Obama Lays Ground Work For Direct Negotiations With Iran

Direct diplomacy without preconditions I am sure… Just wait and see. Pretty soon we will be bending over for these asshats while they builds some nukes… Remember what happened with N. Korea under the Clinton administration… 

Change You Can Believe In!

President Obama did a quick pivot Monday, shifting his focus to foreign policy by contacting a handful of major world leaders — including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy — as his new U.N. ambassador restated the desire for vigorous and “direct diplomacy” with Iran.

President Obama did a quick pivot Monday, shifting his focus to foreign policy by contacting a handful of major world leaders — including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy — as his new U.N. ambassador restated the desire for vigorous and “direct diplomacy” with Iran.

Obama spoke with the foreign leaders ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who was leaving immediately afterward for a trip to the region. Mitchell will go to Cairo, Egypt; Jersusalem, Israel; Ramallah in the West Bank; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He will also visit Paris and London.

Back in the U.S., U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who was confirmed last week for the post, said Monday that Iran’s refusal to meet international obligations will increase pressure on Tehran to drop its nuclear ambitions and cooperate with the United States and global community.

Besides pursuing nuclear weapons, Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and support for Hamas, a terror group designated by the U.S., Israel and the European Union. 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Rice’s remarks are not a departure from statements made previously by Obama the candidate. She merely restated the administration position that no forms of communication should be off the table with the Islamic regime. 

“Whether you were on the campaign trail or not, clearly this was something that generated a lot of coverage over the past two years. And I think Ambassador Rice was simply restating the position that the president had,” he said.

Gibbs did not offer any specific initiatives on dealing with Iran, but said Rice’s remarks should come as no surprise.

“This administration is going to use all elements of our national power to address concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program. 

As for the Mitchell trip, Gibbs said Mitchell was ahead overseas “to begin the process that the president promised to be actively engaged in, the peace process there in the Middle East.”

State Department Spokesman Robert A. Wood said the purpose of the trip is to consult with regional leaders on a range of issues, including trying to contain smuggling into Gaza to prevent the rearming of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza. He said Mitchell will not meet with any Hamas leaders.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

via Obama, Iran Talks Next? – First 100 Days of Presidency – Politics FOXNews.com .

US Military Operating Under Secret Orders

Well the news itself is no surprise, but what the fact that the mass media is reporting it is. As usual, journalistic ethics are out the door. The media loves to report anything classified, top secret etc… As long as they can get it out to the people who should know… Bullshit.

Operations are on going, as in the recent Syrian raid, which is mentioned in the article, and the publication of news like this only puts our troops in danger. It also escalates tensions between countries because now things are public knowledge, instead of being handled by the respective powers and counter parts in the countries involved.

I guess that is why the UK is looking to censor media outlets from reporting on items that compromise national security. Maybe we should consider doing the same thing, and make it a criminal act… And when items involve national security and put soldiers lives in danger, I think the anonymous sources excuse used by the media must be abolished. If there is no national security issue or potential to put soldiers lives in danger, then fine, let them use all the anonymous sources they want.

The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President George W. Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants’ compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, according to a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency. Officials watched the entire mission — captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft — in real time in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away.

Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the CIA, according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of CIA-directed operations.

But as many as a dozen additional operations have been canceled in the past four years, often to the dismay of military commanders, senior military officials said. They said senior administration officials had decided in these cases that the missions were too risky, were too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence.

More than a half-dozen officials, including current and former military and intelligence officials as well as senior Bush administration policy makers, described details of the 2004 military order on the condition of anonymity because of its politically delicate nature. Spokesmen for the White House, the Defense Department and the military declined to comment.

Apart from the 2006 raid into Pakistan, the American officials refused to describe in detail what they said had been nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks, except to say they had been carried out in Syria, Pakistan and other countries. They made clear that there had been no raids into Iran using that authority, but they suggested that American forces had carried out reconnaissance missions in Iran using other classified directives.

According to a senior administration official, the new authority was spelled out in a classified document called “Al Qaeda Network Exord,” or execute order, that streamlined the approval process for the military to act outside officially declared war zones. Where in the past the Pentagon needed to get approval for missions on a case-by-case basis, which could take days when there were only hours to act, the new order specified a way for Pentagon planners to get the green light for a mission far more quickly, the official said.

It also allowed senior officials to think through how the United States would respond if a mission went badly. “If that helicopter goes down in Syria en route to a target,” the official said, “the American response would not have to be worked out on the fly.”

The 2004 order was a step marking the evolution of how the American government sought to kill or capture Qaeda terrorists around the world. It was issued after the Bush administration had already granted America’s intelligence agencies sweeping power to secretly detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in overseas prisons and to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on telephone and electronic communications.

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush issued a classified order authorizing the CIA to kill or capture Qaeda militants around the globe. By 2003, American intelligence agencies and the military had developed a much deeper understanding of Al Qaeda’s extensive global network, and Rumsfeld pressed hard to unleash the military’s vast firepower against militants outside the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2004 order identifies 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf states, where Qaeda militants were believed to be operating or to have sought sanctuary, a senior administration official said.

Even with the order, each specific mission requires high-level government approval. Targets in Somalia, for instance, need at least the approval of the defense secretary, the administration official said, while targets in a handful of countries, including Pakistan and Syria, require presidential approval.

The Pentagon has exercised its authority frequently, dispatching commandos to countries including Pakistan and Somalia. Details of a few of these strikes have previously been reported.

For example, shortly after Ethiopian troops crossed into Somalia in late 2006 to dislodge an Islamist regime in Mogadishu, the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command quietly sent operatives and AC-130 gunships to an airstrip near the Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa. From there, members of a classified unit called Task Force 88 crossed repeatedly into Somalia to hunt senior members of a Qaeda cell believed to be responsible for the 1998 American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

At the time, American officials said Special Operations troops were operating under a classified directive authorizing the military to kill or capture Qaeda operatives if failure to act quickly would mean the United States had lost a “fleeting opportunity” to neutralize the enemy.

Occasionally, the officials said, Special Operations troops would land in Somalia to assess the strikes’ results. On Jan. 7, 2007, an AC-130 struck an isolated fishing village near the Kenyan border, and within hours, American commandos and Ethiopian troops were examining the rubble to determine whether any Qaeda operatives had been killed.

But even with the new authority, proposed Pentagon missions were sometimes scrubbed because of bad intelligence or bureaucratic entanglements, senior administration officials said.

The details of one of those aborted operations, in early 2005, were reported by The New York Times last June. In that case, an operation to send a team of Navy Seals and Army Rangers into Pakistan to capture Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, was aborted at the last minute.

Zawahri was believed by intelligence officials to be attending a meeting in Bajaur, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command hastily put together a plan to capture him. There were strong disagreements inside the Pentagon and the CIA about the quality of the intelligence, however, and some in the military expressed concern that the mission was unnecessarily risky.

Porter Goss, the CIA director at the time, urged the military to carry out the mission, and some in the CIA even wanted to execute it without informing Ryan Crocker, then the American ambassador to Pakistan. Rumsfeld ultimately refused to authorize the mission.

Former military and intelligence officials said that Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, who recently completed his tour as head of the Joint Special Operations Command, had pressed for years to win approval for commando missions into Pakistan. But the missions were frequently rejected because officials in Washington determined that the risks to American troops and the alliance with Pakistan were too great.

Captain John Kirby, a spokesman for General McChrystal, who is now director of the military’s Joint Staff, declined to comment.

The recent raid into Syria was not the first time that Special Operations forces had operated in that country, according to a senior military official and an outside adviser to the Pentagon.

Since the Iraq war began, the official and the outside adviser said, Special Operations forces have several times made cross-border raids aimed at militants and infrastructure aiding the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq.

The raid in late October, however, was much more noticeable than the previous raids, military officials said, which helps explain why it drew a sharp protest from the Syrian government.

Negotiations to hammer out the 2004 order took place over nearly a year and involved wrangling between the Pentagon and the CIA and the State Department about the military’s proper role around the world, several administration officials said.

American officials said there had been debate over whether to include Iran in the 2004 order, but ultimately Iran was set aside, possibly to be dealt with under a separate authorization.

Senior officials of the State Department and the CIA voiced fears that military commandos would encroach on their turf, conducting operations that historically the CIA had carried out, and running missions without an ambassador’s knowledge or approval.

Rumsfeld had pushed in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks to expand the mission of Special Operations troops to include intelligence gathering and counterterrorism operations in countries where American commandos had not operated before.

Bush administration officials have shown a determination to operate under an expansive definition of self-defense that provided a legal rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countries’ consent.

Several officials said the negotiations over the 2004 order resulted in closer coordination among the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA, and set a very high standard for the quality of intelligence necessary to gain approval for an attack.

The 2004 order also provided a foundation for the orders that Bush approved in July allowing the military to conduct raids into the Pakistani tribal areas, including the Sept. 3 operation by Special Operations forces that killed about 20 militants, American officials said.

Administration officials said that Bush’s approval had paved the way for Defense Secretary Robert Gates to sign an order — separate from the 2004 order — that specifically directed the military to plan a series of operations, in cooperation with the CIA, on the Qaeda network and other militant groups linked to it in Pakistan.

Unlike the 2004 order, in which Special Operations commanders nominated targets for approval by senior government officials, the order in July was more of a top-down approach, directing the military to work with the CIA to find targets in the tribal areas, administration officials said. They said each target still needed to be approved by the group of Bush’s top national security and foreign policy advisers, called the Principals Committee.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Apologizes For Including The US & Israel On Torture List

In a reversal of a non-official list of countries considered to be countries that use Torture, Canada’s Foreign Minister Bernier has apologized and ordered a re-evaluation and re-issue of the list to remove the US and Israel.

Well I am suprised by this turn of events, considering the obvious distaste for America expressed by the typical Canadian politicians… I do welcome the fact they they realized they made a mistake and acknowledge that “forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and the blindfolding of prisoners ” are not actual forms of torture…

I wonder when the rest of the mainstream liberal media will put this on the front page like they did when the US and Israel were included…

The Canadian foreign minister has apologised for including the US and Israel on a list of states where prisoners are at risk of torture.

Maxime Bernier said the list, which formed part of a manual on torture awareness given to diplomats, “wrongly includes some of our closest allies”.

Mr Bernier insisted the manual was not a policy document and did not convey the official views of his government.

The listing was criticised by the US and Israel, who demanded it be changed.

“We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly it’s absurd,” said the US ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins.

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Michael Mendel, said the Israeli Supreme Court was “on record as expressly prohibiting any type of torture”.

“If Israel is included in the list in question, the ambassador of Israel would expect its removal,” he added.

‘Reviewed and rewritten’

In a statement on Saturday, Mr Bernier said he regretted the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the list and promised it would be changed to reflect the Canadian government’s official position.

“It contains a list that wrongly includes some of our closest allies. I have directed that the manual be reviewed and rewritten,” he said.

“The manual is neither a policy document nor a statement of policy. As such, it does not convey the government’s views or positions.”

The manual lists US interrogation techniques such as forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and the blindfolding of prisoners under its “definition of torture”.

It also refers to the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, where a Canadian man, Omar Khadr, is being held. Critics say it ridicules Ottawa’s claims that he is not being mistreated.

Member of US military in cell block of Guantanamo Bay prison camp

The manual refers to Guantanamo Bay where a Canadian is being held

Other countries on the watch list include Afghanistan, China, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

The document was mistakenly provided to the human rights group, Amnesty International, as part of a court case it is bringing against the Canadian government over the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.

The torture awareness course was introduced after Ottawa was strongly criticised for its handling of the case of a Canadian who was deported from the US to Syria in 2002.

Syrian-born Maher Arar, who was accused of being an al-Qaeda member, has said he was tortured during the 10 months he was detained in a prison in Damascus. An inquiry exonerated him of any links to terrorist groups in 2006.

Saudi Arrested Blogger Fouad al-Farhan

Saudi Arabia has arrested Blogger Fouad al-Farhan, who runs alfarhan.org,  because he was a threat to the “kingdom”, because he supportes advocates the government has deemed as terrorists. The US government has express concern over the arrest of this well known Saudi Blogger, lending to speculation that the people he is supporting are not terrorists, but rather critics of the Saudi Government…

Dissent against the Saudi government and royal family is surely terrorism…

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Bush administration has brought its concerns about the detention of a well-known blogger to the Saudi Arabian government at “a relatively senior level,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday.

McCormack, speaking at his regular midday briefing, said the message delivered “was pretty clear.”

“The U.S. stands for freedom of expression,” he said. “It is an important element of any thriving society. It’s a cornerstone of any democratic society. Wherever people are seeking to express themselves, via the Internet or via other areas, whether in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the world, we stand with that freedom of expression and that was our message to the Saudi government.”

Fouad al-Farhan, 32, was arrested December 10 “because he violated the regulations of the kingdom,” a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told CNN Wednesday.

In an e-mail posted on his Web site since his arrest, however, al-Farhan told friends that he faced arrest for his support of 10 reform advocates the Saudi government accuses of supporting terrorism.

In the e-mail, al-Farhan said a senior Interior Ministry official promised he would remain in custody for three days at most if he agreed to sign a letter of apology.

“I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that,” he said. “An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is (a) liar when they accused those guys to be supporting terrorism?”

Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Riyadh, told CNN that al-Farhan “is being interrogated for local law violations” and could be released soon.

“The violation is not a security matter,” al-Turki said. “They will get the information that they need from him and then they will let him go.”

Al-Farhan, who blogs at alfarhan.org, is one of the few Saudi Web commentators who uses his own name, according to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

He was was arrested at his Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, office by government agents who also seized his laptop from his home, the organization said in a statement issued in late December.

The American Islamic Congress, a U.S.-based non-profit organization with bureaus in Basra, Iraq, and Cairo, Egypt, has launched an online letter-writing campaign seeking the release al-Farhan, whom they call “the godfather of Saudi blogging.”

Fellow Saudi blogger Ahmed al-Omran told CNN that he “wasn’t shocked” by al-Farhan’s arrest, but “it was disturbing.”

“All he did was express his opinions in a very obvious way and he didn’t threaten anyone,” al-Omran said. “He was advocating against violence and terrorism.”

Al-Omran said that al-Farhan stopped blogging for a few months in late 2006 after the Interior Ministry ordered him to take down a blog he was operating. But he began again later in 2007 at a new online site.

Savage Lawsuit Going After CAIR As A Terrorist Entity

Wow, Michael Savage is going all out against CAIR. His suit has been amended to include charges that CAIR is a terrorist agency and not a Civil Rights Group.

Unlike our government who was afraid to charge CAIR in the Homeland Foundation trial in Texas, Savage is not afraid.

WASHINGTON – It’s no longer just a charge of copyright violation in the case of Michael Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Now the radio talk star is going for the legal jugular in his battle with the group that bills itself as a Muslim civil rights organization.

The San Francisco-based talker has amended his lawsuit against CAIR for misusing audio clips of his show as part of a boycott campaign against his three-hour daily program to include charges the group “has consistently sought to silence opponents of violent terror through economic blackmail, frivolous but costly lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and abuses of the legal system.”

The amended lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, also charges CAIR with using extortion, threats, abuse of the court system, and obtaining money via interstate commerce under false and fraudulent circumstances – calling it a “political vehicle of international terrorism” and even linking the group with support of al-Qaida.

The federal government recently named CAIR, based in Washington, D.C., as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas.

And as WND has reported, CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

“Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.

Savage and celebrity civil rights attorney Daniel Horowitz are attempting to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to make the case that “CAIR and its co-conspirators have aided, abetted and materially sponsored al-Qaida and international terrorism.”

CAIR launched a campaign against “The Savage Nation,” as the program is called, using extended audio clips of the show to make the case that advertisers who supported the talker were actually endorsing “hate speech” against Muslims.

Savage turned the tables on the activist group by initially suing for copyright violation of the show’s material. This week the suit was expanded with some of the strongest allegations ever made against CAIR publicly.

Among the charges is that CAIR is “part of a deliberately complex and deliberately confusing array of related organizations” and that its “organizational structure is part of a scheme to hide the illegal activities of the group, funding, the transfer of funds and to complicate investigation of the group.”

Other highlights of the suit:

  • “CAIR is not a civil rights organization and it never has been. … CAIR was and is a political organization that advocates a specific political agenda on behalf of foreign interests.”
  • “The copyright infringement was done to raise funds for CAIR so that it could perpetuate and continue to perform its role in the RICO conspiracy set forth in Count Two and to disseminate propaganda on behalf of foreign interests that are opposed to the continued existence of the United States of America as a free nation.”
  • “CAIR would have to register as a foreign agent if their activities were not hidden under the false claim that they are a civil rights organization that enjoys tax-exempt status.”
  • “CAIR was tied to terror from the day it was formed. The group was incorporated on or about 1994 by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. Both men were officers of a terror organization known as the ‘Islamic Association of Palestine.'”
  • “CAIR’s parent group, IAP, was founded in or about 1982 by Musa Abu Marzook. Marzook was IAP’s ideological leader and controlling director from the date of its founding until shortly after his deportation from the United States in 1997. At all time relevant, Marzook was an operative of, and/or affiliated with, the ‘Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah,’ or ‘Hamas.’ Hamas is an international terrorist organization.”
  • In 1998, “CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as ‘the sworn enemy,’ asserting that this depiction [was] ‘offensive to Muslims.'”
  • In 1998, “CAIR denied bin Laden’s responsibility for the two al-Qaida bombings of American embassies in Africa. CAIR’s leader Ibrahim Hooper claimed the bombings resulted from ‘misunderstandings on both sides.'”
  • “On October 5, 2001, just weeks after 9/11, CAIR’s New York office sent a letter to The New York Times arguing that the paper had misidentified three of the hijackers and suggesting that the attacks may have been committed by people who were impersonating Arab Muslims.”
  • “CAIR further exploited 9/11 as it put on its website a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and below it a call for donations that was linked to the Holy Land Foundation website.” The Holy Land Foundation, the suit charges, is “a terror organization.”
  • “CAIR receives significant international funding. For example, in 1999 the Islamic Development Bank gave a $250,000 grant to CAIR to purchase land for a national headquarters. In 2002, the World Association for Muslim Youth, a Saudi government-funded organization, financed distributing books on Islam free of charge and an advertising campaign in American publications. This included a quarter page in USA Today each Friday, for a year, estimated to cost $1.04 million. In 2003, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $500,000 to distribute the Koran and other books about Islam in the United States. In 2005, CAIR’s Washington branch received a donation of $1,366,466 from a Saudi Arabian named Adnan Bogary. In 2006, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance and industry, financed the building of a property in the U.S. to serve as an endowment for the organization. This gift is thought to generate income of approximately $3 million a year.”
  • “The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Wahabbi-based Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual ‘shock troops’ of Islamic terrorism.”
  • “The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It works in the United States as a lobby against radio, television and print media journalists who dare to produce anything about Islam that is at variance with their fundamental agenda.”
  • “CAIR has links to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson has stated before Congress that CAIR is a front for Hamas.”

Savage’s case also cites another ongoing suit against CAIR filed by the estate of John P. O’Neill, the former head of security for the World Trade Center. It alleges a RICO conspiracy involving CAIR led to the 9/11 attack.

“Throughout this period,” the Savage suit alleges, “CAIR conspired to support terrorism and to obfuscate the roles of the various participants and conspirators in Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or al-Qaida and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, which conspiracy culminated in the 9/11 attack.”

It continues: “The pattern of racketeering activity conducted by CAIR is separate from the existence of Radical Muslim Terrorism, and/or the al-Qaida, and/or the International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, but was a necessary component of the 9/11 attack. The RICO enterprise conducts terrorism all over the world; the racketeering activity conducted by CAIR funds that activity, which activity culminated in the 9/11 attack.”

CAIR has refused to comment on Savage’s suit to date. But it has claimed a host of companies have stopped advertising on Savage’s show as a result of its boycott campaign.

However, an investigation by WND shows some of those boycott victories are questionable. In one announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts “drops ‘Savage Nation’ ads,” CAIR stated: “Advertisers that have already stopped airing, or refuse to air commercials on ‘Savage Nation’ include AutoZone, Citrix, TrustedID, JCPenney, OfficeMax, Wal-Mart and AT&T.”

But AutoZone told WND the CAIR campaign had nothing to do with its advertising decision, and it had chosen not to advertise on any radio talk shows – of all parts of the spectrum – years before the CAIR effort.

CAIR officials declined to respond to WND queries about why it is listing companies as part of its boycott campaign that say they have not participated in the boycott.

Officials of Talk Radio Network, Savage’s syndicator, confirmed to WND that companies including AutoZone and JCPenney never advertise on such programs.

“We do not sponsor syndicated radio talk shows,” AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman told WND. “We have customers of all shapes and sizes and political persuasions. For us to sponsor [any radio talk shows] wouldn’t make any sense.”

But that policy is years old, and wasn’t changed at all by CAIR’s effort, he said.

“What I will tell you is the CAIR organization did, in fact, contact the marketing department [of AutoZone.] We responded with our full advertising policy which clearly states that we do not advertise on radio talk shows,” he told WND.

The announcement about Universal was made by the Hate Hurts America Community and Interfaith Coalition, of which CAIR is a prominent member.

It said Universal Orlando Resorts “has joined a growing list of advertisers that have stopped advertising or refuse to place their ads on Michael Savage’s ‘Savage Nation’ Radio program.”

The campaign also has triggered a lawsuit by Savage against CAIR over its alleged misappropriation of Savage’s radio broadcast material. In the lawsuit, Savage depicts CAIR as a “vehicle of international terrorism.”

CAIR says it is challenging Savage’s “hate speech,” and referenced Savage comments such as:

“I’m not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I’m not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I’m not getting’ on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don’t like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don’t wanna hear any more about Islam. I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.”

The Savage suit says comments like that are taken out of context.

Another major company CAIR claims has joined the boycott of Michael Savage is JCPenney. But as with AutoZone, JCPenney officials told WND readers they were not making any special provision in their advertising policy that would make them part of a protest campaign, but officials did not respond directly to WND inquiries.

“JCPenney did not ‘pull’ advertising from the show. JCPenney has had a long standing policy about not advertising on any show that can be construed as controversial. An error in upholding this policy was made by a few local stations, and it has now been clarified,” the company told a WND reader.

“Wal-Mart does not sponsor or advertise on the Michael Savage show. We have asked radio networks to ensure that Wal-Mart ads do not run in programming that we deem controversial and are sending out content guidelines reminders to radio networks and stations,” said that company.

Savage’s lawsuit alleges copyright infringement by CAIR, which the lawsuit says seeks to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.”

Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the suit seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters “who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support” as well as “actual damages according to proof.”

A spokesman for Savage indicated the top-rated talk show host would have no further comment, saying the text of the lawsuit itself would answer questions.

The focal point of the lawsuit is a series of audio clips CAIR has been using in its promotions and fundraising efforts.

Those comments from Savage’s show include his criticisms of Islam and Muslims. The lawsuit maintains such comments, taken in context, are Savage’s verbal expression of the feelings of many Americans.

“The audience of ‘The Savage Nation’ expects this type of from-the-heart outrage and when it is directed at a murderer such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk, the piece is far more understandable and far more American mainstream. While the strength of the outrage is remarkable and a hallmark of ‘The Savage Nation,’ the sentiment is shared by a huge number of Americans,” the lawsuit says.

1,500 Al Qaeda Free To Attack World

The wonderful Saudi government release 1,500 Al Qaeda Terrorists, claiming they were reformed, the goverment released them based on a promise not to conduct terrorist attacks on the Arabian Pennisula. Well that leaves the rest of the world fair game…

This news comes as the Middle East peace conference comes in Annapolis, and the US State department has been touting the Saudi involvment and importance in the peace process…

WASHINGTON — On the eve of the Annapolis summit on the Middle East conflict, the Saudi royal family released 1,500 members of Al Qaeda from prison, requiring them only to promise to refrain from jihad within the Arabian Peninsula.The presence of the Saudi foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, at the peace parley has been touted by the White House and the State Department as an important diplomatic breakthrough.Mr. Faisal has said he was reluctant to attend the meeting, the first time the Saudis would be formal participants in an international peace conference dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. In an interview with Time magazine, he said he would not shake the Israeli prime minister’s hand and that he was only interested in a response to his kingdom’s peace offer, a full withdrawal from the territory Israel won in 1967 in exchange for peace.

However, while the State Department was wooing the Saudi foreign minister, the kingdom’s Interior Ministry released about 1,500 Al Qaeda members arrested in crackdowns that began in 2003 against the group headed by Osama bin Laden.

The story first broke over the weekend in the Saudi newspaper Al Watan. In an interview with the newspaper, a member of a special committee to reform jihadists in the kingdom, Muhammad al-Nujaimi, said the newly released prisoners had been reformed.

“The committee has met around 5,000 times to offer counseling to 3,200 people, who were accused of embracing the takfir ideology. The committee has successfully completed reforming 1,500 people,” he said.

The ideology of takfir is prevalent in both fundamentalist interpretations of Sunni and Shiite Islam, and it holds that there are separate rules that allow Muslims to kill, lie to, and steal from nonbelievers.

While the Saudi state has at times been targeted by Muslims embracing the philosophy of takfir, its mosques and Ministry of Culture and Information also have been exporting the strain of Islam that encourages this doctrine.

Yesterday, an American intelligence analyst who was following the story said he was wary about the release of the prisoners. “This Saudi process of reform has been so opaque. What no one knows right now is whether the people who have gone through this program have pledged to stop practicing terror or whether they are only pledging to stop terror inside the kingdom.”

Mr. Nujaimi told Al Watan that the reformed prisoners have pledged to end their campaign to rid the Arabian Peninsula of infidels. “After several graded sessions with the committee, and having been convinced of their misguided vision, they renounced their erroneous ideologies, including the concept of driving out all infidels from the Arabian Peninsula,” he said.

The director of the Gulf and Energy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Affairs, Simon Henderson, told the New York Sun yesterday that he did not think the prisoner release was connected to Mr. Faisal’s visit. “I don’t see this as being connected with the Saudi decision to take part in the Annapolis meeting,” he said.

Nonetheless, Mr. Henderson was skeptical about the program. “This would appear to be 1,500 people reformed so far out of 3,200 who have entered the so-called counseling process,” he said. “By my calculation, that is less than a 50% success rate. And what is success? They don’t use violence in the kingdom. Does this mean they can use this elsewhere, for example, in Iraq?”

President Bush yesterday in remarks to foreign ministers and other diplomats attending today’s peace conference in Annapolis, Md., said he was encouraged “by the presence of so many here.” Mr. Bush is scheduled to address the conference today.

Saudi Arabia & Libya Largest Source of Iraqi Terrorist Last Year

Saudi Arabia and Libya source of 60% of foreign fighters that entered Iraq over the past year…A raid in the town of Sinjar near the Syrian border this past September yielded documents that revealed the names and countries of origin of 700 terrorists in Iraq who came to join their Jihad brothers in arms. Of the terrorist immigrants, a little over 300 came from Saudia Arabia while almost another 150 or so came from Libya, through Syria, either via normal air transport or sneaking across the border into Iraq.

In the months since, it appears that Syria and Saudia Arabia have cracked down on terrorists movements to Iraq and are better scrutinizing people with suspicious activity patterns.

As the liberal media coverage of the good things that have been happened is overlooked, this is another one they don’t want you to know…

WASHINGTON (CNN) — As many as 60 percent of the foreign fighters who entered Iraq in the past year have come from Saudi Arabia and Libya, according to documents discovered in a raid in September near the Syrian border, a senior U.S. military official in Baghdad confirmed to CNN Thursday.

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A Syrian soldier stands guard at a border post with Iraq. The majority of foreign fighters coming into Iraq have entered via Syria.

The documents confiscated in that raid listed the identities of more than 700 foreign fighters in Iraq, whom the United States believes entered that country since August 2006. The official describes the documents as “an al Qaeda rolodex.”

Scrutinized along with other intelligence in the hands of the U.S. military, the documents show that 60 percent of the foreign fighters who entered Iraq during that time frame came either from Saudi Arabia or Libya, the official said.

The United States believes 305 foreign fighters came from Saudi Arabia, and 137 came from Libya.

The raid took place in Sinjar, close to the Syrian border. That raid has been discussed in the past by the U.S. military, but this is the first time the intelligence findings have been discussed in such detail. The New York Times first reported the new information on Thursday.

The official said the number of foreign fighters has dropped off since the Sinjar raid. The U.S. military believes both Syria and Saudi Arabia in recent months have taken a number of actions to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.

“We continue to work with the countries in the region to stem the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and appreciate the efforts they’ve made,” said White House spokeswoman Nikki McArthur from Washington.

“These statistics remind us that extremists continue to go to Iraq because they do not want the United States nor the Iraqis to succeed in establishing a democracy there that is an ally in the war on terror,” she added.

The official said in particular both countries are more closely watching military-age males who buy on- way airline tickets. The majority of foreign fighters have entered Iraq either by coming across the Syrian border, or flying into Iraq from Syria.

The official said intelligence had shown that the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq in recent months had come into Iraq via airports in Syria after arriving there from their home countries.