Operation Rescue Reboots Their Terror Campaign In New Website

Here's a big reason I don't like nor trust the Department of Homeland Security to keep us safe. It is either reluctant or afraid to acknowledge or pursue domestic terrorists. The largest civilian agency in the Federal government (over 200,000 employees, over 200,000 contractors) should have no excuse keeping tabs on domestic terror groups. Yet, it seems to constantly fail, time and again. And the latest press release (!) from Operation Rescue is an example how domestic terror groups can operate in plain sight without any hint of action from the Feds to stop them.

This past week, Operation Rescue launced two new websites as part of a campaign to ban pergancy termination on a state by state basis. Call it a reboot of their origianal objective, since up until this point, thier websites have been relatively low budget. But this new campaign, called Pro Life Nation, features all new branding, a Facebook page (which only has 100 likes so far), and a downloadable, 17 page booklet, explaining their new strategy. But the centerpiece of their new campaign is a separate, database driven website, called AbortionDocs. I try not to link to terrorist websites, since the National Security Administration supposedly keeps an eye on who visits them, right? What's that? The website has not been declared a terrorist website? My point exactly.

AbortionDocs is farily simple enough. It uses a SQL database and a Google Maps API to list the names and locations of stand alone clinics, hospitals, and individual providers who they suspect or know perform terminations. The database also contains the names of hospital executives and board members, in an attempt to intimidate hospital brass over the legitimate and legal medicine being practiced in their institutions. The site invites visitors to submit photographs and home addresses of doctors (presumably so they can be harassed or worse). There's even a link to volunteer one's services as a researcher, editor, or spotter. In addition to photographs and addresses, there is the capacity to upload documents for each entry so that lawsuits, patient complaints, and state prosecutions can be accessed by visitors. As of today, most providers who have photographs attached to their records are not real doctors at all. They are practitioners without board certification, and many have been prosecuted as such, which is good. I want fake doctors out of business. Operation Rescue, of course, wants to see all doctors out of business. And a few of Operation Rescue's followers want them dead.

And that's where terrorism comes into play. This website is not designed to lobby state governments to ban abortion. It is intended to intimidate providers and staff out of the practice of medicine. It is also intended to be used by people outside of Operation Rescue who are willing to break laws in order to stop women from obtaining abortions. Operation Rescue does not explicity say what should be done to clinics and doctors, but history tells us what has been done since the 1980s. There has been vandalism. There have been threats. There has has been harassment (via phone, email, and post). And there have been nine homicides since 1993. Five doctors have been murdered, along with two security contractors, and two clinic staffers. And there will surely be more. This new website is designed to ensure that vandalism, harassment, and violence continue under the guise of protected free speech.

You see, the website does not explicitly call its database a list of "targets" (althought it does label those who support abortion access as an illegal "cartel"). A list of names, addresses, and photographs is merely free information that Operation Rescule hopes others use as they see fit. Operation Rescue has one or more lawyers, so it has covered itself with a "disclaimer" on the site which reads:

This site is meant for informational purposes to aid in the end of abortion through peaceful, legal means. It is in no way meant to encourage or incite violence of any kind against abortion clinics, abortionists, or their staff. We denounce acts of violence against abortion clinics and providers in the strongest terms.

Supposedly that's all a domestic terrorist organization needs to protcect itself from prosecution and civil suits? I wonder why international terrorist groups haven't taken the same route. Oh, right. They can't, because they are internationally recognized as unlawful terror groups.

Operation Rescue has not been classifed as a terror organization by the US Department of Justice. Over 100,000 employees there and they still can't quite link 9 murders and millions in properly damage in 19 years. Not enough evidence I guess. Wanted posters hung in the victims neighborhoods apparently weren't enough to prove that there has been an effort to intimidate and discourage doctors from being abortion providers through acts of violence and threats, both direct and implicit. 

Back in the 1990s, there were two ways for anti abortion groups to target providers and staff. Once was to produce flyers and posters locally. The other was to compile information online. This latter method led to the creation of the now infamous (and illegal) "Nuremberg Files" website circa 1997, which listed the names of providers, judges, law enforment officers, and politicians who all practiced or help protect the medical practice of abortion in some way. On that list, eight names are crossed out (the first 8 homicides between 1993 and 1998, beore Tiller's murder in 2009).

The new Pro Life Nation downloadable booklet was written by Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger. Ms. Sullenger, you might recall, is the Operation Rescue executive who helped the organization move from California to Kansas, in an effort to to stop Dr. George Tiller from performing third trimester abortions -  either through legal or illegal means. She is also a convicted felon. In 1988, she and her husband pleaded guilty to Federal terrorism charges, for conspiring to detonate a gasoline bomb in the Family Planning department of the Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in Sn Diego. She served two years in Federal prison, and then relocated Operation Rescule to Kansas to concentrate on Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and wounded three years later.

Most people heard of her name in the wake of Dr. Diller's murder. She alledgedly assisted Scott Roeder in locataing and stalking Dr. George Tiller, before Roeder assisinated him in the foyer of a Wichita church. Scott Roeder is celebrated by anti abortion extremists as a "Christian Terrorist." That is a correct term for him and men like him. many of whom have been involved in locial militia groups, and in some cases, white supremicist groups. In my opinion, the Southern Poverty Law Center has done a better job in connecting these dots than the DOJ. It is simply outragous.

Why is going after Right Wing terrorist groups a poilticially sensitive issue? The US governemnt has stated for over 30 years that it has zero toloerance for terrorism, but this is clearly not the case. If this nation is serious about stopping all terrorists, then the harassment, assault, attempted murder, or murder of a medical care worker over idology, personal, or religious beleifs should be a Federal crime.

But it also needs to be made clear: Operation Rescue does not supply weapons or explosives to Christian terrorits. Operation Resucue does not coordinate bombings and assiassinations. But it does implicitly encourage them. Sometimes, in the case of Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue is contacted by the terrorists and assassins and provides both moral and tactical support. 

We at this blog join other blogs and reproductive rights organizations in condemning Operation Rescue's public database of providers, their photos, and home addresses. And we encourage the Department of Justice to investigate the Pro Life Nation website as a possible violation of the 1994 FACE Act (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances), as well as any other Federal law on the books regarding online harassment and intimidation of healthcare workers. As a step further, we ask the DOJ to investigate the site itself and find out if it is collecting queries from healthcare workers who might be trying to see if their names or clinics are in the database. And we ask that the webside be taken down, as it is effectively a reboot of the late 1990s Nuremberg Files website, which was taken down following a Federal appeals court decision in 2002.  (The site continues to be cached and mirrored in violation of that court order that ruled that the site is not procted free speech).

Here's where I should stop and let Rachel Maddow explain the rest of this history, since she explains it better than anyone in American TV news today:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



What We've Learned About al-Qaeda And The TSA

Today's terrorist organizations have been unable to recruit middle aged or old people thus far. All of their operatives, aside from leadership, have been under the age of 35. This is not only true for al-Qaeda, but it is true for many similar organizations in the past such as the ETA, IRA, the FALN, the Weather Underground, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, and the Tamil Tigers.

So while racial profiling is unconstitutional, don't we have the ability to develop a few algorithms to detect people who fall outside the pattern of 'domestic frequent flyer?'  Aren't we looking for people who are young and do not fly frequently? Aren't we supposed to be scanning and/or interrogating people who are on the elusive "watchlist?" Why is it that the TSA, with 60,000 employees, is essentially a reactionary agency which bans substances and objects as aspiring terrorists try them out? Today, toner cartridges. Tomorrow, iPods?

We've also learned that nine years after their most successful and audacious attack, al Qaeda is still obsessed with air travel. And they have reached the point where they don't necessarily need to destroy aircraft. They seem content to cause delays and costly disruptions. This suggests that al Qaeda is still in a corner, unable to mount different international attacks such as car bombs, nuclear bombs, or chemical attacks. When your enemy stops sending operatives to North America and is reduced to sending mail bombs from Yemen, it is fair to conclude that the enemy is less mobile and has fewer resources than 10 or 15 years ago.

But we Americans have our reactionary TSA, which is a portrait of inefficiency and ineffectiveness.  The TSA seems to believe that more frequent seizures and searches of domestic passengers is the solution to preventing aspiring terrorists from boarding planes in European airports. In a country that values ingenuity and entrepreneurship, the TSA has none of it.

A Black Day For The Imperial Game


Seven Pakistanis, including six police and the driver of a bus carrying match officials, were killed in Tuesday's attack on the Sri Lankan team as it was being driven to the Gadaffi Stadium for the third day of a match against Pakistan.
The BBC:
The second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka has been called off following the attack on the bus carrying the tourists' team in Lahore.
BBC: Pakistan faces loss of cricket tours
"Cricket in Pakistan is over for some years, I would believe," said former Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Nawaz.
The Independent: Sri Lankan cricketers wounded in Pakistan attack
Former England cricketer Dominic Cork, who was also caught up in the attacks, called for international cricket to boycott Pakistan.

Cork, who was working as a commentator for Pakistan TV, told Sky News: "I don't think international cricket should return to this country.

"I won't be coming back here while I'm still living, there is no chance."

BBC: Lahore bus driver's dramatic escape

The Guardian: How the attack took place (interactive feature)

BBC: Hunt for Lahore cricket attackers

BBC: Pakistan cricket future in doubt

BBC: [Referee] Chris Broad's eyewitness account of Pakistan attacks

The Times: Heroics of blood-splattered Chris Broad who protected umpire during attack

The Times: Angry Chris Broad says cricketers and officials were left as 'sitting ducks' by Pakistan

The US Has No Plan To Defeat al Qaeda

Yes, that's the title.

So there you have it. This report was released today by the General Accountability Office. It couldn't be more plain. The report is drawn from several government agencies. Although the primary role of the GAO is to track government expenses, this extraordinary report details hhow billions have gone to Pakistan to help us exterminate al Qaeda, and virtually nothing has been done to accomplish that goal.

The executive summary couldn't be more plain:

The United States has not met its national security goals to destroy the terrorist threat and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA region.

FATA is the region along the 373-mile-long Pakistani-Afghan border. It stands for Federally Administered Tribal Region. It is over 10,000 square miles.

The report concludes:

We conclude that the National Security Advisor and the Director of the NCTC, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense and State, and the Administrator of USAID, the intelligence community, and other executive departments as deemed appropriate, implement the congressional mandate to develop a comprehensive plan using all elements of national power to combat the terrorist threat and close their safe haven in Pakistan's FATA region.

Bush and Rice had six years to exterminate al Qaeda. Six years. We have seen the largest, most inexcusable failure to defeat an enemy of the United States in this country's history.

And the wingnuts think we're 'winning.' And they boast the we liberals want to offer al Qaeda counseling and therapy, rather than destruction. The truth is now clear. The Bush administration never had a plan to win. What say you now, wingnuts?

UPDATE: Emptywheel has an excellent timeline outlining the failures of Bush's War on Global Terrorism.

Jose Padilla Sentenced To 17 Years

He was originally accused of plotting to detonate a dirty bomb. The president declared him an 'enemy combatant' in June 2002 with a stroke of a pen. He was held without access to a lawyer for over 2 years. And in the end, he was never charged with anything related to a dirty bomb.

But he is off to a federal prison, for agreeing to be part of some jihadist terrorist conspiracy.

Yes, Jose Padilla was sentenced today for what could be called a 'thought crime'.

He allegedly agreed to help alleged terrorists to kidnap and/or murder civilians of an unnamed foreign nation.

The US Attorney wanted him sentenced to life in prison. Federal Court Judge Marcia Cooke, a Jeb Bush and George W. Bush appointee, felt she did the right thing by sentencing Mr. Padilla to 17 years and 4 months in her Miami courtroom.

17 years. For a thought crime. No physical evidence other than an application form that Mr. Padilla filled-out to attend an alleged Al Qaeda training camp (strange but true). No opportunity to see any of the 78 interrogation videotapes at trial. No justice.

Lewis Koch reviews how Citizen Padilla was stripped of all constitutional rights, confined, tortured, and ultimately sentenced to solitary confinement.

I don't recognize the USA anymore. It has always been rife with injustice, but never as scary as this. Supporters of this new, evil empire claim that the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001 'changed everything.' They are correct. This new kind of injustice is the change they brought. Those who attacked us have virtually won.

Padilla Receives 17-Year Sentence

MIAMI (AP) -- Jose Padilla, once accused of plotting with al-Qaida to blow up a radioactive ''dirty bomb,'' was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years and four months on terrorism conspiracy charges that don't mention those initial allegations.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke marks another step in the extraordinary personal and legal odyssey for the 37-year-old Muslim convert, a U.S. citizen who was held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant after his 2002 arrest amid the ''dirty bomb'' allegations.

Prosecutors had sought a life sentence, but Cook said she arrived at the 17-year sentence after considering the ''harsh conditions'' during Padilla's lengthy military detention at a Navy brig in South Carolina.

''I do find that the conditions were so harsh for Mr. Padilla ... they warrant consideration in the sentencing in this case,'' the judge said. However, he did not get credit for time served.

Padilla's lawyers claimed his treatment amounted to torture, which U.S. officials have repeatedly denied. His attorneys say he was forced to stand in painful stress positions, given LSD or other drugs as ''truth serum,'' deprived of sleep and even a mattress for extended periods and subjected to loud noises, extreme heat and cold and noxious odors.

Cooke also imposed prison terms on two other men of Middle Eastern origin who were convicted of conspiracy and material support charges along with Padilla in August. The three were part of a North American support cell for al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists around the world, prosecutors said.

The jury was told that Padilla was recruited by Islamic extremists in the U.S. and filled out an application to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan.

Cooke said that as serious as the conspiracy was, there was no evidence linking the men to specific acts of terrorism anywhere.

''There is no evidence that these defendants personally maimed, kidnapped or killed anyone in the United States or elsewhere,'' she said.

Padilla was added in 2005 to an existing Miami terrorism support case just as the U.S. Supreme Court was considering his challenge to President Bush's decision to hold him in custody indefinitely without charge. The ''dirty bomb'' charges were quietly discarded and were never part of the criminal case.

Cooke sentenced Padilla's recruiter, 45-year-old Adham Amin Hassoun, to 15 years and eight months in prison and the third defendant, 46-year-old Kifah Wael Jayyousi, to 12 years and eight months. Jayyousi was a financier and propagandist for the cell that assisted Islamic extremists in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere, according to trial testimony. Both also faced life in prison.

Padilla's mother, Estela Lebron, smiled at reporters in the courtroom when the sentence was announced and questioned outside the courthouse whether the Bush administration had misplaced its priorities in prosecuting her son.

''This is the way they are spending our money? Hello?'' she said.

But she was also pleased he didn't get the maximum sentence. ''I feel good about everything. This is amazing.''

Attorneys for Hassoun and Jayyousi were also gratified but repeated that they will appeal their convictions and sentences, as will Padilla.

''It is definitely a defeat for the government,'' said Hassoun lawyer Jeanne Baker.

''The government has not made America any safer. It has just made America less free,'' said William Swor, who represents Jayyousi.

The Justice Department praised prosecutors and investigators in the long-running case.

''Thanks to their efforts, the defendants' North American support cell has been dismantled and can no longer send money and jihadist recruits to conflicts overseas,'' Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.

The men were convicted after a three-month trial based on tens of thousands of FBI telephone intercepts collected over an eight-year investigation and a form Padilla filled out in 2000 to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. Padilla, a former Chicago gang member with a long criminal record, converted to Islam in prison and was recruited by Hassoun while attending a mosque in suburban Sunrise.

Padilla sought a sentence of no more than 10 years. Hassoun asked for 15 years or less and Jayyousi for no more than five years.

Padilla's arrest was initially portrayed by the Bush administration as an important victory in the months immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and later was seen as a symbol of the administration's zeal to prevent homegrown terrorism.

Civil liberties groups and Padilla's lawyers called his detention unconstitutional for someone born in this country.

Jurors in the criminal case never heard Padilla's full history, which according to U.S. officials included a graduation from the al-Qaida terror camp, a plot to detonate the ''dirty bomb'' and a plot to fill apartments with natural gas and blow them up. Much of what Padilla supposedly told interrogators during his long detention as an enemy combatant could not be used in court because he had no access to a lawyer and was not read his constitutional rights.

Attorneys for Hassoun and Jayyousi argued that any assistance they provided overseas was for peaceful purposes and to help persecuted Muslims in violent countries. But FBI agents testified that their charitable work was a cover for violent jihad, which they frequently discussed in code using words such as ''tourism'' and ''football.''

Friday News & Blog Roundup

Lindsay Lohan is Going to See Dead People: She'll be working two half days in a morgue, as part of her punishment for drunk driving.

Bobby Fischer Dead at 64: Goodbye, Grand Master. You were incredible. You were also quite mad. Your story is begging for a grand biopic.

Beware of Americans: A training manual published by the Canadian government advises diplomats to be aware of, and be on the lookout for, signs of torture in a 'watch list' of nation states. Those nations include Iran, Syria, Israel, China, Afghanistan, and the USA / Guantanamo Bay. Keith Olbermann discusses the significance of this Canadian watch list.

New York City Needs Tourists: And we're not ashamed to say so. We need tourists so the city stays financially solvent, since we don't manufacture anything, and we have a shrinking middle class. Remember The Gates? Get ready for four giant waterfalls this summer. Meanwhile, the NYC unemployment rate edges up for the fifth straight month.

Sadly, No! Ups Its Critique of Jonah: Clif over at Sadly No! has produced a magnificently researched post on how Jonah Goldberg is not only guilty of projection when he calls progressives racists, but he's totally full of shit in a very serious way. His book is currently ranked #2 in sales over at Amazon.com. It is an insult to historical research and intellectual debate worldwide, and copies of it need to find their way to bargain bins soon. I'm never for censorship. But I am against wingnut welfare and rediculous political and historical arguments. Really, if it wasn't for his mom and Linda Tripp, he wouldn't be a contributing editor at America's Shittiest Website or have this 400 page book published.

Bless the Pets: In Mexico, it is the the annual feast day of St. Anthony The Abbot.

!Tenga un buen fin de semana, amigos!

Shorter Josh Greenberger

Is The UN The Root Cause Of Global Terrorism?

The UN virtually sponsors and encourages Palestinian terrorism, and I use a hypothetical Colombine scenario to drive home my point. Each UN resolution criticising Israel is a victory for the Sand People. Oh, and I still don't believe in evolution, carbon dating is a lie, and Kofi Anan is a war criminal.

‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard.

This Will Not End Well

That's a favorite line of my girlfriend's. And it can certainly be applied to the bizarre hostage situation at the Clinton campaign office in Rochester, NH. My feeling is that the hostage-taker is going to be shot dead by police.

At the very least, the bomb is fake and the man has a serious mental disorder. A worse scenario means that this is 'suicide by cop.' At worst, the bomb strapped to his chest is real and this is an act of terrorism.

Watch the wingnuts blame 'Teh Muslims' or 'Islamofascists' for this incident. But chances are, the assailant is a wingnut himself. Maybe he's trying to avenge Vince Foster.

UPDATE, 19:00 EST: It ended well.

More Checkpoints, Seizures, Searches, and Spying

From an unnamed security bulletin in New York:

...there will be a higher police presence in and around major U.S. cities and various modes of transportation, including rail, air, subway, bridges and tunnels. These security measures have the potential to disrupt normal travel activity; therefore, you should plan your travel accordingly. As always, airline passengers should arrive at the airport with sufficient time for security clearance.

Thanks to the bozo amateurs in the UK, we are one step closer to a police state.

Thanks, bozos. You've made the USA scared. Not bad considering it was done with some cars and propane tanks. You just wanted to spook your own people, but you ended-up spooking the other side of that 'Special Relationship.'

UPDATE, July 3rd: Even the right-wing New York Post has called the would-be bombers, "bozos." It seems I chose the correct adjective. They tried to detonate the propane tanks with cell phones, and failed.


I'm not impressed by the would-be car bomb in central London. I don't doubt it would have been a giant nail bomb in the theater district. I don't doubt that it could have killed a few people. No. When I heard that the suspected driver of the car drew attention to himself by driving erratically and hitting a curbside dustbin as he parked the vehicle, I knew it was not al Qaeda's A-team, if you know what I mean. It probably wasn't al Qaeda.

London has a long history of bombings, don't you know. There have been bombings in response to immigration, as well as bombs directed against the nearby gay community in Soho. This is way overblown.

What's that? Oh right, it's post-9/11, so now every little threat has to be overblown. Right.

Have you ever thought that putting little shit like this on the front page is precisely what the real terrorists want? I know what many of our politicians want. They want us to be afraid as well. Fear begets fear, seemingly from both the bad guys and our leaders.

And now London police have nearby Mayfair closed off as a suspicious car was parked on Park Lane, near The Dorchester Hotel and along the edge of Hyde Park. Again, I say, whatever. We all need to say it; not because terrorism isn't serious, but because this particular would-be terrorist is not a serious threat. What would Winston -who grew-up in-between the two car locations- do?

It's summertime and the time for London terror. Three years in a row now.

And this just-in from the NYPD:

The New York City Police Department has informed midtown office buildings that, "they will be conducting response exercises that will result in an increased police presence in the Midtown and Times Square area over the next several weeks. These deployments are being conducted in an abundance of caution and not related to any specific threat."

Flex your muscles, boys. Make us white, cowardly people feel safer. It won't stop the terrorists as effectively as good ol' intelligence work. I trust you and the FBI are working together on that. The illusion of safety is not the same thing.

And now this London story will dominate our news, while much more lethal TNT bombs kill our soldiers. Five more were killed today by an IED, bringing June's total to 100 just as the month ends. Let's see, 104 killed in April, 116 killed in May, and 100 killed in June. That's an average of 106 per month. With 3,576 soldiers killed in Iraq since March 2003, we will see number 4,000 in precisely four months using this average. That's October 31st.

Now let's turn to some better news.

Isn't that fucking beautiful? Both sides. Just beautiful.

I don't want the Sox to loose five in a row. They need to get back on track. They would have buried the Yankees if they swept Seattle. Now they need to reset and get back to winning. I want the Yankees 12 games back by the All Star break. It is still possible. Boston players would be well-advised to skip the All Star game and focus on the AL East race at-hand.

Not Reported: Real Bomb Found Outside Austin Womens Clinic

Paul Ross Evans. Single male prone to violence and under 30 years of age. Fits the terrorist profile very well.

The first report was Wednesday April 25th. And the TV station even had a disclaimer that they normally don't report a suspicious package. Fair enough.

It is not KXAN's general policy to cover this kind of threat, however, given the magnitude of last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision on late-term abortions and the fact that authorities continue to divert traffic, we wanted to update the situation.

Nice of them. And I agree, a suspicious package should not make it to CNN. But then authorities found that the bomb was real. It was not a benign package. It was a homemade, high-pressure pipe bomb inside of a duffel bag. The would-be bomber was foolish enough to buy the bomb making materials and the bag at the local Lowe's and Wal Mart with his debit card in his name. I'll try to forgive the second story linked here for calling NAF (the national Abortion Federation) the AAF (American Abortion Federation).

Another day passed and there were subsequent stories about this, and it finally hit the national news wires when Mr. Evans was arrested on Friday.

The device, found in a duffel bag Wednesday, "was configured in such a way to cause serious bodily injury or death," said David Carter, assistant chief of the Austin Police Department.

The bomb, which was found in the parking lot of the Austin Women's Health Center, comes after last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned a controversial type of abortion and was viewed as an anti-abortion victory.


The last reported abortion-related incident in Texas was a 2002 arson in Dallas.

Wednesday's incident is being investigated by the regional Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is led by the FBI and includes Austin police.

Okay, a confirmed bomb, an arrest, and an investigation by the Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force. Now can this make national news? Nope.

And when a senior official in the Southern Baptist Convention wrote a declaration, supporting the murderer of Dr. Slepian and advocating that others follow his example, did that make the news? Nope.