Daily Archives: March 16, 2012

Afghan massacre coverup: Karzai believes killings NOT the work of a ‘lone nut gunman’

Flanked by senior officials, Afghanstan’s President Hamid Karzai said he did not believe U.S. claims that the 16 deaths were the result of one rogue soldier — a popular theory among the country’s elders. (Photo: REUTERS / Ahmad Masood)

Karzai Hints At US Cover-Up In Soldier Rampage Investigation

“They believe it’s not possible for one person to do that.”

ibtimes.com | Mar 16, 2012

By Oliver Tree

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has attacked the United States for failing to fully cooperate with an investigation into the murder of 16 Afghan civilians, adding that he does not believe American claims the killings were the work of only one soldier.

At times losing his temper, a tired-looking Karzai told assembled journalists that he had reached the “end of a rope” after a series of blunders by U.S. forces in Afghanistan — including the accidental burning of Qurans at Bagram Airbase last month — had brought relations between the two countries almost to breaking point.

“The army chief has just reported that the Afghan investigation team did not receive the cooperation that they expected from the United States. Therefore, these are all questions that we’ll be raising, and raising very loudly, and raising very clearly,” Karzai said, according to Reuters.

Flanked by senior Afghan officials, Karzai added he did not believe U.S. claims that the 16 deaths were the result of one rogue soldier — a popular theory quickly gaining traction among the country’s population.


Karzai backs claim of US massacre cover-up

“They believe it’s not possible for one person to do that,” Karzai said.

” In [one] family, in four rooms people were killed, women and children were killed, and they were all brought together in one room and then put on fire. That one man cannot do.”

Distraught villagers, some of whom had lost relatives after the soldier allegedly went on his shooting rampage last Sunday, expressed their grievances at the meeting.

“I don’t want any compensation. I don’t want money, I don’t want a trip to Mecca, I don’t want a house. I want nothing,” shouted one man, whose brother was killed in the nighttime slaughter, according to Reuters. “But what I absolutely want is the punishment of the Americans. This is my demand, my demand, my demand, and my demand,” he said.

The statement came as a lawyer for the soldier held on suspicion of slaughtering the Afghan civilians said his client did not want to be redeployed after being seriously injured during three previous tours in Iraq.

John Henry Browne, who famously defended the serial killer Ted Bundy and the so-called “Barefoot Bandit” Colton A. Harris-Moore, said at a press conference in the United States that his client had been training for a desk job when he was ordered to return to Afghanistan “overnight.”

Browne also told The Associated Press that his client saw his friend’s leg blown off the day before the rampage — further adding to his stress.

The shootings have pushed U.S.-Afghan relations, already strained after 10 years of occupation, to a new low.  Karzai on Thursday called for a pullout of American troops from rural parts of Afghanistan, to be replaced by local security forces.

The Afghan leader also insisted that U.S. service members be confined to major bases by 2013, a year earlier than President Barack Obama and the Pentagon have planned.

Karzai’s demand — coming only hours after Obama had pledged to stick to his 2014 withdrawal schedule — was made at a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was in Afghanistan on a fraught apology tour in the wake of Sunday’s killings.

NYPD Quota Scandal: For Detained Whistle-Blower, a Hospital Bill, Not an Apology

Officer Adrian Schoolcraft has filed a suit against New York City. Richard Perry/The New York Times

NY Times | Mar 15, 2012


It was not until 6 in the morning on Nov. 1, 2009, that Officer Adrian Schoolcraft finally had access to a telephone. The night before, he had been brought to the psychiatric emergency room at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on the orders of his police bosses.

Since then, his left hand had been cuffed to a gurney and he had been guarded by officers from the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn, where he worked.

He rolled the gurney to the phone and dialed a number, but the call was immediately disconnected by a sergeant, who said, “Hey, I thought perps weren’t allowed to use the phone,” according to a federal lawsuit that Officer Schoolcraft has filed against the city, saying he was punished for whistle-blowing.

Then, the suit charges, six officers pushed Officer Schoolcraft back down on the gurney, and a second handcuff was tightened around his left wrist.

Officer Schoolcraft was not, however, a perp — as the police call someone charged with a crime.

He was a police officer who had accurately reported wrongdoing by his supervisors, and who had left work an hour early the previous day. The very people he implicated — and who knew that he had — decided that his early departure and failure to answer the telephone constituted a psychiatric emergency. Led by a deputy chief and a deputy inspector, officers raided his apartment and brought him in cuffs to the psychiatric emergency room. Throughout the encounter in his home, which was secretly captured on audiotape, Officer Schoolcraft sounds calm, and not like a threat to anyone. His suit claims that the hospitalization, which lasted six days, was meant to shut him up.

The second cuff was fastened so tightly that his hand turned blue, the lawsuit says.

It brings to mind another hospital patient manacled by the left hand, and the reaction of the mayor and the police commissioner at the time. On a summer night in 1997, Abner Louima, mistakenly identified as a man who had punched an officer, was led into a toilet stall at the 70th Precinct station house and raped with a stick, an assault that nearly killed him.

At Coney Island Hospital, Mr. Louima was handcuffed to the rails of his bed until the atrocity was reported by Mike McAlary, a columnist with The Daily News.

Within a day, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir swept out senior officers in the precinct, put others on desk duty and stood at the bedside of Mr. Louima. His hand was uncuffed. “The alleged conduct involved is reprehensible, done by anyone, at any time,” Mr. Giuliani said. “Done by police officers, it’s even more reprehensible.”

OF course, the story of Mr. Schoolcraft’s confinement — which, seen in its worst light, is in a dimension different from the torture of Mr. Louima — took much longer to unfold, first emerging in The Daily News in February 2010, three months afterward, and then in the May 4, 2010, edition of The Village Voice. The superiors involved in the misreported crimes were eventually transferred by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly without public explanation, although an internal report affirmed Officer Schoolcraft’s accusations.

But on Officer Schoolcraft’s forced hospitalization, neither Mr. Kelly, nor his boss, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has had anything substantial to say. The Bloomberg administration continues to refuse to release any internal reports on the matter, saying the records are sealed by court order — although the city’s own lawyers asked for the order.

Unlike Mr. Giuliani, who thundered in the Louima case, Mr. Bloomberg seems to be shrugging at what, if true, also amounts to a grotesque abuse.

“While the police may bring someone who is potentially at risk to themselves or others to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, they have no say over who is admitted or for how long,” Frank Barry, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, said this week. “That’s up to the mental health professionals at the hospital.”

Rather than absolving the mayor of responsibility, that circumstance amplifies it. Jamaica’s spokesman, who did not return a phone call on Thursday, has said that the doctors relied on the observations of the police officers. A doctor wrote that Officer Schoolcraft’s “insight and judgment” were impaired, but also noted that he was “coherent, relevant with goal-directed speech and good eye contact.” The doctor also wrote: “He is irritable with appropriate affect.”

Dressed only in a gown, he spent three days in the psychiatric emergency room, then another three days in a locked ward among seriously disturbed people, with no phone, clock or mirror.

After his father tracked him down and brought him home, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center sent Adrian Schoolcraft a bill for $7,185.

History with VeriChip could damage Tommy Thompson’s campaign for US Senate

milwaukeestory.com | Mar 15, 2012

by Shaun Booth

Shortly after stepping down as Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson served on the Board of Directors of Applied Digital Solutions (ADS), the company that produced the VeriChip (a glass chip injected under the skin of humans and animals). The chip was marketed to store medical information or for GPS tracking capability. Thompson served as the public spokesman for ADS during the roll out of the VeriChip.

While the chip was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and was touted by the American Medical Association it failed the public opinion test miserably. The VeriChip was eventually discontinued in 2010. In a 2005 interview, VeriChip spokesperson John Procter explained that while only 60 people in the US had been voluntarily chipped, the company had chipped over 100 corpses in the Katrina tragedy as well as mentally disabled patients in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In an interview with MarketWatch in 2005 Thompson states that anybody that has concerns with the product should not worry because it is “completely voluntary.” He then immediately goes on to state that prime candidates for the VeriChip are babies and elderly patients with dementia. Thompson also drew criticism for stating publicly that he would not hesitate to have the VeriChip implanted in his own arm, only to avoid injection giving the excuse that he was too busy.

The willingness to be the public spokesman for a company that was injecting chips in the mentally disabled and corpses from Hurricane Katrina, demonstrates questionable judgement on the part of Thompson. While Thompson ran for the GOP nomination in 2007, he dropped out on August 12th, so there was no need for a public vetting process. Whether Thompson was wholeheartedly behind the VeriChip or he was a pitchman desperate for a big paycheck, neither scenario speaks highly of Thompson’s ability to represent Wisconsin in Washington on the floor of the US Senate.

Thompson talking about the wonders of the Verichip

The VeriChip was marketed as a medical device but its parent company does not have any other medical devices and is strictly a GPS tracking and telecommunications company besides the medically marketed VeriChip, which left the door open for unsettling possibilities for the VeriChip.

Thompson may very well believe that his activity since leaving public office will not be fully explored in the public domain in this election cycle. He may be relying on the intense public focus on the Walker recall election. With the Walker recall election being scheduled for June 5th there will be a shortened calendar for Mark Neumann, Jeff Fitzgerald and Eric Hovde to make their case against Thompson. The election will also be taking place in the heat of the Presidential campaign as well as hundreds of other federal races.

It will be interesting if Neumann, Fitzgerald or Hovde pick up the VeriChip story in attacks on Thompson as the campaign develops.

US soldier accused in Afghan massacre secreted out of country

The American soldier accused of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, has been flown out of Afghanistan to Kuwait.

NBC | Mar 15, 2012

by Richard Engel

A U.S soldier suspected of shooting to death 16 Afghan civilians was flown out of Afghanistan to Kuwait on Wednesday evening, the U.S. military said.

The soldier was taken out of the country “based on a legal recommendation,” said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman in Washington.

The 38-year old Staff Sergeant was transferred “based on a legal recommendation” because the “U.S. military (in Afghanistan) does not have the proper facilities to detain an American service member for any extended length of time,” a senior U.S. official told NBC News’ Jim Miklaszewski.

The soldier was moved to a detention facility in Kuwait and a military lawyer from Joint Base Lewis-McChord was headed to the facility to meet with the soldier, the official told NBC News.

The decision to move the soldier was made by the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, a senior Pentagon official said.

U.S. military officials told NBC News that they expect charges to be filed by at least the end of next week.

Afghan lawmakers expressed anger Thursday over the U.S. move to fly out the soldier accused of killing 16 civilians, mostly women and children, saying Kabul shouldn’t sign a strategic partnership agreement with Washington unless the suspect faces justice in Afghanistan.

Negotiations over the agreement, which would govern the presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after most combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014, were tense even before the shooting deaths of the civilians in southern Kandahar province on Sunday.

“It was the demand of the families of the martyrs of this incident, the people of Kandahar and the people of Afghanistan to try him publicly in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Naeem Lalai Hamidzai, a Kandahar lawmaker who is part of a parliamentary commission investigating the shootings.
NYT: An Afghan elder comes home to find a massacre

On Wednesday, an Afghan man drove a stolen pickup onto a runway at Camp Bastion, the main British base in southern Afghanistan, before crashing into a ditch — right around the time that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s plane was touching down, U.S. defense officials said.

The man who crashed the truck at the airfield in southern Afghanistan as the defense secretary’s plane was landing and then exited the vehicle in flames died of extensive burns on Thursday.

U.S. Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparotti, deputy commander of American forces in Afghanistan, told reporters traveling with Panetta in Kabul that he believed the man — an interpreter working for foreign forces — was targeting a group of U.S. Marines assembled on the ramp. He said it would have been difficult to know which plane the defense secretary was aboard.

The secretary’s aircraft had to taxi to a different location. No one in Panetta’s party was hurt, said Kirby.

“At no time was the secretary or the secretary’s delegation in any danger whatsoever,” George Little, a Pentagon spokesman traveling with Panetta, told reporters after the incident.

Panetta arrived in Afghanistan for an unannounced two-day visit with Afghan officials and U.S. troops — the first by a senior member of the Obama administration since the shootings over the weekend.

Panetta told soldiers at Camp Leatherneck, the main U.S. Marine base in the volatile area: “We’ll be challenged by our enemy. We’ll be challenged by ourselves. We’ll be challenged by the hell of war itself. But none of that, none of that, must ever deter us from the mission that we must achieve.”

Obama, Cameron stand in united front

He added: “As tragic as these acts of violence have been, they do not define the relationship between the coalition and Afghan forces and the Afghan people.”
Panetta also met with Afghan provincial leaders. He told them that the U.S. will “continue to face challenges, from the enemy, from ourselves,” but the U.S. “must stay committed to achieving the mission,” according to Little.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said Britain and their NATO allies are committed to shifting to a support role in Afghanistan in 2013.

Speaking alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron at joint a news conference in the White House, Obama said that next phase in the transition will be an important step in turning security control over to the Afghans by the end of 2014.

Panetta’s visit to Afghanistan was planned months ago, long before the weekend slaughter that claimed the lives of 16 villagers. But the trip propels Panetta into the center of escalating anti-American anger and sets the stage for some difficult discussions with Afghan leaders.

There were clear concerns about security in the large tent at Camp Leatherneck where Panetta was slated to talk to troops.

Before Panetta came into the hall, Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall told the more than 200 Marines in the room to take their weapons outside and leave them there. Afghan troops had already been told not to bring their guns in.

A U.S. defense official said the order was not a reaction to an immediate threat. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the base commander made the decision that no one would be allowed to bring in weapons.

Afghans investigating the village massacre had been shown video of the U.S. soldier taken from a security camera mounted on a blimp above his base, an Afghan security official told Reuters.

The footage showed the uniformed soldier, with his weapon covered by a cloth, approaching the gates of the Belandai special forces base and throwing his arms up in surrender, the official said.

The video had been shown to investigators to help dispel a belief among some Afghans, including many members of parliament, that more than one soldier must have been involved because of the high death toll, the official said.

FBI: Afghan civilian killings could spark attacks in U.S.

Afghan protesters shout anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration Tuesday in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

CNN | Mar 15, 2012

By Carol Cratty

Washington (CNN) — The alleged murder of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier could spur retaliatory violence in the United States, a law enforcement advisory by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned.

The intelligence bulletin, which was issued Wednesday to state and local law enforcement partners, says “there is currently no specific, credible threat information” that extremists might strike targets in the United States.

However, the document, which was obtained by CNN, notes the March 11 killings of the Afghans is the latest in a series of events in Afghanistan that could cause anger and possibly lead to violent action.

“The FBI and DHS are concerned that this event could contribute to the radicalization or mobilization of homegrown violent extremists in the Homeland, particularly against U.S.-based military targets,” the bulletin said.

The document notes that the soldier suspected of committing the killings is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, and states that in the past, extremists have viewed military sites as “legitimate targets for retaliation in response to past alleged U.S. military actions against civilians overseas.”

The law enforcement advisory also lists other recent events in Afghanistan that could incite violence in the United States, including the February burning of Qurans and other religious texts by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and a video that surfaced in January which appeared to show U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters.

The Quran burning sparked protests that left as many as 40 people dead, including six U.S. servicemembers.

U.S. officials also have promised a full investigation into the deaths of the 16 civilians.

According to the bulletin, it’s unlikely that any one of these events alone would lead to violence in the United States, but it noted they will be used in “violent extremist propaganda and could contribute to an individual’s radicalization to violence.”

The FBI and DHS called on local law enforcement to be vigilant for possible violence, particularly against U.S. military targets.

Afghan villagers say two shooters, not just one, involved in massacre of civilians

Associated Press | Mar 14, 2012

BALANDI, Afghanistan – As bullets flew, the Afghan woman scooped up her 3-year-old niece and ran for their lives. Moments later, the woman was dead and the girl lay bleeding from a gunshot wound.

It was the closing scene of a massacre that left 16 civilians, including nine children, dead in two villages in southern Kandahar province.

The U.S. is holding an Army staff sergeant that military officials say slipped off a U.S. base before dawn Sunday, walked to the villages, barged into their homes and opened fire. Some of the corpses were burned. Eleven were from one family. Five other people were wounded.

The military said Tuesday there was probable cause to continue holding the soldier, who has not been named, in custody. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said he could face capital punishment.


How many shooters were involved in the Afghan killing spree?

US says suspect in Afghan killings trained as sniper

Villagers – angry at foreign troops, frustrated with their government and tired of war – recounted the tragedy to a delegation sent to the scene by President Hamid Karzai. Two who lost relatives insisted that not one – but at least two – soldiers took part in the shootings.

President Barack Obama pledged a thorough investigation, saying the U.S. was taking the case “as seriously as if it was our own citizens, and our children, who were murdered.”

In Afghanistan’s first significant demonstration since the killings, protesters in the east burned an effigy of Obama as well as a cross, which they used as a symbol of people – like many Americans – who are Christians. They also called for the death of the soldier who has been accused.

On Tuesday, there was even more gunfire in Balandi, the village where 12 civilians were killed.

Taliban insurgents opened fire from behind some trees at members of the delegation, including two of Karzai’s brothers. One Afghan soldier died of a gunshot wound to the head, while Afghan security forces returning fire killed three militants. Delegation members escaped unharmed.

Sunday’s shooting rampage began in Balandi, a village nearly a mile south of the base.

Mohammad Wazir told the delegation that he was out of town when 11 of his relatives were slain at his house about 2:30 a.m. Someone called him in Spin Boldak, where he works as a farmer, and he hurried home to Panjwai district.

He said his sister told him that she heard gunfire and saw at least two soldiers firing inside their walled compound before she ran to hide in the kitchen of her uncle’s home nearby.

“Everybody was shouting,” Wazir said his sister told him. “My mother was in the yard closest to the Americans. They shot and killed her.”

“My brother was shouting, ‘Why are you shooting?’ and they killed him,” Wazir said. “Everybody was running in different directions. The children were running in one direction. The women were running in another direction, but they kept shooting.”

When his sister emerged from her kitchen hideout, 11 members of Wazir’s family were dead: his wife, mother, two sons, three daughters, his brother and sister-in-law, a nephew and a niece. Pieces of burned blankets were found near the bodies.

“My sister said that not only had they killed my family members, but they burned their bodies,” Wazir said.

Members of the delegation said another man was killed inside his home in the village. They did not provide details of his death.

After the killings in Balandi, south of the base, four other people were gunned down in the village of Alkozai, less than a mile north of the base.

Sayed Jan said he was in the nearby city of Kandahar where he does construction work when the shooting occurred shortly before 3 a.m. at his house in Alkozai. He told the delegation that his cousins next door saw two men enter the house and gun down four people. The cousins ran to safety.

“First they killed my sister-in-law, then a brother,” Jan told the delegation of Afghan security officials and lawmakers. “Then they killed another brother and then another sister-in-law.”

Jan’s 3-year-old daughter, who was in the arms of one of his sisters-in-law, survived. Jan, a widower, hasn’t been able to see his daughter, who was taken to an international military coalition hospital at Kandahar Air Field, 65 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of the villages.

“They were running away and she was shot and injured,” Jan said.

Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, said Monday in Washington that an Afghan soldier on guard duty reported seeing a U.S. soldier walk off the base. That report prompted a head count, which revealed that the staff sergeant was missing. A search party was organized, but others on the base could not find the missing soldier before the attacks occurred, Allen said.

Panetta said the soldier returned to the base on his own, told others what he had done and turned himself in.

Members of the Afghan delegation investigating the killings said one Afghan guard working from midnight to 2 a.m. saw a U.S. soldier return to the base around 1:30 a.m. Another Afghan soldier who replaced the first and worked until 4 a.m. said he saw a U.S. soldier leaving the base at 2:30 a.m. It’s unknown whether the Afghan guards saw the same U.S. soldier.

If the gunman acted alone, information from the Afghan guards would suggest that he returned to base in between the shooting sprees.

“We’re still investigating and looking at evidence, but right now everything points to one shooter,” said Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Kabul.

Villagers also reported seeing helicopters circling Balandi the night of the shooting. They gave members of the delegation empty canisters that the choppers had dropped to illuminate the area. Helicopters ferried the injured to Kandahar Air Field.

Cummings said there were no combat or close air support operations in the two villages at the time of the shootings.

Col. Gary Kolb, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition in Kabul, said a 48-hour probable cause assessment was completed and that the service member continues to be confined.

U.S. officials have identified him as a married, 38-year-old father of two who was trained as a sniper and recently suffered a head injury in Iraq.

A senior military official said investigators are looking into the possibility that alcohol played a role.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is under way, said it’s unclear whether the suspect had been drinking before disappearing from his base or whether alcohol was simply found in his living space there. Military rules prohibit the use or possession of alcohol in a war zone.

At the White House, a stern Obama said “we will make sure that anybody who is involved is held fully accountable with the full force of the law.”

The anger among Balandi residents was on display Tuesday.

“Today, the Kandahar governor was trying to explain to the villagers that he was only one soldier, that he was not a sane person and that he was sick,” said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a Kandahar lawmaker who was in Balandi with the delegation.

“But the people were just shouting and they were very angry. They didn’t listen to the governor. They accused him of defending the Americans instead of defending the Kandahari people,” Ayubi said.

The Taliban attack came as members of the government delegation left a village mosque where a memorial service was being held for the victims.

Shots were fired just as Qayum and Shah Wali Karzai, two of the president’s brothers, and other top Afghan officials were leaving the mosque. They were unharmed.

Before they left, the delegation members started to pay out compensation to relatives of victims – $2,000 for each death and $1,000 for each person wounded.

The gunbattle came as images of the aftermath of the killings spread across the country, and the public reaction – which at first seemed surprisingly muted – began to build. Photographs of dead toddlers wrapped in bloody blankets in Panjwai started to make the rounds in Afghanistan on Monday. The images were broadcast on Afghan TV stations, and people posted them on social network sites and blogs.

Students in Jalalabad protested the killings, raising concerns about a repeat of the wave of violent demonstrations that rocked the nation after last month’s burning of Qurans by troops at a U.S. base. Students shouted “Death to America!” and, “Death to the soldier who killed our civilians!”

“The reason we are protesting is because of the killing of innocent children and other civilians by this tyrant U.S. soldier,” said Sardar Wali, a university student. “We want the United Nations and the Afghan government to publicly try this guy.”

An Obama Friend And His Communist Connection

Danny Davis: Obama shares his values. AP

investors.com | Mar 14, 2012

Vetting: That a U.S. congressman has been honored by a communist group is in itself noteworthy. That the congressman is a political ally of President Obama whose values he shares is even more so.

Late last month, Rep. Danny Davis, a Democrat who has represented Chicago’s Loop since 1998, accepted the Chris Hani and Rudy Lozano Social Justice Award from the People’s World, an online news provider that, according to its website, enjoys “a special relationship with the Communist Party USA” and publishes “its news and views.” Part of its editorial mission is “to popularize the ideas of Marxism and Bill of Rights socialism.”

There was no mainstream media coverage of the award ceremony, just a RebelPundit.com video of Davis accepting the award and a sidewalk interview that turned confrontational when the congressman’s comrades tried to intimidate Jeremy Segal, the self-described citizen journalist of RebelPundit who was asking legitimate questions and peacefully shooting the video.

Segal bookends the Davis portion of the video with clips of President Obama in 2004 telling a group that the reason Davis is “one of the best congressmen in the country” is that “he shares our values.” Davis introduces Obama at the rally as a “friend of mine.”

Having a member of the Congress so closely aligned with the Communist Party should be better publicized. Would it be acceptable if he received an award from a Nazi group? A fascist organization? Of course not.

Yet he is honored by a organization that backs the policies of communist regimes that have murdered as many as 260 million people, according to academic R.J. Rummel’s high-limit estimate, and there’s no outcry save for one citizen journalist and a few websites that have picked up on his fearless coverage. What kind of country are we living in these days?

The offense only begins with Davis, though. It extends through him all the way to the top of the party — and the U.S. government.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama crafted an image of himself as a moderate. But he has strong bonds with the far left. At least two members of his administration have communist connections.

One, Van Jones, the green jobs czar who lasted six months in the job, was an admitted communist. Another, former White House communications director Anita Dunn, listed Mao Zedong, a member of the mass-murdering class documented by Rummel’s research, as one of her favorite philosophers.

Further back is Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA who is known as young Obama’s mentor.

Despite these and other links, we’re not saying Obama himself is a communist. He is a member, and titular head, of the Democratic Party. But he has a history of surrounding himself with radicals. It’s discouraging that this part of his background has not been revealed in the vetting process.

Norway police sorry, could have responded faster to massacre

(L-R) Committee leader Olav Soenderland, Police Director Oeystein Maeland and Oslo Chief of Police Anstein Gjengedal attend a news conference in Oslo March 15, 2012. Norway’s police apologised on Thursday for not acting faster to stop the July 22, 2011 massacre of 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp last summer by an anti-Islamic gunman who had earlier set off a bomb in central Oslo that killed eight. Reuters Pictures

Norway police admit slow response during massacre

CBS | Mar 15, 2012

(AP) OSLO, Norway – Norwegian police admitted for the first time Thursday that they could have responded faster to a youth camp shooting massacre that left 69 people dead in July.

Presenting the results of an internal evaluation, police officials said the response was slowed down by flaws in communication systems and other mishaps, including the breakdown of an overloaded boat that was carrying a SWAT team to the scene of the shooting on Utoya island.

Investigators say the confessed shooter, Anders Behring Breivik, set off a bomb in downtown Oslo, killing eight people, before he drove to a lake outside the capital and took a small ferry to summer retreat for the governing Labor Party’s youth wing on Utoya. He was arrested 1 hour and 20 minutes later, according to the indictment presented last week.


Norway police admit slow response to Breivik massacre

Norway police say sorry for delay in stopping massacre

“I regret we weren’t able to arrest the suspect earlier than we did,” Oslo Police Director Oeystein Maeland told reporters.

“Could police have been faster? The answer is yes,” he said. “If the boat hadn’t been over capacity, police would have been on Utoya faster,” he said. “If it would have led to another and better result is nothing we know for sure, but we can’t rule it out. And it’s tough, like I’ve said before, to think that lives thereby would have been saved.”

Police had earlier been reluctant to admit that they could have done anything differently in their response to the attacks, which were unprecedented in Norway.

A police helicopter was left unused during the massacre, and its vacationing crew was called in only after Breivik had surrendered.

“That should have been done faster,” police inspector Anstein Gjengedal said.

The evaluation also praised the police officers involved in the operation for making “sound tactical assessment based on the information available to them.”

But Magnus Ranstorp, a terror expert at the Swedish National Defense College, said the decision to wait for a SWAT team to arrive raises questions about how Norwegian police are trained to deal with an “active shooter.”

“The most important thing you can do in this type of situation is to send two or three armed police officers to confront the perpetrator as quickly as possible,” Ranstorp said.

Though he admits to carrying out the attacks, Breivik rejects the terror and murder charges he faces, saying the victims had betrayed Norway by embracing liberal immigration policies he claims will lead to a Muslim colonization.

Psychiatrists are evaluating the 33-year-old Norwegian’s mental health to determine whether he should be sentenced to compulsory psychiatric care instead of prison. In either case, prosecutors say he could be locked up for the rest of his life.