Terra

Mitch McConnell: send Bowling Green prisoners to Gitmo because of Casey Anthony

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July 11, 2011
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How far is Mitch McConnell willing to go when it comes to the blatant partisan hypocrisy and fearmongering on the terrorists charged in Bowling Green?

This low
:

MCCONNELL: These foreign terrorists are enemy combatants. They should be taken to Guantanamo, they should be tried in military commissions, new legislation that we passed just three years ago precisely for the purpose of dealing with foreign terrorists. These are not American citizens. We just found with the Caylee Anthony case how difficult it is to get a conviction in a U.S. court. I don’t think a foreigner is entitled to all the protections of the Bill of Rights. They should not be in U.S. courts. They should be at Guantanamo and before military commissions.

Pat yourself on the back, Mitch. Not only are they going to use Muslin Prison Magic to blow up the entire state of Kentucky (not Eastern Kentucky, King Coal is already on the job), they will go free just like Casey Anthony. Who is obviously just as guilty and a perfectly accurate and justifiable analogy to use.

I’ve said it all before, but as MM says:

This isn’t theoretical. We’ve tried it his way, and there’s a substantial amount of data to show that when it comes to punishing terrorists, the civilian court system is much more successful than the military tribunals McConnell and the GOP prefer — especially when the criminal case has been tarnished by torture or other violations. But in McConnell’s mind, we should ignore all that because we’re angry a jury let Casey Anthony walk.

But at least Mitch’s argument will win over Angry Grandpa: (very not safe for work)

Mayor Joe Denning of Bowling Green is not a coward

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July 6, 2011
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Just like most Kentuckians, and unlike Senator Mitch McConnell. Phillip Bailey at WFPL got Denning to say why, unlike McConnell, he has faith in the American justice system and the people of Bowling Green:

McConnell has said publicly the decision to have the trial in the state could result in retaliatory attacks and is widely opposed by Kentuckians, but Bowling Green Mayor Joe Denning told WFPL the location of the trial should be left up to the judicial system and not lawmakers.

“I don’t know the Senator has access to more statistical information than I would have, so I’m not going to argue or debate whether or not those statistics are true or not, but I do know our community and I know the people in our community,” he says. “And our vote last night—a majority vote—represents I think what the majority of people here in Bowling Green feel.”

Initially, Denning supported the measure but changed his mind as a former law enforcement official, saying the city, state and federal government will do everything to ensure citizens remain safe while the men are being held in federal custody.

“I didn’t feel that it was right for us to request that it be sent to some other jurisdiction, some other community. It happened here so let the trial be here,” says Denning.

Bowling Green rejects Mitch McConnell’s pants-wetting on trial for terror suspects

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July 6, 2011
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Mitch McConnell has been playing the Fear card over the last few weeks, urgently telling people in Bowling Green that if we have a trial for terrorism suspects here (which we did over 100 times under Bush with no criticism from the GOP), we are ALL GOING TO DIE when they use their Muslin Prison Magic to blow us up and kill us all dead.

Do you know who didn’t buy that argument? The Bowling Green City Commission:

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday repeating his request to reconsider holding civilian trials for two Iraqis arrested in Bowling Green last month, but the city commission won’t be joining McConnell in the request.

*****

McConnell also told Holder that a Bowling Green trial is widely opposed by Kentuckians and their elected leaders.

The Bowling Green City Commission considered a resolution Tuesday night that would have asked Holder to move the trial. Mayor Joe Denning, who said earlier that he supported the resolution, voted against it, and it failed 3-2.

Two members of the public spoke before the vote, and both were against the resolution.

That’s what you call a big ole dose of FAIL, Mitch. They agreed with their hometown Senator, though.

But don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find some other issue to fan the flame of irrational fear for your own political benefit.

McConnell does more pants wetting on Bowling Green trial

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June 27, 2011
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Mitch McConnell took to the editorial page at the Herald Leader this morning, producing another round of recycled pants-wetting fearmongering about trying terrorism suspects here in Kentucky. You know, the same fearmongering that he never used during the Bush administration. But I guess we know how that whole “the president is a Democrat now, so go for it” thing works, don’t we, Mitch?

Mitch finally gets around to his point at the end of the piece, and it’s a bit of a head scratcher:

There is no question that we could prosecute these men in civilian court, but after Congress created a $200 million, state-of-the-art facility in Guantanamo Bay precisely for this purpose, why would we want to?

OK… so we could totally try them here effectively, but you’re saying that we should move them there just so we use what we spent money on? Try again.

It simply makes no sense to saddle Kentuckians with some of the security and logistical costs associated with ensuring the safety of our residents during the trial.

Look no further than the 2006 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in Alexandria, Va., as an example of what we can expect.

The Washington Post reported that the town was turned into “a virtual encampment, with heavily armed agents, rooftop snipers, bomb-sniffing dogs, blocked streets, identification checks.”

So this is what we can expect? This is the same trial that, like all of the other terrorism trials in America, did not result in attacks on the city. But there were dogs and law enforcement with guns? Oh, how terrifying. There’s no way that Bowling Green could recover from this tragedy, eh?

But here’s where McConnell is the most off base about the Moussaoui trial being an example of what we can expect:

Mitch McConnell never made a single complaint about the Bush administration trying him here in America.

Not one. I guess he didn’t see it as an opportunity to cynically drum up fear for his political advantage back then. But I guess times change, like the occupants of the White House.

And it’s also striking that Mitch McConnell has already abandoned the “we’re all going to die!” argument, in favor of the “we can’t take the site of dogs and law enforcement with guns in our state” argument. Pretty lame, Mitch. You should know as well as anyone that we need a good scare if you’re going to manipulate us to your advantage. Step up your game, already.

McConnell says terrorists are ready to destroy Bowling Green and kill us all

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June 20, 2011
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Mitch McConnell stepped up his pants-wetting fearmongering on Friday, holding a press conference where he claimed that if we prosecuted alleged terrorists in Bowling Green, as we’ve done hundreds of times in America (without a single word of protest from McConnell and Republicans during the Bush administration), Kentucky will suddenly become a giant target for terrorists around the world.

From cn|2:

“Finally just let me say for those who participate in the trial. How would you like to be the judge on a case like this? How would you like to be the prosecutor? How would you like to be a juror? Before this ill advised decision to try these foreign terrorists in Bowling Green, I think I’m fairly safe in saying there’s probably not a foreign terrorist in the world who could have found Bowling Green, KY on a map. They know where it is now.”

Be very afraid, Kentucky. Be very afraid.

Rand Paul steps up and says what’s right (yes, I typed that non-sarcastically)

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June 17, 2011
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In the race to see who is the biggest pants-wetting coward afraid of Muslin Prison Magic in the state of Kentucky, we now have two new entries joining David Williams, Greg Stumbo and Steve Beshear: current KY Attorney General candidates Todd P’Pool and Jack Conway.

Here’s P’Pool (prounced “pee pool”, and French) doing his best to bait Conway into an idiotic “Who’s Scared of Muslims in a Jail Cell More” war:

“As a conservative and a prosecutor, I believe the first and foremost priority of government should be keeping our citizens safe from enemies—foreign and domestic,” P’Pool said in a news release. “Terrorists should be tried as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, not here in Kentucky.”

Jack Conway, of course being the Jack Conway that we got to know in his race last year, was happy to join Mr. P’Pool in wetting his pants:

“This matter is being handled by the U.S. Department of Justice, not the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office,” says Melissa Wideman, a Conway campaign spokeswoman. “And for the record, Jack Conway believes terrorists should be tried in military tribunals, not civilian courts. He took on President Obama on this issue when terror trials were scheduled to be held in New York City.”

Yes, Jack was very brave to take on Mr. Obama, wasn’t he?

And just when it looks like every KY pair of pants in Frankfort and DC would be soaked, here comes somebody who will to tell the truth.

Rand Paul?

“I think the people who are on the ground and look at court safety and trials will have to look at that,” Paul said, ” And I think the only other way to look at it in a logical way would be to look at the other terror trials and – like I say – we’ve had several hundred terror trials in the U.S.”

“I think in this instance, if you capture them here, I think the federal courts probably can take care of them much more swiftly than Guantanamo and actually give them very lengthy sentences if they are found guilty,” Paul said.

*****

“We have convicted over 400 terror suspects in the United States,” Paul told WHAS11, “I think we’ve done a fairly good job and our conviction rate is actually very high. I would differentiate with (9/11 mastermind) Khalid Sheik Mohammad in the sense that he is such an international figure that there could be a great danger to holding the trial here. But, there’s ample evidence that we can try people here (and) imprison them. And then we get away from the backlash we get from other countries if we hold people without determination.”

OK, so I disagree with him on Mohammad, but… relatively speaking… bravo?

Congrats to Steve Beshear, Greg Stumbo and Jack Conway. You just made Rand Paul look good.

(PS- the countdown now begins for the next time Rand Paul talks about Obama’s brown shirts breaking down your door to enslave your toilet bowl and put cameras in your light bulbs, so that we can go back to criticizing him)

Williams campaign says that Beshear is not hysterical enough

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June 17, 2011
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Yesterday the David Williams campaign sent out an urgent warning to Kentuckians, via the Facebook and CAPS LOCK, that Steve Beshear was putting their lives in eminent danger. You see, real live muslin terrorists are in a federal prison in Kentucky, which means that we are all about to die in a massive explosion. In fact, I’m really shocked that I’m even alive this morning to write this post.

And in predictable fashion, Gov. Steve Beshear immediately sided with him, providing yet another knee-jerk response that he ain’t no Obama Guv:

“Regarding the men in Bowling Green who are facing terror charges, I am fine with the federal government sending them to Guantanamo Bay. My main concern is to get them out of Kentucky.”

Well, I guess that settles it, right? Both Williams and Beshear agree that the muslins will use their special prison magic to blow up the state of Kentucky, therefore we should take them to a place that we don’t mind getting blown up.

Or does, it? Great mind and Williams spokesperson Scott Jennings was able to read between the lines and discover that Steve Beshear’s heart really wasn’t into fear mongering like a Real Amurkan:

After Beshear spoke out for the suspects’ removal from Kentucky, Williams spokesman Scott Jennings called it a “languid reaction.”

YES. Good call, Scott. You know why Beshear’s response was half-assed?

#1: No CAPS LOCK. How are we really supposed to believe that you are very frightened and scared of two guys in a jail cell unless you speak in CAPITAL LETTERS? It just doesn’t come off as authentic or cowardly, you know?

#2: He failed to emphasize that people who weren’t born here in the US of A don’t have rights like us. Because that is, like, so true and stuff. Why does Steve Beshear want SPECIAL RIGHTS for terrorists?

#3: He is a DEMOCRAT. Sure, they might “say” they believe in Muslin Prison Magic that will kill us all, but can we really believe them? For example, when the Bush administration prosecuted 100 or so Islamic terrorists in US civilian court over the course of his administration (that Scott Jennings served in!!!), that was OK because he was a Republican. But when Barack Obama tried to continue the Bush administration policy, he was rightly called out as wanting to (A) set them all free to murder us, and (B) let them kill us from their jail cell, as that is one of their magic powers. Can we really trust his very good friend and mentee Steve Beshear?

For example, look at this bloody carnage from New York when a Gitmo detainee was tried there:

Kind of hard to argue with the proof in that video, isn’t it?

So let it be know from here on out:

The only way to show that you are a Real America who is tough and dedicated to keeping America safe is to wet your pants and cower in fear of terrorists, use CAPS LOCKED hysteria, and abandon American principles.

What Larry, Cenk and Sister Rachel say:

Williams says Beshear won’t keep us safe from the Muslins (UPDATE)

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June 16, 2011
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David Williams, the 21-point GOP underdog in the KY gubernatorial race, has an urgent CAPS LOCKED message for his devoted Facebook fans: STEVE BESHEAR IS GOING TO GET US ALL KILLED BY THE MAGIC OF MUSLIN TERRORISTS!!!

The Bowling Green terrorists don’t deserve rights/privileges of American citizens. Should be sent to Gitmo for military trial. Speaker Stumbo (D) agrees with Sen. McConnell and me. Gov. Beshear refuses to join us in demanding Obama do what is in best interests of KY.

*****

The fact is fingerprints from one of these terrorists was found on a BOMB IN IRAQ. They are ENEMY COMBATANTS and should be tried in a MILITARY COURT, not in a civilian court in KY. Beshear’s failure to see how leaving them here in KY instead of sending them to Gitmo puts our state at risk is a troubling lack of judgment.

I kind of figured desperate stuff like this would be pulled out in the final week of the campaign after Williams’ people realized they were going to lose by 14 points, but I really didn’t expect it to happen by June.

UPDATE: Beshear, right on cue, separating himself once again from our Kenyan Overlord:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 16, 2011)—“Regarding the men in Bowling Green who are facing terror charges, I am fine with the federal government sending them to Guantanamo Bay.  My main concern is to get them out of Kentucky.”

Rand Paul softens but stands by his Thought Police

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June 3, 2011
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As I’m sure you know by now, Rand Paul went on the radio last week to suck up to Sean Hannity, assuring him that he’s actually tough on national security despite his opposition to the Patriot Act. And how did he manage to suck up to Caveman Hannity? By saying that people who attend speeches by “radicals” advocating the violent overthrow of the government should be put in jail or deported. In its full context, there is absolutely zero doubt that is what he said and meant.

And it wasn’t just me and ThinkProgress and Krugman and Maddow and Cenk and Glenn Greenwald and Steve Benen saying that. Even the libertarian fanboys of Rand Paul at Reason Magazine agreed that this was really messed up:

Having listened to more of the interview…, I can’t say it makes the Kentucky senator, whose principled criticism of the PATRIOT Act I praised a in my column yesterday, look much better.

*****

But Paul goes completely off the rails when he suggests that merely attending “radical political speeches” is “an offense that we should be going after,” one that justifies deporting or even imprisoning someone. (On what charge?) That does not sound like the same man who the day before insisted that we can “capture terrorists and protect our liberties at the same time” and who the day before that challenged conservatives and progressives by declaring that “if we do not protect the entire Bill of Rights, we are not going to have any of it.” It’s not surprising that Hannity did not press Paul for an explanation, but Paul had a chance to clarify his position and did not. You would think that a self-identified defender of civil liberties who goes on a nationally distributed radio show and hears himself suggesting that people should be imprisoned for attending speeches would be in a hurry to explain that is not what he really meant.

Another person at Reason wrote Paul to clarify what he meant, but he still hasn’t responded.

But what Rand did do yesterday is go on Mandy Connell’s show for some damage control, where Connell served up some huge softballs and slobbered all over him, like the no-talent hack that she is. In the “interview” Rand “clarifies” his views, of course blaming his “enemies” for taking him “out of context”. This is the first real 100% instance of “Rand’s Law” that we’ve seen in a while, as those who quote him full and in context are liars (yes, Newt has appropriated this Law).

But does Rand Paul fully back down from his views on Hannity’s show, especially his belief that Rand Paul himself should be a person of interest for federal authorities? Not so much. As you can see when he summarizes his views at the end of the interview:

Well heaven forbid that we should think about our political discourse some and have debate. But, no I don’t, I think if people hear enough of it, that’s one of the beauties I think of talk radio, is that you can have a more full discussion of things. The people on the internet who are talking that out of context, are obviously people who are my political enemies. So they are going to do anything to try to promote that.

But I think it’s a consistent position, and all I’m saying is that attending a rally where you call for the violent overthrow of the United States, one, it’s against the law to say that. But attending the rally I think would be supportive evidence to a judge to say, well maybe that person should be somebody, if he’s taking 25 calls from Pakistan, he’s been to Yemen twice, perhaps that’s enough evidence that a judge could grant a warrant to look further into his activities.

OK, looking past the hilarious praising of right-wing radio’s service of allowing people like Rand Paul to do unchallenged PR spin when they say something idiotic, let’s look at the basic argument which remains.

According to Rand, if you attend one of those radical speeches, Big Brother should be watching and listening to you, but only if you’ve been cavorting with Muslims, it appears. Now, does the fact that Rand Paul attended a speech where militiamen with assault rifles were calling for the violent overthrow of the government implicate himself and justify his spot on their Naughty List? Or does the fact that these militiamen were good white Christians mean that there is no harm here, and that Rand doesn’t have to be taken down to the station for questioning or have his phone tapped? Or is the fact that Rand Paul is a good white Christian allow him to go to radical violent speeches without impunity, while Muslim students do not have that right?

It’s still a little cloudy, as Rand’s Reason Fanboy Jacob Sullum agrees:

Paul has managed to construct a clarification that is alarming as well as reassuring. Instead of saying that he misspoke, he seems to defend the idea that people should be imprisoned for advocating violence. But in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from criminalizing “advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” That test is very hard to meet in practice, and an anti-American speech by a radical imam is unlikely to qualify unless his listeners immediately go out to plant bombs. In any case, people who merely listen to the speech have not committed any conceivable offense by doing so…. It is hard to tell exactly what he meant to say, since in both interviews he conflates several different scenarios, including airport screening, search warrants, deportation for violating student visa rules, and both listening to and giving radical, violence-promoting speeches. But at least he has made it clear that he does not favor punishing people for exercising their First Amendment rights. I think.

They truly are trying very hard to get him off the hook here, but… Rand’s making it kind of difficult.

Anyway, if this PR Bailout didn’t fully do the trick to quiet the storm, I’m sure Mandy Connell would invite him back to finish the job, true professional that she is.

Two from Bowling Green indicted on terrorism charges

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May 31, 2011
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Huh.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Two Iraqis have been indicted in Kentucky on federal terrorism charges, including allegations that they provided support to Al-Qaeda in Iraq and conspired to transport Stinger missiles overseas.

Thirty-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan and 23-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, both former residents of Iraq who currently live in Bowling Green, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green.

The 23-count indictment was unsealed Tuesday after the pair made their initial appearances in federal court in Louisville.

Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States. Prosecutors identified Alwan as a one-time member of the Iraqi insurgency who planted improvised explosive devices aimed at killing U.S. troops in the country over eight years.

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