Terrorism Archives

No, it’s not that our Federal court system can’t handle a case like this. 

No, it’s not that New York can’t handle it (though we are about to open old wounds). 

No, it’s not that Barack Obama is doing it.

No, it’s not even that we conferring constitutional rights to someone who was neither a citizen or living here at the time of the crime (though that is a big issue).

James Galyean, a former federal prosecutor and former counsel on the US Senate Judiciary Committee, spells it out.

The criminal justice system is not the proper place to determine his fate. Our criminal courts provide protections to our citizens that should not be provided to a terrorist, and may actually damage national security.

Just think about the discovery requirements that could be placed on prosecutors. For instance, in the trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, prosecutors were required to turn over to defense lawyers a large amount of intelligence information. Documents from that discovery production, which were never supposed to be provided to anyone outside the defense team, were later found in an al-Qaeda hideout. Let me say that again, confidential documents from a trial in New York were later found in the hands of al-Qaeda.

Now consider that KSM was captured in a lightening raid in Pakistan. The intelligence that led to that capture has been the subject of a number of reports. However, al-Qaeda would love to know for sure where that information came from and how it was obtained. In addition to that, they may be able to learn a number of other things from discovery in this trial.

Emphasis his.  And he also notes that even military tribunals have their hands tied

The Obama Administration just approved new rules for military commissions. The President’s new rules make obtaining a conviction much more difficult, maybe impossible in some cases. The new rules require that a defendant be allowed access to any classified information used against him. This may prevent a number of trials from going forward if the military decides it cannot afford to “burn” the method or source of the information. And since the new rules are now the President’s rules, it would be his fault if the terrorist were not convicted, or perhaps not even tried.

But you know he’ll still blame Bush. 

Citizen Khalid

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, is being promoted to, what amounts to, full citizen of the United States of America for purposes of standing trial, in civilian court, for his war crimes.  He’ll get all the rights and privileges afforded citizens, and even just residents living under the laws of our land, even though he has never been either of those. 

Nazis are rolling over in their graves.  No doubt John Kerry, who called the war on terror a "law enforcement" issue is feeling vindicate today.  (He’s still wrong.)

Democrats promptly erected straw men to defend this decision by the President.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the federal courts are capable of trying high-profile terrorism.

”By trying them in our federal courts, we demonstrate to the world that the most powerful nation on earth also trusts its judicial system a system respected around the world,” Leahy said.

But nobody’s saying that the federal courts aren’t capable.  What they are saying is that there are other ways to deal with this without the detrimental consequences.

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona called bringing Mohammed to New York ”an unnecessary risk” that could result in the disclosure of classified information. Kyl maintained the trial of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called ”blind sheik” who was tried for a plot against some two-dozen New York City landmarks, caused ”valuable information about U.S. intelligence sources and methods” to be revealed to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Making 9/11 that much more easier to plan.  And we’re putting the master planner on trial.  We’re throwing caution to the wind because of the President’s reckless promise to close Guantanamo within a year (which hasn’t been going so well, and people are losing their jobs over it).

And if you thought that the OJ Simpson trial was a circus, just wait until the KS Mohammed one.  "If he was waterboarded, he must be exonerated!"  OK, I’m no Johnny-Cochran-caliber poet, that’s for sure.

Political Cartoon: All Equal Now

From Chuck Asay (click for full size):

Chuck Asay cartoon

Does old Europe really want to start really paying for their own defense?  They’ve played with socialism with the money they saved outsourcing their defense to us.  I’m guessing they can’t afford it.

Feel-Good Diplomacy

How’s that working out for President Obama?  Charles Krauthammer takes a look back at the past nine months and ticks off this administration’s biggest foreign policy initiatives.

What’s come from Obama holding his tongue while Iranian demonstrators were being shot and from his recognizing the legitimacy of a thug regime illegitimately returned to power in a fraudulent election? Iran cracks down even more mercilessly on the opposition and races ahead with its nuclear program.

What’s come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking human rights off the table on a visit to China and from Obama’s shameful refusal to see the Dalai Lama (a postponement, we are told)? China hasn’t moved an inch on North Korea, Iran or human rights. Indeed, it’s pushing with Russia to dethrone the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

What’s come from the new-respect-for-Muslims Cairo speech and the unprecedented pressure on Israel for a total settlement freeze? "The settlement push backfired," reports The Post, and Arab-Israeli peace prospects have "arguably regressed."

And what’s come from Obama’s single most dramatic foreign policy stroke — the sudden abrogation of missile defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech Republic that Russia had virulently opposed? For the East Europeans it was a crushing blow, a gratuitous restoration of Russian influence over a region that thought it had regained independence under American protection.

But maybe not gratuitous. Surely we got something in return for selling out our friends. Some brilliant secret trade-off to get strong Russian support for stopping Iran from going nuclear before it’s too late? Just wait and see, said administration officials, who then gleefully played up an oblique statement by President Dmitry Medvedev a week later as vindication of the missile defense betrayal.

The Russian statement was so equivocal that such a claim seemed a ridiculous stretch at the time. Well, Clinton went to Moscow this week to nail down the deal. What did she get?

"Russia Not Budging on Iran Sanctions; Clinton Unable to Sway Counterpart." Such was The Post headline’s succinct summary of the debacle.

Note how thoroughly Clinton was rebuffed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that "threats, sanctions and threats of pressure" are "counterproductive." Note: It’s not just sanctions that are worse than useless, but even the threat of mere pressure.

There’s more; read the whole thing(tm).  Now granted, nine months is not time enough to make great strides.  Heck, it’s barely enough time to win a "peace" prize.  But if the world has a collective thrill up its leg over the election of He Who Is Not Bush, it’s having a difficult time showing it. 

As I noted 3 years ago, the facade is just that; a false front.  Goodwill was not squandered because little of it was there in the first place.  The world is just as difficult to work with now as it has ever been, especially for those European leftists who keep trying to remake American in their image, those radical Islamists who hatched a massive terrorist attack plan while we had a Democrat in the White House, and a Russian government deeply paranoid of America, no matter who is in power.

Fine oratory, promises, and a medal given because of them, will not change the world.  There are too many enemies out there that will be placated only by a credible threat of force.  The more credible the threat, the less likely it is that it need be used. 

War On … What, Exactly?

According to President Obama’s top counterterrorism official, we should no longer use the term "war on terror" to describe the struggle against jihadis.  Oops, sorry, John Brennan also said we’re not at war with jihadis either, since "jihad" is, "a legitimate term, ‘jihad,’ meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal".  No, this should just be called a "war with al Qaeda", because after all, they’re really the only jihadi terrorists that hate us. 

Oh, and World War II is to be renamed in all future textbooks as the "War Against Adolf Hitler, Personally".  Otherwise, it would sound like it took place everywhere and was against the whole country of Germany.  Well, and Italy, but the "War Against Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, Personally" doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely.

And it’s not a global war either, says Johnny.  Just because al Qaeda operates in the Middle East and Africa, and attacked the US on its home soil, we don’t want to risk making it sound like they really are all over the place.  It’s an image thing, you know.  Control the message.

So my question is this; if this counterterrorism official says we’re not fighting terrorists, what does that say about his position as a … counterterrorism official?  Perhaps he’d just rather put up a sign over his door saying, "Mission Accomplished" and hit the golf course.


Regarding Gitmo detainees who may have been acquitted,

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration argues that the legal basis for indefinite detention of aliens it considers dangerous is separate from war-crimes prosecutions. Officials say that the laws of war allow indefinite detention to prevent aliens from committing warlike acts in future, while prosecution by military commission aims to punish them for war crimes committed in the past.

On national security, Obama has pretty much held the Bush line.  But hey, he gave great speeches about Change, so it’s OK.

Shire Network News #164 has been released. The feature interview is with Cliff May, head of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, about his recent appearence on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, civility in political discourse, and what constitutes torture. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

Two murders.  Two people gunned down in cold blood.  One was a doctor, one was a soldier, both killed here in the US.  They were both of such notoriety that the President issued statements regarding both of them.  The blogosphere covered them both.  Sounds like they were treated similarly, eh?

But nothing could be further from the truth.  (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)  The doctor was an abortion doctor, and so now I’m guessing you know what happened.  Yes, the President issued statements; within hours for the abortion doctor, but after 2 days for the soldier.  One wonders why an abortion doctor gets a more urgent reaction than one of the subordinates of the Commander-in-Chief himself.  Perhaps reproductive issues trump national security in these days of "Change".  One wonders if military recruiters will get the federal marshal protection that another abortion doctor is now getting.  This wouldn’t be political, would it? 

Yes, the blogosphere covered both these incidents.  Well, those on the Right did.  Some major blogs on the Left like Daily Kos, Think Progress, TalkLeft and Talking Points Memo (no link to search results) had, at the time I wrote this, days after the President’s statement, absolutely nothing about William Long, the murdered soldier.  Needless to say, they were all over the murder of the abortion doctor, George Tiller.  This wouldn’t be political, would it?  No wonder these lefties crack jokes about the motto of Fox News; "Fair and balanced".  They can’t believe anyone would actually do that.  I mean, where’s the fun in paying attention to inconvenient truths (unless there’s movie money to be made)?

And let’s think about this: A recent Muslim convert killing soldiers for what America is doing in Muslim countries.  On a much smaller scale, this is a microcosm of 9/11, but not worthy of a single line from the Left?  One abortion doctor dies and it’s wall-to-wall coverage, but apparently one military man dying at the hand of a radical Muslim in our own country doesn’t raise any antennae, even after the President (finally, eventually) gets around to commenting on it?  Let’s get that threat level down to Green, Ms. Napolitano.  Happy days are here again!

Frankly, we have law enforcement to thank that it wasn’t a bigger microcosm, as the gunman had more arms and targets ready to go.  In fact, radical Muslims, on one day in particular, killed more Americans than all the pro-life radicals put together.  A few orders of magnitude more.  How about a little outrage, even faux outrage, just to pretend your not missing the same parts as the Scarecrow or the Tin Man?  How about someone suggest hate-crime legislation to prevent revenge attacks on pro-lifers?  Anyone? 

For perspective, I want to quote a statistic that I got from an Ann Coulter column.  (Fair warning for those of you who go frothing at the mouth when her words are spoken.)  In the past 36 years since the Roe v Wade decision, there have been about 49 million abortions.  During that same period, how many abortion doctors have been killed?  The answer: Too many.  OK, the answer’s really 5, but that’s 5 too many.  And if 5 is too many, what is 49 million?  Consider this.

Shire Network News #163 has been released. Instead of an interview this week, "Tom Paine" in Australia joins Meryl Yourish in Richmond Virginia, and "Brian of London" in Tel Aviv for a three-way discussion about life, politics, Jihadi’s attacking on every front while Obama sits back, peers hawkishly in the opposite direction and says "War? What war?", how to get one’s political comedy mojo back and the vitally important topic of moat-dredging. It’s a LOT more relevant than you might think.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

That scourge of the world, that Auschwitz of the West, the human rights debacle commonly known as "Gitmo", the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, is going to be closed, much to the relief of anti-war activists everywhere.  It was on January 22nd of this year, 2 days after taking office, that President Barack Obama signed an order to shut it down within the year.  With 9 months left on the clock, how’s that going?

This past week, the fiscal year 2009 spending bill included Obama’s request for money to handle this.  However, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, a Democrat, stripped the $80 million from the bill because the administration had not actually presented a "concrete program" to close it.  In short, Obey … didn’t.  So it seems that Barack Obama doesn’t really have an "exit strategy" for dealing with this problem; he’s just throwing money at it, something the Left is exemplary at.  And while cooler heads in the Democratic party are prevailing, one would think, one would hope, that the coolest head ought to be at the top.  Well, just keep hoping.

At the same time he signed the order to close Gitmo, Obama also suspended the proceedings of the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days.  He’s said during the campaign that, “by any measure our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure,” and declaring that as president he would “reject the Military Commissions Act.”  So how’s that going?

Well, now the administration is becoming more open to using tribunals because of the difficulty in trying these cases in the federal court system.  Some may still be, but one administration official said that the more they looked at it, the more the tribunals didn’t look as bad as they did on January 20th.  Apparently, he was the spokesman for other officials who were busy putting out the fires they’d set on their bridges behind them.  If things look much different "the more you look at it", that sounds like you should have been looking at it a bit more in the first place, before shooting your mouth off and throwing red meat to your supporters.  You’re the President, or you were running for it then, and cooler heads ought to have … well, you know the drill.

No, what we have is a pandering President proclaiming pompously panaceas promoted primarily by pernicious panels of people.  Pathetic.  We can only hope that, going forward, the leader of the free world will take just a little more time to consider this.

Guantanamo Fray

Following similar action in the House, the Senate voted (rather overwhelmingly; 90-6) to reject the shutdown of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.  The Left has made this a drumbeat for years, but now that they’re in a position to actually do something about it, they suddenly get all NIMBY on the issue.

Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said that none of Guantánamo’s detainees should be transferred to the US to stand trial or serve time in prison. “We don’t want them around,” he said. “I can’t make it any more clear … We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States.”

“Terrorists”?  I thought they were a bunch of wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time, dragnet detainees that the ACLU is just waiting to spring.  But now Harry Reid is calling them “terrorists”.  Well yeah, that does rather change the calculus on the whole situation, doesn’t it?  If we’d only known then what we know now, right?

And it seems most of the countries where Obama thought he could pawn off these “victims cum terrorists” are closing their doors, after saying that they would be open lo these many years.  Apparently, they were “just words”.  So now, Congressional Democrats find themselves between Barack and a hard place, a situation of their own making as their candidate campaigned on, apparently, “just words”, but no real exit strategy from Gitmo.

But Scott Ott, news satirist at his own site and now columnist at the Washington Examiner, “reports” that Obama has announced a new tactic; simply declare the detainees as “fetuses”.

While accused terrorists have access to attorneys, and nearly-limitless legal appeals, a fetus has no legal standing, cannot speak for itself, and is subject to the death penalty without regard to guilt or innocence.

Civil rights advocates have pressured Obama to follow through on campaign promises to shutter Gitmo, but even Democrats in Congress have resisted bringing the inmates to U.S. soil for trials and incarceration.

“We can debate whether enemy combatants have access to protections under the U.S. Constitution,” said Obama. “However, no serious person would grant such protection to an embryo or fetus. The loss of 240 fetuses wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in a nation where more than 3,000 of them hit the Dumpster daily.”

The president noted that America’s global reputation has been devastated by U.S. treatment of terror suspects, but that “our treatment of a million fetuses each year earns us nothing but admiration, and requests for clinic-funding from those who aspire to be like us.”

Sources acknowledged continuing White House debate about whether a terrorist who escapes from Gitmo alive can still be treated as a fetus.

Nobody, save for some right-wing extremists, could possibly object to that, eh?

Situation Question: Who Said It?

That’s the introduction from a Bible Quiz master in our denomination when he or she is about to quote someone’s words and is asking who spoke those words.  So here’s a similar question for you; who said these words?  One hint is that it’s from a category of people, not a single speaker.  Another is that they’re talking about Arab extremists and our foreign policy towards them.

"Openness for the sake of openness makes the situation more complicated and sends the wrong message."

Appeasing extremists tells them, "that extremism is the most effective way to attract the U.S.’s attention, and to compel them to conduct dialogue."

When Pakistan was too soft on terrorists, the result was “more murders and torture of those opposed to the movement and more suffering for the people."

“Despite all [Obama’s conciliatory actions], violence has increased….None of these elements have changed their positions–despite everything Obama has done since assuming the presidency. Every step [Obama] takes towards [his foes] will only prompt them to challenge him."

So who said it?  Neocons?  The staff at National Review?  Former Bush administration officials?  A conservative think tank?

If you guessed any of them, the quiz master takes away 10 points for an error. 

If you guessed moderate Arabs, you get 20 points.  Barry Rubin has the details.

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