Liberty and Safety–>Franklin

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety “- Benjamin Franklin

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PAKISTAN: Zarina Marri has been missing along with 429 persons since December 2005;The life of a disappeared student leader is in danger–>AHRC

After the 18th February 2008 elections it was expected that the newly elected government would try to improve the human rights situation and give some relief to the families of victims. But this proved to be another shattered dream of people blinded by their faith and hope, which soon turned into disbelief on the system for many.

It is amazing that in the time of elected government with new army chief and intelligence chiefs no actions were taken against those involved in these illegal and inhuman activities during the former dictator’s rule.

The statements by the Asian Human Rights Commission given below raises more questions about the seriousness of our government to solve the issue of missing persons.

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PAKISTAN: Zarina Marri has been missing along with 429 persons since December 2005

Source : http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1855/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-020-2009
January 23, 2009

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Zarina Marri has been missing along with 429 persons since December 2005

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received further details in the case of Ms. Zarina Marri, a 23-year-old schoolteacher from Balochistan province, who has been held incommunicado in an army torture cell at Karachi, the capital of Sindh province and used as a sex slave, please see our statement; http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1843/

The officials of the education department of Kahan have disclosed that Ms. Marri was a teacher at a government middle school in Kahan, Kohlu district, she was registered as Zarina Bi Bi and she was trained as a Junior Vocational Teacher. She was among those people who were transferred from Kohlu, Kahan, Sibi, Hernai, Much, Kohlo, Dera Bugti, Sabsilla, Bhambhoor, Loti, Dhaman, Pir Koh, Spin, Tangi, Babar Kach, Tandori and Sangan of the Balochistan province during December 2005 and July 2006 when the military government of the then President/General Musharraf was using aerial bombardments to defuse the nationalist movement of Balochistan against the construction of cantonment areas. On 14 December 2005, paramilitary troops accused the people of the area of firing eight rockets at a paramilitary base on the outskirts of the town of Kohlu, a stronghold of the Marri tribe, while President Pervez Musharraf was visiting it. After the visit of President/General Musharraf, within three days of the rocket firing incident, the paramilitary forces began attacking vast areas including the Kahan. It is reported in the media that the military government used the Pakistan air force for bombarding the area. During the fighting between local nationalist militants and the government forces particularly, due to the aerial bombardments, the local population started migrating to other places including to Punjab and Sindh provinces. Please also see urgent appeal of AHRC;
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/1872/ dated July 21, 2006.

After some days around 429 persons left the Kahan, district Kohlu, and migrated towards Dera Ghazi Khan district, Punjab province, Zarina Marri and her parents were also among the caravan. Since then there is no trace of the caravan of 429 persons. After some months people tried to search the missing people and some army officers deputed at the Kohlu district told the people of the area that so many persons were killed in the fighting between the government forces and militants and also in aerial bombardments. But after the revelation from Mr. Munir Mengal, managing director of Baloch language television channel, to Reporters without Frontiers (RSF) that Zarina Baloch was in military torture cell at Karachi and was forced in to sexual slavery, the concern of the people of Kohlu, Kahan, and Dera Bugti has risen about the people of the 429 persons which includes more than 70 women, including many young women, who may be used as sex slaves by the Pakistan military.

The government of Pakistan has still not initiated any serious efforts to investigate the case of Ms. Zarina Marri, despite, of continuous demonstrations in several parts of the country including, Islamabad, capital of country for the recovery of Zarina Marri from the military torture cell at Karachi and halting the business of making young Baloch women work as sex slaves by the Pakistan army. The government’s ignorance of the serious crimes by the military officers during Musharraf’s regime is evidence for the people in the country that the present government still does not have the power to investigate the military misdoings.
The case of Miss Zarina Marri has ignited the narrow nationalist and secessionist feelings of the ethnic Baloch nation which can easily turn into a bloody mutiny against the state if the cases of sex slavery by the military torture cells are not investigated. The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government to initiate a probe for the recovery of 429 people who are missing since December 2005. The government should also bring the persons who made Marina Marri work as a sex slave before the law regardless of how powerful they are or whether they are military persons.

For further information please see:

http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/708/

http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/715/
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PAKISTAN: The life of a disappeared student leader is in danger
Source : http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/2400/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-022-2010
February 4, 2010

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: The life of a disappeared student leader is in danger

The life of a student leader who was arrested by state intelligence officials is in danger. It is apprehended that he might have been killed. The government of Balochistan says that he was released on January 22, 2010, but his family members have said that he has not yet returned home. They have inquired after him at all local police stations, asking if he was booked under another case, but have not been able to find him.

Mr. Zakir Majeed, a student leader, was allegedly abducted by state intelligence agents on June 8, 2009 from Mastung, near Quetta. Majeed is the senior vice chairperson of the Baloch Student Organization, Azad. His alleged abductors drove up in two cars without number plates and asked the young man a few questions, saying that they were intelligence agents.They took Majeed away with them in their cars without making any charges. One car was a Toyota Vego, the other a Toyota Surf SSR. After UN Special Rapporteurs on Disappearances wrote letters about Mr. Majeed’s disappearance, his release was announced by the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) For more details of the case, please see the following link, dated June 10, 2009; http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2009/3175/.

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has taken up Mr. Majeed’s case after the submission of the WGEID form by the AHRC. After an intervention was made by the WGEID, the government announced on January 22, 2010 that Mr. Majeed had been released. The Balochistan High Court also ordered that an FIR (First Investigation Report – a legal document for police investigation) be filed for Mr. Majeed. Until this point, the police refused to register the young man’s disappearance, and a case of habeas corpus was up for regular hearing before the High Court of Balochistan. On January 27, 2010, a police official at Khuzdar Police Station of Balochistan, asked the younger brother of the victim, Mr. Waheed Majeed, to file the FIR before the Mastung Police Station. He did so, but the FIR was not entertained. After an intervention was made by higher-ranked police officers, the FIR was finally lodged. On February 2, 2010 Mr. Aslam Bizenjo, Provincial Minister for Irrigation telephoned Mr. Waheed to inform him that according to the list provided by the NCMC, his brother had been released. The Provincial Minister then asked him to speak with Mr. Akbar Durrani, the Home Secretary of the Balochistan government for further details. The Home Secretary confirmed that Mr. Zakir Majeed had been released on January 22, according to the NCMC list published on its website.

These conflicting pieces of information about Mr. Zakir Majeed’s disappearance have created a great deal of confusion in the minds of Mr. Majeed’s family and the human rights activists who are working for his release. In many past cases, the bodies of the disappeared have been found abandoned on roadsides after courts have ordered for their release, or family members of the disappeared person in question testified in courts that the arrest was done by intelligence agents.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the provincial government of Balochistan and federal government of Pakistan to secure the safe release of Mr. Zakir Majeed immediately. Since government officials have already confirmed Mr. Majeed’s safe release, we call upon these officials to be held accountable for these confirmations of safety, and urge these officials to take direct action to reunite Mr. Majeed with his family.

Enforced disappearances of civilians and the perpetual lack of thorough investigation by state officials has become so common that the sanctity and dignity of each human life is being ruthlessly compromised in the name of personal or professional gain. The AHRC calls upon the government of Pakistan to take a strong stand against corruption at all levels of its justice system and take steps towards rebuilding the rule of law in the country.

Ex-brigadier thrashes professor over NRO brawl

Source : http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27076

Students protest as investigation ordered

By Umar Cheema

ISLAMABAD: A retired brigadier, the registrar of the Army-run National University of Modern Languages (NUML), on Thursday assaulted his respected professor colleague when the latter questioned the role of General Musharraf in brokering a deal with the PPP through the NRO.

The staff room discussion on President Asif Zardari’s alleged corruption and Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s role in granting a clean chit through the NRO, infuriated Brig (retd) Obaidullah Ranjha to an extent that he started hitting Prof Tahir Malik like a punching bag, leaving the latter virtually unconscious.

The incident triggered protests by the university students, who blocked the road and chanted slogans supporting the victim professor, Tahir Malik, and demanding the removal of the brigade of brigadiers, led by Rector Brig (retd) Aziz Ahmad, and assisted by the brutal Brigadier Ranjha and Brigadier Saulat Raza.

Tension gripped the university premises with all gates closed and cellphones switched off. Brig (retd) Ranjha, instead of regretting his act, said he wouldn’t care in case an FIR was lodged and defended the use of muscle power, saying: “If somebody disgraces the Army and its institution, what should I have done?” and asked the media to write whatever they wanted, adding: “I’m not answerable to you.”

The NUML administration reacts so loudly against the people questioning the Army’s role that it has taught a lesson to two civilian teachers in the short span of two weeks. The university’s journalism department, headed by Brig (retd) Saulat Raza, an ISPR veteran, recently sacked a journalist, Azaz Syed, who was in the department’s visiting faculty, after he did stories for his newspaper critical to the Army and the ISI.

The NUML is fast gaining notoriety as the recent audit report exposed rampant corruption with the auditor caught the rector and the university’s senior staffers committing different irregularities, obliging their near and dear ones, and fleecing money in the name of watchmen. The tension between the academic staff with civilian background and military background is growing by the day, making the situation worse.

As far the unfortunate thrashing incident is concerned, it occurred in the International Relations Department where Brig (retd) Ranjha was invited to attend a reception ceremony of the students where a discussion on the political situation started. As Ranjha criticised President Asif Zardari and lamented the country was being run by incompetent politicians, Professor Tahir Malik intervened, questioning why Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf brokered the deal with the PPP.

Tahir Malik, who is the son of the rector of the Islamic International University, said the politicians were always hounded and one should respect the mandate the public gave to them.

Brig (retd) Ranjha, whose appointment has also been criticised and declared illegal in the recent audit report, had also to face criticism on this count. “You have been appointed registrar without any advertisement. You don’t qualify for the position for not having the required academic experience of 15 years. You should set your house in order before pointing fingers towards the politicians. One should preach what one practices,” Tahir bluntly said, addressing Brig (retd) Ranjha.

Facing humiliation of his person and the criticism of the military’s top brass role in political bickering, in the presence of a TV journalist, sank Ranjha into chair, his shoulders drooped. But he took no time to stand up and leave the place, only to return within 45 minutes. As Ranjha arrived again, he took Tahir Malik along, saying some urgent business was to be discussed. As they walked away from the staff room, Ranjha started hurling abuses, hitting Malik on the face, kicking him on the upper part of the legs. But doing all this could not alleviate his anger. He then struck in his chest with head like a goat. Malik, who is a heart patient, fell on the ground.

In the meantime, the staff and students of the IR Department rushed to the spot, liberating Malik from the clutches of Brig (retd) Ranjha, eyewitnesses said. Dr Sohail Ahmad, head of the IR Department, who was an eyewitness, told The News he had witnessed this unfortunate incident. “Tahir is my faculty member and he was a clear victim,” he said. “We’ve demanded justice as the matter is now in the hands of the rector.”

The rector, when contacted, appeared to be very calm. Instead of going into the details of the incident and who the aggressor or victim was, he said an investigation into the incident is under way.

As far as the sacking of a journalist teaching in the NUML’s Journalism Department is concerned, it is yet another case in point of how the Army-run institution demonstrated intolerance towards freedom of expression. Azaz Syed, an investigative journalist, first had his house attacked on January 19, a week after a premier intelligence agency warned him against writing about its chief. Some days after this incident, Brig (retd) Saulat conveyed to the journalist not to come to the university for he had annoyed the institution of the Army, Azaz told The News.

Later, he was asked through the clerical staff of the department not to come till further orders. The students protested on the sacking of Azaz. Brig (retd) Saulat told the students that he could not bring him back because his own job would be in danger in that case, a student who gave audience to Saulat, later told The News. However, Saulat, when contacted for his version, denied anything like this had happened.

Aafia Siddiqui Indictment

Below is the text of indictment in Dr. Aafia case.

The judgment below has many flaws but just to give you some idea:

– It doesn’t prove anything regarding her affiliation with Al-Qaida which was the primary reason for her abduction.

– It doesn’t discuss her abduction from Karachi in 2003 with her 3 children and the feared death of her youngest son by the hands of kidnappers.

– The decision talks of her having some attack plans. No evidence quality was checked and if we look at this point in line with the point of her abduction from Karachi in 2003 , this turns out to be as true as “Iraq having WMDs”.

All this is given in case background to create a fear among the reader about the accused without any solid proofs.

-The jury has given decision against her for attacking US citizens and soldiers even though no fingerprints were found on the M-4 rifle and no proof of firing with  M-4 riffle were found and presented by FBI.

On principles the burden of proof lies with the prosecution or accusing party but here accused was found guilty because she could not prove herself innocent to the satisfaction of the jury.

Imran asks three questions from USA and Pakistan about Dr. Aafia

Source : http://insaf.pk/News/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3474/Imran-asks-three-questions-from-USA-and-Pakistan-about-Dr-Aafia.aspx

By Hammad Cheema

Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has expressed his disgust and anger over the way the whole Dr Aafia Siddiqui case has ended in what is clearly a travesty of justice. He has demanded three things from the State of Pakistan and the USA:

First: the Pakistani people have a right to know how Dr Aafia Siddiqui, with three minor children, landed up in Bagram Base. He demanded that the Pakistan government needs to answer this clearly as does the US. Did the Pakistani authorities covertly hand over Dr Siddiqui with her young children to the Americans? Or did the Americans kidnap her in Pakistan and successfully take her out into Afghanistan? What has been the fate of her children, since two of them are still missing?

How could a frail woman manage to attack US soldiers who surrounded her? Did she suddenly acquire superwoman or bionic abilities?

Second: Why has the Pakistan government not taken proper action to ensure her return to Pakistan? Are they not aware of the fact that apart from the injustice and abuse of a Pakistani woman, the injustice meted out to Dr Aafia is going to add to the difficulties of the Pakistani military’s fight in the tribal belt as well as increasing anti-Americanism and extremism? For Pakistan this will create more space for militancy.

Just as the Lal Masjid episode was a watershed for a qualitative change in the rising tide of militancy and extremism, so the Dr Aafia sentencing will become another watershed in this direction of creating more space for extremism and militancy.

Three: Who aided and abetted the Americans in Pakistan? The Pakistan government must not only expose those who aided and abetted the kidnapping of Dr Aafia, but must also mete out exemplary punishment to them. In 2003 when Imran Khan contacted Dr Aafia’s mother in order to give a statement in Aafia’s support, her mother was terrified and told Imran that she had been warned that if any such statements were made, Dr Aafia would be killed.

It is a national shame that the state of Pakistan, instead of protecting its citizens, has been aiding and abetting in their disappearances, their torture and their abuse. It is time to put an end to all this lest the nation take things into their own hands.

Write to Aafia Siddiqi

Please show your solidarity with Aafia Siddiqi by writing her letters.

The address is:
AAFIA SIDDIQUI # 90279-054 MDC BROOKLYN METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER P.O. BOX 329002 BROOKLYN, NY 11232

Please keep in mind that the letters should not contain any hate material for anyone as this may give chance to her enemies.

Special Report: Dr. A’fia Siddiqui: VICTIM OF BUSH RAPE AND KIDNAP SQUAD–>By Gordon Duff

Special Report: Dr. A’fia Siddiqui: VICTIM OF BUSH RAPE AND KIDNAP SQUAD

Source : http://www.uruknet.info/index.php?p=62041

By Gordon Duff

January 10, 2010

WOMAN KIDNAPPED, RAPED AND HELD 5 YEARS IN SECRET BAGRAM PRISON NOW

FACING TRIAL FOR ATTACKING CIA TORTURE SQUAD

By Gordon Duff/STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Next week, a mother of 3 children is facing trial for, supposedly, wrestling an M-16 away from a CIA torture squad and trying to kill them.  How did the CIA get her?  They bought her.  She was sold to them by a corrupt official in Pakistan as a “terror suspect,” a common problem and a well known ploy in the George W. Bush phony war on terrorism.

Was she a terrorist?  There is no evidence of this, even after years of torture.  The only serious crimes we find her guilty of is being a house wife, mother and Islamic and, I forgot, having an education.  Her victims?  Crippled and 100 pounds, she took on a room full of former Navy Seals, Special Forces and “private interrogators.”  The obvious truth, of course:  the charges are a fabrication by a pack of cowards and liars.

What do we really know?  We really don’t know anything at all.  Nobody has any evidence that this woman, a scientist educated in the US did anything at all.  There is talk, empty talk about her sending money to charities that might be tied to terrorism.  The amount of money is about 2% of a typical payment from one of the Saudi royals that have funded terrorists and suicide bombers for years, but none of them are kidnapped, raped, shot or beaten.

They have oil.

The case against her is made, at length, in the Wikipedia article about her.  It is a good read.  It makes me proud to be an American.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aafia_Siddiqui

What we see exposed, however, is the slave trade in “terror suspects” created during the Bush Administration fear frenzy when intelligence agencies around the world started dragging innocent people off the streets and selling them to the US for millions of dollars to supply the needed number of “terrorist arrests” to justify wild claims of a successful war on terror continually being made by Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and the rest of the gang.

The crime is an amusing one.  A woman who was either just arrested or had been in custody for 5 years, depending on which of her captors you listen to.  This should seem like an interesting read:

“On 4 August 2008, shorty after press rumors suggested that Siddiqui had been in Bagram for the last five years, the US government announced that Aafia Siddiqui was arrested on charges related to her attempted murder and assault of United States officers and employees in Afghanistan

The US claims that Siddiqui was not captured in March 2003, that she was arrested on July 17, 2008 outside the home of the Governor of Ghazni.[24][25] The US account of the July 18, 2008 shooting is that FBI agents, interpreters, and several GIs entered arrived at the Afghan facility where Siddiqui was being held. The personnel entered a second floor meeting room—unaware that Siddiqui was being held there, unsecured, behind a curtain.

The Warrant Officer took a seat and placed his United States Army M-4 rifle on the floor next to the curtain .[26] According to the US account the GIs set down their weapons, whereupon Siddiqui burst from behind a curtain, grabbed an M-4, and opened fire. One interpreter who was accompanying the officers seized the firearm from her.

US officials claim they have no idea where Siddiqui has been in the five years since she was captured on March 17, 2003.

Siddiqui arrived in New York on August 4, 2008, and was presented before a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Siddiqui refused to accept the charges.[27][28][29] Siddiqui’s lawyer stated that no one can believe the FBI story and that Siddiqui had actually been captured in Karachi, Pakistan along with three of her children.

On August 8, 2008 the Daily Times reported that Aafia was captured in Ghazni with her eldest son, Muhammad Ahmed.[31] The report stated that documents existed that confirmed that Affia and her children had been captured in March 2003.”

REAL ISSUES FOR DECENT AMERICANS TO CARE ABOUT

This woman and her three children were kidnapped, and illegally held for 5 years under the most brutal conditions imaginable without any legal reason.  She had been accused of no crime.  After years of imprisonment, rape and torture, she is finally arrested for attacking those who tortured her.

REALITY CHECK:  TIME TO STAND PROUD IN OUR WAR ON TERROR

After 5 years of imprisonment, Dr. Siddiqui was a total physical wreck, barely able to walk, and seriously disabled from hundreds of torture sessions.  Yet she is accused of overpowering several Navy Seals and US Army Special Forces unarmed combat specialists, seizing a weapon and nearly killing all of them, this at a weight of 100 pounds.

“Nearly killing” is a bit of an overstatement.  In fact, nobody was injured at all.  The more we investigate this, the more this sounds like an outlandish war story cooked up to file for PTSD.

She faces 20 years for this crime and only this crime.  Since when was it a crime to attempt to escape from illegal imprisonment?  Any American who is illegally detained and imprisoned without due process can’t be charged with a crime for resisting torture or imprisonment.

Americans consider such actions their patriotic duty.

PHOTO STUDY OF OUR SECURITY FORCES IN KABUL PROVING THEIR CHARACTER AND DISCIPLINE:

ONE OF THE GREAT SUCCESSES OF THE WAR ON TERROR

Attorney General John Ashcroft considered the kidnapping of this woman, along with her 3 children, one of the great victories of the War on Terror.  However, after 5 years of interrogation and 7 years of confinement, no charges could ever be filed against her other than trying to single handledly crawl out of her death bed and dispatch a room full of “drug store” Rambo types.

Ashcroft has many success in his career.  He is the only person in American history to have lost a seat in the US Senate to a dead man.

In an unpublicized but much more interesting case, Ashcroft and his band of merry US Attorneys, in their attempt to rack up arrests for terrorism without doing adequate homework actually managed to drag in an entire CIA intelligence organization which had, until broken up by John Ashcroft and gang, penetrated the highest levels of Al Qaeda.

Not much more can be said, but several top CIA operatives now have the embarassing history of having been arrested for terrorist related charges.  Ashcroft and later Gonzales have, through incompetence, done more to cripple US intelligence efforts than any group other than the Mossad.

Even the “outing” of CIA nuclear proliferation specialist Valerie Plame, believed to be responsible for North Korea getting nuclear weapons, involved much less utter bungling and inanity.

OBAMA, HOLDER AND A BUSH ERA “WITCH HUNT”

Nearly every legal expert in the world, including almost universal outrage among the legal community is Israel, has called this one of the most insane acts of abuse of any country that claims to have a functioning legal system and representative form of government.

Even the alleged “suspicious acts,” which are, by the way, buying totally legal and harmless gun accessories, is in itself totally insane.  Am I going to have to register that dangerous combat assault flashlight I keep by my desk for when I drop my reading glasses?

Any idiot who goes to gun shows knows that the weapons that small children carry around in Afghanistan are ten times better than the things Americans can get from sporting good stores or thru mail order.  Every time an American collector sees a photograph of a Taliban member who owns 2 goats carrying an AK rifle with forged receiver and top quality ART sniper scope, something worth $3000 or more in the US, the insanity of purchasing 3rd rate clone parts in the US to ship to a country that has enough assault rifles to supply the world for centuries begins to sink in.

Where is the NRA and ACLU?

AMERICAN ANTI-GUN CRAZIES

Even if we weren’t dealing with a kidnapped and raped mother facing trial for, not terrorism but for showing super human powers and violating, not terrorist laws but, moreover, the laws of physics themselves, I can’t help but come back to an old theme.

If I buy a semi-automatic shotgun and the Black Helicopter Secret Police raid my home, is a US Attorney going to call it a “ultra-high powered special operations assault mid caliber artillery piece?”

Is my Ruger 10/22, purchased for plinking tin cans going to be an assault machine gun?

However, when Dr. Hasan went on his terror campaign at Ft. Hood using an FN Herstal 5.7mm 20 round assault pistol with classified ammunition available ONLY to our special operations troops, ammo specially designed for penetrating body armor, newspapers, TV, everyone was silent.  We can be so very “uncurious” when we need to.  I am still waiting to find out why we are concealing this.

WHO IS THE VICTIM HERE?

These things are obvious.  We paid criminals to kidnap an innocent person for cheap public relations gain, elections were coming up and our War on Terror was looking as phony as, well as phony as it actually is.

Then, after years of rape and torture, this frail Islamic woman tries to fight back, or so we are told, told by people who imprison innocent people, rape and torture.  Are these witnesses we would have in an American court?

She already considers herself dead.  What human can survive such brutality, injustice, humiliation and abuse.  Who are the real victims here?

Americans who know nothing of the trial, American who sat silently while this went on, Americans who thought their cowardice was buying them “safety.”

We are the victims because we are despised around the world for brutality and injustice we know nothing of because we gave up our free press and our love of honor for, well, I don’t actually know.  A picture of Sarah Palin comes to mind, her or “Joe the Plumber.”

and so it goes