Sick Sad World

Scant Coverage of Obama Assassination Plot
Was the U.S. media admirably discreet or just plain ineffectual in covering news of the arrest of three men suspected of plotting to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at Invesco Field?

Mandatory evacuations to begin Sunday morning in New Orleans

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city beginning 8 a.m. Sunday but urged residents to consider escaping "the mother of all storms" before then. "You need to be scared," Nagin said of the Category 4 hurricane tearing along Cuba's western coast. "You need to be concerned, and you need to get your butts moving out of New Orleans right now. This is the storm of the century."

Nagin warned that all but a "skeleton crew" of city workers would be leaving the city and said local authorities could not promise help for those who choose to stay behind. "This is very, very serious, and we need you to heed this warning," he said. "We really don't have the resources to rescue you after this."

Blackwater Gears Up For Gustav

Blackwater has issued a shout-out for armed security officers for possible deployment under their DHS contract in the wake of Hurricane Gustav. Officers must have a firearms license -- and those with revolver-only status need not apply. [...] Last time out, during Katrina, Blackwater mercenaries were patrolling New Orleans in full battle dress and with assault weapons in what some called an end-run around Posse Comitatus. It looks like they're ready to do it again.

War Powers in Perpetuity

Tucked deep into a recent proposal from the Bush administration is a provision that has received almost no public attention, yet in many ways captures one of President Bush's defining legacies: an affirmation that the United States is still at war with Al Qaeda.

The language, part of a proposal for hearing legal appeals from detainees at the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, goes beyond political symbolism. Echoing a measure that Congress passed just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, it carries significant legal and public policy implications for Mr. Bush, and potentially his successor, to claim the imprimatur of Congress to use the tools of war, including detention, interrogation and surveillance, against the enemy, legal and political analysts say.

The cumulative effect of the actions, Ms. Spaulding said, is to "put the onus on the next administration" -- particularly a Barack Obama administration -- to justify undoing what Mr. Bush has done.

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15 Responses:

  1. sir_bissel says:

    They've kinda been telling people to gtfo from all of southern Louisiana since at least Wednesday. And all the Wal*Marts in Baton Rouge are closed now, if that says anything.

  2. allartburns says:

    WTF is a "firearms license". There is no such thing at the federal level, and I've never heard of one for any city/state I've lived in.

    There are things like "licensed security guard" or "concealed carry license", and there are expensive things like "license to make/repair a fully automatic weapon".

    But a "firearms license"? Never heard of it. Sounds like someone is making stuff up or clueless.

    Not to in any way defend Blackwater, btw, but bloggers need to get their fucking facts in order before they go spouting off. I mean, I heard that in UNIX you can actually kill things! Shouldn't that be illegal?!

    • jwz says:

      Oh, so in your world, firearms aren't licensed?

      Your terminological nitpickery aside, it's on Blackwater's web site, as 30 seconds of clickery-pokery would have told you.

      • allartburns says:

        No, firearms generally aren't "licensed", save for perhaps Washington D.C., NYC, and a few other places. Many states issue a license to carry a concealed weapon and the feds issue licenses to buy/sell/manufacture firearms as a business. People with $$$$$ can buy tax stamps and pass extensive background checks to own Class III (aka "fully auto") firearms manufactured before 1986. However, these are so amazingly expensive nobody in their right mind would actually carry one in a tactical situation. (>$20K for a pre-86 weapon vs. ~$2K for a military issue / LEO weapon provided by federal or state law enforcement.)

        And, yes, I looked at Blackwater's site. They want current LEO (law enforcement) and licensed security guards; which is quite different than wanting random individuals with some sort of "firearms license".

        • skreidle says:

          In many unfortunate places, one is required to have a license to possess a firearm.

          • allartburns says:

            I would say "a few", not "many". DC and NYC come immediately to mind as places where you need a permit/license to own a handgun.

            But that's beside the point. Blackwater isn't looking for people with a "firearms license", they're looking for active-duty LEO and licensed security guards. Both of those are way more complex than having a "firearms license".

        • kevinspencer says:

          Where did anyone claim they wanted random individuals?

        • scullin says:

          Obviously they should have said "governmentally vetted people shooters."

  3. korgmeister says:

    Strange to hear that Obama's assasination attempt got little coverage. It was on the front page of some newspapers in Australia.

    (Much amusement was had at the white trash yokel appereance of Obama's would-be assasins)

    • benediktus says:

      same over here. albeit mostly because of the racist/fascist background.

    • It got coverage here in Seattle too, pretty minor because of the local cops' evaluation that the guys had neither the ability nor concrete plans to actually kill Obama. I think what we have here is a case of the cops and the press not overreacting, and then getting flak from people who wish their media were more hysterical.

    • rapier1 says:

      It got coverage here in PA. I know it was on fox, msnbc, cnn, and a view other sources as well. Supposedly it wasn't really that much of a plot. Maybe thats why it didn't get a *lot* of coverage.

  4. divergio says:

    Every time I read it I think it says "Mandatory executions to New Orleans"

    Either evacuating the prisons is too expensive, or they're just going to kill anyone left in the city before the hurricane gets there...presumably for insurance reasons.