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Stephenson, Neal. “Biography”. Neal Stephenson’s Site (MobileMe). Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  3. Jump up^ “Neal Stephenson – Biography”. ElectricInca.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010. He began his higher education as a physics major, then switched to geography when it appeared that this would enable him to scam more free time on his university’s mainframe computer.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Booker, M Keith; Thomas, Anne-Marie, eds. (2009). “Neal Stephenson (1959–)”. The Science Fiction Handbook. Chichester, UK ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 173. ISBN 1-4051-6205-8. OCLC 263498124.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Grassian, Daniel (2003). “From modernists to Gen Xers”. Hybrid fictions: American fiction and Generation X. Jefferson: McFarland & Co. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-0-7864-1632-5. OCLC 52565833.
  6. Jump up^ Westfahl, Gary (2005). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders, Vol. 3. Greenwood Publishing. p. 1235. ISBN 0-313-32953-2. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  7. Jump up^ Godwin, Mike (February 2005). “Neal Stephenson’s Past, Present, and Future”. Reason (Reason Foundation). Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  8. Jump up^ “Neal Stephenson: Cryptomancer”. Locus Online. August 1, 1999. Retrieved August 7, 2010. …a thriller written in collaboration with his uncle, George Jewsbury, under pseudonym Stephen Bury
  9. Jump up^ Eaton, Kit (May 26, 2010). “The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson’s Novel of the Future?”. Fast Company. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  10. Jump up^ “Subutai Corporation – Team”. subutai.mn (Subutai Corporation). Retrieved August 7, 2010. Neal Stephenson, Chairman
  11. Jump up^ Anders, Charlie Jane (July 14, 2009). “Neal Stephenson Gets Half A Million Dollars, But Did He Have To Switch Genres To Get It?”. io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  12. Jump up^ “reamdeDescription”.
  13. Jump up^ Upcoming4.me. “New Neal Stephenson book Some Remarks announced!”. Upcoming4.me. RetrievedJune 26, 2012.
  14. Jump up^ Twitter / subutaicorp: @LordBronco We’re still taking. Twitter.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  15. Jump up^ Famous Kickstarter Turns Into Complete Disaster. Kotaku.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  16. Jump up^ THUD: Development Of Neal Stephenson’s CLANG Halted. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  17. Jump up^ Neal Stephenson Says His Dream Of Making A Video Game Isn’t Dead | Kotaku Australia. Kotaku.com.au. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  18. Jump up^ Stephenson, Neal (19 September 2014). “Final Update”. CLANG by Subutai Corporation. Kickstarter. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  19. Jump up^ Kelion, Leo. (2013-09-17) BBC News – Neal Stephenson on tall towers and NSA cyber-spies. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  20. Jump up^ http://nealstephenson.com/seveneaves.html
  21. Jump up^ http://www.magicleap.com/press/press_release5.pdf
  22. Jump up^ Catherine, Asaro (September 1999). “A Conversation With Neal Stephenson”. SF Site. RetrievedOctober 6, 2010.
  23. Jump up^ McClellan, Jim (November 4, 2004). “Neal Stephenson – the interview”. The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  24. Jump up^ Giuffo, John (October 1, 2004). “Book Capsule Review: The System of the World”. Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  25. Jump up^ ex: Stephenson, Neal (1999). Cryptonomicon. Avon Books. pp. 1152 p. ISBN 978-0-06-051280-4.
  26. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Kelly, Mark R. “The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees”. Locusmag.com(Locus Publications). Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  27. Jump up^ William Morrow. Harpercollinscatalogs.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  28. Jump up^ [1]. Nealstephenson.com. Retrieved on 2015-02-10.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Stephenson

 

Interface (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interface
First edition cover

First edition cover
credited to Stephen Bury
Author Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury
Cover artist Bruce Jensen
Country United States
Language English
Genre Thriller, Novel
Publisher Bantam
Publication date
1 April 1994
Media type Print (Paperback)
ISBN ISBN 0-553-37230-0 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 28148075
813/.54 20
LC Class PS3552.U788 I58 1994

Interface is a 1994 novel by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury. It was originally sold with the author pseudonym of Stephen Bury, then reissued as being by Bury and J. Frederick George ,[1] and most recently as being by Stephenson and George.

Interface is a near-future thriller, set in 1996, in which a shadowy coalition bent on controlling the world economy attempts to manipulate a candidate for president of the United States through the use of a computer bio-chip implanted in his brain.

In 2007, it was described by writer Cory Doctorow as an “underappreciated masterpiece”.[2]

Plot summary

The novel opens with the governor of Illinois, William Cozzano, suffering a stroke, and in a separate subplot, a trailer park inhabitant, unemployed African-American, Eleanor Richmond, discovering her husband dead after having committed suicide in their repossessed former home.

As events progress, an underground business coalition, the Network, is arranging for Cozzano to have a biochip implanted and for him to run for President of the United States. The Network is made up of a number of large fictional companies, with parallels in real business entities.

Eleanor Richmond, after publicly attacking a local cable TV Public-access television talk show personality who was running for Senate, has since found herself working in the offices of a Republican Colorado senator, and after an event where she accused the citizens of Colorado of being welfare queens, finds herself in the public eye as one of the candidates for Cozzano’s running mate.

The Network’s ability to perceive public opinion, skewed on the night of the vice presidential debate by a twist of fate, makes them select Richmond as vice presidential candidate, and a canny act of public relations work rescues Cozzano’s campaign, getting him elected as President.

However, Cozzano gets shot at his inauguration by a psychotic former factory worker who has somehow figured out the Network’s plans almost entirely, killing him almost instantly. Richmond ends up as the first black and first female President of the United States.

Characters in “Interface”

  • Eleanor Richmond – unemployed African-American woman, protagonist
  • William Cozzano – governor of Illinois
  • Mary Catherine Cozzano – daughter of governor, neurologist
  • Cy Ogle – campaign manager
  • Dr. Radhakrishnan – neurosurgeon

References

  1. Jump up^ Stephenson, Neal; George, J. Frederick (2005) [1994]. Interface. Bantam Spectra. ISBN 9780553383430.
  2. Jump up^ Interface: Neal Stephenson’s underappreciated masterpiece

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interface_(novel)

 

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Memo To Obama Administration: Read Graeme Wood’s Atlantic Monthly Article: What ISIS Really Wants? — Videos

Posted on February 22, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, Bomb, Books, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Coptic Christian, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Demographics, Dirty Bomb, Documentary, Drones, Education, Energy, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Missiles, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

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 Story 2: Memo To Obama Administration: Read Graeme Wood’s Atlantic Monthly Article: What ISIS Really Wants? — Videos

journalist-graeme-wood-on-the-is-1024x580

Journalist Graeme Wood on the Islamic State: VICE Meets

Islamic State militants ‘burn to death 45 in Iraq

Islamic State: The New Terror

The Battle for Iraq: Shia Militias vs. the Islamic State

The Islamic State (Full Length)

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced its intention to reestablish the caliphate and has declared its leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.

The lightning advances the Islamic State made across Syria and Iraq in June shocked the world. But it’s not just the group’s military victories that have garnered attention — it’s also the pace with which its members have begun to carve out a viable state.

Flush with cash and US weapons seized during its advances in Iraq, the Islamic State’s expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.

VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.

Embedded with Al-Qaeda in Syria: ISIS and al-Nusra

Three years ago, an uprising against the Assad regime turned into what looked like a straightforward civil war between Syrian government forces and rebels. However, over time, what had started as a largely secular opposition movement began to take on more of a radical Islamist tone, with two al Qaeda offshoots — the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra — becoming the dominant forces on the ground across the rebel-held North.

One VICE filmmaker managed to secure unprecedented access to both al-Qaeda factions battling Syria’s government forces, despite the risk of journalists being kidnapped. This is a remarkable portrait of the foreign volunteers and local Syrians willing to fight and die to establish a new caliphate on Europe’s doorstep.

Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length)

A City Left in Ruins: The Battle for Aleppo

Should ISIS Be Burning Captives? (David Wood)

Who Are The Salafis and Wahhabies Yusuf Estes Islam

heykel

Bernard Haykel: How Islamic is the Islamic State?

Prof Haykel on the Islamic State and Al Qaeda

IS is a symptom of a deep feeling amongst Sunni Arabs of being disenfranchised. […] It is the same sentiment that led to the emergence of Al-Qaeda.”

Professor Bernard Haykel of Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies elaborates on the root causes for the rise of the Islamic State, as a movement responding to the systemic disenfranchisement of Sunnis in the region.

Professor Haykel also explains why IS surpassed Al Qaeda in popularity and why the Arabian Peninsula has so vigorously supported U.S.- led airstrikes against IS.

Talking to War and Peace Talk, Professor Haykel responded to questions such as:
Why do people from the West join the Islamic State?
Why do the recruits burn their passports?
Should Western governments withdraw citizenship from jihadis?
What should be done about returning jihadis?
Can they be de-radicalized?

The interview was recorded in Amsterdam on November 14, 2014.

The Folly of Bombing the Islamic State

Killing Al-Baghdadi: the end of the Caliphate or part of the narrative?

SIS Tilting the Chess Board: The Dawn of a New Middle East Balance of Power – H. van Lynden lecture

The Henriette van Lynden lecture ‘ISIS Tilting the Chess Board: The Dawn of a New Middle East Balance of Power’, organised by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held on Friday, 14 November 2014 in de Rode Hoed, Amsterdam.

The rise of ISIS as a failure of governance & the need for a broader response than CT-policy, by Ms. Mina al-Oraibi [0:6:36]
Links of ISIS ideology to Saudi Arabia’s wahabism and policy options by Prof. Bernard Haykel [0:19:52]
Iran’s interests and vision in the fight against ISIS by Dr. Ali Vaez [0:35:44]
Panel discussion moderated by Ernesto Braam [0:50:20]
Audience Q&A [1:05:25]

Panel:
Ms. Mina al-Oraibi
Born in Iraq, she is the deputy editor-in-chief of prominent Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. She is an expert on transitions in the Arab region and American military doctrine. She regularly speaks with heads of state in the Middle East.

Prof. Bernard Haykel
Professor of Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University, specialised in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf region. In addition, he is an Islam expert who focuses on Salafi movements and the roots of ISIS ideology. Particularly noteworthy is his contribution to the leading bestseller ‘Global Salafism’.

Dr. Ali Vaez
As an expert on Iran at the International Crisis Group in Washington D.C., he is a sought-after speaker on Iran’s influence in the region. He regularly appears on BBC and CNN, and publishes in Foreign Policy and the International Herald Tribune, among others.

Genieve Abdo and Bernard Haykel – “Understanding the Complexities of Sunni — Shi’a Relations”

Rising Sunni-Shiite violence threatens security in Iraq

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 1

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 2

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 3

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 4

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 5

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 6

Clifford Chanin interviews Professor Bernard Haykel part 7

Christiane Amanpour interviews Princeton Professor Bernard Haykel on Yemen

Bernard Haykel: Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family and the State

Bernard Haykel: Saudi Arabia’s Relationship with the U.S.

 Bernard Haykel / Princeton University

 

What ISIS Really Wants

By  Graeme Wood

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.
Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.

We have misunderstood the nature of the Islamic State in at least two ways. First, we tend to see jihadism as monolithic, and to apply the logic of al‑Qaeda to an organization that has decisively eclipsed it. The Islamic State supporters I spoke with still refer to Osama bin Laden as “Sheikh Osama,” a title of honor. But jihadism has evolved since al-Qaeda’s heyday, from about 1998 to 2003, and many jihadists disdain the group’s priorities and current leadership.

Bin Laden viewed his terrorism as a prologue to a caliphate he did not expect to see in his lifetime. His organization was flexible, operating as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)

We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. Peter Bergen, who produced the first interview with bin Laden in 1997, titled his first book Holy War, Inc. in part to acknowledge bin Laden as a creature of the modern secular world. Bin Laden corporatized terror and franchised it out. He requested specific political concessions, such as the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia. His foot soldiers navigated the modern world confidently. On Mohammad Atta’s last full day of life, he shopped at Walmart and ate dinner at Pizza Hut.

Nearly all the Islamic State’s decisions adhere to what it calls, on its billboards, license plates, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology.”
There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.

The most-articulate spokesmen for that position are the Islamic State’s officials and supporters themselves. They refer derisively to “moderns.” In conversation, they insist that they will not—cannot—waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers. They often speak in codes and allusions that sound odd or old-fashioned to non-Muslims, but refer to specific traditions and texts of early Islam.

To take one example: In September, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments—the stoning and crop destruction—juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide. (As if to show that he could terrorize by imagery alone, Adnani also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as an “uncircumcised geezer.”)

But Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion, and his exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
Control of territory is an essential precondition for the Islamic State’s authority in the eyes of its supporters. This map, adapted from the work of the Institute for the Study of War, shows the territory under the caliphate’s control as of January 15, along with areas it has attacked. Where it holds power, the state collects taxes, regulates prices, operates courts, and administers services ranging from health care and education to telecommunications.
I. Devotion

In November, the Islamic State released an infomercial-like video tracing its origins to bin Laden. It acknowledged Abu Musa’b al Zarqawi, the brutal head of al‑Qaeda in Iraq from roughly 2003 until his killing in 2006, as a more immediate progenitor, followed sequentially by two other guerrilla leaders before Baghdadi, the caliph. Notably unmentioned: bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al Zawahiri, the owlish Egyptian eye surgeon who currently heads al‑Qaeda. Zawahiri has not pledged allegiance to Baghdadi, and he is increasingly hated by his fellow jihadists. His isolation is not helped by his lack of charisma; in videos he comes across as squinty and annoyed. But the split between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State has been long in the making, and begins to explain, at least in part, the outsize bloodlust of the latter.

Zawahiri’s companion in isolation is a Jordanian cleric named Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, 55, who has a fair claim to being al-Qaeda’s intellectual architect and the most important jihadist unknown to the average American newspaper reader. On most matters of doctrine, Maqdisi and the Islamic State agree. Both are closely identified with the jihadist wing of a branch of Sunnism called Salafism, after the Arabic al salaf al salih, the “pious forefathers.” These forefathers are the Prophet himself and his earliest adherents, whom Salafis honor and emulate as the models for all behavior, including warfare, couture, family life, even dentistry.

The Islamic State awaits the army of “Rome,” whose defeat at Dabiq, Syria, will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse.
Maqdisi taught Zarqawi, who went to war in Iraq with the older man’s advice in mind. In time, though, Zarqawi surpassed his mentor in fanaticism, and eventually earned his rebuke. At issue was Zarqawi’s penchant for bloody spectacle—and, as a matter of doctrine, his hatred of other Muslims, to the point of excommunicating and killing them. In Islam, the practice of takfir, or excommunication, is theologically perilous. “If a man says to his brother, ‘You are an infidel,’ ” the Prophet said, “then one of them is right.” If the accuser is wrong, he himself has committed apostasy by making a false accusation. The punishment for apostasy is death. And yet Zarqawi heedlessly expanded the range of behavior that could make Muslims infidels.

Maqdisi wrote to his former pupil that he needed to exercise caution and “not issue sweeping proclamations of takfir” or “proclaim people to be apostates because of their sins.” The distinction between apostate and sinner may appear subtle, but it is a key point of contention between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. Being a Shiite, as most Iraqi Arabs are, meets the standard as well, because the Islamic State regards Shiism as innovation, and to innovate on the Koran is to deny its initial perfection. (The Islamic State claims that common Shiite practices, such as worship at the graves of imams and public self-flagellation, have no basis in the Koran or in the example of the Prophet.) That means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death. So too are the heads of state of every Muslim country, who have elevated man-made law above Sharia by running for office or enforcing laws not made by God.

Following takfiri doctrine, the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. The lack of objective reporting from its territory makes the true extent of the slaughter unknowable, but social-media posts from the region suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks. Muslim “apostates” are the most common victims. Exempted from automatic execution, it appears, are Christians who do not resist their new government. Baghdadi permits them to live, as long as they pay a special tax, known as the jizya, and acknowledge their subjugation. The Koranic authority for this practice is not in dispute.
Musa Cerantonio, an Australian preacher reported to be one of the Islamic State’s most influential recruiters, believes it is foretold that the caliphate will sack Istanbul before it is beaten back by an army led by the anti-Messiah, whose eventual death— when just a few thousand jihadists remain—will usher in the apocalypse. (Paul Jeffers/Fairfax Media)
Centuries have passed since the wars of religion ceased in Europe, and since men stopped dying in large numbers because of arcane theological disputes. Hence, perhaps, the incredulity and denial with which Westerners have greeted news of the theology and practices of the Islamic State. Many refuse to believe that this group is as devout as it claims to be, or as backward-looking or apocalyptic as its actions and statements suggest.

Their skepticism is comprehensible. In the past, Westerners who accused Muslims of blindly following ancient scriptures came to deserved grief from academics—notably the late Edward Said—who pointed out that calling Muslims “ancient” was usually just another way to denigrate them. Look instead, these scholars urged, to the conditions in which these ideologies arose—the bad governance, the shifting social mores, the humiliation of living in lands valued only for their oil.
Without acknowledgment of these factors, no explanation of the rise of the Islamic State could be complete. But focusing on them to the exclusion of ideology reflects another kind of Western bias: that if religious ideology doesn’t matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul. When a masked executioner says Allahu akbar while beheading an apostate, sometimes he’s doing so for religious reasons.

Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”

Every academic I asked about the Islamic State’s ideology sent me to Haykel. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States, and when he talks through his Mephistophelian goatee, there is a hint of an unplaceable foreign accent.

According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

All Muslims acknowledge that Muhammad’s earliest conquests were not tidy affairs, and that the laws of war passed down in the Koran and in the narrations of the Prophet’s rule were calibrated to fit a turbulent and violent time. In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day.”

Our failure to appreciate the essential differences between ISIS and al-Qaeda has led to dangerous decisions.
The Koran specifies crucifixion as one of the only punishments permitted for enemies of Islam. The tax on Christians finds clear endorsement in the Surah Al-Tawba, the Koran’s ninth chapter, which instructs Muslims to fight Christians and Jews “until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” The Prophet, whom all Muslims consider exemplary, imposed these rules and owned slaves.

Leaders of the Islamic State have taken emulation of Muhammad as strict duty, and have revived traditions that have been dormant for hundreds of years. “What’s striking about them is not just the literalism, but also the seriousness with which they read these texts,” Haykel said. “There is an assiduous, obsessive seriousness that Muslims don’t normally have.”

Before the rise of the Islamic State, no group in the past few centuries had attempted more-radical fidelity to the Prophetic model than the Wahhabis of 18th‑century Arabia. They conquered most of what is now Saudi Arabia, and their strict practices survive in a diluted version of Sharia there. Haykel sees an important distinction between the groups, though: “The Wahhabis were not wanton in their violence.” They were surrounded by Muslims, and they conquered lands that were already Islamic; this stayed their hand. “ISIS, by contrast, is really reliving the early period.” Early Muslims were surrounded by non-Muslims, and the Islamic State, because of its takfiri tendencies, considers itself to be in the same situation.

If al-Qaeda wanted to revive slavery, it never said so. And why would it? Silence on slavery probably reflected strategic thinking, with public sympathies in mind: when the Islamic State began enslaving people, even some of its supporters balked. Nonetheless, the caliphate has continued to embrace slavery and crucifixion without apology. “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Adnani, the spokesman, promised in one of his periodic valentines to the West. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”

In October, Dabiq, the magazine of the Islamic State, published “The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour,” an article that took up the question of whether Yazidis (the members of an ancient Kurdish sect that borrows elements of Islam, and had come under attack from Islamic State forces in northern Iraq) are lapsed Muslims, and therefore marked for death, or merely pagans and therefore fair game for enslavement. A study group of Islamic State scholars had convened, on government orders, to resolve this issue. If they are pagans, the article’s anonymous author wrote,

Yazidi women and children [are to be] divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations [in northern Iraq] … Enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Koran and the narrations of the Prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam.
II. Territory

Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are thought to have immigrated to the Islamic State. Recruits hail from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, and many other places. Many have come to fight, and many intend to die.

Peter R. Neumann, a professor at King’s College London, told me that online voices have been essential to spreading propaganda and ensuring that newcomers know what to believe. Online recruitment has also widened the demographics of the jihadist community, by allowing conservative Muslim women—physically isolated in their homes—to reach out to recruiters, radicalize, and arrange passage to Syria. Through its appeals to both genders, the Islamic State hopes to build a complete society.

In November, I traveled to Australia to meet Musa Cerantonio, a 30-year-old man whom Neumann and other researchers had identified as one of the two most important “new spiritual authorities” guiding foreigners to join the Islamic State. For three years he was a televangelist on Iqraa TV in Cairo, but he left after the station objected to his frequent calls to establish a caliphate. Now he preaches on Facebook and Twitter.

Cerantonio—a big, friendly man with a bookish demeanor—told me he blanches at beheading videos. He hates seeing the violence, even though supporters of the Islamic State are required to endorse it. (He speaks out, controversially among jihadists, against suicide bombing, on the grounds that God forbids suicide; he differs from the Islamic State on a few other points as well.) He has the kind of unkempt facial hair one sees on certain overgrown fans of The Lord of the Rings, and his obsession with Islamic apocalypticism felt familiar. He seemed to be living out a drama that looks, from an outsider’s perspective, like a medieval fantasy novel, only with real blood.
Last June, Cerantonio and his wife tried to emigrate—he wouldn’t say to where (“It’s illegal to go to Syria,” he said cagily)—but they were caught en route, in the Philippines, and he was deported back to Australia for overstaying his visa. Australia has criminalized attempts to join or travel to the Islamic State, and has confiscated Cerantonio’s passport. He is stuck in Melbourne, where he is well known to the local constabulary. If Cerantonio were caught facilitating the movement of individuals to the Islamic State, he would be imprisoned. So far, though, he is free—a technically unaffiliated ideologue who nonetheless speaks with what other jihadists have taken to be a reliable voice on matters of the Islamic State’s doctrine.

We met for lunch in Footscray, a dense, multicultural Melbourne suburb that’s home to Lonely Planet, the travel-guide publisher. Cerantonio grew up there in a half-Irish, half-Calabrian family. On a typical street one can find African restaurants, Vietnamese shops, and young Arabs walking around in the Salafi uniform of scraggly beard, long shirt, and trousers ending halfway down the calves.

Cerantonio explained the joy he felt when Baghdadi was declared the caliph on June 29—and the sudden, magnetic attraction that Mesopotamia began to exert on him and his friends. “I was in a hotel [in the Philippines], and I saw the declaration on television,” he told me. “And I was just amazed, and I’m like, Why am I stuck here in this bloody room?”

The last caliphate was the Ottoman empire, which reached its peak in the 16th century and then experienced a long decline, until the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, euthanized it in 1924. But Cerantonio, like many supporters of the Islamic State, doesn’t acknowledge that caliphate as legitimate, because it didn’t fully enforce Islamic law, which requires stonings and slavery and amputations, and because its caliphs were not descended from the tribe of the Prophet, the Quraysh.

Baghdadi spoke at length of the importance of the caliphate in his Mosul sermon. He said that to revive the institution of the caliphate—which had not functioned except in name for about 1,000 years—was a communal obligation. He and his loyalists had “hastened to declare the caliphate and place an imam” at its head, he said. “This is a duty upon the Muslims—a duty that has been lost for centuries … The Muslims sin by losing it, and they must always seek to establish it.” Like bin Laden before him, Baghdadi spoke floridly, with frequent scriptural allusion and command of classical rhetoric. Unlike bin Laden, and unlike those false caliphs of the Ottoman empire, he is Qurayshi.

The caliphate, Cerantonio told me, is not just a political entity but also a vehicle for salvation. Islamic State propaganda regularly reports the pledges of baya’a (allegiance) rolling in from jihadist groups across the Muslim world. Cerantonio quoted a Prophetic saying, that to die without pledging allegiance is to die jahil (ignorant) and therefore die a “death of disbelief.” Consider how Muslims (or, for that matter, Christians) imagine God deals with the souls of people who die without learning about the one true religion. They are neither obviously saved nor definitively condemned. Similarly, Cerantonio said, the Muslim who acknowledges one omnipotent god and prays, but who dies without pledging himself to a valid caliph and incurring the obligations of that oath, has failed to live a fully Islamic life. I pointed out that this means the vast majority of Muslims in history, and all who passed away between 1924 and 2014, died a death of disbelief. Cerantonio nodded gravely. “I would go so far as to say that Islam has been reestablished” by the caliphate.

I asked him about his own baya’a, and he quickly corrected me: “I didn’t say that I’d pledged allegiance.” Under Australian law, he reminded me, giving baya’a to the Islamic State was illegal. “But I agree that [Baghdadi] fulfills the requirements,” he continued. “I’m just going to wink at you, and you take that to mean whatever you want.”

To be the caliph, one must meet conditions outlined in Sunni law—being a Muslim adult man of Quraysh descent; exhibiting moral probity and physical and mental integrity; and having ’amr, or authority. This last criterion, Cerantonio said, is the hardest to fulfill, and requires that the caliph have territory in which he can enforce Islamic law. Baghdadi’s Islamic State achieved that long before June 29, Cerantonio said, and as soon as it did, a Western convert within the group’s ranks—Cerantonio described him as “something of a leader”—began murmuring about the religious obligation to declare a caliphate. He and others spoke quietly to those in power and told them that further delay would be sinful.

Social-media posts from the Islamic State suggest that executions happen more or less continually.
Cerantonio said a faction arose that was prepared to make war on Baghdadi’s group if it delayed any further. They prepared a letter to various powerful members of ISIS, airing their displeasure at the failure to appoint a caliph, but were pacified by Adnani, the spokesman, who let them in on a secret—that a caliphate had already been declared, long before the public announcement. They had their legitimate caliph, and at that point there was only one option. “If he’s legitimate,” Cerantonio said, “you must give him the baya’a.”

After Baghdadi’s July sermon, a stream of jihadists began flowing daily into Syria with renewed motivation. Jürgen Todenhöfer, a German author and former politician who visited the Islamic State in December, reported the arrival of 100 fighters at one Turkish-border recruitment station in just two days. His report, among others, suggests a still-steady inflow of foreigners, ready to give up everything at home for a shot at paradise in the worst place on Earth.
Bernard Haykel, the foremost secular authority on the Islamic State’s ideology, believes the group is trying to re-create the earliest days of Islam and is faithfully reproducing its norms of war. “There is an assiduous, obsessive seriousness” about the group’s dedication to the text of the Koran, he says. (Peter Murphy)
In London, a week before my meal with Cerantonio, I met with three ex-members of a banned Islamist group called Al Muhajiroun (The Emigrants): Anjem Choudary, Abu Baraa, and Abdul Muhid. They all expressed desire to emigrate to the Islamic State, as many of their colleagues already had, but the authorities had confiscated their passports. Like Cerantonio, they regarded the caliphate as the only righteous government on Earth, though none would confess having pledged allegiance. Their principal goal in meeting me was to explain what the Islamic State stands for, and how its policies reflect God’s law.

Choudary, 48, is the group’s former leader. He frequently appears on cable news, as one of the few people producers can book who will defend the Islamic State vociferously, until his mike is cut. He has a reputation in the United Kingdom as a loathsome blowhard, but he and his disciples sincerely believe in the Islamic State and, on matters of doctrine, speak in its voice. Choudary and the others feature prominently in the Twitter feeds of Islamic State residents, and Abu Baraa maintains a YouTube channel to answer questions about Sharia.
Since September, authorities have been investigating the three men on suspicion of supporting terrorism. Because of this investigation, they had to meet me separately: communication among them would have violated the terms of their bail. But speaking with them felt like speaking with the same person wearing different masks. Choudary met me in a candy shop in the East London suburb of Ilford. He was dressed smartly, in a crisp blue tunic reaching nearly to his ankles, and sipped a Red Bull while we talked.

Before the caliphate, “maybe 85 percent of the Sharia was absent from our lives,” Choudary told me. “These laws are in abeyance until we have khilafa”—a caliphate—“and now we have one.” Without a caliphate, for example, individual vigilantes are not obliged to amputate the hands of thieves they catch in the act. But create a caliphate, and this law, along with a huge body of other jurisprudence, suddenly awakens. In theory, all Muslims are obliged to immigrate to the territory where the caliph is applying these laws. One of Choudary’s prize students, a convert from Hinduism named Abu Rumaysah, evaded police to bring his family of five from London to Syria in November. On the day I met Choudary, Abu Rumaysah tweeted out a picture of himself with a Kalashnikov in one arm and his newborn son in the other. Hashtag: #GenerationKhilafah.

The caliph is required to implement Sharia. Any deviation will compel those who have pledged allegiance to inform the caliph in private of his error and, in extreme cases, to excommunicate and replace him if he persists. (“I have been plagued with this great matter, plagued with this responsibility, and it is a heavy responsibility,” Baghdadi said in his sermon.) In return, the caliph commands obedience—and those who persist in supporting non-Muslim governments, after being duly warned and educated about their sin, are considered apostates.

Choudary said Sharia has been misunderstood because of its incomplete application by regimes such as Saudi Arabia, which does behead murderers and cut off thieves’ hands. “The problem,” he explained, “is that when places like Saudi Arabia just implement the penal code, and don’t provide the social and economic justice of the Sharia—the whole package—they simply engender hatred toward the Sharia.” That whole package, he said, would include free housing, food, and clothing for all, though of course anyone who wished to enrich himself with work could do so.

Abdul Muhid, 32, continued along these lines. He was dressed in mujahideen chic when I met him at a local restaurant: scruffy beard, Afghan cap, and a wallet outside of his clothes, attached with what looked like a shoulder holster. When we sat down, he was eager to discuss welfare. The Islamic State may have medieval-style punishments for moral crimes (lashes for boozing or fornication, stoning for adultery), but its social-welfare program is, at least in some aspects, progressive to a degree that would please an MSNBC pundit. Health care, he said, is free. (“Isn’t it free in Britain, too?,” I asked. “Not really,” he said. “Some procedures aren’t covered, such as vision.”) This provision of social welfare was not, he said, a policy choice of the Islamic State, but a policy obligation inherent in God’s law.
Anjem Choudary, London’s most notorious defender of the Islamic State, says crucifixion and beheading are sacred requirements. (Tal Cohen/Reuters)
III. The Apocalypse

All Muslims acknowledge that God is the only one who knows the future. But they also agree that he has offered us a peek at it, in the Koran and in narrations of the Prophet. The Islamic State differs from nearly every other current jihadist movement in believing that it is written into God’s script as a central character. It is in this casting that the Islamic State is most boldly distinctive from its predecessors, and clearest in the religious nature of its mission.

In broad strokes, al-Qaeda acts like an underground political movement, with worldly goals in sight at all times—the expulsion of non-Muslims from the Arabian peninsula, the abolishment of the state of Israel, the end of support for dictatorships in Muslim lands. The Islamic State has its share of worldly concerns (including, in the places it controls, collecting garbage and keeping the water running), but the End of Days is a leitmotif of its propaganda. Bin Laden rarely mentioned the apocalypse, and when he did, he seemed to presume that he would be long dead when the glorious moment of divine comeuppance finally arrived. “Bin Laden and Zawahiri are from elite Sunni families who look down on this kind of speculation and think it’s something the masses engage in,” says Will McCants of the Brookings Institution, who is writing a book about the Islamic State’s apocalyptic thought.

During the last years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers, by contrast, saw signs of the end times everywhere. They were anticipating, within a year, the arrival of the Mahdi—a messianic figure destined to lead the Muslims to victory before the end of the world. McCants says a prominent Islamist in Iraq approached bin Laden in 2008 to warn him that the group was being led by millenarians who were “talking all the time about the Mahdi and making strategic decisions” based on when they thought the Mahdi was going to arrive. “Al-Qaeda had to write to [these leaders] to say ‘Cut it out.’ ”
For certain true believers—the kind who long for epic good-versus-evil battles—visions of apocalyptic bloodbaths fulfill a deep psychological need. Of the Islamic State supporters I met, Musa Cerantonio, the Australian, expressed the deepest interest in the apocalypse and how the remaining days of the Islamic State—and the world—might look. Parts of that prediction are original to him, and do not yet have the status of doctrine. But other parts are based on mainstream Sunni sources and appear all over the Islamic State’s propaganda. These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.

The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo. It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when (at great cost) it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains. It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp. The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo or its Antietam.

“Dabiq is basically all farmland,” one Islamic State supporter recently tweeted. “You could imagine large battles taking place there.” The Islamic State’s propagandists drool with anticipation of this event, and constantly imply that it will come soon. The state’s magazine quotes Zarqawi as saying, “The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify … until it burns the crusader armies in Dabiq.” A recent propaganda video shows clips from Hollywood war movies set in medieval times—perhaps because many of the prophecies specify that the armies will be on horseback or carrying ancient weapons.

Now that it has taken Dabiq, the Islamic State awaits the arrival of an enemy army there, whose defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse. Western media frequently miss references to Dabiq in the Islamic State’s videos, and focus instead on lurid scenes of beheading. “Here we are, burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive,” said a masked executioner in a November video, showing the severed head of Peter (Abdul Rahman) Kassig, the aid worker who’d been held captive for more than a year. During fighting in Iraq in December, after mujahideen (perhaps inaccurately) reported having seen American soldiers in battle, Islamic State Twitter accounts erupted in spasms of pleasure, like overenthusiastic hosts or hostesses upon the arrival of the first guests at a party.

The Prophetic narration that foretells the Dabiq battle refers to the enemy as Rome. Who “Rome” is, now that the pope has no army, remains a matter of debate. But Cerantonio makes a case that Rome meant the Eastern Roman empire, which had its capital in what is now Istanbul. We should think of Rome as the Republic of Turkey—the same republic that ended the last self-identified caliphate, 90 years ago. Other Islamic State sources suggest that Rome might mean any infidel army, and the Americans will do nicely.

After mujahideen reported having seen American soldiers in battle, Islamic State Twitter accounts erupted in spasms of pleasure, like overenthusiastic hosts upon the arrival of the first guests at a party.
After its battle in Dabiq, Cerantonio said, the caliphate will expand and sack Istanbul. Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth, but Cerantonio suggested its tide may never reach beyond the Bosporus. An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem. Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus—the second-most-revered prophet in Islam—will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.

“Only God knows” whether the Islamic State’s armies are the ones foretold, Cerantonio said. But he is hopeful. “The Prophet said that one sign of the imminent arrival of the End of Days is that people will for a long while stop talking about the End of Days,” he said. “If you go to the mosques now, you’ll find the preachers are silent about this subject.” On this theory, even setbacks dealt to the Islamic State mean nothing, since God has preordained the near-destruction of his people anyway. The Islamic State has its best and worst days ahead of it.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was declared caliph by his followers last summer. The establishment of a caliphate awakened large sections of Koranic law that had lain dormant, and required those Muslims who recognized the caliphate to immigrate. (Associated Press)
IV. The Fight

The ideological purity of the Islamic State has one compensating virtue: it allows us to predict some of the group’s actions. Osama bin Laden was seldom predictable. He ended his first television interview cryptically. CNN’s Peter Arnett asked him, “What are your future plans?” Bin Laden replied, “You’ll see them and hear about them in the media, God willing.” By contrast, the Islamic State boasts openly about its plans—not all of them, but enough so that by listening carefully, we can deduce how it intends to govern and expand.

In London, Choudary and his students provided detailed descriptions of how the Islamic State must conduct its foreign policy, now that it is a caliphate. It has already taken up what Islamic law refers to as “offensive jihad,” the forcible expansion into countries that are ruled by non-Muslims. “Hitherto, we were just defending ourselves,” Choudary said; without a caliphate, offensive jihad is an inapplicable concept. But the waging of war to expand the caliphate is an essential duty of the caliph.
Choudary took pains to present the laws of war under which the Islamic State operates as policies of mercy rather than of brutality. He told me the state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies—a holy order to scare the shit out of them with beheadings and crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict.

Choudary’s colleague Abu Baraa explained that Islamic law permits only temporary peace treaties, lasting no longer than a decade. Similarly, accepting any border is anathema, as stated by the Prophet and echoed in the Islamic State’s propaganda videos. If the caliph consents to a longer-term peace or permanent border, he will be in error. Temporary peace treaties are renewable, but may not be applied to all enemies at once: the caliph must wage jihad at least once a year. He may not rest, or he will fall into a state of sin.

One comparison to the Islamic State is the Khmer Rouge, which killed about a third of the population of Cambodia. But the Khmer Rouge occupied Cambodia’s seat at the United Nations. “This is not permitted,” Abu Baraa said. “To send an ambassador to the UN is to recognize an authority other than God’s.” This form of diplomacy is shirk, or polytheism, he argued, and would be immediate cause to hereticize and replace Baghdadi. Even to hasten the arrival of a caliphate by democratic means—for example by voting for political candidates who favor a caliphate—is shirk.

It’s hard to overstate how hamstrung the Islamic State will be by its radicalism. The modern international system, born of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, relies on each state’s willingness to recognize borders, however grudgingly. For the Islamic State, that recognition is ideological suicide. Other Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, have succumbed to the blandishments of democracy and the potential for an invitation to the community of nations, complete with a UN seat. Negotiation and accommodation have worked, at times, for the Taliban as well. (Under Taliban rule, Afghanistan exchanged ambassadors with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, an act that invalidated the Taliban’s authority in the Islamic State’s eyes.) To the Islamic State these are not options, but acts of apostasy.

The United States and its allies have reacted to the Islamic State belatedly and in an apparent daze. The group’s ambitions and rough strategic blueprints were evident in its pronouncements and in social-media chatter as far back as 2011, when it was just one of many terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq and hadn’t yet committed mass atrocities. Adnani, the spokesman, told followers then that the group’s ambition was to “restore the Islamic caliphate,” and he evoked the apocalypse, saying, “There are but a few days left.” Baghdadi had already styled himself “commander of the faithful,” a title ordinarily reserved for caliphs, in 2011. In April 2013, Adnani declared the movement “ready to redraw the world upon the Prophetic methodology of the caliphate.” In August 2013, he said, “Our goal is to establish an Islamic state that doesn’t recognize borders, on the Prophetic methodology.” By then, the group had taken Raqqa, a Syrian provincial capital of perhaps 500,000 people, and was drawing in substantial numbers of foreign fighters who’d heard its message.

If we had identified the Islamic State’s intentions early, and realized that the vacuum in Syria and Iraq would give it ample space to carry them out, we might, at a minimum, have pushed Iraq to harden its border with Syria and preemptively make deals with its Sunnis. That would at least have avoided the electrifying propaganda effect created by the declaration of a caliphate just after the conquest of Iraq’s third-largest city. Yet, just over a year ago, Obama told The New Yorker that he considered ISIS to be al-Qaeda’s weaker partner. “If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” the president said.

Our failure to appreciate the split between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and the essential differences between the two, has led to dangerous decisions. Last fall, to take one example, the U.S. government consented to a desperate plan to save Peter Kassig’s life. The plan facilitated—indeed, required—the interaction of some of the founding figures of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and could hardly have looked more hastily improvised.

Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it appears the best of bad military options.
It entailed the enlistment of Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, the Zarqawi mentor and al-Qaeda grandee, to approach Turki al-Binali, the Islamic State’s chief ideologue and a former student of Maqdisi’s, even though the two men had fallen out due to Maqdisi’s criticism of the Islamic State. Maqdisi had already called for the state to extend mercy to Alan Henning, the British cabbie who had entered Syria to deliver aid to children. In December, The Guardian reported that the U.S. government, through an intermediary, had asked Maqdisi to intercede with the Islamic State on Kassig’s behalf.

Maqdisi was living freely in Jordan, but had been banned from communicating with terrorists abroad, and was being monitored closely. After Jordan granted the United States permission to reintroduce Maqdisi to Binali, Maqdisi bought a phone with American money and was allowed to correspond merrily with his former student for a few days, before the Jordanian government stopped the chats and used them as a pretext to jail Maqdisi. Kassig’s severed head appeared in the Dabiq video a few days later.
Maqdisi gets mocked roundly on Twitter by the Islamic State’s fans, and al‑Qaeda is held in great contempt for refusing to acknowledge the caliphate. Cole Bunzel, a scholar who studies Islamic State ideology, read Maqdisi’s opinion on Henning’s status and thought it would hasten his and other captives’ death. “If I were held captive by the Islamic State and Maqdisi said I shouldn’t be killed,” he told me, “I’d kiss my ass goodbye.”

Kassig’s death was a tragedy, but the plan’s success would have been a bigger one. A reconciliation between Maqdisi and Binali would have begun to heal the main rift between the world’s two largest jihadist organizations. It’s possible that the government wanted only to draw out Binali for intelligence purposes or assassination. (Multiple attempts to elicit comment from the FBI were unsuccessful.) Regardless, the decision to play matchmaker for America’s two main terrorist antagonists reveals astonishingly poor judgment.

Chastened by our earlier indifference, we are now meeting the Islamic State via Kurdish and Iraqi proxy on the battlefield, and with regular air assaults. Those strategies haven’t dislodged the Islamic State from any of its major territorial possessions, although they’ve kept it from directly assaulting Baghdad and Erbil and slaughtering Shia and Kurds there.

Some observers have called for escalation, including several predictable voices from the interventionist right (Max Boot, Frederick Kagan), who have urged the deployment of tens of thousands of American soldiers. These calls should not be dismissed too quickly: an avowedly genocidal organization is on its potential victims’ front lawn, and it is committing daily atrocities in the territory it already controls.

One way to un-cast the Islamic State’s spell over its adherents would be to overpower it militarily and occupy the parts of Syria and Iraq now under caliphate rule. Al‑Qaeda is ineradicable because it can survive, cockroach-like, by going underground. The Islamic State cannot. If it loses its grip on its territory in Syria and Iraq, it will cease to be a caliphate. Caliphates cannot exist as underground movements, because territorial authority is a requirement: take away its command of territory, and all those oaths of allegiance are no longer binding. Former pledges could of course continue to attack the West and behead their enemies, as freelancers. But the propaganda value of the caliphate would disappear, and with it the supposed religious duty to immigrate and serve it. If the United States were to invade, the Islamic State’s obsession with battle at Dabiq suggests that it might send vast resources there, as if in a conventional battle. If the state musters at Dabiq in full force, only to be routed, it might never recover.
Abu Baraa, who maintains a YouTube channel about Islamic law, says the caliph, Baghdadi, cannot negotiate or recognize borders, and must continually make war, or he will remove himself from Islam.
And yet the risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide: irrespective of whether they have given baya’a to the caliph, they all believe that the United States wants to embark on a modern-day Crusade and kill Muslims. Yet another invasion and occupation would confirm that suspicion, and bolster recruitment. Add the incompetence of our previous efforts as occupiers, and we have reason for reluctance. The rise of ISIS, after all, happened only because our previous occupation created space for Zarqawi and his followers. Who knows the consequences of another botched job?

Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it, through air strikes and proxy warfare, appears the best of bad military options. Neither the Kurds nor the Shia will ever subdue and control the whole Sunni heartland of Syria and Iraq—they are hated there, and have no appetite for such an adventure anyway. But they can keep the Islamic State from fulfilling its duty to expand. And with every month that it fails to expand, it resembles less the conquering state of the Prophet Muhammad than yet another Middle Eastern government failing to bring prosperity to its people.

The humanitarian cost of the Islamic State’s existence is high. But its threat to the United States is smaller than its all too frequent conflation with al-Qaeda would suggest. Al-Qaeda’s core is rare among jihadist groups for its focus on the “far enemy” (the West); most jihadist groups’ main concerns lie closer to home. That’s especially true of the Islamic State, precisely because of its ideology. It sees enemies everywhere around it, and while its leadership wishes ill on the United States, the application of Sharia in the caliphate and the expansion to contiguous lands are paramount. Baghdadi has said as much directly: in November he told his Saudi agents to “deal with the rafida [Shia] first … then al-Sulul [Sunni supporters of the Saudi monarchy] … before the crusaders and their bases.”

Musa Cerantonio and Anjem Choudary could mentally shift from contemplating mass death to discussing the virtues of Vietnamese coffee, with apparent delight in each.
The foreign fighters (and their wives and children) have been traveling to the caliphate on one-way tickets: they want to live under true Sharia, and many want martyrdom. Doctrine, recall, requires believers to reside in the caliphate if it is at all possible for them to do so. One of the Islamic State’s less bloody videos shows a group of jihadists burning their French, British, and Australian passports. This would be an eccentric act for someone intending to return to blow himself up in line at the Louvre or to hold another chocolate shop hostage in Sydney.

A few “lone wolf” supporters of the Islamic State have attacked Western targets, and more attacks will come. But most of the attackers have been frustrated amateurs, unable to immigrate to the caliphate because of confiscated passports or other problems. Even if the Islamic State cheers these attacks—and it does in its propaganda—it hasn’t yet planned and financed one. (The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January was principally an al‑Qaeda operation.) During his visit to Mosul in December, Jürgen Todenhöfer interviewed a portly German jihadist and asked whether any of his comrades had returned to Europe to carry out attacks. The jihadist seemed to regard returnees not as soldiers but as dropouts. “The fact is that the returnees from the Islamic State should repent from their return,” he said. “I hope they review their religion.”
Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited: No one has tried harder to implement strict Sharia by violence. This is what it looks like.

Even so, the death of the Islamic State is unlikely to be quick, and things could still go badly wrong: if the Islamic State obtained the allegiance of al‑Qaeda—increasing, in one swoop, the unity of its base—it could wax into a worse foe than we’ve yet seen. The rift between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda has, if anything, grown in the past few months; the December issue of Dabiq featured a long account of an al‑Qaeda defector who described his old group as corrupt and ineffectual, and Zawahiri as a distant and unfit leader. But we should watch carefully for a rapprochement.

Without a catastrophe such as this, however, or perhaps the threat of the Islamic State’s storming Erbil, a vast ground invasion would certainly make the situation worse.

V. Dissuasion

It would be facile, even exculpatory, to call the problem of the Islamic State “a problem with Islam.” The religion allows many interpretations, and Islamic State supporters are morally on the hook for the one they choose. And yet simply denouncing the Islamic State as un-Islamic can be counterproductive, especially if those who hear the message have read the holy texts and seen the endorsement of many of the caliphate’s practices written plainly within them.

Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet. “The only principled ground that the Islamic State’s opponents could take is to say that certain core texts and traditional teachings of Islam are no longer valid,” Bernard Haykel says. That really would be an act of apostasy.

The Islamic State’s ideology exerts powerful sway over a certain subset of the population. Life’s hypocrisies and inconsistencies vanish in its face. Musa Cerantonio and the Salafis I met in London are unstumpable: no question I posed left them stuttering. They lectured me garrulously and, if one accepts their premises, convincingly. To call them un-Islamic appears, to me, to invite them into an argument that they would win. If they had been froth-spewing maniacs, I might be able to predict that their movement would burn out as the psychopaths detonated themselves or became drone-splats, one by one. But these men spoke with an academic precision that put me in mind of a good graduate seminar. I even enjoyed their company, and that frightened me as much as anything else.

Non-muslims cannot tell Muslims how to practice their religion properly. But Muslims have long since begun this debate within their own ranks. “You have to have standards,” Anjem Choudary told me. “Somebody could claim to be a Muslim, but if he believes in homosexuality or drinking alcohol, then he is not a Muslim. There is no such thing as a nonpracticing vegetarian.”

There is, however, another strand of Islam that offers a hard-line alternative to the Islamic State—just as uncompromising, but with opposite conclusions. This strand has proved appealing to many Muslims cursed or blessed with a psychological longing to see every jot and tittle of the holy texts implemented as they were in the earliest days of Islam. Islamic State supporters know how to react to Muslims who ignore parts of the Koran: with takfir and ridicule. But they also know that some other Muslims read the Koran as assiduously as they do, and pose a real ideological threat.

Baghdadi is Salafi. The term Salafi has been villainized, in part because authentic villains have ridden into battle waving the Salafi banner. But most Salafis are not jihadists, and most adhere to sects that reject the Islamic State. They are, as Haykel notes, committed to expanding Dar al-Islam, the land of Islam, even, perhaps, with the implementation of monstrous practices such as slavery and amputation—but at some future point. Their first priority is personal purification and religious observance, and they believe anything that thwarts those goals—such as causing war or unrest that would disrupt lives and prayer and scholarship—is forbidden.

They live among us. Last fall, I visited the Philadelphia mosque of Breton Pocius, 28, a Salafi imam who goes by the name Abdullah. His mosque is on the border between the crime-ridden Northern Liberties neighborhood and a gentrifying area that one might call Dar al-Hipster; his beard allows him to pass in the latter zone almost unnoticed.

A theological alternative to the Islamic State exists—just as uncompromising, but with opposite conclusions.
Pocius converted 15 years ago after a Polish Catholic upbringing in Chicago. Like Cerantonio, he talks like an old soul, exhibiting deep familiarity with ancient texts, and a commitment to them motivated by curiosity and scholarship, and by a conviction that they are the only way to escape hellfire. When I met him at a local coffee shop, he carried a work of Koranic scholarship in Arabic and a book for teaching himself Japanese. He was preparing a sermon on the obligations of fatherhood for the 150 or so worshipers in his Friday congregation.

Pocius said his main goal is to encourage a halal life for worshipers in his mosque. But the rise of the Islamic State has forced him to consider political questions that are usually very far from the minds of Salafis. “Most of what they’ll say about how to pray and how to dress is exactly what I’ll say in my masjid [mosque]. But when they get to questions about social upheaval, they sound like Che Guevara.”

When Baghdadi showed up, Pocius adopted the slogan “Not my khalifa.” “The times of the Prophet were a time of great bloodshed,” he told me, “and he knew that the worst possible condition for all people was chaos, especially within the umma [Muslim community].” Accordingly, Pocius said, the correct attitude for Salafis is not to sow discord by factionalizing and declaring fellow Muslims apostates.
Instead, Pocius—like a majority of Salafis—believes that Muslims should remove themselves from politics. These quietist Salafis, as they are known, agree with the Islamic State that God’s law is the only law, and they eschew practices like voting and the creation of political parties. But they interpret the Koran’s hatred of discord and chaos as requiring them to fall into line with just about any leader, including some manifestly sinful ones. “The Prophet said: as long as the ruler does not enter into clear kufr [disbelief], give him general obedience,” Pocius told me, and the classic “books of creed” all warn against causing social upheaval. Quietist Salafis are strictly forbidden from dividing Muslims from one another—for example, by mass excommunication. Living without baya’a, Pocius said, does indeed make one ignorant, or benighted. But baya’a need not mean direct allegiance to a caliph, and certainly not to Abu Bakr al‑Baghdadi. It can mean, more broadly, allegiance to a religious social contract and commitment to a society of Muslims, whether ruled by a caliph or not.

Quietist Salafis believe that Muslims should direct their energies toward perfecting their personal life, including prayer, ritual, and hygiene. Much in the same way ultra-Orthodox Jews debate whether it’s kosher to tear off squares of toilet paper on the Sabbath (does that count as “rending cloth”?), they spend an inordinate amount of time ensuring that their trousers are not too long, that their beards are trimmed in some areas and shaggy in others. Through this fastidious observance, they believe, God will favor them with strength and numbers, and perhaps a caliphate will arise. At that moment, Muslims will take vengeance and, yes, achieve glorious victory at Dabiq. But Pocius cites a slew of modern Salafi theologians who argue that a caliphate cannot come into being in a righteous way except through the unmistakable will of God.

The Islamic State, of course, would agree, and say that God has anointed Baghdadi. Pocius’s retort amounts to a call to humility. He cites Abdullah Ibn Abbas, one of the Prophet’s companions, who sat down with dissenters and asked them how they had the gall, as a minority, to tell the majority that it was wrong. Dissent itself, to the point of bloodshed or splitting the umma, was forbidden. Even the manner of the establishment of Baghdadi’s caliphate runs contrary to expectation, he said. “The khilafa is something that Allah is going to establish,” he told me, “and it will involve a consensus of scholars from Mecca and Medina. That is not what happened. ISIS came out of nowhere.”

The Islamic State loathes this talk, and its fanboys tweet derisively about quietist Salafis. They mock them as “Salafis of menstruation,” for their obscure judgments about when women are and aren’t clean, and other low-priority aspects of life. “What we need now is fatwa about how it’s haram [forbidden] to ride a bike on Jupiter,” one tweeted drily. “That’s what scholars should focus on. More pressing than state of Ummah.” Anjem Choudary, for his part, says that no sin merits more vigorous opposition than the usurpation of God’s law, and that extremism in defense of monotheism is no vice.

Pocius doesn’t court any kind of official support from the United States, as a counterweight to jihadism. Indeed, official support would tend to discredit him, and in any case he is bitter toward America for treating him, in his words, as “less than a citizen.” (He alleges that the government paid spies to infiltrate his mosque and harassed his mother at work with questions about his being a potential terrorist.)

Still, his quietist Salafism offers an Islamic antidote to Baghdadi-style jihadism. The people who arrive at the faith spoiling for a fight cannot all be stopped from jihadism, but those whose main motivation is to find an ultraconservative, uncompromising version of Islam have an alternative here. It is not moderate Islam; most Muslims would consider it extreme. It is, however, a form of Islam that the literal-minded would not instantly find hypocritical, or blasphemously purged of its inconveniences. Hypocrisy is not a sin that ideologically minded young men tolerate well.

Western officials would probably do best to refrain from weighing in on matters of Islamic theological debate altogether. Barack Obama himself drifted into takfiri waters when he claimed that the Islamic State was “not Islamic”—the irony being that he, as the non-Muslim son of a Muslim, may himself be classified as an apostate, and yet is now practicing takfir against Muslims. Non-Muslims’ practicing takfir elicits chuckles from jihadists (“Like a pig covered in feces giving hygiene advice to others,” one tweeted).

I suspect that most Muslims appreciated Obama’s sentiment: the president was standing with them against both Baghdadi and non-Muslim chauvinists trying to implicate them in crimes. But most Muslims aren’t susceptible to joining jihad. The ones who are susceptible will only have had their suspicions confirmed: the United States lies about religion to serve its purposes.

Within the narrow bounds of its theology, the Islamic State hums with energy, even creativity. Outside those bounds, it could hardly be more arid and silent: a vision of life as obedience, order, and destiny. Musa Cerantonio and Anjem Choudary could mentally shift from contemplating mass death and eternal torture to discussing the virtues of Vietnamese coffee or treacly pastry, with apparent delight in each, yet to me it seemed that to embrace their views would be to see all the flavors of this world grow insipid compared with the vivid grotesqueries of the hereafter.

I could enjoy their company, as a guilty intellectual exercise, up to a point. In reviewing Mein Kampf in March 1940, George Orwell confessed that he had “never been able to dislike Hitler”; something about the man projected an underdog quality, even when his goals were cowardly or loathsome. “If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon.” The Islamic State’s partisans have much the same allure. They believe that they are personally involved in struggles beyond their own lives, and that merely to be swept up in the drama, on the side of righteousness, is a privilege and a pleasure—especially when it is also a burden.

Fascism, Orwell continued, is

psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life … Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them, “I offer you struggle, danger, and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet … We ought not to underrate its emotional appeal.
Nor, in the case of the Islamic State, its religious or intellectual appeal. That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model. Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group’s message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time.

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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The Movement To Abolish Central Banks Including The United States’ Central Bank : The Federal Reserve System — Videos

Posted on February 15, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Employment, Energy, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Law, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Television, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

320px-Fed_Reserveinflationdecline of dollar valueinflation-currency-1gold-purchasing-power-us-dollar-1913-2014central-bank-balance-sheetspurchains power dollarHolders of US Treasury Debtcaseagainstfedcover

PDF of Book

http://mises.org/sites/default/files/The%20Case%20Against%20the%20Fed_2.pdf

Rothbard provides a succinct account of the origins of money, showing how money must originate from a commodity. Banking originated from goldsmiths, who issued warehouse receipts for gold deposited with them. From this a fractional reserve system developed, inherently prone to monetary expansion and panic.

In the late nineteenth century, a movement toward bank centralization arose among both “progressives” and bankers, the latter eager to increase their profits. From these plans, the Federal Reserve System developed. Rothbard shows the dominate influence of the banking House of Morgan at the Fed’s inception. During the New Deal, Rockefeller interests took first place in influence, with the Morgan interests reduced to a subordinate though still potent role.

The book concludes with an account of the Fed’s role in causing inflation and the business cycle. Abolition of this nefarious agency must be part of any agenda for genuine financial reform.

http://mises.org/library/case-against-fed-0

 

Milton Friedman – Abolish The Fed

Milton Friedman: The Purpose of the Federal Reserve

Milton Friedman teaches Monetary Policy

Milton Friedman on Money / Monetary Policy (Federal Reserve) Part 1

Milton Friedman on Money / Monetary Policy (Federal Reserve) Part 2

FIAT EMPIRE: Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution

the creature

 

The Creature From Jekyll Island (by G. Edward Griffin)

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

“If America Doesn’t ABOLISH the FED, the FED will ABOLISH America” | G. Edward Griffin

Thomas Sowell: Federal Reserve a ‘Cancer’

Experts Agree – The Fed Must End!

Establishment is Afraid of End The Fed Movement in Germany

Incredible Speech By Wall Street Protester End The Fed 2011

End the Fed

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Kevin Guilfoile — The Thousand — Videos

Posted on February 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Corruption, Education, Fiction, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Strategy, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Kevin Guilfoile, author of The Thousand and Cast of Shadows, on The Interview Show

The Inside Corner – Kevin Guilfoile

Synopsis | The Thousand By Kevin Guilfoile

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Alan Greenspan — The Map and The Territory 2.0: Risk, Human Nature, and The Future of Forecasting — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Music, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Alan Greenspan: “I’m afraid (the US is) going to run into some form of political crisis

Greece Will Eventually Leave the Euro – Alan Greenspan Head of US Central Bank Eurozone Crisis

Alan Greenspan: Structure of the Oil Market Has Changed

Alan Greenspan on what’s wrong with the world economy – Newsnight

Alan Greenspan on Central Banks, Stagnation, and Gold

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, joins Gillian Tett, U.S. managing editor at the Financial Times, to discuss current trends in the global economy and solutions for addressing the financial crisis.

Alan Greenspan on Central Banks, Stagnation, and Gold

Alan Greenspan on Gold and The Federal Reserves inability to stop QE

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Murray Rothbard — Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard — Videos

Posted on February 8, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Friends, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Language, Law, liberty, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

murray_boardStrictly Confidential

Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard

Murray Rothbard is widely known for his vast literary output, but a great deal of his work has never been published until now. During the late 1950s and early 60s he worked for the William Volker Fund, one of the few organizations willing to fund classical liberal scholars at the time. In that capacity, he wrote memos and reviews that offer insights on history, economics, foreign policy, and political theory.

Rothbard’s view and understanding of world events was unique and prescient. Strictly Confidential is an illuminating commentary on the feisty early years of the libertarian movement, and the fledgling intellectual base that became the root of today’s libertarianism.

No one tells it like it is better than Rothbard.

http://mises.org/library/strictly-confidential-private-volker-fund-memos-murray-n-rothbardmurray rothbard keynesian

rothbardMurray_Rothbard

How Murray Rothbard Became a Libertarian

A prolific author and Austrian economist, Murray Rothbard promoted a form of free market anarchism he called “anarcho-capitalism.”

In this talk, given at the 1981 National Libertarian Party Convention, Rothbard tells the story of how he came to learn about economics and libertarianism as he grew up in the Bronx and attended Columbia University in the 1930s and 40s. He reminisces about meeting Frank Chodorov, Baldy Harper, George Stigler and Ludwig von Mises, and takes a number of audience questions.

The Future of Austrian Economics | Murray N. Rothbard

This is the famous speech by Murray Rothbard given in the days following the collapse of the Soviet empire. His exuberance is palpable has he explains the meaning of it all for the place of liberty in the history of civilization.
A brilliant scholar and passionate defender of Liberty, Professor Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was dean of the Austrian School of economics, holder of the S.J. Hall Chair at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The author of 17 books and thousands of articles, the foremost Misesian economist, the father of modern freedom theory, and the most delightful personality in the profession, this great teacher here spellbinds an audience of students, faculty, and business leaders in the “Future of Austrian Economics,” at the 1990 Mises University at Stanford.

Only Austrian economics, Rothbard shows, can explain the collapse of socialism/communism and tell us what should replace it: laissez-faire capitalism. There is a lesson here as well, he shows, for dealing with the Leviathan in Washington, D.C.

The Founding of the Federal Reserve | Murray N. Rothbard

Libertarianism | Murray N. Rothbard

Murray Rothbard: Six Stages of the Libertarian Movement

Murray Rothbard – The Government Is Not Us

The Gold Standard Before the Civil War | Murray N. Rothbard

Rothbard on the ‘best’ US president

Keynes the Man: Hero or Villain? | Murray N. Rothbard

415. Murray Rothbard: Who He Was and Why He’s Important

Gene Epstein: Murray Rothbard’s Mixed Legacy

How Murray Rothbard Changed my Mind on War | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Murray Rothbard as Academic Role Model | Gary North

The Worldview of Murray Rothbard | Gerard Casey

Two Roads, One Truth | Gerard Casey

inflation

 

For A New Liberty For A New Liberty 2America's Great DepressionLThe Case Against The FedRothbard-MESstateMurray_Rothbard (1)

 

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John B. Taylor — First Principles: Five Keys To Restoring America’s Prosperity — Videos

Posted on February 8, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Uncommon Knowledge with John B. Taylor

5 Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity: John B. Taylor

Steine Lecture Series with John B. Taylor

getting off track

Crisis Management with John Taylor

global_financial_warrios

John B Taylor – Policy Options to Restore Prosperity – 26 June 2014

John Taylor: Economic Freedom, Wealth and the Alleviation of Poverty

John Taylor Receives the Bradley Prize — 2010

John B. Taylor, the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution, is perhaps best known for formulating an equation on setting interest rates that has become known as the Taylor rule. The economist has also, however, been recognized throughout his career for his contributions to teaching, research, and public service, in addition to policy making. On June 16, 2010, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation awarded one of its four 2010 Bradley Prizes to Taylor. The Bradley Prizes, awarded annually, are given to prominent scholars and engaged citizens for outstanding achievement in their fields of endeavor.

John B. Taylor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named John Taylor, see John Taylor (disambiguation).
John B. Taylor
JohnBTaylor.jpg

John B. Taylor
Born December 8, 1946(age 68)
Yonkers, New York
Nationality United States
Institution Stanford University
Field Monetary economics
School or tradition
New Keynesian economics
Alma mater Shady Side Academy
Stanford University
Princeton University
Influences Milton Friedman
John Maynard Keynes
Paul Volcker
E. Philip Howrey
Contributions Taylor rule
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

John Brian Taylor (born December 8, 1946) is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.[1]

Born in Yonkers, New York, he graduated from Shady Side Academy[2] and earned his A.B. from Princeton University in 1968 and Ph.D. from Stanford in 1973, both ineconomics. He taught at Columbia University from 1973–1980 and the Woodrow Wilson School and Economics Department of Princeton University from 1980–1984 before returning to Stanford. He has received several teaching prizes and teaches Stanford’s introductory economics course as well as Ph.D. courses in monetary economics.[3]

In research published in 1979 and 1980 he developed a model of price and wage setting—called the staggered contract model—which served as an underpinning of a new class of empirical models with rational expectations and sticky prices—sometimes called new Keynesian models.[4] [5] In a 1993 paper he proposed the Taylor rule,[6]intended as a recommendation about how nominal interest rates should be determined, which then became a rough summary of how central banks actually do set them. He has been active in public policy, serving as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs during the first term of the George W. Bush Administration. His book Global Financial Warriors chronicles this period.[7] He was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors during the George H. W. Bush Administration and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors during the Ford and Carter Administrations.

In 2012 he was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine. Thomson Reuters lists Taylor among the ‘citation laureates’ who are likely future winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.[8]

Academic contributions

Taylor’s research—including the staggered contract model, the Taylor rule, and the construction of a policy tradeoff (Taylor) curve[9] employing empirical rational expectations models[10]–has had a major impact on economic theory and policy.[11] Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that Taylor’s “influence on monetary theory and policy has been profound,”[12] and Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen has noted that Taylor’s work “has affected the way policymakers and economists analyze the economy and approach monetary policy.”[13]

Taylor contributed to the development of mathematical methods for solving macroeconomic models under the assumption of rational expectations, including in a 1975Journal of Political Economy paper, in which he showed how gradual learning could be incorporated in models with rational expectations; a 1979 Econometrica paper in which he presented one of the first econometric models with overlapping price setting and rational expectations, which he later expanded into a large multicountry model in a 1993 book Macroeconomic Policy in a World Economy; and a 1982 Econometrica paper,[14] in which he developed with Ray Fair the first algorithm to solve large-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models which became part of popular solution programs such as Dynare and EViews.[15]

In 1977, Taylor and Edmund Phelps, simultaneously with Stanley Fischer, showed that monetary policy is useful for stabilizing the economy if prices or wages are sticky, even when all workers and firms have rational expectations.[16] This demonstrated that some of the earlier insights of Keynesian economics remained true under rational expectations. This was important because Thomas Sargent and Neil Wallace had argued that rational expectations would make macroeconomic policy useless for stabilization;[17] the results of Taylor, Phelps, and Fischer showed that Sargent and Wallace’s crucial assumption was not rational expectations, but perfectly flexible prices.[18]

Taylor then developed the staggered contract model of overlapping wage and price setting, which became one of the building blocks of the New Keynesian macroeconomics that rebuilt much of the traditional macromodel on rational expectations microfoundations.[19] [20]

Taylor’s research on monetary policy rules traces back to his undergraduate studies at Princeton.[21][22] He went on in the 1970s and 1980s to explore what types of monetary policy rules would most effectively reduce the social costs of inflation and business cycle fluctuations: should central banks try to control the money supply, the price level, or the interest rate; and should these instruments react to changes in output, unemployment, asset prices, or inflation rates? He showed[23] that there was a tradeoff—later called the Taylor curve[24]—between the volatility of inflation and that of output. Taylor’s 1993 paper in the Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy proposed that a simple and effective central bank policy would manipulate short-term interest rates, raising rates to cool the economy whenever inflation or output growth becomes excessive, and lowering rates when either one falls too low. Taylor’s interest rate equation has come to be known as the Taylor rule, and it is now widely accepted as an effective formula for monetary decision making.[25]

A key stipulation of the Taylor rule, sometimes called the Taylor principle,[26] is that the nominal interest rate should increase by more than one percentage point for each one-percent rise in inflation. Some empirical estimates indicate that many central banks today act approximately as the Taylor rule prescribes, but violated the Taylor principle during the inflationary spiral of the 1970s.[27]

Recent research

Taylor’s recent research has been on the financial crisis that began in 2007 and the world economic recession. He finds that the crisis was primarily caused by flawed macroeconomic policies from the U.S. government and other governments. Particularly, he focuses on the Federal Reserve which, under Alan Greenspan, a personal friend of Taylor, created “monetary excesses” in which interest rates were kept too low for too long, which then directly led to the housing boom in his opinion.[28] He also believes that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae spurred on the boom and that the crisis was misdiagnosed as a liquidity rather than a credit risk problem.[29] He wrote that, “government actions and interventions, not any inherent failure or instability of the private economy, caused, prolonged, and worsened the crisis.”[30]

Taylor’s research has also examined the impact of fiscal policy in the recent recession. In November 2008, writing for The Wall Street Journal opinion section, he recommended four measures to fight the economic downturn: (a) permanently keeping all income tax rates the same, (b) permanently creating a worker’s tax credit equal to 6.2 percent of wages up to $8,000, (c) incorporating “automatic stabilizers” as part of overall fiscal plans, and (d) enacting a short-term stimulus plan that also meets long term objectives against waste and inefficiency. He stated that merely temporary tax cuts would not serve as a good policy tool.[31]His research[32] with John Cogan, Tobias Cwik, and Volcker Wieland showed that the multiplier is much smaller in new Keynesian than in old Keynesian models, a result that was confirmed by researchers at central banks.[33] He evaluated the 2008 and 2009 stimulus packages and argued that they were not effective in stimulating the economy.[34]

In a June 2011 interview on Bloomberg Television, Taylor stressed the importance of long term fiscal reform that sets the U.S. federal budget on a path towards being balanced. He cautioned that the Fed should move away from quantitative easing measures and keep to a more static, stable monetary policy. He also criticized fellow economist Paul Krugman‘s advocacy of additional stimulus programs from Congress, which Taylor said will not help in the long run.[35] In his 2012 book First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, he endeavors to explain why these reforms are part of a broader set of principles of economic freedom.

Selected publications

  • Taylor, John B. (1975), ‘Monetary Policy During a Transition to Rational Expectations.’ Journal of Political Economy 83 (5), pp. 1009–1021.
  • Phelps, Edmund S., and John B. Taylor (1977), ‘Stabilizing powers of monetary policy under rational expectations.’ Journal of Political Economy 85 (1), pp. 163–90.
  • Taylor, John B. (1979), ‘Staggered wage setting in a macro model’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings 69 (2), pp. 108–13. Reprinted in N.G. Mankiw and D. Romer, eds., (1991), New Keynesian Economics, MIT Press.
  • Taylor, John B. (1979), ‘Estimation and control of a macroeconomic model with rational expectations’. Econometrica 47 (5), pp. 1267–86.
  • Taylor, John B. (1986), ‘New econometric approaches to stabilization policy in stochastic models of macroeconomic fluctuations’. Ch. 34 of Handbook of Econometrics, vol. 3, Z. Griliches and M.D. Intriligator, eds. Elsevier Science Publishers.
  • Taylor, John B. (1993), ‘Discretion versus policy rules in practice’. Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy 39, pp. 195–214.
  • Taylor, John B. (1999), ‘An historical analysis of monetary policy rules’. Ch. 7 of John B. Taylor, ed., Monetary Policy Rules, University of Chicago Press. Paperback edition (2001): ISBN 0-226-79125-4.
  • Taylor, John B. (2007) Global Financial Warriors, WW Norton, N.Y.
  • Taylor, John B. (2007), “Housing and Monetary Policy,” in Jackson Hole Symposium on Housing, Housing Finance, and Monetary Policy, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Taylor, John B. (2008), “The Financial Crisis and the Policy Response: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong,” Festschrift in Honor of David Dodge’s Contributions to Canadian Public Policy, Bank of Canada, Nov., pp. 1–18.
  • Taylor, John B. (2009), “Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis,” Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-4971-2
  • Scott, Kenneth E., George P. Shultz, and John B. Taylor (2010), “Ending Government Bailouts as We Know Them,” Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-1124-3
  • Taylor, John B. (2012), “First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity,” W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-07339-4

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Hoover Institution Senior Fellow: Biography”. Hoover Institution. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  2. Jump up^ Shady Side Academy list of notable alumni
  3. Jump up^ Curriculum vitae, John B. Taylorhttp://www.stanford.edu/~johntayl/cv/TaylorCV-Jan-2012.pdf
  4. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1979) “Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model,” American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 69 (2), May, pp. 108–113, Reprinted in N. Gregory Mankiw and David Romer (Eds.) New Keynesian Economics, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1991.
  5. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1980) “Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts,” Journal of Political Economy, 88 (1), February, pp. 1–23.
  6. Jump up^ Taylor. John B. (1993) “Discretion Versus Policy Rules in Practice,” Carnegie-Rochester Series on Public Policy, North-Holland, 39, pp. 195–214.
  7. Jump up^ Taylor, John B, (2007) Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post- 9/11 World, W.W. Norton.
  8. Jump up^ Thomson-Reuters list of ‘citation laureates’ in economics
  9. Jump up^ Taylor, John B, (1979) “Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations,” Econometrica, 47 (5), September, pp. 1267–1286. Reprinted in R.E. Lucas and T.J. Sargent (Eds.) Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, University of Minnesota Press, 1981
  10. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1993) Macroeconomic Policy in a World Economy: From Econometric Design to Practical Operation, W.W. Norton
  11. Jump up^ Ben Bernanke refers to the “three concepts named after John that are central to understanding our macroeconomic experience of the past three decades—the Taylor curve, the Taylor rule, and the Taylor principle.” in “Opening Remarks,” Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy
  12. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben (2007), “Opening Remarks”, Remarks at the Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy.
  13. Jump up^ Yellen, Janet (2007), “Policymaker Roundtable”, Remarks at the Conference on John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy.
  14. Jump up^ Fair, Ray C. and John B. Taylor (1983) “Solution and Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models,” Econometrica, 51 (4), July, pp. 1169–1185
  15. Jump up^ Kenneth Judd, Felix Kubler, and Karl Schmedders “Computational Methods for Dynamic Equilibria with Heterogeneous Agents,” In Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications, Vol 3. Mathias Dewatripont, Lars Peter Hansen, Stephen J. Turnovsky, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 247, and “Eviews Users Guide II.”
  16. Jump up^ Phelps, Edmund and John B. Taylor (1977), “Stabilizing Powers of Monetary Policy under Rational Expectations”, Journal of Political Economy, 85 (1), February, pp. 163–190.
  17. Jump up^ Sargent, Thomas and Wallace, Neil (1975), “‘Rational’ Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule,” Journal of Political Economy 83 (2): 241–254.
  18. Jump up^ Blanchard, Olivier (2000), Macroeconomics, 2nd ed., Ch. 28, p. 543. Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-013306-X.
  19. Jump up^ . King, Robert G. and Alexander Wolman (1999), “What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices are Sticky?” in Taylor, John B. (1999), Monetary Policy Rules, University of Chicago Press
  20. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1999). “Staggered Price and Wage Setting in Macroeconomics” in John B. Taylor and Michael Woodford (Eds.) Handbook of Macroeconomics, North-Holland, Elsevier, pp. 1009–1050.
  21. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1968) “Fiscal and Monetary Stabilization Policies in a Model of Cyclical Growth,” (1968), Undergraduate Thesis, Princeton University, April
  22. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1968). “Fiscal and Monetary Stabilization Policies in a Model of Endogenous Cyclical Growth”. Research Memorandum No. 104 (Econometric Research Program, Princeton University, October).
  23. Jump up^ Taylor, John B, (1979) “Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations,” Econometrica, 47 (5), September, pp. 1267–1286.
  24. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben (2004), “The Great Moderation”, Remarks at the meeting of the Eastern Economic Association.
  25. Jump up^ A. Orphanides, Athanasios (2007), ‘Taylor rules‘, Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007–18, Federal Reserve Board.
  26. Jump up^ Davig, Troy and Eric Leeper (2005) “Generalizing the Taylor Principle,” NBER Working Paper 11874.
  27. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Mark Gertler; and Jordi Galí (2000), “Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: theory and some evidence.”Quarterly Journal of Economics 115. pp. 147–180.
  28. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2007), “Housing and Monetary Policy,” in Housing, Housing Finance, and Monetary Policy, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, September, pp. 463–476.
  29. Jump up^ Taylor (2007), “Housing and Monetary Policy” in Taylor, John B. (2008), “The Financial Crisis and the Policy Response: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong” in Festschrift in Honour of David Dodge’s Contributions to Canadian Public Policy, Bank of Canada, November, pp. 1–18.
  30. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2009), “How Government Created the Financial Crisis,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9, 2009, p. A19.
  31. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (November 25, 2008). “Why Permanent Tax Cuts Are the Best Stimulus”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 30,2011.
  32. Jump up^ Cogan, John F., Tobias Cwik, John B Taylor and Volker Wieland (2010), “New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers,” Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 34 (3), March, pp. 281–295.
  33. Jump up^ Guenter Coenen, et al. (2012), “Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models,” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Vol. 4, No. 1, January, pp. 22–68.
  34. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2011), “An Empirical Analysis of the Revival of Fiscal Activism in the 2000s,” Journal of Economic Literature, 49 (3), September, pp. 686–702.
  35. Jump up^ “Taylor Says U.S. Needs `Sound’ Monetary, Fiscal Policies”.Bloomberg Television thru Washington Post. June 27, 2011. RetrievedJune 30, 2011.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._Taylor

 

John B. Taylor

Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University
George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Chair of Working Group on Economic Policy

Contact Information   One-Page Bio   Curriculum Vitae   Photo   Other Pictures

Blog Economics One EconomicsOne.com

Twitter @EconomicsOne

 

Recent Books

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, New Paperback Edition  (with new introduction), 2013, Hardcover or Kindle Edition, 2012

Bankruptcy Not Bailout: A Special Chapter 14, with Kenneth Scott (Eds.) Hoover Press, 2012, Hardcover on Amazon or Kindle version

Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, with L. Ohanian and I. Wright, (Eds.), Hoover Press, 2012, Hardcover on Amazon or  Kindle version 

Ending Government Bailouts as We Know Them with Kenneth Scott and George Shultz (Eds.) 2010, Hardcover or Kindle or Download Chapters in PDF Formats

The Road Ahead for the Fed with John Ciorciari (Eds.) 2009 Hardcover or Kindle or Download Chapters in PDF Formats

Getting Off Track  How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis Kindle edition ($2.40), February 2009.

GlobalFinancialWarriors.com The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World Paperback Edition, 2008

Principles of Economics, Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics: Seventh Edition introductory economics text, 2012 Kindle version

 

Interviews and Biographical

Game Changers Interview, MONEY Magazine, August 2012

Interview on Research on Policy and the Response to the Crisis, Region Focus, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, First Quarter 2012, pp,29-33.

Interview on Economic Policy, Citadel Conversation, June 2012

Fiscal Follies, Monetary Mischief, Barron’s Interview with Gene Epstein, April 2012

Interview on Teaching Economics with Simon Bowmaker, in The Heart of Teaching Economics: Lessons from Leading Minds, 2011

Bradley Prize Recipient 2010, YouTube of Award Ceremony at John F. Kennedy Center, Written version of acceptance remarks

One Economist’s Solution for Financial Reform and Government Policy and the Recovery, Interviews with Motley Fool, March 2010

The Quest for Rules, Interview in Finance and Development, International Monetary Fund, March 2008

Adam Smith Award, National Association of Business Economics, September 2007

NZZ Profile on Monetary Policy, Translation, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Zurich, September 2007

Back to the World of Ideas Article about returning to research and teaching after Washington, February 2007

Interview on Global Imbalances and Monetary Policy Rules, Special Report, Citigroup Global Economic and Market Analysis, 2006

Interview on Monetary Research and Policy, From The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, June 2006

Shorter Interview on Monetary Research and Policy, From Hoover Digest, Fall 2006, adapted from The Region

Profile on International Policy Making, From The Washington Diplomat, December 2005

Interview about Research in the 1990s, From Conversations with Leading Economists, 1999

Profile on Teaching, From Stanford Today, 1998

 

Books and Collections of Articles on Monetary Policy and International Finance

The Taylor Rule and the Transformation of Monetary Policy, Even Koenig, Robert Leeson, and George Kahn (Eds.), Stanford: Hoover Press, 2012

Contributions to Macroeconomics in Honor of John Taylor, Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 55, Pages S1-S126, October 2008.

Dallas Fed Conference on “John Taylor’s Contributions to Monetary Theory and Policy,” October 2007

Policies in International Finance 2001-2005: Speeches and testimony given as Treasury Under Secretary with short background pieces, 2005

Monetary Policy Rules Home Page

Conference Recognizing 10th Anniversary of the Taylor Rule (Nov 2002) Conference Volume, Journal of Monetary Economics Vol. 50, No. 5
Monetary Policy Rules, (Editor), University of Chicago Press, 1999

Macroeconomic Policy in a World Economy also available on line  WW Norton

Inflation, Unemployment, and Monetary Policy, (with Robert Solow), MIT Press

Handbook of Macroeconomics, (Editor with Michael Woodford)

 

Recent Papers

 

Using Hybrid Macro-Econometric Models to Design and Evaluate Fiscal Consolidation Strategies , presented at AEA Annual Meetings, January 5, 2015

Inflation Targeting in Emerging Markets: the Global Experience, Keynote Address at the Conference on Fourteen Years of Inflation Targeting in South Africa and The Challenge of a Changing Mandate, South African Reserve Bank Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa, October 30, 2014

Introduction to Frameworks for Central Banking in the Next Century, with Michael Bordo, A Special Issue of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, forthcoming

Foreword to Sovereign Debt Management , Rosa M. Lastra and Lee Buchheit (Eds,) Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2014, pp. vii-ix

Re-Normalize, Don’t New-Normalize Monetary Policy, October 2014

The Federal Reserve in a Globalized World Economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, September 19, 2014

Rapid Growth or Stagnation: An Economic Policy Choice, Journal of Policy Modeling, May/June 2014

The Role of Policy in the Great Recession and the Weak Recovery, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 2014

Causes of the Financial Crisis and the Slow Recovery: A 10-Year Perspective, Prepared for the October 1, 2013 Brookings/Hoover Financial Crisis Conference, December 2013

International Monetary Policy Coordination: Past, Present and Furture, Prepared for the 12th BIS Conference, June 21, 2013

Simple Rules for Financial Stability, Dinner Keynote Address at the Financial Markets Conference, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Georgia, April 9, 2013

Fiscal Consolidation Strategy: An Update for the Budget Reform Proposal of March 2013, with John F. Cogan, Volker Wieland, Maik Wolters, SIEPR Discussion Paper, 2013

Remarks on Monetary Policy Challenges, Bank of England Conference on “Challenges to Central Banks in the 21st Century” in Honor of Mervyn King, March 26, 2013

International Monetary Coordination and the Great Deviation, Journal of Policy Modeling, March 2013, Wkg Paper, presented at the AEA Annual Meetings, January 5, 2013

The Effectiveness of Central Bank Independence Versus Policy Rules, Business Economics, Vol 48, No 3, Wkg Paper, presented at AEA Annual Meetings, January 4, 2013

Monetary Policy During the Past 30 Years With Lessons for the Next 30 Years, Presented at Cato Institute’s 30th Annual Monetary Conference on Money, Markets and Government: The Next 30 Years, November 15, 2012

Questions about Recent Monetary Policy, Presented at the Centennial Celebration of Milton Friedman and the Power of Ideas, University of Chicago, November 9, 2012

Fiscal Consolidation Strategy, with John F. Cogan, Volker Wieland, and Maik Wolters, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, February 2013 (Sept 21, 2012 version posted)

Monetary Policy Rules Work and Discretion Doesn’t: A Tale of Two Eras, Journal of Money Credit and Banking, September 2012

Surprising Comparative Properties of Monetary Models: Results from a New Monetary Model Database with Volker Wieland, Review of Economics and Statistics, August 2012

Estimated Impact of the Federal Reserve’s  Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program with Johannes C. Stroebel, International Journal of Central Banking June 2012

Commentary on Capital Flows and the Risk-Taking Channel of Monetary Policy, Discussion at BIS conference, June 2012

Why We Still Need To Read Hayek, The Hayek Prize Lecture (with introduction by Paul Gigot), May 31, 2012

A Comparison of Government Regulation of Risk  in the Financial Services and Nuclear Power Industries with F.A. Wolak, The Nuclear Enterprise, S. Drell and G. Shultz (Eds.) Hoover Press, Stanford, 2012

Towards an Exit Strategy: Discretion or Rules? Published in English and Italian with introduction by Alberto Mingardi and Andrea Battista, 2012, e-book on Kindle

Falling Behind the Curve: A Positive Analysis of Stop-Start Monetary Policies and the Great Inflation, (with Andrew Levin), in Michael Bordo and Athanasios Orphanides. (Eds.) The Great Inflation University of Chicago Press, 2012

What the Government Purchases Multiplier Actually Multiplied in the 2009 Stimulus Package, (with John F. Cogan), in Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, Lee Ohanian, John B. Taylor, Ian Wright (Eds,) Hoover Press, Stanford, 2012

Swings in the Rules-Discretion Balance, In Rethinking Expectations: The Way Forward for Macroeconomics, Roman Frydman and Edmunds Phelps, (eds.), Princeton University Press, 2012.

 

Less Recent Papers

1968-2011

 

Recent Congressional Testimony

Requirements for Policy Rules for the Fed, Testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, July 10, 2014

After Unconventionnal Monetary Policy, Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, March 26, 2014

Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy, Testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, February 11, 2014

Too Big to Fail, Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act and Bankruptcy Reform, Testimony Before The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, May 15, 2013

A Steadier Course for Monetary Policy, Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, April 18, 2013

A Review of Recent Monetary Policy, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade Committee on Financial Services US House of Representatives, March 5, 2013

Government Regulatory Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, Testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary, September 20, 2012

Testimony before the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy of the Committee on Financial Services at the Hearing on “Improving the Federal Reserve System: Examining Legislation to Reform the Fed and Other Alternatives,” May 8, 2012

A Regulatory Moratorium as Part of a Comprehensive Economic Strategy, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, Committee on the Judiciary, February 27, 2012

Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee at the Hearing on “Monetary Policy Going Forward: Why a Sound Dollar Boosts Growth and Employment,” March 27, 2012

The Need for a Comprehensive Economic Strategy, Testimony before the Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, U.S. Senate, September 13, 2011

An Assessment of the President’s Proposal to Stimulate the Economy and Create Jobs, Testimony Before the Committee on Oversight and Goverment Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending, U.S. House of Representatives, September 13, 2011

Why a Credible Budget Strategy Will Reduce Unemployment and Increase Economic Growth Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee of the Congress of the U.S., June 21, 2011
Slides to Accompany Why a Credible Budget Strategy Will Reduce Unemployment and Increase Economic Growth Testimony, June 21, 2011

Evaluating the TARP, Senate Banking Committee Written Testimony, March 17, 2011

The 2009 Stimulus Package: Two Years Later, Testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, February 16, 2011

Economic Growth and Job Creation: The Road Forward, Testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, January 26, 2011

Assessing the Federal Policy Response to the Economic Crisis, Testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, September 22, 2010

Testimony before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, July 1, 2010

An Exit Rule for Monetary Policy, Testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, March 25, 2010

Response to Questions from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, November 2009

Testimony, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, U.S. House of Representatives, October 22, 2009

Monetary Policy and Systemic Risk Regulation, Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representative, July 9, 2009

Monetary Policy and the Recent Extraordinary Measures Taken by the Federal Reserve, Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Feb. 26, 2009

The State of the Economy and Principles for Fiscal Stimulus, Committee on the Budget, U.S. Senate, Nov. 19, 2008

Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy, Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Feb. 26, 2008

 

Papers on the Long Boom and the Great Moderation

Monetary Policy and the Long Boom

Remarks on “Recent Changes in Trend and Cycle”

The Long Boom: Sosa, McGwire, and Greenspan (slides)

 

Op-Eds and Articles

A New Twist in Online Learning at Stanford, Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2014

The Fed’s Ad Hoc Departures from Rule-Based Monetary Policy Has Hurt the Economy, Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2014

How to Spark Another ‘Great Moderation’, Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2014

The Fed Needs to Return to Monetary Rules, Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2014

Obama and the IMF Are Unhappy With Congress? Good, Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2014

The Economic Hokum of ‘Secular Stagnation’, Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2014

Economic Failure Causes Political Polarization, Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2013

The Weak Recovery Explains Rising Inequality, Not Vice Versa, Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2013

Once Again, the Fed Shies Away From the Exit Door, Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2013

Please Be Sure to Share Your Thoughts, Mr Governor, Financial Times, July 2, 2013

How to Let Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Fail (with Kenneth E. Scott), Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2013

A Better Strategy for Faster Growth (with George P. Shultz, Gary S. Becker, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer), Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2013

How the House Budget Would Boost the Economy, Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2013

Sequester Impact Small, Says Stanford Professor: Chart, Bloomberg, March 1, 2013

Fed Policy Is a Drag on the Economy, Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2013

Raw Deal, A critique of Michael Grunwald’s review of the stimulus, Foreign Policy, November 2012

Intro to Romneynomics, Defining Ideas, October 29, 2012

The Romney Cure for Obama-Induced Economic Ills, Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2012

The Magnitude of the Mess We’re In (with George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer), Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2012

The Hidden Costs of Monetary Easing (with Phil Gramm), Wall Street Journal,September 12, 2012

When Volcker Ruled, Wall Street Journal,September 8, 2012

The Road to Recovery, City Journal, Vol. 22, No. 3, Summer 2012

Monetary Policy and the Next Crisis, Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2012

Slowing Foreclosures Will Harm Housing Market, San Francisco Chronicle (with Doug Holtz-Eakin), July 2, 2012

Rules for America’s Road to Recovery, Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2012

The Dangers of an Interventionist Fed, Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2012

A Better Grecian Bailout, Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2012

Economics for the Long Run, Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2012

Less recent op-eds and articles

 

Videos of Interviews and Talks

Fed’s Policy ‘Disappointing’ CNBC Squawk Box, September 10, 2014

Revolutionizing Higher Education CNBC Squawk Box, September 10, 2014

Nice-Squared Bretton Woods Conference , September 2, 2014

Legislation to Reform the Federal Reserve on Its 100-year Anniversary Testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, July 10, 2014

Time to Reform the Fed CNBC Squawk Box, July 10, 2014

Sudden Interest Rate Hike Could Shake Markets: Pro CNBC Squawk Pretrade, June 25, 2014

John Taylor’s Growth Outlook CNBC’s Street Signs, May 29, 2014

Fed policy Under Fire CNBC’s Santelli Exchange, April 30, 2014

Fed policy hasn’t worked well: Expert CNBC’s Santelli Exchange, March 21, 2014 (2:34)

Federal Reserve Announces Pull Back on Stimulus as Bernanke Nears End of Tenure PBS NewsHour, December 18, 2013 (12:37)

Interview with Rick Santelli on the Fed (after his auction report) CNBC’s Santelli Exchange, December 18, 2013 (3:41)

Debate with Alan Greenspan and John Taylor (1) The Kudlow Report, December 10, 2013 (4:27)

Debate with Alan Greenspan and John Taylor (2) The Kudlow Report, December 10, 2013 (4:23)

After 100 years, What’s Next for the Fed Chart Cast from Hoover Retreat, November 12, 2013 (26:25)

John Taylor Urges Fed Return to Predictable Policy, Bloomberg’s Market Makers November 1, 2013 (6:04)

Yellen to return to old Fed policies? Fox Business, November 1, 2013 (3:59)

A Climate Change in Economic Policy Speech at Dallas Fed, October 3, 2013 (12:54)

Summers out, Yellen in? CNBC’s Kudlow Report, September 17, 2013 (11:28)

Is Janet Yellen the likely pick for Fed? Fox Business, September 16, 2013 (6:20)

The Debt Limit Showdown CNBC’s Rise Above, August 27, 2013 (7:22)

Fed Should Be Deliberative on Tapering, Taylor Says Bloomberg’s Street Smart , August 23, 2013 (7:57)

The 5 Principles to Restoring the U.S. Economy Fox Business , August 22, 2013 (5:56)

Will We See the Fed Begin to Taper in September? Bloomberg TV, Bottom Line, July 31, 2013 (5:39)

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity Book TV , July 29, 2013 (19:19)

Taper Talk & the Fed Debate on the Kudlow Report , June 14, 2013 (8:30)

Introduction to Yang Jisheng, author of Tombstone 2013 Hayek Prize winner, May 29, 2013 (7:14)

Worst Recovery We’ve Seen in Years CNBC, April 30, 2013 (4:24)

Complete US Growth Likely 3 Percent in First Quarter Bloomberg TV, April 22, 2013 (6:27)

Bulging Budget Bothers Market Master CNBC’s, Squawk Box, April 12, 2013 (4:31)

Slowest Recovery in History  Wall Street Journal, Uncommon Knowledge, April 2013 (2:29)

Is There Anything We Can Do? Wall Street Journal, Uncommon Knowledge. April, 2013 (1:46)

Complete Interview on the Economic Recovery Wall Street Journal, Uncommon Knowledge, April 2013 (34:32)

Economic Freedom, Wealth, and the Alleviation of Poverty, Lecture in Stanford’s Ethics of Wealth Series, March 14, 2013 (1:23:51)

Beyond the Cuts, CNBC, March 5, 2013 (3:59)

How Uncertainty is Hurting the Economy, CNBC’s Squawk Box, February 7, 2013 (2:38)

Why the Economy is Stuck in Neutral, CNBC’s Squawk Box, February 7, 2013 (5:09)

John Taylor on Spending Cuts, Fox Business, February 7, 2013 (3:42)

Where’s the Inflation?, Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal, February 7, 2013 (4:50)

John Taylor on Fed’s Dual Mandate, Bloomberg’s Bottom Line, February 7, 2013 (5:37)

Slow Growth Is Biggest Economic Challenge Facing Incoming President, (with Austan Goolsbee), PBS NewsHour November 2, 2012 (11:39)

Our Unemployment Number is a Tragedy, Bloomberg’s in the Loop, November 2, 2012, (4:24)

We Could Be Doing Better, CNN, November 2, 2012 (2:56)

Recovery Would Have Been Better Without Quantitative Easing, Fox Business News, October 26, 2012

Part II of Recovery Would Have Been Better…, Fox Business News, October 26, 2012

Taylor: Romney Did a Terrific Job on Economy October 4, 2012, Bloomberg’s In the Loop (2:35)

Discussion-Debate with Kenneth Arrow on the Economy and the 2012 Election, October 9, 2012 (1:26:54)

Is This a Recovery in Name Only? September 21, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (7:44)

Will Fed’s Sprint to Print Ease Economic Woes?  September 21, 2012, CNCB’s Squawk Box (7:43)

Will Bernanke Announce Policy Changes in Jackson Hole? August 30, 2012, Fox Business (6:38)

Will Americans Buy Romney’s Proposals to Turn Around the Economy? August 28, 2012, PBS Newshour (8:41)

Taylor Says Fed Should Return to Rules-Based Policy August 28, 2012, Bloomberg Street Smart (9:11)

The Biggest Threats to the U.S. Economy August 23, 2012, Fox Business Willis Report (4:53)

Romney’s Economic Proposal Gaining Support Among Economists?, August 21, 2012 Fox Business (4:04)

What Can the Fed Do to Prop Up the Economy July 31, 2012, Fox Business (3:47)

Interview on Hayek and Policy Rules with Rick Santelli June 26, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk on the Street (6:25)

Interview on Economics, Leading Economists Series, Center for Advanced Studies in Economic Efficiency, December 2011

How US Can Reclaim Its Economic Strength? June 8, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (6:25)

The Eighth Annual Hayek Lecture June 1, 2012, The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (57:48)

Monetary, Fiscal Policies Stall Growth, Taylor Says May 31, 2012, Bloomberg Television’s Inside Track (4:34)

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity April 19, 2012, C-Span (37:47)

Tracking Gains in the Job Market April 9, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (6:53)

The Power of the Markets April 9, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (3:55)

Economic Debate: John Taylor and Larry Summers April 4, 2012, SIEPR (1:14:00)

Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity April 3, 2012, Reason TV (5:31)

Stocks Swing Higher March 8, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (7:27)

Bernanke’s Testimony and the Economy March 1, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (8:46)

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity February 24, 2012, The Heritage Foundation (37:20)

The Greek Bailout Equation February 22, 2012, Wall Street Journal TV  (6:36)

Taylor on U.S. Budget Deficit February 21, 2012, Bloomberg Television’s Street Smart  (4:10)

Will Greece Get Bailout Package? February 14, 2012, CNBC (3:13)

Taylor on U.S. Deficit, Fed, Greece February 6, 2012, Bloomberg TV (7:09)

Economics for the Long Run January 24, 2012, Wall Street Journal TV (8:27)

Restoring Prosperity: Trust Markets, Not Bailouts January 24, 2012, The Street (3:13)

John Taylor’s Spending Rules to Live By January 23, 2012, Wall Street Journal TV (8:27)

The 5 Steps to Fixing the Economy January 20, 2012, Fox Business’ Willis Report (4:24)

Taylor on Fed Policy, US Economy January 20, 2012, Bloomberg’s Surveillance Midday (12:51)

Carnegie’s Meltzer on Fed Policy, Taylor Rule January 20, 2012, Bloomberg’s Surveillance Midday with Allan Meltzer (7:22)

Principles to Restore the Economy January 20, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (9:58)

Market Anticipates FOMC January 20, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box, segment on monetary policy with Steve Liesman (6:55)

“Economic Principles for Growth” January 20, 2012, CNBC’s Squawk Box (1:30)

Less recent videos of interviews and talks

 

Podcasts

John Taylor on the John Batchelor Show June 3, 2014, John Bachelor Show.

Taylor on Hays Advantage May 29, 2014, Hays Advantage, Bloomberg Radio.

Taylor on the Larry Kudlow Show March 22, 2014, The Larry Kudlow Show (86:34).

Taylor on the Larry Kudlow Show February 15, 2014, The Larry Kudlow Show (78:28).

John Taylor on the John Batchelor Show January 14, 2014, John Bachelor Show (19:27).

Extreme Policies Are a Big Problem, Despite Naysayer November 5, 2013, John Batchelor Show (10:07).

What Will It Take to Get the US Economy Moving? October 3, 2013, National Press Club Update-1 (9:47).

Republican Convention Coverage Part 2 August 30, 2012, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show (44:25).

The Romney Economic Plan August 29, 2012, NPR’s On Point (47:31).

Taylor on a Gold Standard and a Rules Based Fed Policy August 27, 2012, Hays Advantage (15:29).

First Principles and the Rule of Law June 26, 2012, John Bachelor Show.

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity June 18, 2012, Money, Riches, and Wealth (21:55).

Fixing the weak US economy requires more long-term policy June 5, 2012, Market Place (4:04).

John Taylor’s 2012 Hayek Prize May 15, 2012, John Batchelor Show.

2012 Hayek Prize for First Principles May 15, 2012, John Batchelor Show (39:47).

John Batchelor Show Debate at the Hoover Institution, April 28-29, 2012

Keynes and Hayek, with attention to Milton Friedman’s conversation on Keynes and Hayek. Nicholas Wapshott, John Taylor, Michael Boskin, Russ Roberts. (Three segments broadcast on April 28 and 29, 2012 on the John Batchelor Show)

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Taylor on Rules, Discretion and First Principles April 30, 2012, EconTalk. 1:02:34

Taylor on the John Batchelor Show April 3, 2012, John Batchelor Show.

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity March 3, 2012, Larry Kudlow Show.

John Taylor on Returning Economy to Prosperity February 27, 2012, The Foundry (7:27).

Rebecca Costa’s Interview with John B. Taylor February 17, 2012, The Costa Report (51:20).

Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity February 16, 2012, KQED’s Forum (52:00).

John Taylor on Payne Nation January 25, 2012, Payne Nation.

John Taylor on the Tom O’Brien Show January 25, 2012, Tom O’Brien Show (starts around 1:21:00).

Stanford’s Taylor Says Economic Crisis Not Over January 20, 2010, Bloomberg’s Surveillance (13:50).

First Principles Broadcast on January 17, 2012, John Batchelor Show (starts at 19:27).

Less recent podcasts

 

Economics Teaching

Monetary Theory and Policy Lecture Slides and Syllabus for Stanford Ph.D. course, Spring 2013

Lessons From the Financial Crisis for Teaching Economics, Slide Presentation for AEA Conference on Teaching. June 2011

Economics 1A  Debt Charts from Lecture 2, S&P 500 Box, Adam Smith on the Woolen Coat; Smith Bio, The Role of Private Organizations, Rose Friedman, McKinnon on China, Lehman Weekend, JPMorgan-Money Multiplier, Monetary Imbalance Table-GDW, Phelps On Tunisia, Shultz on Steady as You Go, Requirements for Policy Rules for the FOMC

Caps for Sale: The Economic Side of the Story Stanford Economics Graduation, June 2008

Remarks at Stanford Economics Graduation Ceremony 1999

Economics 169, Spring 2008

Economics 212, Spring 2008

Ideas for the Economics Lecture Innovative Techniques for Teaching Economics

Surprise Side Economics: Ideas for Introductory Economics

Teaching Modern Macroeconomics at the Principles Level

 

Earlier Editions of Textbooks

Economics, Second Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Economics, Third Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Economics, Fifth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Economics, Sixth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Microeconomics, Second Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Microeconomics, Third Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Microeconomics, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Microeconomics, Fifth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Microeconomics, Sixth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Macroeconomics, Second Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Macroeconomics, Third Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Macroeconomics, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Macroeconomics, Fifth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Principles of Macroeconomics, Sixth Edition, Houghton Mifflin

Macroeconomics , Principles Text for Australian Economy with Bruce Littleboy, Third Edition, John Wiley

Microeconomics, Principles Text for Australian Economy with Lionel Frost), Third Edition, John Wiley

Handbook of Macroeconomics, (Editor with Michael Woodford)

Macroeconomics Intermediate Text with Robert E. Hall and David Papell, Sixth Edition, WW

 

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Laurence H. Meyer — A Term At The Fed — Videos

Posted on February 7, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Lawrence Meyera term at the fed_

Interview with Laurence Meyer :: Forefront :: Part 1

Interview with Laurence Meyer :: Forefront :: Part 2

Interview with Laurence Meyer :: Forefront :: Part 3

Laurence Meyer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Laurence Meyer
Born March 8, 1944 (age 70)
Bronx, New York
Nationality United States
Field Macroeconomics
School or tradition
Neo-Keynesian economics
Alma mater MIT (Ph.D., 1970)
Yale (B.A., 1965)
Influences Hyman Minsky

Laurence Meyer (born March 8, 1944) is an economist and was a United States Federal Reserve System governor from June 1996 to January 2002.

Meyer received a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970. He then taught at Washington University in St. Louis for 27 years. Meyer also ran an economic consulting firm, Laurence H. Meyer and Associates, with two former students. After he moved to the Fed, he sold his interest in the firm and it renamed itself Macroeconomic Advisers. He won several economic forecasting awards while running the company.

He was nominated to the Fed by President Bill Clinton along with Alice Rivlin in 1996. At the Fed, Meyer was one of the Governors most ready to raise interest rates, because he believed that the economy was operating near full capacity, and especially that employment was near the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, or the rate that would cause inflation. Alan Greenspan, the Chairman at that time, was one of the leaders of the idea that improved productivity would allow the Fed to keep interest rates low without causing inflation.

After leaving the Fed, Meyer became a Distinguished Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He also resumed working with Macroeconomic Advisers.

Publications

  • Meyer, Laurence (2004). A Term at the Fed : An Insider’s View. Collins. ISBN 0-06-054270-5.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Meyer

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John Twelve Hawks — The Traveler (Fourth Realm Trilogy) — Who is John Twelve Hawks? — Videos

Posted on February 6, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Literacy, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Rants, Raves, Reviews, Terrorism, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Is this John Twelve Hawks?
john twelve Hawks

Michael Cunningham?michael cunninghamtravel novel

trilogy traveller

The Golden City

Realms

Who is John Twelve Hawks?

I AM JOHN TWELVE HAWKS: NYC

The traveler By John Twelve Hawks

SPARK by John Twelve Hawks (REVIEW)

Excerpt from audiobook version, narrated by Scott Brick. This book has been optioned for film by Dreamworks. “Spark” refers to the inner self or identity of a man who lost his sense of being alive after a motorcycle accident, in a future in which robots are taking over jobs and corporations spy on everyone and act as the mafia. Jacob is hired as a hit man for a company wanting to eliminate problems using him as an emotionless zombie-like tool. (He refers to his body as a “shell.”) An excellent dystopian first-person struggle toward regaining humanity in an age we are fast approaching. Scott Brick read  three books of the Fourth Realm Trilogy. I loved his
work then and asked that he read the SPARK audiobook.
John Hawks told me this about narrator Scott Brick: “This was a fairly difficult assignment because it’s a first person novel narrated by a professional killer who thinks that he’s dead. But Scott did a brilliant job…using his voice to convey Underwood’s personality and the unique way that he looks at the world. He conveys the strangeness of Underwood, but also makes it accessible for the listener. I think he’s wonderful!”

An interview with John Twelve Hawks

A Conversation with John Twelve Hawks, author of The Traveler

The Traveler evokes a variety of films and books–everything from George Orwell to the Matrix. Where did you take your inspiration from?
George Orwell is a favorite writer of mine and I liked the first Matrix, but the creation of the novel goes much deeper than that. When I sat down to write The Traveler I didn’t think about being published. I simply wanted to understand the world around me. Sometimes the best way to find the truth is to create a fiction.

Can you describe the differences between the three main character types in the book: Travelers, Harlequins, Tabula?
Travelers are a small group of people who have the ability to send their spirit to other worlds. The Harlequins are an ancient order of warriors who defend The Travelers. The Tabula is an organization that believes that mankind is a tabula rasa — a blank slate that can be scrawled with their ideas. They are determined to destroy The Travelers. These three groups are fictional but their struggle takes place within a very realistic environment.

Is John Twelve Hawks your real name?
I wasn’t given the name John Twelve Hawks at birth. It’s an adopted name — just like the names the Harlequins chose at a certain time of their lives. This name has great personal significance for me, but it’s not relevant to understanding the book.

One of your characters, Gabriel, lives “off the Grid,” avoiding detection by what you call the “Vast Machine.” Can you explain what you mean by this and why you yourself have chosen to live this way as well?
For me, living off the Grid means existing in a way that can’t be tracked by the government or large corporations. The Vast Machine is the very powerful — and very real — computerized information system that monitors all aspects of our lives.

I live off the Grid by choice, but my decision includes one factor that is relevant to the publication of The Traveler. I want people to focus on the book itself and not on its author. The typical “personal slant” of most media arts coverage trivializes the power of ideas — and there are a great many provocative ideas in this novel. Everyone who reads The Traveler is going to be entertained by an exciting story. A smaller group is going to be inspired to see our computerized world in a new way.

How do you correspond with your publisher and how do you plan to correspond with readers?
I have never met my editor or any of the staff at Doubleday. I talk to them using a satellite phone or we communicate through the internet. I haven’t really thought about how I’m going to answer reader questions but it will probably be through a non-traceable website.

Your message in the book about the end of privacy in our society is frightening. How much of what you portray is true and how much is pure invention?
It’s all true — based on years of research. Email messages are scanned by a program called Carnivore and programs linked to surveillance cameras use algorithms to identify you instantly. Some of the facts in The Traveler — such as the description of the new “computational immunology” program developed by the Royal Mail in Britain — have never been described in any book.

What, if any, suggestions do you have for people who are concerned about identity theft, the Patriot Act, phone and internet surveillance and other invasions of everyday privacy? Some of your characters agitate against the Vast Machine. Would you advise this?
This first step is to be aware of what is going on. Most of us have given up our privacy without even knowing it. At some point, we need to express our opinions to our elected officials. The growing power of the Vast Machine is actually not an issue that is tied to a particular political party. A traditional conservative like former Georgia Congressman Robert Barr is on the same side of the privacy issue as the ACLU. The most important thing is that we not succumb to the baseless fear that is used to justify our loss of personal liberty. People objected when the government proposed something called the Total Information Awareness system: a computerized program that would track virtually all of our electronic transactions. When the name of the program was changed to the Terrorist Information Awareness system — just one new word — all the criticism vanished.

The settings in the book are captured in vivid detail–the Charles Bridge in Prague, the California desert, the back alleys of East London. Was travel a big part of your research?
My agent once asked me how long it took me to write The Traveler and I answered: “All my life.” I didn’t do any particular research for the locations in the novel. I simply drew on the memories of different places where I’ve visited, lived or worked. Virtually all the locations in the book are real. For example, there is a system of abandoned missile silos in Arizona and Jeremy Bentham’s dead body is on public display at University College London.

The scenes of violence in the book also seem very real — not Hollywood fantasies.
I studied martial arts for several years and have fought both in tournaments and on the street. Maya and the other Harlequins have been trained since childhood to fight, but they’re not super human; they can be hurt or killed. Readers have told me that they’ve found the scenes of violence in The Traveler to be incredibly exciting because they’re not sure what’s going to happen. This duplicates my own experience creating the book. Every time I began to write a scene that involved fighting I had no idea if my characters were going to survive.

Family seems to be both a blessing and a curse in the novel. As Maya says: “Damned by the flesh. Saved by the blood.” Care to elaborate?
It was only after I finished the first draft of The Traveler that I realized how many of the characters are haunted by their fathers. Maya loved her father, Thorn, but he also destroyed her childhood. Gabriel and Michael Corrigan thought that their father was killed by the Tabula, but now there are signs that his ghost is alive. A crucial secondary character named Lawrence Takawa changes his entire life in honor of a father he has never met.

At one point in the novel, your protagonist Maya explains that there is a secret history of the world, a history of “warriors defending pilgrims or other spiritual seekers.” Do you believe this? What do you think is the role of faith in modern society?

There has been a continual battle throughout history between institutions that try to control our lives and those visionaries who emphasize the value of the human spirit. Right now, there’s a determined attempt to reduce all human behavior to biochemistry. If Joan of Arc was alive today she’d be put on Prozac. Faith can give us a larger perspective on our own lives as well as the world that surrounds us.

You seem to combine Eastern religion, mysticism and new age spirituality in your discussion of Gabriel’s education. The novel also suggests that Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, even an obscure Rabbi from Poland may have all been Travelers–which begs the question: What (if any) is your religious affiliation?

When I was in my twenties, I was an atheist and proud of it. Now I believe in God and pray every day but I’m not a member of any organized religion. Travelers are guided by teachers called Pathfinders and I’ve dedicated the trilogy to my own personal Pathfinders. I’ve had several and they’ve included a Catholic priest, a Presbyterian minister, a scholar who was an orthodox Jew, and a Buddhist monk. I’m not going to minimize the differences between religions but they all have one thing in common: they teach the power of compassion and encourage that quality in our own hearts.

This is the first book in a trilogy. Any hints for readers about what they can expect from Books Two and Three?
In Book Two, a tough Irish Harlequin named Mother Blessing will enter the story; she’s already forcing her way into my dreams. Expect some surprises involving Maya, Gabriel, and the Tabula mercenary, Nathan Boone. I’m not manipulating these characters to fit a plot. They seem to have their own ideas about what they want to do.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

https://www.bookbrowse.com/author_interviews/full/index.cfm/author_number/1159/john-twelve-hawks

 

The Traveler (novel)

The Traveler
The-traveler.jpg
Cover of the Doubleday paperback edition

AuthorJohn Twelve HawksCountryUnited StatesLanguageEnglishSeriesThe Fourth RealmGenreScience fiction novelPublisherDoubleday

Publication date

2005Media typePrint (Hardback &Paperback)Pages449 ppISBNISBN 0-593-05430-XOCLC58828401Followed byThe Dark River

The Traveler (The Traveller in the UK) is a 2005 New York Times bestselling novel[1] by John Twelve Hawks. The Dark River, book two of The Fourth Realm Trilogy, was published in July 2007. The final part in the trilogy, The Golden City, was released September 8, 2009. The trilogy has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than 1.5 million books.[2]

Traveler

The book is set in the near future and lays out a world where the real power lies not with people or governments, but in the hands of a secret organisation who call themselves “the Brethren” but who their enemies refer to as “the Tabula”. The Tabula are a centuries old secret society who believe in the importance of control and stability, making them in essence advocates of a kind of extreme Utilitarianism. Influenced by the ideas of the philosopher Jeremy Bentham the Tabula wish to enforce a Virtual Panopticon: a society where all individuals become so accustomed to being watched and monitored that they act at all times as if they were being observed and are as such completely controllable.

This Virtual Panopticon is made possible through the use of surveillance cameras, centralized databases, RFID-like tags for each citizen, and assorted spy gear (heat sensors, infrared cameras, X-rays, etc…). The Tabula are a relatively small group, operate largely in secret, but they have great power across the planet, in part by manipulating politicians and other powerful individuals/organisation, and in part because of their great wealth and advanced technology, which is in some cases far beyond the technology available to other groups and even governments.

The underlying premise for the realms in which this book is set greatly resembles the cosmology of Tibetan Buddhism (and other eastern cosmologies). Most notably, the second realm is explicitly labelled the realm of the Hungry Ghosts, but each realm in the enumerated hierarchy is associated with a given human shortcoming, much like in Hinduism and Buddhism. The world we inhabit is the fourth realm, and different Travellers can visit one or more of the other realms.

Although the basic plot is not new, the author provides a setting for discussion of larger issues, such as free will, the rapid increase in public surveillance and information gathering, the culture of fear, etc. While the motivations of the Tabula are explored in the book, this is kept at a rather superficial and crude level. Individual members are generally portrayed as either power hungry, psychopathic or deeply prejudiced, and the Tabula are set up as villains set to enslave humanity rather than misguided humanitarians.

The author has written a post-script at the end of the book in which he talks about his reasons for writing the novel and discusses, among other things, the development in western countries regarding surveillance (such as CCTV), data-mining, RFID and GPS, the Information Awareness Office, etc. He claims that all of the technology referred to in the book is either already being used or in the advanced stage of development.

Travelers, Pathfinders and Harlequins

The Travelers are individuals with a special gift, often but not always inherited, which allows them to detach from their bodies and journey through elemental barriers (water, fire etc.) to other realms. They do this by detaching their “light” (internal energy seemingly analogous to the soul but found by the Tabula to be empirically measurable) from their body. Travelers’ experiences and gifts (they can view the world around them with greater speed and clarity than normal people) can lend them great charisma, wisdom and vision. Many Travelers become religious prophets, or opponents of the Tabula, and the random element they add to societies makes them enemies of the Tabula who have hunted them almost to extinction.

The idea that all people possess the “light” within and can travel through other states of consciousness or “realms” is also a basic tenet of Gnosticism.

The Pathfinders are individuals capable of teaching potential Travelers how to break the light free from their body. Pathfinders can be priests and holy men, agnostics or atheists – different Pathfinders will use different teaching methods and have different beliefs, but all can help Travelers to realize their gifts. Pathfinders are also hunted by the Tabula.

The Author

Main article: John Twelve Hawks

The only information one can get on John Twelve Hawks is that he is living “off the grid“. This means that he is invisible to the network of surveillance and authority. He has no fixed home, no bank account or internet connection, and John Twelve Hawks is not his real name.

Plot summary

In the shadows of modern society an epic battle is fought. One woman is standing between those who try to control mankind and those who will risk their lives for the freedom of us all. On one side the Brethren, using high-end surveillance technology for control, supported by officials and politicians. On the other side the Travelers, the gifted ones, who are able to leave our realm and cross over into other realities. Because of their knowledge they are a great threat to the Brethren. The Travelers are supported by the Harlequins, a group only trained to defend the Travelers and to save them from the Brethren. Harlequins are trained since birth by their parents and other Harlequins. They are able to use all kinds of weapons, but their favored arm is a unique Harlequin sword they carry with them all the time.

Maya, a pretty young woman, is trying to live the life of a normal citizen. Her background, on the other hand, is anything but normal. She is the daughter of a famous German Harlequin named Thorn, who had been badly injured in an ambush by the Brethren. On a mission she killed two men of the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. As a consequence Maya had tried to hide and leave her Harlequin past behind until one day her handicapped father calls for her. When visiting him in Prague, she finds him slaughtered by his enemies.

Fulfilling her father’s last wish, Maya takes a flight to the States supporting Shepherd, the last American Harlequin. She is determined to help him defend the last two Travelers alive. However, Shepherd has become a member of the Brethren. Working for the other side now, he tries to kill Maya. With the help of a young woman named Vikki she is lucky to get away. Vikki is a member of the I. T. Jones Church, a church of followers of the Traveler Isaac T. Jones, who was killed by the Brethren in 1889 with Lion of the temple (known as Zachary Goldman) a harlequin. Together they are able to find an ally, Hollis, a Capoeira trainer from Los Angeles and a former member of the Isaac T. Jones Community. The three of them are able to find the last living Travelers, Michael and Gabriel Corrigan. Before they are able to give them protection, Michael is captured by the Brethren. Instead of killing him immediately they try to convince him to help them. The Brethren recently started a new Program. They were in contact with a technologically advanced civilization dwelling in another realm. Aiming to travel through the realities, they need the help of a guide, someone who is able to travel without technology – like a Traveler.

For achieving help, they offer the Brethren high technology, weapons and plans for a quantum computer. The Brethren want to use a real Traveler that can find this other civilization and guide it to the Earth. By offering Michael power, money and everything else he wants, the Brethren convince him to work for them. With a new drug called 3B3, Michael is able to leave his realm without any usual way a Pathfinder would offer. A Pathfinder is a person that helps a Traveler to cross over. He or she is a teacher, but never a Traveler himself.

While Michael gains his first experiences with other realms, Maya tries to find a Pathfinder for Gabriel. She herself knows little of other realms and the process of crossing over. At all time they must be careful and live “off the grid”, because the Brethren use all their power to get hold of them.

Hollis stays in Los Angeles to place a false track. Within little time the Brethren show up at his house and try to kill him with a new weapon called “Splicer,” some kind of genetically engineered animal designed to search and destroy. But, Hollis defeats them.

In the meantime Maya and Gabriel find a Pathfinder in the desert in Arizona: an old woman researching king snakes in an abandoned missile silo. While teaching Gabriel how to cross over, she tells him everything she knows about the Travelers and the six realms. There is the first realm of a town like hell, the second realm of a city full of “hungry ghosts”, the third is inhabited by animals ignorant of all others, the fourth realm is our own reality, where the sin is desire, the fifth realm is the reality of the “half gods”, where the sin is jealousy, and the sixth realm of the “gods” themselves, where the sin is pride. The “gods” and “half-gods” of the fifth and sixth realm are not meant like God as the creator of all life, but like the Tibetans describe them: human beings from parallel worlds.

The realms are separated each by four barriers: one barrier of fire, one of water, one of earth and one of air. A Traveler that is capable of passing these four barriers is then able to enter one of the five other realms. If his body on earth dies, his soul, called the light, is condemned to stay forever in the realm it visits at that time. Crossing over into other realities, a Traveler can only carry special objects, called talismans, with him. Such an object is the sword Gabriel’s father gave him. Equipped with this sword, he meets his brother in the realm of the hungry ghosts.

His brother tries to convince him to join the Brethren. Gabriel resists the temptation, but he tells his brother where he left his body. As a consequence Gabriel is imprisoned by the Brethren within hours and brought to the research centre where Michael is kept.

Maya realizes that an immediate counterstrike is necessary. After an exciting battle in the Brethren’s research facility, they free Gabriel but have to realize that they can not convince Michael to leave the Brethren. Maya and her allies are able to find refuge in a house on a beach in Cape Cod – but only to recover. At this point the first book of the fourth realm has a cliffhanger ending.

Literary significance and reception

David Pitt in his review for Booklist said that John Twelve Hawks is “a gifted storyteller, makes this surreal and vaguely supernatural good-versus-evil story entirely believable.” About the novel he says that the “pace is fast, the characters intriguing and memorable, the evil dark and palpable, and the genre-bending between fantasy and thriller seamless”.[3] The New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin began her review with the statement: “It takes outlandish nerve and whopping messianic double talk to inaugurate a new science fiction project on the scale of The Traveler.” She then concluded “Amazingly, this novel sustains a new voice even when its roots show. And the list of obvious influences is long indeed. There are traces of Star Wars, The Matrix, Kill Bill and Minority Report. There are echoes of Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Joseph Campbell, Jeremy Bentham, various samurai stories and (could it not have been thus?) The Da Vinci Code.”[4]

Published: June 27, 2005

Film adaptation

On March 23, 2012, Deadline Hollywood announced that Warner Bros. acquired film rights to the Fourth Realm Trilogy.[5]

The Traveler Music Album

In October 2014, British DJ and Bedrock Records producer, John Digweed and his partner Nick Muir released an album inspired by The Traveler.

John Twelve Hawks made the initial contact, sending Digweed his novel with a note saying it had been written while listening to Digweed’s Transitions radio show. After reading The Traveler Digweed immediately emailed Hawks to say how much he’d loved the novel. Eighteen months later Digweed found an email from Hawks in his junk folder and they finally arranged to collaborate. Initial attempts to record Hawks’ narration via Skype failed, forcing Hawks to make a rare personal appearance in the studio. Digweed and Muir met with John Twelve Hawks in the UK and recorded his voice as he read passages from the novel. JTH’s voice was changed electronically and weaved into the 13 tracks.[6]

Reaction to the album was positive. Music critic, Rich Curtis called it “a very engaging and superbly crafted meeting of artistic minds.” [7]

References

  1. Jump up^ “New York Times Bestseller Hardback Fiction List”. July 17, 2005.
  2. Jump up^ “Warner Bros. Acquires ‘Fourth Realm’ Trilogy”. March 23, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ “The Traveler (Book)”. Booklist 101 (17): 1540. 2005-05-01. ISSN 0006-7385.
  4. Jump up^ “It Takes a Superhuman Effort to Escape Human Control”. June 6, 2005.
  5. Jump up^ “Warner Bros. Acquires ‘Fourth Realm’ Trilogy”. March 23, 2012.
  6. Jump up^ “DJ John Digweed Collaborates With Paranoid Author John Twelve Hawks”. October 1, 2014.
  7. Jump up^ “WORLD EXCLUSIVE ALBUM REVIEW: JOHN DIGWEED, NICK MUIR, JOHN TWELVE HAWKS – THE TRAVELER (BEDROCK)”. September 30, 2014.

External links

John Twelve Hawks

John Twelve Hawks (pseudonym) is the author of the 2005 dystopian novel The Traveler and its sequels, The Dark River and The Golden City, collectively comprising the Fourth Realm Trilogy. The trilogy has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than 1.5 million books.[1] The trilogy was followed five years later by a fourth book, Spark (novel by John Twelve Hawks), and a non-fiction eBook, Against Authority. “John Twelve Hawks” is a pseudonym and his real identity is unknown.[2]

Reason and origin of his name

In “Against Authority” Twelve Hawks describes writing The Traveler. His decision to use a different name was triggered by a combination of personal and political reasons:

“For the first drafts of the book, I kept my birth name off the title page. The old me wasn’t writing this book. Something was different. Something had changed. I had always admired George Orwell, and had read his collected essays and letters countless times. When Eric Blair became Orwell, he was set free, liberated from his Eton education and colonial policeman past. And there was another factor about the title page that troubled me. I was telling my readers that this new system of information technology was going to destroy our privacy, and that they should resist this change. It seemed hypocritical to go on a book tour or appear on a talk show blabbing about my life when our private lives were under attack.” [3]

During an online conversation he had with his fans on the We Speak for Freedom website he explained the origin of his name:[4]

The real story is this …I was walking through a forest and encountered a hawk nesting area. Twelve hawks circled around my head for about ten minutes …so close that the tip of their wings brushed the side of my head. That was why I picked the name. REAL hawks. Not symbolic ones.

Information

In the sources listed and in his interviews, he has stated that he was born in the United States. He is a Buddhist who had meditated for most of his life. In the Spiegelinterview he states he is not a Native American.

In the Spiegel interview he talks about visiting East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the USA Today article, his response to a question about religion began with, “When I was in my twenties…” and when an editor asked him whether the “realm of hell” could be compared to current conditions in Iraq, Hawks replied “it’s more like Beirut in the ’70s“. In the Spiegel interview and in the Daily Telegraph article, Hawks states that he drives a 15-year-old car and that he does not own a television.[5]

The SFF World interview indicates that Twelve Hawks once lived in a commune and learned about literature by stealing books from a restricted university library and then returning the books the next day. In the same interview, he states he wrote The Traveler after passing through some sort of personal crisis. In the interview in SFF World Twelve Hawks claims that he has “no plans to go public” regarding his identity.[6]

According to Twelve Hawks’ agent, “He lives in New York, Los Angeles and London”, and The Traveler sets its story in all three of these locations.[7] In a 2008 interview on Joseph Mallozzi‘s weblog, he answered a series of questions about this life:[8]

QUESTION: Is there a reason for the pen name? One you’d be willing to share, I suppose. As in, is it because you’re actually a secret CIA agent and/or Russian spy, or merely because you don’t ever want your mother knowing what you’ve written?

JTH: My mother and the rest of my family don’t know that I have written the novels. Those people I know who aren’t close friends see me as a failure by the American standards of success. Being a “failure” in such a way has been a continual lesson. It’s helped me realize that we make quick judgments of others based on little real information. We assume so much – but don’t know the secrets held within the heart.

Against Authority

On August 20, 2014, John Twelve Hawks released a free non-fiction book called Against Authority: Freedom and the Rise of the Surveillance States.[9] The book is dedicated to the novelist, Thomas Pynchon. An excerpt from Against Authority was published on Salon.[10]

Against Authority begins with a personal description of the neurological experiments performed on Hawks when he was a child and states that all of us have the ability to reject the “right” of those in power to control our lives. JTH describes how the reaction of governments to the September 11 attacks led to the Patriot Act in the United States and the proliferation of Closed-circuit television cameras in London. He references his 2006 essay How We Live Now [11] that was his first published reaction to these systematic attacks on privacy.

The book explains how the Total Information Awareness program developed by John Poindexter at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) led to the expansion of the National Security Agency and the revelations of Edward Snowden. Hawks criticizes the assumption of “mass surveillance” strategies against terrorism and shows how “trickle down surveillance” has spread to small towns and developing countries.

JTH believes that surveillance technology has given those in power a crucial tool for social control. He describes how the culture of surveillance is used to track citizens for commercial reasons and gives examples of how people are now routinely watched at work. In the conclusion, He advocates a strategy of “parallel lives” that allows people to exist in the digital world while protecting their private actions and thoughts.

Spark

Spark was published in October 2014 in the United States and Great Britain.[12]

The book is narrated by Jacob Underwood, a man who suffers from Cotard delusion, a real-life neurological condition in which the afflicted person thinks that he or she is dead. Underwood is hired by a New York investment bank to work as an assassin, eliminating threats to the bank’s clients. “Underwood’s strength as a hired killer is the emotionless, robotic nature that allows him to operate with logical, ruthless precision.” [13] But, when the bank asks him to track down Emily Buchanan, a minor employee who has absconded with financial secrets, Underwood gradually becomes more human and feels moments of empathy. Hawks describes adystopia where people are beginning to be replaced by robots. Underwood’s journey is an exploration into what human values will survive in a world of machines.

Reviews of Spark were generally positive. The Publishers Weekly review mentioned JTH’s writing style: “Twelve Hawks’s prose, cold and clinical at times, yet punctuated with moments of great sensitivity, matches the tone and mood of his setting perfectly.” In a starred review in Booklist, reviewer David Pitt wrote: “It’s been several years since the Fourth Realm trilogy ended, and some readers might have wondered if the author had only one story to tell. But guess what? As good as the Fourth Realm books were, this one may be even more appealing: less fantastic, more grounded in a contemporary real world, with a narrator who is deeply scarred and endlessly fascinating.” [14]

In October, 2013 Deadline Hollywood reported that the film rights to Spark were sold to Dreamworks.[15]

Bibliography

  1. The Traveler (2005)
  2. The Dark River (2007)
  3. The Golden City (2009)
  4. Spark (2014)
  5. Against Authority (2014)

References

  1. Jump up^ “Warner Bros Acquires ‘Fourth Realm’ Trilogy”. March 23, 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Those remaining literary recluses in full”. The Guardian (London). 1 February 2010.
  3. Jump up^ John Twelve Hawks (2014-08-20). “Against Authority”. johntwelvehawks.com. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  4. Jump up^ John Twelve Hawks (2009-05-24). “Live chat with John Twelve Hawks”. wespeakforfreedom.com. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  5. Jump up^ David Thomas (2007-04-01). “Like Dan Brown, but better”. The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  6. Jump up^ Rob Bedford (2005-12-04). “Interview With John Twelve Hawks”. SFFWORLD.COM. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  7. Jump up^ Carol Memmot (2005-06-27). “Cryptic ‘Traveler’ has book world buzzing”. USA Today. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  8. Jump up^ Joseph Mallozzi (2008-10-30). “Interview With John Twelve Hawks”. josephmallozzi.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
  9. Jump up^ John Twelve Hawks (2014-08-20). “Against Authority”. johntwelvehawks.com. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  10. Jump up^ John Twelve Hawks (2014-09-14). “New Surveillance States Have Placed Us In An Invisible prison”. salon.com. Retrieved 2014-09-14.
  11. Jump up^ John Twelve Hawks (2006-02-01). “How We Live Now”. California State University, Northridge University.
  12. Jump up^ “‘Spark,’ the Latest Dystopian Novel From John Twelve Hawks”. http://www.nytimes.com. 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  13. Jump up^ “Spark”. http://www.publishersweekly.com. 2014-08-04. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  14. Jump up^ David Pitt (2014-09-01). “Review of SPARK”. http://www.booklistonline.com. Retrieved 2014-09-01.
  15. Jump up^ Mike Fleming Jr. (2013-10-14). “DreamWorks Buys John Twelve Hawks Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Spark’”. http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/. Retrieved 2013-10-14.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Twelve_Hawks

 

Who is John Twelve Hawks?

Back in August I wrote a piece about John Twelve Hawks’s so-called thriller The Traveller (aka The Traveler in the US). I thought the book was a dud, but noted, as one would have to, that it was being given a tremendous amount of hype by the publishers, in both the UK and the USA.

I think it was always fairly obvious that John Twelve Hawks was a pseudonym, and I made a brief reference to the kind of person, or persons, who might be involved. But I can’t say that I gave very much serious thought to who the author might really be, largely because I felt that the book was so feeble. And, of course, I was irritated by the fact that, yet again, a publisher was putting enormous weight behind something that really didn’t deserve it.

However, it turns out that that there are in this world a number of people who are giving some fairly detailed consideration to the identity of The Traveller‘s author. And one of them, Janet Rice, has come up with the suggestion that the real author is Michael Cunningham. Yes, that very same Michael Cunningham who won the Pulitzer Prize with The Hours and has recently published Specimen Days, another book which I felt wasn’t worth anyone’s trouble.

Janet Rice first posted her piece of deduction as a comment on my review of The Traveller, and I certainly recommend that you take a look at her detailed reasoning.

I have to say that this linking of Cunningham with the Twelve Hawks identity question is the smartest piece of lateral thinking that I have come across in a long time. Janet has clearly read both The Traveller andSpecimen Days with far greater care than I have, and has come up with several features which the books have in common.

Having written her piece as a comment on my blog, Janet has posted her further thoughts on this issue on the discussion page of Night Shade Books, where you will find several other speculations about the mystery man’s identity.

Janet, please note, is not insisting that she is right; she is simply putting forward the Twelve Hawks = Cunningham idea as a hypothesis, and inviting others to test it out. For my own part, I have to say that I find the idea tolerably convincing.

First of all, both books are, in my opinion, of much the same standard: i.e. just about publishable but no great shakes. Secondly, the existence of a previously ‘successful’ author behind the pseudonym would certainly explain why the publisher was willing to invest so heavily in the book; although, having said that, one also has to say that publishers seem quite ready to invest substantial sums in unknown quantities on every other day of the week.

Perhaps somewhere out there is a computer whizzkid who could do some textual analysis and see how the prose style of Cunningham and Twelve Hawks actually compares. Always bearing in mind, of course, that such analysis was not wonderfully successful in identifying the real author of the Belle de Jour blog/book. And also bearing in mind that an author can deliberately adopt different styles and tones of voice for different books.

Janet also adds some speculation as to why Cunningham — if he is the one — should bother to write a commercial thriller; her own hope is that he was trying to find a way to get his ideas through to a wider audience than he could achieve via his literary work.

Well — ahem — forgive my cynicism, but one should never underestimate the power of the dollar. In publishing, the money is never as much as the hype suggests, whether you’re Cunningham, Twelve Hawks, or anyone else. And in my view it might well be the case that some erstwhile literary chap has got tired of scuffling for a living and has tried to cash in.

I have absolutely no objection, in principle, to a writer going flat out for the money, but perhaps whoever is responsible for The Traveller now understands that writing a successful commercial novel is rather harder to do in practice than the literary elite of this world think it is.

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Mark Allpert — Final Theory

Posted on February 4, 2015. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Chemistry, Communications, Culture, Energy, Fiction, government, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Literature, Nuclear, People, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Raves, Science, Security, Terrorism, Video, War, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Mark Alpert: Final Theory

Mark Alpert Discusses New Book: Final Theory

The Final Theory: Adventure, Mystery, and Einstein

Author Mark Alpert gives us a sneak peek at the sequel to FINAL THEORY

Mark Alpert recommends his last great read

What’s At the Nucleus of THE OMEGA THEORY?

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Gardner Mckay — Toyer — Videos

Posted on February 3, 2015. Filed under: American History, Art, Art, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Fiction, Freedom, Friends, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Movies, People, Philosophy, Photos, Radio, Raves, Television, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Gardner Mckay

VANITY FAIR, DOMINICK DUNNE - “GARDNER MCKAY’S BRILLIANTLY INTRICATE NOVEL,TOYER, IS FRIGHTENING, FASCINATING, AND WONDERFULLY WELL WRITTEN.

THERE WERE TIMES READING IT WHEN I HAD TO PUT IT DOWN TO COLLECT MYSELF BEFORE PICKING IT UP AGAIN.”

JIMMY BUFFETT – “THE MOST EFFECTIVE, EXCITING, BIZARRE TALE POSSIBLE. IN TOYER,MCKAY HAS GIVEN US AN ARRAY OF VICTIMS WHO FALL INTO THE VENUS FLYTRAP OF A VILLAIN AS CUNNING AS RICHARD III AND A MANIACAL AS HANNIBAL LECTER.”

JAMES CAMERON - TOYER IS A NOVEL WHERE LOS ANGELES STARS AS ITSELF, THE CITY OF MASKS, WHERE RELATIONSHIPS PEEL THE ONION OF DARK REVELATION, AS TWO ADVERSARIES COUPLE IN A SEDUCTIVE DEATH-LOCK. GARDNER MCKAY HAS WOVEN A CHILLING AND DISTURBING DESCENT INTO THE CATACOMBS OF THE MIND.”

LEON BING - “WHOEVER PICKS UP GARDNER MCKAY’S NOVEL, TOYER, WILL KNOW, EARLY ON, THAT A MASTER HAS LAID HANDS ON THEM. THIS IS A BOOK OF SUCH SHEER, BRUTAL BRILLIANCE THAT THE READER OFTEN FEELS LIKE A PASSENGER TRAPPED ON A RUNAWAY TRAIN RACKETING ALONG A DOWNHILL TRACK.

MR. MCKAY IS A SUPERBLY ACCOMPLISHED WRITER; NOT SINCE HANNIBAL LECTER HAS THERE BEEN A LITERARY CHARACTER OF SUCH SILKEN AND ABSOLUTE MENACE AS TOYER.” -

THE NEW YORK TIMES – ”Connoisseurs – will appreciate the gorgeous imagery of McKay’s novel – the bizarre beauty of his writing.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES – “Anyone should make a beeline for  McKay’s novel.”

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICAL - “FIRST RATE.”

HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN, JOHN BERGER - “Almost impossible to put down. Read it once for the story. Read it at least twice more for the writing.”

LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE – BOOK PICK OF THE MONTH - ”Reminiscent of the best of classical L.A.noir – chilling.”

BOSTON GLOBE - “As bad as this title is as good as this book is. Slick, sensitive, brilliant.”

HONOLULU ADVERTISER, WANDA ADAMS - Insightful writing, unexpected plot, arresting asides, delicious evocations, and its unique take on a very much tried formula. [ I will ] read it again.”

HONOLULU WEEKLY, STUART COLEMAN – “ I couldn’t put it down.”

REDBOOK  MAGAZINE – PICK OF THE MONTH

JANE MAGAZINE –    “ * * * * *  Perfect.”

HONOLULU ADVERTISER  – # 1 BEST SELLER

WILLIAM SPEAR  (JUNEAU) - “A classy brain- clearing thriller.”

KATE JACKSON - “A stunning success. A wonderful book – brilliantly twisted.”

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER – “A true psychological thriller that will leave the reader mentally drained.”

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Gardner McKay – Actor, Writer, Icon

Adventures in Paradise a Tribute to Gardner Mckay in photos

TOYER – Annabel & Andrew scene

“Toyer” by Gardner McKay

“Toyer” by Gardner McKay. Directed by Jon Gonzalez. Here’s a short play I directed. Starring Laya Hernandez and Zebastian Duchene.

Gardner McKay

Adventures in Paradise – Isle of Eden

An extract of the episode “Isle of Eden” of the “Adventures of Paradise” TV series, broadcasted on ABC TV in the USA on February 22nd 1960. Starring Gardner McKay, as Adam Troy, captain of the “Tiki, and as guest stars Yvonne De Carlo and Hugo Haas.

Sea Marks by Gardner McKay at The Irish Repertory Theatre

 

Adventures In Paradise Somewhere South of Suva part 2 Gardner Mckay 1960

Biography

copy-Gardner_pix.jpgGeorge Cadogan Gardner McKay was born in Manhattan, New York City, his early years were spent in France, Connecticut and Kentucky. He attended Cornell University where he edited the humor magazine, wrote a film review column for the paper, was briefly president of his class and rowed on their crew.

At age fifteen, he published his first story. His novel Toyer  won critical acclaim upon its release in 1998 and is currently in pre-production for a major motion film.

He has been awarded several prizes for his writing:- The Drama Critics Award for playwriting, The Sydney Carrington Prize. He won three National Endowment for the Arts grants for playwriting. Five of his play have been published by Samuel French Publishing Company, New York, Los Angeles, London: Sea Marks, Masters of the Sea, Toyer, Me, In Order of Appearance. His plays have been, and continue to be, produced in every state in the union and internationally.

Sea Marks won the National Regional Theatre Award in Canada. The Drama Critics Circle Award, best play of the year. And has been produced in NYC in six Off-Broadway productions; the Players Theatre (“Best Off- Broadway Play, Walter Kerr, New York Times) the Manhattan Theatre Club, and other theatres. It has been presented at the Eisenhower Theatre, The Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. The Edinburgh Festival and The Pitlochry Festival, Scotland. It has also been broadcast on B.B.C. Radio Theatre, London.

McKay’s play Toyer was first staged at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. – starring  Kathleen Turner and Brad Davis, directed by, Tony Richardson. It has also  been produced by Michael White in England – starring Rupert Graves,  and later in  London’s West End.

Other plays of his – in random order- of various lengths that have been produced are: – Untold Damage (PBS) Written and directed by Mr. McKay for PBS starring Richard Dreyfuss, Geraldine Fitzgerald, tracy Swope, Josh Bryant. It was cited as the best television production by the Television Theatre. Narcissa-Narcissus, Tapes, The Girl Next  Door is Screaming, The Suit, The Visitor, Meeting, Silver Eyes, The Honeyman, Yeats/Millay, Becker, The People we Kill, Alligators Have no Choice.

He was Drama critic and Drama editor for the Los Angeles Herald Tribune. During the time he was with the Herald he invented a method of review called the “Triple Review” three brief reviews of the same play by three writers. The lone newspaper’s  “Voice of the Critic” was hushed for these reviews and, instead, the review became an argument of the play’s worth on the forum of its pages.

He has taught playwriting at U.C.L.A at his Playwriting Roundtable. Later he taught playwriting and screenwriting at University of Southern California, Juneau Alaska, and the University of Hawaii.

During the ’70 and ‘80s he started a small professional group called the Playwrights’ Exchange. He personally constructed a 50-seat theatre off the kitchen of his L.A. house and every Tuesday playwrights gathered to see new work being read in whole or in fragments by professional actors. The theatre was named The Free Theatre, mainly because no money changed hands; emblematic of playwriting.

From 1995 – until his death in November 2001,  Gardner wrote and recorded stories for his weekly radio show “Stories on the Wind” which aired each Sunday.

McKay has also been a  sculptor ( several of his works are in the Museum of Modern Art, NYC and the Whitney Museum.) He has been a professional skipper, photographer, actor (Adventures in Paradise, Boots and Saddles), and has raised African lions.

http://gardnermckay.net/biography

 

Gardner McKay

George Cadogan Gardner McKay (June 10, 1932 – November 21, 2001) was an American actor, artist, and author.

Biography

Born in New York City, McKay was the great-grandson[1] of the shipbuilder Donald McKay. He attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for two years,[2] where he majored in art. He became a Hollywood heartthrob in the 1950s and 1960s. He landed the lead role in Adventures in Paradise, based loosely on the writings of James Michener. His character, Adam Troy, is a Korean War veteran who purchased the two-masted 82-foot (25 m) schooner Tiki III, and sailed the South Pacific.

McKay was under contract to MGM when he was spotted by Dominick Dunne, then a television producer for Twentieth Century Fox, who was searching for an actor to star in his planned Adventures in Paradise. Dunne put his business card on the table and said, “If you’re interested in discussing a television series, call me.” McKay competed in screen tests with nine other candidates, and won it because of his good looks and ability to sail. An accomplished sailor, he had made eight Atlantic crossings by the age of seventeen. Although previously unknown to the public, McKay appeared on the July 6, 1959, cover of Life Magazine just two months before the series premiered.

In the 1957–1958 season, McKay played United States Army Lieutenant Dan Kelly in the 38-episode syndicatedwestern series, Boots and Saddles, with co-stars Jack Pickard and Patrick McVey.[3] Thereafter, he was cast in the episode “Showdown” of the NBC western, Jefferson Drum, with Jeff Richards.

McKay’s final film was the 1968 I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew written and directed by Richard L. Bare.

McKay left Hollywood to pursue his interest in photography, sculpture, and writing. He turned down the opportunity to star opposite Marilyn Monroe in Something’s Got to Give, a film which was never completed. He exhibited his sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, besides holding individual exhibitions. His lifeboat rescue photographs of the Andrea Doria were published internationally. McKay wrote many plays and novels, and was a literary critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner between 1977 and 1982. He taught writing classes at the University of California at Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Alaska, and the University of Hawaii. In 2014 his play Sea Marks was produced Off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory Theatre.

McKay’s awards included three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships for playwriting, the Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, and Sidney Carrington Prize. He was a winner in Canadian Regional Drama Festival, and runner-up in the Hemingway Short Story Contest.

Last years

McKay settled in Hawaii, where he died from prostate cancer in 2001, at the age of sixty-nine. He was survived by his wife, Madeleine Madigan, a painter, and two children.

References

External links

Gardner McKay at the Internet Movie Database

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardner_McKay

 

Brian De Palma Toys With Toyer Again

By Claude Brodesser-Akner

 

Six years ago, reports surfaced that Brian De Palma would next be directing the diabolical Gardner McKay novel and stage play Toyer, which follows a “serial lunatic.” The Toyer doesn’t murder or rape his beautiful female victims, he “toys” with them, torturing them psychologically, then puttting them into a medically induced coma. (Sort of like what De Palma did to audiences in Snake Eyes … We kid, Brian!)

Anyway, without a capital crime to prosecute, the police and D.A. can only charge the Toyer with “mayhem,” and as they’re overwhelmed with hundreds of uncleared murder cases, the Toyer case becomes a lower priority. So a female neurologist who treats Toyer’s victims teams up with a newspaper editor to draw him out and bring him to justice.

This time, we’re told, Toyer really is happening, but as an indie financed via producers Tarak Ben Ammar, (who most famously produced Franco Zefferilli’s La Traviata) and the L.A.-based Scott Steindorff. Steindorff has brought heavyweight literature like Philip Roth’s The Human Stain and Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera to the screen, and tells Vulture that the film will be shooting in Venice, Italy, late this fall and into the early winter.

That’s a switch from the Gardner version, which is set in L.A., but should be far creepier: De Palma plans to set the mayhem against Venice’s famous Carnevale di Venezia, for which elaborate masks disguising one’s identity are traditionally worn on the street from St. Stephen’s Day (the day after Christmas) until the start of the Venitian Carnival (two weeks before Ash Wednesday). Steindorff says shooting during the actual Carnival (during February and March) would be logistically impossible. They plan to re-create their own Carnival on location.

“It has all the elements of suspense that Brian does so well in films likeBlow Out and Carrie,” Steindorff says, adding, “And by that I mean, it’s really frickin’ scary: I read the script on a plane, and I was still terrified.”

http://www.vulture.com/2010/08/vulture_exclusive_writer-direc.html

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Bernie Goldberg — Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort News — Videos

Posted on January 28, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Bernie Goldberg: Only Way To Stop Media Bias Is For Slanted Reporters To Be ‘Publicly Fired’

Bernie Goldberg rips Benghazi media bias: MSNBC Is White House’s ‘Public Relations Firm’

A Great Conversation Between Bernard Goldberg And David Horowitz On Media Bias

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Richard A. Clarke — Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror — Videos

Posted on January 27, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Babies, Bomb, Book, Books, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Dirty Bomb, Documentary, Drones, Economics, Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiction, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Missiles, National Security Agency (NSA_, Non-Fiction, Nuclear, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Rants, Raves, Rifles, Security, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Richard-A-Clarke

Richard Clarke, Former Counterterrorism Chief, Apologizes for 9/11

Ex-Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke: Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Committed War Crimes

 

Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror 1/2

Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror 2/2

Richard Clarke on Foreign Oil, Saudi Arabia, and Iran – The Scorpion’s Gate (2005)

Richard A. Clarke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard A. Clarke
Richard clarke.jpg

Clarke in October 2007
Born Richard Alan Clarke
October 27, 1950 (age 64)
Dorchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Education Master’s Degree from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Counter-terrorism expert/analyst
Author
Notable work(s) Against All EnemiesThe Scorpion’s Gate,Breakpoint
Political party
Democratic
Website
http://www.richardaclarke.net/

Richard Alan Clarke[1] (born October 27, 1950) is the former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism for the United States.

Clarke worked for the State Department during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.[2] In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to chair the Counter-terrorism Security Group and to a seat on the United States National Security Council. President Bill Clinton retained Clarke and in 1998 promoted him to be the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism, the chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council. Under President George W. Bush, Clarke initially continued in the same position, but the position was no longer given cabinet-level access. He later became the Special Advisor to the President on cybersecurity. Clarke left the Bush administration in 2003.

Clarke came to widespread public attention for his role as counter-terrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations in March 2004, when he appeared on the 60 Minutes television news magazine, released his memoir about his service in government, Against All Enemies, and testified before the 9/11 Commission. In all three instances, Clarke was sharply critical of the Bush administration’s attitude toward counter-terrorism before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and of the decision to go to war with Iraq.

Background

Richard Clarke was born in 1950, the son of a Boston chocolate factory worker and a nurse.[3] He studied at the Boston Latin School (graduated in 1968), received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 where he was selected to serve in the Sphinx Senior Society.[4] After working for the Department of Defense as an analyst on European security issues, Clarke earned a master’s degree in management in 1978 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5]

Government career

In 1973, he began work in the federal government as a management intern[6] in the U.S. Department of Defense. Beginning in 1985, Clarke served in the Reagan administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence. During the Presidential administration of George H.W. Bush, as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, he coordinated diplomatic efforts to support the 1990-1991 Gulf War and the subsequent security arrangements. During the Clinton administration, Clarke became the counter-terrorism coordinator for the National Security Council. He remained counter-terrorism coordinator during the first year of the George W. Bush administration, and later was the Special Advisor to the President on cybersecurity and cyberterrorism. He resigned from the Bush administration in 2003.

Clarke’s positions inside the government have included:

Clinton administration

Clarke advised Madeleine Albright during the Genocide in Rwanda, to request the UN to withdraw all UN troops from Rwanda. She refused, but permitted Gen. Dallaire to keep a few hundred troops who managed to save thousands from the genocide. Later Clarke told Samantha Power “It wasn’t in American’s national interest. If we had to do the same thing today and I was advising the President, I would advise the same thing.” He directed the authoring of PDD-25[7] which outlined a reduced military and economic role for the United States in Rwanda as well as future peacekeeping operations.

Islamists took control in Sudan in a 1989 coup d’état and the United States adopted a policy of disengagement with the authoritarian regime throughout the 1990s. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, however, some critics charged that the U.S. should have moderated its policy toward Sudan earlier, since the influence of Islamists there waned in the second half of 1990s and Sudanese officials began to indicate an interest in accommodating U.S. concerns with respect to 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, who had been living in Sudan until he was expelled in May 1996. Timothy M. Carney, U.S. ambassador to Sudan between September 1995 and November 1997, co-authored an op-ed in 2002 claiming that in 1997 Sudan offered to turn over its intelligence on bin Laden but that Susan Rice, as NSC Africa specialist, together with the then NSC terrorism specialist Richard A. Clarke, successfully lobbied for continuing to bar U.S. officials, including the CIA and FBI, from engaging with the Khartoum government.[8] Similar allegations (that Susan Rice joined others in missing an opportunity to cooperate with Sudan on counterterrorism) were made by Vanity Fair contributing editor David Rose[9] and Richard Miniter, author of Losing Bin Laden.[10]

Clarke was also involved in investigating Ramzi Yousef, one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who traveled to the United States on an Iraqi passport. Yousef is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a senior al-Qaeda member. Many in the Clinton administration and the intelligence community believed this was evidence linking al-Qaeda’s activities and the government of Iraq.

In February 1999 Clarke wrote the Deputy National Security Advisor that one reliable source reported Iraqi officials had met with Bin Ladin and may have offered him asylum. Therefore, Clarke advised against surveillance flights to track bin Laden in Afghanistan: Anticipating an attack, “old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad”, where he would be impossible to find.[11] Clarke also made statements that year to the press linking “Iraqi nerve gas experts” and al-Qaeda to an alleged joint-chemical-weapons-development effort at the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.[12]

Michael Scheuer is the former chief of the bin Laden Unit at the Counterterrorist Center at the CIA. Matthew Continetti writes: “Scheuer believes that Clarke’s risk aversion and politicking negatively impacted the hunt for bin Laden prior to September 11, 2001. Scheuer stated that his unit, codename ‘Alec,’ had provided information that could have led to the capture and or killing of Osama bin Laden on ten different occasions during the Clinton administration, only to have his recommendations for action turned down by senior intelligence officials, including Clarke.”[13]

Bush administration

Clarke and his communications with the Bush administration regarding bin Laden and associated terrorist plots targeting the United States were mentioned frequently in Condoleezza Rice‘s public interview by the 9/11 investigatory commission on April 8, 2004. Of particular significance was a memo[14] from January 25, 2001, that Clarke had authored and sent to Condoleezza Rice. Along with making an urgent request for a meeting of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee to discuss the growing al-Qaeda threat in the greater Middle East, the memo also suggests strategies for combating al-Qaeda that might be adopted by the new Bush administration.[15]

In his memoir, “Against All Enemies”, Clarke wrote that Condoleezza Rice made a decision that the position of National Coordinator for Counterterrorism should be downgraded. By demoting the office, the Administration sent a signal through the national security bureaucracy about the salience they assigned to terrorism. No longer would Clarke’s memos go to the President; instead they had to pass through a chain of command of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley, who bounced every one of them back.

Within a week of the inauguration, I wrote to Rice and Hadley asking ‘urgently’ for a Principals, or Cabinet-level, meeting to review the imminent Al-Qaeda threat. Rice told me that the Principals Committee, which had been the first venue for terrorism policy discussions in the Clinton administration, would not address the issue until it had been ‘framed’ by the Deputies.[16]

At the first Deputies Committee meeting on Terrorism held in April 2001, Clarke strongly suggested that the U.S. put pressure on both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda by arming the Northern Alliance and other groups in Afghanistan. Simultaneously, that they target bin Laden and his leadership by reinitiating flights of the MQ-1 Predators. To which Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz responded, “Well, I just don’t understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden.” Clarke replied that he was talking about bin Laden and his network because it posed “an immediate and serious threat to the United States.” According to Clarke, Wolfowitz turned to him and said, “You give bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don’t exist.”[16]

Clarke wrote in Against All Enemies that in the summer of 2001, the intelligence community was convinced of an imminent attack by al Qaeda, but could not get the attention of the highest levels of the Bush administration, most famously writing that Director of theCentral Intelligence Agency George Tenet was running around with his “hair on fire”.[16]

At a July 5, 2001, White House gathering of the FAA, the Coast Guard, the FBI, Secret Service and INS, Clarke stated that “something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s going to happen soon.”

9/11 Commission

On March 24, 2004, Clarke testified at the public 9/11 Commission hearings.[17] At the outset of his testimony Clarke offered an apology to the families of 9/11 victims and an acknowledgment that the government had failed: “I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum where I can apologize to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11…To the loved ones of the victims of 9/11, to them who are here in this room, to those who are watching on television, your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn’t matter because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.”[17]

Many of the events Clarke recounted during the hearings were also published in his memoir. Clarke charged that before and during the 9/11 crisis, many in the Administration were distracted from efforts against Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda organization by a pre-occupation with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Clarke had written that on September 12, 2001, President Bush pulled him and a couple of aides aside and “testily” asked him to try to find evidence that Saddam was connected to the terrorist attacks. In response he wrote a report stating there was no evidence of Iraqi involvement and got it signed by all relevant agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA. The paper was quickly returned by a deputy with a note saying “Please update and resubmit.”[18] After initially denying that such a meeting between the President and Clarke took place, the White House later reversed its denial when others present backed Clarke’s version of the events.[19][20]

Criticism

Before and after Clarke appeared before the 9/11 Commission, some critics tried to attack his credibility, launching a full-scale offensive against him: impugning his personal motives, claiming he was a disappointed job-hunter, that he sought publicity, and that he was a political partisan. They charged that he exaggerated perceived failures in the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies while exculpating the former Clinton administration from its perceived shortcomings.[21]

According to some reports, the White House tried to discredit Clarke in a move described as “shooting the messenger.”[22] New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman was more blunt, calling the attacks on Clarke “a campaign of character assassination.”[23]

Some Republicans inside and outside the Bush administration questioned both Clarke’s testimony and his tenure during the hearings. Senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist took to the Senate floor to make a speech alleging Clarke told “two entirely different stories under oath”, pointing to congressional hearing testimony Clarke gave in 2002 and his 9/11 Commission testimony. Frist later speculated to reporters Clarke was trading on his former service as a government insider with access to the nation’s most valuable intelligence to sell a book.[24]

During Clarke’s earlier testimony, he stated that Bill Clinton did not have a comprehensive plan on dealing with terrorism. During later testimony, he stated that President Clinton did have a comprehensive plan on dealing with terrorism. As summarized by the Toledo Blade, “In his August 2002 briefing, Mr. Clarke told reporters (1) that the Clinton administration had no overall plan on al-Qaeda to pass on to the Bush Administration; (2) that just days after his inauguration, Mr. Bush said he wanted a new, more comprehensive anti-terror strategy; (3) that Mr. Bush ordered implementation of anti-terror measures that had been kicking around since 1998, and (4) that before Sept. 11, Mr. Bush had increased fivefold the funding for CIA covert action programs against al-Qaeda. … It’s reasonable enough to argue that Mr. Bush could have done more to guard against terror, though it isn’t clear what. What is incredible is to argue – as Mr. Clarke did before the 9/11 Commission – that President Clinton was more concerned about al-Qaeda than Mr. Bush was.”[25]

Clarke was criticized for his suggestions in 1999 of intelligence indicating a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, despite the fact Clarke and others concluded after investigations by 2001 that no link had been established. In Against All Enemies he writes, “It is certainly possible that Iraqi agents dangled the possibility of asylum in Iraq before bin Laden at some point when everyone knew that the U.S. was pressuring the Taliban to arrest him. If that dangle happened, bin Laden’s accepting asylum clearly did not,” (p. 270). In an interview on March 21, 2004, Clarke claimed that “there’s absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda, ever.”[26] Clarke claimed in his book that this conclusion was understood by the intelligence community at the time of 9/11 and the ensuing months, but top Bush administration officials were pre-occupied with finding a link between Iraq and 9/11 in the months that followed the attack, and thus, Clarke argued, the Iraq war distracted attention and resources from the war in Afghanistan and hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Fox News, allegedly with the Administration’s consent, identified and released a background briefing that Clarke gave in August 2002, at the Administration’s request, to minimize the fallout from a Time magazine story about the President’s failure to take certain actions before 9/11.[27] In that briefing on behalf of the White House, Clarke stated “there was no plan on Al-Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration,” and that after taking office President Bush decided to “add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources, for example, for covert action, fivefold, to go after Al-Qaeda.”[28] At the next day’s hearing, 9/11 Commission member James Thompson challenged Clarke with the 2002 account, and Clarke explained: “I was asked to make that case to the press. I was a special assistant to the President, and I made the case I was asked to make… I was asked to highlight the positive aspects of what the Administration had done and to minimize the negative aspects of what the Administration had done. And as a special assistant to the President, one is frequently asked to do that kind of thing. I’ve done it for several Presidents.”[17]

Another point of attack was Clarke’s role in allowing members of the bin Laden family to fly to Saudi Arabia on September 20, 2001. According to Clarke’s statements to the 9/11 Commission, a request was relayed to Clarke from the Saudi embassy to allow the members of the bin Laden family living in the U.S. to fly home. Clarke testified to the commission that he passed this decision in turn to the FBI via Dale Watson, and that the FBI at length sent its approval of the flight to the Interagency Crisis Management Group.[29]However, FBI spokesman John Iannarelli denied that the FBI had a role in approving the flight: “I can say unequivocally that the FBI had no role in facilitating these flights.”[30]

Clarke has also exchanged criticism with Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station at the CIA. When asked to respond to Clarke’s claim that Scheuer was “a hothead, a middle manager who really didn’t go to any of the cabinet meetings,” Scheuer returned the criticism as follows: “I certainly agree with the fact that I didn’t go to the cabinet meetings. But I’m certainly also aware that I’m much better informed than Mr. Clarke ever was about the nature of the intelligence that was available against Osama bin Laden and which was consistently denigrated by himself and Mr. Tenet.”[31]

On March 28, 2004, at the height of the controversy during the 9/11 Commission Hearings, Clarke went on NBC’s Sunday morning news show, Meet the Press and was interviewed by journalist Tim Russert. In responding to and rebutting the criticism, Clarke challenged the Bush administration to declassify the whole record, including closed testimony by Bush administration officials before the Commission.[32]

Cyberterrorism and cybersecurity

Clarke, as Special Advisor to the President on Cybersecurity, spent his last year in the Bush administration focusing on cybersecurity and the threat of terrorism against the critical infrastructure of the United States. At a security conference in 2002, after citing statistics that indicate that less than 0.0025 percent of corporate revenue on average is spent on information-technology security, Clarke was famously heard to say, “If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.”[33]

In June 2012 Clarke discussed issues of cybersecurity in depth in an interview on The Colbert Report in which he was seemingly misled into thinking that they were discussing cyber-security threats from the Chinese through the use of mobile devices such as iPads. Instead, Stephen Colbert was doing a humorous piece on the threats of Orangutans learning to use iPads. Indeed, when confronted on the issue directly, Clarke himself clarified that he was not discussing non-human primate based cyberterrorism threats. “Orangutans? You mean like apes?” said Clarke, “Are you sh**tin’ me? I’m talking about the Chinese.”[34]

Post government career

Clarke is currently Chairman of Good Harbor Consulting and Good Harbour International, two strategic planning and corporate risk management firms; an on-air consultant for ABC News, and a contributor to the Good Harbor Report, an online community discussing homeland security, defense, and politics. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School and a faculty affiliate of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.[35] He has also become an author of fiction, publishing his first novel, The Scorpion’s Gate, in 2005, and a second, Breakpoint, in 2007.

Clarke wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post on May 31, 2009 harshly critical of other Bush administration officials, entitled “The Trauma of 9/11 Is No Excuse”.[36] Clarke wrote that he had little sympathy for his fellow officials who seemed to want to use the excuse of being traumatized, and caught unaware by Al-Qaeda‘s attacks on the USA, because their being caught unaware was due to their ignoring clear reports a major attack on U.S. soil was imminent. Clarke particularly singled out former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

In April 2010 Clarke released his book on Cyber War. In April 2012, Clarke wrote a New York Times op-ed addressing cyber attacks. In stemming cyber attacks carried out by foreign governments and foreign hackers, particularly from China, Clarke opined that the U.S. government should be authorized to “create a major program to grab stolen data leaving the country” in a fashion similar to how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security currently searches for child pornography that crosses America’s “virtual borders.” Moreover, he suggested that the US president could authorize agencies to scan Internet traffic outside the US and seize sensitive files stolen from within the United States. Clarke then stated that such a policy would not endanger privacy rights through the institution of a privacy advocate, who could stop abuses or any activity that went beyond halting the theft of important files. The op-ed did not offer evidence that finding and blocking files while they are being transmitted is technically feasible.[37]

In September 2012, Clarke stated that Middle Eastern governments were likely behind hacking incidents against several banks.[38] During the same year, he also endorsed Barack Obama‘s reelection for President of the United States.

Following the 2013 high-speed fatal car crash of journalist Michael Hastings, a vocal critic of the surveillance state and restrictions on the press freedom under the Obama Administration tenure, Clarke was quoted as saying “There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers — including the United States — know how to remotely seize control of a car. So if there were a cyber attack on the car — and I’m not saying there was, I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”[39]

In 2013, Clarke served on an advisory group for the Obama administration, as it sought to reform NSA spying programs following the revelations of documents released by Edward Snowden.[40] The report mentioned in ‘Recommendation 30′ on page 37, “…that the National Security Council staff should manage an interagency process to review on a regular basis the activities of the US Government regarding attacks, that exploit a previously unknown vulnerability in a computer application.” Clarke told Reuters on 11 April 2014 that the NSA had not known of Heartbleed.[41]

Written works

Main article: Against All Enemies

On March 22, 2004, Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror—What Really Happened (ISBN 0-7432-6024-4), was published. The book was critical of past and present Presidential administrations for the way they handled the war on terrorboth before and after September 11, 2001 but focused much of its criticism on Bush for failing to take sufficient action to protect the country in the elevated-threat period before the September 11, 2001 attacks and for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which Clarke feels greatly hampered the war on terror, and was a distraction from the real terrorists.

Affiliation

  • Chairman, Good Harbor Consulting, LLC, a strategic planning and corporate risk management firm.
  • Contributor, Good Harbor Index, an online resource for homeland security, defense and political issues, operated by Good Harbor Consulting, LLC.
  • Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Advisory Board Member, Civitas Group, LLC
  • Cyber Security Consultant, SRA International, Inc.
  • On-air consultant, ABC News.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Dobbs, Michael. “An Obscure Chief in U.S. War on Terror”. The Washington Post, April 2, 2000.
  2. Jump up^ “Profile: Richard Clarke”. BBC News. March 22, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  3. Jump up^ “Richard Clarke Biography”. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  4. Jump up^ Senior Society, Sphinx. “Class of 1972″. Sphinx Senior Society. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  5. Jump up^ Bio.Richard Clarke, “NNDB.com”
  6. Jump up^ Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006, p.206.
  7. Jump up^ “Text of Presidential Decision Directive 25″. Federation of American Scientists. May 6, 1994. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  8. Jump up^ Carney, Timothy; Mansoor Ijaz (June 30, 2002). “Intelligence Failure? Let’s Go Back to Sudan”. The Washington Post. RetrievedDecember 1, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.mafhoum.com/ Jan. 2015.
  9. Jump up^ Rose, David (January 2002). “The Osama Files”. Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
  10. Jump up^ Belz, Mindy (November 1, 2003). “Clinton did not have the will to respond”. World. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
  11. Jump up^ The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 134.
  12. Jump up^ Vernon Loeb (January 23, 1999). “Embassy Attacks Thwarted, U.S. Says; Official Cites Gains Against Bin Laden; Clinton Seeks $10 Billion To Fight Terrorism”. The Washington Post. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  13. Jump up^ Continetti, Matthew (November 22, 2004). “Scheuer v. Clarke”. Weekly Standard. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  14. Jump up^ http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB147/clarke%20memo.pdf
  15. Jump up^ “Bush Administration’s First Memo on al-Qaeda Declassified”. Gwu.edu. January 25, 2001. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b c Richard Clarke: “Against All Enemies, Inside America’s War on Terror” by Free Press, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Transcript: Wednesday’s 9/11 Commission Hearings”. Washington Post. March 24, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  18. Jump up^ Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror–What Really Happened (ISBN 0-7432-6024-4)
  19. Jump up^ Dean, John W (April 9, 2004). “Bush’s attack on Richard Clarke”. CNN. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  20. Jump up^ Marshall, Josh (September 11, 2001). “Talking Points Memo” (Press release). Talking Points Memo. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  21. Jump up^ Ratnesar, Romesh (March 25, 2004). “Richard Clarke, at War With Himself”. TIME. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  22. Jump up^ “White House Tries to Discredit Counterterrorism Coordinator”. Common Dreams. March 22, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  23. Jump up^ Krugman, Paul (March 30, 2004). “Smearing Richard Clarke”. History News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  24. Jump up^ “Talking Points Memo”. Retrieved from Internet Archive Wayback Machine, 20 January 2015.
  25. Jump up^ http://www.toledoblade.com/Opinion/2004/03/27/The-Blame-Bush-approach.html
  26. Jump up^ CBS: Clarke’s Take On Terror. March 19, 2004.
  27. Jump up^ Kaplan, Fred (March 24, 2004). “Richard Clarke KOs the Bushies”. Slate Magazine. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  28. Jump up^ “Transcript: Clarke Praises Bush Team in ’02”. FoxNews.com. March 24, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  29. Jump up^ “Richard Clarke Testifies Before 9/11 Commission”. CNN Transcripts. March 24, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  30. Jump up^ Craig Unger: Letter To the Editor NYT March 30, 2005
  31. Jump up^ Leung, Rebecca (November 12, 2004). “Bin Laden Expert Steps Forward, Ex-CIA Agent Assesses Terror War In 60 Minutes Interview”.60 Minutes (CBS News). Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  32. Jump up^ “Clarke Would Welcome Open Testimony”. MSNBC.com. March 28, 2004. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  33. Jump up^ Lemos, Robert (February 20, 2002). “Security Guru: Let’s Secure the Net”. ZDNet
  34. Jump up^ Colbert, Stephen (June 13, 2012). “The Enemy Within: Apes Armed with iPads”. Viacom. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  35. Jump up^ “Richard Clarke’s bio at Harvard Kennedy School”. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. May 29, 2008. RetrievedJanuary 9, 2009.
  36. Jump up^ Richard A. Clarke (May 31, 2009). “The Trauma of 9/11 Is No Excuse”. Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 22, 2009.
  37. ^ Jump up to:a b Clarke, Richard A. (April 3, 2012). “How China Steals Our Secrets”. The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  38. Jump up^ “Rhode Islanders react to cyber attacks on banking websites”. ABC6 Rhode Island. October 1, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  39. Jump up^ Hogan, Michael (June 24, 2013). “Was Hastings’ Car Hacked?”. Huffington Post.
  40. Jump up^ The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (12 December 2013). “Liberty and Security in a Changing World – Report and Recommendations of The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies”. The White House.
  41. Jump up^ Mark Hosenball; Will Dunham (11 April 2014). “White House, spy agencies deny NSA exploited ‘Heartbleed’ bug”. Reuters. Retrieved16 April 2014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Clarke

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Kenneth R. Timmerman — Shakedown: Exposing The Real Jesse Jackson

Posted on January 26, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Corruption, Documentary, Economics, Education, Ethic Cleansing, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, Heroes, history, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Rants, Raves, Religion, Reviews, Security, Shite, Sunni | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Ken-Timmermanshakedown

ktimmerman

Kenneth Timmerman on persecution of Iraqi Christians

Kenneth Timmerman executive director of Foundation for Democracy in Iran at the National Press Club

 

Kenneth R. Timmerman

Kenneth R. Timmerman (born November 4, 1953) is a political writer and conservative activist who was the 2012 Republican nominee for U.S. Representative for the newly redrawn Maryland’s 8th congressional district, facing the incumbent Chris Van Hollen, aDemocrat.[1] Timmerman lost to Van Hollen in a landslide, 33% to 63%. In 2000, Timmerman was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Maryland. Timmerman is executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, an organization that works to support democratic movements in Iran. He authored Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson. Timmerman has also written on the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. He is currently an Expert at Wikistrat.[2] He was the running mate for Republican Charles Lollar in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election.[3][4] The Lollar/Timmerman ticket finished third in the Republican primary.

Early life and career

Born in New York in 1953, Timmerman obtained a BA from Goddard College in 1973 and an M.A. from Brown University in 1976. He moved to France, where he pursued a career as a novelist, publishing a novel called Wren Hunt in 1976 and a novella called The Iskra Scrolls in 1980.

Middle East and defense correspondent

In the early 1980s, Timmerman became a Middle East correspondent for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and developed an expertise in the Middle East and the arms trade. In 1982, he was taken prisoner for 24 days by Fatah guerrillas in Lebanon. He was the first journalist on the scene when Islamic militants bombed the US Embassy in 1983.

From 1985 to 1987, Timmerman was a correspondent for Defense and Armament Newsweek and Military Technology, covering the Iran–Iraq War and the arms industry in the Middle East. He won the Joe Petrosino Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1987 for an investigation of an Iranian arms procurement group.

From 1987 to 1993, Timmerman published the Middle East Defense News and was international correspondent for Defense Electronics. He also wrote monographs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center on efforts by Iraq, Syria and Libya to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Author and activist

In 1991, Timmerman published The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq after the Gulf War. Timmerman advised the United Nations Special Commission for the Disarmament of Iraq on the location of weapons plants.

In 1993, Timmerman returned to the US where he worked as a member of the staff of the U.S. House Committee on International Relations. In 1995, he founded the Foundation for Democracy in Iran with Peter Rodman, Joshua Muravchick and Iranian opposition expatriates to attempt to topple the Iranian government. He founded the Middle East Data Project to advise governments and private companies. In 1998, he made suggestions to the Rumsfeld Commission supporting the deployment of a national missile defencesystem.

In 1998, he wrote a piece on Osama Bin Laden and his training camps in Afghanistan just before Al-Qaeda attacked two US embassies in Africa. He also wrote features for the American Spectator criticizing the export of high-technology equipment to China, which was published as a book in 2000. In 2000 Timmerman sought the nomination of the Maryland GOP to run against Democratic incumbent Paul Sarbanes. Timmerman won less than ten percent in the party primary; Paul Rappaport won the Republican nomination but lost to Sarbanes, who won with 63% of the vote.

Timmerman wrote Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson as a change of pace from his focus on international issues in 2002. The argument claimed that Jackson alleging connections with criminals and claiming that Rev. Jackson practised extortion of businesses. It proved to be highly successful making the top ten bestseller list with 200,000 copies printed.[5] It also reached the top of the Amazon bestseller list.[6]

In 2003, Timmerman published Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War Against America. The French Betrayal of America was published in 2004. Timmerman returned to his field of greatest expertise with the publication of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran in 2005.

On February 7, 2006 Sweden’s former deputy prime minister and Liberal party leader Per Ahlmark asserted that he had nominated Timmerman for a Nobel Peace Prize along with UN Ambassador John Bolton for “their repeated warnings and documentation ofIran‘s secret nuclear buildup and revealing Iran’s repeated lying and false reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”[7] The Nobel Foundation won’t confirm nominations, however, until 50 years have passed.[8]

Bibliography

  • The Wren Hunt Bran’s Head Books 1976, 1982 ISBN 0-905220-32-3
  • The Iskra Scrolls novella Handshake Press Paris 1980
  • Fanning the Flames: Guns, Greed, and Geopolitics in the Gulf War syndicated by New York Times Syndication Sales, 1987, published in book form as “Öl ins Feuer Internationale Waffengeschäfte im Golfkrieg” Orell Füssli Verlag Zürich and Wiesbaden 1988ISBN 3-280-01840-4
  • La Grande Fauche: Le vol de la haute technologie (Gorbachev’s Technology Wars: How the U.S.S.R Arms Itself in the West) Editions Plon Paris 1989
  • The Poison Gas Connection: The Chemical Weapons Programs of Iraq and Libya Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles 1990
  • The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq Houghton Mifflin Boston 1991 ISBN 0-395-59305-0
  • The BNL Blunder: How the U.S. Policy Allowed a Bank in Atlanta to Finance Saddam Hussein’s War Machine Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles 1991
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction: the Cases of Iran, Syria and Libya Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles 1992
  • Selling Out America: The American Spectator Investigations Xlibris Philadelphia Pennsylvania 2000 ISBN 0-7388-2858-0
  • Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson Regenery Washington DC 2002 ISBN 0-89526-165-0
  • Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America Crown Forum 2003 ISBN 1-4000-4901-6
  • The French Betrayal of America Crown Forum 2004 ISBN 1-4000-5366-8
  • Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran Crown Forum 2005 ISBN 1-4000-5368-4
  • Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender Crown Forum 2007

Notes

  1. Jump up^ “Conservative Timmerman tries to capitalize on shift in 8th Congressional District”. MarylandReporter.com. October 8, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Wikistrat profile on Kenneth Timmerman”. Wikistrat. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Wagner, John (February 24, 2014). “Md. GOP gubernatorial hopeful Lollar chooses Kenneth Timmerman as running mate”. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Wheller, Tim (February 24, 2014). “GOP gubernatorial hopeful Lollar names running mate”. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  5. Jump up^ “Regnery’s Latest Score (Behind the Bestsellers)”. Publishers Weekly 249 (12): 18. March 25, 2002.
  6. Jump up^ Dreher, Rod (April 22, 2002). “He is Somebody (Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson book review)”. National Review 54 (7): 41.
  7. Jump up^ “All eyes on Nobel Peace Prize possibles”. BBC News. October 12, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. Jump up^ “Statutes of the Nobel Foundation”. Nobel Media. Retrieved February 25, 2014. Such permission may not, however, be granted until at least 50 years have elapsed after the date on which the decision in question was made.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_R._Timmerman

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The Man Who Could Bring Obama Down By Telling What The Central Intelligence Agency Was Doing in Benghazi, Libya, Shipping Arms To Syrian Al-Qaida Islamic Jihadist Terrorists, General David H. Petraeus? — Videos

Posted on January 21, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Books, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Communications, Computers, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Documentary, Ethic Cleansing, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Missiles, Narcissism, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Raves, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: The Man Who Could Bring Obama Down By Telling What The Central Intelligence Agency Was Doing in Benghazi, Libya, Shipping Arms To Syrian Al-Qaida Islamic Jihadist Terrorists, General David H. Petraeus? — Videos

9781594203183_AllIn_JKF.inddpetraeusDavid-Petraeus-Mistress_-Paula-Broadwell-600x450-600x350david-petraeus-paula-broadwellDavid Petraeus Sworn In As CIA Director
petraeus

U.S. prosecutors recommend criminal charges against Petraeus – N.Y. Times

Former CIA Chief David Petraeus may face criminal charges

FBI, D.O.J. Want To File Charges Against Former Gen. Petraeus

Benghazi Gate Blackmail? – FBI Investigation Hanging Over Fmr CIA Dir David Petraeus – Happening Now

Benghazi Gate Blackmail? – FBI Investigation Hanging Over Former CIA Dir David Petraeus – Happening Now
Witness Intimidation?
Is Obama Admin Trying To Silence Petraeus On Benghazi?

Evidence Obama Allowed Americans In Libya To Die To Cover Up Arms Shipment To Syrian Islamist Groups

Published on Oct 28, 2012

Evidence points to Obama alowing Americans in Libya to die to coverup arms shipment through Turkey to Syrian Islamist groups!

Benghazi – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Program – 2013.05.06

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Rand Paul asks Hillary Clinton if the US is Shipping Arms from Libya to Turkey

Benghazi Gate – Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton – Question & Answer

Glenn Greenwald: With Calls to Spare Petraeus, Feinstein Plea Shows that Not All Leaks are Equal

US lawmakers react to Petraeus’testimony on Benghazi

Petraeus Affair – FBI Case – FBI Involvement – CIA Director

SYRIA Retired General Suspects A US Covert Operation For Running Libya Arms To Syria

Benghazi Gate – “You Need To Wait” – Ops Say CIA Officer Told Them To Stand Down -North – F&F

Benghazi Whistleblowers Threatened by Obama Administration

LIBYA No US Consulate In Benghazi But CIA Operation, Hired Militia Linked To Extremist

Treason: Benghazi Revelations Could Sink Obama

The Real Reason Petraeus Resigned

The Media Syria Al Nusra John McCain

White House relations with CBS, ABC, NBC – #Benghazi Gun Running

Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?

Benghazi Attack Cover Up! Obama Armed Al Qaeda?

Stefan Molyneux speaks with Roger Aronoff on the recent findings of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, White House lies, the United States selling weapons to Libyan rebels, Muammar Gaddafi’s desire to surrender, the possibility of Obama’s impeachment, Hillary Clinton’s involvement and the impact this could have on the next presidential election.

Wayne Madsen: Benghazi Bombshell Insiders Confirm CIA Sent Missiles to FSA Rebels

Benghazi Attack Was Cover For Al Qaeda Arms Deal

Rooney Questions CIA on Benghazi: How Did They Know When Attack Would End?

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attacks, Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17) questioned the former CIA Acting Director on why a decision was made not to send a military response, since the Administration could not have known how long the attack would continue. Rooney also focused on how future attacks could be prevented.

Charges eyed for Petraeus in classified leaks to mistress

FBI and Justice prosecutors recommend felony charges against Petraeus

Benghazi Gate Blackmail? – FBI Investigation Hanging Over Fmr CIA Dir David Petraeus – Happening Now

White House ‘Held Affair Over Petraeus’s Head’ For Favorable Testimony On Benghazi

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday said the White House used David Petraeus’s affair to get the CIA director to give testimony about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that was in line with the administration’s position on the matter.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the really shocking news today was that General Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job. He thought that it might and it would be kept secret, and that he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happened, and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration, and he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.

Peter King, Carl Levin `This Week` Interview: David Petraeus Scandal, Benghazi investigation

Gen. Petraeus knew all about running guns in Bengazi, U.S. in bed with Al Qaeda there (Glenn Beck)

Official: Harassing Emails Led to FBI Probe

CNBC: Benghazi is not about Libya! “It’s An NSC Operation Moving Arms & Fighters Into Syria”

The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus is not about an extramarital affair with his biographer, reserve Army officer Paula Broadwell. It’s about U.S. policy in the Middle East, the ongoing “color revolutions,” and specifically the operation underway to arm al-Qaeda, the FSA in Syria, and overthrow the al-Assad regime.

Radio talk show host John Baxter told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow the step-down may be part of a deal made by Petraeus to avoid testifying before a closed-door session of the Senate Intelligence Committee next week about the CIA’s role in the September 11 assault on the diplomatic facility and a CIA annex in Benghazi.

The House Intelligence Committee has also scheduled a hearing to grill Petraeus and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen.

The chairman of the House committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, has vehemently criticized the Obama administration for its role in the attack that left ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.

“Benghazi is not about Libya, Benghazi is about the policy of the Obama administrtion to involve the United States without clarity to the Americvan people, not only in Libya but throughout the whole of the Arab world now in turmoil,” Baxter told Kudlow. “Benghazi is about the NSC directing an operation that is perhaps shadowy, perhaps a presidential finding, perhaps doesn’t, that takes arms and men and puts them into Syria in the guise of the Free Syria Army (FSA).”

Obama LIED About Benghazi Attack!!! (Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer Interview)

Petraeus affair snares another top General

David Petraeus Scandal: Truth Behind Resignation, Paula Broadwell

Paula Broadwell spilling secret CIA information

David Petraeus Resigns Over Affair With Biographer Paula Broadwell

Alumni Symposium 2012: Paula Broadwell

IRAQ HEARINGS: Sen. Obama Questions Gen. Petraeus

Interesting Benghazi Conspiracy angle – Was there possible involvement with CIA Director Petraeus?

Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood

Patriot Act Used To Spy on CIA Director

OBAMA CONFRONTED ON BENGHAZI – Stutters Through Response

Petraeus is Key Witness to Benghazi Scandal

Prosecutors weigh charges against David Petraeus involving classified information

 

By Sari Horwitz and Adam Goldman January 9
Federal prosecutors have recommended that David H. Petraeus face charges for providing classified documents to his biographer, raising the prospect of criminal proceedings against the retired four-star general and former CIA director.

The recommendation follows a federal probe into how the biographer, Paula Broadwell, apparently obtained classified records several years ago while working on a book about Petraeus. Broadwell was also his mistress, and the documents were discovered by investigators during the scandal that forced Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director in 2012.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. must decide whether to pursue charges against Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment, as did Robert B. Barnett, a lawyer for Petraeus.

Both Petraeus and Broadwell have denied in the past that he provided her with classified information. Investigators have previously focused on whether his staff gave her sensitive documents at his instruction.

Prosecutors recommend charges against Petraeus(0:44)
The U.S. federal prosecutors have recommended bringing charges against former CIA chief David Petraeus, raising the prospect of criminal proceedings against him.
The prosecutors’ recommendation was first reported Friday evening on the Web site of the New York Times, which said Petraeus has rejected the possibility of a plea deal.

The FBI has been pushing to resolve several high-profile counterespionage investigations that have lingered for months and in some cases years. In addition to the case involving Petraeus and Broadwell, the bureau wants the Justice Department to decide whether to pursue charges against veteran State Department diplomat Robin Raphel and retired Marine Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright, who until 2011 was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Cartwright was the target of a Justice Department investigation into the leak of information about the Stuxnet cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear program. The details of Raphel’s case remain murky, but officials have said classified information was found at her home.

FBI agents believe they have strong cases against all four of them, said another U.S. official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Each of the cases is considered sensitive given the involvement of high-ranking officials in the U.S. government.
The Justice Department has also faced political pressure to resolve the Petraeus matter. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), now the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote Holder last month expressing concern the case has continued to linger.

“At this critical moment in our nation’s security, Congress and the American people cannot afford to have this voice silenced or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation marked by leaks from anonymous sources,” said McCain, adding that he wasn’t seeking action “on behalf of any particular interest — and don’t presume to judge the outcome of any investigation.”

Federal investigators first searched Broadwell’s home in Charlotte in November 2012 and seized dozens of boxes of records as well as computer equipment. Aides to Petraeus have said they were often tasked to provide military records or other documents to Broadwell for her work on her book about him. That book, “All In,” was published in January 2012.

Any classified information investigators discovered could expose both her and Petraeus to charges. It is a crime to remove classified information from secure, government locations as well as to provide that information to others not authorized to receive it.

Petraeus now spends his time teaching and giving speeches; he also serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, a part of the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

The 2012 investigation into Petraeus was triggered when Broadwell allegedly sent threatening e-mails to another woman who was a friend of Petraeus, Jill Kelley of Tampa. Kelley alerted an FBI agent she knew to seek protection and to help track down whoever had sent the e-mails.

The FBI traced the messages to Broadwell, a married Army reservist, and in the course of its investigation, uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus.

Investigators said they were at first concerned about the possibility that Petraeus, then the director of the CIA, had had his e-mail hacked. Further investigation led to the discovery of the affair with Broadwell.
Petraeus had become CIA director a short time earlier, in September 2011. His resignation cut short his time at the agency and also seemed to scuttle long-rumored presidential aspirations.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/prosecutors-weigh-charges-against-david-petraeus-involving-classified-information/2015/01/09/d6b4bb36-9854-11e4-aabd-d0b93ff613d5_story.html

REPORT: David Petraeus May Be Charged With Leaking Classified Information To His Former Mistress

Former General David Petraeus’s 2012 adultery scandal may end up costing him more than just his job as CIA director.

Citing anonymous government officials, the New York Times is reporting that federal prosecutors with the FBI and the Department of Justice have recommended that Petraeus be charged with a felony for providing classified information to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell, who was also an Army Reserve officer.

Petraeus has been under investigation for unauthorized leaks related to the affair and Broadwell’s book since the scandal broke. Holder was supposed to decide on charging Petraeus by the end of last year. But the legal process has unfolded slowly, with the retired general showing “no interest in a plea deal that would spare him an embarrassing trial,” according to the Times.

The charges would represent a stunning turnabout for the celebrated former US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan and one of the military’s major proponents of counter-insurgency doctrine. As the Times puts it, Attorney General Eric Holder now has to decide “whether to seek an indictment that could send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison.”

Petraeus abruptly resigned as CIA director on Nov. 10, 2012 after admitting that he had carried on an extra-marital affair with Broadwell the year before. For someone in a less sensitive position in government, such marital indiscretions aren’t necessarily a career-ender.

But for the director of the US’s top intelligence agency it’s nothing less than a national security risk. The affair could have provided potential blackmail fodder to foreign intelligence agencies while raising the possibility of just the kind of security breach Petraeus may now be charged with. After all, once classified information is in the hands of a single unauthorized individual, it can leak even further, the people beyond the intended recipient. And as CIA director, Petraeus security clearance was virtually limitless.

The Petraeus scandal quickly took on a tawdry aspect as news of the affair broke in the days after President Barack Obama’s re-election. It turns out the adultery was exposed because Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus who lived near US Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida and was active in local military support circles, had allegedly received threatening emails from a jealous Broadwell that she later reported to the FBI. The resulting investigation uncovered Petraeus’s affair with Broadwell and ended the retired general’s career in government.

But the possible charges shows that there’s a deeply serious side to this soap opera, with a sitting CIA director possibly violating his security clearance, thus proving that the affair had the potential to endanger US national security.

Business Insider reached out to Robert Barnett, the lawyer Petraeus hired in the aftermath of his resignation, for comment. He declined to comment.

http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-times-reports-david-petraeus-may-be-charged-with-leaking-classified-information-2015-1

 

Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi Reveals Damning New Report

Editor’s Note – The following is the latest interim report from the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. The commission is part of Accuracy in Media(AIM) of which MG Paul E. Vallely, CEO of Stand Up America US is a charter member. The following are also members of the commission:

Roger Aronoff  (Editor, Accuracy in Media)Capt. Larry Bailey, (SEAL), USN (Ret.)Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Benway, U.S. Army Special Forces (Retired)Col. Dick Brauer Jr., USAF (Ret.)Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney, USAF (Ret.)B/Gen. Charles Jones, USAF (Ret.)Clare Lopez, former CIA officerAdmiral James Lyons (Ret.)General Thomas McInerney (Ret.)Col. Wayne Morris USMC (Ret.)Chet NagleJohn A. ShawKevin Shipp, former CIA officerWayne Simmons, former CIA officerFormer Congressman and Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West.

The following story was published in the UK in the Daily Mail. Roger Aronoff also posted a letter to the press that you can read here. Roger Cover Letter Interim Report 4-22-14 (2).

Here is the full 30-page Interim Report published by the commission.

Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report

  • Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
  • Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
  • The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
  • The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
  • US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR

Published at the Citizens’s Commission on Benghazi and cross-posted at the UK’s Daily Mail

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition. (See Video Below)

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James 'Ace' Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’

‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.

‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.

Kubic said that the effort at truce talks fell apart when the White House declined to let the Pentagon pursue it seriously.

‘We had a leader who had won the Nobel Peace Prize,’ Kubic said, ‘but who was unwilling to give peace a chance for 72 hours.’

In March 2011, Kubic said, U.S. Army Africa Commander General Carter told NBC News that the U.S. military was not actively targeting Muammar Gaddafi. That, Kubic revealed, was a signal to the Libyan dictator that there was a chance for a deal.

Gaddafi responded by ‘verifiably … pull[ing] his forces back from key rebel-held cities such as Benghazi and Misrata.’

Christopher Stevens served as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya from June 2012 to September 11, 2012 when he was killed in the attack

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 23 that it mattered little why the Benghazi diplomatic compound was attacked: 'What difference, at this point, does it make?'

Gaddafi wanted only two conditions to step down: permission to keeo fighting al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the lifting of sactions against him, his family, and those loyal to him.

The Obama administration’s unwillingness to help broker a peaceful exit for the Libyan strongman, ‘led to extensive loss of life (including four Americans)’ when al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked U.S. diplomatic facilities in the city of Benghazi,’ the commission told reporters.

Retired Admiral Chuck Kubic said the White House refused to let the Pentagon pursue a peaceful exit for Muammar Gaddafi: 'We had a leader who had won the Nobel Peace Prize, but who was unwilling to give peace a chance for 72 hours'

The White House and the National Security Staff did not immediately respond to questions about the group’s findings.

‘We don’t claim to have all the answers here,’ said Roger Aronoff, whose center-right group Accuracy in Media sponsored the group and its work.

‘We hope you will, please, pursue this,’ he told reporters. ‘Check it out. Challenge us.’

The commission and AIM filed 85 document requests under the Freedom Of Information Act, hitting the Department of Defense, State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency with demand after demand.

But most of its information has come from insiders with deep knowledge of the flow of weapons in Libya and elsewhere in the African Maghreb.

Admiral James ‘Ace’ Lyons told the group that he believes the raid on the Benghazi compound was intended as a kidnapping exercise, aimed at snatching U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and demanding a prisoner swap for the ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman.

Abdel-Rahman is serving a life sentence in federal prison for planning the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center garage in New York City. He also masterminded a plan, later foiled, to blow up the United Nations, both the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and a federal building where the FBI had a base of operations.

A senior FBI source, Lyons said Tuesday, ‘told me that was the plan.’

The attack, history shows, grew in intensity and resulted in the deaths of Stevens and three other U.S. personnel.

Lyons also said U.S. claims that it lacked the resources to mount a counterattack in time to save lives is false.

‘I’m going to tell you that’s not true,’ he said. ‘We had a 130-man unit of forces at Sigonella [AFB in Italy]. They were ready to go.’

‘The flight time from Sigonella to Benghazi is roughly an hour.’

Killed: An image captured by a cellular phone camera shows the arrest of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte, Libya on October 20, 2011

Former CIA officer Clare Lopez accused the U.S. government of allowing arms to flow to al-Qaeda militants who opposed Gaddafi in 2011, 'switching sides in the war on terror'

Some of the group’s claims strain credibility, including the assertion that the Obama administration’s early effort to blame the Benghazi attack on a protest against a crude anti-Muslim YouTube video ‘appears to have been well-coordinated with U.S.Muslim Brotherhood organizations as well as Islamic state members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).’

Those groups, the commission noted, ‘all joined in condemnation of the video, and, even more troubling, issued calls for restrictions on Americans’ free speech rights.’

But Simmons, the former CIA officer, criticized the Obama administration on the familiar refrain of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exclaiming in a Senate hearing that it mattered little why the Benghazi facilities were struck.

‘They believed they were going to be saved, that they were going to be rescued, but they weren’t,’ Simmons said of the four Americans who died.

‘I know who made the decision, in my heart of hearts, to leave our war fighters there and be blown up. And then to have one of the most powerful politicians in our country sit there and say, “What difference does it make?” – should be an alarm bell for all Americans.

‘It haunts me,’ Simmons said. ‘I play that line over, and over, and over, and over in my mind.’

The group has called for a Select Congressional Committee to investigate the Benghazi episode. A total of 189 House members have signed on to a bill that would create the committee, which would be bipartisan and have sweeping powers to subpoena the executive branch.

House Speaker John Boehner, Lopez said Tuesday, ‘he blocked it. One has to wonder if he and Congress have had some sort of briefing on what happened.’

Kubic insisted that Congress is unable to break logjams in the Obama administration and find out what happened in the days leading up to and following the Benghazi attack without a new committee.

‘If they don’t have strong subpoena power, if they don’t have the ability to do long-term cross examination, it won’t work,’ he said.

 

The Benghazi Scandal Is “Obama’s Watergate” But Worse

This article was first published by Global Research on May 2, 2014.

A trail of emails released Tuesday appears to shed yet more light on the Benghazi cover-up story that continues to nag President Obama and then Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The latest exposure indicates that both Obama and Clinton knew that UN Secretary Susan Rice’s claim to the press that the attack on the Benghazi compound killing Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was due to an anti-Muslim youtube video was a complete lie. This latest piece of incriminating evidence is what Republicans are now calling their “smoking gun” despite months that have stretched into years of the Congressional investigation led by Representative Darrel Issa (R-CA). His so called investigation that was supposed to uncover the truth behind that fateful day of September 11th, 2012 has often been labeled “a witch hunt” by Democrats and supporters of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

This week’s news may be the needed breakthrough that will ultimately lead to the unveiling of what many critics of the Obama administration have been claiming all along. And that is Obama and Hillary purposely withheld the truth from the American public for fear that it would derail Obama’s reelection less than two months after the death of the four Americans in Benghazi. In retrospect now Obama’s rush to war in Syria last September is far better understood when taking a hard look at the 2012 Benghazi embassy attack.

The so called Arab spring uprising revolts in Middle Eastern and North African nations in fact have been the result of covert manipulation by the CIA. After getting rid of our one time allies in Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, next on the US regime-change hit list came Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. In 2007 retired General Wesley Clark revealed a neocon plan he became privy to a couple weeks after 9/11 of the ambitious Bush administration agenda to take down seven sovereign governments in the next five years that included Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Iran.

With gusto President Obama inherited this same agenda and proceeded to finish the job in removing Libya’s longtime dictator Gaddafi. And so began the NATO air bombardment of Libya killing many innocent victims that softened the resistance to an all out assault on Gaddafi’s military forces largely spearheaded by al Qaeda mercenaries from all over the Middle East as well as native Libyan al Qaeda affiliated militia groups, some from Benghazi.

In the spring of 2011 even prior to Gaddafi’s capture and killing, as an envoy to the rebel coalition the future Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens was sent to Benghazi, a city in eastern Libya that has long been a hotbed of Islamic extremism that includes various Al Qaeda affiliated groups and militias. Stevens spoke Arabic and had twenty years of foreign diplomatic service experience when he was selected to become the Ambassador after the fall of the Gaddafi government. The State Department resent him to work back in Benghazi rather than the Libyan capitol Tripoli to assist the area’s transition to the new puppet government the US had installed. But because Benghazi and eastern Libya had a history of resisting national governance, Stevens faced an uphill struggle and near impossible task. Beginning in June of 2012, a full three months prior to the Benghazi embassy compound attack that killed the Ambassador and three other Americans, Stevens’ requests for increased security began falling on deaf ears in Washington. Stevens’ boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, failed to heed any of his increasingly urgent calls. Just days prior to the embassy onslaught, the British consulate had been attacked and all its diplomatic staff were safely evacuated away.

Last year efforts to blame Stevens for irresponsibly turning down security offered in Benghazi were anonymously leaked, insisting that the ambassador twice had turned down offers of increased military security from AFRICOM commander General Ham.

For obvious reasons the now retired general refuses to discuss what he knew or did not know of the events leading up to the Benghazi attack. However, throughout the aftermath of the Americans’ deaths, Stevens’ own deputy ambassador Gregory Hicks in Tripoli has maintained that he never knew of any such alleged offers made to Stevens for more security.

Since the strategy targeting Ambassador Stevens as the sole reason for the lack of security at his embassy compound clearly backfired, a whitewashed report was released last year by the Accountability Review Board. The two men behind this report are Hillary’s buddies Ambassador Pickering and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullens. Thus no surprise that they decided from the outset that it would not be necessary to even bother to interview Hillary, satisfied to blame it on lower level State Department bureaucrats’ error in judgment not to supply adequate security. The alleged failure to authorize proper military security was because the Benghazi compound was relegated to being a temporary outpost. Of course this is just another feeble attempt to shield Queen Hillary who sent Stevens herself to Benghazi fully aware of it being an al Qaeda trouble spot.

But Benghazi under the cover of the State Department was ideal for the covert CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) needed to coordinate arms smuggling that Obama, Hillary and then CIA Director Petraeus were knee deep in. Stevens ultimately may have felt he was being used as the convenient decoy for the clandestine activity he wanted no part of.

Years earlier as a former Peace Corps volunteer and a seasoned career diplomat, becoming a lookout for an immoral criminal gun running operation may not have been what he had signed on for as the Libyan Ambassador. Thus, he very likely voiced his objection to what his bosses in Washington were misusing him for, and as vindictive and petty as Obama and Hillary are, Stevens was likely punished for not going along with their program. Hence, all his urgent pleas that began as early as June 2012, a full three months prior to the September attack, requesting increased security were ignored, including his desperate cry for help moments before his murder on the night of the 11th. Meanwhile, as he and three other Americans lay dying, back in the States Obama was flying out West to another high brow fundraiser so he could self-servingly get reelected.

What is most certain is that this trouble spot region was the hub of activity for special ops units comprised of special forces and a large number of CIA operatives in conjunction with British MI6. The CIA safely defended annex in Benghazi a mere mile and a half from the embassy compound was the largest CIA station in North Africa. The annex housed 35 CIA personnel responsible for coordinating the large arms smuggling operation to Syria, circumventing Congress by calling the CIA mission a liaison operation.

Two former special ops operatives Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy, authors of ‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report,’ have since claimed that a bureaucratic breakdown in communication between CIA and JSOC caused local Benghazi radicals to attack and kill Americans on 9/11/12. They believe that just days before an assassination carried out by Special Operations of a popular Libyan CIA informant had angered an al Qaeda affiliated militia called Ansar al-Sharia to launch the attack as retribution. The former Special Ops boys, one of whom was friends with one of the killed Americans Glen Doherty, speculated that the root cause of the American embassy deaths was the result of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing in the over-compartmentalized, ultra-guarded secrecy of competing clandestine intelligence operations and that this problem commonly serves as a major barrier and significant dysfunction of American foreign policy in general. They believe the Ambassador was probably only peripherally aware of the high presence of CIA and JSOC operations in the area but was never directly involved or looped in.

This claim appears to be a disinformation ploy to again absolve the higher ups Obama and Clinton of any responsibility. It did little to quiet the conjecture surrounding the attack that Stevens knew too much and had become a thorn in the side of the hierarchical status quo.

Though the former special ops authors may have offered small minor details on the Benghazi story, obviously far more was going down than they alluded to. On October 26th, 2012 a mere two weeks prior to the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell affair broke as the scandalous headlines, Broadwell hyping her ‘All In’ biography of the general spoke at the University of Denver divulging her inside scoop on the Benghazi attack that had taken place a month and a half earlier. She claimed the attack on the compound was probable payback for CIA detaining local members from the same Libyan militia responsible for the assault. Or that the attackers may have been attempting to free their prisoners. Though only one news reporter from Fox paid any attention to Paula at the time, once their tryst was exposed a short time afterwards, much speculation raised the issue that Broadwell unwittingly revealed classified information that could well have been leaked through her intimacy with the then CIA Director. That the mistress was privy to such insider lowdown compromising sensitive US intelligence operations headquartered at the CIA Benghazi annex is a very real possibility, especially since classified documents were later uncovered at her North Carolina home.

In view of the CIA’s fervent denial that any prisoners were detained in Benghazi and Obama’s January 2009 executive order outlawing the CIA business of holding prisoners, Paula shooting her mouth off as an insider know-it-all implicated her lover Petraeus and his CIA as criminals engaging in an unlawful operation. But then that illegal activity amounts to small peanuts in comparison to the much bigger crime being committed by her lover CIA boss Petraeus and his crime bosses Obama and Hillary for using the same Libyan al Qaeda militants who murdered the four Americans on 9/11/12 to smuggle guns from Benghazi across international borders to be used against Assad in Syria.

Despite Ambassador Stevens’ repeated requests for more security, it was never given. So when about 150 members of the local militia Ansar al-Sharia stormed the gates of the compound carrying machine guns and rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s), the handful of unarmed Libyan security contractors instantly fled and soon enough the building was engulfed in flames. The nearby annex in Benghazi where thirty-five CIA operatives worked was called during the crisis to assist those Americans at the embassy. CIA security officer Tyrone Woods convinced his supervisor at the annex with five other security personnel to rush to the embassy’s aid. Both Woods and Glen Doherty were former Navy Seals commandos who died from bullet wounds at the second attack at the annex killed by a mortar after Sean Smith, an information officer, and Ambassador Stevens had already died from smoke inhalation. According to authors Webb and Murphy, due to Woods and Doherty’s heroics along with four other CIA analysts, the remaining embassy staff were apparently able to safely escape the burning compound. An overhead surveillance drone had been dispatched above the compound prior to that second attack that occurred at the annex. President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and CIA Director Petraeus were all informed of the crisis unfolding during the afternoon local Washington time. Yet they chose to not even bother contacting the Marines stationed in the capital Tripoli, allegedly figuring they would take too long to arrive on the scene in Benghazi. So after ignoring the Ambassador’s pleas urging for more security for three straight months, they coldly refused to order any further military assistance at the time the four Americans lost their lives.

Instead they ordered UN Ambassador Susan Rice to later lie to the American public claiming that the attack was instigated by that anti-Moslem youtube video. Under the increasing pressure of Benghazi questions, suddenly Hillary keeled over with a brain clot to conveniently dodge any more heat. And of course Petraeus was soon engulfed in scandal with his mistress Broadwell, retiring from the CIA and out of sight for months thereafter, conveniently ducking from his hot seat. And then soon enough Clinton was resigning as Secretary of State, evading any further scrutiny as the Ambassador’s boss most responsible for the deaths of the four Americans.

Another piece of incriminating evidence is that the FBI team sent in to investigate the Benghazi murders never even arrived at the crime scene until three weeks after the attack, making sure that vital forensic evidence could be conveniently lost, confiscated or destroyed. Despite having videotape that allowed individual attackers to be identified by name, they all still remain free to this day. Eleven months after the attack the US Justice Department last August in a hollow gesture officially charged the alleged suspects in a sealed indictment. But without them in custody, it means nothing.

Clinton strategically figured she would lay low long enough out of the public spotlight to effectively distance herself from Benghazi to make another run for President in 2016. But while briefly still back on the job and those nagging Benghazi questions weren’t going away fast enough, she completely lost it, screaming, “What difference at this point does it make?” – obviously all the difference in the world to her and her buddy Barrack. On 9/11 the year before last, Obama, Clinton and Petraeus sacrificed four American lives that day to preserve their own careers as powerful evil despots who with blind ambition would stop at nothing to remain in power.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton have both gone to great lengths to make sure that their cover-up concealing the truth never gets exposed. With the attack taking place less than two months prior to Obama’s reelection, they are determined that the truth never sees the light of day. However, big cracks are looming in their wall of defense and their lies are falling like a house of cards. Mounting evidence indicates both Obama and Clinton were engaged in a highly covert and illicit arms smuggling operation moving weapons from Libya through Turkey to the anti-Assad rebels in Syria. And at stake for Obama and Clinton was their future plans to win the presidential election in 2012 and 2016.

On August 2nd, 2013 three full weeks prior to the sarin gas attack in the Damascus suburb killing scores of Syrian civilians including children, UK’s Telegraph reporter Damien McElroy wrote an article asserting that Obama and Hillary are guilty as charged, engaging in a gun-running operation that included surface to air missiles and even chemical weapons speculating that a “false flag operation” might occur as a deceptive ploy to make false accusations against Assad. Again, this article came out three weeks PRIOR to Obama accusing Assad of using chemical weapons. No coincidence in the timing. Since then renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who broke the My Lai massacre story and cover-up during the Vietnam War and a host of other journalists have since provided convincing evidence that the chemical attack last August was committed by US backed al Qaeda rebels.

And those 35 CIA agents stationed at the nearby Benghazi annex, word came out that every month since the event they have been required to undergo polygraph tests just to ensure they keep quiet. One insider even told CNN last year, “You jeopardize your family as well if you talk to anyone about what happened.”

Aside from Obama, Hillary and Petraeus evading accountability at all cost, what is most incriminating is that the very same Al Qaeda jihadists armed, financed and supported with American taxpayer dollars during the Libyan regime-change are the exact same individuals who have gotten away with murdering those four Americans in Benghazi. For more than three years now America and Saudi Arabia have been sponsoring and funding al Qaeda affiliated militia groups from all over the Middle East and North Africa fighting Assad forces in Syria in the latest regime-change war. When the murders went down on 9/11/12, Hillary’s State Department had been acting as a cover supporting al Qaeda elements smuggling arms to Syria to fight in that so called civil war. Much of Gaddafi’s huge stash of arms had been looted, falling into the hands of American-backed rebel forces in Libya, including chemical weapons that were never accounted for. By pure accident, the Benghazi tragedy reveals the ongoing war by proxy that the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel have been waging against Syria and its strongest allies Iran and Russia.

As a side note, ex-CIA Director Petraeus was allowed to retain his full status as a retired four star general at full pay despite committing adultery while still serving as Afghanistan War commander when military personnel of lower rank are customarily demoted and forced to retire at a lower pension rate for the exact same offense of adultery. Mistress Paula Broadwell also suffered no formal consequence regarding her retention rank as major in the US Army Reserves. It seems obvious that Petraeus has been rewarded for his loyal silence on the Benghazi incident. Additionally, several days after Petraeus ducked out of sight in disgrace after resigning as CIA Director, Petraeus’ wife as the victim of his adulterous affair was suddenly being promoted by Obama to a new cushy position made especially for her earning near Petraeus’ retirement pension of $200,000 per year.

Then just over a week after his CIA resignation Petraeus was called in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee but given a free pass in his not having to testify under a sworn oath to disclose the full truth of what he knew. So he proceeded to lie before Congress claiming that he consistently said that an al Qaeda affiliated militia group was behind the attack. In fact Petraeus secretly flew to Libya immediately after the attack and upon his return to the US a couple days later Petraeus held the official administration line they knew to be false that the Benghazi attack was due to the bogus anti-Moslem video. Of course with the scandal causing his own presidential ambitions to be thoroughly shattered, Petraeus more recently has gone on public record stating that Hillary Clinton would make “an excellent president.” Clearly he is towing the line as a good little boy for keeping his mouth shut for Hillary and Barrack.

Obama lied when he promised to ensure that those guilty of the attack would be brought to justice. Now going on two years later not one of the attackers has even been apprehended or arrested. With the murderers in the Benghazi assault still at large, many of the attackers afterwards moved on with the arms they were helping to smuggle to join US-supported rebel forces fighting the Assad government in Syria. They may have been silenced by now, secretly killed by judge, jury and executioner President Obama in his lust to kill his enemies with drone missile attacks. In any event, rest assure none of the perpetrators behind the Benghazi attack will ever be captured alive or prosecuted. They simply know too much. Last 9/11/13 barely a peep was heard from the mainstream media on the very first anniversary of the Benghazi tragedy. The reason is all too obvious.

Many of the family members of the murdered Americans felt that Obama and his administration were responsible for their loved ones deaths. Some complained about Obama’s condolences as brusk, insincere and insensitive. They were disturbed further with Obama’s response on a 60 Minutes segment in late January 2013. Obama and Hillary were answering questions about Benghazi when Obama quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “At this moment somewhere, somehow, somebody in the federal government’s screwing up” as he turned to Hillary laughing at his joke about their Benghazi screw-up that killed four Americans. They also had to be upset hearing the president on another occasion callously dismissing the Benghazi tragedy as “a sideshow.”

Not surprisingly, the US installed puppet government in Libya has been of no assistance in its lack of cooperation with revealing any further details of the attack. Last June the chaos, lawlessness and terror in Benghazi only continued as thirty-one Libyans protesting their grievances against an al Qaeda militia group were brutally massacred outside the al Qaeda headquarters. The entire eastern region of Libya today is still not under control of the national government, which has largely been taken over by US backed al Qaeda affiliates. Libya today is in complete shambles steeped in corruption, instability and violence.

Meanwhile, the two American criminals most responsible for the attack, President Obama and presidential heir-apparent Hilary Clinton need to be held accountable for their crimes along with their other partner-in-crime General Petraeus. With the belated truth behind Benghazi slowly coming out, Obama should be impeached and Hillary must never become president. Ironically the crime of Nixon’s Watergate cover-up that brought down the first and only president in US history forced to resign in disgrace pales in comparison to the crimes committed by the likes of the Obama administration.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former Army officer. His written manuscript based on his military experience examines leadership and national security issues and can be consulted at http://www.redredsea.net/westpointhagopian/. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in psychology and became a licensed therapist working in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now focuses on writing.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-benghazi-scandal-is-obamas-watergate-but-worse/5380238

 

Jihadism

 

Jihadism (jihadist movement, jihadi movement and variants) is used to refer to contemporary armed jihad in Islamic fundamentalism. The term “jihadism” is coined in the 2000s and mostly used to cover Islamic insurgency and terrorism since that time, but it has also been extended to cover both Mujahideen guerilla warfare and Islamic terrorism with an international scope since it arose in the 1980s, since the 1990s substantially represented by the al-Qaeda network.

Contemporary jihadism ultimately has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th century ideological developments of Islamic revivalism, developed intoQutbism and related ideologies during the mid 20th century. Its rise was re-enforced by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and has been propagated in various armed conflicts throughout the 1990s and 2000s. A specifically Salafist jihadism has been diagnosed within the Salafi movement of the 1990s by Gilles Kepel.[citation needed][year needed]

Jihadism with an international, Pan-Islamist scope in this sense is also known as Global Jihadism. Generally the term jihadism denotes SunniIslamist armed struggle. Sectarian tensions led to numerous forms of (Salafist and other Islamist) jihadism in opposition of Shia Islam, Sufi Islamand Ahmadi Islam.

Terminology

Further information: Jihad

The term “jihadism” has been in use since about 2000, reportedly at first in the form “jihadist-Salafism“,[1] and soon reduced to “jihadism”, according to Martin Kramer (2003) first in the Indian and Pakistani media. “At present, jihadism is used to refer to the most violent persons and movements in contemporary Islam, including al-Qaeda.” Gilles Kepel is associated with early usage of the term (French djihadisme), and the term has seen wider use in French media since about 2004.[2] Brachman in his Global jihadism (2008) maintains that the term is “clumsy and controversial”.[3][clarification needed]

The term “Jihadist Globalism” is also often used in relation to Jihadism; Steger (2009) maintains that the concept is “globalist” in nature, stating that “‘jihadist Islamism’ — represented by such groups as Al Qaeda, Jemaa Islamiya, Hamas and Hezbollah — is today’s most spectacular manifestation of religious globalism.” [4]

Jihad Cool is a term used by Western security experts[5] concerning the re-branding of militant Jihadism into something fashionable, or “cool”, to younger people through social media, magazines,[6] rap videos,[7] clothing,[8] toys, propaganda videos,[9] and other means.[10] It is a sub-culture mainly applied to individuals in developed nations who are recruited to travel to conflict zones on Jihad. For example Jihadi rap videos make participants look “more MTV than Mosque”, according to NPR, which was the first to report on the phenomenon in 2010.[5][11]

History

Praying Muhjahideen in Kunar Province, Afghanistan (1987).

Precursor movements

When jihadism is specifically motivated by Pan-Islamism, i.e. the ultimate aim of spreading Islam worldwide under a restored Caliphate, it is often called “Global Jihadism”. But jihadism can also be motivated regionally, in an attempt to establish an Islamic state in a specific homeland. Global Jihadism is usually involved with international Islamic terrorism, while regional jihadism takes the form of guerrilla warfare, possibly also paired with terrorist attacks.

While the western term of “jihadism” was coined only in the early 2000s, and in retrospect applied to developments since the end of the Cold War era, this type of Islamist armed uprising against a secular government goes back to the early 19th century. The transition of this form ofguerilla warfare was the decline of the great Muslim empires of the Early Modern period which could wage war on the scale of a great power and did not need to rely on asymmetric warfare (see Ottoman wars in Europe, Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire). Early jihadist conflicts include:

The Fulani jihad states of West Africa, c. 1830

Modern Islamism developed in the 1920s, and there have been a number of armed “jihads” informed by this movement since then.

Rebels from the militant Islamist sectAnsar Dine in Mali

While the “jihads” waged in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th century occasionally did involve western colonial powers, the phenomenon did remain mostly limited to the Middle East and the wider Muslim World. This changed significantly with the foundation of the state of Israel and the beginning of the Arab–Israeli conflict after the end of World War II. (Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine 1981–present, Islamic Jihad Organization 1982-1993,Hamas 1987–present). This sparked the beginning of international Islamic terrorism and put “jihadism” on the global agenda.

Islamic revivalism and Salafism (1990s to present)

Main article: Salafi jihadism

The term jihadism (earlier Salafi jihadism) has arisen in the 2000s to refer to the contemporary jihadi movements, the development of which was in retrospect traced to developments of Salafism paired with the origins of Al-Qaeda in the Soviet war in Afghanistan during the 1990s.

Jihadism has been called an “offshoot” of Islamic revivalism of the 1960s and 1970s. The writings of Sayyid Qutb and Muhammad abd-al-Salam Farajprovide inspiration. The Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989) is said to have “amplified the jihadist tendency from a fringe phenomenon to a major force in the Muslim world.[12] It served to produce foot soldiers, leadership and organization. Abdullah Yusuf Azzam provided propaganda for the Afghan cause. After the war veteran jihadists returned to their home countries and dispersed to other sites of Muslim insurgency such as Algeria,Bosnia and Chechnya creating a “transnational jihadist stream.”[13]

Jihad fi sabilillah

A black flag reportedly used byCaucasian jihadists in 2002 displays the phrase al-jihad fi sabilillah above the takbir and two crossed swords.

According to scholar of Islam and Islamic history Rudoph Peters, Traditionalist Muslims “copy phrases of the classical works on fiqh” in their writings on jihad; Islamic Modernists “emphasize the defensive aspect of jihad, regarding it as tantamount to bellum justum in modern international law; and the fundamentalists (Abul Ala Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, etc.) view it as a struggle for the expansion of Islam and the realization of Islamic ideals.”[14]

Jihad has been propagated in modern fundamentalism beginning in the late 19th century, an ideology that arose in context of struggles against colonial powers in North Africa in the late 19th century, as in the Mahdist War in Sudan, and notably in the mid-20th century by Islamic revivalistauthors such as Sayyid Qutb and Abul Ala Maududi.[15]

Based on this, the phrase is re-used in modern jihadism. Thus, “Fi Sabilillah” armbands were worn by rebels in Xinjiang when battling Soviet forces,[16]and the phrase has been spotted on flags used by jihadists in Caucasia in the 2000s.

Inter-religious

Against Sikhs

A rebel camp was set up in the early 19th century by Sayyid Ahmed Barelvi after leaving India for Afghanistan. There he set up a rebel camp to launch attacks against the Sikh power which was centered in the Punjab before focusing his attention of the British.[17] Waliullah’s teachings directly inspired jihad against Sikhs between 1826 and 1831.[18]

Against Hindus

The Hindu Kush refers to a region in Northwest India and translates as the slaughter of the Hindus. It refers to an incident when Hindus were transported to Muslim courts.[19] Aurangzebsupervised a book called Fatawa al-Hindiyya which dealth with the subject of Jihad.[20] Jihad was also considered by oSIMI in response to the 2002 Gujarat riots.[21]

Against Buddhists

In 1532, Sultan Said Khan launched a jihad against Tibetan Buddhists. He thought that Lhasa was a direction of prayer for all the Chinese and therefore sought to destroy its main temple. The jihadist expedition was led by Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat.[22]

Against Jews

There are references in some hadiths to jihad being launched against Jews.[23] Ayman al-Zawahiri declared a fatwa of jihad against Jews in 1998. One of the earliest Jihads against Jews occurred in 627 AD against the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe.[24]

Against Zoroastrians

During the Muslim conquest of Persia, Jihadists caused the fall of the largely Zoroastrian Sasanian Empire. Major battles included the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah and Battle of Nahāvand.[25][26]

Against pagans

During Muhammad’s lifetime, there were many battles fought between Muslims and pagans. Examples of these include the Battle of Badr and Battle of the Trench. however after conquest of Makkah in Hijri 8, Muhammad forgave all the pagan enemies which resulted in most of them converting to Islam.

Against atheists

President Reagan meeting withAfghan Mujahideen leaders in the Oval Office in 1983

During the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s, many Muslims received calls for a jihad against atheists.[27] Mujahideen were recruited from various countries including Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.[28] The conflict gradually turned from one against occupation to one seen as a jihad.[29]

Against Christians

The European crusaders re-conquered much of the territory seized by the Islamic state, dividing it into four kingdoms, the most important being the state of Jerusalem. The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land (former Christian territory) from Muslim rule and were originally launched in response to a call from the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuk Turks into Anatolia. There was little drive to retake the lands from the crusaders, save the few attacks made by the Egyptian Fatimids. This changed, however, with the coming of Zangi, ruler of what is today northern Iraq. He took Edessa, which triggered the Second Crusade, which was little more than a 47-year stalemate. The stalemate was ended with the victory of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, known in the west as Saladin, over the forces of Jerusalem at the Horns of Hattin in 1187. It was during the course of the stalemate that a great deal of literature regarding Jihad was written.[6] While amassing his armies in Syria, Saladin had to create a doctrine which would unite his forces and make them fight until the bitter end, which would be the only way they could re-conquer the lands taken in the First Crusade. He did this through the creation of Jihad propaganda. It stated that any one who would abandon the Jihad would be committing a sin that could not be washed away by any means. It also put his amirs at the center of power, just under his rule. While this propaganda was successful in uniting his forces for a time, the fervor burned out quickly. Much of Saladin’s teachings were rejected after his death.

Intra-religious

Against Shia

The Syrian Civil War became a focus for Sunni fighters waging jihad on Shia. The al-Nusra Front is the largest jihadist group in Syria.[30] The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has called for jihad against the Syrian government and against that government’s Shi’ite allies.[31] Saudi Arabia backs the jihad against the Shia in Syria using proxies.[32] Sunni jihadi converge in Syria from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Bosnia, other Arab states, Chechnya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Western countries.[33]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Martin Kramer (Spring 2003). “Coming to Terms: Fundamentalists or Islamists?”. Middle East Quarterly X (2): 65–77. “French academics have put the term into academic circulation as ‘jihadist-Salafism.’ The qualifier of Salafism—an historical reference to the precursor of these movements—will inevitably be stripped away in popular usage. “Jihadist-Salafism” is defined by Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2002), pp. 219-22; and Guilain Deneoux, “The Forgotten Swamp: Navigating Political Islam,” Middle East Policy, June 2002, pp. 69-71.”
  2. Jump up^ DJIHADISME Une déclaration de guerre contre Moubarak, Courrier International, 14 October 2004;Islamisme radical et djihadisme en ligne Le Monde 28 September 2005.
  3. Jump up^ Brachman 2008, p. 4: “Jihadism is a clumsy and controversial term.”
  4. Jump up^ Steger, Manfred B. Globalization: A Short Introduction. 2009. Oxford University Publishing, p. 127.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Laura Italiano (June 20, 2014). “American Muslims flocking to jihadist group”. New York Post. RetrievedAugust 22, 2014.
  6. Jump up^ Steve Emerson (April 15, 2013). “Jihad is Cool: Jihadist Magazines Recruit Young Terrorists”. Family Security Matters. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  7. Jump up^ J. Dana Stuster (April 29, 2013). “9 Disturbingly Good Jihadi Raps”. Foreign Policy. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  8. Jump up^ Robert Spencer (August 7, 2014). “India: Imam arrested for distributing Islamic State t-shirts”. Jihad Watch. RetrievedAugust 22, 2014.
  9. Jump up^ Jytte Klausen (2012). “The YouTube Jihadists: A Social Network Analysis of Al-Muhajiroun’s Propaganda Campaign”. Perspectives on Terrorism 6 (1). RetrievedAugust 22, 2014.
  10. Jump up^ Cheryl K. Chumley (June 27, 2014). “Terrorists go ‘Jihad Cool,’ use rap to entice young Americans”. Washington Times. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Dina Temple-Raston (March 6, 2010). “Jihadi Cool: Terrorist Recruiters’ Latest Weapon”. National Public Radio. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  12. Jump up^ Commins, David (2009). The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia. I.B.Tauris. p. 174.
  13. Jump up^ Commins, David (2009). The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia. I.B.Tauris. pp. 156, 7.
  14. Jump up^ Peters, Rudolph (1996). Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader. Princeton: Marcus Wiener. p. 150.
  15. Jump up^ Rudolph Peters, Jihad in modern terms: a reader 2005, p. 107 and note p. 197. John Ralph Willis, “Jihad Fi Sabil Allah”, in: In the path of Allah: the passion of al-Hajj ʻUmar : an essay into the nature of charisma in Islam, Routledge, 1989,ISBN 978-0-7146-3252-0, 29-57. “Gibb [Mohammedanism, 2nd ed. 1953] rightly could conclude that one effect of the renewed emphasis in the nineteenth century on the Qur’an and Sunna in Muslim fundamentalism was to restore to jihad fi sabilillah much of the prominence it held in the early days of Islam. Yet Gibb, for all his perception, did not consider jihad within the context of its alliance to ascetic and revivalist sentiments, nor from the perspectives which left it open to diverse interpretations.” (p. 31)
  16. Jump up^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 144. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  17. Jump up^ Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity – Page 36
  18. Jump up^ Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia – Page 57, Ayesha Jalal – 2009
  19. Jump up^ Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad David J. Jonsson – 2006 – Page 87
  20. Jump up^ Understanding Jihad, David Cook – 2005, r 49
  21. Jump up^ Islamism and Democracy in India, p 147, Irfan Ahmad – 2009
  22. Jump up^ Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road – Page 174, Johan Elverskog – 2011 -
  23. Jump up^ Sahih Muslim 41:6985, Sahih Muslim 41:6981, Sahih Muslim 41:6982
  24. Jump up^ Guillaume, Alfred, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. Oxford University Press, 1955
  25. Jump up^ Iranian History and Politics: The Dialectic of State and Society By Homa Katouzian, pg. 25
  26. Jump up^ The Expansion of the Saracens-The East, C.H. Becker, The Cambridge Medieval History:The Rise of the Saracens and the Foundation of the Western Empire, Vol. 2, ed. John Bagnell Bury, (MacMillan Company, 1913), 348.
  27. Jump up^ The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global – Page 68, Fawaz A. Gerges – 2009 -
  28. Jump up^ Aging Early: Collapse of the Oasis of Liberties – Page 47, Mirza Aman – 2009
  29. Jump up^ Withdrawing Under Fire, Joshua L. Gleis – 2011
  30. Jump up^ “Inside Jabhat al Nusra – the most extreme wing of Syria’s struggle”. 2 December 2012.
  31. Jump up^ Maggie Fick (June 14, 2013). “Egypt Brothers backs Syria jihad, slams Shi’ites”. Reuters.
  32. Jump up^ Robert F. Worth (Jan 7, 2014). “Saudis Back Syrian Rebels Despite Risks”. New York Times.
  33. Jump up^ Mark Hosenball (May 1, 2014). “In Iraq and Syria, a resurgence of foreign suicide bombers”. The Economist.
  34. Jump up^ Darion Rhodes, Salafist-Takfiri Jihadism: the Ideology of the Caucasus Emirate, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, March 2014

Literature

  • Abbas, Tahir (2007). Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Perspective. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-2528-4.
  • Akbarzadeh, Shahram (2010). Islam and Political Violence: Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84511-473-2.
  • Al-Rasheed, Madawi (2009). Dying for Faith: Religiously Motivated Violence in the Contemporary World. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84511-687-3.
  • Aslan, Reza (2010). Global Jihadism. ISBN 978-3-639-25006-0.
  • Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (2000, 2002, 2006).
  • Brachman, Jarret (2008). Global jihadism: theory and practice. vol. 10 of Cass series on political violence, Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-45241-0.*The Devolution of Jihadism: From Al Qaeda to Wider Movement. Stratfor. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4537-4664-6.
  • Coolsaet, Rik (2008). Jihadi Terrorism and the Radicalisation Challenge in Europe. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-7217-3.
  • Hegghammer, Thomas (2010). Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-51858-1.
  • Khosrokhavar, Farhad (2009). Inside Jihadism: Understanding Jihadi Movements Worldwide. Paradigm. ISBN 978-1-59451-616-0.
  • Lahoud, Nelly (2010). The Jihadis’ Path to Self-destruction. C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84904-062-4.
  • Lohlker (ed.), Rüdiger (2013). Jihadism: Online Discourses and Representations. Vienna University Press. ISBN 978-3-8471-0068-3.
  • Lohlker (ed.), Rüdiger (2012). New Approaches to the Analysis of Jihadism. Vienna University Press. ISBN 978-3-89971-900-0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihadism

 

al-Nusra Front

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
al-Nusra Front
(Arabic: جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام‎)
Participant in the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian Civil War spillover in Lebanon, and the Global War on Terrorism
Flag of the Al-Nusra Front.svg

Flag of the al-Nusra Front
Active 23 January 2012 – present[1]
Ideology Salafist Jihadism[2]
Islamic fundamentalism[3]
Leaders Abu Mohammad al-Julani[4]
Headquarters
Area of operations
Strength 5,115–6,115 (including 50 Khorasan members)[8][9][10]
Part of
Allies
Opponents State opponents
Syria

Lebanon

United States of America

Non-State Opponents

Battles and wars Syrian Civil War

2014 military intervention against ISIL

The al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra, (JN, Arabic: جبهة النصرة لأهل الشامJabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahli ash-Shām, “The Support Front for the People of Al-Sham“), sometimes called Tanzim Qa’edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham or al-Qaeda in Syria,[25] is a branch of al-Qaedaoperating in Syria[26] and Lebanon.[27]

The group announced its formation on 23 January 2012, during the Syrian Civil War.[28] Since then, it has been described as both “the most aggressive and successful”[29] and “one of the most effective rebel forces” in Syria.[30] The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations,[31] Australia,[32] Canada, New Zealand,[33][34] Russia,[35] Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom,[36] the United States,[37] and Turkey.

Ideology

al-Nusra aims to overthrow the Assad regime and replace it with a Sunni Islamic state. Although the group is affiliated with al-Qaeda, al-Nusra does not emphasize Western targets or global jihad, focusing instead on the “near enemy” of the Syrian state.[38]

This resistance group is generally made up of native Syrian mujahideen who adhere to Sunni Islam.[39][40] Its goal is to overthrow Bashar al-Assad‘s regime in Syria and create an Islamic Emirate under Sharia law.[41][42]

In early 2014, Dr. Sami Al Oraidi, a top Sharia official in the group, acknowledged that his group is influenced by the teachings of Abu Musab al-Suri. The strategies derived from Abu Musab’s guidelines include: providing services to people, avoid being seen as extremists, maintaining strong relationships with communities and other fighting groups, and putting the focus on fighting the regime.[43]

Members of the group are accused of attacking the religious beliefs of non-Sunnis in Syria, including the Alawis.[44] New York Timesjournalist C. J. Chivers cites “some analysts and diplomats” as noting that al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant“can appear less focused on toppling” the al-Assad government than on “establishing a zone of influence spanning Iraq’s Anbar Province and the desert eastern areas of Syria, and eventually establishing an Islamic territory under their administration.”[45]

Members of the group have referred to the United States and Israel as enemies of Islam[44] and warned against Western intervention in Syria.[46] Syrian members of the group claim they are only fighting the Assad government and would not attack Western states.[46] The United States accused it of being affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iraq;[47] in April 2013, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq released an audio statement affirming this connection.[48][49][50]

Analysis

The leader, a self-proclaimed Emir, of al-Nusra goes by the name of Abu Mohammad al-Julani (also transliterated as: Mohammed and al-Jawlani, or: al-Golani), which implies that he is from the Golan Heights (al-Jawlan, in Arabic). Very little is known about him, with even his nationality unclear.[51] However, in an interview with Al Jazeera, he spoke Classical Arabic with a Syrian accent.[52]

On 18 December 2013, he gave his first television interview, to Tayseer Allouni, a journalist originally from Syria, for Al Jazeera.[52]

The structure of the group varies across Syria. In Damascus the organisation operates in an underground clandestine cell system, while in Aleppo, the group is organized along semi-conventional military lines, with units divided into brigades, regiments, and platoons.[51] All potential recruits must undertake a 10-day religious-training course, followed by a 15-to-20-day military-training program.[1]

Al-Nusra contains a hierarchy of religious bodies, with a small Majlis-ash-Shura (Consultative Council) at the top, making national decisions on behalf of the group. Religious personnel also play an important role in the regional JN leadership, with each region having a commander and a sheikh. The sheikh supervises the commander from a religious perspective and is known as dabet al-shar’i (religious commissioner).[51]

An increasing number of Americans have been attempting to join the fighting in Syria, As MD Ahmad Zarkali and Thayer al-atheim and fifty of friends specifically with al-Nusra.[53] Most recently, Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, also known as Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, was arrested in California on 11 October 2013, on charges of attempting to travel to join Al Qaeda after reportedly having fought in Syria.[53]As of November 2013 there had also been five additional publicly disclosed cases of Americans fighting in Syria, three of which were linked to al-Nusrah.[54]

All statements and videos by the al-Nusra Front have been released by its media outlet, al-Manarah al-Bayda (The White Minaret), via the leading jihadist webforum Shamoukh al-Islam.[1]

History

Background

The Quilliam Foundation, in a briefing paper, reports that many of the group’s members are Syrians who were part of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi‘s Islamist network fighting the American forces in Iraq. Many of these Syrians remained in Iraq after the withdrawal of American forces, but upon the outbreak of Syrian civil war in 2011, the Islamic State of Iraq sent the Syrian mujahideen and individual Iraqi experts in guerrilla warfare into Syria. A number of meetings were held between October 2011 and January 2012 in Rif Dimashq and Homs where the objectives of the group were determined.[51]

The al-Nusra Front released its first public statement on January 24, 2012, in which they called for armed struggle against the Syrian government. The group claimed responsibility for the2012 Aleppo bombings, the January 2012 al-Midan bombing, the March 2012 Damascus bombings,[28] the murder of journalist Mohammed al-Saeed,[55] and possibly the 10 May 2012 Damascus bombings.[citation needed]

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has said that al-Qaeda in Iraq members have gone to Syria, where the militants previously received support and weapons, in order to join the al-Nusra Front.[56] They are considered to be the best trained and most experienced fighters among the Syrian rebels.[57] The group has refused calls for a ceasefire in Syria.[58]

US intelligence agencies had originally suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq for the bombings in Aleppo and Damascus.[59] Iraq’s deputy interior minister said early February that weapons and Islamist militants were entering Syria from its country.[60] The Front claimed credit for suicide attacks in the Syrian capital of Damascus al-Zahra al-Zubaydi.[61] A defected diplomat named Nawaf al-Fares stated in an interview with the The Daily Telegraph that jihadis were used by the Syrian government in attacks against civilians so that the government could blame the deaths on Syrian rebels.[62]

Role in the Syrian Civil War

The al-Nusra Front has been a great help to Syrian rebels in the Battle of Aleppo. One rebel said that members of the group “rush to the rescue of rebel lines that come under pressure and hold them […] They know what they are doing and are very disciplined. They are like the special forces of Aleppo.”[58] After the US designated the al-Nusra Front as an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group, several rebel groups defied the US classification and rallied behind the al-Nusra Front, declaring, “We are all Jabhat Al Nusra.”[63] A Free Syrian Army (FSA) leader in Aleppo berated the move, and a FSA spokesman in Aleppo said, “We might not share the same beliefs as Jabhat al-Nusra, but we are fighting the same enemy.”[64] Some FSA fighters defected to the al-Nusra Front.[65]

While some FSA leaders are worried by the al-Nusra Front’s theocratic ideology and plans for Syria’s future, they see foreign extremists as a welcomed boost to the fight against the Assad regime, bringing experience from Iraq and Afghanistan.[46][58] While FSA has consistently stated their disapproval of al-Nusra Front’s use of suicide bombs, they have also thanked them for some suicide operations with strategic benefit, such as the attack on the Menagh Airbase.[58][66] Some disgruntled voices within the FSA accused the al-Nusra Front and others of “hijacking a revolution that began as an uprising to demand a democratic system.”[46] The leader of a rebel group in Idlib Province said “We are not fighting Bashar al-Assad to go from living in an autocratic to a religious prison”.[46] A “senior political official” of the FSA said “Their presence is reducing the popular support that we desperately need in areas where we operate […] I appreciate their motives for coming to Syria. We cannot deny Muslims their right to jihad, but we want them to leave”.[58] In some parts of Syria, “Jihadist and secular rebel groups watch each other’s military bases warily, unclasping the safety catches on their guns as they pass.”[46] Some members of the FSA believe that, after the Assad government has been overthrown, the next war will be between the FSA and the Islamists.[46]

The leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Moaz al-Khatib, called on the US to reconsider its decision to list the al-Nusra Front as a foreign terrorist organization; al-Khatib has stated that all rebel forces whose main goal is “the fall of the regime” should be left alone.[67] After the listing of al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation by the US in December 2012, a group of 29 opposition groups, including both fighting units and civilian organizations signed an online petition calling for demonstrations in its support.[68] On 14 December 2012, thousands of Syrians protested against the US move, under the slogan of “There is no terrorism in Syria except that of Assad.”[69]

Split with Islamic State of Iraq

In April 2013, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, released a recorded audio message on the Internet, in which he announced that Jabhat al-Nusra was an extension of al-Qaeda in Iraq in Syria.[48] Al-Baghdadi said that Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, had been dispatched by the group along with a group of men to Syria to meet with pre-existing cells in the country. Al-Baghdadi said that the ISI had provided Jabhat al-Nusra with the plans and strategy needed for the Syrian Civil War and had been providing them funding on a monthly basis.[70] Al-Baghdadi then declared that the two groups were officially merging under the name, Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham/the Levant (ISIS/ISIL).[70] The next day al-Julani rejected the merger and affirmed the group’s allegiance to Al-Qaeda and its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. al-Julani was quoted as saying “We inform you that neither the al-Nusra command nor its consultative council, nor its general manager were aware of this announcement. It reached them via the media and if the speech is authentic, we were not consulted.”[71]

In May 2013, Reuters reported that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the ISI, had traveled from Iraq to Syria’s Aleppo Governorate province and began recruiting members of al-Nusra. There were media reports that many of al-Nusra’s foreign fighters had left to join al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), while many Syrian fighters left the group to join other Islamist brigades.[72][73][74] Sometime in May 2013, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the leader of al-Nusra, was injured by an airstrike conducted by the Syrian Regime.[75] In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, addressed to both Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Mohammad