Friday, June 27, 2014

A00025 - Casey Kasem, Wholesome Voice of Pop Radio

Kasem, Casey
Casey Kasem (b. April 27, 1932, Detroit, Mich.— d. June 15, 2014, Gig Harbor, Wash.), was born Kemal Amin KasemKasem was born in Detroit, Michigan, on April 27, 1932, to Lebanese Druze immigrant parents. They settled in Michigan, where they worked as grocers.

Kasem became an American disc jockey who filled the airways for 34 years (1970–2004) with his weekly nationally syndicated Top 40 radio shows, including American Top 40, which he created and hosted with a hallmark easygoing style. During the program’s four-hour format, Kasem provided listeners not only with an upbeat analysis of the songs that had made the list (gleaned from Billboard magazine’s most popular singles of the previous week) but also with personal tidbits about the artists behind the music. Kasem’s courtly voice and popular catchphrases, including his signature sign-off, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars,” made him one of the country’s most recognizable radio personalities. Kasem also fronted American Top 20 and American Top 10.  He retired as host from those radio shows in 2009. In addition to his radio work, Kasem appeared in a few films, including The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant(1971) and Ghostbusters (1984, as himself), and provided the voice of Shaggy on the cartoon series Scooby-Doo and for Robin “the Boy Wonder” on the animated The Batman/Superman Hour (1968–69). He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A00024 - Fouad Ajami, Commentator and Expert in Arab History

Fouad A. Ajami (Arabic: فؤاد عجمي‎; September 18, 1945 – June 22, 2014), was a MacArthur Fellowship winning, Lebanese-born American university professor and writer on Middle Eastern issues. He was a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
Ajami was an outspoken supporter of the Iraq War, the nobility of which he believed there "can be no doubt".

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A00023 - Ahmed Abu Khattala, Islamist Militia Commander in Libya

Khattala, Ahmed Abu
Ahmed Abu Khattala (born c. 1971) was a Islamist militia commander in Libya, a commander of Ansar al-Sharia militia. He is suspected of participating in the 2012 Benghazi attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in which the American Ambassador and three other Americans were killed. In a December 2013 investigation of the attack, the New York Times described Abu Khattala as a central figure.  However, Abu Khattala denied killing the Americans or being part of the attack.

Abu Khattala spent most of his adult life in Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, jailed by the Qaddafi government for his Islamist views. During the 2011 uprising against Qaddafi in Libya, he formed his own militia of perhaps two dozen fighters, naming it Obeida Ibn Al Jarra for an early Islamic general. He later became involved in Ansar al-Shariah, a group of as many as 200 militants who, had broken away from the other militias in 2012 in protest of those militia's support for parliamentary elections in Libya.  Abu Khattala opposed American involvement in Libya and in interviews with the New York Times stated that “the enmity between the American government and the peoples of the world is an old case.” In regards to the role of the air campaign of NATO that overthrew Colonel Qaddafi, he believed that if NATO had not intervened, “God would have helped us.” He also claimed that, “We know the United States was working with both sides” and considering “splitting up" Libya.

Witnesses of the September 11, 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi say they saw Abu Khattala leading the attack. On August 6, 2013, United States officials confirmed that Abu Khattala had been charged with playing a significant role in the attack. 

On the weekend of June 14 to June 15, 2014, U.S. Special Forces captured Abu Khattala in a covert mission in Libya. Khattala is one of the suspected leaders of the 2012 Benghazi attack.