Today Alan P. Gross’s lawyer and wife have said that the 64 year old man plans to take his own life rather than serve the remaining 11 years of his 15 year sentence in a Cuban prison. Gross was on a hunger strike for 9 days in April when his mother, who recently died of cancer, told him to discontinue it. In a statement on his behalf it was said that he had lost more than 100 pounds (not all due to the hunger strike), is losing vision in one eye, and his hips are failing. Gross is a former U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor who was also a volunteer field organizer in 2008 for President Obama’s campaign.
In 2009 Gross set up an unauthorized Internet network for the Cuban Jewish community while working for the USAID. He brought in satellite phones and computer equipment for the Jewish community in clear violation of Cuban law. He did not identify himself as a representative of the U.S. government but rather as part of a Jewish humanitarian group. Yet when he was arrested he had a high-tech chip that keeps satellite phone transmission from being located within a 250 mile radius. This chip is not easily available but the CIA, the Defense and State Departments (the latter oversees USAID) do have access to them. A USAID spokesman claims that they did not help him acquire the chip – but that is probably not true. It does look very much like Alan Gross did commit a crime under Cuban law and he went there deliberately to do so. Although I cannot help but wonder if his handler at USAID didn’t say something like ‘don’t worry, we will handle all the paper work, all you have to do is . . .’ and made it seem like something irregular, but not illegal.
U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lethinen has referred to his treatment by the Cuban government as an effort to get a prisoner exchange (there are a number of Cuban spies they want back). Although not a threat to Cuba, his actions are considered an affront to Cuban sovereignty and Cuba has laws about ‘crimes against the state.’
Judy Gross, Alan’s wife, suggested there should be a swap, especially in light of the recent swap of five Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl. She said in a statement that "My husband and I need President Obama to do everything in his power to end this nightmare and bring Alan home from Cuba now."
U.S. and Cuban officials did not have immediate comment, but Jay Carney, White House spokesman said last December 3 that he ‘doesn't know whether the president has seen the letter penned by a U.S. government contractor jailed in Cuba, in which he expressed fear that the United States had "abandoned" him.’ But according to JJ ‘Obama is personally engaged in freeing Alan Gross.’ Yeah, right. Could Gross have done a more to help Obama get elected? Yes, but would it have helped? Probably not, after all Gross is white and Jewish. One only needs to remember that Obama threw the white grandmother who raised him under the bus.
As a result of this case it seems to me that 1) it is clear that we do leave our men behind (except traitors), and 2) Alan and Judy Gross may want to reconsider their trust in Obama and their delusional belief in him. It is hard to see how Judy Gross could continue to trust Obama, and it seems unlikely that Alan Gross does anymore, after all, he has already spent four years in a communist prison paradise.
Watercolor painting will be difficult from a hospital bed with a feeding tube down your nose won't it?? Just asking because of the large number of Gitmo terrorists on hunger strikes who are being force fed. What would a painting by a terrorist look like?
(CNSNews.com) – Guantanamo Bay is looking for seminar
instructors to teach terrorist detainees, among other things, how to
paint with watercolors, and use Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.
The terrorist detention facility has issued asolicitation for “Detainee Library and Seminar Services,” which was updated on May 28.
The solicitation calls for a new contractor to provide “intellectual
stimulation” to the captured terrorists, through seminars that cover
everything from Arabic calligraphy to Adobe Photoshop.
“The objective of stated services is to provide routine Library
services and Detainee Seminars, such as Literacy, Nutrition,
Horticulture, Science and Art Programs, as well as Life Skills programs
to the JDG detainee population (166 detainees),” states thePerformance Work Statement submitted by the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay. (continue at CNSNews)
What is all of this costing US taxpayers?
Inquiries to the Joint Task Force at GTMO were not returned by publication of this story.
In an article timed perfectly with President Barack Obama's new push to close the facillity at Guantanamo and a self-published book by Terry Holdbrooks Jr., the New York Daily News publishes this article about how Holdbrooks was touched by the faith of the detainees and converted to Islam. The article says, As a teenager, Holdbrooks had searched for truths in several different
religions. He came to Guantanamo convinced that all monotheistic
religions were evil.
Some key quotes:
Despite the trying situations, Holdbrooks noticed that the men he
talked to clung to their faith. He wondered how they could believe that
there was a god who cared about them.
“I had all the freedom in the world,” he recalls. “But I was waking up
unhappy while these men were in cages, smiling and praying five times a
We see that Holdbrooks had no faith, no religion, was young, impressionable, and a perfect potential convert for the terrorists.
But over the course of several months, as Holdbrooks started speaking
to the detainees and reading the Quran, he began to find some truth in
“The Quran is the simplest book in the world to read. It doesn’t have
magic. It doesn’t contradict itself,” Holdbrooks said. “It’s simply an
instruction manual for living.”
The faith lives of the detainees seemed to be proof that the instruction manual could work.
Holdbrooks took the leap in December 2003. In the presence of the
prisoners, he read out a statement of faith that confirmed him as a
His life changed drastically when he came back to America. He said he
spent years trying to drink away memories of Guantanamo. He was
honorably discharged from the Army in October 2005 for “generalized
Yes, their lives were a fine example of what the Koran teaches. Remember these fine Muslims were caught on the battle field with al-Qaeda or the Taliban either actively killing Americans or involved in plotting and/or assisting America's enemies. Fine examples and someone Holdbrooks found as role models.
The ex-U.S. Army employee converted to Islam in 2003, inspired by the
faith of the Guantanamo detainees he was charged with watching. Since
then, he says he has lost his friends, received violent threats, and
been labeled a “race traitor” online.
But he hasn’t gone quietly. The 29-year-old has done his fair share of
media and has even signed on for a job as a speaker for the Muslim Legal Fund of America. Now the devout Muslim is racking up frequent flyer miles and touring the country with what he calls the “truth about Gitmo.”
“Gitmo was supposed to be a cushy deployment since we were just going
to babysit detainees,” Holdbrooks said. “But it changed me.”
The Phoenix, Ariz., resident spent the year between 2003 and 2004
guarding U.S. military prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was often
given the job of escorting detainees to interrogation rooms. He says he
witnessed atrocities committed by his fellow American soldiers that he
never thought were possible.
What were those atrocities? Detainees were put in stress positions for eight hours until they defecated themselves; prisoners shackled to the ground with the air conditioner set high, then
doused with cold water. He said that menstrual blood was smeared on
their faces and that they were forced to hear the same music on repeat
Then, Holdbrooks decided to renew his commitment to Islam. He stopped
drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. He put a stop to promiscuity and
profanity. He found discipline in prayer.
And he started speaking out.
“Islam teaches you that if you see an injustice in the world, you
should do anything within your power to stop it,” Holdbrooks said.
Read it all here. I'm betting the detainees see him as yet another useful idiot for the cause.
A South Florida
money-laundering network secretly transferred more than $30 million in
illegal Medicare profits through a remittance firm with shell companies
in not only Canada and Trinidad, but also in Mexico, according to court
records filed Monday.
Evidence of the widening network into Mexico surfaced in
the federal plea agreement of a one-time Miami medical equipment
provider who pleaded guilty Friday to his role in the money-laudering
Kirian Vega, 35, who owned Ozain Pharmacy in another
person’s name, billed more than $600,000 in false claims to the
taxpayer-funded Medicare program and received about $400,000.
According to the plea agreement, Vega admitted he used a Florida
check-cashing store to launder $124,000 of the tainted proceeds in 2009
through the shell companies of the offshore remittance company,
Court documents show that money was wired to
Turismo dos Polos in Mexico, which transferred a portion — $45,000 — to
another shell company, Communications Sophie, in Trinidad. That money
was then sent to an unidentified travel agency in Cuba, records show.
month, Caribbean Transfers was accused in an indictment of financing
the complex money-laundering ring that moved millions in stolen Medicare
money, mostly from South Florida, through shell companies in Canada and
Trinidad and finally into Cuba’s banking system. (continue reading at McClatchy)
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/06/173754/feds-florida-money-laundering.html#storylink=cpy
“I love Cuba!” bellowed comedian Jim Belushi last week from a Havana stage. The comedian, who cashed-in on his comedian brother’s name, was giving a stand-up routine as guest of honor of a regime whose “constitution” mandates two years in prison for any subject overheard cracking a joke about Belushi’s host, Fidel Castro.
Jim Belushi was basking as master of ceremonies of Cuba’s Cigar Festival, which—while auctioning cigars to millionaire and billionaire businessmen from around the world — raised over one million for the regime that jailed, exiled and murdered most of Cuba’s businessmen. Fidel Castro’s son Tony was chuckling from a ringside seat.
Cuba’s tobacco farmers and cigar makers all had their livelihoods stolen at Soviet gunpoint in 1960. The recalcitrant (i.e. people who balked at having their life’s work stolen by Stalinists) were sent to firing squads, torture chambers, forced labor camps and exile. Shortly afterwards, Cuba’s minister of industries, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, “nationalized” and “consolidated” Cuba’s cigar industry. (continue reading at FrontPageMag, hat tip Darwin's Racists)
Castronomics=Castro + gastronomics, i.e. Castro dictates regarding the rationing of food in Cuba. These dictates change from time to time but are done to control where, what, and how much food can be purchased, and determines how much may be consumed per person. In other words, the government controls what Cubans eat.
Cuba once had the 8th highest wages on earth and, according to the 1960 Statistical Yearbook of the UN, Cuba ranked third of eleven Latin American countries for being well-fed. Then Fidel Castro took power, and rationing has been a feature of life in Cuba ever since. Today the people of Cuba are among the worse fed people in the Western Hemisphere. By contrast, in pre-Castro Cuba, the Cubans were among the best fed in the Western Hemisphere.
Where you aware that Fidel Castro is setting up shop in the White House? American’s first lady of Castronomics. Lady Castronomics delights in creating new methods of serving up the greater good, more in tune with the times than the dictates of her Cuban brethern. One must admire (and she craves admiration) her ingenuity, for indeed her methods are ingenious (if diabolical). Under the guise of being helpful, serving the “greater good”, and that old stand-by, “concern for the children”, she has found new methods of rationing, and more victims, or as she likes to call them, “people in need” (of her guidance).
Cuba, America’s little communist island neighbor to the south is doing a little bit of government restructuring. Fidel Castro has just finished the last stage of what has been an incremental step-down from power. In 2006, Fidel Castro handed over temporary power to his brother Raúl while the Communist dictator underwent a series of intestinal surgeries. In 2008, Raúl Castro was appointed as president of Cuba but the process was only recently finalized when Cuban President Raúl Castro selected José Ramón Machado as the second in command.
It’s difficult to be a hard-line communist country these days and with China turning its economic system decidedly capitalistic; Cuba remains one of the last closest holdouts to the old Soviet Union days when communism had that true Stalinist red flare. But like all the other countries that have attempted the Marxist quest for utopia, communism is also dying out in Cuba, and dying fast. The first signs of change come straight from President Raúl Castro. As reported by Randal Archibold in the New York Times, President Castro is publicly recognizing that the Cuban economy has major problems, and he is creating a positive environment for small business expansion. Furthermore, the door has been opened for citizens to buy and sell homes. This is a big deal for communist Cuba.
Outwardly, Cuba still raises the communist banner firmly affixed to the island country following the Fidel Castro revolution that began back in 1959. Machado’s appointment temporarily fortified the old communist guard. But even though Machado is an old revolutionary communist hardliner, his appointment also reflects the fragile state of communism in Cuba. The fact of the matter is that communism in Cuba is an old man’s game. The hard-line revolutionaries are simply aging away. Fidel Castro, 84, is not long for this world and his younger brother Raúl, 79, is no spring chicken. Despite talks of bringing in new blood to the higher echelons of Cuban government, Machado, 80, is Cuba’s current backup plan should President Raúl Castro have to step down. Why not bring in some young successors? The Machado appointment is one of necessity for Castro as years of dictatorial power hoarding have created a Cuba that lacks younger hard-line communist blood. The situation now is that the communist country of Cuba is running on the fleeting fear of Fidel and copious amounts of Geritol.
The reality of Cuba’s future is hinged on the younger generations that have not been allowed into the higher levels of the Castro administration. Those that have had the opportunity to see the disintegration of the Soviet Union under communism, and may be able place it into a proper context. The next generation of Cuban leadership, which will soon see the opportunity to run the island nation, may very well seize upon the baby steps toward capitalism that President Castro will have taken to economically stabilize the country. Even with the old communist line still being forwarded, there is an air of inevitability when we look at Cuba’s future.
In the end, while Fidel Castro may have survived the Bay of Pigs, economic embargos, his own Frankenstein’s monster in the sociopathic murderer Che Guevara and the fall of Cuba’s highly revered ally in the Soviet Union, the communist system in Cuba is destined to fail. The thriving black market system in Cuba has been a glaring example of the people’s desire to buy products on their own terms. Inevitably, people not only get tired of ration cards and being told on which days they are allowed to buy products, they also simply desire the opportunity to be allowed to make their own way in life. Communism has truly failed the people of Cuba, and America’s light is too close and shines too brightly upon the island country for the reality of economic and personal freedom to be hidden forever. In many ways President Raúl Castro probably sees this and may crack the door open at bit more to capitalistic ventures to ease the longstanding economic pain in his country. As the Grim Reaper claims the last of the jungle revolutionaries of the Cuban Communist Party, Fidel Castro’s Marxian experiment will eventually be laid on the trash heap of history and Cuba will be reborn.
Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books including the 2010 release "Oliver's Tale: A Squirrels Story of Love, Courage and Revolution." Paul is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association’s 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 award-winning radio program, Conscience of Kansas airing on KSDB Manhattan 91.9 FM, www.ibbetsonusa.com. For interviews or questions, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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