Aug 142010

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani provided by Amnesty International


A lawyer for an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning has told a British newspaper she was tortured for two days before confessing on state TV to being an accomplice to her husband’s death.

Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer told the Guardian on Thursday that his client, a 43-year-old mother of two, was forced to give the interview, which was recorded in Tabriz prison where she has been held for the past four years.

“She was severely beaten up and tortured until she accepted to appear in front of camera. Her 22-year-old son Sajad and her 17-year-old daughter Saeedeh are completely traumatised by watching this programme,” lawyer Houtan Kian said on the newspaper’s website.

The lawyer said he feared the Iranian authorities would act quickly to carry out the death sentence, which was reportedly commuted to hanging after an international outcry against her sentence last month.

The Guardian gave no details of where the lawyer was speaking.

Another of her lawyers, Mohammad Mostafaie, fled Iran this month and is now in Norway after Iranian officials issued an arrest warrant for him and detained his wife.

The sentence against Mohammadi-Ashtiani was initially for “having an illicit relationship outside marriage”, which drew condemnation from many countries.

But in the interview broadcast on state TV, she said that a man with whom she was acquainted had offered to kill her husband and she let him carry out the crime.

In a separate interview with the Guardian last week, she claimed she had been acquitted of murder, “but the man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned but he is not sentenced to death.”

In the earlier Guardian interview, she attributed her treatment by the Iranian authorities to her gender. “It’s because I’m a woman, it’s because they think they can do anything to women in this country,” she said.

Aug 142010

You know that she had crap to say. She didn’t learn after Megyn nailed her

Aug 142010

Obama “forcefully” comes out in support of the Ground Zero Mosque?

“President Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed building a mosque near ground zero, saying the country’s founding principles demanded no less.” (Associated Press, Aug. 13, 2010).

Don’t make us all laugh, Associated Press! Obama has never done anything forceful in his 49 years on earth, other than to be there to take advantage of whatever was going at the time.

Obama’s strategy for fight has been his ongoing battle against ordinary Americans, and that fight has been stylized by lobbing insults at the constituency (usually on Friday nights) before departing for another vacation or golf game.

It is very convenient for Obama to be in the White House at a chapter in history when being forceful, confrontational, down to earth or realistic is politically incorrect.

This master of the mealy mouthed mouths platitudes via a TelePrompter and travels to Town Halls with his very own cheering section.

Forceful indeed!

When is the last time anybody ran into a forceful Metrosexual?

Obama is a wuss who talks about plugging holes when the holes needing to be plugged have been exaggerated all out of proportion.

As this corner has said before the only hole Obama should plug is the rabbit hole in which he is trying to drag down American society.

Truth is the closest Barack Obama ever gets to forceful is surrounding himself with forceful females: Oprah Winfrey with whom he celebrated his last birthday; slumlord Valerie Jarrett and his globetrotting wife.

Since when can surreptitious, which Obama truly is, be translated into “forceful”? When it is AP who is sending the message, that’s when.

It’s easy to come on like a despot when you have all the toys, all the bells and whistles, all the power and money in your little corner. As easy as saying you got all the balls through the hoop when no one was there to prove otherwise.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country, Obama said weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York City and the nation,” Obama told AP.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,” he said. “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

Make that a global citizen and a president whose eligibility is questionable. And make it what is left of America when the most anti-American president ever elected gets through with it.

And what have Muslims having the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country really have to do with building a mega mosque so near to the site where so many died at the hands of radical Islam on Sept. 11, 2001?

The obsession for a Mosque near Ground Zero when 70% of Americans object, is being forceful on the part of those pushing for a September 11, 2011 groundbreaking.

Obama was not being forceful but pandering to the Muslim Brotherhood at the White House on Ramadan.

Mark Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 as Obama’s biggest bow to the power of Islam, not abroad this time, but right in the White House.

Meanwhile, it’s just another Friday night in ObamaLand.

By Judi McLeod CFP

Aug 142010


A federal appeals court on Friday threw out a decision that had barred Congress from withholding funds from ACORN, the activist group driven to ruin by scandal and financial woes.

The ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan reversed a decision by a district court judge in Brooklyn that found Congress had violated the group’s rights by punishing it without a trial.

Congress cut off ACORN’s federal funding last year in response to allegations the group engaged in voter registration fraud and embezzlement and violated the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities.

Fueling the outrage was a video that caught three employees allegedly advising a couple posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend to lie about her profession and launder her earnings.

ACORN responded with a lawsuit accusing Congress of abusing its power with what amounted to a “corporate death sentence.”

The appeals court disagreed, citing a study finding that ACORN received only 10 percent of its funding from federal sources.

“We doubt that the direct consequences of the appropriations laws temporarily precluding ACORN from federal funds were so disproportionately severe or so inappropriate as to constitute punishment,” the three-judge panel wrote.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which argued on behalf of ACORN, said it was considering asking the appeals court to rehear the case with more judges.

“We cannot let Congress be pushed around by the right-wing media machine into becoming prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner of politically unpopular people or organizations,” said Bill Quigley, legal director for CCR.

There was no immediate response to a phone message left for government lawyers.


Aug 142010

Transnational Gangs Terrorizing American Cities – The War Next Door: An often overlooked threat that knows no boundaries

Aug 142010

Aug 142010

PJ Media


Several commenters have questioned the veracity of this story. Following is the proof that the photo was originally on the Cordoba Initiative website, and its Shariah Index project page.

The photo originally appeared here

A screen shot is from a cached copy of the original page

(Updated with comparisons of the two in screen-shots below.)

Larijani was the Iranian representative who defended Iran’s abysmal human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council in February and June of this year. Among other things, Larijani told the Council: “Torture is one thing and punishment is another thing. … This is a conceptual dispute. Some forms of these punishments should not be considered torture according to our law.” By which he meant flogging, amputation, stoning, and the criminalization of homosexuality, which are all part of Iranian legal standards. Larijani added: “Iran [has a] firm commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. … The Islamic Republic of Iran … is a democracy,” which would be news to the pro-democracy activists murdered or confined to Iranian prisons since last year’s fraudulent elections.


A Cordoba-Iranian connection? What exactly is “Islamicity”?

More questions have arisen about the attempt to build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero, as part of the so-called Cordoba Initiative. In particular, why has the Cordoba website just removed a photograph of Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran? Is the move an attempted cover-up of their Iranian connections?

Two weeks ago the Cordoba Initiative website featured a photograph of the project’s chairman, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, and Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani at an event that the Initiative sponsored in Malaysia in 2008. This week, the photograph, which appears below, has disappeared.

Feisal Abdul Rauf, New York Mosque~Further Travels Of Imam Feisal By Claudia Rosett-Forbes

While debate rages over plans for an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, the imam behind this project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is not available to answer questions in New York. Since locating the absent Rauf last week in Malaysia, I have now discovered that he’s about to embark on a nearly month-long swing through the Middle East, with plans to visit Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar.

Ultimately, in response to repeated questions, a member of Rauf’s New York Cordoba Initiative foundation e-mailed me Friday, saying that Rauf’s trip to the Middle East, “in the near future,” will be hosted by the U.S. government as part of an outreach program to “bring the message of moderation, peace and understanding.”

At the State Department, which presumably will be spending taxpayer money
(* FOX Obama says he favors allowing mosque project near former World Trade Center site) on Rauf’s tour, I have yet to receive confirmation or any other information about his program, despite three days of my repeated requests by phone and e-mail. Apparently it is taking a while for State’s Bureau of Public Diplomacy to get “clearance” to release any details of this particular public outreach effort, though Rauf’s wife says it has been in the works for months.

All this comes at a moment when Rauf and his partners in New York are preparing to raise $100 million to build a 13-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero. A Manhattan Landmarks committee gave the necessary approval on Aug. 3 to tear down the old Burlington Coat Factory building already purchased for $4.85 million by a real estate developer partnering with Rauf. That building is so close to Ground Zero that on the morning of the Sept. 11 attacks parts of one of the hijacked planes damaged its roof. On that lot, the Islamic center project is now cleared to roll forward, once the money rolls in.

Perhaps it’s coincidence that instead of haggling over financing in New York, Rauf—Imam Feisal, to his followers—will spend the rest of the summer touring some of the petro-dollar capitals of the planet, including such fonts of potential funding as Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Rauf’s wife and partner in nonprofits, Daisy Kahn, told me in a phone interview this week that he will not be fundraising during these travels. Nor, said Kahn, will she be fund-raising when she makes a similar State-sponsored outreach trip later this month to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

What does that actually mean? Fundraising, especially in the bargaining halls of the Middle East, does not always consist of a brusque pitch and immediate handshake. A lot of business begins with drinking tea, rubbing shoulders and moseying toward the eventual deal. In May the English-language website of Asharq Al-Awsat reported that Rauf, in a London interview, had said his Islamic center will be financed by donations both from Muslims in the U.S. and from Arab and Islamic countries. Asked recently how this might work in detail, Kahn said she doesn’t know; all plans are still in flux while a new entity to handle the Islamic center project “is being formed.”

To some of the defenders of this project, such specifics don’t matter. New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week said he doesn’t care where the $100 million comes from; he sees it as none of the government’s business. If the only criterion here is that Rauf and his partners comply with the minimum due diligence and disclosure required by law, Bloomberg has a point.

But to a great many Americans, it quite likely does matter where the money comes from. For one thing, there is always the potential for the preferences of big donors to sway the behavior of nonprofit ventures. Countries such as Saudi Arabia are not known for full-throated support of American values and freedoms.

For another, the current uproar over the project is testimony all by itself that to many Americans, the site of the World Trade Center is freighted with symbolism. That may not always register as a matter of law, but it does matter. Ground Zero is both the geographic and symbolic heart of the attacks in which Islamist terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, murdered almost 3,000 Americans.

Of those 19 terrorists, 15 were from Saudi Arabia and two were from the United Arab Emirates; the others were Egyptian and Lebanese. If Rauf wishes to raise money from the part of the world that raised these terrorists, especially from Saudi Arabia or the UAE, then within normal constraints of U.S. law, he is entitled to do so.

But if Rauf’s aim is truly, as he says, to build bridges, reach out and promote harmony in America, then punctuating his Ground Zero project with a summer swing past fonts of Islamic oil money seems an odd way to go about it. With emotions rubbed raw among some families of Sept. 11 victims, with arguments boiling over the “bridge-building” project Rauf himself set in motion, it would seem far more fitting for him to spend his time in America, answering, not least, the many questions he has repeatedly deflected about the money.

Were Rauf to cancel his trip, I’d wager the State Department would understand. After all, it appears to be a public outreach program which, despite the huge publicity currently surrounding Rauf, neither he nor the State Department have deemed worth advertising to the public.