The Twisted Logic Of American Foreign Policy

Twisted logic in American foreign policy is nothing new. It has been going on for at least the last half century. However, every now and again it just seems to become even less logical than normal. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online today about America’s alliance with the ‘moderate’ Muslims of Saudi Arabia. Admittedly, the Saudis have been important allies on numerous occasions–they have supported the use of the American dollar as the preferred currency in trading oil, they have been a strong enough member of OPEC to keep America from being totally raked over the coals in the oil price negotiations of that organization, and generally they have supported America when it suited their interests. However, there is another side of the story.

The article explains:

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists.

The Islamic State? Sorry, no. I was talking about . . .  our “moderate Islamist” ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But the confusion is understandable.

Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.

Are we really sure that we want to continue our support Saudi Arabia? They are the main supporters of Wahabi Islam. Saudi Arabia supports schools in America that use textbooks whose map of the Middle East does not include the country of Israel. One of the things that puts America in the position of almost having to support Saudi Arabia is the current government energy policies. Energy independence would allow America to make decisions in the international realm based on reality–not energy dependence.

The article reminds of the history of Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam: the birthplace of Mohammed, the site of the Hijra by which Islam marks time — the migration from Mecca to Medina under siege by Mohammed and his followers. The Saudi king is formally known as the “Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques” (in Mecca and Medina); he is the guardian host of the Haj pilgrimage that Islam makes mandatory for able-bodied believers. The despotic Saudi kingdom is governed by Islamic law — sharia. No other law is deemed necessary and no contrary law is permissible.

It is thus under the authority of sharia that the Saudis routinely behead prisoners.

I happen to own the edition of the Koran “with English Translation of ‘The Meanings and Commentary,’” published at the “King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex” — Fahd was Abdullah’s brother and predecessor. As the introductory pages explain, this version is produced under the auspices of the regime’s “Ministry of Hajj and Endowments.” In its sura (or chapter) 47, Allah commands Muslims, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

And now Republicans in Congress have joined Democrats to support President Obama’s hare-brained scheme to train 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels. As every sentient person knows, a force of that size will have no chance of defeating the Islamic State or al-Qaeda — even if we charitably assume that many in its ranks do not defect to those organizations, as they have been wont to do. The rebels will similarly have no chance against the Iran-backed Assad regime. In sum, our government, nearly $18 trillion in debt, will expend another $500 million to school 5,000 “moderate Islamists” in military tactics that cannot win the war in Syria but could eventually be used in the jihad against the United States. Welcome to Libya . . . the Sequel.

Oh, and did I mention that the training of these “moderate” rebels will take place in “moderate” Saudi Arabia?

American foreign policy has stopped supporting the interests of America.

Politicizing Justice In The War On Terror

In case you haven’t noticed, we are still fighting a war on terror. Young girls are being kidnapped, terrorists in the Middle East are killing Christians, and Islamist terrorists seem generally to be running amok. In the midst of this, we are getting ready to try one of the suspects in the attack on the American outpost in Benghazi.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today about the indictment of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspect arrested in connection with the attack in Benghazi. It seems that the indictment the Justice Department has created does not make sense when viewed in the context of who Ahmed Abu Khatallah is and what he did.

The article reports:

In big criminal cases — and there are none bigger than those involving terrorist attacks — indictments tend toward book length, written in a narrative style designed to cut through the legalese and explain what happened. See, if the prosecutor is ethically convinced that there is sufficient evidence to convict an accused terrorist, his duty is to plead the case as expansively as necessary to get that evidence admitted.

In terrorism cases, that has always meant fully describing the nature of the terrorist enterprise. Look at the Justice Department’s jihadist cases from the Nineties (see e.g., here). They explain the history of the international jihadist network; the different terrorist organizations and state sponsors it encompasses; the identity, status, and roles of the players; plus all of the different plots and attacks that knit the network together.

The idea is to frame the case in a way that completely and coherently relates it — making it easier for judges to admit controversial evidence and jurors to grasp the willfulness of the accused. That is why the most critical decision made by the prosecutor drafting a terrorism indictment is Count One — i.e., the first statutory offense alleged.

…It seems, however, that the Khatallah prosecution is following a different strategy.

Khatallah has been identified by the State Department as a “senior leader” of Ansar al-Sharia, one of the al-Qaeda-tied franchises in Libya. Yet there is no mention of Ansar al-Sharia in the indictment, much less of al-Qaeda or the Islamic-supremacist ideology that ties jihadist affiliates together. In fact, the indictment does not even accuse Khatallah of being a terrorist.

…In other words, the Justice Department is not alleging that Khatallah himself was a terrorist. It is saying that there were some elusive “terrorists” hanging around Benghazi, and Khatallah conspired to help the “terrorists” by contributing personnel — mainly, himself — to their machinations, knowing that these just might include preparation for a lethal attack on a U.S. facility.

Oh, and the duration of this conspiracy? It is alleged to have lasted about one day — i.e., from approximately sometime on September 11, 2012, to sometime after midnight September 12.

One day. In fact, maybe it was just a few hours.

…Instead, the indictment is written to portray a sudden, spontaneous eruption of violence, without much planning or warning, in which Khatallah — who knows . . . perhaps inspired by a video — abruptly joined a disgruntled group of protesters that turned out to include some shady terrorists motivated by . . . well, who can really say? All we know is the violence started without warning and, before you could scramble a fighter-jet or fuel up Air Force One for a Vegas campaign junket, it was all over.

There are a lot of downsides to giving enemy-combatant terrorists all the majesty of American due process. But at least it used to mean that, by the end, you’d have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Now, it’s starting to look like what you get on the Sunday shows.

It’s time for Eric Holder to go back to Chicago.

This Was A Really Bad Trade

Yesterday the Weekly Standard reported that President Obama made a trade with the Taliban to allow Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to return to America. The deal was to return Sgt. Bergdahl in exchange for five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo. There is a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye.

The Washington Post posted a story yesterday that included the following paragraph:

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

Today Andrew McCarthy posted the following at National Review Online:

In return, thanks to the president’s negotiations with the terrorists, we receive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—who, according to several of his fellow soldiers, walked off his post in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. (For more on this, see Greg Pollowitz’ spost at The Feed.) This was shortly after Sgt. Bergdah lreportedly emailed his parents that “The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”; that he was “ashamed to even be an American”; and that “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Sgt. Bergdahl’s father, Robert, was by Mr. Obama’s side during Saturday’s Rose Garden press conference, at which the president announced Sgt. Bergdahl’s return but carefully avoiding mention of the jihadi-windfall the Taliban received in exchange. Mr. Bergdahl is an antiwar activist campaigning for the release of all jihadists detained at Guantanamo Bay. His Twitter account, @bobbergdahl, has apparently now deleted a tweet from four days ago, in which he said, in echoes of Islamic supremacist rhetoric, “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”

Andrew McCarthy at the National Review describes the Taliban prisoners released:

At the Weekly Standard, Tom Joscelyn profiles the five Taliban commanders Obama has released. They include Mullah Mohammed Fazi, perhaps the Taliban’s senior warrior (its “army chief of staff”) and longtime al Qaeda ally; Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior military commander who fought side-by-side with al Qaeda; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a senior Taliban intelligence official who helped train al Qaeda and fought with it against U.S. forces after 9/11; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban governor and al Qaeda trainer who brokered an alliance with Iran to collaborate against American-led forces; and Mohammed Nabi, who worked with the Haqqani network and al Qaeda to coordinate attacks against American and Coalition forces.

The title of Andrew McCarthy’s article at the National Review Online is “Obama Replenishes the Taliban … Or ‘How Wars End in the 21st Century’”

Another title would be “How An American President Shows Total Disregard For The Lives Of American Soldiers.” I really don’t want to see the country go through an impeachment trial, but this is an impeachable offense.

 

 

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Now That We Have A Committee…

This post is based on two articles–one by the Editors at National Review and one by Andrew McCarthy at National Review. The article by the Editors explains why Benghazi matters, and the article by Andrew McCarthy has some good advice for the Benghazi Select Committee.

The article by the Editors sums up the reasons Benghazi matters:

But the question here is not whether the administration’s misleading statements in the wake of the attacks on U.S. installations in Egypt and Libya are a political scandal in the style of President Nixon’s infamous burglary; they aren’t. But that the administration’s misdeeds here seem to fall short of felony burglary hardly makes the matter a less serious one: The White House misled the American public about a critical matter of national interest, and it continues to practice deceit as the facts of the case are sorted out. That, to answer Hillary Clinton’s callous question, is what difference it makes.

Andrew McCarthy has some advice for the committee:

I was a tough prosecutor but a fair one. If I were the special counsel, I’d do my best to let the chips fall where they may even if it ended up showing that I’d been wrong about things. But truly being fair means you never get to that point: You don’t take an assignment that might disserve the assignment; you don’t take an assignment under circumstances where fair-minded people could be persuaded to wonder whether you’re pursuing the truth or pursuing your own agenda.

The facts of Benghazi are damning for the administration. The select committee should choose one of the dozens of excellent, ethical former prosecutors who have not publicly stated conclusive views on Benghazi. That would make the facts sing for themselves rather than create a target for the partisan demagoguery that could drown them out.

Benghazi is important. The goal is to get to the bottom of what happened, why no one came to the aid of the Ambassador, how the video got blamed, and why has it been so hard to obtain government documents relating to the attack. Those are the questions America wants to have answered.

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A Terrorist Convicted In New York

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online today about the conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s confidant, spokesman and son-in-law, of a terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans and providing material support to al Qaeda. It is good news that Abu Ghaith was convicted, but civilian trials for terrorists are not appropriate.

The article explains:

The principal problems are that (a) civilian due process requires revealing mounds of intelligence we have about the enemy, which is foolish to do while the war ensues and the enemy’s anti-American operations can still benefit; (b) it is perverse to reward enemy combatants with gold-plated due process once they succeed in mass-murdering Americans when other enemy combatants, who have plotted but not succeeded, are killed by military force with no due process; (c) military commissions are the proper vehicle for dealing with enemy combatants in wartime and they have been authorized by Congress—so enemy combatant terrorists, who defy international human rights norms by targeting civilians, should not be treated as if they were mere criminal defendants; and (d) the strong incentive prosecutors and courts have to withhold some discovery and procedural protections from enemy combatant terrorists—information and protections defendants would get in a normal criminal trial—can set precedents that apply to non-terrorists in ordinary cases, thus diminishing the quality of justice for Americans accused of crimes (i.e., the people for whom due process is actually intended).

Abu Ghaith used the same defense as the Blink Sheikh used when he was tried for the first bombing of the World Trade Center–that the jury should understand that his threats and incitements in al Qaeda’s cause were not as co-conspirator statements but as the preachments of a theologian performing the traditional role of an imam. The fact that threats of violence and violence are considered a routine part of an Islamic leader’s role should tell us that Islam is not a religion of peace. Keep in mind that Mohammad divided the earth into two spheres–Dar al-Islam–the land of peace and Dar al-harb–the land of war. Only those lands which are part of the world-wide caliphate under Sharia Law are considered part of Dar al-Islam. The goal is to use all means necessary to bring the entire world into that sphere. That is what we are up against.

 

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The Idea Behind The Idea

This is an article about ObamaCare. It is based on two articles–one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical article was posted today at National Review. It was written by Andrew McCarthy. The practical article was posted at Power Line on Thursday. It was written by Paul Mirengoff and illustrates how Andrew McCarthy’s theory looks in the real world.

Andrew McCarthy describes ObamaCare as follows:

It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and “exchanges” run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the “private” insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style “free” system — formerly unthinkable for the United States — becomes the inexorable solution.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of President Obama’s statement to a 2007 SEIU health-care forum.  The President stated, “There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years or 20 years out.” The transition he is referring to is the transition out of employee-based health into a government one-payer system. It was assumed that the individual healthcare insurance market could be phased out much more quickly. We are seeing that already in the number of individual health insurance policies that are being cancelled every day due to ObamaCare. This brings me to the article showing how ObamaCare works in practical terms.

Paul Mirengoff reports:

Covered California, that state’s insurance exchange, has rejected President Obama’s request that people be allowed to remain in non-compliant health insurance plans for another year. This decision is highly significant because California has experienced by far the most insurance policy cancellations of any state, reportedly around 900,000 of them.

Eliana Johnson points out that a number of Blue States — New York, Minnesota, Washington, and Rhode Island — have previously said no to Obama’s fix. So far, less liberal states — e.g., Florida, Tennesse, Alabama, and South Carolina — seem more receptive to the president.

The irony is only superficial. Blue State leaders are saying no because, as liberals, they dislike private plans and, more importantly, want to offer no escape from Obamacare for the young and the healthy whose participation in exchanges is needed to subsidize the middle-aged and the sick.

President Obama’s healthcare fix is political theater. It provides cover for him and (in his mind) for other Democrats. ObamaCare has cost the Democrat party dearly in the polls, and there is an election next year. There is one school of thought that says that because President Obama is in his second term he is more interested in changing America than being popular, but there is a problem with that. President Obama needs a cooperative Congress to keep ObamaCare in place. If the American people decide to vote out of office those politicians who supported ObamaCare, it is very possible that the next Congress could throw the entire program out and start over (we can only hope). So there is a fine line to be walked between changing ObamaCare enough to make it palatable to the American public without sacrificing the goal of eventual reaching a single-payer system and winning the next election. Get out the popcorn–this is going to be fun to watch!

 

 

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Remaining Focused While Watching The Events In Egypt

Unfortunately, the bloodshed in Egypt is just beginning. The Muslim Brotherhood will not go quietly–that is not their style. The thing to remember is that the Muslim Brotherhood had set up camps to protest the ouster of President Morsi. We need to consider what was happening in these protest camps. Terrorists were being trained, suicide missions were glorified, and preparations were being made for the propaganda war after the camps were broken up. That is the Muslim Brotherhood way.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online reminding us how the Morsi supporters were behaving.

The article states:

When not similarly ignored, Islamic supremacist aggression against Egypt’s Christians — which was a prominent feature of Muslim Brotherhood governance — is disingenuously reported. Take this AFP report of the fact that the Brotherhood and its allies are torching Coptic churches. The AFP endeavors to exculpate the Islamic supremacists by editorializing, in the report, that these were “reprisal” attacks. But the Brotherhood was not ousted by the minority Copts. To be sure, the Copts far prefer to take their chances with a largely secular, technocratic government backed by the armed forces than the rampant persecution they endured while the Brotherhood was running the show. But it is the army, not the Copts, who ejected Morsi. AFP tries to obscure this by recounting that “the Coptic church backed Morsi’s removal, with Patriarch [i.e., Pope] Tawadros II appearing alongside army chief General Fattah al-Sisi as he announced the military coup.” As I observed in writing about the coup in the August 5 edition of National Review, however, Pope Tawadros was hardly alone — General Sisi also gathered by his side significant Islamic supremacist leaders: Grand Mufti Ahmed al-Tayeb of al-Azhar University and leaders of the Salafist al-Nour party (in addition to prominent secularists).

Men, women, and children are dying in Egypt as I write this. Some are innocent Coptic Christians, but many are Muslims being used as human shields in the ongoing propaganda war. It is truly unfortunate that lives are being lost in this struggle, but we need to understand that this struggle will eventually come to us. The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is a world-wide caliphate. The Brotherhood plans to include America in that caliphate. There are many Muslims high in our government working toward that end. If you doubt that, watch the final episode of “The Muslim Brotherhood in America.” This 10-part series details the strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood to bring Sharia Law to America. The series is documented and provides proof of the claims it makes.

The military in Egypt is attempting to bring a democratic government to Egypt. I don’t think they had a choice but to close down the pro-Morsi camps. The people of Egypt are partially to blame for what is happening–they elected Morsi and they elected a parliament that wrote a constitution that would eventually turn Egypt into an Islamic state similar to Iran. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the Egyptians began to realize that President Morsi was undoing what they had hoped would be a democracy. Egypt is a mess and will continue to be a mess until the Muslim Brotherhood is convinced that they have to go back underground. The lesson that needs to be learned here is that Sharia Law and democracy are incompatible. Sharia Law is also incompatible to our representative republic. We need to remember that.

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Hate Crime, Workplace Violence, Or Jihad?

I have always been bothered by the legal concept of ‘hate crime’ for two reasons. First of all, if you are dead, does it really matter if the person who killed you hated you? Second of all, I really don’t believe that a jury can correctly judge the motives of a criminal 100 percent of the time. Charge the criminal with the crime he committed, and let God judge the motive.

This brings me to the trial of Nidal Hasan, charged with the ‘workplace violence’ killing of thirteen people and wounding of more than thirty others. Major Hasan is acting as his own lawyer in the trial.

One of the things Andrew McCarthy (who led the prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheik who planned the first attack on the World Trade Center) has said repeatedly is that during the prosecution of the Blind Sheik the prosecution team studied the Koran to see if the Blind Sheik was an extremist or if he was actually (as he claimed) simply following the Koran. To their dismay, they found ample justification for the killing of infidels in the Koran. Mr. McCarthy pointed out that the key to the prosecution was defining the purpose of the attack. The rest of the government prosecutors evidently have not learned that lesson.

Fox News posted an article yesterday describing the first day of the trial:

After a short opening statement in which ex-Army Maj. Nidal Hasan called himself a “mujahedeen,” admitted to the rampage and said “the dead bodies will show that war is an ugly thing,” Hasan cross-examined prosecution witnesses, including retired Lt. Col Ben Kirk Phillips, his former boss. When pressed by the defendant, Phillips acknowledged that his officer evaluation report had graded Hasan as “outstanding.”

But he declined to cross-examine one of his shooting victims, Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who provided the day’s most damning testimony.

Lunsford – who was shot seven times during the incident – described what happened that day, saying he first saw Hasan sitting in a chair, with his arms on his knees while looking at the floor.

He said Hasan then jumped up and ordered the one civilian in the room to leave before shouting, “Allahu akbar” and opening fire. Panic set in among the soldiers, who crowded toward a rear door, which was jammed.

The trial has taken a rather bizarre turn today as Major Hasan’s court-appointed lawyers have asked to be taken off the case.

10 News in Tampa reports:

In a motion filed late Tuesday, Poppe (lead defense attorney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe) and his team said they feel Hasan is trying to purposely get the death penalty and asked the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to not force them to be part of that effort. Poppe, addressing Osborn on Wednesday, said it became clear that Hasan is seeking the death penalty for himself after hearing the accused opening statement and cross examination of witnesses.

“Assisting him in achieving the goal of moving closer to the death penalty is something a defense trial attorney should not be forced to do,” Poppe said.

But Hasan objected to the defense team’s assertions.

The government is calling the Fort Hoot shootings workplace violence. When lawyers for the wounded soldiers have challenged that ruling, the government has said that calling it terrorism would jeopardize the legal case against Major Hasan. There is another aspect to this, however. If the Fort Hood shooting is a terrorist attack, those wounded soldiers are entitled to Purple Hearts and the benefits that come with being wounded in an attack. Right now, the injured are being denied those benefits.

As witnesses to the attack testify that Major Hasan was yelling “Allahu akbar” during the attack, the idea that this was workplace violence becomes ludicrous. It’s time that the government prosecutors admitted what happened at Fort Hood so that our wounded soldiers could receive the benefits and medals they are entitled to.

Democracy In Egypt

Andrew McCarthy is one of the best authorities on the Muslim Brotherhood and how the Middle East works. He posted an article at National Review yesterday about the latest developments in Egypt.

The article reports:

Al-Ahram is reporting that Haze El-Beblawy has been appointed Egypt’s interim prime minister.

Andrew McCarthy then goes on to explain that after Hosni Mubarak was ousted Haze El-Beblawy was deputy finance minister and, later, finance minister, under the government led by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The goal of the military currently in charge of Egypt is to establish a stable, functioning government that writes a constitution that will insure rights for all religious groups and then move to elections. Because the elections were rushed after Mubarak was removed, the only really organized political party was the Muslim Brotherhood. They wrote the constitution, ran a candidate for president (after promising that they would not do that), and took over the country. The idea this time is to move more slowly, allow other political parties to get organized (which should be interesting, since the Brotherhood removed a lot of the opposition leadership), and have an election after the rights of minorities have been guaranteed by the new constitution.

So what are the chances?

Andrew McCarthy comments:

There is a good chance that it won’t work. After all, this is Egypt and, given the opportunity, Egyptians have repeatedly shown that they will vote by lopsided margins for anti-democratic Islamic supremacists over pro-Western democrats and progressives. As Mark trenchantly observed yesterday, “Egypt is imprisoned less by its passing dictators than by its own psychoses.” Nevertheless, what’s done is done, and the present course is the best chance some semblance of democracy has to take root. We should be cautiously encouraging it. 

…So now, as the mosques stoke opposition to the transition government against a background of shooting on the streets and an economy in ruins, there will also be a vivid sense that the leaders elected by the people have been shoved aside in favor of politicians decisively rejected by the people. This is going to be very uphill.

Democracy only happens with well-informed, rational voters. If the culture is not leaning in the direction of freedom (or if freedom is being denounced from the pulpits of the mosques),  the chances of establishing a democracy are reduced drastically. Until the voters in Egypt can get past the idea that voting for their own freedom is a betrayal of their religious beliefs, there will be no freedom in Egypt.

Watching the unfolding of the “Arab Spring” gives me a whole new appreciation of the gift to America that the Founding Fathers were. The wisdom and selflessness of America’s Founding Fathers is the only reason America has lasted as long as it has.

 

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Unfortunately We Don’t Live In A Vacuum

This is an article about the eavesdropping scandal currently dominating press reporting on the Obama Administration. I will say offhand that I have very mixed emotions about the intelligence gathering going on. First of all, if the intelligence gathering is so universal and has been going on since 2007, why did it miss the Fort Hood shooting, the 2009 recruiting office shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Boston Marathon bombings? Of these three the Boston Marathon bombing should have been the easiest to foresee simply by looking at the travel records of the older brother involved.To add to my mixed emotions is the fact that Andrew McCarthy, someone I totally trust on matters of terrorism and the role of government, has stated that he is not bothered by the National Security Agency’s intelligence gathering. I have also heard a recent interview of John Bolton, someone whose opinion I also respect, in which he stated that he was not overly concerned about the information gathering.

I am adding to the discussion an article posted in the Guardian by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. Representative Sensenbrenner released the following statement last Thursday:

Washington, Jun 6 – Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s application for a top secret court order to collect the phone records of essentially every call made by millions of Verizon customers. 

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the FBI’s interpretation of this legislation. While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses. The Bureau’s broad application for phone records was made under the so-called business records provision of the Act.  I do not believe the broadly drafted FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

Since Representative Sensenbrenner was one of the authors of the Patriot Act, I believe he needs to be listened to on this matter.

In his article for the Guardian, Representative Sensenbrenner states:

Technically, the administration’s actions were lawful insofar as they were done pursuant to an order from the Fisa court. But based on the scope of the released order, both the administration and the Fisa court are relying on an unbounded interpretation of the act that Congress never intended.

The released Fisa order requires daily productions of the details of every call that every American makes, as well as calls made by foreigners to or from the United States. Congress intended to allow the intelligence communities to access targeted information for specific investigations. How can every call that every American makes or receives be relevant to a specific investigation?

This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.

As I said at the beginning of this article, I have very mixed emotions on this. Because someone in the Obama Administration used the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target conservatives, how do we know that the NSA information will not also be used to target specific groups? We don’t live in a vacuum. Without the IRS scandal, I might be willing to ignore the NSA snooping, but with the IRS scandal, it has a much more sinister look. I have reached no conclusion except to conclude that I need more information.

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Sometimes It’s Better Not To Enter The Fight

I say this reluctantly because I know that every day innocent people are dying in Syria, and I would love the see America step in and stop the killing. However, the fact remains that we are not able to step in and stop the killing and that it would not be wise for us to attempt to do so.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review on Saturday about the war in Syria. He points out that the people who are asking us to intervene in Syria are saying that if we don’t there will be a vacuum of leadership there. No, there won’t. Al Qaeda has already filled that vacuum. We need to remember that Bashar al-Assad. is an Alawite, a minority Shiite group in Syria. The rebels in Syria are Sunnis, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.. Why in the world would we want to get in the middle of that fight? Neither side represents either democracy or stability in the Middle East.

Andrew McCarthy sums up the problem of intervention in Syria:

…the narrative continues, untold legions of Muslim moderates, secular democrats, and religious minorities who would otherwise be charting Syria’s democratic destiny are being elbowed aside. Even worse, by failing to intervene forcefully — meaning, to fuel the jihad with high-tech combat weapons and an aerial campaign to soften up Assad’s remaining defenses — the administration is frittering away the opportunity to strike up pragmatic alliances with the Vaccum-filling Islamists. Sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought — eager to help the Brotherhood, but too concerned about arms falling into terrorist hands — Obama is forfeiting our chance to influence the outcome.

Right. I mean, look at how ably our decade of heavy investment has steered Iraq and Afghanistan in a pro-American direction. And behold how they love us in Benghazi!

The article concludes:

It is no longer 1996 — the year Iran bombed the Khobar Towers and killed 19 American airmen. The Syria hawks are quite right to argue that Iran remains a major threat to American interests. They are wrong, however, to treat Iran as the only such threat. The Sunni supremacist crescent that the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and their allies would run from Anatolia through the Persian Gulf and across North Africa would be no less hostile to the West than the Shiite competitor Iran is trying to forge. If Assad falls and the Brothers take over, that defeat for Tehran will not be a boon for the United States.

It is not isolationism to insist that American interventions be limited to situations in which a vital American interest must be vindicated. There is no such interest in Syria.

The only American intervention in Syria that would be acceptable to me would be to get the civilians out and let the extremists slug it out among themselves. The best thing we can do is provide aid to the refugee camps that have been set up in neighboring countries.

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While We Were Focused On Sequestration

The Obama Administration has a habit of focusing our attention on ‘the crisis of the moment’ while they do something significant behind the scenes, hoping we won’t notice. Well, they’ve done it again.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at the National Review today about the upcoming trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, in New York City. Sulaiman Abu Ghayth was captured in Turkey last month, and rather than being sent to Guantanamo to face a military tribunal, he was transported to New York to stand a civilian trial.

There are some interesting implications of doing this:

Because Abu Ghayth was not detained at Gitmo, he was not subject to the statutory prohibition against using government funds to transfer enemy combatants into the U.S. So, while no one was paying attention, the administration whisked him into lower Manhattan, where his indictment in civilian court was promptly announced. He thus promptly received legal representation — so much for interrogation — and is enjoying all the protections of the Bill of Rights.

…Moreover, as Attorney General Holder must know, by proceeding with this civilian prosecution in New York at the very moment when  KSM and the other 9/11 defendants are facing a military commission at Gitmo, he has given KSM & Co. an exquisite legal argument that proceeding with their military commission would be arbitrary and unjust in light of the grade-A due process Abu Ghayth is getting. That is, the government is virtually inviting the federal courts to invalidate military commissions — which was a top goal of many Obama administration lawyers back when they were in private practice, volunteering their services to terrorist detainees.

Snookered again by the snookerer-in-chief. Unfortunately, this move prevents the officials at Guantanamo from collecting intelligence from this man, and it creates massive legal problems for those attempting to carry out the military tribunals. This move makes Americans less safe.Enhanced by Zemanta

This Really Won’t Help Me Sleep Nights

I have posted articles by Reza Kahlili before.

The Daily Caller describes him as follows:

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).

His latest article at the Daily Caller should wake up all Americans (including Congress) to the dangers around us: 

A source who served in the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence unit and has now defected to a European country warned in April that the Islamic regime’s terror cells were on high alert, which includes for attacks in the U.S.

According to that source, and another located in the U.S., the regime’s assets have long infiltrated America and are coordinating operations out of mosques and Islamic centers, such as Imam Ali Mosques and the Iman Islamic Center.

Please read the entire article at the Daily Caller. I also recommend reading an article posted by Andrew McCarthy at PJ Media today talking about the willful blindness of our Congress in regard to the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. He tells his story regarding his research into the Muslim Brotherhood and its influence on American politics beginning with his prosecution of Omar Abdel-Rahman (the Blind Sheik) in 1996.

Mr. McCarthy is questioning whether it is time for conservatives who care about national security to abandon the Republican party.

He concludes:

At a time not long ago, before the hard Left took over the Democratic Party, there was a style of strong national-security Democrat (in the mold of Scoop Jackson or even Jack Kennedy) who would have seen the position to which the Obama administration and the Republican establishment adhere as dangerously delusional. Unfortunately, there are no longer enough of those Democrats in government to appeal to.

On the other hand, there remain many national security conservatives in the Republican Party. They are alarmed and extremely worried about the threat the ascendancy of Islamic supremacism poses to our liberty and security. They also see this threat magnified, to an intolerable degree, by the inroads the Muslim Brotherhood has made in the Republican establishment and in our government. As to the latter, we are not just talking about the State Department — not by a long shot. So profound is the influence of the Obama/Republican-establishment philosophy over the Defense Department, for example, that the Pentagon could not bring itself to refer to any aspect of Islamic supremacist ideology in a lengthy report on the attack at Fort Hood — a jihadist atrocity that killed 13 Americans, twice as many as were killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

If the Republican Party has decided to take its cues from establishment proponents of this reckless philosophy, if GOP leaders can no longer tell the difference between hostile anti-American operatives and benign political actors, then the Republican Party has become an obstacle to liberty and security, not a vehicle for their preservation. As is the case with crushing government debt and out-of-control government spending, it appears that the GOP is choosing to be part of the problem, rather than the solution, when it comes to the threat of Islamic supremacism. Certainly, that is a choice party leaders are entitled to make. But if it is the one they have made, why should conservatives concerned about liberty and security bother with the Republican Party?

This is a time to be aware of the connections of our government officials. Michele Bachmann has asked for an investigation into some of those officials. This is not a witch hunt–this is a necessary endeavor.

 

How Much Have You Heard About OCDETF ?

Andrew McCarthy was the man who led the prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the “Blind Sheik”) after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. At that time he was the Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. His service as assistant United States attorney in that state gives him a unique and very insightful perspective on some of the more obscure aspects of operation Fast and Furious.

Mr. McCarthy posted an article today at the National Review Online with some insight into one aspect of the Fast and Furious operation that I had not been aware of.

The article reports:

OCDETF stands for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. It was created during the Reagan administration to throw the coordinated muscle of Justice’s component investigative agencies — especially the FBI and the DEA — at domestic and international organized crime, a scourge that had been dramatically exacerbated by unprecedented drug-trafficking millions.

I was working at the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan at the dawn of OCDETF — which at DOJ is referred to as if it were a word, “Osedef.” In those days, with New York City both the notorious capital of La Cosa Nostra and the target market of Colombian drug cartels, I was fortunate to be assigned to some of the original “Osedef cases.”

The reason Mr. McCarthy brought up the existence of OCDETF is to illustrate how OCDETF cases (of which Operation Fast and Furious would have to be one for reasons explained in his article) involve a degree of communication and authorization in the Executive Branch of our government that ordinary Justice Department operations do not have.

Please read the entire article at National Review. It clearly explains the implications of Fast and Furious in relation to OCDETF.

Mr. McCarthy points out:

In fact, Fast and Furious was an OCDETF case. That made it a Main Justice case, not the orphan Arizona debacle of media portrayal.

…The website (DOJ Website) goes on to explain that the “OCDETF strategy” is implemented “under the direction of the Deputy Attorney General” — second in command to Holder at DOJ (and, in fact, the position Holder himself occupied in the Clinton/Reno Justice Department). With the coordinated effort of numerous investigative agencies and U.S. attorneys under Main Justice’s leadership, OCDETF is depicted as not only “disrupt[ing] the drug market” but “bolster[ing] law enforcement efforts in the fight against those terrorist groups supported by the drug trade.” Main Justice annually develops a “Regional Strategic Plan” for the country by requiring OCDETF participants to “identify major Regional Priority Organizational Targets.” And it has established an “OCDETF Fusion Center” as “the cornerstone” of its “intelligence-driven law enforcement, an essential component to the OCDETF program.”

The Fast and Furious controversy is not political–this operation was clearly well outside the authority of the Justice Department. Aside from the number of people who have died as a result of this operation, the risk of an international incident caused by this operation also has to be considered.

 

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Sometimes It Takes A Lot Of Digging To Find The Truth

There are two sources for this article–Andrew McCarthy today at PJMedia  and a Washington Times article also posted today.

Yesterday President Obama asserted executive privilege in refusing to allow the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to see the documents they have requested regarding Operation Fast and Furious.

The article at PJMedia quotes the Wall Street Journal‘s description of the Obama Administration’s narrative on Fast and Furious:

 The gun-walking tactics in Fast and Furious turned up in earlier ATF cases, during the Bush administration. When they were uncovered by Justice officials in the Obama administration, a top Justice official raised concerns with ATF officials, according to Justice documents released last year. But the officials never alerted Mr. Holder, didn’t do enough to prevent similar cases and weren’t aware the operation was under way until months later, according to Justice documents.

Mr. Holder, in a letter last week to Mr. Issa, said, “The record in this matter reflects that until allegations about the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious were made public, department leadership was unaware of those tactics.”

I’m waiting for someone to stand up and say, “I didn’t know the guns were loaded.” Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s narrative has a few problems–Andrew McCarthy points out that there were wiretaps involved in Fast and Furious. Under law, wiretaps have to approved directly by the Attorney General or his appointee. If the Attorney General approved the wiretaps, how come he didn’t know anything about Fast and Furious?

The Washington Times reports:

Mr. Boehner’s press secretary, Brendan Buck, said that until now “everyone believed that the decisions regarding Fast and Furious were confined to the Department of Justice. The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed.

“The administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?” he asked.

“This is a very sad day for the United States of America,” said Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican, concerning the president’s assertion of executive privilege. “There is no way this committee is not entitled to these documents.”

As in most Washington scandals, it seems as if one of the major problems with Operation Fast and Furious is going to be the cover-up. A border patrol officer was killed with a weapon that Fast and Furious allowed to be sold and send to Mexico. That alone should be enough for Congress to get any information it asks for in order to ascertain exactly what happened.

I strongly suggest that you follow the links above to PJMedia and the Washington Times to read the entire stories. This is a serious scandal that has been misreported and under-reported in the major media.

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Stuck On Stupid

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at PJ Media today about the recent fuss over leaks of classified information. Mr. McCarthy points out a few things about the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the leaks. First of all Mr. McCarthy points out that the sources of the leaks are named in the New York Times articles containing the leaks!

Mr. McCarthy points out:

At the very beginning of the 6300-word kill-list epic, it says: “In interviews with The New York Times, three dozen of [Obama's] current and former advisers described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role, without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war with Al Qaeda.” The account goes on to quote, for example, former White House chief-of-staff Bill Daley, who not only confirms the existence of a kill-list but describes the considerations behind adding names to it. Current and former national security officials are quoted, in many instances by name (e.g., national security adviser Thomas Donilon and former national intelligence director Dennis Blair). And when names are not given, the Times quotes, for example, “one participant” in the approximately weekly meetings — videoconferences run by the Pentagon but involving national security officials across the administration — who describes some of the criteria for adding or removing terrorists from the kill-list.

Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two special prosecutors to investigate the security leaks–Ron Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Colombia, and Rod Rosenstein.

The article further points out:

…That is, everyone on the team reports to Holder and, ultimately, Obama — they are not independent. The attorney general has shrewdly moved with apparent speed and responsiveness to address congressional concerns. He will be portrayed as having assembled a team of well-respected investigators who will home in on corruption while being meticulously careful about the top-secret intelligence that must be sifted through and the First Amendment concerns attendant to leak cases. The existence of the well publicized investigation will stop the public flow of information, and the team will get back to you by, say, late 2013 or early 2014, with what they’ve discovered. Maybe we’ll still remember what they were investigating … but I doubt it.

Getting honest answers about anything from the Obama Justice Department has proved to be something of a challenge. I suggest we don’t hold our breath waiting for the results of this investigation. Unfortunately, if things run true to form, the reputations of two good men may be ruined in the process.

 

 

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An Interesting Development In Egypt

Andrew McCarthy posted a very interesting story at National Review today about some recent events in Egypt. He reminds us that the hope of Egypt (and the ‘Arab Spring’) was that democracy and religious tolerance would spread through the Arab countries of the Middle East. Unfortunately, that hope has not been realized. The radical Muslims are even fighting among themselves.

A few weeks ago a Shiite mosque opened in Cairo.

The article tells the story:

It’s a 90 percent Sunni country, with even Christians vastly outnumbering the Shia. So, in their euphoria over the mosque’s inauguration, Shiite clerics heralded this Husseiniya (as Shiite mosques are known) as a symbol of rapprochement. The mosque would bridge the sectarian divide: a Shia center in this bustling Sunni city, yet a house of worship, thus emphasizing what unites rather than divides Muslims in one of Islam’s most important nations.

The initial story sounds encouraging–maybe religious tolerance could come to Egypt. Unfortunately, the tolerance didn’t last long–the mosque was shut down last week.

The article reports:

Yesterday’s euphoria is melting into today’s harsh reality. In Cairo, home to the Muslim Brotherhood and the sharia jurists of ancient Al-Azhar University, “democracy” has meant the rise of Sunni supremacists. Turns out they don’t do bridge-building. Their tightening grip has translated into brutalizing dhimmitude for Christians and increasing intolerance of Shiism — which the Sunni leaders perceive less as Islam than as apostasy, an offense that sharia counts as more grievous than treason.

The Muslim Brotherhood was born is Egypt in 1928 as a reaction to the secularization of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The purpose of the Muslim Brotherhood was (and still is) to set up a world-wide caliphate governed by Sharia Law. That is also the goal of the Shiite regime in Iran, but obviously the Shiites assume they will be the ones running the caliphate. This is going to get interesting at some point because of that basic difference of philosophy, but the differences will probably not be an issue until after the world-wide caliphate is established (isn’t that encouraging?).

The article further reports:

In the Brotherhood’s way of thinking, as best articulated by Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” It’s a process, a conveyance, not a culture. In the case of Turkey, it was popular elections that enabled Erdogan to seize power and gradually transition a society away from democracy. In the case of Egypt, it is popular elections that have installed the Brotherhood and other Sunni supremacists, enabling them to orchestrate the much less challenging transition from an Islamic culture to a sharia state.

Because members of the Muslim Brotherhood are actively participating in our government at many levels, we are continuing to fund the Islamization of the Middle East. We are supplying people who want to destroy our way of life with the weapons to use in doing it. Until the American government takes an honest look at our policies in the Middle East (including Irag and Afghanistan where we have allowed Sharia Law to be written into their constitutions), the Muslim Brotherhood will quietly continue to consolidate its gains. Democracy is possible in the Middle East, but as the article by Andrew McCarthy states, democracy has to be introduced into the culture first. 

 

 

 

 

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The Friday Night Document Dump

The Friday night document dump is not unique to the Obama Administration–it has become an American tradition during the last twenty years. It usually includes something that the administration involved hopes the major media will not notice. Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn’t.

Last nights Friday night document dump included some interesting information about how American taxpayer money is being spent. Andrew McCarthy at the National Review posted an article today stating that President Obama has authorized sending $192 million to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s freeze on PA funding. The funding to the PA was cut off after President Abbas attempted to declare statement unilaterally last September, in violation of the PA’s treaty commitments.

The article reports:

White House spinmeister Tommy Vietor stated that President Obama made the decision to pour American taxpayer dollars into Palestinian coffers in order to ensure “the continued viability of the moderate PA government.” He added the claim that, as the report puts it, “the PA had fulfilled all its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting the Road Map for Peace.”

The PA has not recognized Israel’s right to exist–the article further reports the comments of Adil Sadeq, a PA official writing in the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

(Israelis) have a common mistake, or misconception by which they fool themselves, assuming that Fatah accepts them and recognizes the right of their state to exist, and that it is Hamas alone that loathes them and does not recognize the right of this state to exist. They ignore the fact that this state, based on a fabricated [Zionist] enterprise, never had any shred of a right to exist…

Andrew McCarthy suggested how we deal with the President’s ignoring the wishes of Congress–cut the State Department’s budget. That will give the President less money to give to those who are friends of neither Israel or America.

 

 

 

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Losing Our Focus In The Koran Burning Case

CNS News posted an article today stating that Jan Kubis, head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s special representative in Afghanistan, has said that the U. S. troops who accidentally burned the Koran should be disciplined. Note that the Koran was accidentally burned.

As Andrew McCarthy pointed out on February 25 (rightwinggranny.com):

The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

This is a false issue. Where are the Muslim apologies when they burn Bibles (which they routinely do in Muslim-ruled countries)? To punish these soldiers would be to put Sharia Law above the U. S. Constitution, which they are sworn to defend. Is that really what we want to do?

The article at CNS News points out:

“It was natural that after such a grave mistake we saw expressions on the side of the people of Afghanistan, how they reject this desecration of holy Qur’an,” Kubis said. “We were very glad to notice that the majority of the demonstrations – and they are legitimate and expressions of rejection of this desecration – were peaceful.”

He also criticized the deadly violence, which he said was provoked by “irresponsible elements,” but made no call for the perpetrators to be brought to trial.

So, let me understand this, the soldiers who accidentally burned the Korans that the Muslims had defaced should be punished, but the Afghans who murdered people in cold blood should not be punished? Seems a little one way to me.

 

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Some Sanity In An Insane World

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at National Review Online today about the recent events in Afghanistan following the accidental burning of some Korans.

The article points out:

The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

Mr. McCarthy also reminds us:

Also understand this: In sharia societies, non-Muslim religious articles are confiscated and destroyed every single day as a matter of policy. In Saudi Arabia, where sharia is the law of the land, where Mecca and Medina are closed to non-Muslims, government guidelines prohibit Jews and Christians from bringing Bibles, crucifixes, Stars of David, and similar artifacts emblematic of their faith into the country. When that prohibition is violated, the offending items are seized and burned or otherwise destroyed. Moreover, though Saudis deny having an official policy that bans Jews from entering the country at all, reports are rampant of travelers’ being denied visas either because they are Jewish or because their passports bear stamps indicative of prior travel to Israel.

The riots and killings that followed the burning incident were not justified. They should not be acceptable in a civilized society. Apologizing for them simply makes them appear justified. Where is the apology for the Americans killed?

The riots and killings are a part of Sharia Law. When we apologize for someone else’s bad behavior, we are honoring Sharia Law. Since Sharia Law is in direct contradiction to a free society and human rights, that is not something we actually want to do.

Mr. McCarthy concludes:

At the very least, our immigration laws should exclude entry from Muslim-majority countries unless and until those countries expressly repeal repressive sharia laws (e.g., the death penalty for apostates) and adopt American standards of non-discrimination against, tolerance of, and protection for religious minorities.

If you really want to promote freedom in Islamic countries, an immigration policy based on civil-rights reciprocity would be a lot more effective, and a lot less expensive, than dispatching tens of thousands of troops to build sharia “democracies.” It would also protect Americans from people whose countries and cultures have not prepared them for the obligations of citizenship in a free society.

Andrew McCarthy led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks.He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed US embassies in  Kenya and Tanzania. In prosecuting the case in the World Trade Center bombing, he studied closely the teachings of Islam to determine if terrorism was an aberration of the religion or an integral part of it. He concluded that the concept of jihad encouraged terrorism.

He knows what he is talking about.

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Is This The Direction We Should Be Heading ?

The Corner at National Review posted an article today by Andrew McCarthy about a recent court ruling in Pennsylvania.

The article reported:

A state judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed an assault and harrassment case against a Muslim defendant who admitted attacking the victim. Magistrate Judge Mark Martin, a veteran of the war in Iraq and a convert to Islam, ruled that Talag Elbayomy’s sharia defense — what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed — trumped the First Amendment free speech rights of the victim.

So let me get this straight. The assault victim, Ernie Perce, an activist atheist, paraded last October in a “Zombi Mohammed” costume. As a result of this, he was attacked by Talag Elbayomy. According to this judge, Mr. Perce’s First Amendment free speech rights are not valid since Mr. Elbayomy’s god was insulted. OK. So do this mean that if I want to attack someone physically for some of the anti-Christian artwork that has surfaced in recent years, I can do that and not be convicted? If I kill them, is it still ok?

This is totally ridiculous. I am not sure if appeal is an option in this case, but it should be. The U. S. Constitution trumps sharia law. If the judge does not believe that, he has no business being a judge in America.

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He Who Conrols The Language Controls The Debate

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at The Corner at National Review about the recent mandate issued by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding health insurance, contraception, and abortion. Mr. McCarthy points out that conservatives are letting the left control the language and thus the debate, a fact which obscures what is actually taking place.

The left has stated that religious organizations want to deny coverage for birth control. That is not the issue. Birth control is unbelievably cheap in this country–it doesn’t need to be free. The issue is whether the state has the power to make people who are morally or religiously opposed to abortion or birth control pay for abortion and birth control for the people who use those services.

Mr. McCarthy further points out:

Second, how dare the administration propose compromises and safe-harbors for “religious organizations”? I imagine they dare because the usual useful idiots (see, e.g., Michael Gerson, cited in Ramesh’s post Tuesday) are, as ever, warning conservatives not to “overreach” — this time, for exemptions that extend beyond corporate religious entities. The Bill of Rights, however, protects individual liberty from abusive government action. The First Amendment does not merely protect the religious liberty of groups of people who formally organize as a religious enterprise. It protects the individual believer, who has as much right as the Archdiocese of New York to resist government compulsion that violates his conscience. Under the Left’s First Amendment, we’re supposed to be deferential to every Saudi alien Islamic supremacist whack-job who wants to replace the Constitution with sharia, but an American citizen who personally objects to abortifacients should pipe down and pay up unless he’s the CEO of Catholic Charities? I don’t think so. 

This is a religious freedom issue–not a contraception issue.

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A Total Surrender In The Name Of Peace

Andrew McCarthy posted an article in the National Review Online today based on a story published in the Hindu which states that the Obama Administration has chosen Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to mediate negotiations between the United States and the Taliban. Even if you ignore the concept of negotiating with the Taliban, there are some serious problems with this arrangement.

These are a few of the things in Sheikh al-Qaradawi’s past that make him a less than idea moderator. In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq. He maintains that Islam “will conquer Europe [and] will conquer America.” He urges the destruction of Israel.

The article lists some of his ideas:

Thus does Sheikh Qaradawi champion Hamas, mass-murder attacks, and suicide bombings. “They are not suicide operations,” he brays. “These are heroic martyrdom operations.” Indeed, he elaborates, “The martyr operations is [sic] the greatest of all sorts of jihad in the cause of Allah.”

…Qaradawi uses his al-Jazeera platform to preach this message to the Muslim masses. As the Middle East Media Research Institute and Robert Spencer document, in one memorable Friday “sermon” broadcast in 2009, he prayed that Allah would kill all Jews: “Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.” He added that throughout history, Allah had imposed upon Jews “people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Adolph Hitler.”

There is a concept in Sharia Law called taqiyya. Loosely translated, this term means that it is acceptable to lie to an infidel in order to advance the cause of Islam. The concept is based on Quran 3:28 and 16:106 and other Islamic literature (my reference is SHARIAH, THE THREAT TO AMERICA, AN EXERCISE IN COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS, REPORT OF TEAM B II, published by the Center for Security Policy).

I reported yesterday (rightwinggranny.com) on the discussions to release some terrorist leaders from Guantanamo to Afghanistan as part of the peace discussions. What we are seeing here is the Obama Administration’s desperation to declare peace (and American troop withdrawal) in Afghanistan before the 2012 election. Unfortunately, because of the way they are going about it, all they are doing is setting up a government which includes the Taliban and will be little different from the one that gave us the events of 9/11.

 

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Creating A Circular Firing Squad

Andrew McCarthy posted a story today on National Review Online about the Herman Cain scandal that seems to have taken over the media this week. Mr. McCarthy points out that Politico ran with this story without substantial evidence that the story was true or newsworthy. Politico has compounded that error by keeping quiet about the source of their story.

Mr. McCarthy points out:

But we’ve learned the most about Politico. Look, for example, at this: Politico this morning had a post about how, after Cain blamed Perry for being the source of the sexual-harassment story, Perry promptly turned around and floated Romney as the likely source. Yes, congratulations GOP on the circular firing squad — but that’s not the point. The point is: Politico knows who the source is.

Meanwhile, Politico has twisted the story to be about who leaked the story rather than whether or not the allegations have any foundation. Since Politico knows who leaked the story, that is rather questionable journalism.

Mr. McCarthy concludes:

When I was a prosecutor, it was considered serious ethical misconduct to suggest to a jury something the prosecutor knew to be factually untrue. If the defense called Witness A, and I was aware of the fact that Person B had robbed a bank, it would be a weighty impropriety for me to impeach A’s credibility by suggesting in my questions that A had robbed the bank. If the judge asked me a question, my choices were to give a truthful answer or to refuse to answer and explain why the law supported my refusal — making a representation that was false or misleading was not an option. And if I later learned that I’d been mistaken in something I’d represented, my obligation was to go back and correct the record as soon as possible. All this because a trial is supposed to be a search for the truth, and I would be perverting the process if I suggested that the factfinder should consider something I knew to be inaccurate or false.

I guess similar rules don’t apply in today’s journalism.

Unfortunately, he is correct.

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Is America Endorsing Mob Rule ?

Muammar al-Gaddafi at the 12th AU summit, Febr...

Image via Wikipedia

This is the link to the YouTube video of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talking about the death of Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qaddafi. I understand that it is possible to be happy about the death of a tyrant, but her statement is totally out of bounds. She could have commented on Qaddafi’s death in a much more graceful way.

Andrew McCarthy (a senior fellow at the National Review Institute) posted an article at National Review Online today with his comments on the death of Gaddafi. Mr. McCarthy was the Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York who prosecuted the ‘Blind Sheik’ after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In prosecuting that case, Mr. McCarthy studied the Koran and the Islamist culture in order to get a better picture of the root causes of the attack. In National Review Online, he reminds us that the removal of Qaddafi as the ruler of Libya may not have the result America is looking for.

Mr. McCarthy reminds us that the Arab Spring has some ugly aspects:

The most obviously ugly of these is that a throng of seething Islamists stripped, beat, paraded, and finally shot Qaddafi execution-style, all the while screaming the signature “Allahu Akbar!” battle cry with a fervor that would have made Mohamed Atta blush. They then shoved the despot’s corpse into a refrigerator — to maintain it for further triumphant display before thousands of gawking spectators. Too bad there was no official from the Obama administration’s Islamic Thought Police on hand to remind the mob of the Koran’s oft-quoted (but oftener ignored) teaching that to slay a single person is to slay all of mankind.

Mr. McCarthy concludes:

Qaddafi’s escape from his last holdout was thus cut off by NATO airstrikes. Trapped and hidden in a sewer, he was dragged out and brutalized — not for intelligence, but for sport. There is video here if you can stomach it. What NATO abetted was not a military capture. It was an assassination. We will be worse off that it happened. And the way it happened should sicken us.

No one will argue that Qaddafi was a brutal dictator. However, in recent years he had greatly limited his terrorist activities and was no longer a threat to the west. As the new government immediately declared Sharia Law when they took over Libya, it is a pretty safe bet that they will be a threat to the west. Terrorism from Libya may again become an everyday thing. The way Qaddafi died is upsetting. Secretary of State Clinton’s comments on Qaddafi’s death are even more upsetting. I think we have backed the wrong people in the Arab Spring. The only way that freedom and democracy will come the the Middle East and North Africa is the have a revolution in Iran. That was the revolution we refused to support after the last fixed election. The Obama administration seems to have a definite gift for backing the wrong horse.

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