Archive for the ‘Radical Islam’ Category
Reactions by foreign officials to bin Laden’s death run an interesting gamut:
In Yemen, a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula described bin Laden’s death as a “catastrophe,” Agence-France Presse reported.
“At first we did not believe it, but we got in touch with our brothers in Pakistan who have confirmed it,” the member said.
I’d totally agree with that opinion. It’s an unmitigated catastrophe for terrorists.
In Yemen one official, who declined to be named, welcomed the announcement and described it to to CNN as “a truly historic moment,” adding: “We welcome the news…millions of people will sleep in peace tonight.”
Those statements provide a stark contrast between the terrorists’ perspectives and those who’ve been oppressed by the jihadists. I can’t find a halfway point between those opinions.
In Kenya, families of victims of the al Qaeda attack on the U.S. embassy in Nairobi in 1998 were quietly celebrating, said CNN’s David McKenzie. Charles Muriuki, who was 15 when his mother was killed by the blast, told McKenzie: “Finally the day has come, justice will always prevail.”
It’s important that we not forget that there were hundreds of victims of terrorism long before 9/11. Mr. Muriuki’s reaction is an apt reminder of that.
In Israel, the news dominated television and radio coverage on Holocaust Memorial Day, an occasion normally devoted to somber programming that reflects on the deaths of millions of Jews. CNN’s Phil Black, reporting from Jerusalem, said Israelis there had expressed a sense of satisfaction that bin Laden had finally been captured.
“The reaction from Israel is: ‘It’s about time. This has taken far too long,’” Black said. He added that Israeli leaders would be monitoring reaction from the Palestinian territories to bin Laden’s death.
That’s a sobering perspective from Israel. It isn’t difficult to forget that they deal daily with the possibility of another terrorist attack. Each day is marked with reminders that this might be their last day on Earth.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction is quite appropriate:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces on Sunday as a triumph for Washington and its allies in their “war on terror”.
“This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism,” Netanyahu said in a statement early on Monday.
Shimon Peres’ reaction is captivating:
President Shimon Peres, Israel’s elder statesman and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said Bin Laden had “met his end at the gallows”. Peres described the death as a lesson about the self-destructiveness of violent extremism.
“Look at all of the murderers, all of those dictators and terrorists. They end up murdering themselves, the real verdict of history, which to my regret takes a lot a time and exacts a lot of victims,” he told Israel Radio.
I’ll put this succinctly: Good riddance. I just wish I could’ve been the one pulling the trigger.
For years, Democrats have said that torture didn’t give intelligence officials actionable intelligence. These same Democrats classified waterboarding as torture. This Strib article actually proves that waterboarding works in getting actionable intelligence:
Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
This isn’t my attempt to ridicule Democrats. Rather, it’s my attempt to persuade them into re-thinking their position on torture as part of the United States’ intelligence-gathering operation.
When it comes to dismantling the terrorists’ networks, there isn’t room for partisanship. There’s only room for doing the things that quickly dismantle the terrorists’ networks. After all, we’re talking about an existential struggle, possibly even the difference between life and death of innocents.
President George W. Bush weighed in with this statement after being told of bin Laden’s death by President Obama:
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude.
This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.
President Bush’s gracious congratulations to President Obama and to the American forces that ended UBL’s reign of terrorism is typical of him and his family. It’s also welcomed.
It’s also time for people from across the political spectrum to thank President Bush for his commitment to protecting America while preventing another terrorist attack after 9-1-1. By no means does President Obama have it easy protecting this nation. Still, he’s better off because many of the policies and procedures that President Bush put in place have made President Obama’s job easier.
After 9/11, President Bush was operating in uncharted territory against an enemy unlike any other we’d dealt with before. An enemy that wasn’t restricted by national boundaries. An enemy that didn’t hesitate in using children in destroying innocent human lives. An enemy so technically well-trained that they carried out attacks with deadly precision.
President Obama deserves the praise tonight for acting on the intelligence the CIA had put together. President Bush deserves praise for keeping this nation safe for 7+ years while navigating totally uncharted waters.
Most importantly, our intelligence community and our military deserve credit for gathering the intel and for killing OBL respectively. Without them at the tip of the spear, OBL would still be alive.
Tonight, there’s plenty of praise to be spread around. Let’s momentarily enjoy the moment. Then let’s return to vigilence.
CBS news is reporting that Osama bin Laden’s dead body is in U.S. hands. Here’s what CBS is reporting:
The founder and spiritual figurehead for al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, is dead.
Several officials confirmed the report to CBS News, and say that his body is currently in U.S. hands.
CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that bin Laden was killed by forces in Afghanistan.
The long-lost terrorist mastermind had eluded an aggressive hunt by U.S. authorities for nearly ten years since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001.
Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Twitter: “#BinLaden’s death does not eliminate the threat from #alQaeda, but it is hard to see anyone playing the same organizational role he did.”
Congratulations to the CIA for first gathering actionable intelligence, then acting on that intelligence. Congratulations to President Obama for approving the military mission that led to bin Laden’s death.
Now is a time to celebrate the death of the world’s most cold-hearted terrorist. Congratulations to everyone involved.
UPDATE: Jim at Gatewaypundit has some explosive news on bin Laden’s compound:
Osama’s compound was across the street from a police station and a Pakistani government graduate college.
Osama bin Laden’s compound was 8 times as big as any structure in the area. It stuck out like a sore thumb.
This removes all doubt on whether local Pakistanis were committed to bin Laden or to the Pakistani government.
If there’s anything that Keith Ellison is good at, it’s spin. This week, Ellison’s spin machine is working overtime. In fact, he’s using his spin in a fundraising appeal:
This Thursday, Congressional Republicans, led by Rep. Peter King, will hold a congressional hearing on radicalization in America.
Make no mistake about it. Radicalization is a challenge that we must confront as a nation. It is an issue that requires the utmost attention and due diligence with an eye towards keeping all Americans safe.
Unfortunately, these Republicans are pandering to the agenda of the most extreme elements of their party to single out a religious minority. Casting suspicion on an individual community is wrong. It violates the core values of inclusion and fairness that make our country great. Even worse, treating radicalization as a problem from a particular community can undermine our security–not make America safer.
How are Rep. King’s hearings “casting suspicion on an individual community”? I’ve listened to Chairman King talk about the radicalization subject before. There’s no question that he consistently differentiates between radical imams and the people attending those mosques.
Rep. Ellison’s hypocrisy is exposed by his comments after Gabby Giffords’ assassination attempt:
“The political rhetoric has grown increasingly toxic, and making allusions (to) guns and reloading, and armed and dangerous, certainly contributes to a toxic political environment, and does have consequences,” he told MPR.
Here’s the rhetoric Rep. Ellison was referring to:
“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people, we the people, are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.
“I’m a foreign correspondent on enemy lines and I try to let everyone back here in Minnesota know exactly the nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington.”
Let’s remember Ellison’s incendiary rhetoric prior to his election to Congress:
In 2000 he spoke at a fundraiser for longtime fugitive Kathleen Soliah, aka Sara Jane Olson. The text of his speech was posted on a website, www.soliah.com, by Minneapolis resident Greg Lang.
Ellison praised Soliah for “fighting for freedom.” At the time, she faced charges of planting pipe bombs under two Los Angeles police cars as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a paramilitary organization whose slogan was “Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people.” Soliah pleaded guilty in 2001. In 2002 she also pleaded guilty to the murder of Myrna Opsahl, a bank customer shot by another SLA member during a holdup. She’s now serving a long prison sentence.
But Ellison’s call to the crowd was broader than a plea to aid Soliah. “We need to come together and free “all the Saras,” he proclaimed.
Ellison called for the freeing of a woman pled guilty for killing LAPD police officers while she was part of a radical paramilitary organization. That’s the personification of a divisive political agenda. Listen to the radical paramilitary organization’s slogan:
“Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people.”
That slogan, coupled with his plea to free “all the Saras”, aka murderers, is as divisive as divisive gets. Still, it gets worse:
As a criminal defense attorney, Ellison told the crowd, he saw “startling similarities” between Soliah and the gang members he represents: Bloods, Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples. He portrayed gang members as misunderstood victims, ordinary folks whose parents “scrimp, save, maybe sell plates of BBQ chicken so Junior can get an attorney.” Gangs are “stigmatized” and “vilified,” he explained, just as Soliah’s Symbionese Liberation Army was. “Nobody ever knows what it means to BE a Blood,” he maintained, “because they’ve already said this is “just evil.”
In fact, in Ellison’s view, young black men in prison seemed almost to morph into civil rights advocates. “The people who govern this society,” he suggested, are “incarcerating all these young black men” in some kind of retribution for the victories of “60s civil rights activists, and those who campaigned to “free Nelson Mandela.” For the powerful, he said, the “very idea of black people having civil rights has got to be obliterated with [obviously] the criminal justice system and incarceration.”
This is a vicious man now talking peace, love and brotherhood after making his reputation as a divisive, incendiary figure, as a race hustler and as a terrorist apologist.
Now he’s lecturing us about divisive agendas? Now he’s warning against stigmatizing an entire (religious) group of people?
Rep. Ellison is a spinmeister, a person with a history of standing up for the worst criminals imaginable. Ignore Rep. Ellison’s spin. Stand with the people who’ve been victimized or criticized by this charlatan.
He isn’t worthy of the title of U.S. Congressman. His election to the U.S. House of Representatives shows how far that prestigious legislative body has fallen.
Republicans must’ve gotten under President Obama’s skin with their questioning of the non-interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. I suspect this because John Brennan’s op-ed in USA Today has a rather defensive tone to it. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Immediately after the failed Christmas Day attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was thoroughly interrogated and provided important information. Senior counterterrorism officials from the White House, the intelligence community and the military were all actively discussing this case before he was Mirandized and supported the decision to charge him in criminal court.
The most important breakthrough occurred after Abdulmutallab was read his rights, which the FBI made standard policy under Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s attorney general. The critics who want the FBI to ignore this long-established practice also ignore the lessons we have learned in waging this war: Terrorists such as Jose Padilla and Saleh al-Mari did not cooperate when transferred to military custody, which can harden one’s determination to resist cooperation.
It’s naive to think that transferring Abdulmutallab to military custody would have caused an outpouring of information. There is little difference between military and civilian custody, other than an interrogator with a uniform. The suspect gets access to a lawyer, and interrogation rules are nearly identical.
This is such a compilation of Barbra Streisand. Brennan is insulting our intelligence by saying that they conducted a thorough interrogation. What Mr. Brennan isn’t admitting is that it’s impossible to conduct a thorough interrogation in less than an hour, during which time the captured terrorist was in extreme pain and not consistently coherent.
Second, it wasn’t “standard procedure” to Mirandize terrorists. Prior to this administration, it’s been standard policy to make that type of decision on a case-by-case basis.
Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda. Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill. They will, however, be dismantled and destroyed, by our military, our intelligence services and our law enforcement community.
Mr. Brennan, why should be think that terrorists will be “dismantled and destroyed by our military” when DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted in a recent press coference that she was surprised that al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula was so well organized? It’s next to impossible to destroy things that you don’t know exist, isn’t it?
I almost feel sorry for Mr. Brennan. Clearly, he was the Obama administration’s sacrificial lamb on this, sent out to spew the administration’s talking points, talking points that were incredibly easy to discredit.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
This weekend, Sen. Susan Collins utterly demolished the Obama administration’s handling of Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Here’s the transcript of Sen. Collins delivering the GOP’s weekly radio address:
Less than one hour. Thatâ€™s right, less than one hour. In fact, just fifty minutes. Thatâ€™s the amount of time that the FBI spent questioning Abdulmutallab, the foreign terrorist who tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day. Then, he was given a Miranda warning and a lawyer, and, not surprisingly, he stopped talking.
How did we get to this point? How did the Obama administration decide to treat a foreign terrorist, who had tried to murder hundreds of people, as if he were a common criminal?
On Christmas Day, the skies above Detroit became a battleground in the War on Terrorism.
That day the bomb being carried by Abdulmutallab failed to detonate. Thanks to the courageous action of the passengers and crew, nearly 300 lives were saved on the plane and more lives were spared on the ground.
The governmentâ€™s security system, a front line in the war against terrorists, failed long before Abdulmutallab boarded his flight to the United States. It failed when his visa wasnâ€™t revoked, even though his father had warned our embassy in Nigeria about his sonâ€™s ties to Islamic extremists. It failed when the intelligence community was unable to connect the dots that would have placed Abdulmutallab on the terrorist watchlist. It failed when this terrorist stepped on to the plane in Amsterdam with the same explosive used by the â€˜Shoe Bomber,â€™ Richard Reid, more than 8 years ago.
But, today, I want to discuss another failure, a failure that occurred after Abdulmutallab had already been detained by authorities in Detroit, an error that undoubtedly prevented the collection of valuable intelligence about future terrorist threats to our country.
This failure occurred when the Obama Justice Department unilaterally decided to treat this foreign terrorist as an ordinary criminal.
Abdulmutallab was questioned for less than one hour before the Justice Department advised him that he could remain silent and offered him an attorney at our expense.
Once afforded the protection our Constitution guarantees American citizens, this foreign terrorist â€˜lawyered upâ€™ and stopped talking.
When the Obama administration decided to treat Abdulmutallab as an ordinary criminal, it did so without the input of our nationâ€™s top intelligence officials. The Director of National Intelligence was not consulted. The Secretary of Defense was not consulted. The Secretary of Homeland Security was not consulted. The Director of the National Counterterrorism Center was not consulted.
They would have explained the importance of gathering all possible intelligence about Yemen, where there is a serious threat from terrorists whose sights are trained on this nation. They would have explained the critical nature of learning all we could from Abdulmutallab. But they were never asked.
Sen. Collins isn’t the only critic of the Obama administration’s interrogation of Abdulmutallab. Gen. Michael Hayden wrote an op-ed criticizing the Obama administration:
In the 50 minutes the FBI had to question him, agents reportedly got actionable intelligence. Good. But were there any experts on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in the room (other than Abdulmutallab)? Was there anyone intimately familiar with any National Security Agency raw traffic to, from or about the captured terrorist? Did they have a list or photos of suspected recruits?
When questioning its detainees, the CIA routinely turns the information provided over to its experts for verification and recommendations for follow-up. The responses of these experts, “Press him more on this, he knows the details” or “First time we’ve heard that”, helps set up more detailed questioning.
None of that happened in Detroit. In fact, we ensured that it wouldn’t. After the first session, the FBI Mirandized Abdulmutallab and, to preserve a potential prosecution, sent in a “clean team” of agents who could have no knowledge of what Abdulmutallab had provided before he was given his constitutional warnings. As has been widely reported, Abdulmutallab then exercised his right to remain silent.
The first priority of any administration, as demanded by the presidential oath of office, is to protect its citizens. If this administration was serious about preventing future terrorist attacks, the first step it would take is gather as much information as possible as quickly as possible from captured terrorists. It’s best to think of a terrorist’s information like a jar of unrefrigerated mayonnaise: it’ll be useless relatively quickly so it’s best to make as much use of it ASAP.
The Obama administration didn’t maximize the intel opportunity given by Abdulmutallab’s capture. Instead of interrogating him after getting him treated in the hospital, the Obama administration gave him the option of shutting up. This shouldn’t have been an option. PERIOD.
Gen. Hayden’s op-ed indicates that it’s Obama administration policy to tie the CIA’s hands:
Two days after his inauguration, President Obama issued an executive order that limited all interrogations by the U.S. government to the techniques authorized in the Army Field Manual. The CIA had not seen the final draft of the order, let alone been allowed to comment, before it was issued. I thought that odd since the order was less a legal document; there was no claim that the manual exhausted the universe of lawful techniques; than a policy one: These particular lawful techniques would be all that the country would need, at least for now.
This administration hasn’t proven that it’ll do everything possible to gather the information needed to prevent terrorist attacks. The Bush administration’s first priority was preventing the next terrorist attack. This administration’s first priority apparently is to prove to the world that we’re good global citizens.
Sen. Collins isn’t a right wing ideologue. She wasn’t the Bush administration’s shill. Her points, along with Gen. Hayden’s op-ed, offer an important opposing viewpoint on the Obama administration’s mishandling of the Abdulmutallab interrogation opportunity.
It’s time that this administration stopped ‘admitting’ that “the system failed” and started admitting that their policies aren’t maximizing our intel gathering opportunities.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Sarah Palin is at it again, using her FB page to excoriate President Obama again, this time on national security:
President Obamaâ€™s meeting with his top national security advisers does nothing to change the fact that his fundamental approach to terrorism is fatally flawed. We are at war with radical Islamic extremists and treating this threat as a law enforcement issue is dangerous for our nationâ€™s security. Thatâ€™s what happened in the 1990s and we saw the result on September 11, 2001. This is a war on terror not an â€œoverseas contingency operation.â€ Acts of terrorism are just that, not â€œman caused disasters.â€ The system did not work. Abdulmutallab was a child of privilege, radicalized and trained by organized jihadists, not an â€œisolated extremistâ€ who traveled to a land of â€œcrushing poverty.â€ He is an enemy of the United States, not just another criminal defendant.
President Obama and his staff have repeatedly said that “the system failed.” That’s rubbish. What failed was that President Obama took his eye off the ball. Instead of paying the proper amount of attention to defeating the jihadists, President Obama focused on health care, pork, taking over banks, more pork, taking over GM and Chrysler and more pork.
What failed is that President Obama’s, and Atty. Gen. Holder’s, policies are predicated on closing Gitmo rather than on preventing future terrorist attacks.
It’s time that this toy president pulled his head out of his posterior and got serious about protecting the United States.
John Brennan, the Presidentâ€™s top counterterrorism adviser, bizarrely claimed â€œthere are no downsides or upsidesâ€ to treating terrorists as enemy combatants. That is absurd. There is a very serious downside to treating them as criminals: terrorists invoke their â€œrightâ€ to remain silent and stop talking.
When I first heard Brennan’s answer, I had to hit rewind, twice, to be sure I’d heard what I thought I’d heard. Unfortunately, I heard the same thing three straight times.
Several important points need to be made about this. Here are the most important of my suggestions:
- President Obama’s starting premise is wrong and it needs to change ASAP.
- Janet Napolitano is vastly underqualified. She needs to be fired ASAP.
- John Brennan needs to stop being President Obama’s yes man. If he insists on playing the role of President Obama’s yes man, then he needs to be fired ASAP.
Scrapping President Obama’s policies is only the first step. It’s important to replace them with time-tested policies. President Obama loves talking about “the failed policies of the last eight years.” If he doesn’t start reverting back to President Bush’s policies soon, he’ll be seen as the failure. For all the criticism that he got from lightweights like President Obama, the undeniable truth is that President Bush’s results in fighting terrorists and preventing terrorist attacks were pretty solid, considerably better than President Obama’s record thus far.
The Obama administration isn’t the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. They’re the gang that won’t use all the weapons in their arsenal. Yes, they’ve effectively used drones to kill terrorists. That’s nice but there’s more to winning the war against the jihadists than introducing them to their 72 virgins.
What intel have they gained in interrogating terrorists? Has President Obama made interrogating would-be terrorists a high priority? Based on Attorney General Holder’s decisions, I can’t say for certain that that’s a priority. In fact, this administration’s decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab tells me that they haven’t put a high priority on interrogating terrorists.
If I was forced to give this administration grades on fighting jihadists, I’d give them a B for killing terrorists and an F- for interrogating terrorists. For an overall grade, I’d put that at a D- because getting information that’d prevent future terrorist attacks is more important than killing the jihadists.
Once again, Sarah Palin has exposed the “fatal flaws” in President Obama’s policies. That’s pretty good for a woman that the elites think of as a joke and a backwoods hick.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
All weekend long, I’ve listened to one White House yes man after another essentially tell us that letting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab lawyer up lived up to the high moral standards of this nation. If I hear another one of these flacks say that the system worked or that we’re doing the right thing by prosecuting terrorists as criminals, I’m gonna scream so loud, I’ll wake up Yemeni terrorists.
That’s only fair since some of the Yemeni terrorists are allegedly plotting terrorist attacks. I say allegedly since Abdulmutallab went silent after lawyering up. That’s the thing about prosecuting terrorists as criminals rather than interrogating them while they have actionable intelligence.
Here’s what Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan told FNS’s Chris Wallace:
WALLACE: Perhaps the most controversial step that President Obama took after the Christmas day terror attack was to charge Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant.
He was cooperating with authorities. He was giving information about his links to Al Qaeda. But after he got a criminal lawyer, he reportedly stopped cooperating, stopped talking.
Why not treat him as an enemy combatant, put him in a secret prison, use the interrogation techniques that President Obama has specifically approved, and try to get more information out of him?
BRENNAN: Well, we have an array of tools that we will use, and we want to make sure we maintain flexibility as far as how we deal with these individuals.
Now, let’s get the facts on the table. He was arrested on U.S. soil on a plane on, in the Detroit airplane. He was, in fact, talking to people who were detaining him.
There were people who were arrested during the previous administration, Richard Reid, the shoe bomber; Zacarias Moussaoui; Padilla; Iyman Faris; others; all were charged and tried in criminal court and sentenced, some cases to life imprisonment.
Just because somebody is going to be put into the criminal legal process does not mean that they’re…we don’t have other opportunities to get information from them.
When we captured KSM, the Bush administration interrogated him for roughly a month, during which time KSM gave us intelligence on networks, AQ infrastructure, financing, future plots already in the works and more. AFter the CIA felt that they’d gotten everything out of him, then they announced that he’d been captured.
The intel officers put a high priority on keeping things as hush-hush as possible. They didn’t want the terrorists to know that they’d soon be rolling up entire networks in the coming days. By treating KSM as the terrorist he is, intel got tons of information that they then used to devastate AQ networks in the Middle East, in Indonesia while thwarting a terrorist attack in Los Angeles.
Here’s why it’s important that we not let Abdumutallab lawyer up: now U.S. intel won’t get important information that possibly would’ve help them to quickly ‘connect the dots’.
What’s worse is something that Mr. Brennan said:
Just because somebody is going to be put into the criminal legal process does not mean that…we don’t have other opportunities to get information from them.
Brennan elaborated on that point, saying implicitly that they’ll get additional information from Abdulmutallab when they negotiate a plea agreement with this terrorist. EXCUSE ME??? This administration is now boxed into offering plea deals to terrorists for information they would’ve gotten had he been interrogated first, then prosecuted.
Michael Kinsley tries spinning the Obama administration’s behavior in this NYTimes op-ed:
Members of Al Qaeda are not the only ones affected by this double standard. The most repulsive and obviously guilty child molester, or drug kingpin who may also have information that the government could use, gets American justice, while an innocent child killed accidentally in our pursuit of terrorists gets no justice at all. (This second part of the equation doesnâ€™t seem to bother the Cheneys and the Gingriches.) Any place you draw the line, it will be possible to come up with what lawyers call â€œa parade of horribles.â€ Any line you draw can be made to seem absurd, because it is absurd. But the line must be drawn somewhere.
So why not draw the line to put an Abdulmutallab or a Shaikh Mohammed on the â€œwarâ€ side and treat him as an enemy combatant? Well, first, recognize that this has become a judgment call so the answer is no longer obvious or mandated by logic. Second, recognize that the national border is a â€œbright line,â€ and if people captured within the United States are going to be treated as if they were somewhere else, provided that they are certified terrorists, things are going to get complicated quickly.
This isn’t a difficult task if you apply common sense. We mustn’t forget that applying common sense is different than attempting to rationalize something. For example, Mr. Kinsley isn’t applying common sense. He’s attempting to rationalize the Obama administration’s actions.
To clarify things, let’s figure out what our priorities are. Setting the right priorities helps clarify things quickly. I’d suggest that a president’s highest priority must be protecting innocent civilians without violating the Constitution. By setting that sensible priority, clarity is established.
As despicable as a drug kingpin and child molesters are, there isn’t a question that the Constitution says that they have some constitutional protections. Their offensive actions are clearly classified as crimes. That can’t be said about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab or KSM.
Abdulmutallab and KSM are part of a terrorist network. They’ve received terrorist training. KSM planned a terrorist attack. Abdulmutallab attempted to carry out a terrorist attack. They’ve committed acts of war. Neither followed the rules of war as defined in the Geneva Convention. That means that they aren’t afforded the same protections as soldiers in uniforms.
That means that they aren’t criminals. They’re enemy combatants/terrorists.
The vast majority of Americans agree with me that we should find out as much about terrorist networks as quickly as possible, then act on that information by putting terrorist networks out of commission.
Defense attorneys’ spin notwithstanding, you can’t get that type of information out of a terrorist who’s lawyered up and who’s been Mirandized. As Mr. Brennan admitted, Abdulmutallab was spilling his guts until his defense attorney showed up. The minute Abdulmutallab lawyered up is the minute he went silent, thereby preventing the CIA and FBI from getting actionable intelligence on terrorists based in Yemen who are plotting other terrorist attacks.
It’s time that this administration put a higher priority on gathering intelligence from terrorists than on Mirandizing terrorists. Until that transition happens, the United States won’t be protected as well as it possibly can be.
That’s an unacceptable response to the terrorists’ stated goals. It’s time that this administration got serious about gathering intel from terrorists. That would prove that they get it.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Bill Kristol made several good points in this video:
Still, the thing that he didn’t do is what I’ll do here: The U.S. closing its embassy in Yemen is the U’S. government’s equivalent of Mark Dayton shutting down his office a week before the 2004 elections based on information that no one else got.
This is yet another embarrassing moment for the Obama administration’s national security team. Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced that they were working closely with the Yemeni government in shutting down AQY. Days later, they’re shutting down the U.S. embassy in Yemen.
This is a huge propaganda win for the jihadists. Democrats repeat the mantra that closing Gitmo is imperative because the jihadists use it in recruiting new jihadists. Obviously, the Democrats didn’t learn from their Murtha/Clinton cut and run episode in Somalia.
If they’d learned from that, they’d know that the U.S. cutting short military operations told bin Laden that we were, in his words, “a paper tiger.” It’s impossible to think that the jihadists don’t believe that the Obama administration is the newest American paper tiger.
Couple the embassy closing with arresting Abdul Mutallab instead of capturing and interrogating him and it’s been a disastrous week for the Obama administration’s national security team.
Cross-posted at California Conservative