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Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 121

Please don't be obtuse, it makes it hard to have a productive discussion. If I used Osama bin ladin instead of nazi germany how would anything have changed?

Not much, as neither example addresses the main point I was making, namely that the HLP wished to engage in an activity that one could reasonably consider not supportive of terrorism.

As to whether we are personally at war with these people, we are allied with people that are and thus it doesn't really matter.

The Turks view them as terrorists and we have an obligation on pain of them refusing to cooperate with us to treat the kurds as our enemies.

Presumably meaning "to treat the PKK as our enemies".

Regardless, if we accept that they're terrorists then we can't help them. They have to stop.

Can American organizations at least try to convince them to stop and offer them advice on how to press their cause peacefully?

As to their objectives, it is dangerous to take their word for it.

To whose objectives are you referring? The organizations deemed terrorist, or organizations such as the HLP?

Terrorists are very happy to say that a box is full of baby milk one moment and then use that same box full of "baby milk" to blow up a bus later. So you can't believe their position outright because they lie.

As do, of course, states.

It is possible they just wanted to create political problems for their enemies by bringing in international authorities.

What sort of political problems?

As to quixotic political struggles, there will be reprisals from the turks and indians if they perceive you as helping terrorists in their own country.

Then let the Turkish or Indian government take action against the HLP.

I understand what you're saying, the problem is that I don't know if that is actually what they were trying to do. As you must know, the struggle would be quixotic.

"They" the HLP? Presumably "would be" quixotic because the Turkish government won't ever grant the Kurds an independent state, and the Sri Lankan government wouldn't ever have given the Tamils and independent state, except as a result of being defeated in battle?

What happens when that becomes apparent?

People write them off as well-meaning but ineffectual?

And what if they only engage in the process to waste everyone's time in full knowledge that it is all a farce?

Hey, if they waste enough of the organizations' time that they make fewer terrorist attacks, wouldn't that be a Good Thing? :-)

Not that I see any evidence that they only engage in the process to waste everyone's time.

Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 121

Okay, lets say we're fighting Nazi germany and you're going to run a charity in the US to send medical supplies to starving orphans in Germany that have suffered because of American bombing.

Do you think the US government is going to let you do that?

No, but that's a different case. Quite apart from the fact that the Third Reich was a nation-state whilst neither the PKK nor the Tamil Tigers are, and that we're not at war with either of those organizations (aside from being "at war" with "terrorism"), what the Humanitarian Law project in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project said they wanted to do was "[trainin] PKK members to use international law to resolve disputes peacefully; [teach] PKK mem- bers to petition the United Nations and other representative bodies for relief; and [engage] in political advocacy on behalf of Kurds living in Turkey and Tamils living in Sri Lanka."

If you want a closer apples to apples comparision... lets say you're helping the nazis file legal challenges against the US war against Nazi Germany... See?

It all applies.

Again, no; there is no U.S. war against the PKK or the Tamil Tigers.

Look, I feel for the Kurds. They should really have their own country. But our alliance with the turks requires us to not recognize the kurds. And the tamil tigars are not getting their independence this side of ever. So what is the point?

The point of what? Trying to advise the PKK or Tamil Tigers how to peacefully attempt to achieve their goals? Maybe it's Quixotic, but that hardly makes it criminal.

Both of these groups are more likely to get genocided then they are to get independence. If I were them, I'd keep my head down and not piss off the powers that hold sway over me. I might prepare... stock pile weapons... organize. But never give them any provocation to distrust me or oppress my people.

Presumably by "stock pile weapons" you mean "stockpile weapons very secretly", as if "they" find out about it, that would sure turn into "provocation to distrust me or oppress my people".

I'd recommend both groups be loyal members of their respective nations and stop fighting. It serves no purpose.

Perhaps that's what the HLP had in mind?

Look, you don't help terrorists. With anything. That's the law.

It may be the law, but, if "with anything" includes "with trying to achieve your goals with non-terrorist means", then, well, the law is an ass, and should be fixed to more clearly indicate what is, and what isn't, "material support and resources".

Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 121

Oh my... do you really want to talk about the cold war?


Yes, the US did undermine democracies during the cold war but only when they were seen to be allied with Soviets.

Seen by people with a clue, or seen by people who thought "willingness not to be hostile towards the Soviet Union" constituted an alliance, or seen by the predecessor to British Petroleum to be a bunch of pesky nationalizers?

Would it matter to you if I pointed out that a fair number of democracies were subverted by the soviets as well? I think not.

You are correct - it wouldn't matter because 1) I already knew it and 2) "they did it, too" is insufficient for me to overlook our doing it.

Would it matter if I said that the calculation was that if the soviets gained a foothold they'd use it to project power and undermine other countries?

No, because I'm not convinced that they would have gained that sort of foothold in, say, Guatemala or Iran.

Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 121

The issue is helping a criminal element. That includes helping them by giving them medicine or helping them by giving them food or in this case helping them petition international bodies for aid.

The law doesn't stipulate that some kinds of help for terrorist groups are okay and some are not. It says helping them is wrong.

Then I, at least, consider the law wrong, if it says that help to allow an organization to attempt to achieve goals such as rights for Kurds within Turkey or an independent state for Tamils without resorting to violence is wrong. I do not think helping them in that fashion is inherently wrong. That's what was being argued in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 459

by Bruce Perens (#49598949) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

OK, I will try to restate in my baby talk since I don't remember this correctly.

Given that you are accelerating, the appearance to you is that you are doing so linearly, and time dilation is happening to you. It could appear to you that you reach your destination in a very short time, much shorter than light would allow. To the outside observer, however, time passes at a different rate and you never achieve light speed.

Comment: Where we need to get to call this real (Score 1) 459

by Bruce Perens (#49596461) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

Before we call this real, we need to put one on some object in orbit, leave it in continuous operation, and use it to raise the orbit by a measurable amount large enough that there would not be argument regarding where it came from. The Space Station would be just fine. It has power for experiments that is probably sufficient and it has a continuing problem of needing to raise its orbit.

And believe me, if this raises the orbit of the Space Station they aren't going to want to disconnect it after the experiment. We spend a tremendous amount of money to get additional Delta-V to that thing, and it comes down if we don't.

Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 121

It is a requirement that you know they're bad people. So in the case of your charity example, you'd have to show that whomever you wanted to charge with this knew the money was going to terrorists.

Actually, I didn't give any examples, I gave a bunch of links. In the case of Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project, the Supreme Court held that

As to the particular speech plaintiffs propose to undertake, it is wholly foreseeable that directly training the PKK on how to use international law to resolve disputes would provide that group with information and techniques that it could use as part of a broader strategy to promote terrorism, and to threaten, manipulate, and disrupt. Teaching the PKK to petition international bodies for relief also could help the PKK obtain funding it would redirect to its violent activities.

so that even trying to help a designated terrorist organization solve problems without blowing shit up could help them "promote terrorism" and "threaten, manipulate, and disrupt".

Perhaps 18 U.S. Code 2339A and 2339B could use a little work here, especially given the chilling effects on donations mentioned in some of the links in my previous post.

Comment: Re:Why is is the material support provision bad? (Score 1) 121

If someone is providing "material support" to terrorists then fuck them. Lets say Osama bin ladin is living in my house and I know it is him... and I and feeding him and giving him cover. That is an example of material support. If you're doing that... then allow me to say on behalf of the American people, that you can eat all the fucking dicks.

Exactly why is this a bad thing? I don't get it. Someone explain this to me?

Does material support not mean what I think it means? I don't understand.

Well, here's what it means according to law.

However, whether something counts as "material support" or not is, well, up to interpretation, as has been noted by a number of people.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340