The Latest: Feds monitor anti-Muslim sentiment after attack

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Attorney General: The ISIS Threat Is ‘Evolving’ [VIDEO].

The US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, has described allegations of unlawful detention at Chicago’s Homan Square police facility as “extremely important”, in the first official acknowledgement by the US Justice Department that the off-the-books interrogation warehouse may pose constitutional concerns.A former U.S. congressman has launched a tirade of hate-filled abuse against Muslims in a Facebook rant in which he branded Islam ‘evil’ and a ‘cancer.’ Walsh also directed his xenophobic attack towards U.S.WASHINGTON — In a rare Oval Office address, President Barack Obama vowed Sunday night the U.S. will overcome a new phase of the terror threat that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world, as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California. “I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure,” he said, speaking from a lectern in his West Wing office. “The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” he declared.

The nation’s top law enforcement official also warned that a new federal investigation into racial bias in Chicago police department practices could be expanded to include the treatment of prisoners at the facility, if more information were to come to light. Some conservatives criticized Lynch for her comments to a Muslim civil rights group, where she lamented “the ability of people to issue hateful speech of all types from the anonymity of a screen.” Speaking to a Muslim Advocates dinner in Arlington, Va., Lynch affirmed that “this is a country that is based upon free speech.” However, she went on to suggest that the Justice Department would “take action” when such speech “edges towards violence, when we see the potential to lift…that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric.” First Amendment precedents generally protect speech, even hateful speech, from punishment unless the comments are intended to incite direct action against specific individuals or in a specific place. “We always have a concern when we see the rhetoric rising against any particular group in America, that it might inspire others to violent action — and that violent action is what we would have to deal with,” Lynch told journalists at Justice Department headquarters. We are reviewing everything about this case but also past cases to see what are the common threads.” (RELATED: Loretta Lynch Urges Muslim Parents To Contact Feds If Their Children Are Bullied) Todd, referring the San Bernardino terrorist attack, asked Lynch, “Why do you think the mother… apparently didn’t know they had a cache of weapons, didn’t know they had a pipe bomb factory in their garage?” “You know, I can’t speak that facet of the investigation.

A transparency lawsuit brought by the Guardian revealed last month that more than 7,000 detainees had been “disappeared” at Homan Square – most held without access to lawyers or notification of their presence at the secretive facility. Obviously it’s something we’re looking at very, very closely and we appreciate everyone who’s come forward with information about that,” Lynch explained. (RELATED: Shooter’s Father: Farook Told Me He Supported ISIS, Al Baghdadi) “So I can’t characterize the knowledge of any of the other witnesses in the case. Nearly 6,000 of those held between August 2004 and June 2015 were black, but only 68 were allowed access to attorneys or a public notice of their whereabouts, according to obtained internal police records. This sometimes irritates many in the governing class, who imagine their lives would be smooth and easy, the skies would be blue and there would never be a discouraging word, if they didn’t have to put up with criticism from their fellow Americans who do not understand how great their leaders are.

Obama said that while there was no evidence the shooters were directed by a terror network overseas or part of a broader plot, “the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization.” In speaking from the Oval Office, Obama turned to a tool of the presidency that he has used infrequently. My message to not just the Muslim community but to the entire American community is: we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.” According to Politico, Lynch also “touted the Justice Department’s work investigating anti-Muslim hate crimes and advocating for Muslim communities whose efforts to build or expand mosques have been stymied by local opposition.” This is all fairly expected stuff for an AG to tell a minority American population that has been maligned and abused for years over the actions of a few motivated radicals, and the resulting unhinged blubbering of the more paranoid, revanchist members of the majority. Asked by POLITICO why she was reluctant to publicly say even that the shootings were inspired by ISIL, Lynch stressed the need for investigators to keep an open mind to all possibilities. “At this point…we’re not prepared to limit any particular ideology to what may have inspired these individuals,” the attorney general said. “There are a number of groups that are on social media, looking to encourage people to commit acts of violence within the homeland, so at this point we simply do not want to rule anything out.” Nevertheless, the evidence that the husband-and-wife team were fans of ISIL appears to be growing.

Free speech confuses certain recent immigrants, too, who came to these shores from places where speech is anything but free, and saying the wrong thing can even be fatal. There is a cancer in Islam, and if they’re not going to learn to assimilate, I don’t want them in this country.’ Walsh, a conservative talk show host rants on: ‘Here, I’ll give you a perfect opportunity. We have come from a time of the large-scale planned al Qaeda-style attacks to the encouragement of lone wolves– Fort Hood, Chattanooga– to the encouragement people to act on their own.” Todd followed up, “But, we’ve been hearing this for six years, that the threat has changed and it looks like we have no new ways to stop this threat. His decision to speak in prime time reflected the White House’s concern that his message on the recent attacks hasn’t broken through, particularly in the midst of a heated presidential campaign.

The inquiry follows the delayed release of dashcam video of the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald, a teenager who was shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke. Loretta Lynch, the new attorney general, tried to reassure Muslims the other day, the day after a “radicalized” Muslim man and his Muslim wife killed 14 Americans at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., for reasons not yet fully clear. Accept the idea that a lone wolf inspired by an ISIS website could just mow people down?” “I don’t think we should ever accept the idea that someone can come along and take away our safety and freedom,” Lynch insisted. “We have to do everything we can to prevent that. He announced no significant shift in U.S. strategy and offered no new policy prescriptions for defeating IS, underscoring both his confidence in his current approach and the lack of easy options for countering the extremist group. “Nothing that happened in the speech tonight is going to assuage people’s fears,” Florida Sen.

Lynch also acknowledged Monday that in an effort to calm the nerves of worried Americans, she and her colleagues have been departing from the Justice Department’s usual practice of being tight-lipped about the findings of investigations where no criminal charges have been leveled. Lynch and other officials have been making near-daily media appearances since the attack last Wednesday–appearances Obama appeared to encourage last week when he held an Oval Office meeting with Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and others to address the attack. But if you listen to the right-wing media, you’d have thought Lynch announced she would put anyone whose angry anti-Muslim rhetoric results in a hate crime into a FEMA-run re-education camp. Miss Lynch promised she would take “aggressive action” against anyone who uses “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “edges toward violence.” Saying rude and impolite things about Muslims is not a nice thing to do. Fourteen Americans were killed three days ago… and you say you’re greatest fear is an anti-Muslim backlash?’ ‘They are not who we are, they are not what we do, and they will be prosecuted.

He also urged Congress to pass new force authorization for military actions underway against IS in Iraq and Syria, and also to approve legislation to bar guns from being sold to people on a no-fly list. So, we’re trying to keep people informed, while also maintain the integrity of investigative techniques and the like, so you do have us talking about this investigation more than we can talk about others,” she said. And he implored Americans to not turn against Muslims at home, saying the Islamic State is driven by a desire to spark a war between the West and Islam. Nor is there any event too small to keep even the biggest has-beens on the right from rushing to their keyboards to puff their chests out and impress us all with their macho posturing. Another reason why officials may feel more free to talk about the California terror attack than other investigations: the two direct perpetrators were killed in a confrontation with police shortly after the shootings and investigators say they’ve not yet seen any indication that a broader “network” of individuals was involved in plotting the attack.

Farook and his wife later died in a fierce gun battle with authorities several hours after their commando-style assault on the gathering of Farook’s colleagues from San Bernardino County’s health department. A special shout-out goes to George Pataki, who is literally a bleached cow skull on a fencepost running for president, who found the most cynical way possible to garner attention in the crowded Republican presidential field.

We do see these encouragements for troubled individuals to pick up a gun and act out of this ideology,” Lynch claimed. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton: ‘We’re Not Winning’ Against ISIS) “Again, not sure which one they picked in this case despite the media accounts but we do see this. The president’s most specific policy announcement was to order the departments of State and Homeland Security to review the fiance visa program that the female shooter in California used to enter the U.S. In his remarks, Obama referred to a visa waiver program that Congress is also reviewing, but the White House later clarified he meant the fiance program He also reiterated his call for broader gun control legislation, saying no matter how effective law enforcement and intelligence agencies are, they can’t identify every would-be shooter. Whenever Republicans bemoan the rise of Donald Trump, I want to point them to this outrage-spewing right-wing media complex that they have spent 40 years building, nurturing, and mining for voters.

This is yet one more manifestation of the ugly strain of white supremacy embedded in the nation’s founding, as well as the perception that that supremacy has faded, which the GOP has exploited to gain power. What are “actions predicated on violent talk?” It’s the violence, which the law has always punished, that’s against the law, not the language. An African-American attorney general working for the nation’s first African-American president telling a non-white minority that she will uphold laws that, theoretically, apply to all Americans should be a moment of pride for everyone. It is an effort by good people to try and live up to the promises of equality in the founding documents that this country has failed to live up to time and time and time again.

Congress also has been unable to coalesce behind any plan to authorize more force against IS, and the administration’s proposal has languished since February. Instead, it gets cheapened and spat on by charlatans who are either too dumb to understand context or too cynical to admit that they do. (I know which one I’d bet on.) This would all be fine if we were talking about the fringe of the GOP. But while George Pataki might be polling so low that he could drop out of the race and hardly anyone would even notice, the idea animating his tweet is to get himself some attention from the nativist balls of seething anger that have kept Donald Trump aloft for almost six months. It would be nice if there was a counterweight to this xenophobia in the Republican ranks that was doing well in the polls or taking over the ranks in Congress or state legislatures, because at least it would offer some hope that we’ll have a functional two-party system again one day. The FBI is investigating the massacre as an act of terror that, if proved, would be the deadliest by Islamic extremists on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

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