Turning back the tide of information overload with a digest of the latest developments in news conservatives need to pay attention to:
† Multiculturalism: Jihad by other means: At Saturday’s arraignment for September 11 terror defendant Walid bin Attash, his counsel Cheryl Bormann – who is not herself a Muslim, but chose to wear a burqa out of “respect” for her client’s Muslim beliefs – complained to Judge James Pohl about the way the female prosecutors at the military tribunal are dressed, Lawfare blog reports:
I am not suggesting that all of the women wear what I am wearing, she concedes. But I am suggesting that the prosecution team should make decisions regarding the appropriateness of the dress of female members so that our clients are not afraid to look at prosecutors for fear of committing a sin under their faith. My client understands that this commission is in the form of a westernized court system, she says, but he and I are asking that the prosecution use some discretion in wearing clothing appropriate for courtroom procedure. …
None of the female prosecutors are wearing bikinis, but [prosecutor Mark Martins] does not respond directly to the suggestion that business suits and military uniforms are just too edgy for the delicate moral sensibilities of men accused of blowing up hundreds of people. Instead, he simply notes that all members of the prosecution team are qualified under the rules of military commissions. All are sworn. And no member of the prosecution has acted in any manner that might tend to disqualify him or her in this proceeding.
Bormann tacitly admits that according to the tenets of “the religion of peace,” it’s not a sin to have the blood of thousands of innocents (AKA “infidels”) on your hands, only to be unable to control your nether regions if you see a bit of ankle or the nape of a woman’s neck. FOX News reports that Bormann made an issue of what other women in the courtroom were wearing because, "When you're on trial for your life, you need to be focused":
"If because of someone's religious beliefs, they can't focus when somebody in the courtroom is dressed in a particular way, I feel it is incumbent upon myself [sic] as a counsel to point that out and ask for some consideration from the prosecution," she said. "Suffice to say it was distracting to members of the accused."
In fact, so much consideration was given Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants that a proceeding that “should have taken a couple of hours at most … lasted almost 13 hours, including meal and prayer breaks, as the men appeared to make a concerted effort to stall Saturday's hearing”:
The defendants' behavior outraged 9/11 family members watching on closed-circuit video feeds around the United States at East Coast military bases. One viewer shouted, "C'mon, are you kidding me?" at the Fort Hamilton base in Brooklyn.
A handful of people who lost family members in the attacks and were selected by a lottery to attend the proceedings watched in the courtroom.
"They're engaging in jihad in a courtroom," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother, Charles, was the pilot of the plane that flew into the Pentagon. She watched the proceeding from Brooklyn.
Editorial Note: This Ain't Hell live blogged Saturday’s hearing from a CCTV broadcast from Gitmo and will continually provide updates as the trial gets under way.
† Is Obama Already A Lame Duck?: President Barack Hussein Obama kicked off his re-election campaign on Saturday with is first “official” campaign speech at Ohio State University, the largest college in a crucial swing state – and almost nobody came, Brietbart site Big Government reports:
According to ABC News, the Obama campaign had expected an "overflow" of people. Instead, the arena looked half-empty. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Obama organizers even had people move from the seats to the floor of the gym in order to project a larger crowd on television.
According to the Toledo Blade, the venue for Obama's rally seats 20,000 but "there were a lot of empty seats." Comparatively, Obama drew a crowd of 35,000 at Ohio State when he campaigned for former Governor Ted Strickland in 2010.
To be fair, though, the same thing happened to Obama’s presumptive challenger, Mitt Romney, back in February when he delivered an economic address to a largely empty Ford Field in Detroit.
† What freedom of speech means to Muslims: A panel of five Tunisian judges convicted Nessma TV owner Nabil Karoui of “disturbing public order” and “threatening public morals” and levied a $1,600 fine. His offense? Broadcasting the Academy Award nominated animated French film “Persepolis,” which includes “a fleeting image of G-d,” The Washington Post reports:
Prosecutors and lawyers representing Islamist groups argued that [he] should be sentenced to prison for up to five years. At least two lawyers called for the death penalty.
In a verdict posted without explanation on a courtroom wall, the judges decided a case that had brought hundreds of Tunisian lawyers to argue over the limits of free speech in a fledgling democracy just 15 months after a revolution. …
One of Karoui’s attorneys, Abada Kefi, said he had “hoped that today would be a celebration of freedom of expression and media here in Tunisia, but this is rather an occasion for mourning. This decision is a strike against creativity and freedom of expression.” He said Karoui would appeal Chief Judge Faouzi Jebali’s ruling to a higher court.
The U.S. ambassador to Tunisia, Gordon Gray, issued a statement condemning the decision. “I am concerned and disappointed by this conviction for Nessma television’s broadcast of an animated film previously approved for distribution by the Tunisian government,” Gray said. “His conviction raises serious concerns about tolerance and freedom of expression in the new Tunisia.”
† The Right To Bear Arms Belongs To Us All: Part II: “After a protracted political battle that spanned four administrations,” gun rights advocates are cheering a revision to a Department of Conservation and Recreation regulation to permit visitors to VA state parks to openly carry guns (related article, seventh item on the page), The Washington Times reports:
Republicans for a decade have sought to clarify whether the state has legal authority to enforce gun bans and were supported by opinions from two GOP attorneys general. …
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said changing the regulation carries more significance than a mere letter or directive because it will make it more difficult for future governors to undo. …
People 18 and older in Virginia who can legally own a gun can carry one openly in the state without a permit, as long as it's visible and holstered. But they were not allowed to bring a gun into a state park. Repealing that regulation affects a significantly larger swath of the gun-owning population because there are far more legal gun owners than concealed-carry permit holders. …
Since [Gov. Bob McDonnell] ordered the department to stop enforcing the gun-ban regulations [in January 2011], Virginia officials have not had any incidents directly related to the law no longer being enforced, according to regulatory documents.
"Additionally, some visitors may feel safer as a result of their ability to open carry firearms on the Department's properties," the documents state.