Archive for War on Terror

Chris Stevens Could Not Be Reached For Comment

President Obama knows how to win a war: declare victory and go home.

The president addressed the law, known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), toward the end of an hour-long speech largely devoted to explaining and defending his administration’s lethal drone program. He even referenced the fact that America is at war in defending the legality of the drone strikes.

But Obama made clear that his ultimate goal is to update, and then repeal, the use of force law, saying he wants to fight terrorism without keeping the country on a “perpetual war-time footing.”

“The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core Al Qaeda is a shell of its former self,” Obama said. “Unless we discipline our thinking our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.

“So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further,” he said. “Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

Is the Afghan War coming to an end? Not for Afghans. Is “core Al Qaeda” a “shell”? (And isn’t that an oxymoron?) Does it matter, if Islamist terrorism carries on apace anyway? I don’t live in the same world he seems to.

If he doesn’t want to use the powers at his disposal, that’s his decision. But why tie the hands of future presidents who will face challenges Obama can’t even imagine? He seems to think his authority needs to be projected into the indefinite future.

But it is on Guantanamo that the president displays his best sleight of hand (tongue):

GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law. Our allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at GTMO.

During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people — almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep GTMO open at a time when we’re cutting investments in education and research here at home, and when the Pentagon is struggling with sequester and budget cuts.

As President, I have tried to close GTMO. I transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress imposed restrictions to effectively prevent us from either transferring detainees to other countries or imprisoning them here in the United States.

Isn’t Gitmo subject to sequester cuts? Why should these guys not have to “pay their fair share”? Most of them are on a hunger strike, anyway, so the food budget could be cut.

But it takes a Code Pink moonbat to call out the president’s hypocrisy:

And given my administration’s relentless pursuit of al Qaeda’s leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should have never have been opened. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Excuse me, President Obama —

THE PRESIDENT: So — let me finish, ma’am. So today, once again –

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There are 102 people on a hunger strike. These are desperate people.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m about to address it, ma’am, but you’ve got to let me speak. I’m about to address it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You’re our Commander-In-Chief –

THE PRESIDENT: Let me address it.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: — you an close Guantanamo Bay.

THE PRESIDENT: Why don’t you let me address it, ma’am.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There’s still prisoners –

THE PRESIDENT: Why don’t you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: That includes 57 Yemenis.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, ma’am. Thank you. (Applause.) Ma’am, thank you. You should let me finish my sentence.

I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen so we can review them on a case-by-case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: — prisoners already. Release them today.

THE PRESIDENT: Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and our military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It needs to be –

THE PRESIDENT: Now, ma’am, let me finish. Let me finish, ma’am.

President Obama has been chief executive for 1,465 days—and just now discovers he has the powers to do what he’s been demanding be done all along? And rejects the powers that Congress granted the president to command forces against our foes in the war on terror?

I knew he was ass-backward, but this ass-backward? I guess that explains his posture.

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Abdulrahman, Samir, and Jude

Has anyone here seen my old friend Anwar?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I just turned around, and he was gone:

Four American citizens have been killed in counter-terrorism drone strikes since 2009, the Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Wednesday.

Attorney General Eric Holder disclosed the previously classified information in a letter to a top senator that also included the names of those killed and the revelation that only one was directly targeted in the strikes that began in 2009. He did not specifically call them drone strikes – rather, he referred to “counterterrorism operations” – but most of the individuals he mentioned are known to have died in drone strikes.

The targeted individual, Anwar al-Awlaki, was a radical Muslim cleric whom U.S. officials said was involved in planning Al Qaeda operations and terror attacks. He was killed in September 2011 in Yemen.

The acknowledgement came ahead of a major counterterrorism policy speech by President Obama scheduled for Thursday.

Holder said in the letter that the Obama administration is “aware” of three other U.S. citizens killed in such counter-terrorism operations besides al-Awlaki: Samir Khan, Jude Kennan Mohammed and Awlaki’s son Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, Holder said.

However, Holder wrote, “these individuals were not specifically targeted by the United States.”

I believe we used to call that “collateral damage” in the old days. I don’t want our readers to think I’m unmoved by the extrajudicial killings of American citizens. But if I’m to be honest, I can’t condemn President Obama for that which I did not condemn President Bush: namely, prosecuting the war on terror.

But where’s Code Pink?

Again with the bloody hands (see post below)! Aggie, it never occurred to me that the radical left shared this, too, with Arab terrorists. Ideology, sure, but imagery… how did I miss it?

Anyway, our condolences to the Khan, Mohammed, and al-Awlaki families.

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Sick Falk

If a man can’t blame terrorism on: “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world.”

Then the terrorists will have won.

The United Nations official who angered critics by blaming the Boston Marathon bombing on “American global domination” will keep his post, because not enough other countries took offense at his comments.

“Professor Falk is appointed by member states of the Human Right Council in Geneva and not by the secretary-general,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky told Fox News. “So it is within the domain of the Human Rights Council and member states to determine the appointment and work of special rapporteurs. It is up to them to decide.”

Falk, an 82-year-old professor emeritus at Princeton University, is no stranger to controversial statements that put America in a negative light. In a 1979 Op-Ed for The New York Times, he pronounced incoming Iranian dictator Ayatollah Khomeini a moderate.

“The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false,” he wrote of the man who turned Iran into a radical theocracy.

In 2004, writing the foreword for a book critical of the Bush administration’s handling of 9/11, Falk hinted that the U.S. government was behind the attacks.

“There have been questions raised here and there and allegations of official complicity made almost from the day of the attacks, especially in Europe, but no one until Griffin has had the patience, the fortitude, the courage, and the intelligence to put the pieces together in a single coherent account,” he wrote.

We’ve told you about Falk before, plenty of times:

I’m glad to see the entire corrupt body of the United Nations can’t bring itself to condemn a man who blames “American global domination” for the for the lifeless body of 8-year-old Martin Richard.

They restoreth my faith in them every day.

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Gitmo Prisoners Do Their Part for Sequester

The money we save on food will cover President Obama’s golf outings!

Eighty-four of the 166 prisoners held at the US-run Guantanamo Bay facility are now on hunger strike, US military officials have said.

The prisoners are protesting against their indefinite detention. Most are being held without charge.

Sixteen of the 84 prisoners are being force-fed and five are being treated in hospital. None has a life-threatening condition, according to the military.

Guantanamo officials deny claims that the strike began after copies of the Koran were mishandled during searches of prisoners’ cells.

Wait. When there were reports of Koran desecration in the Bush years, it was all over the news. Even when there was no evidence. Now, nothing. Shows how much the Left loves civil liberties. All they do is hate. Hate Bush. Hate whatever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make a big ol’ sandwich and eat it with a big ol’ glass of milk. I’ll toast the enemy combatants.

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Mark Steyn: Right Again

Talk about your standing headline!

For a war without strategic purpose, a drone’ll do. Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen born in New Mexico, was whacked by a Predator not on a battlefield but after an apparently convivial lunch at a favorite Yemeni restaurant. Two weeks later, al-Awlaki’s son Abdulrahman was dining on the terrace of another local eatery when the CIA served him the old Hellfire Special and he wound up splattered all over the patio. Abdulrahman was 16, and born in Denver. As I understand it, the Supreme Court has ruled that American minors, convicted of the most heinous crimes, cannot be executed. But you can gaily atomize them halfway round the planet. My brief experience of Yemeni restaurants was not a happy one but, granted that, I couldn’t honestly say they met any recognized definition of a “battlefield.”

Al-Awlaki Junior seems to have been your average anti-American teen. Al-Awlaki Senior was an al-Qaeda ideologue, and a supposed “spiritual mentor” to everyone from the 9/11 murderers to the Fort Hood killer and the thwarted Pantybomber. On the other hand, after September 11, he was invited to lunch at the Pentagon, became the first imam to conduct a prayer service at the U.S. Congress, and was hailed by NPR as an exemplar of an American “Muslim leader who could help build bridges between Islam and the West.” The precise point at which he changed from American bridge-builder to Yemeni-restaurant take-out is hard to determine. His public utterances when he was being feted by the New York Times are far more benign than those of, say, Samira Ibrahim, who was scheduled to receive a “Woman of Courage” award from Michelle Obama and John Kerry on Friday until an unfortunate flap erupted over some ill-phrased Tweets from the courageous lass rejoicing on the anniversary of 9/11 that she loved to see “America burning.” The same bureaucracy that booked Samira Ibrahim for an audience with the first lady and Anwar al-Awlaki to host prayers at the Capitol now assures you that it’s entirely capable of determining who needs to be zapped by a drone between the sea bass and the tiramisu at Ahmed’s Bar and Grill. But it’s precisely because the government is too craven to stray beyond technological warfare and take on its enemies ideologically that it winds up booking the first lady to hand out awards to a Jew-loathing, Hitler-quoting, terrorist-supporting America-hater.

What happened to the Twitter-hacking cover story? I guess no one bought it, especially after her intemperate response to the withdrawal of the award.

Steyn has his point and I have mine. The reason Rand Paul filibustered is the same reason some of us cheered his filibuster, even if we support drone warfare. No one else was asking the questions.

The press, which dug its teeth into Bush’s ankle, curls cozily in Obama’s lap, snoring and farting softly. They like it when he scratches behind their ears, but they give in completely when he rubs their tummies.

We were told the Patriot Act was the first boot-step toward martial law, yet it was renewed under Obama with barely a yap. Now Obama gaily obliterates Americans (albeit enemy Americans) and their teenage sons from the sky, and no one thinks to ask where the line is? Getting an answer out of Holder was like pulling teeth, and it’s no wonder: no one in the media had pressed him to do so before.

I loves drones—I want one over my house to nail the bastards who don’t clean up after their dogs—but their employment is well beyond anything imagined by even the most fervent sufferer of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Bring ‘em on, I love it. Let’s just be honest with ourselves about what we’re doing and to whom.

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Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s KABOOM!!!

This is why I use Bing.

The FBI used National Security Letters — a form of surveillance that privacy watchdogs call “frightening and invasive” — to surreptitiously seek information on Google users, the web giant has just revealed.

Google’s disclosure is “an unprecedented win for transparency,” privacy experts said Wednesday. But it’s just one small step forward.

“Serious concerns and questions remain about the use of NSLs,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Dan Auerbach and Eva Galperin wrote. For one thing, the agency issued 16,511 National Security Letters in 2011, the last year for which data was available. But Google was gagged from saying just how many letters it received — leaving key questions unanswered.

“Of all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act, the National Security Letter (NSL) power … is one of the most frightening and invasive,” the EFF wrote. “These letters … allow the FBI to secretly demand data about ordinary American citizens’ private communications and Internet activity without any meaningful oversight or prior judicial review.”

Just so you understand, the FBI is part of the Department of Justice—Eric Holder’s DOJ.

This Eric Holder:

I haven’t seen dancing like that since Michael Jackson moon-walked off this mortal coil.

But then, his boss calls the tune:

In a meeting with the press in China, President Obama said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be “convicted” and had “the death penalty applied to him” . . . and then said he wasn’t “pre-judging” the case. He made the second statement after it was pointed out to him — by NBC’s Chuck Todd — that the first statement would be taken as the president’s interfering in the trial process. Obama said that wasn’t his intention. I’m sure it wasn’t — he’s trying to contain the political damage caused by his decision — but that won’t matter. He has given the defense its first motion that the executive branch, indeed the president himself, is tainting the jury pool. Nice work.

And the press secretary sings harmony:

“Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and he’s going to meet his maker,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told John King on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.

“He’s likely to be executed for the heinous crimes he committed,” he added.

Do I think the Obama administration is soon to start vaporizing on US soil elements it considers hostile to the US? Pr-r-r-r-obably not. But given their attitudes and behavior, it’s more a leap of faith than a logical certainty. If the act of governing and the media can be co-opted by the “permanent campaign, why not justice?

Worst of all, where’s the outrage on the Left? You’ve allowed Obama to become your worst nightmare of Bush (who wouldn’t try half the crap your guy pulls), and you say nothing. Crickets. Do you see why it’s hard sometimes not to hate you? You are our friends, family, colleagues, yet your brazen hypocrisy is such an offense, is so dangerous, you make it very hard to relate to, much less be civil to.

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Obomber: Drone Stikes Up, Way Up

Was there ever a President who enjoyed war as much as Barack Obama? And how ’bout his base? They just can’t get enough of the drone strikes.

KABUL, Afghanistan — One morning recently, a teenager named Bacha Zarina was collecting firewood on her family’s farm in eastern Afghanistan. About 30 yards away, as relatives recall, two Taliban commanders stood outside a house.

A missile screamed down from the sky, killing the two men instantly. Two chunks of shrapnel flew at Bacha Zarina and lodged in her left side.

Her family took her to the nearest hospital, a half-hour drive away, but she died en route, an accidental victim of the rapidly escalating U.S.-led campaign of drone strikes in Afghanistan. She was 14 or 15 years old.

Score! The Democrat War On Women continues! Obomber is winning!!

The U.S. military launched 506 strikes from unmanned aircraft in Afghanistan last year, according to Pentagon data, a 72 percent increase from 2011 and a sign that U.S. commanders may begin to rely more heavily on remote-controlled air power to kill Taliban insurgents as they reduce the number of troops on the ground.

Though drone strikes represented a fraction of all U.S. air attacks in Afghanistan last year, their use is rising even as American troops have pulled back from ground and air operations and pushed Afghan soldiers and police into the lead. In 2011, drone strikes accounted for 5 percent of U.S. air attacks in Afghanistan; in 2012, the figure rose to 12 percent.

It’s a double!! Obomber is so hot. He’s a killing machine. USA! USA! USA!

Do I sound bitter? It’s because I recall absolutely vicious criticism leveled at Israel when they used drones to take out leadership of the suicide terror network – not the flunky soldiers, but the leaders. Where are the outraged voices of academia, the news media, the UN, other world leaders? Where are the cartoons of a naked Obama devouring dead Afghan babies (like the Chris Brown cartoon that won that best political cartoon award in Britain, showing Ariel Sharon doing just that). I want to see that cartoon and I want to honor the creator in Congress. America has become a civilian killing machine because America doesn’t want to sacrifice troops. And because America elected a democrat and they can kill with impunity. All well and good. But remember this next time you hear Israel accused of brutality.

- Aggie

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When the Going Gets Tough, the French Get Going

Can’t blame them: they have the stomach for snails and frog’s legs—but not Islamist insurgency:

France is still ready to start pulling its forces out of Mali next month despite a rebel attack on the key northern town of Gao, the French head of the armed force said on Friday.

Fox Butterfield, is that you? They’re not leaving despite jihadist madmen but because of them!

Alors:

France’s defense minister had earlier said Paris could start pulling out troops in early March.

Asked whether this was still the plan, Guillaud replied: “This is obviously conditions-based, that’s obvious. But yet, I don’t see any reason not to begin some drawdown.”

“It’s simply the continuation of attacks by MUJWA which will probably want to try more attacks in the coming days. It was sadly predictable and the next attacks will fail just like they did yesterday,” he said.

Separately on Friday, five people were killed in two car bomb attacks by Islamists on pro-autonomy MNLA Tuareg rebels in a remote Malian town bordering Algeria, an MNLA spokesman said.

Violence in the north reinforces the risk of French and African forces becoming entangled in a guerrilla war as they try to help Mali’s weak army counter al Qaeda-linked rebels.

Pressed on whether he was worried the attacks meant France would be staying in Mali longer than anticipated, Guillaud replied “No.”

“Non”, to be precise.

France has discovered what we discovered in Afghanistan: that it’s easy to kill the Islamist enemy in overwhelming proportions, but much more difficult to eradicate them completely. Remember the kill ratios in the early days against the Taliban? 100-1, 150-2—it was a turkey shoot. Still, like cockroaches, they survived.

Cockroaches… given the French proclivity for exotic foods, they could always eat their enemy.

Anyhow, the oxymoronically named Malian Army won’t keep Al Qaeda at bay for long, so here’s predicting the renaming of Timbuktu as Bin Ladenville by summertime.

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Thanks Al Qaeda!

With President Obomba (get it?) targeting Americas from the sky now, who knows which trip to Whole Foods will be our last? Now, we know why Osama turned gray!

Well, thanks to Al Qaeda’s years in the field, you too can survive a drone strike (intentional or accidental):

One of the last things the bearded fighters did before leaving this city was to drive to the market where traders lay their carpets out in the sand.

The al-Qaida extremists bypassed the brightly colored, high-end synthetic floor coverings and stopped their pickup truck in front of a man selling more modest mats woven from desert grass, priced at $1.40 apiece. There they bought two bales of 25 mats each, and asked him to bundle them on top of the car, along with a stack of sticks.

“It’s the first time someone has bought such a large amount,” said the mat seller, Leitny Cisse al-Djoumat. “They didn’t explain why they wanted so many.”

Military officials can tell why: The fighters are stretching the mats across the tops of their cars on poles to form natural carports, so that drones cannot detect them from the air.

The instruction to camouflage cars is one of 22 tips on how to avoid drones, listed on a document left behind by the Islamic extremists as they fled northern Mali from a French military intervention last month. A Xeroxed copy of the document, which was first published on a jihadist forum two years ago, was found by The Associated Press in a manila envelope on the floor of a building here occupied by al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb.

The tips in the document range from the broad (No. 7, hide from being directly or indirectly spotted, especially at night) to the specific (No 18, formation of fake gatherings, for example by using dolls and statues placed outside false ditches to mislead the enemy.) The use of the mats appears to be a West African twist on No. 3, which advises camouflaging the tops of cars and the roofs of buildings, possibly by spreading reflective glass.

The idea of hiding under trees to avoid drones, which is tip No. 10, appears to be coming from the highest levels of the terror network. In a letter written by bin Laden and first published by the U.S. Center for Combating Terrorism, the terror mastermind instructs his followers to deliver a message to Abdelmalek Droukdel, the head of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, whose fighters have been active in Mali for at least a decade.

Hiding under a tree! Brilliant!

But that’s not all Al Qaeda is thinking:

The trial of three Birmingham men convicted Thursday of plotting to launch a “catastrophic” suicide bombing attack in the United Kingdom revealed that al Qaeda has developed a new strategy to target the West.

The new strategy involves a teacher-training approach in which a select few Western operatives are taught bombmaking and other aspects of terrorist tradecraft in the tribal areas of Pakistan and are then instructed to return back to the West to “spread the knowledge” to a larger body of Islamist extremists keen on launching attacks.

The new approach is a response to the growing toll of drone strikes which have made travel to the tribal areas increasingly perilous for Western recruits and significantly diminished al Qaeda’s ability to orchestrate terrorist plots from the region.

The trial revealed that terrorist groups in Pakistan are actively dissuading Western militants from making the trip.

Keep your a**es under those trees, comrades. Leave it Western jihadis to carry on the fight against the infidel.

And such a fight!

The recordings revealed that like other Western militants before them, they were provided detailed instruction in the tricky and potentially hazardous methods to make bombs out of substances readily available in the West, and practiced detonating them. Their instructors included Arabs and Pakistanis.

They also were taught how to put poisons in face creams.

And their teachers emphasized they should put nails inside their bombs, to act as razor-sharp shrapnel.

Oh, like they invented that technique. Palestinian Arabs have been killing and maiming Jews that way for years.

But poisoned face cream. Diabolical!

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The Most Dangerous Administration Evuh!

It’s not bad enough that President Obama and AG Holder think nothing of holding show trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his gang before executing them. (I support the executions, not the perversion of justice.)

No, that was plenty bad, but evidently not bad enough.

Because they’re at it again—and this time Americans are in their (drone) sites:

In a Bloomberg commentary, Noah Feldman, a Harvard constitutional law professor, points to an additional complication: the possibility that in partly yielding to its civil-libertarian instincts, the Obama administration may actually endanger civil liberties.

Feldman argues that in justifying drone strikes against U.S. citizens, the administration undertook a “revolutionary and shocking transformation of the meaning of due process”:

Despite claiming that the Awlaki killing was justified because he was an operational leader of al-Qaeda, and thus in some sense an enemy on the battlefield, the white paper still assumes that due process applies to U.S. citizens abroad who adhere to the enemy. . . .

Applying due process analysis to Awlaki produces a legal disaster. The problem is, once you consider due process, you have to give it some meaning–and the meaning you choose will cast a long shadow over what the term means everywhere else.

Feldman argues that Awlaki received “none of the components of traditional due process.” That isn’t the problem, in Feldman’s view (or ours): The administration “should have said that due process doesn’t apply on the battlefield.”

By instead conceding that Awlaki was entitled to due process, then construing due process as “a rubber stamp,” the administration is “subverting the idea of the rule of law.” By pretending to treat terrorists as if they were ordinary criminal suspects, the government makes it more likely that ordinary suspects will be treated as if they were terrorists.

It’s the same argument! Because of their asinine refusal to treat the war on terror as a, you know, war, they pervert our system of justice by trying to prosecute it as a criminal case.

A criminal case in which they can pronounce not only the guilt but the sentence in advance. And a criminal case in which they can launch a preemptive hit from the skies. You can do that in war. You can’t do that in court. By their perverse mangling of justice they have revealed themselves as the monsters they are. Ugly, nasty, vile, pus-encrusted monsters.

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Talk About Torture!

I’m very sorry this man suffered cruelty at the hands of Al Qaeda, but is that supposed to make him some kind of expert?

Last month’s assault and massacre at the In-Amenas gas plant in Algeria by an al Qaeda battalion led by Moktar Belmoktar put into sharp focus the growing threat of Islamist jihadists in north and west Africa. It also brought back vivid memories of my own 130-day kidnap ordeal also at the hands of Belmoktar’s al Qaeda group in Niger and Mali in 2008/09. Here is an extract from my book… A Season in Hell

With some ceremony, a DVD was produced and inserted into the laptop drive and we were maneuvered around to have pride of place in front of the screen. The others pressed around, the younger ones in front. There were three or four pre-pubescent boys among them, their faces rapt with anticipation as their screen-lit faces excitedly tried to watch us and the laptop simultaneously.

Soon we heard a loud pulsing, urgent, musical beat and the screen was filled with a black flag, the lower half of which was covered with white Arabic script and in the upper portion, there was a globe surmounted by an AK-47 assault rifle; the Al Qaeda banner. Using the traditional and mandatory Islamic opening, a voice intoned in Arabic, “In the name of Allah the most merciful…” and the centre of the screen began to fill with images and vignettes of all kinds of horrors: those aircraft slamming into the twin towers. US and allied vehicles being destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices); video cameras slaved to the sights of Dragunov sniper rifles blasting the heads off GIs and then murdering those who came to their assistance; suicide bombers driving explosive-laden trucks through fences and into buildings or crowds immediately followed by massive explosions. Sometimes such scenes would carry sub-titles giving the date and location of the horror. In other instances, there would be clips of the happy, excited suicide bomber explaining his joy at the prospect of martyring himself for such a noble purpose.

There would also be clips of their “Great Emir”, Bin Laden, uttering in his quiet and reasonable sounding voice his latest threats to tear the heart out of the degenerate West. Then some stocky, heavily bearded, white robed and turbaned American, who we were told was Adam Gadahn, a Jewish Californian convert to Islam and Al Qaeda, made his first of many appearances. Gadahn was ridiculing — in English, with Arabic sub-titles — the American President and issuing dire warnings aimed at US audiences of the disasters that would befall America if the USA and her allies did not quit “Muslim lands”.

Okay, that’s pretty bad, I have to admit. Jihadist snuff films, Bin Laden, and that fat f**k Gadahn (“stocky” my a**) is more than any man should have to take.

But there was something even worse than watching thousands of people perish in fireballs or dropping singly to the ground from 100 stories up, bursting like pumpkins on the pavement below, worse even than seeing Daniel Pearl get his throat slit (most likely by Khalid Sheik Mohammed).

Are you sitting down?

[T]he scenes that elicited the strongest emotion were the all-too-familiar images of black-hooded, orange-clad figures, chained hand and foot, shuffling around those tiny cages in Guantanamo. These were indignities perpetrated by my side — the ‘good guys’. Those scenes of German Shepherds, fangs bared, straining to get at broken men cowering in corners and those piles of horrified naked bodies forced into obscene intimacy and, always, the iconic black-hooded figure, mutely perched barefoot on a box in a short black poncho with wires dangling from his outstretched fingers in the disgraceful Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, made me, in the midst of my own mental anguish, feel deep shame.

Again, with all due respect for his ordeal, he should get the [bleep] over himself. The sight of captured enemy combatants growing fat in the Caribbean sun was too much for him? Club Gitmo forfeited our our right to be the “good guys”? I’ll give him Abu Ghraib, but even the worst alleged abuse there was better than the best day in Al Qaeda’s custody. Of course, I wasn’t there—but neither was he!

And he goes on in this vein for some time, believe me. We were worse than Bin Laden, KSM, Zarqawi, Zawahiri, and Alladin combined. What utter nonsense.

His captivity ended four years ago, he has nothing to offer but the grimy details of Al Qaeda-inflicted indignities, he has no insight or perspective on the intelligence assets we held and the information we gained—and he’s Canadian. Who is he to judge America, and why should any American listen to him?

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Obama Pulling Plug On Afghanistan?

In 2014

This should be taken with a grain of salt, since it was written by a journalist, but it appears that we are turning Afghanistan over to the Taliban on 2014.

The Obama administration is considering the possibility of removing all U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission officially finishes at the end of 2014, White House officials said Tuesday.

The comments by Ben Rhodes, the White House’s deputy national security adviser, come as the Pentagon and White House mull over the number of troops that could be left in Afghanistan after 2014 to fight insurgents and train Afghan security forces.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and President Obama are scheduled to meet on Friday in Washington.

Rhodes said the administration is considering a range of options, with one scenario having no U.S. troops there. The range, according to defense officials, had until recently been between 6,000 to 15,000 U.S. troops possibly remaining in the country, based on an assessment by the U.S. top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen.

“We have an objective of making sure there’s no safe haven for al Qaeda within Afghanistan and making sure that the Afghan government has a security force that is sufficient, again, to assure the stability of the Afghan government and the denial of that safe haven,” Rhodes said.

“That’s what causes us to look for different potential troop numbers or not having potential troops in the country,” he continued.

I’m agnostic on this. Would al Qaeda really try another September 11th-type terror attack after what they’ve been through? Possibly. Do the Afghans deserve more American sacrifice when they cannot seem to get their act together? Doubtful. And the public is certainly fed up with war.

- Aggie

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