As soon as the torture at Guantanamo Prison was revealed, many of us voiced our indignation and disgust that such deplorable acts were taking place at the hands of Americans. When President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo and publicly stated that America does not torture, we all breathed a sigh of relief — the voice of reason had returned to the White House and was embarking on restoring our moral standards.
Fast forward to yesterday and I was amazed that so many voted “no” in the Senate on the issues surrounding closing Guantanamo. Did someone put something in the drinking water that caused the left side of the aisle to join in on the chorus of “just say no” right side? At least the right side of the aisle seemingly has an excuse — effective January 21st, their SOP is to just say no to any and everything. But Sen. Reid and others … it was one of those “huh?” moments.
In trying to sort this out for my own peace of mind, I decided to check into explanations from “the experts.” Robert Mueller, FBI director, told a committee in the House of Representatives that, “The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing to terrorists, radicalizing others with regard to violent extremism, [and] the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States.”
On the surface, Mr. Mueller’s statement sounds like a reasonable explanation, especially since he is the director of the FBI — he should know. His statement, however well-stated, does not sit well in light of the already existing extremism within our borders that comes from our own citizens.
The neo-nazi movement speaks exactly to this kind of extremism. Our Senators should visit the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) web site to see a list of these groups:
American Front, Aryan Nations, Council of Conservative Citizens, Creativity Movement, Elohim City, Greater Ministries International, Hammerskin Nation, Institute for Historical Review, Little Shell Pembina Band, Militia of Montana, National Alliance, National Socialist Movement, Nazi Low Riders, New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, Public Enemy Number 1 (PENI), Volksfront, White Revolution
The ADL states that the National Socialist Movement is “One of the most explicitly “Nazi-like” neo-Nazi groups, emulating the uniforms and paraphernalia of the Third Reich … It has a vaguely paramilitary structure, with military ranks for its members.” In addition, it has a “white supremacist social networking website, New Saxon … online radio shows and [a] … white power music company, NSM88 Records.”
Aryan Nations members at Hayden Lake, Idaho in 1995. Buford Furrow (second from right), at the time an Aryan Nations guard, killed one person and wounded five others in a 1998 shooting spree in Los Angeles.
In a report released in July 2007, the ADL showed that as of 2004, 26 states had active militia groups: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Granted some of these groups are fledgling, some barely active. While I in no way endorse these groups, I have to say that their existence, their ideologies, and their activities negate the arguments posed by Mr. Mueller, Sen. Reid and others, because violent extremism already exists within our borders from our own citizens.
My search for more information kept coming across Blackwater (d/b/a XE), Katrina and the war in Iraq. I decided to follow and let the dots lead the way. I started first by checking out Blackwater and came across Jeremy Scahill, author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” who had this to say:
In March 2009, Blackwater changed it’s name to XE, brought on new leadership, and after the new administration advised XE that it will not renew it’s lucrative contract to protect US diplomats in Iraq (done by the former administration), is shifting its focus to training, aviation and logistics at its three training centers in California, Illinois and North Carolina (headquarters). The dots also lead me to three aviation affiliates of XE.
Greystone, Ltd. is a division of XE that was formed when it was Blackwater to market aviation services to governments and other entities outside the United States. Interesting to note is that Greystone is a member of International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), which has an interesting mix of members, and the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, which also has an interesting list of members.
The third subsidiary, Presidential Airways, was located in Melbourne FL but relocated to XE headquarters in North Carolina.
There are more “dots” to follow along this trail of armed mercenaries and other entities contracted by our misguided former administration, who, it seems, sought to privatize our lives for the sake of filling their purses.
My quest for information has lead me to emphatically state that we must close Guantanamo, albeit with thoughtful and purposeful action, as expeditiously as possible. Simultaneously, we must continue to build upon renewing our country and address those issues that will ensure our peace and prosperity, namely, creating a new industry and products to address our energy consumption and preservation of our planet, quality education coupled with equal access to quality education for all peoples, and access/coverage to and for quality health care.