In a move not unlike President Bill Clinton ordering the bombing of a Middle-Eastern aspirin factory to draw the nation’s attention away from the Lewinsky scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder announced late last week that the admitted 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, along with other Gitmo detainees, would be tried in a civilian Federal court just blocks from Ground Zero.
The comparison to Clinton’s indiscriminate bombing cannot be overlooked, for two reasons. First, and most obvious: It was carried out, ultimately, as a diversion, rather than a change of direction. The administration needed a distraction to keep the minds of Americans occupied elsewhere while a cover story was devised (and rehearsed by the appropriate officials) to deflect criticism and scrutiny of the President’s “domestic indiscretions.”
Secondly, and far more detrimental, in the long run: It gave the Commander-In-Chief a seemingly-legitimate leg to stand on in the matter of foreign policy and, more specifically, in the realm of international terrorism and its state sponsors. This, as the 9/11 Commission pointed out years later, was a shell game. Terrorists and their sponsors never took our retaliatory half-steps seriously, and continued plotting ever more bold schemes to snatch away innocent American lives, culminating with the barbaric attacks on 9/11.
Following in Clinton’s footsteps (I mean, hell, he has MOST of Clinton’s White House officials in his administration), President Obama has done absolutely nothing to make our nation safer since taking office. In fact, there have been several giant steps backward from the “Cowboy Diplomacy” of his predecessor. And he has horrible timing, to boot.
To cite only a couple of the most glaring examples: 1) the very next day after North Korea test-fired a nuclear warhead delivery system over the island nation of Japan, proving their long-range strike capabilities, our novice President announced massive cuts in US missile-defense systems. 2) Exactly one week after the worst terrorist attack on US soil in over 8 years, the Attorney General announced these plans regarding KSM and the Gitmo 5.
With the current administration walking back nearly all of the terminology and practices put in place for the (successful) protection of our nation from terrorists, how long can we expect to remain secure from such attacks? Instead of a war on terror (a ridiculous concept anyway, since an effective war must be declared on an ENEMY, not a tactic), it has now become an “overseas contingency operation.” Terrorist attacks are now “man-caused disasters.” Radical violent fundamentalist Muslim extremists are now “misunderstood” or, as our President implied, victims of US arrogance and meddling.
The psychological impact of these term changes must not be overlooked. The terms used formerly are not, as the left proclaims, “playing on our fears,” but rather putting ourselves on a war footing since, lest we forget, we ARE at war. To so drastically redefine our terms and our goals is to lessen the psychological impact of terrorism, not to relieve anyone’s anxiety, but to lull us back into a state of mind reminiscent of the Clinton years when , as the 9/11 Commission stated: they (Al Qaida) were at war with us, but we were not at war with them. Dangerous territory, to be sure, because the direct result is a false sense of security and, thus, a dramatic decrease in vigilance. That lack of vigilance and attention to detail led directly to myriad dots left unconnected in the case of Major Nidal Hasan less than two weeks ago. As a result, 14 people are now dead.
Which brings us back to the curious case of KSM. Let alone Eric Holder’s abysmal record in the field of justice (look at the FALN pardons and Mark Rich, just for a refresher), but imagine widely televised images of KSM, clean shaven in a Brooks Brothers suit and tie, and providing his own defense in a civilian Federal court. Imagine further what impact those images will have on our predisposition to view radical Islamic terrorists as unkempt barbarians with a deranged gleam in their eyes reminiscent of Howard Hughes in his final few years.
Now we will be treated to an entirely different perception: an admitted bloodthirsty extremist, in a Federal courthouse in New York City, looking for all the world like a guy you’d bump into exiting the subway, carrying a Versace briefcase, on the Upper East Side. (Incidentally, this is, I believe, another reason the actions of Hasan at Fort Hood are being called anything but terrorism by the administration. It would be destructive to their ends for average citizens to associate a clean-shaven Muslim, a decorated officer wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army, no less, with terrorism.)
Then (if I may engage your imaginations once more), picture the looks of horror on the faces of average reality TV viewers as they tune in and see this distinguished-looking man presenting page after page of information, gleaned in the discovery process, of the torture (labeled as such by none other than the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama) he underwent at the hands of our brutal thugs in the CIA (labeled as such by no less distinguished personages than the Attorney General of the United States of America, Eric Holder, and the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi).
In that instant, this trial in US Federal court, supposedly being held in the interests of bringing justice to a brutal terrorist, will become, instead, a trial to convict the CIA and the actions of our military and former Commander-In-Chief (and the eminently evil Darth Cheney) of war crimes, in the court of public (and world) opinion.
And we are setting ourselves up for it. Political correctness will be the death of us all. God help us.