Osama Bin Laden Killing a Perfect Political Storm

***photo may or may not be authentic…the original source is unknown

By: James Di Fiore

When one considers the magnitude of Osama Bin Laden’s demise a great deal of attention will be given to America’s conservative base, a crowd who believes President Obama is weak on foreign policy and even weaker in his stance on terrorism. But this opinion has always been a way to score political points among Americans despite Obama’s drone strikes and special forces inside Pakistan and Yemen. In fact, Obama’s strategy inside Pakistan was ridiculed by his political opponents when he ran for president in 2008. His position – that despite not being at war with Pakistan, he would conduct operations inside the country, essentially thumbing his nose at their sovereignty if it meant killing or capturing major Al Qaeda operatives.

Who will be the first politician to downplay Obama’s role in Bin Laden’s death? Newt Gingrich? Sarah Palin? Dennis Kucinich? Will commentators like Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews throw off their partisan robes and give credit where credit is due, or criticize when warranted? Will conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones create an alternative theory like his assertion that one of the infamous Osama videos was actually a computer generated cartoon?

And the million dollar question – what is the name of the soldier who  killed Bin Laden and when will he be immortalized?

It is too early to answer any of these questions. The picture of Osama’s body hasn’t been released yet, and I can already hear some people argue that he probably died years ago – or that he is still alive, lurking the mountainous region of Pakistan.

And finally, how long before we suffer another terror attack in response to this assassination?


War Reporter Jeremy Scahill Insults Canadian Military

Defends joke he made on Bill Maher as a swipe against Obama

American national security reporter Jeremy Scahill ridiculed Canada’s leadership role in Libya while visiting the HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher last Friday. Scahill, who helped expose criminal activity within the private military contractor Blackwater, appeared astonished that the NATO mission “is going to be handed over to the Canadian Mounties.” The comment clearly implied that Canada, a nation who has sacrificed 155 soldiers in Afghanistan, is a substandard military force not worthy of leading a mission. Perhaps Scahill forgets about the leadership roles Canada has been responsible for in Afghanistan, with no Mounties in sight (Mounties are federal police officers, not military servicemen), and with the praises of American military officials.

Scahill has been defending his comments on Twitter after being asked by this reporter to retract his statement. He claimed the joke “was about the US trying to use Canada to make the op legitimate.” If that was really the case, then why imply that Canadian military personnel aren’t up for the job? It’s possible, or likely, that Scahill isn’t a very good joke teller, but hindsight should give him enough pause to realize his comments made light of Canadian soldiers and their abilities. Whether you support the NATO mission or not, Scahill shows a lack of respect and an unapologetic stubbornness towards Canadian men and women who give their lives in battle.


Vancouver Olympics: Security Concerns VS Conspiracy Theories

Safety measures during The Games already in question

by: James Di Fiore

Let’s imagine for a moment a young woman was hired to babysit a couple of kids in England. She had a decent reputation, seemed to know what she was doing and came recommended. Unfortunately, she also had a habit of leaving the children unattended. While babysitting a brother and sister in downtown London, a criminal broke into the house and kidnapped the two kids while the woman was asleep at the switch.

Would you then hire this woman to take care of an entire nursery school in Canada? Probably not.

With the Vancouver Olympics kicking off today, organizers have hired Verint Systems Inc. to handle all security for The Games. On the surface, Verint seems like a solid pick. They are at the forefront of video and communications solutions, providing what they call “optimization and security intelligence.” The parent company, Comverse, had a plummeting stock value over the last few years and was seen as a has-been in the world of top-tier security systems. Why? They were responsible for the faulty surveillance equipment in the London Underground during the terrorist attacks on 7/7. The worst terror attack on British soil since the IRA’s heyday and Verint was essentially responsible for a complete system failure, preventing authorities from accessing crucial images and footage of the alleged bombers. The failure, which authorities have declined to explain ever since the attack, made investors nervous and almost dismantled the company’s security division.

That is, until Canada came calling.

Verint was given the contract to handle airport security during the Games, a curious decision given the systemic failures in London. The Internet is now loaded with posts from a litany of conspiracy theorists who are claiming this decision means Vancouver is now a target of what’s called a false flag operation – a government staged terror attack meant to mislead citizens into believing their country is under attack, likely by Muslim extremists. One must be careful however, as these same X-Files junkies will cling to just about anything to believe their liberties are under attack. One quick example is the often cited no-bid contract awarded to Verint for Montreal’s Metro system. Conspiracy theorists claim this is the handiwork of Mossad and the CIA to continue state terror attacks like the 7/7 bombings. A quick search, however, reveals that this contract was given way back in 2004, a full year before 7/7.

An easier angle to take is this: why on Earth would officials award the most important security project in recent Canadian history to a company that has proven itself unreliable during an actual security crisis? Forget conspiracy theories, this just doesn’t make practical sense.

Adding to the flavour is the recent discovery of 2 tons of missing ammonium nitrate from a shipyard in Surrey, British Columbia – the same explosive used to bomb federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Authorities believe the material went missing last fall and have stated they have no leads in the case.

While conspiracy theorists do their best to connect dots that may or may not exist, reasonable people still have legitimate reasons to be concerned about security in Vancouver. Estimates for costs of overall security during the Olympics ranges from $250 million to over $4 billion, depending on who and when you ask.

Whatever the costs, there is already good reason to worry about the safety of the people and reliability those in charge of protecting them.

Time will tell if the babysitter hired to take care of the kiddies has learned from her past mistakes.