Tag Archives: Terrorism

Denial is Not Just a River in Egypt

From the very beginning of the Fort Hood shooting story the media went into Muslim Apologist Mode.  After watching reporting on Fox News for a while, I tuned into World News Tonight and was treated to glaring examples, including Brian Ross’ need to pass along the claim that the shooter had been called a “camel jockey”.  Over the course of the next 24 hours we all saw several other reporters lament (and then repeat) that they were sorry that the shooter’s name was not Smith.  In the media’s desperate attempt to call it anything other than muslim-related terrorism we were even introduced to the preposterous notion that the shooter actually had Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

As Stuart Smalley (the only funny thing that so-called comedian ever did) said, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”.

There is no shortage of people who immediately called this what it was: a terrorist attack.  Lt. Col. Ralph Peters typically did not mince words in his analysis:

Ralph PetersBut to call this an act of terrorism, the White House would need an autographed photo of Osama bin Laden helping Hasan buy weapons in downtown Killeen, Texas. Even that might not suffice.

Islamist terrorists don’t all have al Qaeda union cards in their wallets. Terrorism’s increasingly the domain of entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Under Muslim jurisprudence, jihad’s an individual responsibility. Hasan was a self-appointed jihadi.

Yet we’re told he was just having a bad day.

But too many reporters immediately rushed to treat us all like adolescent potential KKKers.  Proving the old adage about the acorn-finding blind squirrel, even NYT columnist David Brooks got this one right when he wrote of A Rush To Therapy:

David BrooksMajor Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder, which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress. We heard the theory (unlikely in retrospect) that Hasan was so traumatized by the thought of going into a combat zone that he decided to take a gun and create one of his own.

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

That patronizing attitude seems to be par for the course from the American media.  But that is not the point that needs making, which is simply that this level of feel-good political correctness has no place in the US Army.  Col. Peters also points out some disturbing affirmative action programs in the Army that could have played a role in this officer’s promotions in the face of obvious problems and bad reviews.

A dirty big secret in our Army has been that officers’ promotion boards have quotas for minorities. We don’t call them quotas, of course. But if a board doesn’t hit the floor numbers, its results are held up until the list has been corrected. It’s almost impossible for the Army’s politically correct promotion system to pass over a Muslim physician.

George Casey - Reuters

From Reuters

But the public statement that shocked me the most and has stayed in my mind came straight from the mouth of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, who actually said what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here”.  Seriously, he actually said that the deaths of 13 people would be less of a tragedy than damage to the beloved D-word.

“what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” – Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey

Both articles close with indictments.  Brooks says of America’s initial reaction:

It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.

And Peters is even more blunt:

Just as we’d expect the Army to get rid of a disruptive white supremacist, we need to cashier anyone who espouses violent Islamist extremism — as Maj. Hasan did, again and again.

We won’t. Because Islamist terrorism doesn’t exist. Just ignore the dead and ask our president.

 Read Brooks’ Op-Ed here and Peters’ Op-Ed here.

Brent BozellUPDATE: Brent Bozell wrote a good article on this as well, reminding me of Bob Schieffer’s attempt at drawing moral equivalency between this act and some nameless Christian “nuts”.  Read Bozell’s take on it here.

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I remain a huge fan of Cheney

Vice President Cheney

Vice President Cheney

Put that in your commie pipe and smoke it, hysterical liberals.

Dick Cheney may well be the best VP in the history of the republic.  For starters, and this is something that I appreciate, he is not some slimy, obfuscating beta male, in contrast to virtually every elected Democrat and certainly in contrast to our current empty-suit, beta male POTUS.  Cheney says what he means and will not back down in the face of criticisms.

I remember the tale of his interactions with Sen Leahy, which was used by the MSM to demonstrate what a loose cannon he is.  However, this man respected that.  If someone trashed me publicly, calling me a chickenhawk in speeches, but then tried to pretend it had never happened the guy would be lucky if all that happened was that I told him to go f— himself.  Cheney went up a couple of notches in my eyes with that one.  He is a man’s man – we do not tolerate disrespect.

Earlier this year, President Obama released half of the story of the use and efficacy of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT).  True to form as a dishonest statist, he released the parts that talked about the use of the techniques and declined to release the memos that made it clear that using EIT had a massive positive effect on making KSM and Zubayda become cooperative.  Spare me the weak “we do not torture” talk; that does not impress me.  I would do far worse to those guys, I would use pliers and a blowtorch.  When I was done, KSM would have gone from a rooster to a hen if that is what it took.  This mamby-pamby attitude of the Left is part of why they can never be trusted with national security and why they can never be expected to demonstrate anything close to what regular people would call “toughness”.  Witness their turning terrorism back into a law enforcement problem.  Typical stupidity of those who always pretend that history started yesterday.

I watched Chris Wallace interview Cheney this morning and I was once again quite impressed.  Though his decision not to run was wise, Cheney would have made a phenomenal president.  One quote from Cheney:

The fact of the matter is the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us those opinions had every right to give us the opinions they did. Now you get a new administration and they say, well, we didn’t like those opinions, we’re going to go investigate those lawyers and perhaps have them disbarred. I just think it’s an outrageous precedent to set, to have this kind of, I think, intensely partisan, politicized look back at the prior administration. 

I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda. The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, how did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time? 

Instead, they’re out there now threatening to disbar the lawyers who gave us the legal opinions, threatening contrary to what the president originally said. They’re going to go out and investigate the CIA personnel who carried out those investigations. I just think it’s an outrageous political act that will do great damage long term to our capacity to be able to have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say. 

If and when we get hit again, the biggest reason will be the naive return to the old “law enforcement” approach to international terrorism.  Mr. Obama continues to prove that he is exactly the naive, unprepared empty suit that his detractors warned of during the election.  The MSM will cover for him if it happens, but regular Americans will know the truth.

People who base their thoughts and actions on emotion (i.e. the Left) had their emotions fade a year or two after 9/11 and just wanted to move on beyond the icky requirements to keep our guard up and remain on the offensive. 

People who base their thoughts and actions on facts and logic did not forget.  Cheney is one of those people.

A Thoughtful Look at “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”

Writing in Commentary, Peter Wehner has written the most sensible look at the waterboarding issue that I have seen.  He points out what I have contended, that waterboarding is tame compared to most other forms of “enhanced interrogation” techniques and even has a nice quote from Sen. Chuck Shumer speaking in complete support of using these techniques in 2004:

“I think there are probably very few people in this [Congressional hearing] room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. Take the hypothetical: if we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believe that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most Senators, maybe all, would do what you have to do. So it’s easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you’re in the fox hole, it’s a very different deal. And I respect, I think we all respect the fact that the President’s in the fox-hole every day. So he can hardly be blamed for asking you, or his White House counsel or the Department of Defense, to figure out when it comes to torture, what the law allows and when the law allows it, and what there is permission to do.” – Senator Charles Shumer

Wehner continues with a hypothetical situation:

Apropos of Schumer’s comments, critics of enhanced interrogation techniques need to wrestle with a set of questions they like to avoid: if you knew using waterboarding against a known terrorist may well elicit information that would stop a massive attack on an American city, would you still insist it never be used? Do you oppose the use of waterboarding if it would save a thousand innocent lives? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand? What exactly is the point, if any, at which you believe waterboarding might be justified? I simply don’t accept that those who answer “never” are taking a morally superior stand to those who answer “sometimes, in extremely rare circumstances and in very limited cases.”

I agree with that last point completely.  The author continues, noting that even if there are downsides to using these techniques, what sometimes matters are the net results.  Wehner also draws some historical parallels worth considering.

I am not one who believes that there is no cost to pursuing enhanced interrogation techniques. In debating policies, especially those that reach the president, there are costs and benefits to consider. So it’s certainly possible that our employment of enhanced interrogation techniques was used as a recruitment tool for militant jihadists; if so, that needs to be weighed against the plots you break up and the innocent lives you save. Also, many members of the military oppose waterboarding because they feel it stains the reputation of America and endangers our own servicemen and women (though it’s hard to accept the argument that al Qaeda would be less sadistic if we had not used coercive interrogation techniques; after all, they were beheading innocent people even before it was known the U.S. used water-boarding). These are not silly objections. Beyond that, most of us instinctively pull back from using harsh interrogation techniques and certainly torture. Given the double-obligation of morality and law, we should begin with the presumption that waterboarding shouldn’t be utilized and then set a very high bar for anyone who would argue that it might be acceptable in very limited instances.

But that is, in fact, what seems to have occurred. And so I do not accept for a moment that the last eight years constitute a “dark chapter” in our history. Quite the opposite. Michael Gerson points out that our history is replete with actions – the firebombing of Dresden, dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and (I would add) Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans in World War II – which certainly raise more morally problematic issues than what the Bush Administration pursued.

One thing that the author wrote in his last paragraph gets to the heart of the matter for me and I will let it stand by itself.  Read Wehner’s article here.

There are of course serious-minded critics of enhanced interrogation techniques. But to pretend, as some critics do, that the morality of this issue is self-evident and that waterboarding and other coercive interrogation techniques are obviously unacceptable and something for which our nation should be ashamed is, in my judgment, not only wrong but irresponsible. When a nation is engaged in war, you hope to find in government sober people who are able to weigh competing moral goods and who take seriously their obligation to protect our nation. They may not get everything right at the time – hardly anyone does in the heat of the moment – but they should not have to face a lynch mob years after the fact (especially those in the lynch mob who blessed the activities at the time they were being used).

Obama’s Intelligence Director says waterboarding worked

From Hot Air:

President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

I have no problem with waterboarding non-citizens who are high level terrorists.  Not a single problem.  When someone talks about torture and such I like to throw this scenario at them:

Let’s say that  you are out with your family, a van pulls up and men get out and snatch one of your kids.  In the melee you manage to incapacitate one of them but the others flee with your child.  Is there anything that you would not do to that person to get them to talk about where your child is?  There is nothing that I would not do.  A pair of pliers and a blowtorch come to mind, so faking drowning does not impress me with someone like Kalid Sheikh Mohamed.  Beta males like our new president simply feel icky about demonstrating toughness, it is not in their character.

But I will say that I am bothered with the reported number of times; if waterboarding is as effective as some say, why did it take that many times?

There is no moderate Taliban, President Obama!

Acting just like the beta male that he is, President Obama is seeking to sing Kumbaya with the Taliban, naively thinking that there is such a thing as moderate Taliban.  Is there ever any threat or crisis for which the Left’s initial response is not “How can we painlessly capitulate?”.  When the tough guy in your party is Joe Lieberman, that says a lot.  Spare me the fiction that Joe Biden is some tough guy.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal to reach out to moderate Taliban will fail to end the Afghan insurgency as it is inflexible Taliban leaders who are orchestrating the war, not moderates, analysts said.

Obama, in an interview with the New York Times newspaper published on its website on Saturday, expressed an openness to adapting tactics in Afghanistan that had been used in Iraq to reach out to moderate elements there.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed Obama’s proposal but analysts were doubtful.

“Obama’s comment resemble a dream more than reality,” said Waheed Mozhdah, an analyst who has written a book on the Taliban.

“Where are the so-called moderate Taliban? Who are the moderate Taliban?” asked Mozhdah, who was an official in both the Taliban and the Karzai governments.

Karzai’s pro-Western administration and the growing number of foreign forces in Afghanistan have increasingly come under attack from a resurgent Taliban, with Obama now describing Afghanistan as a top foreign policy priority for his new administration.

“‘Moderate Taliban’ is like ‘moderate killer’. Is there such a thing?”, asked writer and analyst Qaseem Akhgar.

You can read Michelle’s post here.

Does the New York Times just hate America?

[Thanks to Gateway Pundit]

Given their track record of reporting secrets that help no one other than our enemies and hurt no one other than our allies and ourselves, I have to ask myself why the New York Times despises America.  Is it just some stereotypical liberal self-hatred?

They have done it again.  They have reported a story where the only beneficiaries will be anti-American terrorists and their sympathizers.  Yesterday the New York Times reported on a secret program where US Special Forces operators are training Pakistani soldiers in Pakistan.

AP/FoxNews reports:

The secret U.S. task force provides the Pakistanis with intelligence and advises them on combat tactics, but does not participate in combat itself, the Times reported, citing anonymous U.S. military officials.

On its Web site Sunday, the Times reported that the effort was larger and more ambitious than previously acknowledged, involving more than 70 U.S. advisers, including combat medics, communications experts and other specialists.

A commando unit within the Frontier Corps has used information from the Central Intelligence Agency and other sources to kill or capture as many as 60 militants in recent months, the newspaper said.

I ask you: what good comes of this?  People can make the case from time to time that spilling the beans on secret programs are good, perhaps showing government doing things that the people would not condone.  But that does not apply in this case or in most of the cases over the last 8 years of the New York Times printing details of top secret operations.  Before now I could just blame it on their hatred for George Bush but with Their Boy in office now I have to assume that it is an even more endemic anti-Americanism at work.  Following on the heels of Democrat Sen. Feinstein’s near-treasonous public admission of Pakistani-launched Predator missions, it almost seems like a concerted effort to undermine our secret cooperation with the Pakistani government.

I ask again:  why would the New York Times publish this?  I am looking for thoughtful perspectives on this.

Dianne Feinstein’s loose lips sink ships

Via HotAir:

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pulled a Joe Biden (though in her case it may have been intentional) when she publicly stated that our Predator drone missions in Pakistan are launched from within Pakistani territory.

At a hearing, Feinstein expressed surprise at Pakistani opposition to the ongoing campaign of Predator-launched CIA missile strikes against Al Qaeda targets along Pakistan’s northwest border.

“As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base,” she said of the planes.

Hot Air adds:

Until now, that was a closely guarded secret.  The drone attacks are incredibly unpopular among the Pakistani public, and the US didn’t want to undermine the current, democratically-elected government in Islamabad.  They wanted to give the Yousef Gilani government deniability on their cooperation with the American military in order to keep our options for attack open.

This isn’t the first time Feinstein has blown a sensitive operation by opening her mouth, either.  Californians will recall that Mayor Feinstein called a press conference to discuss the Night Stalker case, a string of violent rapes and murders that terrified the entire state.  She divulged previously-confidential information about Richard Ramirez’ shoes and gun — and on hearing it, Ramirez promptly dumped them into the bay on his way out of town, eliminating key evidence in the case.

With friends like Sen Feinstein, who needs enemies?