Ameican Iliad
al-Qa'ida plans to attack targets that they believe would be readily recognized as representing U.S. economic interests. Additional information suggests operatives may try a variety of other attack strategies, such as destroying key rail bridges and sections of track to cause derailments or targeting hazardous material containers.
--FBI Press Release

Saturday, February 12, 2005

A mind boggling new strategy in the war on terror

John posted this shocking bit of analysis from this blog. It is UNBELIEVABLE!
Remember that Osama Bin Laden guy? Wondering how that whole War on Terror business is going?
Apparently, our close ally Pakistan is trying a new tactic: giving money to Al Qaeda.
The BBC reports:
Pakistan says it has paid 32m rupees ($540,000) to help four former wanted tribal militants in South Waziristan settle debts with al-Qaeda
Military operations chief in the region, Lt Gen Safdar Hussain, said the payments were part of a peace deal signed on Monday with tribesmen.
It is the first time Pakistan has admitted making such payments.
(First time admitting it?! Does that mean there have been other payoffs that were kept quiet?)
The South Asia Tribune is more pointed than the BBC:

[The] Pakistan Army has publicly admitted paying Al Qaeda over half a million dollars in the most bizarre deal it has ever made with militant Waziristan fighters, [who have been] battling the Army and the US forces in the rugged terrain bordering Afghanistan for months…
…General Hussain said the the payments were part of a peace deal signed on Monday with tribesmen, but the public admission that money had been paid to be transferred to Al Qaeda stunned analysts and diplomatic observers in Islamabad.
Also, Pakistan’s Daily Times had reported earlier that the ceremony for this “peace deal” was marked by “Taliban militants shouting ‘Death to America’”

The Daily Times editorial board was critical of the deal:
It sounded very much like the “peace” ceremony last year with Nek Muhammad, the Wazir “Taliban commander” with Al Qaeda connections …
...But where is the honour of the government of Pakistan and how has it redeemed it in the long drawn out “war with Al Qaeda” in the Tribal Areas?
The “deal” with Nek Muhammad fell through before the ink was dry on it and the man had finally to be killed with a missile, but not before he became a ‘hero’ of sorts despite his not so honourable personal profile in the area where he operated.
So, you can see why Dubya said just a few weeks ago that:

[The] Pakistan government has been aggressive in pursuit of al Qaeda targets in Waziristan.
And I appreciate the work of President Musharraf.
He came the other day, on a Saturday morning to the White House and it was an opportunity to thank him once again for some of the bold steps he's taken.
If this wasn’t ridiculous enough, it gets worse.
While four wanted militants accepted the payoff, a fifth rejected it, Abdullah Mehsud. The South Asia Tribune called him the “main militant rebel”.
The "main militant rebel" was actually in custody at Gitmo for two years. He was released last year.
According to NBC News, It’s unclear whether Mehsud was a hardcore militant who tricked the US into releasing him, or if he was radicalized at Gitmo and became hardcore upon release.
So in recent days, we have our main War on Terror ally paying off Al Qaeda, while being snubbed by a former prisoner.
We have North Korea getting nukes while we sat idly by.

We have the likelihood that the Administration
delayed revealing until after the election
what the FAA knew about potential suicide hijackings before 9/11.
We have a newly revealed Richard Clarke memo, showing that Condi lied when she said “no Al Qaeda threat was turned over to the new administration”
But leaving aside all that, the War on Terror is going just fine. We got 'em on the run.
(UPDATE 2/11/05 2:30 PM ET -- Discussion of this post is happening at Alan S' Daily Kos diary.)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Train Wrecks #40

January 21, 2005 Norfolk VA

January 17, 2005 Rockfield IN

The second accident, directly above, is an automobile / train accident. I have deliberately excluded this type of accident because of the suicidal nature of it. My opinion was changed by the January 9, 2005 NY Times front page article and Fux's "24" season premiere.

Previous post.

Norfolk Southern News

Train Wreck #39

January 6, 2005 Elliston KY
The lead engine collided with debris on the track that caused its two engines and 10 of the 41 cars to derail, she said.

The train was carrying automobiles from Toledo, Ohio, to Louisville, Scheu said.

Train Wreck #22 Update - NTSB Report

This train accident (Train Wreck #22) happened the summer before September 11, 2001. It is one of the most "spectacular" train accidents in this blogs data set.

January 6, 2005 Update by Kasey Jones (can you believe that name?)
On July 18, 2001, 11 cars of a 60-car train, including tankers containing toxic acids, derailed inside the tunnel that runs under the city's central business district.

A tanker carrying tripropylene was punctured and the chemical caught fire. Around that same time, a 40-inch water main directly above the tunnel ruptured, sending water into the tunnel, collapsing several city streets and flooding nearby buildings.

The damage shut down the city for days, postponing baseball games, causing millions of dollars in damage to businesses and forcing the city to pay overtime for emergency crews and cleanup.

Index of NTSB on railroad accidents

TRain Wreck #38

January 31, 2005 Gallup, NM
The accident led to a 600-gallon spill of ethanol -- a highly flammable substance -- forcing the closure of part of Route 66 for three hours and the evacuation of nearby businesses.

January 31, 2005 was a busy day for train wrecks

Train Wreck #37

February 9, 2003,Tamaroa IL
Nearly two years after the train derailment and chemical spill that left Tamaroa a ghost town for several days in February 2003, the federal government has issued its final report outlining reasons why the accident happened....
Four of the derailed cars contained methanol, which fueled a fire at the accident site. Other cars containing vinyl chloride, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde released chemicals but were not involved in the fire. Estimates say that the chemical cars were carrying between 23,000 and 30,000 gallons of liquids.

NTSB Report
Two cars containing hydrochloric acid, one car containing formaldehyde, and one car containing vinyl chloride released product but were not involved in the fire. About 850 residents were evacuated from the area within a 3-mile radius of the derailment, which included the entire village of Tamaroa.

Train Wreck #36

January 9, 2005 Letohatchee, AL
This is an example of simple, good reporting
"I saw sparks coming from it. I knew he had a car on the ground and when he hit that switch he was going to derail," says Smith.

He immediately called his son, a CSX engineer, who lives next door. Smith says, "I was on the phone trying to head him off. I should have known I couldn't stop him in that amount of time."

According to John, it took the engineer a couple of miles before he realized what had happened. He also says he was told the train was carrying hazardous materials. Fortunately those cars did not derail. "If they had derailed, we would have had to leave home," says Smith.

Disaster Site

Some spice in "this best of all possible worlds" collated by Dan Dubno of CBS News.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Train Wreck #35

January 15, 2005 - Houston, TX

Of the 26 derailed cars, 13 carried plastic pellets, four carried steel, three carried coke, five were empty, and one had flammable liquid. One virtually empty tank car that previously contained methanol leaked about 20 gallons that was still left in the car.

Train Wreck #34

January 16, 2004 - Bristow, OK

Six cars near the center of the train jumped the track and hit a bridge.

Train Wreck #33

January 18, 2005 - Knoxville, TN

dumped nearly 2,000 tons of coal....
"It was like a big, huge explosion. It rocked the whole house. I live in this house right here and you could hear the windows just vibrating and rattling,"

Train Wreck #32

December 22, 2004 - Paris, IL

One month later:
Taylor said removal of the spilled soybean meal from the derailed boxcars continued this week....
Monitoring and pumping from the French drain installed to contain spilled diesel fuel from the derailed engines also continues....
Taylor pointed out this will be a long-term project to ensure the safety of the nearby west Twin Lakes water supply. ...

One additional minor derailment of a car on a switching line near Court Street in Paris also occurred this past week

Train Wreck #31

January 17, 2005 - Gully, MN

January 16, 2005 - Gallatin, TN
A Gallatin family was forced from their home afer a train literally derailed in their front yard.....
"I lost my mother a month ago and she had rose bushes out here that she was very proud of and it took them all out and I'll never be able to replace them," said Diane Gray.

Train Wreck #30

January 31, 2005 Croom, MD

January 20, 2005 Washington, DC
Two cars of an Amtrak train headed from Washington to New York left the tracks last Thursday. No one was hurt, but it caused major delays.

January 16, 2005- Bellows Falls Vermont
Who is on the ball?
The accident happened early in the morning on Sunday, Jan. 16, and no local residents reported it.
Railroad companies do not have to call local authorities unless there is substantial property damage or injury.
The train left the track near Granger Street for an unknown reason and struck a building.

January 18, 2005 - Schoolcraft, MI
The nonflammable oil spilled from one of the tanker cars.

This time of year has had clusters of train accidents for a couple of years running.

Train Wreckage #29

Lets not forget NYC. The night of this years blizzard, January 22, a fire broke out in an important electrical switching room. The initial cause of the fire was a homeless person, but the MTA catagorically and definitively announced yesterday the cause was unknowable!
NY Times
After what fire marshals called "a thorough investigation" of the Jan. 23 fire that gutted a signal relay room at the Chambers Street subway station, they have determined that there is "no conclusive information to arrive at a definitive cause for this fire." Officially, the cause of the fire will be listed as "not ascertained," a relatively rare determination.Sewell Chan (NYT)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Train Wreck #28

January, 15, 2005 Los Angeles CA - 11 Dead

Train Wreck #27

January 7, 2005, Avondale Mills, SC

9 Dead

January 31, 2005, East Deer, PA
A train derailed in East Deer this morning, prompting the evacuation of nearby homes, and sending train cars containing a hazardous material into the Allegheny River.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Anyone seen tonight's "24"

I am boycotting fux, but "this train wreck occurs between seven and eight AM".

Or this mornings New York Times

Thursday, December 30, 2004

God's Christmas Present to America Arrives a Day Late 2 Years in a Row

The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, but one must be wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.

Abraham Lincoln September 1862 from Anonymous, Through Our Enemies Eyes pg. ix

Well the last two years running God has weighed in mightily, as only God can do, on the side of America.

Remember what happened to that Axis of Evil country Iran last December 26

America the "Cheapskate" or God's "Master Plan"??!

Some freedom haters say America has a "perception problem" because of its niggardlyness towards the tsunami victims.

CNN Video

The death of one terrorist soldier, capo, general, messenger, logistics man, signal operator, etc. is better than one potential new recruit.

Theologically speaking, if God wants to prosecute America's faith based foreign policy, why should America work against God's plan by helping the terrorists?

God has taken this opportunity to teach a moral lesson to America in its less spectactular strikes against the terrorists. A little collatoral damage is not objectionable to God, as the deaths of a multitude of non terrorists demonsrate.

God Issues stunning rebuke to Al Qa'ida

Soldiers dump bodies from Sunday's tsunami into a mass grave Wednesday in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Video of Banda Aceh

Mike Chinoy: This is ground zero, the western coast of sumatra..."
Mike Griffiths: "There was no villages left standing, ...... its like a nuclear blast has hit the area...."
Mike Chinoy"Virtually every sign of life was wiped out"
Mike Griffiths:"'s vaporized...theres.... theres just nothing left, would not even recognize there was a town there."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

U.S. D.O.J: al-Qa'ida is targeting the U.S. railway sector

.... an intelligence update warning state and local law enforcement of recent reporting that al-Qa'ida is targeting the U.S. railway sector. Information from
debriefings of al-Qa'ida detainees as of mid-October indicates that the group has considered directly targeting U.S. passenger trains, possibly using operatives who have a Western appearance....

The U.S. Intelligence Community continues to assess that al-Qa'ida plans to attack targets that they believe would be readily recognized as representing U.S. economic interests. Additional information suggests operatives may try a variety of other attack strategies, such as destroying key rail bridges and sections of track to cause derailments or targeting hazardous material containers.

And on the subject of oil spills:
The attack of the French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen and additional information from al-Qa'ida detainees suggest plans exist to continue attacks against the global petroleum sector. According to this information, al-Qa'ida plans to weaken the petroleum industry by conducting additional sea based attacks against large oil tankers

Oil Spill #5 - Radio Piece about Threat to Suez Canal

From Washington: The security of ships and ports will be on the agenda in Washington today. The government and the shipping industry are meeting to talk about new ways to counter terrorism. The summit comes on the heels of a new warning about potential attacks by al Qaeda on maritime economic targets.

Good story, but audiofiles are hard to access on the marketplace site.