Only captured illegal enemy combatants fearful of enhanced interrogation techniques do
I am reminded in the aftermath of the U.S. as undertaker-sponsored burial of Usama bin Laden at sea, that my first column as a paid journalist, written soon after September 11, 2001, was the first in the nation suggest that captured terrorists would not be entitled to POW status and, thus, could be subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques.
It was gratifying when President George W. Bush adhered to that time-honored rule of the law of war (and happy that the Justice Anthony Kennedy, erstwhile Commander-in-Chief via a fifth vote re war crime trial procedures, saw fit not to usurp the inherent power of the real CINC to detain those he identifies as levying war against the United States) to execute his duty to prevent any more terrorist attacks on the homeland during his term.
The information obtained from those so retained, including Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the mastermind of 911, was available to our new Commander-in-Chief, and instrumental in, this week’s just killing of UBL.
But it was not gratifying to hear all of President Barack Obama’s self-congratulation with barely a mention of his predecessor as he claimed that the killing of UBL was “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda”; and, admitted what I think is a dereliction of his duty to keep the home land safe, when he said that upon taking office he:
“[made] the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.”
Captain Ahab, Moby Dick and the Bushlied Era
The top priority of any president is to protect Americans from enemy attacks, both foreign and domestic. President Bush managed to do that for over seven years despite the failure to capture and/or kill the leader of those that murdered the 3000.
Rather, Bush stayed the course in Afghanistan, Iraq, and at home. Those efforts:
- Eliminated UBL’s safe nation-state haven and decimated al Qaeda;
- Removed a terror sponsor of suicide bombers on live television in Iraq;
- Prompted the surrender of Libya’s WMD;
- Deterred other strong horse wannabes; and
- Led to the gathering of the intelligence that made UBL’s burial at sea with the U.S. as the undertaker possible.
No thanks to Senators Obama and Hillary Clinton and most elected Democrats in D.C. who harped against rendition, nose-swabbings of KSM et al, wire-tappings less onerous than Bill’s ECHELON, the holding of captured terrorists at Gitmo and thus not in proximity to King & Spaulding trial lawyers ready to represent them for free.
Both Obama and Clinton twice voted to deny funds to our armed forces then at war against terrorists in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters.
One of the Obama Administration’s first acts in January 2009 was to target CIA interrogators and Justice Department lawyers for prosecution for war crimes for waterboarding. Attorney General Eric Holder even went so far as to do Obama’s bidding by ending military tribunals, including the one in which KSM confessed and was sentenced to death, and declaring a new policy of Mirandizing captured terrorists lest evidence be tossed when they got their show trials near Ground Zero.
Democrats not named Joe Lieberman did not help decimate al Qaeda and keep the homeland safe with their “Bushlied” campaign launched two hours after Tora Bora and two weeks after Saddam Hussein’s regime was removed sans “stockpiles” of WMD.
Had Senators Obama and Hillary and most of the elected Democrats in Washington had their way, not only would they never have captured their Moby Dick out of water; we surely would not have devoted the resources necessary to keep the nation safe by decimating terror networks.
Rather than gleaning intel and connecting dots via captured terrorists, we would have engaged in a massive Charge of the Light Brigade-like search for yesterday’s news while today’s news went unanswered much like the attacks in the 1990s went essentially unanswered, from the first attack on the WTC by KSM’s cousin and UBL’s attacks on our African embassies and the USS Cole.
I would argue that the Dem’s Bushlied era cost the lives of countless American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines as our enemies were emboldened to fight on by promises from Democrat to bring the troops home.
They told us that our efforts in Iraq and even in Afghanistan after a time, were “creating more terrorists that we were killing.” Ten years later, after zero terrorist successful attacks save for two on Obama’s watch at Fort Hood and in Arkansas, and after a Spring Arabs in the streets demanding the life being had by that Little Connecticut Bush’s democracy project planted in Iraq, we know that contention was a lie.
Dead terrorists don’t kill Americans. Terrorists driven in to caves of mud or million dollar caves of cement don’t kill Americans. Those deterred by the sight of their fallen terrorist buddies don’t kill Americans. Nation states that watch the USA remove regimes don’t kill Americans.
Democrats prefer Miranda, Lawyers and Geneva rather than waging total war
A debate has arisen concerning whether the waterboarding of detainees, at Guantanamo Bay or in CIA “black” rendition sites in Europe or elsewhere, was instrumental in obtaining the information that led to the capture of UBL.
But if the Democrats had their way, we may not have even captured those that we later waterboarded and even if we had, those detainees would have been Mirandized on their right to remain silent and given the right to have guitars and lawyers as Prisoners of War under Geneva conventions.
Never mind that those convention rules were enacted precisely for the purpose of denying POW (name, rank and serial number only interrogation) rights to those who wage war on and among civilians without uniform and for no nation’s military.
This conservative Republican gives President Obama great praise for his role in burying UBL and for getting his mind right after taking office and reversing himself on so many of his positions as senator and in the 2008 campaign re national security policies from rendition, Gitmo, KSM trial in NYC etc.
And while I have, for many years, considered UBL a low priority target given that most all of the successful terror attacks on the US from 1993-2001 were accomplished before our armed forces under Bush removed OBL’s safe haven; I do think that it is still a major blow to the Islamist movement to show that he is the weak horse now…dead horse.
But the major blows against that movement were the removal of Afghanistan as the safe haven from which successful attacks were launched against the US at home and abroad. The major blows were made possible because President Bush stayed the course, thus staying long enough to won the trust of those that would give us intel to capture and kill terrorist and have successful surges.
I am gratified that the boy President got his mind right on many Bush doctrines that keep us safe even if Republicans in Congress had to do so for him in preventing the closing of Gitmo and show trials in NYC.
I am especially gratified that Holder returned to his soon-after-911 position that enemy combatants, like POWS in WWII, can be held indefinitely until hostilities cease, the war ends or the president determines that one is no longer a threat. He changed his position on that issue when he joined the Obama campaign. Both he and Obama re-flipped after they got in office and realized that they didn’t want to lose wars on their watch or make another 911 more likely.
They didn’t even re-erect the Clinton era “Gorelick Wall” between the CIA and FBI. Thanks, but I wonder if these same Democrats will maintain their semi-hawkishness when they aren’t using a war being waged by a Republican Commander-in-Chief in the future? Actually, I don’t, as I remember the Dems’ betrayals of the Hmong in South Vietnam in 1975 and the Contras in the 1980s, among many other examples of liberal Democrat aggression-inviting weakness on foreign affairs and war. I suspect that they remain Gullible and the Liberalputians who think Syria is led by a “reformer”.
I also remember just a few weeks ago that President Obama’s Administration preemptively announced that he would not even pay the military during a shutdown but would pay other employees deemed “essential” and that it was Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that refused to pass the GOP House-passed bill that would have paid the military for two years no matter if a government shutdown occurred.
Obama, Usama and Anwar al-Awlaki’s Fort Hood
All the Dems ever harped on 48 hours after we invaded Iraq was WMD, Tora Bora and getting one man, ie UBL. The Dems on their own would never have done what it took to decimate al Qaeda and even eventually get a pathetic impotent UBL 10 years on.
The main duty of a President is to keep us safe. The evidence that Bush did the job after 911 is that we didn’t have any more terror attacks in the US after 911 for his 7+ years thereafter.
President Obama admits a change in emphasis to find one man who was essentially impotent. Meanwhile, a cleric in Yemen inspired the first successful terror attack on US soil at Fort Hood and four other near miss bombers with underwear and in Times Square etc.
What Obama needs to do now is focus more on getting those that have been successful and nearly successful in inspiring and sponsoring attacks on the US since he took office, i.e. U.S.-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (Fort Hood, Underwear bomber, plot o bomb NYC subway, and Times Square bomber); stop appeasing Iran and stop the political correctness that refuses to recognize that it is Islam that is inspiring terror and looks the other way, even at US forts, when majors speak well of terrorists.
That said, overall, if Obama were 10% as good on the economy and budget as he is on war, America would be in much better shape. God bless America and thank you President Obama for following in so many of President Bush’s war president footsteps.
You earned your Nobel Peace Prize by killing the OBL. Here’s hoping that you will take no more apology tours to beg MembersOnlyJacket-ejad to meet with you while Iran’s mullahs mow down innocent freedom-seekers in the streets.
Legal Editor – The Minority Report
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist for Examiner.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
More DeVine Gamecock rooster crowings at Modern Conservative, Hillbilly Politics, Unified Patriots, Political Daily and Conservative Outlooks. All Charlotte Observer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-eds archived at Townhall.com.