When Erick Erickson is on your case … case closed. A magnificent post from one of the most respected bloggers on the Internet. Thanks Erick. Read more
Huzzah!! The War on Terrorism is over!!
Reminiscent of his bow to the King of Saudi Arabia, the White House kow-tows again in the direction of the Middle East:
“It’s official. The U.S. is no longer engaged in a “war on terrorism.” Neither is it fighting “jihadists” or in a “global war.”
President Obama’s top homeland security and counterterrorism official took all three terms off the table of acceptable words inside the White House during a speech Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
“The President does not describe this as a ‘war on terrorism,'” said John Brennan, head of the White House homeland security office, who outlined a “new way of seeing” the fight against terrorism.
In other words, if the President decides to call a dog’s tail a leg, then the dog has five legs.
I, like most Americans, and, I suspect all of Congress, listened attentively to your speech on Thursday about the fate of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Your decision earlier this year to close Gitmo within the year left most of us wondering how you would accomplish this. Even the Democrat controlled Congress was concerned enough that they denied your request for $80 million to accomplish the closure unless they first knew what your plan was.
Here’s what I read this morning:
White House officials have said Thursday’s speech will provide more detail on the president’s plan for closing Guantanamo.
But, I heard no plan. Instead, I heard, once again, about what you “inherited”. I know exactly what you inherited Mr. President, I lived through it. So, I, for one, am growing tired of the “inherited” speech. You campaigned on what you believed to be wrong with the Bush administration, and its policies, and, you told us you would foster change. Telling us over and over again about what you inherited isn’t change, it’s history. Every President “inherits” from the prior administration. It is the nature of our democratic republic.
I have searched history for any reference that President Truman spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Roosevelt , or that President Roosevelt spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Hoover, or that President Wilson spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Taft, or that your hero, President Lincoln spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Buchanan. There are no such references, Mr. President.
Those presidents, as all before you, knew exactly what they were getting into before they campaigned for the job. And, so did the American public. Once elected, those presidents simply went about doing that job without pointing fingers at the past, but rather focusing on the future.
Please, Mr. President, don’t tell us what we already know. Tell us what, if anything, you are going to do about it.
Very truly yours,
By scheduling the shut down of Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay and CIA secret facilities in other countries, President Obama – almost by default – has chosen to expand the rendition program that involves turning captured terrorists over to their home countries for interrogation.
Morrissey at Hot Air has more.
Renditions created a huge global controversy primarily because the home countries of the terrorists torture for information. Most of these terror suspects grabbed by the CIA come from countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and other emirates where the Geneva Convention only provides a veneer of respectability and not legal constraints of any kind. Critics complained that the CIA essentially “outsourced” its torture to subcontractors in this rendition process, ensuring that these methods would get used without getting their own hands dirty and getting the information torture produced.
Ed provides linkage to a story in the LA Times.
… the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.
Well what else would you do with captured terrorists? We can’t take them to the United States, Gitmo or to CIA facilities offshore. Send them home!
The problem is terrorists are frequently really tortured when they get home. They tend end up dead. [see comments] The liberal left has been complaining about the rendition program during the Bush years. Back to Hot Air…
For the last seven years, the Left has screeched hysterically over the CIA practice of rendition, in which agents turn detainees over to authorities in their home country for interrogation. Never mind that the practice started in the Clinton administration, and never mind that the other options were Guantanamo Bay, release, or two caps in the back of the head; they pilloried Bush over renditions as if he’d thought them up himself. Hollywood even made a movie about how awful the process is, apparently matched in awfulness only by the film’s box office.
Exit question: Before terrorists could be assured that they would live – possibly to fight another day – when captured and held by the United States. Will the left step up and demand that Obama’s rendition program be stopped?
Exit question 2 (the thoughtful one): Will terrorists be more cooperative with the United States when captured to ensure that they will not be sent home? Will we get actionable intelligence quicker?
Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order to delay a decision his administration will soon need to make. By signing the order within the first 48 hours of his presidency, he throws a bone to the liberal left, placates them with a quick salvo fired at Bush, and kicks the can down the road.
The can is going to soon roll back down the hill, and he does not seem to have a plan.
The order references the Geneva Conventions, but as we all know terrorists are not a signatory to the Conventions and they – quite frankly – use the rules against us. That policy is chapter one of the Terrorist 101 syllabus.
I quote from the order…
In view of the significant concerns raised by these detentions, both within the United States and internationally, prompt and appropriate disposition of the individuals currently detained at Guantánamo and closure of the facilities in which they are detained would further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.
Does this say that releasing terrorists – who have fought and plotted against us and deemed the Geneva Conventions irrelevant – would improve our national security?
The paragraph continues.
Merely closing the facilities without promptly determining the appropriate disposition of the individuals detained would not adequately serve those interests. To the extent practicable, the prompt and appropriate disposition of the individuals detained at Guantánamo should precede the closure of the detention facilities at Guantánamo.
Obama has released this Executive Order without a plan. There is no explanation of what will happen with the Gitmo terrorists.
A couple of notes before sharing a few paragraphs from a novel I recently read. This Executive Order only deals with detainees in Guantanamo Bay, it does not discuss other locations where terrorists may be held. In section 8…
Nothing in this order shall prejudice the authority of the Secretary of Defense to determine the disposition of any detainees not covered by this order.
Wink wink … there is more!
If any individuals covered by this order remain in detention at Guantánamo at the time of closure of those detention facilities, they shall be returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility in a manner consistent with law and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.
Can someone say symbolism over substance? This paragraph seems to indicate an option would be to transfer the prisoners to another detention facility, possibly outside of the United States!
The following is from the Vince Flynn novel Extreme Measures. On page 271, this is a snippet of a discussion between two characters, Ralph Wasson and Senator Barbara Lonsdale. I’ll let it stand without commentary.
[Wasson] “… You ask the people if they are pro-torture, and ninety plus percent say no. You then ask them what the CIA should do if they catch a senior al-Qaeda member who has carried out attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq that have killed thousands. You then tell them that the CIA has solid information an attack is looming and this man has information that could help stop it. You then ask them if they are okay with slapping this guy around and making him think he’s about to drown and all of a sudden seventy percent of them are pro-torture.
“Now” – Wassen wagged a finger at his boss – “I can get that number to over ninety percent if you give the people a third option.”
“Don’t tell me what’s going on. Just take care of it. I don’t need to know everything my government does.”
“So the options are torture, don’t torture, or stick you head in the sand.”
“That’s reality, Babs.”
I’m not saying that the international love fest for Obama is over, just that if the end was going to begin somewhere, it was probably going to start in Iran.
Some hardline demonstrators in Tehran got together in front of the Swiss Embassy early today in support of the people of Gaza – or was it in support of Hamas in Gaza… Not quite sure.
Iranian protesters back Gaza and burn Obama picture
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Dozens of Iranians burnt posters of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in Tehran on Tuesday and waved Palestinian flags in support of Gaza, according to a witness and photographs.
Iranian demonstrators have often burnt effigies or pictures of U.S. presidents in protests. This appeared to be the first time Obama’s picture had been defaced so publicly, a week before his inauguration as president.
Iran has condemned the West, and the United States in particular, for not doing more to stop Israel’s attacks on Gaza. The 18-day-old offensive, which Israel says is to stop rockets being fired at it, has killed more than 900 Palestinians.
The report indicates “dozens” of protesters were involved – a small number – but my point is Obama will not be an immediate Saviour to the world. Terrorists will not give up. Extremism will live on.
Hamas – and other terror organizations – wanted Obama to win not because they were certain he would bring peace to the world, rather they had a hunch that it would be easier for them to terrorize the world with Obama in power instead of a hawk.
Either way, George W. Bush no longer seems to be the target, it’s Obama with a blood filled mouth, being burned and run over by ugly little cars in Iran today.
Update: Malkin writes…
If someone burned a flag with Obama’s face on it in America, liberals would be demanding a hate crime prosecution.
But if it’s Hamas sympathizers burning Obama flags to protest Israel, well, they deserve our “empathy.”
The Reuters images at Yahoo! news are located here, but here are a few of fair use images.
No … really. That wil be the way the left takes President Bush’s greatest acheivement away. He did not keep us safe … nope. Not at all. It’s just AQ has been … well waiting. Another great Hardball moment. The best part comes at the end.
As a reminder, the war on terror started 25 years ago today with the Beirut Marine base truck bombing on Oct. 23, 1983. 241 American servicemen died that day. Minutes after the Marine barracks was attacked, a second truck bomb hit the French compound, where 58 soldiers were killed.