Sun. Jul 21, 2002
QuoteLog, 7/21 – "The State Department simply can’t be trusted with the decisions of screening out terrorists before they get into the United States. Not only has State been grossly irresponsible in issuing visas, but it has lied to the public in order to protect its pet visa programs [...] In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when the tragedy was still fresh in our minds, the State Department knowingly and intentionally lied to the public by dramatically understating the visa-refusal rates in the country that sent us 15 of the 19 hijackers: Saudi Arabia [...] Even 10 months after 9/11, State actually wants to expand Visa Express to more countries. (A senior State official says: ’State still wants to get through as many people as possible with a minimum of hassle.’) This, even though the U.S. Ambassador in Saudi Arabia has asked to shut down Visa Express there. Given that all 19 of the 9/11 terrorists came here on legal visas, it’s obvious that State has the worst possible track record to keep control over the visa-screening procedures. Clearly, this power should be transferred to the new Homeland Security Department: Keeping terrorists from reaching our shores in the first place must be at the core of its mission. But more fundamentally than that, a government agency that willfully lies to the public to protect a foreign entity should not – cannot – be trusted to keep our borders – and us – safe."
Joel Mowbray, National Post
"In this Hobbsean world, I see a closer long-term community of interests between the two pillars of Western civilization—Europe and America—than do many other observers. Therefore, I believe Jacksonians should calmly and consistently make the case for American populist nationalism. Acknowledge the counter-arguments, and explain why they are wrong. When the charge of ’simplistic’ thinking is made, expose the sophistry behind it [...] Above all, don’t let Europeans get away with posing as more highly evolved creatures who are weak relative to the United States because they have been properly appalled by the horrors of war. Remind them that they have chosen geopolitical irrelevance because they would rather put their money into welfare states than spend it on defense—and, to some extent, they get a free ride from the U.S. military establishment. ’I think the real problem the Europeans face is that Europe really thinks that its place in the world is as America’s equal,’ Mead said. ’But they aren’t in a military or a political sense. And they’re not going to be. In fact, they’re probably going to become less our equal. Their populations are shrinking. Without massive immigration, their economies will shrink steadily. Their pension funds are so underfunded, their retirement crunch makes our Social Security problems look like nothing. nd the way they’re set up now, most of their immigrants are coming from the Muslim Middle East and North Africa. Many of the immigrants are not assimilating. And the Europeans don’t know what to do about that.’ "
Lou Marano, UPI
"The United States military is considering the idea of using intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) armed with conventional warheads in future conflicts. An official said the advantage of the missile, launched from a submarine anywhere in the world, was its speed [...] Stephen Younger, head of the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency, stressed the advantage of rapid deployment offered by ICBMs. ’For example, if you were to see from a satellite that an adversary was preparing to launch a Scud missile and you had reason to believe there was a biological warhead on it, then you would want to have the ability to destroy that target very quickly before that Scud was launched,’ he said [...] Another plan under consideration is the use of a thick foam to envelop suspected chemical or biological weapons. It would be safer than using conventional weapons, which run the risk of triggering a leak of poison gas or biological agents. ’It’s not as simple as blowing it up,’ said Mr Younger."
"A group of Seattle singers organizing a series of worldwide performances of Mozart’s ’Requiem’ for Sept. 11 say they have gotten thousands of e-mails in support of the idea [...] Thirty choirs from around the world have signed up to take part in the ’Rolling Requiem’ and many more are considering joining, Johnson said. A choir in Riga, Latvia, was among the first to respond, writing, ’Not only will we sing in our country’s largest performance space, we are inviting choirs from all over our country to join us.’ A Boston choir responded that the invitation left some members in tears. A backer of the idea in Wales invited 200 Welsh choirs. A singing group in Taipei is organizing a network of Taiwanese choirs. Each performance is to begin at 8:46 a.m.—the time of the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York—starting at the international date line and moving westward by time zone [...] The idea for the Rolling Requiem began with a suggestion from a music lover who bumped into Terry Blumer, a baritone with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, on the street in January after a performance by the group. The woman, whose name Blumer did not know, suggested that choruses form a ring around Ground Zero on Sept. 11 and sing Mozart’s ’Requiem.’ [...] A few members of the chorale formed a committee and decided to organize two even grander efforts. One was the Rolling Requiem. The other was to invite singers from around the world to commemorate the first anniversary of the attacks at each crash site—New York, the Pentagon and Somerset County, Pa."
Elizabeth Murtaugh, NJ.com