Posts Tagged ‘New York’

CNSNews reports that a lawsuit has been brought against Lower Merion School District after families learned that school officials were using the webcams in school-issued laptops to spy on students while they were at home.

Lawsuit Accuses School of Spying on Students at Home by Webcam

Thursday, February 18, 2010
By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press

Philadelphia (AP) – A federal lawsuit accuses a suburban Philadelphia school district of spying on students at home through school-issued laptop webcams.

The suit says Lower Merion School District officials can activate the webcams remotely without students’ knowledge. The lawsuit alleges the cameras captured images of Harritan High School students and their families as they undressed and in other compromising situations.

Families learned of the alleged webcam images when an assistant principal spoke to a student about inappropriate behavior at home.

Superintendent Christopher W. McGinley did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.

Read Full Post »

WorldNetDaily has an interview with former Clinton Administration Air Force officer, Retired Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, who carried the “nuclear football” for two years.

Did president approve buzzing New York?

Air Force officer: ‘It shows a kind of arrogance’

Posted: April 30, 2009
12:30 am Eastern

By Andrea Shea King
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

An Air Force officer who served in the Clinton White House and for two years carried the “nuclear football” briefcase of codes says it’s almost certain that the “highest levels” of the Obama administration knew about and approved this week’s stunt in which Air Force One buzzed New York City.

Retired Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson served in Clinton’s White House from 1996 to 1998 and was responsible for the president’s “emergency satchel,” the black bag of nuclear codes that accompanies the president at all times.

He wrote “Reckless Disregard” and “Dereliction of Duty” after his retirement from the military.

During an interview on “The Andrea Shea King Show” last night, he said, “I can’t imagine that anyone who works in the Air Force thought that was a good idea. I have worked in the White House and having worked for the Military Office, with the guys at Andrews Air Force Base and the ground crews, that (decision) had to come down from on high.”

Among the procedures with which he became familiar during his work with Clinton were those involving the preparation of the president’s 747 jet for flight.

“It defies my belief that the White House staff did not know they were launching the 747 to go up and do this. So it had to come down from the White House. It wouldn’t have been done on behalf of the folks at Andrews (Air Force Base). It would have been done at the direction of the White House,” he said.

Patterson said the low-flying escapade over Manhattan clearly was not an oversight.

“The White House Military Office director is the Obama appointee – Caldera in this particular situation. So, he got the notification, he got the direction from somebody – I’m guessing Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff would probably be the person behind this.”

Does that mean the president also knew?

“I’m guessing he probably did. Did Emanuel know about it? I guarantee you he did. It did not come from the Andrews folks. It came from on high,” Patterson said.

He said the stunt reveals the judgment level in the Obama White House.

“I think that it shows you… quite clearly the lack of knowledge, the lack of focus or the understanding the Obama White House has toward the military, much like my former boss President Bill Clinton. I think it also shows a kind of arrogance to using toys – I’m sure that would be a phrase President Obama might use, his ‘toys’ – to get photo op shots around New York City and not recall or remember what happened on 9/11 and the fact that it might have caused some alarm. And I think really, it shows again a hundred days, a hundred mistakes with the Obama administration.”

Patterson explained the process that would have had to take place to get the jumbo jet in the air.

“The White House Military Office would have called the presidential pilot office at Andrews and said, ‘We want to get this airplane airborne. We want to get some photo ops over New York City. We want to get some photos with the statue of Liberty in the background or the Empire State Building or whatever, and we’ll have a couple of aircraft with it taking pictures of the airplane with the background of New York City. And that’s what happened,” he said.

Though Patterson believes the responsibility for the flights estimated to cost more than $300,000 resides at the highest levels, Military Office Director Louis Caldera has accepted the responsibility. In a statement released Wednesday, Caldera said:

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

But Patterson isn’t buying it.

“No doubt Caldera is taking the hit for this… that’s kind of how the Obama administration works, much like the Clinton administration – they have to push this down to the lowest level that it’ll actually stick. So they had to push this down to ‘Who can we cut loose?’ And I guarantee you he’ll be fired within the next week or two. This façade of an investigation and a review of what happened will end up on his desktop and he’ll be fired. … But it probably wasn’t his fault. It probably came from above, and he was the person, the lackey, executing the orders to do this. He called Andrews and the Andrews Wing Commander got involved and the president’s pilot squadron got involved and so this thing happened. So he’ll probably be the guy that’s the scapegoat.”

Patterson currently flies for a carrier on a route crossing the nation.

“I fly an airplane out of Los Angeles into New York City all the time. I fly a large airplane. In NYC airspace at any point in time, especially during the day during normal waking hours to fly over the city like at that low level, it’s almost impossible to coordinate with the FAA. So there was a lot of coordination done on this, a lot of advance legwork and groundwork done on this.”

“It boggles my mind because when I fly into New York City, we have to stay on this straight and narrow path that you cannot deviate virtually by feet, and here’s a 747 that’s got the approval to fly all over the city at low level and again, scare the people of New York. It just defies description,” he said.

“I can’t imagine as a pilot, and an Air Force officer and a former Clinton administration official, I can’t imagine who thought that was a good idea!”

It’s just the latest evidence of mistaken judgment, he said.

“The releasing of the CIA interrogation stuff, which is a farce; the fact that he flies to Iowa on Earth Day in a 747 to talk about saving and preserving our resources and fuel; the fact that he launches an empty airplane to New York City for a photo op; this is exactly out of the playbook of President Bill Clinton in my time at the White House. It’s remarkably and scarily similar,” Patterson said.

“I think that they are – much like the Clinton administration – incredibly ignorant and devoid of reality when it comes to this country. They didn’t even think about the impact this might have, because they don’t understand that the war on terror is a real war on terror. They’ve changed the verbiage. They’ve changed the terms,” he said.

“The fact that they would fly a large airplane over a city that was attacked on 9/11 and the response of the people of New York was obviously 180 from what the Obama people thought. They just assumed there’d be no reaction because they don’t feel there’s a threat out there? They don’t understand that this country is still at war with terrorists and with the people who want to change our way of life. Instead, we’re shaking hands with Hugo Chavez; we’re shaking hands and brushing up with Hamas and Iran. We’re doing all these things that the Bush administration never would have even considered imaginable. So I think it shows not only arrogance, but more importantly, more troublingly to me, it shows that they’re just out of touch.

“I find it incredible with our current economic situation that we’re flying 747s empty anywhere in the country, much less for a photo op. And again, they’re so wantonly careless about this,” he said.

Read Full Post »

CNSNews is reporting that, in conversations with the CIA, they have confirmed that waterboarding techniques used on Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the 9/11 mastermind, led to intelligence that was critical in stopping a ‘Second Wave’ 9/11-style attack on Los Angeles.

CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style Attack on Los Angeles

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

(CNSNews.com) – The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammad (KSM) — including the use of waterboarding — caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.

Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack — which KSM called the “Second Wave”– planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”

KSM was the mastermind of the first “hijacked-airliner” attacks on the United States, which struck the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Northern Virginia on Sept. 11, 2001.

After KSM was captured by the United States, he was not initially cooperative with CIA interrogators.  Nor was another top al Qaeda leader named Zubaydah.  KSM, Zubaydah, and a third terrorist named Nashiri were the only three persons ever subjected to waterboarding by the CIA. (Additional terrorist detainees were subjected to other “enhanced techniques” that included slapping, sleep deprivation, dietary limitations, and temporary confinement to small spaces — but not to water-boarding.)

This was because the CIA imposed very tight restrictions on the use of waterboarding. “The ‘waterboard,’ which is the most intense of the CIA interrogation techniques, is subject to additional limits,” explained the May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo. “It may be used on a High Value Detainee only if the CIA has ‘credible intelligence that a terrorist attack is imminent’; ‘substantial and credible indicators that the subject has actionable intelligence that can prevent, disrupt or deny this attack’; and ‘[o]ther interrogation methods have failed to elicit this information within the perceived time limit for preventing the attack.’”

The quotations in this part of the Justice memo were taken from an Aug. 2, 2004 letter that CIA Acting General Counsel John A. Rizzo sent to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Before they were subjected to “enhanced techniques” of interrogation that included waterboarding, KSM and Zubaydah were not only uncooperative but also appeared contemptuous of the will of the American people to defend themselves.

“In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including KSM and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques,” says the Justice Department memo. “Both KSM and Zubaydah had ‘expressed their belief that the general US population was ‘weak,’ lacked resilience, and would be unable to ‘do what was necessary’ to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals.’  Indeed, before the CIA used enhanced techniques in its interrogation of KSM, KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, ‘Soon you will know.’”

After he was subjected to the “waterboard” technique, KSM became cooperative, providing intelligence that led to the capture of key al Qaeda allies and, eventually, the closing down of an East Asian terrorist cell that had been tasked with carrying out the 9/11-style attack on Los Angeles.

The May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that details what happened in this regard was written by then-Principal Deputy Attorney General Steven G. Bradbury to John A. Rizzo, the senior deputy general counsel for the CIA.

“You have informed us that the interrogation of KSM—once enhanced techniques were employed—led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the ‘Second Wave,’ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles,” says the memo.

“You have informed us that information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discover of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemaah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the ‘Second Wave.,’” reads the memo. “More specifically, we understand that KSM admitted that he had [redaction] large sum of money to an al Qaeda associate [redaction] … Khan subsequently identified the associate (Zubair), who was then captured. Zubair, in turn, provided information that led to the arrest of Hambali. The information acquired from these captures allowed CIA interrogators to pose more specific questions to KSM, which led the CIA to Hambali’s brother, al Hadi. Using information obtained from multiple sources, al-Hadi was captured, and he subsequently identified the Garuba cell. With the aid of this additional information, interrogations of Hambali confirmed much of what was learned from KSM.”

CIA Spokesman George Little confirmed to CNSNews.com today that the CIA stands by the factual assertions made here.

In the memo itself, the Justice Department’s Bradbury told the CIA’s Rossi: “Your office has informed us that the CIA believes that ‘the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qa’ida has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.”

Read Full Post »

The Alliance Defense Fund has won a case against the town of Oyster Bay, NY, when the town’s ordinance code requiring permits for free speech activities was declared unconstitutional for the second time.  In 2006, the code was also declared unconstitutional; the town “revised” the code, but it has, again, been found to prohibit First Amendment rights.

NY court finds town’s permit-for-free-speech rule unconstitutional, again

ADF-allied attorney receives favorable decision on behalf of Jews for Jesus member arrested for sharing faith
Friday, March 20, 2009, 8:15 AM (MST) |
ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — A New York court has dismissed charges against a Christian woman represented by an Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney after she was arrested for verbally sharing her faith and distributing literature at an outdoor public park concert.  In a ruling Tuesday, the court found a recently revised town of Oyster Bay code requiring permits for free speech unconstitutional, just as it did the original version.

“Christians shouldn’t be arrested for expressing their beliefs,” said ADF-allied attorney Frederick Nelson of the American Liberties Institute.  “We are pleased that the court not only has dismissed the charges against our client, but has also recognized that the newly revised town code violates the First Amendment.”

Susan Mendelson was charged with violating an Oyster Bay town code for handing out literature without a permit at John J. Burns Park in August 2006.  The city settled the resulting lawsuit filed by Nelson on behalf of Mendelson and other Jews for Jesus members prohibited from exercising their First Amendment rights at the park.  The next year, the town revised its code, which still required a permit from the parks commissioner in order to distribute literature.  Further adding to its code in June 2008, the town also banned the distribution of any “sign, placard, notice, leaflet, declaration or appeal of any kind” without the issuance of a permit by the commissioner.

A month after the latest revision, Mendelson went to a public outdoor concert at the park with a friend to hand out Jews for Jesus leaflets and speak with attendees willing to hear their message.  A public safety official and Nassau County police officers told Mendelson that she could not distribute literature without a permit.  After explaining that a permit is not required for her to exercise her First Amendment rights and that she would not, therefore, be applying for a permit, Mendelson was arrested and charged with trespassing and violation of the permit ordinance.

  • Opinion issued in People of the State of New York v. Mendelson from the New York District Court of Nassau County, First District

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.


Note: Facts in ADF news releases are verified prior to publication but may change over time. Members of the media are encouraged to contact ADF for the latest information on this matter.

Read Full Post »

The American Issues Project is calling attention to something that the Democratic Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, had to say this morning on the floor of the Senate.  In speaking about the now Senate passed “stimulus package”, Schumer said, ““And let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments: the American people really don’t care.”

This just goes to show one of two things:  either Senators like Schumer are incredibly out-of-touch with the American people, or they are so absorbed with their self-serving tacitcs that they don’t care about their job as representatives of the voters.

“The American People Really Don’t Care”

Many Americans have expressed frustrations with the so-called stimulus bill’s lack of…stimulus–and have questioned the liberal agenda tucked into the legislation.

On the floor of the Senate this morning, however, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had this to say:

“And let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments: the American people really don’t care.”

You can watch the video for yourself here:

For more information on the stimulus’ failures–in both the House and the Senate versions–browse through the links below.

Tucked Inside the Stimulus

Romney: Stimulate the Economy, Not the Government

Watch Your Wallet: The So-Called Stimulus

Watch Your Wallet: Beware of Promises of Tax Cuts

Rep. Cantor on the Economic Stimulus

The Cost of the Stimulus

Read Full Post »