Iran to make U.S. “regret” detention of Iranians

Iran to make U.S. “regret” detention of Iranians

1938 Alert. “Iran to make U.S. ‘regret’ detention of Iranians-FM,” by Fredrik Dahl for Reuters (thanks to Mackie):

TEHRAN, June 12 (Reuters) – Iran will make the United States “regret” its detention of five Iranians in Iraq since early this year, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday.Iran says the five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil in January are diplomats and has demanded their release. U.S. officials say they were involved in supporting militants inside Iraq.

“We will make the Americans regret their ugly and illegal action against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s consulate in Arbil, Iraq, and the abduction of the five Iranian diplomats,” Mottaki said, according to the state broadcaster’s Web site.

Mottaki said the Foreign Ministry had “put on its agenda a series of widespread actions against these unlawful and illegal actions that are in contradiction with all international conventions,” the ISNA news agency said, without giving details.

The issue has fuelled tension between the two old foes at a time of a worsening standoff over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at making atom bombs. Tehran says its programme is peaceful.

Further souring relations, Iran is holding three Iranian-Americans on security-related charges. Tehran has dismissed any suggestions their cases might be linked to the five Iranians held in Iraq.

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FBI director predicts terrorists will acquire nukes

FBI director predicts terrorists will acquire nukes

A Stop-the-Presses Alert from Robert S. Mueller III.

By Jerry Seper for the Washington Times, with thanks to Sr. Soph:

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III yesterday said that it was only a matter of time and economics before terrorists will be able to purchase nuclear weapons and that the world’s law-enforcement community must unite to prevent it.”Our greatest weapon is unity,” Mr. Mueller said at the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism law-enforcement conference in Miami. “That unity is built on intelligence and interagency cooperation. It is built on the idea that, together, we are smarter and stronger than we are standing alone.”

Mr. Mueller said federal authorities, working with their counterparts overseas, must secure loose nuclear material, share intelligence about those who wish to buy and sell such material, and stop those who do — adding that by some estimates, there is enough highly enriched uranium in global stockpiles to construct thousands of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Mueller said the economics of supply and demand dictate that someone, somewhere will provide nuclear material to the highest bidder, and that material will end up in the hands of terrorists. He said the al Qaeda terrorist network has demonstrated a clear intent to acquire weapons of mass destruction, noting that Osama bin Laden sought to buy uranium in Sudan in 1993.

But, he said, al Qaeda is not the only concern, adding that the United States faces threats from other terrorist cells around the world and from homegrown terrorists not affiliated with al Qaeda but who have been inspired by its message of hatred and violence.

Yes, Mr. Mueller, speaking of that message of hatred and violence, what are your plans for dealing with that?

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The Demoralization of America

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Why People Believe Conspiracies

Why People Believe Conspiracies
By Dennis Prager | June 12, 2007

Vincent Bugliosi’s remarkable 20-year work on who killed John F. Kennedy has just been published. Containing about a million and a half words and thousands of footnotes, Reclaiming History is probably the most detailed examination of one moment in time ever written. It reconfirms that a man named Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the American president.

As one who never doubted the original U.S. government report that Oswald acted alone, I am deeply grateful to Bugliosi for the service he has rendered our country. But I also regret that he had to.

Why did he have to? Because it was necessary to definitively refute all those who believe, despite bipartisan government reports and excellent books such as Gerald Posner’s Case Closed, that there was some conspiracy to kill President Kennedy and that Oswald was not the only shooter.

There is not a shred of evidence that there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy, but that is entirely irrelevant to those who choose to believe that there was one. The lack of evidence only reinforces their belief that a conspiracy has been hidden.

One would think that someone would have come forward in the last 44 years to tell the world about the conspiracy. He or she would become a major figure in history, not to mention the likelihood of becoming very wealthy. But somehow, despite the fact that the government can rarely hide for months even what it wishes to hide, both Democratic and Republican administrations acting in cooperation with each other have hidden these facts.

As Bugliosi pointed out to me, it would in fact have had to be a double conspiracy — first, the plot to assassinate, and then the plot by a much larger group, including many honorable people involved in the investigation, to cover up the original conspiracy.

Likewise, given the vast amount of planning and implementation — and the large number of people — that would have been involved in arranging the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center towers and part of the Pentagon, not one person has come forward — not one American or foreigner, not one leftist or rightist — to reveal a U.S. government plot to murder thousands of Americans and bring down two of the tallest buildings in the world.

Why, then, do people believe in these and other conspiracies? (Of course, there are known conspiracies — Osama bin Laden and others conspired in the 9/11 plot — but there are no successful hidden conspiracies. I cannot think of one in my lifetime.) There are at least six major reasons:

1. Many people find it impossible to believe that a few utterly unimpressive individuals can do so much damage. Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who can best be described as simply a loser, could change history all by himself? It doesn’t seem to make sense.

2. Many people want to blame those they loathe for as much of what they do not like as possible. Just about everyone who believes in hidden conspiracies attributes those conspiracies to those they hate. People who hate President George W. Bush blame him and his administration for 9/11. Egyptians who hate Israel have blamed AIDS on Israeli prostitutes. Indeed, attributing to Jews hidden conspiracies — the “world Jewish conspiracy,” the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — is the oldest and most common belief in a hidden conspiracy.

3. One should never underestimate the power of boredom — and the subsequent yearning for excitement — to affect people’s thinking and behavior. Belief in a hidden conspiracy is far more exciting than accepting prosaic truths. Figuring out the “mystery” of who killed JFK is a much bigger thrill than accepting that one jerk was responsible. Deciphering who was “really” responsible for 9/11 is a lot more interesting than accepting that 19 Arabs with box cutters did it.

4. People who feel powerless over their own lives are far more likely to believe that some invisible force controls their fate than people who believe that they are the masters of their lives.

5. There is, apparently, a great yearning among many people to believe that there is hidden knowledge and that they have access to it. It makes them feel special, perhaps even superior to the rest of us who do not have access to this hidden knowledge.

6. In Western societies, it appears that secular people are more likely to believe in hidden conspiracies than the more religious. It may be that the religious already believe in an invisible power that governs the universe — God — and therefore seem to have much less of a psychological or emotional need to believe in invisible powers on earth.

Whichever reason or reasons apply, the bottom line about those who believe in hidden conspiracies is this: They choose to believe in them. Their psyche, their emotions, and/or their political agenda bring them to their belief in a hidden conspiracy. Never the facts.

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Fred Thompson Poll

Poll puts Fred Thompson just behind Giuliani in GOP race
By Michael Finnegan
Times Staff Writer
June 12, 2007 12:00 AM

  View Full StoryWASHINGTON ? Republicans antsy for a conservative standard-bearer in the presidential race have begun to rally behind Fred Thompson, propelling the former Tennessee senator to within hailing distance of the lead for the party’s nomination, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani holds first place in the survey, with support from 27% of the Republicans and independents who said they plan to vote in the party’s 2008 primaries.

But Thompson, an actor who played a prosecutor on NBC’s “Law & Order,” runs just behind, with 21%. Indications are he will join the race within the next month.

The two other major GOP contenders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, fall well short of the leaders and are in a battle for third place. McCain was backed by 12% of those polled, Romney by 10%. The rest of the crowded field is mired in single digits.

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Rather Takes a Shot at Katie Couric

Rather complained to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that “the mistake was to try to bring the ‘Today’ ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience.”
Rather vociferously derided the media’s obsession with celebrities, in particular the hyperbolic coverage of the Paris Hilton affair. (This is a fair point, but it’s a little odd to be making it on MSNBC, one of the worst offenders in Hilton overkill.) For a second time in the 7:30am hour, he attacked the “superficial changes” made in his absence:
Dan Rather: “You know, she tried to change networks, which is always difficult and change the programs at the same time. They’ve done all of the usual things. They changed the set. They changed the executive producers. They changed the graphics person, lately, forced out a guy who had been there, Ned Steinberg, for many, many years. They make all those kind of the superficial changes. I do want to say that, I think, under Rick Kaplan, that they have tried to harden up the broadcast in recent days, but that is a relative phrase, harden it up. That , you know, the trend line continues, as I say, dumbing it down, tarting it up, going to celebrity coverage rather than war coverage.”
The MRC has documented Dan Rather’s long history of liberal bias. A collection of “greatest hits” can be found here.
A transcript of the exchange, which occurred at 7:37am on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” follows. You can also download the video of Rather’s remarks.
Update 0:37 by Matthew Sheffield.

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