ThinkFast: September 9, 2010

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States is calling on Fox News host Glenn Beck to denounce a Florida church’s plan to burn the Quran. “I think it would help if Mr. Glenn Beck came out against it, and said that people of faith do not burn the books of people of other faith,” he said. In a statement, Beck said burning Qurans “is wrong,” adding, “burning the Koran is like burning the flag or the Bible.”

On August 19, the FBI released an intelligence bulletin warning of Islamic retaliation to Saturday’s Quran-burning event. The bulletin notes that, though no information currently indicates a planned attack, the FBI has “high confidence” that “as with past incidents” desecrating Islam “extremist actors will continue to threaten or attempt to harm” those involved in the event.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said last night “that if he had known how much strife would arise over his plan for a Muslim community center and mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center site, he would not have proposed it.” Still, he said he would not change the location now, because that embolden radicals and thus create risks for Americans living abroad.

In a “sharply divided” decision, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday that former prisoners held in CIA prisons overseas could not sue over their alleged torture “because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information.” The ruling raises “an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president’s power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets.”


Taliban leader Mullah Omar said the NATO-led coalition is losing the war in Afghanistan. Omar, who was the unofficial head of state when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and remains a powerful Taliban figure, urged his followers to fight coalition forces: “Put all your strength and planning behind the task of driving away the invaders and regaining independence of the country,” he said.

GOP candidates are reaping a renewed windfall from Wall Street, The Hill reports. While the Wall Street’s campaign donations favored Democrats in the last cycle, it is now being channeled to a handful of top-tier Republican candidates for Senate.

In her speech at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the U.S. budget deficit “poses a national security and projects a ‘message of weakness’ internationally.” Clinton said the debt “undermines our capacity to act in our own interest” and “constrain[s] us where constraint may be undesirable.”

And finally: Vice President Biden took a turn as a hot dog vendor on the Colbert Report last night, passing out “free beers and hotdogs” to American soldiers in the audience.

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