The State Department yielded to pressure from a coalition of Seattle and Washington state politicians, community groups, and advocacy organizations and agreed to withdraw at least one ad in the department's Metro bus ad campaign in Seattle promoting the “Rewards for Justice” campaign. The program pays rewards to individuals who provide leads about the location of wanted terrorists.
Congressman Jim McDermott, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn, and King county councilmember Rod Dembowski joined forces with others in the community, as well as organizations like the ACLU and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to raise concerns about the ads. Mayor McGinn reported at least some success in their efforts [emphasis added]:
[Arsalan] Bukhari [of the Council on American-Islamic Relations] worked with the ACLU of Washington State to convene a meeting that included Magdaleno Rose-Avila and Sahar Fathi of our Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. After a productive meeting, the lead investigator for the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, Tim Corso, acknowledged our concerns with the ad that featured the language “Global Faces of Terrorism” along with photos of men from the Philippines, Somalia, Russia, Sudan and Algeria. He has agreed to take down this particular ad and to work with community advocates in doing outreach in Seattle going forward.
Mayor McGinn expressed optimism that Seattle's opposition would make a difference elsewhere as "Seattle is the first city to receive these ads and the recommendations provided by the community will drive how the program is implemented in other cities across the country." In addition to the ACLU and CAIR, the mayor credited a long list of organizations who participated in the efforts which also included the Service Employees International Union:
This was made possible through the collaborative work by the many community advocates who came together on this issue: in particular (and in no specific order), the American Civil Liberties Union – Washington, Council on American-Islamic Relations (Washington Chapter), Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Office of King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Office of Congressman Jim McDermott, Minority Executive Directors Coalition, Mothers for Police Accountability, the Seattle Human Rights Commission, Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, SEIU Healthcare 775NW, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Faith Action Network (Seattle).
The names of two terrorists currently "remain" on the Newseum's "Memorial Wall," a letter written by the chief executive officer of the Newseum confirms. The letter is addressed to Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and signed by CEO James C. Duff.
At one point in The Company You Keep, Robert Redford’s new film about the residue of the Weather Underground, a character named Sharon Solarz is captured by the FBI after living under a series of aliases since her involvement in a Michigan bank robbery decades earlier in which a security guard was killed. Ruminating in her cell, she describes for a young journalist the moral dilemma people like her faced back then. They could either sit by and watch as America destroyed the innocent peasant culture of Vietnam or take arms against atrocity.
President Barack Obama talked about Gitmo prisoners today and said, "I don't want these individuals to die."
"For a lot of Americans, the notion is out of sight, out of mind," Obama said, after referring to his failed attempt to close the terrorist prison. "It's easy to demagogue the issue. That's what happened the first time this came up. I'm going to go back at it because I think it's important."
CNN’s headline this morning reads, “Boston suspect: It was just us.” The headline links to an article that begins by explaining that the “surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told investigators that his older brother, not any intern
Babies are being named for the recent fighting between the terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel, the Israeli media is reporting. At least, babies being born to those affiliated with Hamas.
"Some parents from the Strip have decided to name their newborn babies after operation-affiliated icons – from assassinated Hamas commanders to long-range missiles fired at Israel," reports the Israeli paper Yediot Achronot.
In this week's issue, Jeffrey Dressler explains that the Obama State Department has yet to designate the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organization, in spite of bipartisan pressure from lawmakers to do so. Led by the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein (D, California), this week they've introduced legislation to list the Haqqanis.