Tuesday, November 24, 2009

U.S. is soft on terrorism

On September 12, 2001, Americans were nearly unanimous in their belief that terrorism was a very real and serious threat to our country. September 11, 2009, eight years later, after not only no new terrorist attacks on the United States, but some thwarted terrorist activities, we have grown complacent on terrorism, and we have adopted attitudes along the way that are so soft on terrorism that the likelihood of an attack inside the United States is as great today as it was in 2001.

Since the eighth anniversary of 9-11 two months ago we may, in fact, have already experienced another attack, the Ft. Hood massacre. There is substantial evidence that when Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan (allegedly) opened fire on his fellow soldiers, he was motivated by the same irrational hatred as the 19 murderous Muslim animals that hijacked four airliners and crashed two into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. Thankfully, the fourth was brought down by rebellious passengers in a Pennsylvania field short of its intended target in Washington, DC.

The evidence against Maj. Hasan: He is a Muslim; he was observed by medical students under his tutelage giving an hour-long lecture on the Koranic view of military service, jihad and war, and discussed the punishment for those who don’t believe in Islam; numerous reports suggest that he believed the Koran compelled him to destroy Christian and Jewish infidels; he was opposed to being sent to the Middle East where U.S. forces are fighting Muslim terrorists because he might have to take up arms against his Muslim brothers; he had been in communication with a notorious Yemen-based jihad propagandist; and he screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he murdered his fellow soldiers.

It seems irrefutable that Maj. Nidal Hasan shares the same ideology as the 9-11 terrorists and is himself a terrorist.

But these days, the horrors of 2001 seem a distant memory for many Americans, who don’t think the threat is real anymore. This “soft on terrorism” attitude seeks to brand Maj. Hasan as merely “crazy,” and its adherents twist themselves into knots pretending he is something other than what he really is.

They maintain that Dr. Hasan was afflicted with a disorder known as secondary post-traumatic stress disorder. “As a psychiatrist he had heard too many stories of misery from returning troops, and he just snapped,” they protest.

Now, there is a second disorder being discussed, one that affects people who are about to go into a war zone: pre-traumatic stress disorder: they snap at the mere prospect of encountering traumatic events. Such equivocation has deadly consequences, as the Ft. Hood terrorist attack clearly shows.

Now, we are about to bring four terrorists connected to the 9-11 attacks – including the architect of the attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed – from the Guantanamo Bay military detention facility in Cuba to New York, and instead of trying them in military courts, as we have done with enemy combatants for decades, the United States government will try them in Federal District Court as if they had merely killed a Bald Eagle, or entered the country illegally (except we don’t try illegal aliens anymore).

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder defends this plan by saying that by giving terrorists the protections of the U.S. Constitution we show the world that we aren’t the crude savages that George Bush made us appear. Our system of government is so superior to all the others, the theory goes, that we will give even murderous terrorist vermin the benefits of our Constitution, the same as our citizens receive.

However, in a civilian court disclosing sensitive intelligence information through the discovery and cross-examination processes is likely, which means sensitive information will most certainly fall into the hands of other terrorists, as occurred in the trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. A list of 200 unindicted co-conspirators, that included Osama bin Laden, had to be provided to defense counsel. According to the judge at that trial, Michael Mukasey, "Within 10 days, a copy of that list reached bin Laden in Khartoum, letting him know that his connection to that case had been discovered."

As columnist Charles Krauthammer noted, “apart from the fact that any such trial will be a security nightmare and a terror threat to New York – what better propaganda-by-deed than blowing up the courtroom, making [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] a martyr and turning the judge, jury and spectators into fresh victims? – it will endanger U.S. security.”

All Muslims are not terrorists, of course, and all terrorists are not Muslims. However, the current brand of terrorism is overwhelmingly perpetrated by radical Muslims whose idea of Islam is to kill infidels like Americans and Jews, and our challenge is to tell who the radicals are before they can act.

Ladies and gentlemen, we must be less concerned with high-minded ideals like how the U.S. is perceived around the world and by our enemies, and a lot more concerned with protecting American citizens and our national security. Trying these terrorists in a federal district court is reckless and dangerous, and clearly puts our safety and security at risk.

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