Intelligent Intelligence?

Posted by on August 04, 2011 in Blog
Last week, while most of the public was focusing its attention on the looming debt ceiling debate, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was quietly holding hearings on “Preventing Violent Radicalization.” While the hearing garnered few of the news headlines or public outcry drawn by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) earlier in the year, it is nevertheless worthy of our attention.
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TSA Needs Help, But not From the Israelis

Posted by on August 03, 2011 in Blog
It’s more of the same for the TSA � they just can’t seem to get it right. Yesterday the Boston TSA, never far from scandal, began training on an Israeli-style screening process which, the Boston Herald reports, “requires screeners to make quick reads of whether passengers pose a danger or a terror threat based on their reactions to a set of routine questions.” The $1 billion national initiative has been underway for a few years now, and a number of airports throughout the country have adopted the Israeli method called Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques or SPOT. The intent is to implement SPOT within two weeks’ time, by August 15. SPOT uses Behavior Detection Officers or BDOs to monitor passengers and gauge their responses to questions and determine their level of suspicion. See the Department of Homeland Security website to review a more in-depth explanation of screening methodology.
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Countdown: Vol. 10, No. 8

Posted on August 02, 2011 in Countdown
Finally, an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, a politician willing to take on crazy talk (he may not be who you expected), and more evidence that it's time to Yalla Change!
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Uncovering the Origin of the Anti-Shariah Craze

Posted by on August 01, 2011 in Blog
This weekend, Andrea Elliot of The New York Times profiled David Yerushalmi, the man quietly behind the nationwide anti-shariah movement that has sparked national debate and infiltrated state and federal campaigns. According to Eliot, Mr. Yerushalmi has had a profound influence in the drafting of legislation in several states that “recently swept through the country � all with the effect of casting Shariah as one of the greatest threats to American freedom since the cold war.”
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Viewpoint with James Zogby: Hannah Rosenthal, Salam Al-Marayati, Geneive Abdo

Posted on July 29, 2011 in Viewpoint with James Zogby
Air Date: 7/28/2011 Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, U.S. Department of State; Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Geneive Abdo, Fellow and Iran analyst at The Century Foundation.
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Provisions of California DREAM Act Signed into Law

Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Blog
California Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed into law Assembly Bill 130, the California DREAM Act yesterday. The Los Angeles Times reports that AB 130 will provide “access to privately funded financial aid for undocumented college students.” Regarding the political implications of California’s Dream Act, the Times explains that the Governor’s signature on Bill 130 is a “gesture of goodwill toward Latino voters, who helped elect him in large numbers last fall. Legislation providing education funding to undocumented students has been a top priority for many Latino groups, which have found many of their efforts thwarted so far at the federal level.”
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Countdown: Vol.10, No.7

Posted on July 26, 2011 in Countdown
And the best scolding for their absurd brand of journalism came from Stephen Colbert who satirically suggested the headlines for the rest of the year should just all read “bad thing happens some place; Muslims involved” while journalists devote the rest of their time to the retractions (it’s a must-watch).
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Hate on the Hill

Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Blog
Tucked away in the basement of Rayburn House Office Building, a controversial private citizens group - Citizens for National Security (CFNS) addressed a packed briefing room in the nation’s capital. In front of a group of Capitol Hill staffers, press, and interested outside human rights groups, Congressmen Allen West quickly introduced his invited guest. In remarks that were surprisingly defensive the Congressmen thanked them for their research, and concluded that his obligation as an elected official to give voice to his constituents’ work and then made a quick exit for the door.
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The Tragedy in Norway: From Blogs to Media Coverage

Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Blog
The tragic Oslo attacks which left nearly 80 people dead and more than 100 injured have raised serious concerns over how potent a force anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. and European media really is. Over-zealous and irresponsible reporting and speculation immediately following the attacks incorrectly attributed the killings to Muslim terrorists with headlines like, "Jihad in Norway?" Going further than baseless reporting, it is now clear that some of these sites may have actually informed the motives of Anders Behring Breivik. Scott Shane of The New York Times, highlights how much Breivik, the man accused of carrying out the Oslo killings, may have been influenced by anti-Muslim right-wing bloggers here in the United Sates.
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Viewpoint with James Zogby: Radwan Ziadeh, Lara Friedman, Thomas Perez

Posted on July 22, 2011 in Viewpoint with James Zogby
Radwan Ziadeh, Director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies and visiting scholar at the George Washington University; Lara Friedman, Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now; Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
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