Snowden was wrong and deserves to be punished.

           Edward Snowden revealed the Top Secret NSA Surveillance program. The NSA is collecting phone records and they are also collecting Internet records under the PRISM program. Republican Senators chastised President Obama and said they knew nothing of the program, a blatant lie. There are records showing Congress having briefings about the programs, maybe they went home instead of going to the briefings.

Snowden dropped out of high school. Got a job as a janitor at the CIA and somehow worked himself into a low-level intellegence position. He apparently is a whiz with computers. As budgets for the NSA, CIA and FBI were slashed they began outsourcing a lot of the intellegence work. Snowden left the CIA and began working in those fields. He stole information he was not even supposed to have and fled the country. He worked with the Guardian newspaper to get it out.

There is no dilema here, ge broke the law and the contract hth e signed to be privy to Top Secret information. Giving Top Secret information to anyone not cleared to look at it can be considered treason. If someone dies because of the information he made public will he still be considered a hero? Releasing classified information like this hurts our National Security. We are a free state, not a police state, but we do have to take measures to protect our country.

I am a Democrat and a Liberal but I realize that National Security is of the utmost importance. Do you think it was blind luck we were only hit with one terrorist attack since 9/11. There is a reason for that. How many people were prosecuted because of these programs? These programs had to get renewed court orders every 3 months for 7 years and Senators claim they didn’t know. Republican outrage over this is a sham, they supported George W. Bush and his illegal wiretapping.

What Snowden did was wrong? If he sold these secrets to Russia he would be labeled a traitor. Instead he gave it to a newspaper who gave it to our enemies. He is a traitor, plain and simple. The Government looking at your Internet activity is wrong, but corporations doing it is ok. Snowden deserves to be punished. There is no way around that and any country that shelters him obviously has a vested interest in him.

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To be secure or not to be secure, make up your mind.

               After the Boston Marathon Bombing the media was complaining that we should have known something. How could the CIA have known anything if there were no phone taps? Obviously the government doesn’t listen to calls or this tragedy would have been prevented. Republicans are hypocrites who helped create the Patriot Act, but now they don’t like it. Rand Paul wants to file a civil suit, well I want to file one against him for every person that died of gun violence since he helped vote down the Manchin/Toomey Gun Bill.

I am sick of the hypocritical nature of our society and government. They want something done, find o ut something is being done and throw a hissy fit. Republicans stop creating scandals and create jobs. Help our economy instead of hindering it and the rich have gotten enough breaks, close the Tax Loopholes and get Tax Reform done. It will help with our National Debt you claim to be so concerned about.

Why are Republicans killing Immigration Reform? They want to deport kids who were brought here illegally by their parents. How is that their fault? What happened to Republicans engaging Latinos, trying to work with them to gain their votes. Just more Republican lies, if you aren’t giving them money you are not important. They are the party of NO, lies and manufacturing scandals. If they cannot win or buy victory they will try anything to get rid of you.

So the government is tracking our phone data, who cares. How is that violating Civil Rights? I have read the 4th Amendment and as long as a court says it is ok, it is legal. Democrats need to stick with President Obama, that is the only way the American people will see improvement. The polarization of this country is sick and most comes from the right. If you want to secede, do it, no federal money for you. Red states get a lot more government aid then Blue states. So buh-bye crazies.

Congress has know about NSA collecting phone records for 7 years.

                    I find it laughable that news outlets immediately went on the attack about the NSA collecting phone records. They immediately attacked the Obama administration for violating civil rights, before they had all the information. I find it odd that Republican lawmakers were informed about this, yet say they weren’t completely informed. Where they not reading their briefings? They also didn’t seem willing to mention it was part of the Patriot Act. Why now was this TOP SECRET document released? Isn’t it odd that it coincides with other “scandals”.

                 Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Chair women of the Senate Intellegence Committee says the top secret court order for telephone records is a 3 month renewal of a continuing program that has been in place since 2006. That’s a whole 3 years before President Obama took office. Senator Feinstein said that the surveillance is lawful and Congress has been fully briefed on the practice.

Her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss agreed, ” This is nothing new. This has been going on for years and EVERY member of the U.S. Senate has been advised of this. To my knowledge there has not been any citizen who has registered a complaint. It has proved meritorious because we have collected significant information on bad guys, but only bad guys, over the years.” He said that every Senator was briefed on this, all of them, Republicans and Democrats. If this is violating civil rights and President Obama is wrong, Republicans are complicit and thereby just as wrong.

The statements of the Senators rule out that the surveillance was in response to the Boston Marathon Bombing. The order was effective April 19, shortly after the bombing, sparking speculation of a link. Despite revealing the duration of the surveillance, the Senators did not specify why the surveillance is in place. I guess that is why it is TOP SECRET, there are some things the public shouldn’t know, or it will get in the papers and possibly harm our anti-terrorist experts. The court order was authorized under a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that allows the government to collect business records in bulk if the request is approved by the court. What are Phone companies business records, call data, numbers, call origins and data used. Fits under the law, a law that Republicans helped put in place.

Much to the chagrin of Conservative media, the Patriot Act was George W. Bush’s baby. Republucan born and bipartisanly voted on. President Obama said ge would use this as long as he got a court order, he has one. Was it a violation of civil rights when a Republican President was doing it? I heard no complaints then. The Prophet Glenn Beck is painting himself into a corner. First he says President Obama is weak on terrorism, then when he uses Bush’s tactics he is violating civil rights. Which is it Glenn? Can’t have it both ways. Why don’t you tell your listeners at least a portion of the truth, instead of painting President Obama and Democrats as evil.

Radicalization and Terrorism. Can we stop the process?

            First the excusr that Jihadist Terrorism being a response to American foreign policy must be scrapped. Or the percieved difficulty faced by Muslim youths trying to intergrate into American society. Most Muslims are not terrorists and in fact most abhore the actions of the zealots who pervert their religion. The only way to defear radical Jihadists is not by beating the violence, but the underlying ideology of hate.

As of 2012 according to Wikipedia, the American government, CIA, FBI, DEA, the police and the military have prevented 29 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11. In that time there has been one successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The Boston Marathon Bombing, which was committed by 2 Chechens, one who was interviewed by the FBI. If Russia g ad shared the information they had, that one would have been prevented as well.

We are never going to prevent Radicals from hating America, regardless of changes in our foreign policy. George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan indirectly or dirictly complied with terrorist by removing U.S. soldiers from a specific area, it did nothing to change the Radical attempts to harm our country or our citizens in foreign countries. Radicals twist religious teachings to fit their hate, their mental instability and the fact that their situation was caused by Radicals before them. They prey upon weak people, lost souls and those looking for a group identity. These people are so immersed in their leaders teachings, they cannot see the forest for the trees. They do not realize that they are pawns in a sick game of revenge on a society not the individual “evil doer”. They also don’t realize their leader does not put themselves in harms way unless it comes to them, despite their claims that dying whole killing the infidels is glorious and guarantees a spot in heaven. They manipulate the weak minded, they are predators.

We can stopp planned attacks, which has been proven. The Intellegence Services pick up “chatter” and then figure out how to handle it. They usually find out if the “chatter” is true, narrow down the conspirators and then strike. We need to stop assisting countries that support or allow terrorist to hide in their lands, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran- which is subsidized by wealthy Americans like Mitt Romney and their controlling interests in the oil fields. Drone strikes make a lot of sense in these cases, cross border attacks on terrorist hideouts and training camps. We have made a lot of progress, but as a Free Society we will always be open to attacks. If we became a police state, the terrorists woukd have won and we still wouldn’t be safe.

Our leaders, intellegence services, police and other organizations have done an admirable job stopping attacks. Lone wolf attacks like the Boston Marathon Bombing or the attack on the British soldier will continue to be a thorn in our side. It shows how terrorists are adapting to our methods, finding alternate means of communication. If we cannot pick up any information about an attack, it cannot be prevented. We will never stop radicalization, we can change how we are percieved worldwide, it doesnt matter what we do. It us not our policies they disagree with, it is our freedoms and it is their theory that all people should live by Sharia Law. As we deal with more of this maybe we can develope nethods to stop radicalization.
In closing, Republucans; Democrats, President Obama or Joe the Plumber are not the cause, we are the victim. You cannot stop insanity, you hospitalize and medicate it. For radicalization to stop, it must be felliw Muslims that stop it. They need to preach what their religion is really about and erase the perversion done by zealots. All we can do is stop what we can and react well when it happens. We cannot kick people out of the country or hate all because of the actions of a few. We are America, we are better than that.

Radicalism and Terror, How?

             I know the why of Radicalization covered part of the how, but I want to find out how one goes about becoming radicalized. The recruitment part seems to b e the finalization of the radicalization process. The person then becomes indoctrinated and is a part of something “bigger”. The unemployed, minorities, minority religions and other people seen as being vulnerable are the main targets of the radical element.

Communication may include preaching, email posts, one on one calls and many other methods. While they do not radicalize alone, they lay the foundation, the first step in communicating urgency and outrage. As time goes on the message intensifies moving the subject towards action. The recruiter feeds the subject hate and enhances their need to belong, dragging the subject along, entrenching the beliefs into their way of thinking. Without absolute belief, radicalization cannot be completed. Free thought needs to be removed.

A very critical part of Radicalization is making the message part of everyday life. It is not just thought of in the group, but alone as well. It must become a part of the subject’s unconscious thought process. For radicalization to work best, the convertion should be contained. All contrary messages must be kept at bay, isolating the subject to insulate them from external discussion. When this isn’t possible, Groupthink and other social means of ensuring conformance may also be used to keep the subject on track.

The leader will then require action of some kind from the subject. The action can be a protest, to small acts of criminality, as the subject works his way up to a larger terrorist attack. The limited success can escalate the acts of aggression. Many leaders build committment from the subject with requests. Starting of with small tasks and as the subject show his worthiness, the tasks become more important.

Fulfilling your duty is often linked to a promise of glory, from the admiration of peers to a guaranteed place in heaven. People who have taken action and succeeded are regarded as heroes. Their actions are glorified, which causes others in the group to strive for this success. All they need to do is something that the group truly believes in. This works best with people who are searching for meaning in life. They believe they are making a difference and therefore it creates self worth.

This sounds like something a scientist thinks of, not a group of terrorists hiding in camps across the globe. But this some of the how of radicalization. It takes a sickness and turns it into a plague. It takes lost and weak individuals and turns them into living missles. Because of the dehumanization of the enemy, it becomes easier to kill them. The preperation for the attack forces the subject to act, to back out would let down their “mentor” and group.

Republicans, Democrats, the Military, CIA, FBI, DEA or any other group cannot contend with this. The blind passion and hate of a radicalized group consistently finds ways around the people trying to stop them. For every attack that is stopped, their are 2 more ready to be launched. The only protection from these attacks are vigilance, by government agencies, the police and the people.

Radicalism and Terrorism, Why?

              What exactly is radicalization and what draws people to it? The process of radicalization often starts with some form of transgression by the other side. By breaking the rules the subject holds as very important. A common theme is mistreatment, typically by authorities or the military using methods that cause extreme pain or mental distress. More often then not it is not the subject being radicalized that is mistreated. It is most often other people are deemed martyrs and heroes. It can also be historical and go backs 100s of years.

In order to become radicalized, you need a movement or a cause. In order for the outrage to manifest it needs to be converted into an organization for action. Typically these groups seek vengeance that is outside the law. There needs to be a core organization to set up and drive actions. The core leaders generally preach or write their beliefs to firmly entrench them in the minds of their subjects. The key part to this is this is emphasizing the nessage, the message calls to those looking for similar thinking people.

There arw also a certain amount of radicalized terrorists who have a spiritual mentor. In 20% of cases it is a more experienced Muslim who gives specific instructions and directions during the radicalization process. The mentor may be accessed by a Mosque or the Internet. The mentor helps keep the radicalization process on track. They feed into the anger the subject feels to keep him coming back for more. These mentors twist the teachings of the Koran to make it fit their needs. One study said that 25% of terrorists had a percieved religious authority who provides specific theological approval for their activities, violent or not.

The ideology in much of the radicalization person meets the subject halfway. It gives them people with similar ideas and a safe outlet for their anger. Many teach the us versus them mindset, which appeals to the subject of the radicalization.The beliefs are regarded as absolute truth, dissuading critical thinking or questioning of the mentors teachings. In essence it eliminates dissent of any kind. It also adds a moral authority to the us versus them ideology. Core leaders consistently remind their subjects that the us is always under threat from the them. The need to join together with like minded individuals is intensified abd creates an illusion of safety. They keep building on the reasons why the subject searched them out, while expanding the subjects belief system. The mentor uses the hatred the subject feels to dehumanize their enemies, therefore making the idea of violence easier to understand.

The why of radicalization is like walking the pathway of insanity. To hurt people who had nothing to do with yout percieved wrong is a distorted version of reality. But in order to become radicalized your morality must have already been compromised. Terrorists bring the wrath of the rest of the world on their people, but blame the U.S. and the rest of the world for their problems. My answer, yes very opinionated it may be, stop being secular lunatics and deal with things like an adult. I did not have anything to do with what happened to your ancestors, just as an Italian neighbor had nothing to do with the treatment of my Irish ancestors a hundred years ago. Get over it, worship your god and realize life goes on. Attack those who personally attack you, not cowardly attacks on women and children.

Radicalism and Terrorism, Introduction

               Many of us have the same question, what is causing the radicalization of so many young people? Why the need to hurt others for a religious belief? What kind of political statement are you making by bombing innocent people? Then after they commit an atrocity, they don’t seem to understand why people would hunt them down. Claiming we just go after them because of their religious beluefs, no people chase you down because of your actions. The man who killed the British soldier said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. To hold anyone responsible for the actions of several hundred years ago is ludicrous.

I am going to do several pieces on Radicalization, the why, the how and can it be stopped. Hopefully it will be a window into a world where murdering innocents is praised. A sane person cannot understand this, but maybe we can find a way to keep their recruitment lower. I will focus on Islam, although other religions might nit produce terrorists, they do produce some things that are disturbing.

We need to truly understand what terrorism is, by definition. Wikipedia defines it as, the systematic use of terror, often violent, especially as a means of coercion. The International community does not have a legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism. Another definition, the use of violence and intimidation in the pursiit of political aims. According to Laura Beth Nielsen, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Legal Studies at Northwestern University, said n a write up fo ALJAZEERA English. She said that the most obvious definition is that terrorism is meant to terrorize. All these definitions say basically the same thing, using force to make a political statement.

Where did terrorism begin? The concept of terrorism dates back to the days when Rome invaded Judea. In the first century zealots and Sicarii would break into the homes of the Roman soldiers and kill them in their sleep. The attacks were selective and occurred in heavily defended areas. It continued until the Sicarii committed mass suicide. During the 11th century the Hashshashin (assasin) an offshoot of Shia Muslims opposed Fatamid rule. They attacked various forts and were successful, but did not have a large enough force to attack directly. The greatest perpatrators of terrorism were the Thugi cult of India. The Thugi (Thugee) existed for centuries attacking anyone, at anytime, in any part of the land. Theur weapon of choice was the garrote. The total death count varies anywhere between 100, 000-200, 000 because the total number of Thugi was unknown, as was India’s population. In 1883 the British army killed of the Thugi cult.

Why do terrorists kill innocent people? Terrorists target people least prepared for an attack. In the terrorists eyes these people are not innocent as part of a community that is their enemy, therefore in the eyes of the terrorist they are the enemy. Hypocritical, I know, they do not want us to judge all Muslims, but they judge all others. The way terrorists view it, being innocent is impossible if you live in their enemies country. Why do they attack other Muslims? Easy answer, different offshoot of Islam. Their term Jihad, means broad struggle. If you do not agree with them, you are the enemy.

Why do they hate America? One answer is that after WWII, we sat down and drew borders for these countries without their input. We backed leaders, who were unpopular with their people, but friendly to us. We intervened in a lot of their affairs, creating dissent. Another reason is our support for Israel. After 9/11 Al Qaeda said they attacked because of the Pro-Israel and anti-Palestine foreign policy. Obviously there are many different and ddifficult reasons why we have become a focus of terrorism. But in the mind of the terrorist it makes perfect sense.

To me it is hogwash. None of these reasons are important enough to kill children and innocent people for. These terrorists are willing to provoke other countries but act as if they are persecuted for no reason other than religion. Any religion that rewards you for killing others must have been perverted. I cannot see how any God or cleric can condone that. But then again I am rational and not a zealot. I am writing this for insight for myself and anyone else who reads them. Not to humanize an animal who kills non military combatants puposely.