Tag Archives: Religious Extremism

Thayer Targeted by Dangerous, Volatile Social Media Campaign in Case of Mistaken Identity

5 Dec
Sarah Noble Accuses Thayer of 'Making me Cry'. Crisis Spirals Towards Disaster

Sarah Noble Accuses Thayer of ‘Making me Cry’. Crisis Spirals Towards Disaster

natekittermaine

“Nate Thayer” Sparks Near Tragic Incident Over Mistaken identity

Known Protagonist Katie Lovell Fits Profile of Security Threat

Known Protagonist Katie Lovell Fits Profile of Security Threat

Thayer Targeted by Dangerous, Volatile Social Media Campaign in Case of Mistaken Identity: Narrowly Misses Clear and Present Danger of Irate Gang

I was alarmed to see I had received a tweet this evening from one Kalie Lovell ‏@its_klove who tweeted “Remembering that nate thayer called me a bitch today #almostcried #youarethebitch #rude”

To which one Sarah Noble chimed in another Tweet: “@narahsoble @its_klove he made me cry once haha “

Miss Lovell’s tweet was “liked” and retweeted by 9 other separate, nubile looking, young attractive in that surly- gum snapping-rolling-one’s- eyes-sorta-way, lasses.

My mind raced at the entirely credible plausibility of some hazy misconduct of mine being responsible for the organized public campaign by this small army of enraged and unpredictable antagonists, of which the plausibility was only exceeded by the corollary I had completely forgotten the incident.

This would have been consistent with the fact that such prior transgressions were committed during self induced conditions of impaired memory which previously and some would argue frequently contributed to my having failed to recall my actions for a period of a number of hours. This process of reconstructing events usually began the next morning, and accelerated exceedingly slowly as the next day progressed.

After a cursory bit of sleuthing, I discovered the aggrieved young Miss Lovell is a 15 year old high school student at R.W. Traip Academy, Class of 2014 in Kittery, Maine. Which would make her both about 15 years old and a female, a volatile and unpredictable of crossed circumstances virtually guaranteed combustible at considerably less of a spark than being called a “bitch”.

Among her very long list of other teenage Facebook friends one surly looking “Nate Thayer” of  approximately the same age as his frightingly profiled antagonist and her posse, are from the same town, and apparently students at a nearby other high school.

I am confident that is sufficient evidence that my already unmanageable list of persons to whom I must supplicate myself making amends for past boorish behavior remains crested at its current already altogether distracting and daunting number.

I am very pleased that bullet missed me.

 

 

 

 

Artist with “Strange Watch” Charged with “Possessing an Explosive Device” at U.S. Airport: Cite “watch itself was on incorrect time.”

17 Nov

Artist with “Strange Watch” Charged with “Possessing an Explosive Device” at U.S. Airport: Cite “watch itself was on incorrect time.”

Police officials said that no actual explosives were found but “McGann was carrying potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots which were unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles.”

Mug Shot of accused Terrorist Plotter Artist Geoff McGann

Authorities also said their suspicions were aroused because McGann had no checked bag, carried a backpack that contained no clothes, was wearing a military-style shirt with a tourniquet band built into each sleeve, was wearing shoes two sizes too big, and his shoes had homemade inserts with cavities that could be used to hide explosives. Except they didn’t hide anything, he was on a day long business trip, and he contended his shoes were designed to make him look taller.

“When you add it all up, it didn’t add up,” Police spokesman Nelson said.

Nelson said McGann had “all the components” to make an “improvised explosive device.” That is except for anything that actually could explode.

By Nate Thayer

Geoff McGann had a very bad day Friday. The California artist was arrested after trying to board an airplane in Oakland with what appears to be a uniquely modified Timex and now stands accused of being a terrorist.

McGann placed his “ornate” watch in the plastic bin while going through airport security on a return flight to his home near Los Angeles, which U.S. Transportation Safety Agency officers determined “could be used to make a timing device for a bomb.” McGann, 49, of Rancho Palos Verdes was taken into custody Thursday night after his watch was inspected and said to have “switches, wires and fuses”, according to Sgt. J.D. Nelson, of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, even though a bomb squad, which arrived within five minutes, determined there were no explosive materials in the watch. He attracted the attention of authorities after placing a coat and his watch in a plastic bin bound for the screening machine. The watch included a toggle switch, wires and a circuit board, said Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

And the clincher? According to the police spokesman “the watch itself was on incorrect time.”

Advertising Creative Director, Artist and accused Terrorist Geoff McGann

McGann told Transportation Security Administration officers that he’s an artist and the watch is art, Nelson said.

McGann was charged with possessing materials to make an explosive device, sheriff’s officials said, and taken to Santa Rita Jail where he remains in custody on $250,000 bond.

Police officials said that no actual explosives were found but “McGann was carrying potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots which were unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles.”

Nelson said McGann had “all the components” to make an “improvised explosive device.” That is except for anything that actually could explode.

Authorities also said their suspicions were aroused because McGann had no checked bag, carried a backpack that contained no clothes, was wearing a military-style shirt with a tourniquet band built into each sleeve, was wearing shoes two sizes too big, and his shoes had homemade inserts with cavities that could be used to hide explosives. Except they didn’t hide anything, he was on a day long business trip, and he contended his shoes were designed to make him look taller.

“When you add it all up, it didn’t add up,” Police spokesman Nelson said.

McGann said he’d been on a business day-trip in the Bay Area and was about to return to Los Angeles, that the watch was art and the shoes were altered to make him look taller.

The officials didn’t buy McGann’s story. “He does do art kind of stuff, but what reasonable person would bring a watch like that into an airport and think that’s OK?”  Nelson said. “You may have a toy gun as art, but would you bring it to the airport?”

Some of accused terrorist airplane bomber photographic art work

An officer arrested McGann on “suspicion of possession of materials that can be used to make a destructive device” and is being held on $150,000 bail, according to Alameda County records

.

But a cursory inspection of documents, online references, and social media of Geoph McGann’s profile does not exactly fit the profile of a terrorist. In fact it pretty much describes a good chunk of quite normal citizens with a dash of free spirited quirkiness. Or pretty much a spot on profile of an average artist.

McGann, according to various biographies, his Face book page, his Linked In profile, and numerous news stories is an accomplished artist, photographer, advertising creative director and martial artist. Among other accomplishments is what is reported to be his key contribution to creating the Nike sneaker company advertising campaign “Just do it.”

He graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and Visual Communication Design from the Art College of Design in Pasadena California in 1987 and worked for a Seattle Washington advertising firm as their creative director in the 1990’s.

 

Jailed advertising exec and artist and accused Terrorist at a gallery show of his artwork

He currently is Managing/Creative Director of a Los Angeles company, Locomotus which focuses on “Diversity Training Program/ Advertising/Design.” One biography says “Geoff is one of the country’s top creative educators, with over twenty years experience as a Creative Director, Writer/Director, Photographer, Fine-Arts Designer and Teacher” and another biography says “Geoff has held ECD positions at Public Interest, a non-profit advertising agency/production company dedicated solely to cause-marketing initiatives, funded by The Gates Foundation (Amnesty, AIDS-AID, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Wounded Warriors). He also founded and supervised EDO the branded-content entertainment division at Ogilvy in Los Angeles” and “Geoff has held the Program Director position at 72U, the in-house advertising and communications school at 72andSunny, and currently, he is the Managing Creative Director at Generator, a creative portfolio development program in Los Angeles.”

 

Ad executive accused of using lefts in his shoes he contends were to add the appearance of height to hide explosives, none of which were found on his possession when checking in at airport for flight home

In 2006, McGann “signed on as Creative Director with Public Interest, a nonprofit advertising agency dedicated to producing high impact public service advertising and messaging for social change. The addition of McGann – an award-winning creative, director, and photographer – reflects a growth and independence experienced by the agency over the past several months. “Geoff’s arrival marks the beginning of a new era for Public Interest,” said President and Executive Creative Director Michael Franzini. “He is one of the great creative thinkers in advertising, and I see his enthusiasm for our work as a sure sign that we’re doing something right. I’m excited about the great things we will do together.” McGann comes to Public Interest with a versatile creative portfolio that spans the ad agency, photography, and commercial production arenas.”

 

Among major advertising companies, McGann is listed as having worked as a Creative Director “for industry leaders Wieden + Kennedy, Portland and Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, among others. His work for clients including Nike, Miller Beer, and MTV won awards in every major advertising show.” McGann is quoted in a news release by San Francisco based Public Interest as saying: “After doing this for over fifteen years, the notion of working with a non-profit organization that does marketing and creative for worthy causes is exciting.”

McGann’s Linked In and other online sites list his interests as “Photography/HD Videography/Poetry/Jiu Jitsu”, that he belongs to the Directors Guild of America, and has won honors and awards which include Cannes film festival Gold Lion, The One Show Gold, Communication Arts, Pan American Jiu Jitsu Gold Medal 2009, US Open Jiu Jitsu Gold 2007, 2008, and 2009, and the American National Jiu Jitsu Gold in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

 

Artist accused explosives terrorist

From January 2007 until now, he has worked as Co-Founder/owner of company, specializing in all types of video and film production in all media, with special emphasis in On-Line content development.

Nelson adds, “as a triggering device, absolutely, absolutely. It absolutely could have been a triggering device. Obviously he was missing a couple of things along the way.”

A Southern California resident is in custody after authorities say he tried to board a plane in Oakland with a watch modified by materials that could have been part of a bomb.

Experience

He has held positions as Executive Creative Director/Producer since 1987 for several major advertising firms including in the Creative Director/Entertainment Division Los Angeles Office  of Ogilvy & Mather, Writer, Creative Director on multiple accounts (primarily NIKE), all media, and Executive Producer on special On-Line film/video content at Wieden + Kennedy including Writer and Creative Director on the Nike “Just Do It” account “from inception” as well as Miller Lite, MTV, Subaru, and the Gap.

His artwork and photography has won acclaim and been shown at gallery exhibitions, adding “It is not uncommon for an artist to find a day job necessary to help support their art, but McGann creates art to help support his day job. As Creative director for Public Interest, a 501(C) 3 non profit, he receives a modest salary in exchange for the pleasure of doing work he is passionate about, creating public service ads for an array of prevalent causes. Public Interest works with big name foundations such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Film Institute, creating public awareness to affect social change.  The agency is also involved with the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps support injured troops when they return home.”

He certainly doesn’t fit the profile of your average terrorist. The news article on a recent art gallery show cited “stand-out pieces included a series of ethereal images suggestive of angels and Hindu Goddesses where women were draped in blurred twinkling lights posed against black backgrounds. Alongside were a serene black and white landscape and several portraits that expressed a blend of glossy sophistication and decadence. “Riders”, a surfer-themed series, used light and shadow to depict this well-known Southern California icon with a slightly ominous undertone. This was Geoff’s first major exhibition and he was surrounded by friends, family and admirers. Geoff’s daughter Skylar, dressed in a pink princess outfit, pointed out her favorite photo, a portrait of a glamorously pensive woman in an open button down shirt and unraveled tie.“ adding “McGann’s background in advertising and commercial direction is apparent. Some of his photos could easily be imagined as print ads; particularly the series entitled “Starters” that features athletes at the ready, toned limbs glistening.  Using an exaggerated sense of perspective to create a sense of impending action, these are some of his best photos. Prices ranged from $350 to $1,400, with twenty percent of all profits donated to Public Interest. “

But none of these details seemed to sway the TSA or local California terrorist task forces who arrested McGann “after airport security found him wearing a watch that looked like a timing device for an explosive,” they said. The fact that the bomb squad was called to the checkpoint and determined there was no explosive device connected to the watch didn’t seem to diffuse the concern of the TSA terrorist detectors.

Photo art of accused terrorist McGann arrested fro wearing an unusual watch and shoes too big for his feet

A Seattle Times article describing McGann’s work at the Seattle based advertising firm paints a portrait of a highly successful if quirky advertising genius, referring to the company as “off the beaten track but still on the mark” and the “Portland-based advertising agency whose commercials for Nike have bewitched an entire generation into believing that “Just Do It” referred to exercise, not sex. Most advertising agencies are stress factories built on hustle, schmooze and art. The secret to W&K’s success isn’t witchcraft, but something equally alien to American industry: creativity” and “encourages folks to rope in brainstorms wherever they occur. Geoff McGann knows this. While other feet spend their workday stuck under a desk, McGann’s feet skip over the chilly Willamette River behind a water-ski boat. Some of his best ideas come while he’s water-skiing. One day early last fall, the 26-year-old copywriter was thinking about how to best capture Nike’s new Air Flight basketball shoes. He dropped into the water, swam back to the boat and reached for the tape recorder he had installed for brainstorms such as this. He spoke only two words: “Twilight Zone.” The article describes a business meeting at the company as including “Geoff McGann is, predictably, barefoot. His colleagues tease that they don’t give him back his shoes until 5, or else he’ll sneak out early. Everyone helps himself to jelly beans from a giant candy jar Wieden keeps in his office….McGann returns to his office and rests his feet atop the Fred Meyer shopping cart someone has deposited there and which he plans to keep. (“In case I get kicked out of my house, I’ll have someplace to go.”)

McGann, who was hired when he was 24 years old, is portrayed as a quirky genius. “That’s young even by advertising standards, but his bold style fits in well here. If he feels strongly about an idea, he’s given the freedom to try it out, even if the bosses are skeptical.”If you’re happy, you do your best work,” he says. “And I’m happy here.”

That quite clearly is not what Geoff McGann is feeling tonight, locked up in a jail cell and charged with plotting to blow up an airplane because he designed a watch and war “suspicious clothes and shoes with lifts in them.

I am purely guessing, but I suspect that Mr. McGann will have all charges dropped soon and the Transportation Security Administration and the Alameda County Sherriff’s Office will have considerable explaining to be. This appears strongly to be a case of Arrested for being an artist, where the TSA has effectively made quirky creativity, even those who have demonstrated their success at the pinnacle of corporate America, to be crimes that fall within the category of terrorist plotting.

U.S. Embassy Bhenghazi Attacked by Mob, Set on Fire–in 1967

17 Nov

Recalling the Attack on the U.S. Compound in Benghazi – from June 1967

While researching an entirely unrelated story, I came across this remarkably familiar account of a mob attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi–in 1967.  Here, John Kormann, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer describes his experience as officer-in-charge at Embassy Benghazi, when it was attacked and burned in June 1967 from archives of the Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the independent non profit Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) which has some 1,700 oral histories of U.S. diplomats accessible on its website. From Kormann’s account: “Convinced by propaganda broadcasts that U.S. Navy planes were attacking Cairo, Libyan mobs, spurred on by 2000 Egyptian workers in Benghazi, attacked the Embassy. A detachment of soldiers provided by the Libyan Government to protect us was overwhelmed. The embassy file room was full of highly classified material, which we desperately tried to burn.The mob finally battered its way in. They pushed themselves in through broken windows and came at us cut and bleeding. We were well armed, but I gave orders that there be no shooting, so we met them with axe handles and rifle butts.”

Thermite Grenades used to destroy classified documents while Benghazi, Libya U.S. embassy under attack by mob in 1967

“Dropping tear gas grenades, we fought our way up the stairs and locked ourselves in the second floor communications vault. There were 10 of us in the vault, including two women. The mobs set fire to the building. The heat, smoke and tear gas were intense. We came out of the vault several times during the day to use fire extinguishers to control blazes and spray down walls. Our own destruction of files using Thermite sent up huge clouds of black smoke from the center of the building, probably adding to the impression that those of us inside were dying.”

Benghazi, Libya 1967

“With no power, we managed to send sporadic messages throughout the day using an emergency generator. Efforts by British troops to come to our aid were called off several times. A British armored car was destroyed by the mob in the vicinity of the Embassy by pouring gasoline down the hatch and setting it afire with an officer and four soldiers inside. The British Embassy and British Council offices had been attacked and set afire, as were the USIS [U.S. Information Service] center and my former residence. At one point the mob used a ladder to drop from an adjoining building on to our roof, catching us trying to burn files there. After a struggle they drove us back into the Embassy. They cut the ropes on the tall roof flag pole, leaving the flag itself hanging down the front of the building. An Army captain who was with us requested permission to go up on the roof and raise the flag. I dismissed his request, saying it would be counterproductive. Later when things looked very bleak and our spirits were waning, he came to me again. I said, “Go ahead, raise the flag!” He did so with considerable daring, the mob going crazy below and the rocks flying. The reaction among my people was profound. I could see it in their eyes, as they worked on with grim determination under those conditions to burn files and render cryptographic equipment inoperable.”  The full account is below and on this link:

http://adst.org/2012/11/recalling-the-attack-on-embassy-benghazi-from-june-1967/

Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History

Recalling the Attack on the U.S. Compound in Benghazi – from June 1967

The circumstances seem all too familiar — political turmoil leads to angry mobs storming the U.S. compound in Benghazi.  Except this incident took place in June 1967. John Kormann fought in World War II as a paratrooper and went behind enemy lines to apprehend Nazi war criminals and uncover a mass grave.  As an Army Counter Intelligence Corps field office commander in Berlin from 1945 to 47, he helped search for Martin Bormann.  He joined the Foreign Service in 1950 and describes his experience as officer-in-charge at Embassy Benghazi, when it was attacked and burned in June 1967.  He is also author of his memoirs, Echoes of a Distant Clarion. You can read his entire oral history here.

“The mob battered its way in”

The most harrowing experience of my Foreign Service career occurred in Benghazi at the outbreak of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Convinced by propaganda broadcasts that U.S. Navy planes were attacking Cairo, Libyan mobs, spurred on by 2000 Egyptian workers building a pan- Arab Olympic stadium in Benghazi, attacked the Embassy. The streets were being repaired and there were piles of rocks everywhere, which the mob put to use. A detachment of soldiers provided by the Libyan Government to protect us was overwhelmed. The embassy file room was full of highly classified material, which we desperately tried to burn. The embassy had been a former bank building, with a heavy safe-type front door and barred windows. The mob finally battered its way in. They pushed themselves in through broken windows and came at us cut and bleeding.

Benghazi embassy 2012

We were well armed, but I gave orders that there be no shooting, so we met them with axe handles and rifle butts. Dropping tear gas grenades, we fought our way up the stairs and locked ourselves in the second floor communications vault. We were able to continue burning files in 50-gallon drums on an inner courtyard balcony using Thermite grenades. There were 10 of us in the vault, including two women. The mobs set fire to the building. The heat, smoke and tear gas were intense, which while terrible for us, blessedly forced the mob from the building. We only had five gas masks for 10 people and shared them while we worked. We came out of the vault several times during the day to use fire extinguishers to control blazes and spray down walls.

Our own destruction of files using Thermite sent up huge clouds of black smoke from the center of the building, probably adding to the impression that those of us inside were dying. With no power, we managed to send sporadic messages throughout the day using an emergency generator. Efforts by British troops to come to our aid were called off several times. A British armored car was destroyed by the mob in the vicinity of the Embassy by pouring gasoline down the hatch and setting it afire with an officer and four soldiers inside. The British Embassy and British Council offices had been attacked and set afire, as were the USIS [U.S. Information Service] center and my former residence.

Benghazi 2012

I might mention something here because many people asked me about it afterward. At one point the mob used a ladder to drop from an adjoining building on to our roof, catching us trying to burn files there. After a struggle they drove us back into the Embassy. They cut the ropes on the tall roof flag pole, leaving the flag itself hanging down the front of the building. An Army MAAG [Military Assistance Advisory Group] captain who was with us requested permission to go up on the roof and raise the flag. I dismissed his request, saying it would be counterproductive. Later when things looked very bleak and our spirits were waning, he came to me again in front of the others. I told him I would think about it. I had been a combat paratrooper in WW II and had seen what defiance and a bit of bravura could do for soldiers under mortal stress.

U.S Flag flies over U.S. Embassy Benghazi 2012

Afterward I said, “Go ahead, raise the flag!” He did so with considerable daring, the mob going crazy below and the rocks flying. The reaction among my people was profound. I could see it in their eyes, as they worked on with grim determination under those conditions to burn files and render cryptographic equipment inoperable.

“Thugs and Killers Don’t Represent Benghazi or Islam”

The British Come to the Rescue

When late in the day (remember the attack began in the morning), we received word that a British rescue attempt had again been postponed for fear that lives might be lost, I took a photograph of President and Mrs. Johnson off the wall, broke it out of the frame and wrote a message on the back to the President saying something to the effect that we have tried our best to do our duty. Everyone signed it. When an inspector subsequently asked me about that, I could tell him that people will respond to the call of duty given the chance.

We sent our last message at about 6:00 p.m. I learned later from a friend who was in the Operations Center in Washington that it came in garbled, leading to the impression that we were burning alive. At that Secretary Rusk called the British Foreign Secretary with a further plea to get us out. At 8:00 p.m. a British armored column arrived and took us by truck to D’Aosta Barracks, their base on the outskirts of town. Libya had been a British protectorate after WW II and they still maintained a small military contingent outside of Benghazi under an agreement with King Idriss. The British were magnificent, rescuing us and then helping us bring hundreds of Americans to their camp, where they fed us and gave us shelter.

The night of our escape from the vault, I asked for a volunteer to go with me into the center of Benghazi at 2:00 a.m. to bring out Americans most in danger. The city was in flames, Jewish and foreign shops and properties having been set to the torch. Driving through the city, we were repeatedly stopped by roadblocks manned by nervous, trigger-happy Libyan soldiers. The streets were full of debris.

I remember pulling up to an apartment house lit only by fires from nearby burning shops. Going up the darkened stairs, knocking on doors, I asked for an American family. On the fourth floor, I heard a small voice say, “Who’s there?” In English, I answered, “It’s the American Consul.” An American woman cautiously opened the door. She must have known me, because she called me by name and said, “We knew you’d come, we are all packed.” What a wonderful tribute, I thought, to our Foreign Service. During that night and the next day we brought out other Americans under very trying circumstances.

We had problems in evacuating Americans from Benghazi. Arrangements were made for U.S. Air Force planes to pick up about 250 of them at the airport. At the last moment I received word that Russian-built Algerian troop transports with paratroopers and Egyptian MiG fighters had landed at the airport. I didn’t want our planes shot at. I didn’t want a serious incident. Calling Tripoli, I talked with Ambassador Newsom. After listening to me, he said, “Well, John, you’re the man on the spot. This is your decision to make.” I made the decision to bring the planes in all right, but I must say really I wished that I hadn’t had to, for I was truly worried. My wife and children were going to be aboard those planes, as well as a lot of other Americans, who could pay with their lives should my decision be a bad one.

Ambassador Stevens dragged from U.S. embassy Benghazi 2012

The British provided trucks and a bus for the evacuees. They were taken on to the airport through an opening away from the terminal and driven right past the parked MiGs and Algerian transports. With the connivance of an English civilian air controller in the tower, contact was made with the incoming Air Force planes using a British Army field radio. They were instructed to land on the grass along the fence at the most distant part of the field away from the terminal. Three planes, two C-130′s and a C-124, came in and made a fast turnaround. They were loaded and back in the air in minutes. The operation was carried out with such speed and audacity that there was no reaction from anyone until much later. All of us will be forever grateful to Colonel Alistair Martin and his British troops for their role in all of these actions; without them none of that would have been possible.

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America’s Embarrassing Dirty Little Secret: The Loopy Conspiracy Theorists Live Next Door

11 Nov

America’s Embarrassing Dirty Little Secret: The Lunatic Fringe are Among the Mainstream

Obama may have won the election, but the loopy conspiracy theorists continue to grow

By Nate Thayer

While President Obama’s victory on Tuesday may seem reassuring to many partisan supporters, lying dormant and perhaps further invigorated a solid half of Americans are decidedly unhappy. More importantly, a sizeable percentage of these are convinced of a dark conspiracy that should be viewed with alarm. While easy to dismiss as the loopy fringe, numerous polls show, as right wing rocker Ted Nugent tweeted on election night, “Pimps Whores & Welfare Brats” Voted For “Economic & Spiritual Suicide.”

Donald Trump tweeted even before Obama’s victory was confirmed the election was “a total sham and a travesty” and once Obama’s reelection was projected “our nation is a once great nation divided” and “the world is laughing at us” and called for a “revolution in this country.”

While exit polls show Obama won overwhelmingly among black voters, Latinos and other minorities, increased his support with young voters, and won a significant majority of women, the fact is Mitt Romney was preferred by a majority of white voters, men, and everyone 45 and older.

At the forefront of perhaps the most instructive and enduring debates are the issues of whether President Obama is a secret Muslim and contentions that he was not born in the United States and therefore ineligible to be president.

American Voter

A Virginia voter among the millions who believe President Obama is not an American

Millions of Americans believe barrack Obama faked his own birth certificate, was born in Kenya, and is a secret practicing Muslim extremist. The logical inference and corollary is Obama’s entire life has been a fraud in order to commit treason on the United States.

This might appear to be what it in fact is—a loopy and paranoid conspiracy theory properly relegated to the lunatic fringe. But consider this: More people think Obama is Muslim now than four years ago. Despite mountains of documentation and research, four years has done nothing to change the beliefs of a significant percentage of the American public that President Barack Obama practices Muslim faith. According to a May 2012 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 16 percent of Americans — one in six — believe Obama is a Muslim. According to a Pew Research Center survey, that is an increase from 12 percent during the 2008 campaign.

A  July 2012 Pew Research Poll showed Conservatives were more likely to think Obama is Muslim now than in 2008. Nearly half, 49 percent, of registered voters surveyed correctly identified Obama as Christian, while 17 percent thought he was Muslim. In October 2008, 55 percent of registered voters identified him as Christian and 12 percent identified him as Muslim.

Those who are convinced Obama is Muslim today are starkly increased among registered Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. In 2008, among both conservative Republicans and Republicans overall, 16 percent said Mr. Obama was Muslim. Now, 30 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of conservative Republicans think he is Muslim.

Advertisement distributed by anti Obama conspiracy theorists

But even more stark is that a quarter of both Republican (25 percent) and evangelical (24 percent) voters think Obama is a Muslim and only 40 percent of voters correctly identified that he was Christian. Only one in four Americans correctly stated that he is a Protestant.

And equally as pervasive is the belief that Obama has concocted an elaborate fraud and in fact was not born in the U.S.

Millions of Republicans still believe that his birth certificate is a fake. A poll taken weeks ago in October 2012, showed that the so-called ‘birthers’ are no fringe lunatics. MIT political science professor Adam J. Berinsky released results from a YouGov survey of 1,000 Americans, 73 percent of self-identified Republicans and 40 percent of Americans overall either don’t believe Obama was born in the U.S. or are not sure. For both Republicans and Americans overall, belief that Obama is foreign-born was at a high point in September, just 37 days before the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Obama has been plagued by rumors that he is not a natural-born citizen and, as a result, is not eligible to serve as president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. Since the start of Mr. Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, claims that he was born outside of the United States have grown. In spite of overwhelming evidence he was born in the United States, the “birther” myth has persisted. The evidence includes his 1961 birth announcement, printed in two Hawaii newspapers. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama released a computer copy of his birth certificate on a campaign website. In 2009, the director of the Hawaii State Department of Health verified that Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born citizen. But immediately after the 2009 public release of his birth certificate, a Gallup poll reported that only 47 percent thought Obama was definitely born in the U.S. and 18 percent said he “probably was.”

Poll of Americans who believe Obama is lying about his citizenship

In June 2010, a 60 Minutes-Vanity Fair poll showed only 39 percent of respondents believed Obama was born in Hawaii as he claimed in his book. 63 percent stated they believed he was born in the U.S., but that included those who said they believe he was born in Kansas or some other unknown state, which still would conflict with Obama’s story. Later in 2010, a poll by CNN said 6 of 10 people were uncertain Obama was born in the U.S. The poll said only 42 percent believe Obama “definitely” was born in the U.S.

The White House released a computer PDF copy of Obama’s long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011.

In June 2011, a Gallup poll showed that four years after Obama in a widely publicized news event confirmed his Christian faith; four in 10 Americans still couldn’t accurately name his religious adherence. When asked, “Do you happen to know the religious faith of Barack Obama?” 44 percent of respondents said “No/Don’t know.” At the time, 34 percent said that they believed him to be Christian of some sort, with 11 percent choosing “Muslim.”

Despite the president’s repeated self-identification as a Christian, only a third of respondents to a 2012 survey correctly identified him as such, while slightly more, 35 percent, said he had ‘no religion’. The survey also showed that some 39 percent of Americans believed Obama was not born in the United States, while only 49 percent answered that he was.

Earlier in 2012, a Public Policy Polling study found that the majority of likely Republican voters in Mississippi believe that Obama is a Muslim.

Percentage of Republicans who don’t believe Obama is American

But in July, 2012 the MIT poll showed 20 percent of independent voters believe Obama is not a native born citizen, showing the firmly debunked theory is not limited to the Republican Party.”

An April 2011 CBS News/ New York Times poll showed one in four Americans thought Obama was not born in U.S. Among Republicans, 45 percent believed he was born in another country, as did 45 percent of Tea Party supporters. While 25 percent of all Americans in this poll say Mr. Obama was born outside the U.S., 57 percent correctly said he was born in the United States. Another 18 percent said they did not know where he was born. Among Republicans, 33 percent said Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., and 22 percent said they did not know. Thirty-four percent of Tea Party supporters said the president was born in the U.S., while 21 percent said they didn’t know.

Another poll conducted in March 2012 among Republican Party voters during the presidential state primary campaigns in three battleground states asked whether voters think Obama was born in the United States. Thirty-seven percent of Republican primary voters in Ohio, 38 percent in Georgia and 45 percent in Tennessee said they don’t believe he was. In addition, 20% more–1 in 5—said they were not sure they believe him.

Half of registered voters say they want Congress to investigate Obama’s eligibility to serve as president. Even among Democrats, more than one in four – 28 percent – said they were in favor of an inquiry, as do 43 percent of independents and 77 percent of Republicans.

U.S. voter opinion survey

An October 2009 Angus Reid Global Monitor poll found 3 in 10 Americans believed Obama to be a foreigner. Then, 13 percent of Democratic Party supporters believed Obama was not born in the U.S., 25 percent of independents and 51 percent of Republicans. Then in January 2010, a WND/Wenzel Poll showed one-third of voters did not believe Obama was a “legitimate president,” with another 15.8 percent saying they were not sure. 51.5 percent said they believed the president legitimate, but even 14.6 percent of the Democrats said they did not consider him legitimate.

At the time of this year’s Democratic convention in June, after years of being dissected and documented, these embarrassing myths continue to be trafficked as fact among mainstream Americans. So the question is why such a wide swath of Americans who are not clinically diagnosed as suffering from delusions or paranoia, stubbornly insist on believing such proven poppycock. A reasonable guess is the president’s “otherness.” Obama is black and has a funny name and millions of white Americans are still not convinced he deserve to be in the White House. .

A USA Today/ Gallup survey shows that 25 percent of adult Americans continue to believe Mr. Obama was born somewhere outside the United States. Among Republicans, the figure is much higher. Dismissing what really is evidence so clear it is absurd the issue is still a matter of discussion showing Obama was born in Honolulu; millions want to believe that the man who occupies the White House is there illegitimately.

Barack Obama’s father was born in Kenya, a member of the Luo tribe who are mainly animal herders. He excelled academically and awarded a scholarship to the University of Hawaii in 1959, where he met Stanley Ann Dunham, a white woman. They were married the following year, and Obama was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961. Birth announcements appeared the following day in newspapers. Obama senior neglected to tell his new wife he was already married and he left Obama’s mother and his son in June 1962 for Harvard University, essentially never to return to the president’s life. The last time he saw his son was during a visit to Hawaii in 1971, when Obama was 10 years old. Barack Obama, Sr., died in a car crash in Kenya in 1982.

His mother married again, to another foreigner and Muslim and moved to Indonesia.

For many Americans President Obama is viewed as someone not quite American.

And hence, according to a current Pew Research Group poll, 18 percent of adult Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim. 30 percent of Republicans believe he is a Muslim.

But Mitt Romney also shares with Obama a sentiment of religious ambiguity among many Americans. In 1862 the U.S. outlawed polygamy and the ensuing crackdown caused Romney’s grandparents to flee to Mexico where they settled in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

The Mexican revolution of 1910 forced the Romney family to flee back to the United States in 1912. A recent Pew Research poll found that 60 percent of adult Americans know that Mr. Romney is a Mormon; 19 percent said they were uncomfortable with that.

A survey affiliated with the conservative Southern Baptist Convention, reported that three out of four Protestant pastors did not consider Mormons to be Christians.

A post election tweet from an American who seems unaware of the fact that Australia is led by a prime Minister, and she is a declared atheist

So millions of Americans don’t believe that Obama is a Christian and millions of other Americans aren’t sure Mormons are Christians. So Americans elected as president the son of a Kenyan Luo tribesman defeating the son of a man whose father fled America in order to practice the Mormon religious tenet of polygamy.

But the fact remains that a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll found 41 percent of Republicans now believe Obama was “probably” or “definitely” born in another country. The poll of 1,018 adults shows 27 percent of Americans overall believe the president was “probably” or “definitely” born in another country, compared with 71 percent who think he was born in the United States. Nineteen percent of independents think Obama was “probably” or “definitely” born in another country, as do 15 percent of Democrats.

An April 2011 CBS News/ New York Times poll showed one in four Americans think Obama was not born in U.S. and among all Republicans, 45 percent believe he was born in another country, as do 45 percent of Tea Party supporters.

Another April 2011 poll—the month the White House released Obama’s official birth certificate—by USA Today/Gallup, showed that 9% of all Americans say that Obama was “definitely” not born in the U.S. Another 15% say that Obama was “probably” not born in the U.S. That’s about a quarter of the U.S. adult population, 24% who have doubts about Obama being constitutionally eligible to serve as president.  That poll showed 38% of Americans thought Obama was “definitely” born in the U.S. and another 18% who say he was “probably” born in the U.S. Another 20% said that they didn’t know enough to say or refused to answer.

So who are those 24% who believe president Obama is a fraud and was not born in the U.S.?

These beliefs are connected to education, but still 13% of those with post-graduate educations say that Obama was probably or definitely not born in the U.S., or half the 28% of those with some college and 26% of those with only a high school education or less who believes Obama was not native born.

And certainly political allegiance makes up a chunk of the Believers. 43% of Republicans say that Obama was not born in the U.S., including 15% who are definite in their beliefs and another 28% who say “probably.” But 20% of independents believe Obama was probably or definitely not born in the U.S. and nine percent of Democrats agree. Seventy-five percent of registered voters who say Obama was born in U.S. would consider voting for him. Fifteen percent of those who say he was not born in the U.S. would consider voting for Obama, while 85% say they definitely would not. 36% of those who identified themselves as conservatives said Obama was definitely or probably not born in the U.S, compared with 17% of moderates and 13% of liberals.

And a whopping 47% of Americans who identify themselves as “very” conservative — about 13% of the adult population– said that Obama was not born in the U.S. 43% of conservative Republicans agree.

A photograph suggesting President Obama secretly visits a Muslim Mosque in Washington D.C. in 2012

PolitiFact, a non partisan fact checking organization, has debunked claims that Obama is a Muslim.

“Even so, in August 2010 we wrote that 18 percent of Americans believed he was a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009, according to Pew Research Center data. A Time poll also released in 2010 claimed the number was 24 percent. Often linked is the belief that Obama was not born in the United States. Here, too, PolitiFact has debunked numerous related claims, many involving the president’s birth certificate.”

Politifact recently broke down the numerous poll results in recent years. The March 2012 Public Policy Polling survey found that “among residents who said they planned to vote in their upcoming GOP primary, 52 percent in Alabama and 42 percent in Mississippi said they believed Obama was a Muslim.”

They also pointed out a March 2012 poll from Obama’s home state of Illinois where 39 percent of likely republican primary voters “said he was Muslim and 36 percent said he was foreign-born.”

They analyzed eight national polls from March 2009 through May 2011 that asked questions of Obama’s religious beliefs and origin of birth.

Regarding Obama’s religion, “the biggest percentage of Republicans answering “Muslim” was 46 percent in an August 2010 Time poll. The lowest was 17 percent in a March 2009 Pew Research Center for People & the Press poll.”

Regarding Obama being born in a foreign country “the highest result was 43 percent of Republicans in an April 2011 USA Today/Gallup poll. The lowest was 14 percent in an April-May 2011 Washington Post poll.” In three of the polls, “Muslim” and “foreign born” were the answers most often given by Republicans.

In the Time poll where 46 percent of re [publicans answered Obama was a “Muslim”, the next most cited answer was 24 percent who said “Christian”. Politifact said that a “February-March 2011 Pew poll on birthplace was more evenly split, with the 37 percent of Republicans who answered that Obama was born in “another country” edging out the 33 percent who said “United States” and 30 percent who said they didn’t know or declined to answer.”

Politifact concluded “National polls consistently show less than half — sometimes much less than half — of Republicans saying Obama is a Muslim or born abroad, though both falsehoods have sometimes been the No. 1 Republican responses.”

So where does all this demonstrably refuted bunk come from? At its root, birtherism is the extreme manifestation of the belief that Obama is, by virtue of his race, name, and background, something other than fully American. But how it took hold among popular opinion can, in fact be traced to Democratic Party operatives, not the extreme right wing fringe which embraced it and carries the flag today.

Obama’s 2008 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, had a controversial chief strategist, Mark Penn. It was Penn who targeted exploiting Obama’s “unamericanism.” In a March 2007 memorandum to Clinton, Penn wrote: “All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting it in a new light… It also exposes a very strong weakness for him—his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and his values.”

Penn then proposed a Clinton campaign strategy: “Every speech should contain the line that you were born in the middle of America to the middle class in the middle of the last century. And talk about the basic bargain as about the deeply American values you grew up with, learned as a child, and that drive you today.” He went on: “Let’s explicitly own ‘American’ in our programs, the speeches and the values. He doesn’t … Let’s add flag symbols to the background” at campaign events.

But Penn didn’t target Obama’s citizenship and was acutely aware of the dangers involved in the dirty political tactics. “We are never going to say anything about his background,” he wrote.

It was left to the Republicans to take the ball further. Soon the campaigns suggesting Obama had been educated in a Muslim madrassa began, that, in fact he was a Muslim, and for good measure he was not even really even an American.

Regardless of who is responsible for fanning the flames of dangerous fallacies, the embarrassing fact remains that far too many “average” Americans embrace this patent balderdash in the face of overwhelming rational evidence.

The Spy Sub, A Poisoned Diplomat in Russia, and a Naked, Drunk American Preacher in Pyongyang

19 Sep

The North Korean Spy Sub, a Poisoned Diplomat in Vladivostok, and the Naked, Drunk American Preacher  in Pyongyang

The 1996 secret mission that caused tremors from Washington to Seoul to Vladivostok

By Nate Thayer#north Kore

On a lonely stretch of coastal highway on September 18, 1996, South Korean cab driver Lee Jin Gyu noticed a strange gathering of men, all well-groomed and dressed alike, standing conspicuously out-of-place between the road and the ocean in the pre dawn hours .

After dropping off his fare he slowed at the spot on his return trip, but the men were gone. He stopped, got out of his cab and walked down to the beach. As he scanned the horizon, he noticed what looked like the outline of a submarine idly rocking in the waves 20 meters from shore. He called the police.

Authorities arrived to find inside the abandoned underwater spy ship a machine gun, an AK-47 assault rifle, and a hand scrawled message: “We must accomplish our mission.”

40,000 South Korean troops immediately mobilized and the hunt was on.

North Korean Spy submarine that ran aground as it infiltrated 26 commandos into the South in September 1996

Thus began a more than month saga of high tension on the Korean peninsula involving the mobilization of tens of thousands of soldier, armed spies on the run, man hunts, the assassination of a diplomat in Russia, the capture of a naked, drunk American preacher accused of being a spy by North Korea, several stabbing deaths of civilians caught in the dragnet, a lone soldier strangled to death in the night, numerous firefights, a group suicide, and a night playing video games at a ski resort.

The taxi driver did not know what he had stumbled into, nor that he was igniting a fire that would spread through the region and beyond, at times dangerously out of control. He had inadvertently encountered a North Korean Shark class submarine with a crew of 26 Special Operations soldiers of North Korea’s General Reconnaissance Bureau on a secret mission to infiltrate the South.

South Koreans were on edge looking over their shoulders for what seemed like forever as the drama unfolded.

Over the next months, a trail of mayhem and intrigue left 24 North Korean spies shot dead, one captured, 16 South Korean civilians murdered, 13 South Korean soldiers shot dead, including a Colonel, and five others wounded, an off-duty South Korean soldier strangled by the escaping infiltrators, a South Korean diplomat in Vladivostok, Russia assassinated, an intoxicated American Christian preacher held as a spy in a North Korean prison, and the two Korean governments teetering on an outbreak of war.

By the time the dust settled 49 days later, one North Korean spy remained unaccounted for, probably having slipped across the DMZ through the most heavily mined patch of land on earth back to the safety of DPRK territory.

A “Shark” class North Korean spy submarine

As the confrontation unfolded, North Korea responded with signature indignation to the public exposure of the plot, insisting the submarine was on a routine patrol, had experienced mechanical problems, and inadvertently drifted off course, and demanded the immediate return of the now missing crew, threatening the South as tensions spiked.

“It is self-evident that we the victims cannot show self-restraint any longer,” Pyongyang official Korean Central News Agency said as the incident splashed across headlines and the manhunt began. “We have the right to retaliate on the offenders.”

Within 2 days one of the North Korean infiltrators was seized after a farmer saw him in his fields.

At first the captured operative contended the vessel was forced by strong currents into South Korean waters, but after his South Korean interrogators brought out Korean rice vodka, he confessed that they had been on a spy mission to gather intelligence on military facilities.

Soon afterwards, South Korean military forces, who by now were scouring the country, discovered 11 dead bodies with single bullet holes in their heads lying symmetrically alongside one another only a few miles from the site of the grounded submarine.

They included the deputy director of the Maritime Bureau of the General Reconnaissance Bureau, North Korea’s top spy agency in charge of covert foreign operations, including assassination and infiltration squads targeting South Korea; the captain of the submarine; and eight members of the special operations infiltration team.

Kim Hyon-hui, the former North Korean spy convicted of bombing a Seoul-bound Korean Air flight in 1987 in which all 115 crew and civilian passengers were killed when the plane exploded in mid-air over the Bay of Bengal after she was captured in the UAE. She said she was commanded by Kim Jong Il personally and trained by kidnapped former Tokyo waitress Yaeko Taguchi to speak and act Japanese. Disguised as a Japanese tourist, she and a male companion planted a bomb, and departed the plane on a stopover. She and her companion both took poison as they were about to be arrested but she survived, later sentenced to death by a Seoul court, and received a presidential pardon in 1990. She said the North’s leaders had ordered the attack on the plane to discourage foreign countries from sending athletes to the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The head of the General Reconnaissance Bureau Maritime Division lay a few meters askew, his weapon still by his side. The spy team chose a group suicide rather than to be captured by the enemy.

Over the next days’ numerous firefights broke out around South Korea as tens of thousands of mobilized troops began to close the circle on the remaining spies who had no intention of surrendering without a fight. Within two weeks, 11 more of the commandos were killed in separate clashes as the commandos broke into smaller units and went in different directions across the South, choosing to go down fighting rather than the indignity of capture.

By early October, only three of the original 26 member team remained at large.

All the while, North Korea ratcheted up hits threatening rhetoric, denied any hostile intent, and warned of “serious consequences” if their vessel or crew were harmed.

North Korean officers delivered a warning to American military officials at an October 1 meeting at at the truce village of Panmunjom, near the demarcation line that separates the two Korea’s, after the first commandos were killed. A senior North Korean official tried to pass a note to the Americans that read “serious consequences, which would be announced, would occur as a result of the deaths of their soldiers,” the U.S. said in a statement. U.S. officers read the note but refused to accept it.

American missionary Evan Hunziker swam across the Yalu River without a passport and was captured by North Korea security forces, detained for 90 days and charged with being a spy for South Korea. North Koreans, wanted $100,000 paid for his release.

Days later, a South Korean diplomat was assassinated in Vladivostok, Russia by a poisoned hypodermic needle. He was walking up the stairwell to his seventh floor flat when he was attacked.  His diplomatic passport and over $1000 in cash were left untouched in his pocket. There were two pencil-sized holes in his torso which suggested injection of a foreign substance into his body. Tests later confirmed that he had poison in his bloodstream of the same type as that carried by the special operation commandos on the North Korean submarine.

The South Korean government ordered stepped-up security for its diplomats around the world and sent a team of investigators to Russia.

Russian police investigators said it was the work of a team of two or more professional assassins. The diplomat was responsible for monitoring North Korean activities in the area. South Korean officials said the wounds in the stomach were caused by a hypodermic needle. Russian police began searching for two men with Asian complexions who were seen in the stairway shortly before the attack by a Russian woman who lived in the building.

On October 3, Rodong Sinmun, the official paper of the North Korean ruling Korean Worker’s Party and broadcast by Radio Pyongyang, said “South Korea is framing a despicable plot to link our country to the murder.”

In response to Pyongyang’s threats of retaliation for the deaths of by then 22 North Korean infiltrators from the submarine, South Korea ordered security tightened at airports, warned residents that North Korea may strike again, and said diplomatic missions faced possible terrorist attacks.

Prime Minister Lee met security officials and authorities decided to beef up protection of 395 key facilities, including airports, communication centers, ports, and power plants.

Meanwhile, American Evan Carl Hunziker, who had swum, drunk and naked, from China into North Korea “to preach the gospel” on August 24 was seized by North Korean border guards.  On October 6 North Korea announced they had captured an “American spy”, and began an effort to use the Christian missionary as leverage in exchange for the return of their remaining crew still being hunted down in the South.

Analysts noted that the North Koreans said they caught the 26-year-old American, who was working as a missionary in Beijing, on August 24 as he swam across the river marking the border between China and North Korea, but did not announce his arrest as a spy until more than six weeks later after the submarine incident unfolded and three days after South Korea announced their broad security crackdown.

U.S. officials said there would be no negotiations to exchange the imprisoned American preacher for the remaining spy team. ”It would be outrageous and indefensible, should the North Koreans try to link the submarine incident with this unfortunate young man who has been arrested, because the North Koreans were the aggressor and the clear violator of international agreements in sending that submarine down the South Korean coast,” Mr. Burns said. ”So we reject any linkage.”

It would be another month before Seoul authorities would track down the other members of the infiltration team still on the loose.

Mounting popular alarm over the spies on the loose led to South Korean President Kim Young Sam firing Defense Minister Lee Yang Ho on October 17th and the resignation of the Foreign Minister.

The submarine affair had even broader consequences.

Secretary of State Albright with kim Jong Il after signing one of many since abrogated agreements to try and stem WMD development programs

Security and spot checks were increased at important domestic facilities, including airports, subway stations, department stores, harbors, bus terminals and power plants. Security at South Korean embassies and trade missions abroad was stepped up and increased measures were taken to protect high-ranking officials.

South Korea halted all aid programs to the North, and banned South Koreans from engaging in commerce with Pyongyang.

A delicate process of wooing North Korea from its isolation, a newly inked landmark 1994 accord under which Pyongyang agreed to give up its nuclear weapons program, and international efforts to ease a famine underway that would claim more than a million lives were all threatened by the new tensions.

Seoul said they would delay signing a $4-billion energy agreement of an international consortium with the United States, Japan and North Korea that was part of the delicate negotiations to get Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear weapons program. The program was at the time hailed by U.S. president Clinton as a showcase of multinational problem-solving.

And with three remaining commandos still on the loose, the cost of the incident mounted.

Two months after the vessel went aground, the Korean peninsula saw a surge in tensions, growing fears of escalated military confrontation, a worsening famine that remained unaddressed, the scuttling of progress for improved inter-Korean relations, and, importantly even a new rift created between South Korea and its most important ally, the U.S.

South Korea was angered by the U.S. response to the submarine infiltration after Secretary of State Warren Christopher called for restraint from ”all parties.”

South Korean military commanders suggested the purpose of the spy mission was more than to collect data on military bases. ”We think that North Korea will make large or small-scale military provocations,” said Lieut. Gen. Park Yong Ok, the Assistant Defense Minister. ”We’re preparing.”  He said the mission of the commandos may have been to create armed rear bases in the mountains of South Korea in preparation for future large-scale actions. ”It was not purely an intelligence mission,” he said.

North Korea has approximately 100,000 Special Forces operatives trained to infiltrate rear areas of South Korea at the beginning of an invasion.

So with the failure to capture all of the commandos, there was a wave of popular South Korean discontent among civilians, undermining the stability of the South Korean government.

49 days after the vessel landed on the beach, two of the commandos, who now were disguised dressed in South Korean military uniforms and armed with South Korean M-16 assault rifles and grenades, were killed in a last stand firefight.

The violent confrontation, which was only a few miles from the DMZ as the spies attempted to exfiltrate back to the North, left a South Korean Colonel and two soldiers dead, and 14 more soldiers wounded.

Evidence found on the bodies of the two North Koreans told of the sometimes arduous and sometimes peculiar twists of their journey over the previous two months.

For the first days, the commandos had hidden in underground bunkers, and then broke into remote farmhouses to steal food. Despite the intense nationwide manhunt and the loss of the rest of their crew, the two spies continued to pursue their original mission. Film found on their bodies revealed pictures of South Korean military facilities.

And, in a still unexplained detour, the two commandos spent one evening playing video games at a holiday ski resort, where they spent the night.

During their 7 week journey, they killed three South Korean civilians with a knife and strangled a South Korean soldier who had the misfortune to cross the hunted spy operatives path.

The remaining single unaccounted for member of the original 26 man commando unit disappeared. It is believed he slipped across the DMZ back into North Korea.

Throughout the two month period, Pyongyang maintained a posture of high decibel threatening rhetoric, vowing retaliation, denying any nefarious intentions, and demanding the return of the crew and their submarine. South Korea demanded an apology before they would return the remains of the crew or resume negotiations or badly needed food assistance to the famine now fully underway in the North that would cause more than a million deaths in coming months.

Finally, at the end of December, North Korea did something it rarely does. It issued a statement saying they had “deep regret” over the incident which had spiraled by this time far beyond the mission purpose of a covert infiltration to gather military intelligence. But it was not an apology.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is authorized to express deep regret for the submarine incident in the coastal waters of Kangrung, South Korea, in September, 1996 that caused the tragic loss of human life.  The DPRK will make efforts to insure that such an incident will not recur

South Korea promptly returned the now 25 accumulated bodies of the spies that the two month confrontation had left in its wake.

After the bodies were returned, North Korea reverted to their usual hubris over state radio by saying “the South Korean authorities admitted and apologized for their inhuman crimes.”

Washington tells bar owner to rename cocktail or face justice

13 Sep

Washington demands local bar owner rename cocktail or he will face justice while religious violence provocateurs remain free to spark World War Three

Addendum update to this story: The plot thickens. It now appears the infamous “Jewish Israeli-American California real estate developer” who produced the movie that sparked this week’s mid east riots, does not exist and is a creation of an Egyptian-American Christian Coptic resident of California, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who is a convicted fraudster. The other Egyptian-American Coptic, Morris Sadek and the loopy Florida Quoran burning pastor, Terry Jones, were sucked into a trifecta of hate fueled religious intolerance in a perfect storm resulting from their own anti-Muslim zealotry. At the end of this story is the full text of an excellent and well worth the read very long AP story.

By Nate Thayer

Why is it a Washington D.C. bar owner can be dragged into court for violating the city’s Human Rights Act by serving a booze concoction with an off color name, but religious zealots are protected by law when to make incendiary movies and burn religious texts for the purposed of sparking World War Three?

The Washington Post reported today that Tony Tomelden, owner of the “Pug” bar in D.C. named a fruity vodka concoction the “Marion Barry’s Dirty Asian Summer Punch.” which he calls “The Ward 8 Special,” in a sarcastic tribute to the D.C. councilman and former four term Mayor.

The “Marion Berry’s Dirty Asian Summer Punch” is no longer available at the Pug.

Barry was captured on camera making racist remarks earlier this year criticizing Asian shop owners and Filipino nurses.

Drawn on the bar’s chalkboard is a caricature of a bald, slanted eyed, buck toothed Asian under which is written “No tickee, no punchee.”

The bar owner, whose father was half Filipino, received a legal demand from the city ordering him to stop selling the drink and summoned him to a hearing. Failure to comply can be a $10,000 a day fine. “I put it up there for a reason,” Tomelden said. “Barry gets away with this stuff continuously.”

The ‘Pug” bar owner Tony Tomelden

Former four-term mayor Barry, in remarks caught by local TV cameras after being reelected to the city council, said “We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops. They ought to go. I’ll just say that right now, you know. A number of these restaurants serve high-caloric food, bad food, et cetera, but the more important thing, they don’t participate in the community,” Barry said.

Barry said he singled out Asians in his remarks“because that’s reality. Who owns these little restaurants? Who owns them? You know, Asians. . . . 90 percent of all the small restaurants in Ward 8, at least.”

Tomelden was given 72 hours to remove the “Dirty Asian Summer Punch” sign, or face a “formal charge” by the Commission on Human Rights which can result in fines of up to $10,000 for a first-time offender.

The Washington city Human Rights Act of 1977 bars discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion and various other categories, and says “To print, circulate, post, or mail, or otherwise cause, directly or indirectly, to be published a statement, advertisement, or sign which indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be unlawfully refused, withheld from or denied an individual; or that an individual’s patronage of, or presence at, a place of public accommodation is objectionable, speech concerns, but it is our unwelcome, unacceptable, or undesirable.”

D. C. Office of Human Rights official Jennifer Stoff told the Washington Post it “was the Office’s judgment that the sign at The Pug was not in keeping the intent of the Human Rights Act. We acknowledge any 1st amendment or political job to enforce the DC Human Rights Act.”

The bar owner was quoted as saying “Look, I’m a fucking bartender, not a constitutional scholar. It’s clearly frustrating, and it is what it is.”

His bar also hangs a vintage sign reading “Irish Need Not Apply.”

“I wonder if they are going to make the Irish bars take down the leprechauns,” he said.

Meanwhile, those who crafted a protracted intentional campaign to incite global religious violence remain legally protected to continue to do so after their efforts proved successful.

Morris Sadek’s Facebook page which he took down early Thursday afternoon after sparking middle east riots

On July 2, a video of “The Real Life of Muhammad” or “Innocence of Muslims” was uploaded to the You Tube account of Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American California real-estate developer who has called Islam “a cancer,”

But it failed to attract attention until another clip of the video — this time dubbed in Arabic was uploaded on September 4.

Days later, an Egyptian-American Christian Copt, Morris Sadek, who is an ally of Florida pastor Terry Jones, both of whom are known for incendiary taunts against Muslims, publicized the YouTube trailer in an Arabic-language blog post and in an e-mail newsletter in English.


Morris Sadek with ACT! For America president Brigitte Gabriel at a 2010 event.

Sadek, an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian living in metropolitan Washington, is apparently the catalyst behind whipping up the violence.

A portrait of the man has emerged of an anti-Muslim activist who hates Obama, and is a fan of  the U.S. republican party, according to his own biographical details widely available. Sadek took down his Facebook account at 1 pm on Thursday, but the organization “Right Wing Watch” was able to retrieve it.

It says he is a supporter of ACT! for America, which believes that Obama is a  supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and he lists membership in an array of frindge hate groups including such names as Islam is of the Devil, Warriors of Christ, and OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER!

In addition, he has registered himself as a fan of the Republican Party, George Bush, Allen West for president, and other anti-Islamic, conservative, or Republican institutions and leaders.

In an odd irony, he labeled himself a fan of the American embassy in Cairo, overrun by the riots he incited.

Sadek was publicizing a Jones effort to draw attention to the film. Jones is widely reviled, renowned for a campaign threatening to burn the Koran at his church that resulted in widespread riots that left scores dead in injured in 2011.

Morris Sadek blog post publicizing the Arabic version of the anti Muslim film this week features a photograph of him and Florida pastor Terry Jones at an anti-Islamic protest outside the White House in June.

  Egyptian Coptic Morris Sadek and Florida Pastor Terry Jones

Egyptian Coptic Morris Sadek and Florida Pastor Terry Jones at a anti Islamic demonstration at the White House In June

The same day as Salek’s Arabic blog post, Egyptian TV channel Al-Nas broadcast a clip from the You Tube account of the film’s producer, the Israeli-American California resident Sam Bacile.

The Egyptian TV shows host Sheikh Khaled Abdalla, is described as “part of a school of particularly shrill religious demagogues who turn every possible event into an attack on Islam” that regularly attacks the Egyptian Coptic Christian community.

Soon after the television airing, riots began in Cairo, spreading to Libya where the U.S. ambassador was killed in mob violence.

Egyptians burn US flag rioting over bad, obscure anti-Muslim hate movie

How did the U.S. first respond to the violence before it escalated to the storming and burning of the embassy in Benghazi?

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Or,in other words, in comparison to the crackdown on the D.C. Pub owner, with considerably more sympathy for intolerance.

Later, on Twitter, the embassy condemned both the provocative film and the attack on the compound.

Salek was the source of reports in the Egyptian media that some Coptic Christians  in Washington had produced a film denigrating the Muslim prophet, which sparked protesters to storm the walls of the US Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and tear down the American flag.

Florida pastor Terry Jones whose PR stunts have resulted in scores dead in resulting violence

Pastor Jones responded to the violence by denouncing the Cairo embassy attack and announcing he planned to screen the film on Tuesday night at his church, adding it “reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.”

The Cairo and Libyan attacks took place on the 11th anniversary of the bombing of the twin towers in New York, and the demonstrators chanted pro-Al Qaeda slogans such as “we are all Osama!”,  ripped an American flag apart and raised a black jihadist flag saying “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” Photographs show the name Osama bin Laden scrawled on a sign outside the embassy.

While “Marion Berry’s Dirty Asian Summer Punch” is no longer available at the Pug under threat of harsh punishment, a B-grade movie produced to spark world war three is available globally in one mouse click of the computer, and those whose intent was to incite murder succeeded remain legally protected to continue to do after their success which left an American Ambassador dead.

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Addendum update to the above story: The plot thickens. It now appears the infamous “Jewish Israeli-American California real estate developer” who produced the movie that sparked the mid east riots, does not exist and is a creation of an Egyptian-American Christian Coptic who lives in California and is a convicted fraudster, named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.. The other Egyptian-American Coptic, Morris Sadek and the loopy Florida Quoran burning pastor, Terry Jones, were sucked into a trifecta of hate fueled religious intolerance in a perfect storm resulting from their own anti-Muslim zealotry. Here is the excellent and worth the very long AP story:

The search for those behind the provocative, anti-Muslim film implicated in violent protests in Egypt and Libya led Wednesday to a California Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes who acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production.Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he was manager for the company that produced “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad and may have caused inflamed mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. He provided the first details about a shadowy production group behind the film.Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula’s aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.

Nakoula told the AP that he was a Coptic Christian and said the film’s director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.

Nakoula denied he had posed as Bacile. During a conversation outside his home, he offered his driver’s license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found it and other connections to the Bacile persona.

The AP located Bacile after obtaining his cell phone number from Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the U.S. who had promoted the anti-Muslim film in recent days on his website. Egypt’s Christian Coptic population has long decried what they describe as a history of discrimination and occasional violence from the country’s Arab majority.

Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, who burned Qurans on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, said he spoke with the movie’s director on the phone Wednesday and prayed for him. He said he has not met the filmmaker in person, but the man contacted him a few weeks ago about promoting the movie.

“I have not met him. Sam Bacile, that is not his real name,” Jones said. “I just talked to him on the phone. He is definitely in hiding and does not reveal his identity. He was quite honestly fairly shook up concerning the events and what is happening. A lot of people are not supporting him.”

The film was implicated in protests that resulted in the burning of the U.S. consulate Tuesday in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Libyan officials said Wednesday that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy employees were killed during the mob violence, but U.S. officials now say they are investigating whether the assault was a planned terrorist strike linked to Tuesday’s 11-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Nakoula, who talked guardedly about his role, pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

The YouTube account, “Sam Bacile,” which was used to publish excerpts of the provocative movie in July, was used to post comments online as recently as Tuesday, including this defense of the film written in Arabic: “It is a 100 percent American movie, you cows.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Leigh Williams said Nakoula set up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers, then checks from those accounts would be deposited into other bogus accounts from which Nakoula would withdraw money at ATM machines.

It was “basically a check-kiting scheme,” the prosecutor told the AP. “You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money.”

The actors in the film issued a joint statement Wednesday saying they were misled about the project and said some of their dialogue was crudely dubbed during post-production.

In the English language version of the trailer, direct references to Muhammad appear to be the result of post-production changes to the movie. Either actors aren’t seen when the name “Muhammad” is spoken in the overdubbed sound, or they appear to be mouthing something else as the name of the prophet is spoken.

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” said the statement, obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “We are 100 percent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

The person who identified himself as Bacile and described himself as the film’s writer and director told the AP on Tuesday that he had gone into hiding. But doubts rose about the man’s identity amid a flurry of false claims about his background and role in the purported film.

Bacile told the AP he was an Israeli-born, 56-year-old, Jewish writer and director. But a Christian activist involved in the film project, Steve Klein, told AP on Wednesday that Bacile was a pseudonym and that he was Christian.

Klein had told the AP on Tuesday that the filmmaker was an Israeli Jew who was concerned for family members who live in Egypt.

Officials in Israel said there was no record of Bacile as an Israeli citizen.

When the AP initially left a message for Bacile, Klein contacted the AP from another number to confirm the interview request was legitimate then Bacile called back from his own cell phone.

Klein said he didn’t know the real name of the man he called “Sam,” who came to him for advice on First Amendment issues.

About 15 key players from the Middle East — from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and a couple Coptic Christians from Egypt — worked on the film, Klein said.

“Most of them won’t tell me their real names because they’re terrified,” Klein said. “He was really scared and now he’s so nervous. He’s turned off his phone.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said Klein is a former Marine and longtime religious-right activist who has helped train paramilitary militias at a California church. It described Klein as founder of Courageous Christians United, which conducts protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques.

It quoted Klein as saying he believes that California is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells “who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can.”

In his brief interview with the AP, Bacile defiantly called Islam a cancer and said he intended the film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.

But several key facts Bacile provided proved false or questionable. Bacile told AP he was 56 but identified himself on his YouTube profile as 74. Bacile said he is a real estate developer, but Bacile does not appear in searches of California state licenses, including the Department of Real Estate.

Hollywood and California film industry groups and permit agencies said they had no records of the project under the name “Innocence of Muslims,” but a Los Angeles film permit agency later found a record of a movie filmed in Los Angeles last year under the working title “Desert Warriors.”

A man who answered a phone listed for the Vine Theater, a faded Hollywood movie house, confirmed that the film had run for a least a day, and possibly longer, several months ago, arranged by a customer known as “Sam.”

ENDALL
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