IMU Terrorist Arrested In Gen. Daud Daud Bombing/Murder

NATO: Arrests made in deadly north Afghan bombing

(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)
trackingBy JON GAMBRELL

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO and Afghan forces captured a man they believe took part in a bomb attack that killed two prominent Afghan police officials and wounded the German general who commands troops in northern Afghanistan, the coalition said Wednesday.

A night raid Monday carried out by Afghan forces under NATO direction in the northern province of Balkh resulted in the arrest of the man and several others, the coalition said. NATO said the man belonged to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a militant movement operating in northern Afghanistan.

“Recent reporting indicated he had been in direct contact with Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leadership in Pakistan, providing them with specific reports on the damage effects,” the coalition said.

NATO said no shots were fired in the operation and that the man freely identified himself to Afghan forces.

The arrests stem from the Saturday bomb attack on the governor’s complex in Takhar province during a meeting of high-level Afghan officials and NATO officials. The bombing killed six, including two German soldiers, the provincial police chief and Gen. Daud Daud, a well known regional police commander in northern Afghanistan.

Daud was a former deputy interior minister for counternarcotics and a former bodyguard of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Tajik leader who commanded the Northern Alliance and died in an al-Qaida suicide bombing two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that provoked the U.S. invasion.

German Gen. Markus Kneip, the NATO force’s commander for northern Afghanistan, was among those wounded in the attack.

The Taliban initially claimed responsibility for the attack, though the NATO statement Tuesday implied the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan coordinated the bombing. The group, formed in 1991, originally aiming to set up an Islamic state in Uzbekistan, which neighbors Afghanistan. Later, it expanded its goal to seeking an Islamic nation all across Central Asia. Aligning itself with al-Qaida, it has been most active in the northern provinces of Afghanistan.

The recent violence comes as the Taliban begins its spring offensive, with stepped up roadside bombings and suicide attacks, as well as insurgent assaults on mountain or rural outposts.

The effectiveness of the Taliban campaign could affect the size of President Barack Obama’s planned drawdown of U.S. troops in July. NATO is to hand over control of security in the country to Afghans by 2014.

Among the tactics used by the Taliban and other insurgents appears to be the increased use of young suicide bombers, said Latifullah Mashal, the spokesman of the Afghan National Directorate for Security. He said Wednesday that authorities have arrested 19 boys in the last two months who had been sent from madrassas, or Islamic schools, in Pakistan to blow themselves up.

Terror groups use the young because they remain less likely to be patted down by security, and recruiting suicide attackers has gotten more difficult, Mashal said.

“Terrorists are using children because they are ignorant, they do not know what they are doing,” Mashal said. “They are told that with this (prayer) or words from Islam that you hang around your body – you will survive, but only your enemy will be killed.”

Taliban forces also may target seven areas set to be handed over to Afghan security control in July, Mashal said. Those areas include Bamiyan and Panjshir provinces, the cities of Lashkar Gah, Herat, Mazer-e-Sharif and Mehterlam, and nearly all of Kabul province.

Also Wednesday, NATO announced the deaths of two service members, both killed in insurgent attacks in eastern Afghanistan. NATO said in a statement that one attack occurred Tuesday, while the other occurred Wednesday, but offered no other details.

Last month, 56 NATO service members were killed in combat, including at least 31 Americans. The U.S. military also said Wednesday that the recent death of three American troops in a bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan happened Sunday, and not Saturday as it initially reported.

Associated Press writer Amir Shah contributed to this report.

MOROCCO–the Danger of Backsliding Into Chaos

MOROCCO: DANGER OF SLIPPAGE

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Washington / Morocco Board News–   The next Protests by the Feb-20th Youth Group are supposed to be held next Sunday, June 5, Across the country. The group is calling the “citizens to protest against repression” and “to demand democratic reforms”. The protests will take place two weeks before the advisory committee, appointed last March by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, to provide proposals for a constitutional reform.

The Feb-20 Group is calling “all democratic forces […]of citizens to participate massively in the peaceful demonstrations on Sunday, June 5th, everywhere in Morocco, and even in some Western countries… ” Several political parties, trade unions and NGOs are supporting the demonstrators who are protesting against , among other things, “the repression of peaceful demonstrations that have become routine […] and to continue to support legitimate democratic demands of the Feb-20th Group” said a press release.

Fear of further slippage

Although peaceful, the protests could lead to violent excesses by over reaching demonstrators, or over zealous law enforcement forces. Last Monday,  the European Commission expressed its concern over violence against  demonstrators, during Sunday protests in Casablanca and Tangier, in particular. “We are concerned by the violence that has been used during demonstrators in Morocco, this weekend” said Natasha Butler, spokesman for the European Neighborhood Policy.

Following a suspicious bombing in Marrakech that killed several tourists and locals, the government has shown an ever increasing hard line policy against dissent. An editor of the largest daily has been jailed and accused of various offenses, the demonstrators are systematically chased and clubbed. The government spokesman said that the Islamists and leftists are piggybacking on the current wave of protests and using it for their own purposes and hurting the country’ economy.

There is an ever increasing danger of serious slippage with the current policy of repression. It may provide a fortuitous spark to radicalize the majority of protesters who are, so far, calling for democratic reforms and not an end to the regime as in Libya and Syria.
Last week’s reports have shown officers clubbing a woman holding a child. Such scenes showcase how easy it is for events to go out of control and for a seminal and powerful scene to happen and to be instantly transmitted for everyone, which will lead to an increased radicalization, and a larger dissent among the public.
Recent development in neighboring countries have shown that increased repression often leads to bigger opposition because the wall of fear has crumbled across the region.

One Week in the Life of a Police State


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book The Freedom Wars (TRI Press) is available online at http://www.amazon.com.

Click here to contact
John Whitehead

One Week in the Life of a Police State

By John W. Whitehead

“The United States today is like a cruise ship on the Niagara River upstream of the most spectacular falls in North America. A few people on board have begun to pick up a slight hiss in the background, to observe a faint haze of mist in the air or on their glasses, to note that the river current seems to be running slightly faster. But no one yet seems to have realized that it is almost too late to head for shore.”–Historian and author Chalmers Johnson

Keeping up with the real news can be difficult today–especially since those who provide us with the “news” often deliver entertainment packaged as news. In this way, what passes for news today serves merely to distract us from what is really happening in the world around us. Gradually, the powers-that-be have erected a police/surveillance state around us. This is reflected in the government’s single-minded quest to acquire ever greater powers, the fusion of the police and the courts, and the extent to which our elected representatives have sold us out to the highest bidders–namely, the corporate state and military industrial complex.

Indeed, a handful of seemingly unrelated incidents in the week leading up to Memorial Day perfectly encapsulated how much the snare enclosing us has tightened, how little recourse we really have–at least in the courts, and how truly bleak is the landscape of our freedoms. What these incidents reveal is that the governmental bureaucracy has stopped viewing us, the American people, as human beings who should be treated with worth and dignity. That was the purpose of the Bill of Rights. The Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures of our persons and effects was designed so that government agents would be forced to treat us with due respect. With this protection now gone, those who attempt to exercise their rights will often be forced to defend themselves against an increasingly inflexible and uncompromising government.

For example, on May 24, 2011, a Virginia Circuit Court refused to reverse the expulsion of a 14-year-old honor student charged under a school zero tolerance policy with “violent criminal conduct” and possession of a weapon for shooting plastic “spitballs” at classmates. This young man was eventually faced with three assault and battery charges as a result of three students being hit on the arms by the spitballs. Despite the fact that the judge acknowledged the school’s punishment to be overreaching, he refused to intervene, essentially washing his hands of the matter and leaving it to the schools to act as they see fit.

Two days later, on May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court–the highest court in the land, in a devastating ruling that could very well do away with what little Fourth Amendment protections remain to public school students and their families, threw out a lower court ruling inAlford v. Greene which required government authorities to secure a warrant, a court order or parental consent before interrogating students at school. The ramifications are far-reaching, rendering public school students as wards of the state. Once again, the courts sided with law enforcement against the rights of the people.

That night, in a race against the clock, Congress pushed through a four-year extension of three controversial provisions in the USA Patriot Act that authorize the government to use aggressive surveillance tactics in the so-called war against terror. Since being enacted in 2001, the Patriot Act has driven a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating at least six of the ten original amendments–the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments–and possibly the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well. The Patriot Act has also redefined terrorism so broadly that many non-terrorist political activities such as protest marches, demonstrations and civil disobedience are considered potential terrorist acts, thereby rendering anyone desiring to engage in protected First Amendment expressive activities as suspects of the surveillance state.

Under the Patriot Act, for the first time in American history, federal agents and police officers are authorized to conduct black bag “sneak-and-peak” searches of homes and offices and confiscate your personal property without first notifying you of their intent or their presence. The law also grants the FBI the right to come to your place of employment, demand your personal records and question your supervisors and fellow employees, all without notifying you; allows the government access to your medical records, school records and practically every personal record about you; and allows the government to secretly demand to see records of books or magazines you’ve checked out in any public library and Internet sites you’ve visited (at least 545 libraries received such demands in the first year following passage of the Patriot Act).

In the name of fighting terrorism, government officials have been permitted to monitor religious and political institutions with no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing; prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they told anyone that the government had subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation; monitor conversations between attorneys and clients; search and seize Americans’ papers and effects without showing probable cause; and jail Americans indefinitely without a trial, among other things. The federal government has also made liberal use of its new powers, especially through the use (and abuse) of the nefarious national security letters, which allow the FBI to demand personal customer records from Internet Service Providers, financial institutions and credit companies at the mere say-so of the government agent in charge of a local FBI office and without prior court approval.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Patriot Act has been perversely applied to average Americans, when some of the more controversial provisions recently came up for renewal, they were passed by many of the same individuals–many ushered into office on the impetus of the Tea Party–who had claimed to oppose it. Within hours of the Patriot Act extension being passed, however, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, revealed in an interview that the “real” Patriot Act is classified. In other words, Wyden’s message is that the government has been broadly interpreting the Patriot Act for its own purposes and keeping that interpretation under wraps. Stated Wyden: “We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says.” Thus, the violations of the Patriot Act are worse than we thought.

Then, on May 28, a small group of young people showed up at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, to protest a recent appeals court ruling that expressive dancing is prohibited at the memorial. The ruling concerned a 2008 incident in which a group of 20 people descended on the Jefferson Memorial at midnight for a flash mob–a spontaneous (and silent) dance tribute to Jefferson on the eve of his 265th birthday. Of the 20, one–Mary Oberwetter–was arrested, handcuffed and charged with failing to follow police orders and interfering with operation of the memorial. Oberwetter sued, insisting on a First Amendment right to free speech, only to have the court declare that the U.S. Park Service has a duty to maintain “decorum” at the nation’s monuments and that any demonstrations, whether one person or many, are not allowed inside the nation’s memorials. A subsequent appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia resulted in a ruling that “expressive dancing falls within the spectrum of prohibited activities” and that “the Park Service has a substantial interest in promoting a tranquil environment at our national memorials.”

In response to the ruling, a motley crew of activists, determined to exercise their First Amendment right to free expression and protest and armed with nothing more than headphones, entered the Jefferson Memorial on May 28, 2011, the weekend before Memorial Day. “The founders understood that the only thing that was going to make the American experiment succeed was the people standing up for these rights,” Jared Denman, one of the demonstrators, remarked. Unfortunately, this particular experiment was short-lived.

Adam Kokesh body slammed, choked, police brutal…, posted with vodpod

Swaying minimally to whatever music was in their heads, the small group barely had time to “bust a move” before Park Police descended on them. The resulting fracas, in which police choked and body slammed one protester, Adam Kokesh, handcuffed others and shut the memorial down altogether, was captured on YouTube (click here to watch). Mind you, these were people who were silently dancing–a far cry from violent drug dealers or armed dissidents. One couple was simply holding each other in an affectionate embrace and swaying, only to be forcibly separated and handcuffed. “I’m not shutting up. You cannot shut me up,” shouted one of the dancers. “That’s not the way this works. You cannot shut anyone up. You cannot stop them from dancing. You cannot stop them from kissing… This is a police state!”

Indeed, for anyone wanting to truly understand what it is to live in a police state, which U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas defined as one “in which all dissent is suppressed or rigidly controlled,” I would strongly recommend watching the footage. This Jefferson Memorial event is just the latest in a long series of incidents that clearly illustrate the extent to which our government has adopted an authoritarian mindset, one that is most clearly seen in the way law enforcement deals with American citizens.

Consider, for example, a recent incident involving a young ex-Marine who was killed after a SWAT team kicked open the door of his Arizona home during a drug raid and opened fire. According to news reports, Jose Guerena, 26 years old and the father of two young children, grabbed a gun in response to the forced invasion but never fired. In fact, the safety was still on his gun when he was killed. Police officers were not as restrained. The young Iraqi war veteran was allegedly fired upon 71 times in what appears to be yet another senseless killing. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home. Incredibly, medical authorities were kept away from the scene for more than an hour, by which time it was too late to save Guerena’s life.

Shocking, yes, but what’s more shocking is that such raids, which annihilate the Fourth Amendment, are actually being sanctioned by the courts. Just a few weeks ago, the Indiana Supreme Court broadly ruled in Barnes v. State that people don’t have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally–which, by the way, is the state of law across the country. And then within days of that ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively decimated the Fourth Amendment in an 8-1 ruling in Kentucky v. King by giving police more leeway to smash down doors of homes or apartments without a warrant when in search of illegal drugs which they suspect might be destroyed if the Fourth Amendment requirement of a warrant were followed.

What these assorted court rulings and incidents add up to is a nation that is fast imploding, one that is losing sight of what freedom is really all about and, in the process, is transitioning from a republic governed by the people to a police state governed by the strong arm of the law. In such an environment, the law becomes yet another tool to oppress the people. Hence, as a recent report points out, “Federal criminal law has exploded in size and scope and deteriorated in quality. It used to focus on inherently wrongful conduct: treason, murder, counterfeiting, and the like. Today, an unimaginably broad range of socially and economically beneficial conduct is criminalized…. Despite existing overcriminalization, Congress continues to criminalize at an average rate of one new crime for every week of every year (including when its Members are not in session).”

America is spiraling into an authoritarian vortex from which there appears to be no return. And if freedom is to survive, we’re going to need leaders–not talking news heads or politicians at rallies–who will, like the great dissidents of the past such as Mahatma Gandhi, dare to defy the “law” and the establishment in effectuating change.

One thing is clear: the time to act is now. Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently addressed this need for urgency in the face of injustice and oppression in his “Letter from Birmingham City Jail.” Dr. King wrote this stirring essay on April 16, 1963, while serving a sentence for participating in civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama–one of the most racially segregated cities in the country at the time. Although King rarely bothered to defend himself against his opponents, he put pen to paper when eight prominent “liberal” Alabama clergypersons, all white, published an open letter castigating King for inciting civil disturbances through nonviolent resistance. The clergymen called on King to let the local and federal courts deal with the question of integration. King, however, understood that if justice and freedom were to prevail, African-Americans could not afford to be long-suffering. Quoting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, King wrote, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Action was needed immediately. In his letter, King declared:

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives in the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country…. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored…. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed…. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern…. One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”… Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust…. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law…. We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal…. It is the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually time is neutral. It can be used either destructively or constructively. I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of good will…. But as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist in love–“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.”… Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist–“This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist–“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love?

The US-Israeli Train Wreck

The US-Israeli Train Wreck


By Jeff Gates
5-31-11

 
 
President Obama hopes to head off a train wreck in September at the U.N. General Assembly. That’s when member nations plan to press for an independent Palestine. The Israel lobby is furious.
 
Critics doubt that the General Assembly has the authority to recognize Palestine. Yet protection of member sovereignty has been a goal of the U.N. since its founding. Thus the priority that Israel placed on U.N. recognition after President Harry Truman acknowledged Israel on May 14, 1948, eleven minutes after the Zionist enclave declared itself a state.
 
Truman refused to recognize this enclave as “the Jewish state.” Despite Barack Obama’s reference to the Jewish state in a recent speech on the Middle East, during the final days before granting recognition and thereby “legitimacy,” Truman was consumed with the fear that Zionist aspirations would lead to a racist or a theocratic state.
 
Those concerns led Zionist leader Chaim Weizzman to lobby Truman with a seven-page letter reassuring him that Jewish settlers envisioned a thoroughly secular state similar to the U.S. and Great Britain. Truman underscored that understanding when he recognized not the “Jewish state” (a description he crossed out) but the “State of Israel.”
 
Today’s train wreck should have been foreseen when Weizzman lied to Truman about Zionist intentions. As with every U.S. president since, Truman was deceived.
 
The Joint Chiefs cautioned Truman about the “fanatical concepts” of a Jewish-Zionist elite that sought recognition as a legitimate state. Even then, U.S. military leaders warned that this extremist enclave sought “military and economic hegemony over the entire Middle East.” Truman, a Christian-Zionist, chose to believe otherwise.
 
Albert Einstein was also worried. He and other concerned Jews described the Zionist political party that produced Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and now Benjamin Netanyahu as a “terrorist party” with “the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party.”
 
The Train Wreck
 
Truman’s worst fears have since been realized except that the effects were far worse than either he or the Joint Chiefs envisioned. To persuade other nations to endure this enclave of fanatics, the U.S. assured nearby Arab neighbors that Israel would seek no more land.
 
We now know that the Zionists saw nation-state recognition as only an initial foothold in the region from which to expand their territory and wield geopolitical influence-behind a U.S.-enabled facade of legitimacy.
 
Secretary of State George Marshall assured Truman that if he recognized these extremists as a legitimate state, Marshall would vote against him. This former WWII general anticipated the dynamics that have since devastated U.S. national security as we Americans were induced to expend our blood and treasure in support of Zionist goals.
 
The U.S. now appears culpable due to our alliance with a nuclear-armed theocratic enclave of extremists with an apartheid domestic policy and an expansionist foreign policy.
 
The U.S. diplomatic community also warned Truman against recognition, as did the intelligence community and the policy planning staff at the State Department. Clark Clifford, chairman of Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign, told Truman that if he withheld recognition, campaign funding expected from the Israel lobby would be withheld.
 
Ally or Agent Provocateur?
 
Fast-forward to 1967 and we find this same transnational network pre-staging a conflict designed to appear defensive. Since mythologized as the heroic “Six-Day War,” that agent provocateur operation set in motion geopolitical reactions still playing out today.
 
How far ahead of time was this provocation planned? An Israel Air Force general conceded that attack simulations began in the early 1950s. United Artists president Arthur Krim and his wife, Mathilde, began a strategic friendship with Texas Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. By acquiring property near the LBJ Ranch, Mathilde, a former Irgun operative, could carry on an affair with Johnson while her husband chaired the finance committee for the Democrats.
 
On the night that the Six-Day Land Grab began, Mathilde was enjoying a sleepover in the Johnson White House. But for that Zionist aggression, would Israel have been able to live peacefully with its neighbors? Israel and its supporters staged an elaborate charade to recast this provocation as defensive. That ruse included the cover-up of an Israeli assault on the U.S.S. Liberty that killed 34 Americans and left 175 wounded.
 
Then as now, the fabled “Israelites” were portrayed as victims of a hostile world. Then as now, anyone chronicling the consistency of this duplicity risks portrayal as an “anti-Semite.”
 
This trans-generational deceit continues to undermine U.S. national security at every turn. Zionist treachery began long before George Marshall and the Pentagon cautioned Truman against what these fanatics would now deny the Palestinians: legitimacy.
 
By the consistency of our support over more than six decades, the U.S. now appears guilty by association. If the U.N. vote becomes a diplomatic train wreck, we have only ourselves to blame.
 
Jeff Gates is author Guilt By Association ­ How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War. See http://www.criminalstate.com

Obama Seeking Capability To Rule By Decree–Gun Control Tops the List

Obama under fire for eyeing gun control ‘under the radar’

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

 

President Obama's administration is exploring tighter regulation on gun policy through executive actionPresident Obama’s administration is exploring tighter regulation on gun policy through executive action

The Obama administration is exploring tighter regulation on gun policy that can be secured through an executive order, bypassing congressional approval, officials have confirmed.

The potential crackdown has prompted concern among gun rights groups in the ongoing debate surrounding gun control and Second Amendment rights.

Administration officials said talk of executive orders or agency action are being considered, amidst its crossfire over regulations with a Republican-dominated House.

The Department of Justice held a meeting on Tuesday – the first in what is expected to be a series – to explore how the administration might be able to rule by decree.

Before the meeting, officials said topics of discussion would range from encouraging more thorough background checks and more efficient data-sharing.

An administration official told Fox News: ‘The purpose of these discussions is to be a productive exchange of good ideas from folks across the spectrum. We think that’s a good place to start.’

The news follows a report last month by the Washington Post in which President Obama is quoted saying his administration was working on gun control ‘under the radar’.

The comment was reportedly made during a private meeting with his staff on March 30.

The remark came in the wake of the January killing spree in Arizona that left Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically injured after she was shot at point-blank range by 22-year-old Jarod Loughner.

Former National Rifle Association (NRA) President Charlton Heston holding up a rifle during his address at the 131st NRA convention in 2002Former National Rifle Association (NRA) President Charlton Heston holding up a rifle during his address at the 131st NRA convention in 2002

Six people died and another thirteen people were injured in the attack, putting gun control policy back on the forefront for debate.

Lawmakers have since offered several proposals for tighter restrictions.

However, the prospect of the White House fulfilling an agenda behind closed doors has sparked an outcry among opponents for tighter gun control.

Gun Owners of America Director Larry Pratt told Fox News: ‘They’re doing a pretty good job.

‘As Obama has said, “under the radar”… There’s a lot going on under that radar. They’ve shown us how much they are prepared to do through regulation.’

Pratt referred to a proposal from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in which dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas would be required to report multiple sales to the same person of certain kinds of rifles.

A study released by the ATF in January that examined restricting certain shotguns from being imported to the U.S. has been heavily denounced by the National Rifle Association.

The write-up is based on a 1968 law that restricts imports of firearms to those used for ‘sporting purposes’.

Another proposal by longtime Senate gun control advocate Frank Lautenberg bans high-capacity ammunition clips, like the one that left Giffords wounded.

It has not passed on to Congress.

In March, the President addressed his concerns over gun violence to the Arizona Daily Star, supporting more thorough background checks.

While stressing his support of an individual’s right to bear arms, as protected in the Second Amendment, he defended his stance, stating ‘there’s more we can to to prevent gun violence’.

Gun-rights activists are criticising the efforts, citing a study released by the FBI in September that showed gun sales were up in 2009, while violent crimes of all types declined by 5.3 per cent.

Figures from the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) showed 14million guns were sold in 2009, the biggest year since the system began recording data in 1998.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said enforcement of current gun control laws should be of primary concern.

Arulanandam told Fox News: ‘The American public does not support gun control… What the American public wants is for criminals to be punished for their mistakes.’

Pakistani general condemns North Waziristan ‘hype’

Pakistani general condemns North Waziristan ‘hype’

 

In this handout picture provided by Pakistani military Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on May 5, 2011 shows Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (C) attending a Corps Commanders’ Conference in Rawalpindi on May 5, 2011. Pakistan said it wanted Washington to reduce its military personnel in the country and threatened to review cooperation in case of another raid similar to that which killed Osama bin Laden. – Photo by AFP

MOHAMAD GAT, Pakistan: A leading Pakistani commander on Wednesday sought to play down “media hype” over the prospect of an imminent military offensive to meet US interests in North Waziristan.

Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, the corps commander supervising all military operations in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told reporters: “We will undertake operation in North Waziristan when we want to.”

“There has been a lot of media hype about the operation,” said Malik in the Mohamad Gat area of tribal district Mohmand, where the military flew reporters to show off apparent progress in battles against home-grown Taliban.

“We will undertake such an operation when it is in our national interest militarily,” the general said, describing North Waziristan as “calm and peaceful as it was weeks ago”.

Asked whether there was a need for such an operation, he said only: “Maybe ultimately we will go to North Waziristan”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Friday urged Pakistan to take decisive steps to defeat al Qaeda, when she became the most senior US official to visit the country since US Navy SEALs found and killed bin Laden in the country on May 2.

The fact that the al Qaeda terror chief had been living in a garrison city just a stone’s throw from Pakistan’s top military academy raised disturbing questions about incompetence or complicity within the armed forces.

Under US pressure to crack down on militant havens on the Afghan border, Pakistan has already committed troops against home-grown militants in much of the tribal belt, dubbed a global headquarters of al-Qaeda.

Pakistan has always maintained that any North Waziristan operation would be of its own time and choosing, arguing that its 140,000 troops committed to the northwest are already too overstretched fighting elsewhere.

200 Afghans Wearing Uniforms Attacked Pakistani Border Post

About 200 “launch cross-border attack” on Pakistan post

ISLAMABAD

(Reuters) – About 200 militants crossed into Pakistan’s rugged northwest from Afghanistan on Wednesday and attacked a security checkpost, killing one policeman, police said, and a television station put the death toll at seven.

It was not clear whether the militants were Afghans or Pakistanis. The border area is a global hub for militants, including al Qaeda and allies such as the Pakistani Taliban, who seek to topple the U.S.-backed Islamabad government.

The pre-dawn assault was launched in Shaldalo village in the mountainous northwestern region of Dir and fighting was still continuing, police said.

“They (militants) were in military uniform. They attacked the outpost and then went into forest there,” Mahmood Ahmed, a police officer in the region, told Reuters by telephone.

Militants linked to al Qaeda, who have vowed to avenge the killing of leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces in Pakistan on May 2, have intensified their attacks, mostly suicide bombings.

Pakistan’s Express 24/7 television said seven police were killed in Wednesday’s assault. Ahmed said all communication with the village had been cut off.

After the bin Laden raid, the United States told Pakistan it needs to step up the fight militants who launch attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan from their sanctuaries in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, far to the southwest of Dir.

(Reporting by Kamran Haider; Editing by Nick Macfie)