Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for January 11th, 2010

Haaretz: Israeli Security Firm Failed To Spot Would-Be Underpants Bomber

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 11, 2010

One of the recurring themes we hear in the wake of any airline-related terrorism is that it would never have happened in Israel, because they’re too good at spotting potential terrorists to allow any onto planes.

That bit of conventional wisdom might need a touch of revising:

The Israeli firm ICTS International (not to be confused with ICTS Europe, which is a different company), and two of its subsidiaries are at the crux of an international investigation in recent days, as experts try to pinpoint the reasons for the security failure that enabled Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board Northwest flight 253 and attempt to set alight explosives hidden in his underwear.

A Haaretz investigation has learned that the security officers and their supervisor should have suspected the passenger, even without having early intelligence available to them.

There’s more at the Haaretz link.

Posted in israel, terrorism, transportation, TSA | Comments Off on Haaretz: Israeli Security Firm Failed To Spot Would-Be Underpants Bomber

Honduras Coup, Act VI, Day 42

Posted by Charles II on January 11, 2010

Channel 36 was doing a major announcement implying the State Department had toughened its line on Micheletti stepping down. I don’t see it:

QUESTION: Some comments about in Honduras about the visit of Craig Kelly –

MR. CROWLEY: He was there last week. He’s back.

QUESTION: Yes. Because the comments were from Zelaya, but nothing officially from the U.S. What’s the –

MR. CROWLEY: Actually, that’s not true. We talked in detail last week about Craig Kelly’s trip to Honduras and continuing to work with all sides. He –

QUESTION: But there was a reaction from Micheletti saying that the U.S. is moving in some direction but the Congress is still maintaining the position that he will continue to be in power. Is there any update on that?

MR. CROWLEY: I tell you, I’m not going to do a back-and-forth from the podium. We – Craig Kelly was in Tegucigalpa last week, continued to work with all sides, to consult with all sides. He had a meeting with everyone that you just mentioned and we continue to encourage efforts to promote national reconciliation and we’re – we remain focused on steps that can be taken between now and January 27th.

Update: The 16 year-old son of Radio Globo journalist Eduardo Maldonado has been kidnapped and is being held for a ransom of $1M.

Celso Amorim points out that any changes for the better, such as the “arrest” of the military leaders who kidnapped Zelaya are due to Zelaya having returned to Honduras and Brazil having sheltered him as a guest. Brazil is sending a delegation to visit 10 neighboring countries to discuss the crisis. I would bet that the US is not on the list.
There’s an interesting comment by Iqui Balam of Habla Honduras regarding the situation in Bajo Aguan. The key points are:

“the ‘eviction’ of the campesinos was a FALSE FLAG BLACK OP to hide the ’search and destroy’ mission to kill the leaders of the movement from a list of more than 100 of them nationally.”

“…Honduran Law does NOT authorize private security companies to participate in such eviction operations. So the use of these mercenaries constitutes a paramilitary force akin to the Auto Defensas Unidas de Colombia (A.U.C.) at the service of the oligarchy. Indeed, these mercenaries are being led by the COLOMBIAN MERCENARIES …”

“If this was a ‘peaceful’ eviction… Why the FIGHTER JETS? Why the HELICOPTERS?”

“… it is very hard to report here under traditional standards. There’s no constitutional state. All state structures have been taken over by those with guns. The rest of us are standing up against that by any means at our hand.”

Tiempo says Congress may discuss amnesty. Edmundo Orellana Mercado, former Defense Minister, points out that the amnesty is unconstitutional, since it amounts to the criminal pardoning her/himself. And the crimes are serious, including murder and kidnapping, so amnesty promotes a sense of impunity by the criminals. [I would say that Honduras does not have the power or the right to amnesty crimes forbidden by treaties to which it is a signatory, which includes crimes against humanity such as politically-motivated murder and kidnapping, but also includes denial of due process.] Ironically, many still want to hold Zelaya liable for funds he spent on doing the poll.

Radio Globo is discussing amnesty with Rasel Tome at the Brazilian embassy. Radio Progreso has an interview discussing amnesty. A very astute woman speaking Spanish Spanish says that the OAS will not accept the amnesty. She calls the amnesty “theater,” a “farce.” The man, Ramon _____ (who has to be a lawyer, since he uses the subjunctive constantly) says that Spain is exerting significant pressure on Honduras to have Micheletti depart before the inauguration of the new Pretendisent. The UCD [an arm of the United States] is saying that there should not be an amnesty (Tiempo has an article).

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduras Coup, Act VI, Day 42

%d bloggers like this: