Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Liberal Solution to Terror has Failed

      The chief liberal critique of the War on Terror has been that George W. Bush wrongly treated 9/11 as an act of war, rather than a criminal act. Instead of passing the Patriot Act, invading Afghanistan, torturing terrorists and trying them under military tribunals, he should have just made a nice speech, and then turned the rest over to the FBI, holding civilian trials and moving on-- the way Bill Clinton did.

      Under Obama, liberals have gotten the chance to implement their security solution. And from civilian trials for terrorists, to soft power and diplomacy in the Muslim world, to 'civil rights first' security at home, every bit of it has failed badly.

      Far more Americans are up in arms over "naked scanners" and TSA groping, than were ever outraged over the Patriot Act. Obama's non-stop world tour has not made America any more loved or any safer. Soft power has not stopped terrorists or the regimes that arm and fund them. If anything it has emboldened them. And the civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani, one of the FBI's Most Wanted, ended with his unprecedented acquittal on 284 out of 285 charges, including all the murder charges, leaving only a single charge of conspiracy.

      The Ghaliani trial, presided over by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, a Clinton nominated Federal judge, who did everything but put on a cheerleader uniform and wave his pom poms for the Al Qaeda terrorist, was a farce that ended a millimeter away from freeing one of the FBI's Most Wanted men. The media is trying to spin it as a victory, but that's like describing a game between the New York Yankees and a little league team as a success because the Yankees managed to win by one point. Ghaliani was never convicted of the crimes he committed. He was only convicted of conspiracy, which in this context essentially means being a member of Al Qaeda. It gets him off the street, but it does not convict him of the crimes he specifically committed. It's not justice. It's barely containment.

      But if Holder and Obama are embarrassed by this outcome, they have only themselves to blame. Judge Kaplan was a longtime Democratic donor, giving thousands of dollars to politicians like Senator Moynhian, who nominated him for his current post.

      Before that Kaplan was a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and still maintains close ties with his former partners. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is a, a law firm with deep ties to the Democratic party, that was actually temporarily banned from representing Gitmo terrorists after one of their partners, Julia Tarver Mason, used legal mail to slip one of them, Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi, Amnesty International material that could be used to prep claims of abuse and torture. Al Joudi, along with other Saudi terrorists represented by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison were eventually released. The Saudi government sent a special plane for them, and provided free tickets and hotels for their relatives. Since then Al Joudi has gone back to being a terrorist.

      Another former Paul, Weiss partner, is the Pentagon General Counsel, Jeh Johnson. Johnson is an Obama bundler who was appointed as the chief Pentagon lawyer. His key mission is closing Guantanamo Bay. Both of Obama's Supreme Court justice nominations, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, were summer associates at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. And Julia Tarver Mason clerked for Sotomayor. Back in 2005, Kagan had signed on to a letter opposing an amendment that would have prevented judicial review of counter-terrorism actions at Guantanamo Bay. Which is exactly how we got here.

      When Democrats talk about the system working, this is what they mean. This is how the system works. And they themselves are responsible for this state of affairs. Their claim that the civilian judicial system can handle terrorists is undercut by the reality that the system is undermined by lawyers and judges who sympathize with the terrorists, and by money from Muslim gulf states with pockets deep enough to buy most of Manhattan. And the Obama Administration is at the center of this catastrophe.

      It would not be possible to hold the Nuremberg Trials in a system populated by Nazi sympathizers and people with financial ties to the Nazi industrial machine. It is equally impossible to try Muslim terrorists in places like New York and Boston. You might as well cut out the middle man and move the trial right to Riyadh. The Democrats preside over a judicial system corrupted by ideology and influence, that is sympathetic to terrorists. That provides them with every possible loophole and advantage. That stays up nights worrying about them. And then they act as if they can't understand what objection there might be to trying terrorists in that same system.

      It's not just that the tools which liberals promote as effective ways to cope with terrorism, diplomacy and civilian trials, are insufficient for the job. But that they are also marked by their liberalism, infused with an ideology that is partly or wholly sympathetic to the enemy. Which means that as tools, they are worse than useless. The liberal "point men" in the War on Terror are more concerned with the needs and rights of terrorists, than with those of their victims all over the world. That makes them not only weak tools, but bad tools. Tools that serve the enemy, more than they serve us.

      Since 9/11, liberalism has cultivated a steadfast culture of denial when it comes to terrorism. They will admit that it exists and disregard it in the same sentence. By treating it as a crime, rather than a war, they put the ball in their court. A court where criminals are seen as misguided or driven by poverty, rather than enemies of the country, the citizenry and the civilization. But we are not suffering from a crime wave, we are involved in a war. Not because we say so, but because our enemies say so. Because they have raised up armies against us. They have massacred us in terrible numbers. Their stated goal is to overwhelm us, destroy us and conquer us.

      These are not aberrations or incidents. They are a war. But they are a war without a recognized enemy. And so we terrorize passengers, so that useless TSA agents can grope fliers and pass on their union dues to the Democratic party. When we do capture actual terrorists, without the involvement of the TSA Local Gropers 363, we end up prosecuting their interrogators and the soldiers who captured them, more than the terrorists themselves. (Just ask the Haditha Marines who were put through hell, while the Sunni insurgents ended up on the American payroll.) Because as Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson has said, terrorists have Constitutional rights too. Even when they're not Americans. Even when they never set foot in America. Because just as criminals have more rights than their victims, terrorists have more rights than Americans.

      Liberalism fetishizes the underdog and the other. That makes it ideologically compatible with some civil liberties, but ideologically incompatible with national defense. Liberals have repeatedly made their commitment to the country, contingent on its treatment of its enemies. As soon as we start stuffing the terrorists into Gitmo, they announce that they're ashamed to be Americans. Once we set the terrorists loose, then they're ready to whistle "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" again. What that really means is they've chosen a side. And it's not our side.

      Their solution to terror, composed of equal parts, minimizing the problem, blaming the victims, terrorizing the public and pandering to the terrorists has failed. They can't protect America, because they don't believe in its national right to self-defense. It's time for them to step aside and make way for those who do and can.

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