is sitting in a high-backed director’s chair with his name on it. (I’d always assumed they were just used for effect in movies, but here one was.) Zucker is looking at a monitor showing the inside of an empty New York City subway station. It’s actually just a set–a stunning replica of a subway station–and it sits 15 feet to Zucker’s right.
The first assistant director breaks the silence.
The set jumps to life. Two young men–both terrorists–enter the station. They are surprised to see a security checkpoint manned by two NYPD officers. “I’ll need to see your bag, please,” says one of the officers. The lead terrorist glances nervously at his friend and swings his backpack down from his shoulder to present it to the cops. Just as the officer pulls on the zipper, however, a small army of ACLU lawyers marches up to the policemen with a stop-search order. The cops look at each other and shrug their shoulders. “This says we can’t search their bags.”
The young men are relieved. They smile fiendishly as they walk toward the crowded platform. As the lead terrorist once again slips the backpack over his shoulder, he mutters his appreciation.
“Thank Allah for the ACLU.”
Zucker’s latest movie, An American Carol, is unlike anything that has ever come out of. It is a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left from several prominent members of a growing class of Hollywood conservatives. Until now, conservatives in Hollywood have always been too few and too worried about a backlash to do anything serious to challenge the left-wing status quo.
David Zucker believes we are in a “new McCarthy era.” Time magazine recently joked that conservative films are “almost illegal in Hollywood.” Tom O’Malley, president of Vivendi Entertainment, though, dismisses claims that Hollywood is hostile to conservative ideas and suggests that conservatives simply haven’t been as interested in making movies. “How come there aren’t more socialists on Wall Street?”
The Iraq Study Group ad was the most memorable. It opens with news footage ofcelebrating the signing of the . A newspaper stand boasting “Peace with Honour” flashes across the screen.
: “This morning, I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler. Here is the paper, which bears his name upon it, as well as mine.”
The spot cuts to footage of German bombers over Warsaw. “Well,” intones a narrator, “that negotiation went well. Fifty million dead worldwide. Nicely done, Mr. Chamberlain.”
Then viewers are shown footage of imaginary negotiations between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. had formally recommended talks with Iran and Syria as part of its proposed solution to the problems in Iraq., Syria’s , and “Iranian madman”
When Ahmadinejad asks Baker for permission to develop nuclear weapons so long as Iran promises not to use them, Baker agrees. Triumphant music plays loudly in the background and the diplomacy pauses for a celebration and some photos.
The music stops and Baker returns to the table with Ahmadinejad and Syria’s Bashar Assad.
“Next item: You must agree to stop supplying the explosive devices that are killing our American soldiers in Iraq,” Baker insists.
“We won’t do that.”
“Well, can you reduce the number?”
“Okay, how about 10 percent?” Assad proposes.
“Twenty percent,” Baker responds.
The music starts again and Baker, like Chamberlain, triumphantly waves the signed agreement.
“Now, this thing about destroying Israel,” he says to Ahmadinejad.
“We will do that,” says the Iranian leader.
CARROLL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) ― Congressman John Murtha of Johnstown visited the Mon Valley YMCA in Washington County today for a round table meeting on diabetes. But he took time to answer reporters questions about the bloodshed in Georgia where Russia invaded five days ago and there has been heavy fighting.
Murtha says he’s been following the situation closely. “It’s one of those things where we have very little leverage. We have no military leverage at all so it’s got to be international sanctions, international pressure. And I think it may be working at least it seems like the Russians have stopped their incursion. Now what will happen afterwards we’ll have to look at and see.”
While the White House and NATO allies figure out how to punish Russia for the invasion of the pro-western Georgia, Murtha says, the Georgians must realize that it was a tactical and political mistake to assume that the world community would come to their aid if they ever got into trouble with the Russians. “You have to be so careful what you say because then these countries misunderstand that you might come to help them. So we’ve got that problem right now in Georgia, they thought we’d come to help them and they thought that would insulate them. The administration tried to warn them ‘don’t get the Russian bear angry.’ The Georgians made a little bit of a mistake and they’re paying a heavy price.”
DENVER (CBS4) ― CBS4 News has learned if mass arrests happen at the Democratic Convention, those taken into custody will be jailed in a warehouse owned by the City of Denver. Investigator Rick Sallinger discovered the location and managed to get inside for a look.
The newly created lockup is on the northeast side of Denver.
Inside are dozens are metal cages. They are made out of chain link fence material and topped by rolls of barbed wire.
“This is a secured environment,” Capt. Frank Gale of the Denver Sheriff’s Department told CBS4. “We’re concerned about how that’s going to be utilized by people who will be potentially disruptive.”
In past conventions, mass arrests have taken place.
With Denver’s jails already overflowing, new space had to be created and officers trained.
Each of the fenced areas is about 5 yards by 5 yards and there is a lock on the door. A sign on the wall reads “Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility.”
CBS4 showed its video to leaders of groups that plan to demonstrate during the convention.
“Very bare bones and very reminiscent of a political prisoner camp or a concentration camp,” said Zoe Williams of Code Pink.
Williams was one of those arrested at the Republican Convention in New York in 2004.
“That’s how you treat cattle,” said Adam Jung of the group Tent State University. “You showed the sign where it said stun gun in use and you just change the word gun for bolt and it’s a meat processing plant.”
Gale would not discuss the facility at this time.
“We want to make sure we got our game plan set,” he said, “We want to make sure the entire procedure is laid out all the personnel know what they are supposed to do.”
The plans were to keep this lockup a secret, at least for now.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it will ask the City of Denver how prisoners will get access to food and water, bathrooms, telephones, plus medical care, and if there will be a place to meet with attorneys.
The protesters have already given this place a name: “Gitmo on the Platte.”
When she was arrested in Afghanistan last month, Aafia Siddique allegedly had in her possession maps of New York, a list of potential targets that included the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the subway system and the animal disease center on Plum Island, detailed chemical, biological and radiological weapon information that has been seen only in a handful of terrorist cases, as well as a thumb drive packed with emails, ABC News has learned.
That haul of information has led multiple government sources to describe Siddique, a 36 year-old MIT graduate, as a potential “treasure trove” of information on terrorist supporters, sympathizers or ‘sleepers’ in the United States and overseas.
“She is the most significant capture in five years,” said former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who said she lives up to her reputation as an alleged terrorist ‘Mata Hari.’
And there is an eagerness to see what, if anything, she can add to the thin trickle of fresh information on the activities of terrorists and terrorist supporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as what if any risk she might pose to national security.
Only a “handful” of captured alleged Al Qaeda associates have had the kind of detailed information on weapons of mass destruction that Siddique, who attended MIT as an undergraduate and earned her PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis, had in her handbag, multiple current and former US intelligence and law enforcement officials told ABC News.
“She is a very dangerous person, no doubt about it,” said a senior US counter terrorism official.
This is a major haul, a major capture for the FBI,” said Kiriakou. “To find someone who has such rich information, computer hard drives, e-mails, that is really a major capture.”
US authorities are analyzing Siddique’s saliva, hair, and fingernail scrapings to determine, if possible, what evidence they can find of any exposure to chemical, biological or radiological materials with potential use in weapons of mass destruction, sources said.
“Her education troubled us. We know that she’s extremely bright. She’s radicalized. We knew that she had been planning, or at least involved in the planning, of a wide variety of different operations, whether they involved weapons of mass destruction or research into chemical or biological weapons, whether it was a possible attempt on the life of the President,” said Kiriakou. “We knew that she was involved with a great deal and we had to bring her into custody.”
When nabbed by a team of Afghanistan National Police officers on July 17th, she also had in her possession a one gigabyte digital media storage device – a thumb drive – whose contents included a large trail of emails that authorities are now poring over, sources said. Those e-mails, a source involved in the investigation said, are between “what she described as ‘units’ and what we would call ‘cells’.”
In her papers she had maps and information concerning potential targets in New York City that sources say included the subway, Times Square and the Statute of Liberty, ABC News has learned. She also carried excerpts from “The Anarchist’s Arsenal” and “documents detailing United States military assets”, according to the federal complaint against her filed July 31st in Manhattan.
ABC News sources said that she also had information indicating the possibility of “an attack” on Plum Island Disease Center, a secure US government facility off the tip of Long Island, New York where research into foot and mouth disease, swine fever and other animal pathogens is conducted by the Department of Agriculture and security is provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
“We’re proud of our role as America’s first line of defense against foreign animal diseases,” the facility’s website notes. “We’re equally proud of our safety record. Not once in our nearly 50 years of operation has an animal pathogen escaped from the island.”
The remote possibility of smuggling a pathogen off isolated Plum Island was the subject of the bestseller Plum Island by Nelson DeMille.
But a terrorist attack on the isolated island would not spread disease, according to homeland security officials familiar with the research activities there.
Interest in Siddique is in itself not new. On May 26th, 2004 she became the first woman wanted by the federal government in connection with Al Qaeda when then Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller asked the public’s help in finding her and six men suspected of links to Al Qaeda.
At that same time they warned, in advance of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, that Al Qaeda was preparing to “hit the United States hard” that summer.
By then Siddique had been linked to an “ill conceived” and perhaps amateurish plot to “kill all living US presidents”, according to sources from three federal agencies. And she had already vanished from public view for about 16 months.