Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nada Prouty should be pardoned by President Obama

Related searches: Nada Prouty, CBS News, 60 minutes, Bush Administration arab, Hezbollah, terrorist group, American Patriot, Captain America

Nada Prouty, ex-FBI agent and CIA covert terrorism officer, was featured on CBS News 60 minutes, Sunday. Nada Prouty is no one to mess with. Prouty can effectively operate an assault rifle, had one of the nations highest security clearances, worked while pregnant, speak several languages including Arabic, saved American lives, and by all appearances is an American Patriot, and the real-life Captain America.

In this CBS video, Nada Prouty explains her case, and how she helped apprehend the mastermind of the hijacking of Pan Am flight 73. Proty got his confession and now he's spending 160 years in jail.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

But a 2007 Bush Administration effort to stop terrorist financing led investigators to Michigan, and a Lebanese-American restaurant owner named Talal Chahine, who happened to be Nada Prouty's brother in law. Then, prosecutors found a photo of Chahine with a spritual leader connected to Hezbollah, so the charge from Detroit prosecutors was that Nada Prouty saw classified documents about the terrorist group Hezbollah.

Prouty said she had little to do with Talal Chahine, and considered him "a womanizer who was cheating on her sister." But even with that, prosecutors stuck with a weak case based on classified documents that according to CBS News, were never produced. In other words, because the prosecutors said the documents were classified, they claimed they could not show them. Which is a weird trick to get around the appearance that they actually had no evidence to back their claim.

But determined to "get something" they kept digging, and what the "Detroit prosecutors" then found was that 18 years earlier, Nada Prouty was party in what's commonly called a "green card" marriage.

But somehow - for some reason - what's all too common was used to paint Nada Prouty as a person plotting to enter America as an illegal alien and pass secrets to terrorist groups; the same groups that have people Nady Prouty has apprehended or in some cases killed in defense of her country.

It's an obvious case of over-zealous prosecutors trying to connect un-connectable dots in Nada Prouty's past. If the U.S. Government went around looking at the marriages of every foreign born American citizen, and then finding those marriages to be "green card" associated and looking the current occupations of those persons, they could make a case, albeit a spurious one, for filing thousands of charges.

In Nada Prouty's case the CIA cleared her of any wrongdoing. Still Prouty pled guilty because, as she told 60 minutes, she was literally spent into a corner. The legal fees were too much for her to bear. CBS News reports that under pressure, Prouty:

...agreed to waive the 10-year statute of limitations on immigration fraud and plead guilty to two felonies related to the sham marriage. She also pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of an FBI computer, a charge she now denies.

With all of this, where are American Conservatives to defend Nada Prodty? Well, being alarmist, idiotic, and ill-informed, that's where. By now it's logical to suspect the involvement of Michelle Malkin, who would be defending Nada Prouty if her name were Nathan Pride. But no.

Instead we get what in 2007 was Malkin's ill-informed blog rant, which fails to report any of the made-for-movie efforts this American Patriot has done in defense of America. Nada Prouty's Syrian-Lebanese background are the perfect target for Malkin's anglophilic blogging tendencies. But interestingly, Malkin backed off any further attacks on Nada Prody after 2007.

Well, the week is young.

And then we have Debbie Schlussel, who makes brazen accusations without looking at the case and brags about making up the name Jihad Jane for Nada Prouty in 2007 and in what has to be one of the most intellectually sloppy columns ever written in the New York Post.

Debbie Schlussel continues her baseless attacks in a new blog post not in the New York Post. Debbie Schlussel writes:

This woman is anything but an American patriot. She’s part of an Islamic terrorist gang who infiltrated this country at the highest levels and financed our enemies to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. It’s beyond nauseating that “60 Minutes” would take her side, fall for her BS.

("This woman?" Interesting.)

Since Nady Prouty is not part of "an Islamic terrorist gang" we can't take Debbie Schlussel's blog entry as anything more than mindless ranting by someone who, as an attorney, should know better.

Conservative Couch Potato blogging aside, President Obama should order Nada Prouty's case to be reopened at the very least, and should the investigation confirm what the CIA has already stated, that Nada's innocent, all charged dropped.

Then President Obama should pardon Nada Prouty. It would be a fitting apology for how she has been treated as well as all of the efforts she has taken to defend America.

Defintely, stay tuned.

President Obama surprise visit to Afghanistan shows resolve

Fresh from his Health Care Reform victory, President Barack Obama has found his sea legs and is apparently intent on keeping his promise of getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan by July 2011. Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan took everyone aback, but it was necessary. All along Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai was identified as the one obstacle to successfully meeting this deadline.

The ability to trust Hamid Karzai has long been an issue in the Afghanistan war political theater. Karsai. Allegations of corruption and narco-terrorism have plagued Karsai's regime, and very nearly cost him the presidency in January of this year.

Still Obama elected to back Karsai and essentially give him another chance. While from all accounts the process of curbing the Taliban has gone well, it was Kasai's recent meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the insults to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates over U.S. war occupation that followed, that raised eyebrows in America.

The Iranian leader Ahmadinejad said "We do not see the presence of foreign military forces in Afghanistan as a solution for peace in Afghanistan." It was unwise for Karzai to so openly meet with Ahmadinejad and not quickly denounce his Anti-Western statements, but Karzai plays fire with American allies. Obama's mission was the right call.

Oakland Marathon success means Oakland needs sports commission

Just a brief take on the Oakland Marathon and Oakland Running Festival held on this lovely weekend in Oakland and before the video's up in this space. First, congratulations to Race Director Gene Brtalik, who was a one-man band, meeting with officials, politicians, the media and people, even making sure that cups of water were filled for runners.

Regardless of who is named, Gene Brtalik of Corrigan Sports, and newly-minted Oaklander, made the Oakland Running Festival not just a reality, but a smoothly-running event.

What's annoying was the TV coverage by ABC Channel 7, who on Sunday afternoon ran a brief but oh-so-insulting clip that featured an unfortunately disabled and down-on-his-luck African American man saying that he essentially thought something bad was going on but saw something good, the event.

Then Channel 7 ran a story about another crime committed in Oakland - East Oakland.  Channel 7 didn't bother to talk to anyone else at the Oakland Marathon who was having a good time, African American, and obviously doing OK. Perhaps they will change this by the Sunday 10 PM news, but as of this writing what they did was to misrepresent Oakland.

The reality was that many Oaklanders and a lot of people from as far away as Denver, Colorado entered the Oakland Marathon and proved what I've said and tried to show for years: that Oakland needs a sports commission to follow on the Oakland-Alameda County Sports Commission I created in 1999, and to form the organizational seat for our bid for the 2005 Super Bowl.

The Oakland Marathon, like other large sports events in Oakland (the NBA All-Star game and the NCAA Elite Elight of 2006) happened by accident. (In the case of the All Star game it happened just because Oakland finished the rebuilt Oracle Arena. In the case of The NCAA Elite Eight, it was then-USF Athletic Director Bill Hogan who led the bid process; the City of Oakland had little to do with it.) Had Gene Brtalik not come to Oakland, the Oakland Marathon would not have happened. An Oakland Sports Commission can place Oakland in annual competition for events as well as house the intellectual and fiscal ability to stage the Oakland Marathon yet again.

While Oakland has a special events office, it's not focused on bidding for sports events. Indeed, Oakland's not a member of the National Association of Sports Commissions; it was after this blogger created the Oakland-Alameda County Sports Commission. But after my resignation from the City of Oakland in 2001, their was no effort to keep it going.

The Oakland Marathon's success should not surprise anyone and Channel 7's take was irresponsible and racist. What should surprise is that Oakland has no formal organization to draw, produce, and promote sports events.

Stay tuned.

Baylor University falls to Duke University; now Duke v. West Virginia

Related searches: baylor, duke university, where is baylor university located at, waco texas, duke

Coach Mike Krzyzewski leads the Blue Devils
It wasn't the greatest game but it did have the nation on the edge of its collective seat. Baylor University falls to Duke University 78 to 71 in the NCAA Elite Eight game played at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Now, it's Duke playing West Virginia for the right to go on to the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis, Indiana one week from Monday.

Even though Baylor lost, it had its chances to win. But the main difference was Baylor's lack of discipline versus Duke's almost android-like mix of efficiency and emotion. Adept ball handling, offensive rebounds and second shots, and smooth threes made up for Duke's spotty defense. Eventually Duke seemed to wear down and frustrated Baylor.

Finally, the last three minutes and 36 seconds decided the game, but for this blogger it wasn't Duke overcoming its shooting slump, or Nolan Smith's threes, or their 18-5 second-half scoring run, but one play that ssealed the deal for Duke and drew curtains for Baylor.

It was Baylor's Quincy Acy rushing in to play enforcer after Duke's Jon Scheyer swung an elbow that looked like it connected with LaceDarius Dunn. Dunn could have got his SAG card with just a fall to the court, but he kept fighting for the ball; Acy rushed in and got Baylor the foul that should have went against Duke's Scheyer.

Baylor's lack of discipline was evident.

After the near-bench-clearing incident, Baylor was never the same, and Duke cruised to its eventual win. Now, Duke takes on West Virginia in a game that has the Blue Devil's giving 2 points to the Mountaineers.

Congratulations to Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who once again heads to the NCAA Final Four. While the lat time Duke was in this position was 2004, it's the 11th trip and seems like just yesterday even as wave after wave of improved NCAA basketball program has come and gone, there's Duke - always at least competitive.

Stay tuned.

Jean Quan for Oakland Mayor kickoff draws 200 supporters

Oakland Councilmember and candidate for Mayor of Oakland Jean Quan held her kickoff event Saturday at "Humanist Hall" one block from Broadway Auto Row (or what's left of it after the economic downturn).

The event was a rousing and surprising success.

Surprising to this blogger because of not just the number of people who came but the range of people from the perspective of well-known Oaklanders, like Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, Assemblywomen Mary Hayashi, and longtime Lakeshore Business representative and politico Pam Drake, a number of people from the Oakland School Board and the education community, and a lot of new Oaklanders.

The idea that Councilmember Jean Quan would lose votes to Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan always seemed silly in this corner, and because Kaplan's relatively new to Oakland, doesn't have the history of working with Oakland's school system, and is young. That was confirmed Saturday.

Quan's event was more like a "Jean-fest" with a Latino rap group opening it, and a group that made a song about Jean after the event wound up. Councilmember-emeritus Dick Spees was present and really showed a level of support that rivaled the young people in the audience when he led a chant for Quan. Spees was having a lot of fun.

There's a part two for this blog entry which will include the video, but it was important to report Jean's success. My only reservation is that Jean simply must develop a thicker skin when it comes to media criticism. The frank fact is many people in the room didn't care what Chip Johnson wrote about Jean or me for that matter, and probably didn't have it on their mind until she mentioned it to them and to me in the video.

The other problem was the few number of African Americans in the room. Swanson and others aside, the ranks were mostly white, Asian, and Latino - it's not enough to say "some blacks were there." What this says is Quan's not reaching the young African Americans who are politically involved in Oakland. That could be a weakness but right now, there's only Mayor Dellums to exploit that, and he's done an awful job of it. Running a stelth campaign for Mayor will not help.

If Jean can improve in those areas, she will be even more successful in the Oakland Mayor's Race. Indeed, she could beat Don Perata. I state that because Quan's got a great foundation of grass roots supporters and enough energy to fuel an election win.

Still, the Oakland Mayor's Race is still weak such that a name person like Van Jones or Robert Bobb could walk in and be the game changer. But the clock's ticking and Councilmember Quan's building support by the day. With that, the real star-in-the-making is Libby Schaaf, who's running for Jean's current seat in District 4. Her event's this Wednesday.

Stay tuned.

Sarah Palin says reload to Tea Party movement, blames media

Only Sarah Palin, who's chance of being President of the United States is a lot of Hot Air, can get away with using a term like "reload" on her Facebook page and to fire up the Tea Party movement, and then blame the media for it. The bottom line is Sarah Palin creates her own PR mess that becomes new online and television content about her, which Palin then turns into even more content about her by blaming the media. In this case, here's her tweet from her Twitter account @SarahPalinUSA:

Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" Pls see my Facebook page.

"lovers of America"? In other words, if I think like Sarah Palin then I love America, right? Then she uses the term in capital letters - which in Internet style is like yelling - RELOAD. Considering Sarah Palin's love of using guns to hunt, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to get the violent message. She could have picked another term. Sarah Palin could have thought to chose her words carefully, but that's not Sarah.

It would be great if Sarah Palin would think before she writes or talks, but if she did she would lose all the content juice she's created about herself. Once again Palin falls up rather than down after doing something less than smart. Amazing. There's no question that the Lord has blessed her, but one wonders if she appreciates it.

The answer will be in how far she goes in her haphazard way.

Stay tuned.