Will The Mainstream Media Actually Report This?

Yesterday Katie Pavlich posted a story at Townhall.com about President George Bush‘s response to the attacks on 9/11. There are some amazing statements in the article.

The article reports:

According to one of the world’s most deadly and infamous terrorists, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, President George W. Bush wiped out plans for other imminent attacks by quickly invading Afghanistan after 9/11/2001. 

According to a new book detailed by The Federalist and former Bush staffer Marc Thiessen, KSM admitted during enhanced interrogation the President’s swift “shock-and-awe” action not only thwarted plans for follow up attacks to 9/11, but changed Al Qaeda‘s entire strategy. 

…Far from trying to draw us in, KSM said that al-Qaeda expected the United States to respond to 9/11 as we had the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut — when, KSM told Mitchell, the United States ‘turned tail and ran.’

‘Then he looked at me and said, ‘How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down?’’ Mitchell writes. ‘KSM explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks.’ He was not able to do so because al-Qaeda was stunned ‘by the ferocity and swiftness of George W. Bush’s response.’

As much as I hate war, this shows the wisdom of the attack on Afghanistan following 9/11. It also shows that the ‘law enforcement’ approach to terrorism does not work. Unfortunately, at some point we are going to have to take action against the sponsors of terrorism around the world. That action should not involve ground troops, but we have enough fire power in other areas to get the point across that fomenting terror in America is a losing proposition. It is very obvious that the ‘law enforcement’ approach is not a deterrent to terrorism and that terrorism requires a stronger approach.

These statements by Khalid Sheik Mohammed are an example of why the prison camp at Guantanamo needs to stay open. The facility was very useful in gathering information and planning our strategy in the war on terror based on that information. Unfortunately, because President Obama has tried to close down Guantanamo and has not added any prisoners to the camp–preferring to kill the terrorists with drone strikes–eliminating the possibility of collecting intelligence, any information that could be gained from the prisoners at Guantanamo is at least eight years old. That is a serious problem for those trying to fight the war on terror.

It will be interesting to see whatever approach President Trump uses will be more effective in preventing domestic terrorism in America that the actions taken by President Obama.

The Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Has Been Put At Risk

Today’s U. K. Telegraph posted a story about a legal problem the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has encountered that may put the entire trial at risk.

The article reports:

…However, Brig Gen Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, said the charge of conspiracy should be dropped because it was no longer “legally viable” following a court ruling that conspiracy – a charge that seeks to punish suspects for association with al-Qaeda – was not a recognised war crime under international law. This meant it could not legitimately be brought before a war-crimes tribunal such as Guantánamo.

The ruling by an appeals court in Washington DC overturned the conviction against Osama bin Laden‘s driver, Salim Hamdan, and has also undermined the conviction of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, who made al-Qaeda propaganda films.

This is what happens when civilian courts get involved in military matters. The decision opens the door for  appeals of all the charges being faced by the September 11 co-conspirators and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was convicted in Yemen over the bombing of USS Cole.

Hopefully someone with some common sense will get involved in this situation.

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Using The American Judicial System Against America

Yesterday’s New York Daily News posted an article about the circus that the trial of the 9/11 conspirators at Guantanamo has become. As you remember, one of the female defense lawyers had demanded that all female lawyers in the court wear Muslim dress. Other antics of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow defendants are detailed in a May 5th article in the U.K. Daily Mail. These antics include such things are refusing to answer the judge’s questions, delaying the trial by kneeling in prayer, removing their headphones (for translation) and reading magazines. Generally, the defendants have done anything they could to turn the proceedings into a circus. The only reason their antics are not on the front page of every newspaper is that the trial is taking place in Cuba in a military tribunal–thus illustrating the wisdom of a military trial in Cuba rather than a civlian trial in New York City.

The Daily News reports the latest antic:

As shown by their past offensive behavior, including at their all-day, long-into-the-night arraignment, the intent is to make as much of a joke of the proceedings as possible.

Their enablers now include Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz and four fellow defense lawyers who have demanded that President Obama, former President George W. Bush and other top officials be compelled to testify.

The petition has about as much chance of success as a snowball in the Cuban heat. It is designed to undermine the credibility of the proceedings in those precincts where KSM has fans. The insinuation is that the tribunal judge is prejudiced against the defendants by virtue of harsh presidential statements made about them in the past.

In the past America has upheld some measure of decorum at military tribunals. I am hoping we will not be manipulated into abandoning that decorum during this trial (although it seems that we already have). We already have confessions from the men on trial, the questions should be, “Do we execute them and let them become martyrs or do we let them live out their lives enjoying a lifestyle they would never achieve in their home countries–electricity, running water, beautiful weather, etc.?” It’s an interesting dilemma.

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Misplaced Charity

Today’s New York Post posted a story about Blake Allison, the husband of one of the victims of the terror attacks on 9/11, who is one of the 10 relatives of victims to win a lottery for tickets to the arraignment of confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his evil accomplices.

It seems that Mr. Allison has also used the opportunity to see his wife’s murderers to meet with the terrorists’ lawyers to offer his services as a witness in order to try to prevent the terrorists from receiving the death penalty.

The article reports Mr. Allison’s statement:

“My opposition to the death penalty does not say I don’t want the people who killed my wife and [the other 911 victims] brought to account for their crimes,” he said.

“But for me, opposition to the death penalty is not situational. Just because I was hurt very badly and personally does not, in my mind, give me the go-ahead to take a life.”

He said that “9/11 was a particularly egregious and appalling crime,” but added, “I just think it’s wrong to take a life.”

Just for the record, the Judeo-Christian ethic allows for the killing of murderers. I appreciate the unwillingness of this man to want to see anyone executed for murdering his wife, but what about the families of the other victims?

The behavior of the 9/11 terrorists resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. Islamic terrorism has killed innocent civilians for more than thirty years. Should this continue without consequences? Does Mr. Allison believe these people can be rehabilitated? Does Mr. Allison believe that if these men are imprisoned anywhere other than Guantanamo they will not be eventually freed in a terrorist attack?

The military tribunals at Guantanamo have a basic difficulty–if the terrorists are sentenced to death and executed, they become martyrs; if they are sentenced to life, we will always have the threat of a hostage situation calling for their release or an attack by fellow terrorists on whatever facility they are imprisoned in.

I think I would rather have the terrorists become martyrs than risk the further loss of innocent civilians to keep there murderers alive.

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Sometimes I Just Have An Attitude Problem

Yesterday’s New York Times reported on the antics of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other detainees being tried at Guantanamo as the planners of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. Needless to say, the trial is a something of a circus because of the behavior of these five men. Al Qaeda and its related groups have very little respect for the American justice system (military or civilian), and play our courts and our media very well. I don’t have any other comments on the article, but I mention it because it leads to what I want to say.

Today’s New York Post posted a story by Gary Buiso explaining some of the details of how we eventually collected information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Just as America waterboards many of its military to prepare them for what will happen to them if they are taken prisoner by an enemy of America, Al Qaeda and related groups prepare their terrorists for what will happen to them if the Americans capture them (we used to capture them and send them somewhere for questioning–now we simply kill them with drones and cut off our source of information). The source of the story in The New York Post is a book titled “Hard Measures” by ex-CIA official José Rodriguez, Jr.

The article at the New York Post mentions Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s response to waterboarding. He had been coached on how it worked and how long it would last, and he simply counted on his fingers until it was over. Waterboarding alone would not have resulted in America getting the information we needed to understand the organization of Al Qaeda and eventually find Osama Bin Laden.

So what made Khalid Sheikh Mohammed talk–the experiencial equivalent of having a newborn baby in the house!

Ex-CIA official José Rodriguez Jr., told The Post:

The first day he was in custody, Mohammed — who attended college in Greensboro, NC — initially pretended to only speak Urdu, fooling no one. Officers forced him to stand, and after hours of questioning, his weakness for shut-eye began to show.

“Here’s the deal,” an interrogator said. “I know you speak English. I want you to politely ask me to let you go to sleep.”

The idea was to demonstrate to Mohammed “that he was no longer in control,” Rodriguez says. Officers would later keep him awake for 180 hours straight — 7 1/2 days. Loud noises and stress positions — where a detainee is shackled and forced to stand, putting intense pressure on the leg muscles — were used.

Other than the stress positions, that really does sound a lot like different stages of parenting. One of my daughters had a child who finally slept through the night after about a year. By the time that year was over, I think she and her husband would have given about anything for a good night sleep. As for loud noises, what do you say to parents who are raising a child who is a gifted drummer?

My point here is that there is a legal definition of torture–it does not include simply making someone uncomfortable.

The article reminds us:

One of Mohammed’s frequently stated goals was to be put on trial in civilian court in New York — which nearly happened until Congress last year blocked the Justice Department from transferring any Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.

“It seemed to us that he was looking for a platform from which he could spout his hatred for all things American, and a trial would certainly present that opportunity,” Rodriguez writes. “It strikes me as more than a little ironic that several years later, Attorney General Eric Holder almost granted KSM his wish.”

A civilian trial in New York would have been made into a circus with the antics of these five prisoners. Thank God it never happened.

There is one other comment in the New York Post article I would like to mention:

“More than one detainee expressed surprise when slapped, and told the interrogator, ‘Hey, you aren’t supposed to do that!’ The al Qaeda training manual told them that Americans would treat them with kid gloves!” Rodriguez writes.

We can’t win the war on terror wearing kid gloves. Even if we are not planning to use torture, it might be a good idea to let our enemies think we are. We are not dealing with nice people–we are dealing with people who cut off the heads of innocent people with dull knives and think it is fun. We need to remember that.

 

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