Monday, April 25, 2011

Remembering the Fallen, and Those Responsible

Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn.

(Old & New)
There is an old saying “War and Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows” Now it seems we may add a third part to the equation: Prisons.
In the present situation in Gaza with its current government run by HAMAS, designated a terrorist organization by the US State Department, it seems that some convicts from America’s past have run to support it with political statements and funds.
Several domestic terrorists currently serving life sentences for killing law enforcement officers are attempting to inject themselves into the current situation in the Middle East including calling for the end to Israel.

Inmates such as Herman Bell, Anthony Bottoms, James Dixon York, and Clark Edward Squire who were members of the Black Liberation Army as well as David Gilbert, a member of the Weather Underground, have in the recent past posted statements on the Internet calling for the end of “US/Zionist Imperialism in Palestine.” They also encouraged the use of any means necessary - including violence - to achieve the goal of “driving the Zionist oppressors out of your land.”
These same convicts have also come out in opposition to the US involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa.
They consider themselves political prisoners in a corrupt regime, not criminals.
Their view of the United States was articulated most accurately in this recent statement;
"The real terrorist is the American government, state terrorism unleashed against the world."
Who said it? If you would have guessed Al Qaeda spokesman Anwar Al Awlaki or Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri, you would have been wrong. The statement comes from Bernadette Dohrn. Dohrn you may recall is the former member of a domestic terrorist organization who along with her husband, Bill Ayers, admitted to setting bombs at several government buildings during the turbulent 60’s and early 70’s .. Although charges against Ayers were dropped, Dohrn pled guilty to aggravated battery in exchange for a sentence of probation. Over the years they have maintained their relationship with the other members of their group, now incarcerated, through visiting and talking on the prison telephone. The inmate they most frequently communicate with is David Gilbert. He is currently serving seventy five years to life in Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York near the Canadian border. Gilbert’s lenghty sentence was meted out after he was found guilty in the murder of two police officers and a Brinks guard during a botched hold up attempt. 
In addition to Ayers and Dohrn, Gilbert has also received visits from several advocates for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, a HAMAS sympathizer.  While the Movement states that it is nonviolent, we must remember that  many of the 60’s domestic terrorists began in non violent protest organizations only to become completely commited to violence and any means necessary to achieve their objectives. Dohrn, Ayers, and Gilbert were all members of the Students for a Democractic Society (SDS), a non-violent student activist organization begun in 1962. The SDS expressed a desire to use civil disobedience and other nonviolent means to cause change with social, political, and economic policy within the government   However , after several years of non-violent protest, a segment within that group, which included Dohrn, Ayers, and Gilbert, became disillusioned with the results and wanted to take action -- violent action -- against the United States government. They called themselves the Weather Underground or the Weathermen, after a line in a Bob Dylan Song; “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” 
Dohrn loudly announced the objective of the new organization with this communiqué [2]:
"Hello, I'm going to read a declaration of a state of war...Within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice."
The connection between 60’s radicals and radical Islamic organizations such as HAMAS and Hezbollah began many years ago when several of the 60’s radicals were in prison with a number of Palestinian inmates in New York State. The Palestinians were in prison at the time for violent crimes including kidnapping, firebombing a Jewish Deli in New York City, and opening fire with automatic weapons on a vanload of Hasidic students. Three of them had active ties to HAMAS, Hezbollah, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This melding of the minds to identify a common enemy, that being “the corrupt US / Zionist Imperialism” was formed over the years in prison together. They exchanged ideas on such topics as safe houses, demonstration tactics and financing. They also shared friends and contacts and some shared visitors with David Gilbert. Others attended the prison mosque with members of the Black Liberation Army who had converted to Islam. The prison chaplain at the time was himself a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship. The chaplain made national headlines in 2003 when he was indicted (pdf) by the United States Attorney General’s Office for funneling funds into a suspicious charity suspected of providing support to Sunni insurgents in Iraq in violation of the War Powers the complete article

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice

Zulqarnain Abdu Shahid.
The old adage, “fool me once, shame on you: fool me twice, shame on me!” should be applied to the current situation facing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Corrections Commissioner Dora Schriro as they await the final decision of an employee’s misconduct hearing.
Former New York City Department of Corrections Imam Zulqarnain Abdu Shahid wants his $50, 000 a year job back. Shahid who began working for the City in 2007 was arrested in 2010 for attempting to smuggle dangerous contraband into the Manhattan House of Detention or the Tombs as it is commonly known. During a routine security check of the Chaplain’s duffel bag officers found several box cutter type razor blades. Items which, if they had fallen into the hands of the convicts, could have proven deadly.
The grand jury failed to indict Imam Shahid and the criminal charges were dropped by the District Attorney’s Office. No legitimate explanation was ever given why. The City proceeded against the employee and moved to have his employment terminated. In an administrative hearing in March of this year, Shahid asked for his job back.