US Dept of Homeland #Security @DHSJournal “If You See Something, Say Something” #GWOT #Counterterrorism #CivilRights #Discrimination #Profiling

My first instinct when I came across this video was to dismiss it and come up with alternate titles such as, “If you see someone brown, say something.” “If you hear something non-Anglo, say something.” But as I’m trying to become a more responsible person each day, and, above all else, terrorist attacks are wrong and we should do what makes sense to prevent them, I watched the video and wrote a few comments.

1. The video takes care not to portray Muslims as the only terrorists, which is good.

2. For some reason, the terrorists nearly all wear black and have hoodies.

3. At minute 2:44-2:50, surveillance and elicitation are mentioned as possible suspicious behavior. At 7:54, a man in a hoodie taking notes and pictures at the train is portrayed as suspicious. How can a person pursue a public issue without these activities? For example, Justice Clarence Thomas is supposed to come to my city of Augusta, GA to inaugurate a new federal courthouse. The date was unknown, and I was thinking of planning a demonstration. I called people in the city government to find out when the opening ceremony was to take place. Is that elicitation going to put me on some list? (I know I’m already on lists, so it does not bother me.) But will a white person with an Anglo name end up on a list because of elicitation or surveillance or note taking?

4. OK, so let’s assume all us non-white, non-Anglos take one for the team and not care about extra surveillance on us and our being investigated for normal activities. Will authorities, after investigation, inform us that we were investigated and cleared? Is there a process for removing records related to the incident from all the databases? Will these reports affect security clearances and other professional opportunities?

5. Will there be an effort by the authorities to educate our Anglo brothers and sisters who submit the crazy reports so that their paranoid fears of the non-Anglo may diminish?


In the time it took me to write this, CAIR reported two cases of police and private security freaking out over Muslims. One involved an airline passenger in San Diego, and the other a college student in Virginia.

Sept 8, 2011 Addendum: Under Suspicion at the Mall of America

April 29, 2012 Addendum: Charges against Virginia college student dropped

Unmanned drones speak louder than words #Cairo #Obama #Pakistan #Afghanistan #Yemen #Somalia #GWOT #Iraq #Occupation #War

Operation Flintlock in #Niger #USA #GWOT #Democracy

What I think the issue is, as I’ve said here, is that AFRICOM is taking a very narrow view of “prevention” – that the strengthening of security apparatuses is a quick, obvious, and flawed way of preventing a group like al-Qaeda from gaining a foothold. As I stated, I don’t think it can work on its own in the long run, and that the way Flintlock and related projects are being carried out is going to make a sustainable answer harder, not easier, to implement.

Operation Flintlock in #Niger #USA #GWOT #Democracy

Mixed Reactions to Abu Jandal, The Oath @PBS #GWOT #Yemen #USA #Terrorism

I had fallen asleep and woke up about 10 minutes into the film, and it caught my attention until its end, when I rewound the DVR and caught its beginning.

I am not sure what to make of Abu Jandal’s decision to cooperate with US authorities and provide intelligence to the U.S. in September and October 2001 while continuing to maintain his revolutionary political positions.

I’ve recently watched Steven Soderbergh’s Che ( Listening to the commentary, which is essentially a historian critiquing the Che Guevara’s autobiography on which the film is based, I hear Abu Jandal as one of the former revolutionaries who survived and now has either changed views entirely or is doing mental gymnastics to justify his abandonment of the field.

To me, the obvious implication of this film is that even people within Al-Qa’ida were divided about the wisdom and justice of the September 11, 2001 attack and that the US military response which has led to the occupation of Afghanistan, and the totally unnecessary and unrelated colonial oil war in Iraq, was counter-productive.

To those who have responded with the desire to treat Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan as if they were responsible for September 11, 2010, I hope you can put yourselves in the shoes of the families of the hundreds of thousands of dead and the millions of displaced peoples from our interventions in Africa and Asia for decades.

War is not the answer.

Another point the film moves us towards is understanding that militant movements are concerned with the governments in the Muslim majority countries, and as (James Michael from Boca Raton, FL
September 21, 2010, 11:55 PM) pointed out, we need to end support of allies whose actions antagonize whole populations against us.

Finally, at what point are we going to get some truth out of the entire military tribunal system? Surely releasing intelligence that is more than 5 years or 8 years can no longer be considered a national security risk.

Mixed Reactions to Abu Jandal, The Oath @PBS #GWOT #Yemen #USA #Terrorism

Bhayanak Rasas: The War on “Terror”

Is the United States really fighting a war against an emotion? And if so, are we winning? Will we be freed from fear? Is fear what we’re killing when we drop bombs from unmanned drones into Pakistan and Afghanistan? Traditional Indian rasa theory has helped me think about the iconography of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). These paintings ask how images of terrorists and those fighting against terror make us believe in this rhetorical framing of our wars. How can we think beyond the iconic mugshots of alleged terrorists and suicide bombers, photographs of the destruction of the Twin Towers, the depravity of Abu Ghraib, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, missions accomplished, Barney Cam and White House Holiday festivities? In these paintings, I’ve used as models lesser seen photographs of the actors in this war.