NPR's Heart of Darkness

The Horror: New Video of Al Queda Providing Food and Clothing to Starving Somali Peasants

Mark Lombardi
20 September 2011

The heart of darkness currently centered in America's crosshairs is Africa, and it isn't colonial ambition but terrorism that draws us in. From Kurtz's lips to god's ears.

NPR's dismal national security coverage led by Dina Temple-Raston has proven itself, over and over again, to be little more than a megaphone for the government/military propaganda machine.

One of Temple-Raston's go-to sources for all things national security is the execrable Michael Chertoff. His lack of credibility is a topic too wide and broad to cover here, but the lack of balance in their national security coverage is appalling.

Her military sources are equally high profile, but equally as compromised. They are part of the system Temple-Raston should be investigating, not parroting with not a jot of critical analysis of their bias.

This morning Temple-Raston did a breathless report on why Africa keeps US counter-terrorism officials up at night.

Listen to the head of AFRICOM, General Carter Ham,

If you ask me what keeps me up at night, it is the thought of an American passport holding person who transits to a training camp in Somalia, gets some skill and finds their way back to the United States to attack Americans.

That 'thought' of Ham's is the slender reed propping up the ever increasing presence of AFRICOM, US intelligence and contractors in various African countries.

Temple-Raston's reporting is worth quoting at length

So imagine the reaction when a little over a week ago an unusual video appeared on Islamic websites. It was of a white man with a scarf twisted over his face standing before bags of grain and piles of clothes in a desert in Somalia. In the video, he was addressing the hungry at a local feeding station. He said his name was Abu Abdulla al-Muhajir, or "the foreigner." And there was one thing US officials noticed about the man almost immediately: He was speaking nearly perfect English.

That would keep me up at night too. But have no fear, because our crack intel experts noticed something 'almost immediately' that you and I, in our colossal ignorance, might have noticed... well, immediately - the foreigner was speaking in English!

Zounds, NPR's report, US intelligence expertise - taxpayer money well spent, eh? The response of the US security monolith will be, if current conditions are any guide, written and verbal interrogations of all persons entering and leaving the US, no exceptions for the mute, the blind, the deaf or Arabic speakers. Or white people.

If you speak nearly perfect English, god help you. You'll be impounded, your phone and computer contents downloaded, you might even be rendered, forced into a diaper and a hood and shipped off to a secret prison aboard a US executive's private airplane.

Here we have one video of a guy, standing beside sacks of donated food and clothing, speaking in English to starving Somali peasants, and US intelligence officials DON'T KNOW WHO HE IS! By god, another intelligence failure.

Here's Temple-Raston's expert quoting of sources, "Counter-terrorism officials say the release of this tape could mean al-Queda is forging closer ties with the group that is controlling much of southern Somalia, an Islamist militia called al-Shabab."

Could mean? Could it mean something else perhaps? Something that doesn't require the US to overrun the country with mining equipment, oil rigs, military bases, drones, contractors and AFRICOM good intentions?

Here for your edification are US intelligence officials connecting the dots, the best experience and analysis US taxpayers can afford. Somalia is mired in a famine. Al Shabaab, involved in a civil war with the Somali government, won't let UN aid groups into the region. Ergo, they must have ties to Al Queda.

Terrorists love chaos, says Obama's 40-watt counter terrorism chief John Brennan,

Al-Queda traditionally has taken advantage of areas that are wracked by conflict, turmoil and lack of government, it is a safe haven... Somalia is one of the most challenging areas of the world because it has this internal conflict, it has such a devastating famine and it is an area that al-Queda has tried regularly to exploit.

Faced with that kind of intelligence and expertise, Temple-Raston has no choice but to conclude, "Against that backdrop, it is easy to understand why the video with this mysterious English speaker talking on behalf of al-Queda got people's attention."

What about the fact that this mysterious stranger is speaking English to Somali peasants, saying he was sent by Al Queda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri to distribute food and clothing to the villagers?

For Temple-Raston and US intelligence officials this is like staring with naked eyes into the very heart of darkness, "So maybe, US officials say, the English-language video was aimed at the US."