Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Was the Oregon mass shooting an Islamist attempt to assassinate Alek Skarlatos?

My article from the Oct. 6, 2015 issue of American Thinker:

Was the Oregon mass shooting an Islamist attempt to assassinate Alek Skarlatos?

By Matthew Vadum

Was last week's massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon a failed attempt to assassinate a Christian American hero for thwarting a Muslim terrorist train attack this summer in France?

There may simply be a series of unlikely coincidences at play, or there may be circumstantial evidence suggesting that anti-jihadist hero Alek Skarlatos was an intended target of Chris Harper-Mercer, who put several Christians to death in an Umpqua classroom on Thursday, Oct. 1 for being Christian. 

Read on and decide for yourself if Harper-Mercer may have wanted to make an example of Skarlatos for the world to see.

And although no evidence revealed thus far directly indicates Harper-Mercer was influenced by Islamic State, plenty of evidence suggests the shooter was acting in furtherance of the Islamic goal of global jihad.  Maybe the massacre was intended as a kind of jihadist payback hit.

Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) apparently claimed responsibility on Twitter for the killings Harper-Mercer carried out at Umpqua.  The tweet states, "Again #Oregon #USA #WashingtonDC #IslamicState #ISIS #USA[,]" and displays a graphic with the words “Slay Americans” in front of an image of a man in the process of being beheaded.

In August the very high-profile Skarlatos, a devout Christian, helped to disarm Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan with ties to radical Islam, on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.  The Islamist was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a Luger pistol, and a box cutter.  Skarlatos and his two American friends traveling with him received France's highest honor, the Legion d'Honneur, from French President François Hollande.  Last month they were feted at the White House and the Pentagon.  Skarlatos received the U.S. Army's Soldier's Medal.

Skarlatos has publicly acknowledged that he is currently a student at Umpqua, near Roseburg, Ore., and that he was supposed to be attending classes there on Thursday when Harper-Mercer went on a bloody rampage.

More specifically, Skarlatos said he was supposed to be present that day in Snyder Hall, the same building where Harper-Mercer carried out his massacre.

A New Global Police To Fight "Violent Extremism" In The U.S.?

My Oct. 6, 2015 article in FrontPageMag:

A New Global Police To Fight "Violent Extremism" In The U.S.?

By Matthew Vadum

The Obama administration plans to create a global police force that counters “violent extremism” in the United States and elsewhere.
The problem is that in Obama-speak “violent extremism” refers not only to jihadists wishing to harm Americans but also to conservatives and Tea Party activists. Just ask all the law-abiding right-of-center nonprofit groups targeted by Lois Lerner’s IRS during the Obama presidency.
Ominously, President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch unveiled the Strong Cities Network last week at the United Nations.
America's chief executive, who speaks in hushed and reverent tones when discussing the Muslim faith, said the U.S. will use “all of our tools” to fight Islamic State terrorists.
"This is not an easy task," Obama said. "This is not a conventional battle. This is a long-term campaign — not only against this particular network, but against its ideology." The United States and a coalition of 60 other countries are “pursuing a comprehensive strategy” for dealing with Islamic State, he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice teased the Strong Cities Network in a press release:
Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.  Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts.  While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.
“The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,” Lynch was quoted saying. “As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.”
The media release continues:
The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction.  The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work.  It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international “think-and-do” tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism …
Although the European scene is different from the American, the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue doesn’t come across at first glance as a neutral observer.

Russians Tried To Hack Hillary Five Times

My article from the Oct. 5, 2015 issue of FrontPageMag:

Russians Tried To Hack Hillary Five Times

By Matthew Vadum

Hackers linked to Vladimir Putin's Russia tried to gain access to Hillary Clinton's insecure private email account at least five times while the Democrat presidential candidate served as U.S. secretary of state.
The disturbing revelation comes months after retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said the chances Clinton's private email account was hacked were "very high." At the time the former top Obama administration intelligence official implied Clinton should have been fired as the nation's top diplomat.
"As a military officer, if I said I was doing something for convenience's sake to the soldiers that I was leading and it was solely for my convenience instead of their, you know, their welfare, I should be relieved of duty. I would expect to be fired," Flynn said.
"You know, it's one of those things where if it doesn't feel good it probably isn't. And this one doesn't feel good to me."
"China, Russia, Iran, potentially the North Koreans," were involved in hacking Clinton's email.
Evidence of the Russian hacking attempts came in the form of Clinton emails from four years ago that were made public last week.
Clinton received the five infected emails which had been made to look like speeding tickets, over a four-hour period on Aug. 3, 2011.  The emails asked recipients to print out hard copies of the attached tickets, an act that would have let hackers take control of their computers.
As some observers have noted, foreign intelligence services pay good money to obtain a target's email address.  Although it hasn't been established that these Russian hackers worked for the Russian government, these criminals knew Hillary's email address while information-technology experts at the State Department were left in the dark about the email address by their own boss.

The United States has an AVERAGE murder rate and rampage killings are JUST ONE PERCENT of U.S. murders

There are some eye-opening statistics that bear repeating in my recent article about President Obama cynically using the Oct. 1 mass-shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon to promote gun control.

Say them over and over and over again. And then again a few more times for good measure.

Contrary to gun-grabbing hysterics, the United States of America does NOT have a high murder rate.

The U.S. has merely an "average" murder rate among the nations of the world.

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the global average murder rate (PDF file) is 6.2 per 100,000 human beings. The UN agency defines intentional homicide as "unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person."

The U.S. (excluding Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands which are reported on individually) is near the middle of 228 "countries" profiled.

With 4.7 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, the United States ties at 110th place with Latvia and Niger.

Number one is Honduras with a murder rate of 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. At the very bottom of the list are Liechtenstein and Monaco which reported zero murders in the time period studied. (Note: The UK Daily Mail offers a user-friendly interactive map breaking down homicide rates around the world.)

Moreover, Obama's rants about mass-shootings are garbage, unworthy of the supposed leader of the free world (if that phrase still carries any meaning).

Obama: Never Letting A Good Mass Shooting Go To Waste

My article from the Oct. 2, 2015 issue of FrontPageMag:

Obama: Never Letting A Good Mass Shooting Go To Waste

By Matthew Vadum

Mere hours after a young, mixed-race religion-hater fatally shot at least nine apparently Christian victims at an Oregon college, President Obama tried to harangue Americans into supporting fresh restrictions on guns, the most severely regulated consumer goods in America.
The shooter has been identified as 20-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer. Police say in mid-morning they received reports of a gunman walking around Umpqua Community College (UCC) near Roseburg, Ore. As is the case in all or perhaps nearly all mass shootings at schools, UCC was a gun-free zone.
Wearing body armor, the man reportedly entered a classroom where an English and writing class was being conducted and demanded that those present state their religion.
Those who indicated they were Christian were fatally shot. Those who refused to answer were reportedly shot in the legs. Harper-Mercer apparently died during a shootout with responding police but at time of writing it was unclear if he killed himself or was shot by the officers.
Viewing every crisis as an opportunity to advance his legislative agenda, Obama placed his crosshairs squarely on the Bill of Rights. Our media-savvy, Saul Alinsky-worshipping president took to the bully pulpit to petulantly insist -- even before many facts about the massacre were known -- that last night was exactly the right time to "politicize" gun ownership rights.
“This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America,” Obama said. “We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.”
In his televised temper tantrum, Obama scolded those opposed to a crackdown on firearms ownership, including people who say the nation needs "more guns" to prevent such mass shootings. He implored those who would gut Second Amendment protections to vote for political candidates who share their visceral contempt for a constitutionally-guaranteed right.
“Each time this happens I’m going to bring this up,” Obama said. “Each time this happens I am going to say we can actually do something about it.”
Obama's twelve-and-a-half minute oration was the fifteenth time the president has issued a statement on a mass shooting, CBS Radio reporter Mark Knoller wrote on Twitter.
“Somehow this has become routine,” Obama said. “The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine. And what becomes routine is the response from those who oppose any sort of gun control legislation."
Indeed Obama's shopworn routine has become all too familiar to Americans. Whenever there is a mass shooting Obama predictably uses it to try to disarm law-abiding gun owners.

The Mushroom Cloud ISIS Has In Store For Us

My article from the Sept. 30, 2015 issue of FrontPageMag:

The Mushroom Cloud ISIS Has In Store For Us

By Matthew Vadum

The totalitarian mass murderers of Islamic State are hellbent on acquiring nuclear weapons and using them against their enemies in the West, a reporter who was embedded with the Salafi jihadist fighters in occupied Syria is warning.
German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer, who spent 10 anxious days living in Islamic State-held Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in Syria with the jihadists, wants the world to know that the terrorist group is deadly serious about unleashing a "nuclear tsunami" on those who oppose its efforts to create an Islamic caliphate.
"This is the largest religious cleansing strategy that has ever been planned in human history," he said.
The West has "no concept of the threat it faces" from Islamic State and "dramatically"  underestimates the threat posed by the group, said the former German politician who was allowed to embed with the group because of his high-profile criticism of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
"They are extremely brutal," according to Todenhöfer. "Not just head-cutting. I'm talking about the strategy of religious cleansing. That's their official philosophy. They are talking about 500 million people who have to die."
He describes his jihadist odyssey in a new book called Inside IS - Ten Days In The Islamic State. At time of writing it wasn’t clear if the author plans to release an English-language version. (The German-language book is titled Inside IS - 10 Tage im 'Islamischen Staat'.)
Todenhöfer's disturbing revelations come 20 months after President Obama sat down with David Remnick of the New Yorker and dismissively likened Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) as a "jayvee," or junior varsity, team. "If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant," Obama said in January last year.
Congenitally in denial about the threat that Muslim expansionism poses to free nations, Obama said last fall that "ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim."

Obama Frees 20th 9/11 Hijacker

My article from the Sept. 28, 2015 issue of FrontPageMag:

Obama Frees 20th 9/11 Hijacker

By Matthew Vadum

The Obama administration quietly shipped Osama bin Laden's bodyguard back to the Wahhabist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last week despite warnings that the Muslim terrorist remains a serious threat to the United States.
The newly released terrorist detainee is Abdul Shalabi, 39, who trained to be the 20th hijacker for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Shalabi was set free even though military officials deemed him too dangerous to be unleashed on the world and too valuable as an intelligence asset to be released from U.S. custody.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said last week that the liberation of Shalabi, whom he referred to as a "dangerous detainee," is "another example of President Obama playing politics with national security and putting campaign promises ahead of U.S. national security interests." Shuttering the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has long been a goal of President Obama, going back at least to the campaign trail in 2008.
Shalabi's unshackling should have Americans wondering which bloodthirsty jihadist is next to be released by the soft-on-Islamism president of the United States. Could it be the "Blind Sheikh," a.k.a. Omar Abdel-Rahman, who orchestrated the deadly bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993? News reports that the Obama administration is working on releasing the deadly fatwa-issuing cleric linked to the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat go back years. The sheikh is a hero to his followers, including deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and a spiritual leader of al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
The process by which Shalabi won his freedom offers disturbing insights into the system that determines if a terrorist detainee should be held indefinitely in wartime as allowed under the laws of war.
In May 2008 when George W. Bush was president, Rear Admiral David M. Thomas Jr., then the commander of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, recommended in a since-unclassified memo that Shalabi's detention be continued.
Spelling the word high in block capitals and boldfacing it for emphasis, Thomas warned that Shalabi was "[a]HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies[,]" "[a] HIGH threat from a detention perspective[,]" and "[o]f HIGH intelligence value."

BuzzFeed and those "fake" quotations used by eeevil Mike Huckabee

BuzzFeed reports that "Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 1998 book Kids Who Kill is full of spurious quotations from leading American political figures, mostly the country’s founding fathers."

The article continues:
A number of the quotations, such as those from Washington and Jefferson, have been routinely debunked by libraries of the past presidents but still regularly find their way into books from conservative figures. Other quotes, debunked by prominent historians, seem to be used for the first time in the book.
Kids Who Kill links a mass shooting in Arkansas "to the decline in America’s moral culture," according to the article. Quotations from Founding Fathers like George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson "are often used to reinforce Huckabee’s moral viewpoint."

Huckabee, like many politicians in both major parties, has used apocryphal quotations (and lousy paraphrases) from revered American figures.

So far so good. I don't carry water for Huckabee. He's too liberal for me though he has been sounding conservative lately. Go ahead and scrutinize him (along with all the candidates). This is the time to do it.

That said, the very first example BuzzFeed provides gives me pause.

Yes, it is inaccurate but it isn't exactly breathtakingly, blood-curdingly off in terms of semantics. Sure, different words were used, and Huckabee shouldn't have done it, but the ideas represented in the first "fake quote" attributed to Jefferson, happen to accurately express thoughts that the principal author of the Declaration of Independence had in real life. My guess is the inaccurate quotation gained wide currency because it mirrors what Jefferson actually thought.

Let's look at Huckabee's Jefferson quotation. From the article:
“Thomas Jefferson asserted that the ‘chief purpose of government is to protect life. Abandon that and you have abandoned all,’” writes Huckabee in one part of the book on abortion.
However, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, “this quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson.”
(Pro tip, BuzzFeed: "writes Huckabee in one part of the book on abortion" is bad writing, and in my view, ambiguous. Is the book about abortion? Or is just one part of the book about abortion? I thought Kids Who Kill was about homicidal children.)

A statement that Jefferson actually wrote, contains different words but they still express the same idea.

According to Bartleby, a reputable resource, Jefferson wrote this [emphasis added below]: 
If, in my retirement to the humble station of a private citizen, I am accompanied with the esteem and approbation of my fellow citizens, trophies obtained by the bloodstained steel, or the tattered flags of the tented field, will never be envied. The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.
This quotation comes, according to Bartleby, from a March 31, 1809 letter Jefferson wrote to "the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Maryland[.]" It appears in volume 8 of The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, edited by H. A. Washington (1871).

Interestingly, the real quotation is stronger than the one used by Huckabee which asserts only that protecting life is "the chief purpose of government."

The actual Jefferson quotation makes protecting life the singular purpose of government, not merely an overarching purpose of government.

So again, Huckabee shouldn't have done it, it's not okay, but the quotation he used isn't crazily far afield from something Jefferson actually wrote. The bogus sentences, which have been traced back to at least 1989 in a work by his co-author George Grant, were good enough to trick at least a generation of Americans. (Maybe BuzzFeed should have gone after Grant.)

In at least this one case BuzzFeed was a bit too hard on Huckabee.

I regret I don't have time to go through the whole article tonight. Oh, the gems that likely await.

BREAKING: Hillary is "bitchy"

Well, duh.

It was a female focus group member in the early primary voting state of New Hampshire who on MSNBC described Democrat Dowager Hillary Clinton as "bitchy."

The woman, wearing a sticker marked "Shannon," told moderator Mark Halperin that the “scorned” tone of her Her Majesty can be “off-putting.”

“Tell me what it’s like, what are you seeing,” Halperin said.

Shannon sighed, saying “You know, when she’s — I don’t want to use the word.” She whispered “bitchy.”

Here is the video clip of this honest woman speaking truth to power:

Any minute now MSNBC will be filing a copyright infringement claim with YouTube.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Radical Pope

My article in today's FrontPageMag:

Radical Pope

By Matthew Vadum

Pope Francis chided Americans yesterday for their supposed intolerance and xenophobia, the same thing President Obama does every day, in his historic address to the U.S. Congress.
Although Francis toned down his sometimes in-your-face rhetoric for his congressional speech, it was still a politically tone-deaf lecture on America's failings, past and present.  
It bore more than a passing resemblance to the many speeches President Obama has given around the globe apologizing for America's history and greatness. The pope delivered this address standing on the dais in front of Vice President Joe Biden (D) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Both are Catholics. Boehner made this major debacle, which amounts to a propaganda boost for the Obama agenda, possible by inviting the pope to address Congress. (A full transcript of the pope's address is available here.)
It may be significant that only four members of the nine-member Roman Catholic-dominated Supreme Court showed up for the Holy Father's address. The attendees were Chief John Roberts (Catholic), Anthony Kennedy (Catholic), Sonia Sotomayor (Catholic), and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Jewish). Absent were Samuel Alito (Catholic), Antonin Scalia (Catholic), Clarence Thomas (Catholic), Stephen Breyer (Jewish), and Elena Kagan (Jewish).
The Left loves the pope's message. Although the Left vindictively led the charge against the Catholic church during the various sexual abuse scandals, it now has the current pope's back because, except for abortion, he agrees with leftists. For example, in recent days the Salon website, a hotbed of hostility to organized religion (except Islam), has switched sides. Salon has been running stories sympathetic to the pope with titles like "The transcendent compassion of Pope Francis" (by leftist mud-hurler Joan Walsh, no less), "Twitter tells the tale: Pope Francis' speech does not sit well with the conservative 'intelligentsia,'" "Conservatives who hate the pope rush to his defense," "5 new ways Pope Francis is sticking it to the Christian right," and "The GOP's venomous Pope tirades are the ultimate example of hypocritical rage."