Archive for September 13th, 2007

Researcher: Bin Laden’s Beard is Real, Video is Not

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

A video researcher has determined that the latest Bin Laden video has been heavily edited.

On the Friday before the sixth anniversary of 9/11, Osama bin Laden appeared in a new video, his first since prior to the U.S. presidential elections in 2004. In analyzing the video, Neal Krawetz of Hactor Factor, an expert on digital image forensics, said in his latest blogs that the video contained many visual and audio splices, and that all of the modifications were of very low quality.

Most striking is bin Laden’s beard, which has been gray in recent images. For this video it is black. “As far as my tools can detect, there has been no image manipulation of the bin Laden portion of the image beyond contrast adjustment. His beard really does appear to be that color.”

Krawetz says the inner frame of bin Laden was resaved at least twice, and not at the same time. The images show fine horizontal stripes on bin Laden and a background indicating these came from interlaced video sources. In contrast, the text elements, such as the As-Sahab logo, appear to be from non-interlaced sources.

The September 7 video shows bin Laden dressed in a white hat, white shirt and yellow sweater. Krawetz notes “this is the same clothing he wore in the 2004-10-29 video. In 2004 he had it unzipped, but in 2007 he zipped up the bottom half. Besides the clothing, it appears to be the same background, same lighting, and same desk. Even the camera angle is almost identical.” Krawetz also notes that “if you overlay the 2007 video with the 2004 video, his face has not changed in three years–only his beard is darker and the contrast on the picture has been adjusted.”

More important though are the edits. At roughly a minute and a half into the video there is a splice; bin Laden shifts from looking at the camera to looking down in less than 1/25th of a second. At 13:13 there is a second, less obvious splice. In all, Krawetz says there are at least six splices in the video. Of these, there are only two live bin Laden segments, the rest of the video composed of still images. The first live section opens the video and ends at 1:56. The second section begins at 12:29 and continues until 14:01. The two live sections appear to be from different recordings “because the desk is closer to the camera in the second section.”

Then there are the audio edits. Krawetz says “the new audio has no accompanying ‘live’ video and consists of multiple audio recordings.” References to current events are made only during the still frame sections and after splices within the audio track.” And there are so many splices that I cannot help but wonder if someone spliced words and phrases together. I also cannot rule out a vocal imitator during the frozen-frame audio. The only way to prove that the audio is really bin Laden is to see him talking in the video,” Krawetz says.

Original Link.

Hillary (Clinton) Just as Dirty as Bill (Clinton)

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

The Clintons are quite something. No wonder they got married. They’re two peas in a pod.

WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton’s campaign couldn’t explain yesterday why it blew off warnings about felon-turned-fund-raiser Norman Hsu – and the Daily News learned FBI agents are collecting e-mail evidence in the widening scandal.

Clinton was forced Monday to give back a whopping $850,000 raised by convicted scam artist Hsu after learning his investment ventures were being probed by the FBI as a potential Ponzi scheme.

She earlier gave to charity $23,000 Hsu donated himself after reports revealed he fled sentencing for a $1 million scam in California in 1992.

Yesterday, the campaign insisted it did all it should to vet Hsu after California businessman Jack Cassidy warned in June that Hsu’s investment operation was fishy. Cassidy e-mailed his tips to the California Democratic Party, which forwarded them to the Clinton campaign.

Cassidy did not want to talk about the case, saying he doesn’t want to jeopardize the FBI’s efforts. But he wants Hsu prosecuted. He told The News that Hsu was a reverse Robin Hood – “a hood robbin’ the poor to give to the rich.”

His warning “prompted a search of publicly available information, which did not reveal Mr. Hsu’s decade-plus-old warrant,” said Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson. He would not say why the campaign didn’t follow up on specifics Cassidy included to explain his suspicions.

“They knew [about Hsu], and they knew back in June,” a source told The News.

But are they really going to give the money back? Not a chance. Check out this convoluted quasi-money laundering scheme the Clintonites have come up with.

[N]ine months into her campaign, Mrs. Clinton is grappling with exactly the situation she feared — giving up nearly $900,000 that had been donated or raised by Norman Hsu, a one-time fugitive and one of her top fund-raisers, whose actions raise serious questions about how well the campaign vetted its donors. As a result, Mrs. Clinton now finds herself linked to a convicted criminal who brought in tens of thousands of dollars from potentially tainted sources.

The campaign is refunding $850,000 to these donors, viewing the money as tainted. Yet the campaign is also risking another public relations mess by saying that it would take back the money if it clearly came from the donor’s bank account, not from Mr. Hsu or another source. The risk is that Mrs. Clinton will appear to want more cash no matter whether it was once colored by a disgraced donor.

The campaign will try to get most of the donors to give the money back right after the refunds, said a senior Democratic strategist who advises Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. “That’s the plan,” the strategist said.

So let me get this straight:
Hsu wants to give the Clintons more money than is allowed by law. He gives the money to numerous donors who then take it and give it to the Clintons. The Clintons realize that it’s “tainted” money, so they give it back to the donors. You know, the same donors that shouldn’t have had it to begin with? Now she wants to turn around and get the money back. Money that she should never have had.

See-Dubya over at Michelle Malkin’s blog says it well:

If the worry is that Hsu was using at least some of these people as fronts so that he could exceed the federal limits on how much he could donate to Hillary, then how will the money be any less tainted if they re-gift it to her? I.e., if Hsu cuts John Doe a check for $100,000 and asks him to spread it around among Democrats A-Z, then giving that money back to John so that he can give it right back to you doesn’t “cleanse” it. It’s Hsu’s money; John never should have had it in the first place. If you donate the money to charity and then hit John up for a donation from his own bank account, that’s fine. But that ain’t what she’s planning to do. Exit question: Why not at least wait until the DOJ investigation of Hsu’s bundled donations is over so you know which donors are clean and which aren’t?

I almost wrote that this was unbelievable, but you know what, it really isn’t. These are the Clintons we are dealing with.

Original links:
Clinton Sees Fear Realized in Trouble With Donor.
Team Clinton can’t explain ignoring warnings on Hsu.
Hillary was warned about Hsu.

California School Gender-Training Mandate Heads to the Governor

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Sodom, I mean California, continues to head down the path of moral decay.

A marathon legislative session on Tuesday resulted in the passage of two companion bills out of the California Legislature that a pro-family lobbyist says will turn the state’s public schools into “social and sexual indoctrination centers.” The two bills, which will force homosexual education and promotion in schools and monitor against any alleged harassment of homosexuality, are now on their way to the governor’s desk.

SB 777, sponsored by State Senator Sheila Kuhl, makes provision for including positive portrayal of homosexuality, bi-sexuality, transgenderism and all related lifestyles, practices, and actions into textbooks, instructional materials, and school-sponsored activities. AB 394, sponsored by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, provides educational materials to teachers, students, and parents, and monitors possible “harassment” of homosexuality in the schools.

Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute (CRI) says the legislative push on these measures was expected from liberal Democrats this session, but not to the extent of suspending procedural rules and avoiding public debate — including the normal three days in each legislative chamber.

I’m not sure why Ms. England is surprised at the antics of the homosexual activist. I sure wasn’t.

Original Link.

“Denial, England – Have We Learned Nothing?” By Melanie Phillips

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Denial England

When I published my book Londonistan last year, I believed Britain was deeply in denial over the threat of radical Islamism. Today — six years after 9/11; two years after the 7/7 London suicide bombings; one year after the discovery of the al Qaeda transatlantic-airline plot; two months after the car-bomb attacks on a London nightclub and Glasgow airport — even with an apparently neverending procession of trials of British Islamist terrorists and with MI5 stating that it is monitoring no fewer than 200 U.K. Islamist terror groupings, 2,000 individual terrorists, and 30 known active major terrorist plots, Britain is still failing to acknowledge the true nature and scale of what it is facing and what needs to be done to counter it.

“Londonistan” was a term of abuse coined by the French for a Britain that had allowed itself, during the 1990s, to become the European hub of al Qaeda. To me, however, it’s also a state of mind — one in which people not only seek to appease but come to internalize some of the mindset of the enemy that intends to destroy them.

Despite a hardening of the public mood against Islamism, the British establishment is still sleepwalking toward cultural surrender. The essence of the problem is that although it understands it is fighting an unprecedented terrorist threat, it still does not understand the religious ideology driving the threat. It still believes, instead, the Islamist propaganda line that the root causes of jihadi terror are poverty, discrimination, or foreign policy — in other words, that terrorism against the West is the West’s own fault.

The good news is that the mood is beginning to change among British Muslims. Debate has been electrified by the decision of a few young Muslims to renounce Islamist radicalism. Accounts such as Ed Husain’s book The Islamist have blown apart all the usual excuses for Islamist terror. Husain said the cause was nothing other than religious fanaticism; and he called for Hizb ut-Tahrir — the jihadi organization to which he had belonged — to be banned.

Original Link.

Link to Cox and Forkum.