Wow, is there nothing that President Obama can’t do? With the move to control terrorist interrogations, President Obama no longer has plausible deniability. From the Washington Post:
Obama signed off late last week on the unit, named the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG. Made up of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the interrogation unit will be housed at the FBI but will be overseen by the National Security Council — shifting the center of gravity away from the CIA and giving the White House direct oversight.
Seeking to signal a clean break from the Bush administration, Obama moved to overhaul interrogation and detention guidelines soon after taking office, including the creation of a task force on interrogation and transfer policies. The task force, whose findings will be made public Monday, recommended the new interrogation unit, along with other changes regarding the way prisoners are transferred overseas.
Who will he blame when the inevitable mistakes happen? Oh wait, that’s what cover-ups are for. Silly me.
One of the most important stories you won’t hear in the MSM today is being reported by Debra Burlingame in the Wall Street Journal:
On June 17, at the Administrative Maximum (ADX) penitentiary in Florence, Colo., one of those albatrosses, inmate number 24079-038, began his day with a whole new range of possibilities. Eight days earlier, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver filed notice in federal court that the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which applied to that prisoner—Richard C. Reid, a.k.a. the “Shoe Bomber”—were being allowed to expire. SAMs are security directives, renewable yearly, issued by the attorney general when “there is a substantial risk that a prisoner’s communications, correspondence or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury” to others.
Reid was arrested in 2001 for attempting to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami with 197 passengers and crew on board. Why had Attorney General Eric Holder decided not to renew his security measures, kept in place since 2002?
According to court documents filed in a 2007 civil lawsuit against the government, Reid claimed that SAMs violated his First Amendment right of free speech and free exercise of religion. In a hand-written complaint, he asserted that he was being illegally prevented from performing daily “group prayers in a manner prescribed by my religion.” Yet the list of Reid’s potential fellow congregants at ADX Florence reads like a Who’s Who of al Qaeda’s most dangerous members: Ramzi Yousef and his three co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; “Millennium bomber” Ahmed Ressam; “Dirty bomber” Jose Padilla; Wadih el-Hage, Osama Bin Laden’s personal secretary, convicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed 247 people.
Either the administration doesn’t believe there’s a threat from terrorists or they just don’t care or they want to actively help the enemy. No matter their reasons, the American people need to know about this. President Obama is taking a dangerous risk with the safety of American citizens.
Sure it’s nuts, but as I detailed a couple of weeks ago, detainee policy in the Obama/Holder Justice Department is now being shaped by former Human Rights Watch lawyer Jennifer Daskal, who thinks incarceration is tantamount to torture (recall her complaint that one jihadist, “a self-styled poet,” was being subjected to severe mental trauma: He “found it was nearly impossible to write poetry anymore because the prison guards would only allow him to keep a pen or pencil in his cell for short periods of time”).
People have a difficult time fathoming that the President and his administration could part so dramatically from the standard of simple common sense. But this administration isn’t about sense, it’s about enacting every pet leftist theory from the last 50 years. That they’ve succeeded in putting forth so many of them within months is still astonishing.
That this has happened is so distressing, I can hardly think about it let alone write about it.
War is hell and all that, but the thought of one of our service men at the mercy of these barbarians makes me sick. I hope we obliterate the bastards holding him.
Is this soldier a deserter? That changes everything. If so, let him rot.
Watching the spectacular horror continuing in Mumbai, my thoughts turn to American cities. Could this happen here and what elements would have to be in place for it to happen?
1. Terrorists like drama and dense populations. So, that would favor a city. Some cities are more suitable–Chicago, DC and New York come to mind. Los Angeles and Houston are spread out. So is Miami. Tight quarters are target rich.
2. So let’s a assume a city. Terrorists like unarmed inhabitants. Well, criminals everywhere are armed, of course. But New York, DC and Chicago all have unfriendly gun laws. Perfect! I was thinking about this sort of thing happening in Houston. It wouldn’t last long. I don’t know the number of people with CHLs (concealed carry handgun licenses), but the number is high. That tends to make the populace less willing to comply.
3. Terrorists like symbolism. The Twin Towers were symbolic of our economic and infrastructure strength. Like two ugly (to design gurus eyes) beacons, they represented towering power. The Taj, likewise, symbolizes wealth and the new India:
To have pictures of burning Taj Hotel broadcast around the world will have a deeper impact than even perhaps the terrorists intended, striking a blow against a symbol of Indian wealth and progress and sending shivers down the spine of some of the richest and most powerful people on the planet.
When I watch the police response in Mumbai, it’s wholly inadequate. This is not to cast aspersions. I remember being outraged at the impotence of the police during the Virginia Tech attack and in Columbine. In both cases, there were just one or two culprits, and by the Mumbai standards, they weren’t heavily armed, but the police were held at bay. Their rules of engagement would not allow them to burst in to rescue anyone–booby-traps and whatnot. But saving police officer’s lives superseded saving unarmed civilians and that seemed wrong to me. Watching the police surrounding a building while hearing people being executed: not acceptable.
The terrorist operations are more like guerrilla combat. High school kids weaned on video games and armed to the teeth might have a better chance against such a well-trained enemy. I mention this because American police forces simply aren’t prepared to deal with street warfare, unless there have been massive training exercises I’m not aware of. (A very good possibility, and I welcome any and all input, since I’m neither a soldier nor a law enforcement officer.) One thing that is heartening: Hopefully Iraq and Afghanistan vets are taking jobs within police forces. They’d have the sort of combat training needed.
And the thing is, with the element of surprise and the energy of fear, terrorists can do significant damage even if law enforcement is prompt and perfectly competent. The only chance people have is to be armed.
But who is armed? Even in Texas there are laws against bringing guns into hospitals. So hospitals make very soft targets. The security guards don’t exactly inspire confidence. I’ve spent plenty of time at hospitals, too much, and during my stay a woman was raped in the hallways. Not exactly a safe environment.
In Mumbai, people were attacked in a hospital, hotel, a synagogue, and by a marauding hi-jacked police van. How could this attack be stopped here? Armed individuals. That’s it. That’s all I can come up with. Anything less and intervention is too delayed, too impotent.
An armed populace trained to fight back would go a long way to increasing security. The old fashioned notion of militias sprang to my mind just now. Maybe that’s the answer: civilians who band together and train for these situations.
P.S. The power of individuals defines this new age. Twitter has (unconfirmed) non-stop information streaming from Mumbai. Since the new organizations have been slow on the uptake and confusion has reigned, Google Maps, Flickr and Twitter have become the vehicles to carry data–including naming terror suspects. This is a new world. Law enforcement will need to adjust and use the cutting-edge technology to their advantage. Currently, they are asking for a stop to Tweets–a potential rumor, still unsubstantiated (depends on the news source you believe). Can they use them beneficially, instead?
Also, from Pajamas, Bridget Johnson explains the threat Pakistan poses to the world. She brings up an excellent point: Americans, Brits and Jews were specially sought out. That is Islamic terrorism and an act of war–not a criminal act. One of the commenters, CoolCzech over at Right Wing News said:
I wonder if the Daily Koz tells the Indians that this is “just the politics of fear,” and insist that no matter, the armed assault teams must be tried in civil court?
I wonder what their reaction will be if such teams come ashore in lower Manhattan one of these days??
More here on whodunnit.
18 Female Suicide Bombers Turn Themselves In In Iraq
Some good news and reconciliation.
It’s so upsetting, but here’s some information about the attacks over in India. The Brits and United States citizens were singled out. Here are some links:
Ace has this.
Allah has an excellent round-up.
Bill Roggio has good analysis:
Indian intelligence believes the Indian Mujahideen is a front group created by Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul Jihad al Islami to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, a radical Islamist movement. The groups receive support from Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence and are al Qaeda affiliates.
Gateway Pundit has pictures. Gruesome. The fighting is ongoing. You’re probably seeing it on the news.
A Google Map of the attack sites.
Update: Best coverage at Twitter.
Israelis taken hostage, too. Mumbai is a war zone.
HotAir has all the information.
Bill Roggio says:
If the raid occurred, the US military must have detected a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq in the region. Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, is reported to have left the country earlier this year after the terror group lost its sanctuaries in Diyala province.
The US military may be closing in on al Qaeda’s senior leadership. US forces killed Abu Qaswarah, al Qaeda in Iraq’s second in command, during a raid in Mosul in northern Iraq on Oct. 15. The military has also killed and captured numerous al Qaeda leader and couriers over the past several weeks. The information obtained during these raids help to paint a picture of al Qaeda’s command structure inside of of Iraq as well as in neighboring countries.
It occurs to me that life doesn’t stop just because there’s an American election. I wonder how much foreign fighters have thought they can get away with because the election is distracting or they don’t believe the President would risk being aggressive. This supposition is assuming the reports are true.
That was all I was going to say and then, I read about how people actively want to forget. It is childish to pretend that terrorists didn’t execute a plot to kill as many Americans as possible on that day. It is childish to imagine that they’ve stopped trying.
Some don’t want to remember.
Keith Olbermann says that Republicans have “hijacked” 9/11. Really? I think it’s just that Democrats and Leftists don’t want to talk about it. It’s a reminder of why Americans still fight to make those who did this pay and to prevent it happening again. And another attack has been prevented. And we still are at war.
Remember, too, how Barack Obama feels about jihadists. And guys like Olbermann feels Republicans “hijacked” 9/11? Democrats don’t want it.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews.com
Considering all the vile smears, stunning lies, and sheer stupidity of the recent attacks against Sarah Palin, it seems like it would be wise to pause and spend a little time getting inside the heads of those who 1) would believe such feather-brained nonsense and 2) breathlessly share the nonsense as if God-Himself revealed the “truth” on Mt. Obama.
Via StoptheACLU, I present this:
It should be noted that Republicans like trees. In fact, I live in a Houston suburb where the main attractions are two-fold–trees and conservative values. Interestingly, though, these people also have better things to do with their time then go to a remote forest and emote over fallen trees.
Barack Obama hims and haws when interviewed. It is difficult for him to give a straight answer like, “I was wrong about the surge. It worked just as well as John McCain imagined it would”, because to do so would tee off his base. He has to be for the troops but against any battlefield the troops might be fighting on. He has to be for energy independence but against any form of energy independence which maybe could possibly harm the environment (which is to say all of them). He has to be for a strong economy but also for stupid environmental policy which would send the economy in a death spiral.
See why it’s so hard to be Obama? He has to cater to ever fruit and nut around the country or risk losing the devote followers who will psychotically print, do and say anything to support the Obamessiah’s presidential bid.
Ultimately, Obama ends up looking like a floundering politician beholden to nutters. Which, he is.