Defense & National Security

Mirandize bin Laden?

At the end of a Senate hearing yesterday, Dennis Blair — Obama’s Director of National Intelligence — refused to answer a very simple question. 

Now, the DNI — like most people who live behind the walls that protect our nation’s secrets — is not going to answer a lot of questions.  But this question was simple, and didn’t require complex decisions on divulging secrets. 

Blair was asked whether, if we now caught Usama bin Laden, should the terrorist boss be read his “Miranda” rights.  And Blair declined to answer.

This, at the end of a hearing at which Blair and other Obama anti-terror “experts” stated clearly that another attempted terrorist attack on the United States is likely within the next few months.

This is how far we’ve come.  On 9-11, Usama bin Laden’s soldiers committed an act of terrorism illegal under the Law of War.  This war crime took the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans. 

Since then, we’ve gone to war in Afghanistan because — if you will recall — the Taliban regime that then ruled Afghanistan refused to turn bin Laden over to us when Bush gave them the choice between surrendering the terrorist and war.  And now UBL — who has no right to draw another breath, far less a right to an attorney before we waterboard everything he ever knew out of him — is, according to the DNI, someone who may be treated as if he were a Beverly Hills purse snatcher.

On January 22, 2009 newly-inaugurated President Obama signed an executive order saying that the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba would be closed within a year.  Obama’s justification was that Gitmo was a terrorist recruiting tool.  Humbug.  The two recruiting tools important to terrorists are the ideology that is radical Islam and successful terror attacks.  When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab failed to make his underwear explode on Christmas Day, his failure is a failure of al Queda and a huge disincentive for others to follow in his boxers or briefs. 

At about the same time he ordered the closing of Gitmo’s terrorist camps, Obama also ordered the cessation of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA on terrorist subjects.  As you may recall, then-CIA Director George Tenet declared those interrogation techniques produced better information than all the other efforts of the NSA, CIA and FBI combined. 

Obama’s cessation of the EIT’s left us with inferior intelligence-gathering techniques which, of course, increases the danger of terrorist attacks.

And last August, Obama promised that — to replace the EIT’s — there would be a “high value detainee interrogation group” formed.” This “HIG” would be comprised of experts who would perform intelligence-oriented interrogations on terrorists we captured. 

But, as we found out in the Abdulmutallab case, the HIG was never formed.  It doesn’t exist. 

And, as this is written, we’re still wondering if — or how — the al Qaeda varsity — Khalid Sheik Muhammed and four others — will be tried in a civilian court in New York City or elsewhere.

Yesterday, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said it looked like “amateur hour.” General Mukasey is too much of a gentleman to say what this really is:  Barack Obama and his administration are guilty of criminal negligence in the handling of terrorists and the threat of terrorism.

There is no legal reason or compulsion to close the Gitmo facility or to end the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.  There’s nothing in our Constitution, American statutory law, or the Law of War that says we cannot detain enemy combatant — for that is what they are under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which provide that terrorists are, by definition, not entitled to the Conventions’ protections — forever.

And, again under our Constitution, statutory law and the Law of War, there is no legal reason to endanger Americans at home by moving the trials of those such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed from the military commissions established especially to try them and into civilian criminal courts.

There’s no legal reason, only politics.  President Obama promised to close Gitmo in his 2008 campaign. European pecksniffs, terrorists and the nations that sponsor terrorists will approve.  Americans do not. 

President Obama has made a series of historic mistake which will cost American lives. Now we see that even some Democrats — those such as Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) and Jim Webb (D-Va) and some in the House as well — are recognizing that Gitmo should remain open and terrorists not tried by civilian courts in the United States.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Cong. Frank Wolf (R-Va) are proposing legislation which will block the civilian trials of terrorists.  Both have gained bipartisan support. And both should be passed forthwith.

The only obstacle is our president, and his anti-historical political correctness. Obama isn’t only unserious about terrorism and the larger war:  he’s comprehensively wrong. And his mistakes will cost lives, sooner rather than later.

Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo), ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said it all yesterday.  Bond said, “We cannot let campaign promises blindly guide decisions, no matter the consequences to our security.  The ideal of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility cannot become more important than protecting our citizens from the terrorists imprisoned there, and we cannot put Americans at risk by letting detainee after detainee rejoin the fight.”

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