American al Qaeda Member

CNN reports that American Al Qaeda member has acknowledged that he has Jewish roots.

(CNN) — In a new anti-Israel, anti-U.S. video, an American al Qaeda member makes reference to his Jewish ancestry for the first time in an official al Qaeda message.In the video, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, discusses his roots as he castigates U.S. policies and deplores Israel’s offensive in Gaza that started in late December 2008 and continued into January.

“Let me here tell you something about myself and my biography, in which there is a benefit and a lesson,” Gadahn says, as he elicits support from his fellow Muslims for “our weapons, funds and Jihad against the Jews and their allies everywhere.”

“Your speaker has Jews in his ancestry, the last of whom was his grandfather,” he says.
Growing up in rural California, Gadahn embraced Islam in the mid-1990s, moved to Pakistan and has appeared in al Qaeda videos before.

He was indicted in the United States in 2006 on charges of treason and material support to al Qaeda, according to the FBI. Gadahn is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, with a reward of up to $1 million leading to his capture. FBI records show Gadahn’s date of birth as September 1, 1978.

The video — in which Gadahn speaks Arabic, with English subtitles — surfaced on Saturday.

This account is based on an English transcript provided by As-Sahab Media, the media production company used by al Qaeda.

Not a whole to be said. His speech proves that being a moron is not limited to any one group, race, color or creed. A moron, is a moron, is a moron.

But don’t let that fool you into not taking his threats seriously. This is war being waged in all arenas, be it through the media or on the ground.

There is nothing wrong with saying that some ideologies are morally superior and some are morally inferior. It is fine and good to say that we should respect other people’s beliefs, but there are lines that can be crossed and he has done so.

Flying buildings into planes, blowing up embassies and all of the other fine work that they take credit for makes it clear that they are members of an ideology that is morally bankrupt.

I am saddened and disappointed by this. The U.S. like many other countries has made many mistakes, but it has also done a tremendous amount of good for the world. The reality is that few countries have ever offered so many such tremendous opportunities as the U.S. does. It is not cliche to say that it is a place where dreams can come true.

It is too bad that Gadahn has positioned himself as the tool of such people, but he will get what he deserves.

Slaves Worked as Spies for The Union

I thought that this was interesting.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — William Jackson was a slave in the home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. It turns out he was also a spy for the Union Army, providing key secrets to the North about the Confederacy.

Jackson was Davis’ house servant and personal coachman. He learned high-level details about Confederate battle plans and movements because Davis saw him as a “piece of furniture” — not a human, according to Ken Dagler, author of “Black Dispatches,” which explores espionage by America’s slaves.

“Because of his role as a menial servant, he simply was ignored,” Dagler said. “So Jefferson Davis would hold conversations with military and Confederate civilian officials in his presence.”
Dagler has written extensively on the issue for the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence

late 1861, Jackson fled across enemy lines and was immediately debriefed by Union soldiers. Dagler said Jackson provided information about supply routes and military strategy.

“In Jackson’s case, what he did was … present some of the current issues that were affecting the Confederacy that you could not read about in the local press that was being passed back and forth across local lines. He actually had some feel for the issues of supply problems,” Dagler said.

Jackson and other slaves’ heroic efforts have been a forgotten legacy of the war — lost amid the nation’s racially charged past and the heaps of information about the war’s historic battles. But historians over the last few decades have been taking an interest in the sacrifice of African-Americans during those war years.

Jackson’s espionage is mentioned in a letter from a general to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell refers to “Jeff Davis’ coachman” as the source of information about Confederate deployments.

Dagler said slaves who served as spies were able to collect incredibly detailed information, in large part because of their tradition of oral history. Because Southern laws prevented blacks from learning how to read and write, he said, the slave spies listened intently to minute details and memorized them.

“What the Union officers found very quickly with those who crossed the line … was that if you talked to them, they remembered a great more in the way of details and specifics than the average person … because again they relied totally on their memory as opposed to any written records,” he said.

Jackson wasn’t the only spy. There were hundreds of them. In some cases, the slaves made it to the North, only to return to the South to risk being hanged. One Union general wrote that he counted on black spies in Tennessee because “no white man had the pluck to do it.”