Homeland Security

FBI asleep at the switch — again

On Tuesday, President Obama gave a very moving eulogy to the 13 Americans shot and killed last week at Fort Hood. But the more we learn about the killer, the more we have to wonder whether this was a mass murder that could have been avoided.

Maj. Nidal Hasan didn’t just crack suddenly and pick up a gun. He had methodically planned to kill — a lot of soldiers. He brought his own handguns onto the base in order to do so. And, almost as if he wanted to be stopped, he let drop several warnings ahead of time.


President Obama, risking America's national security

Unfortunately, a critical shift in the paradigm through which our nation accesses foreign policy has been dramatically modified, leaving America at the mercy of the most vicious of totalitarian dictators the world has to offer.

Over the past month, President Barack Obama continues to naively put America’s security at grave risk. At the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September, Obama unintentionally announced his “Hope Doctrine” to promote world peace.


Panetta Apologizes to Pelosi by Slamming Cheney

CIA Director Leon Panetta got into trouble with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) when he rightfully called into question her claims that the CIA had lied to her and Congress about the use of enhanced interrogation methods. He made the mistake of telling the truth.

Now, several weeks later, Panetta's presented Madam Speaker with a big bouquet of flowers, neatly tied with a bow, as he uttered what will likely end up being the most regrettable statement of his life:

Obama and Miranda Warnings

In case you've missed it: Earlier this year, President Obama told the CBS “60 Minutes” program and the American people that he didn't believe terrorists were entitled to Miranda rights. We've all seen and heard these rights being read on television, but I'll put them here for handy reference:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed for you.

Prior to interrogating a suspect in police custody, officers must read words similar to those above and the suspect must acknowledge the waiver of such rights if an interrogation is to commence to satisfy Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Obama's First Great Mistake

Just two weeks after the Guantanamo Bay issue blew up on President Obama and his own party refused to fund its closing, things have only grown more bleak for his plans to shutter the prison by Jan. 22, 2010. As I have written here, it was his first great mistake — an ambitious deadline to solve an enormous problem set in the exuberance of the first week in his historic presidency without consulting the U.S. Congress.

Turning Campaign Promises into Policy

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard answers viewer questions about issues surrounding the Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and how President Obama should handle closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.


Safe or Free

The United States treaty and criminal prohibition against torture contains no exceptions. There is no ticking-time-bomb exception. There is no “High Value Detainee” exception. There is no urgent-information exception. Of course, such exceptions can be made part of the law if Congress amends the anti-torture law or the president revokes the torture treaty. But neither was done during the Bush administration.

The United States prosecuted “waterboarding,” i.e., simulated drowning, as torture during World War II when practiced by the Japanese against American captives. The United States law prohibiting torture defines it as creating an imminent fear of death that causes prolonged mental pain or suffering. Republican Department of Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge declared that waterboarding constitutes torture under United States laws. Yet neither the Bush nor Obama administrations have done anything to criminally investigate waterboarding as torture.

Second Thoughts on Cheney Indictment

The following appeared originally in The Washington Times of Monday, May 25.

I began having second thoughts about last week's column urging the indictment of former Vice President Dick Cheney for approving the use of waterboarding and other forms of illegal torture, shortly after it was published and posted last Monday morning — days before the Obama-Cheney back-to-back speeches Thursday.

I Stand with the Speaker and Against Guantánamo

Washington is experiencing déjà vu.

Republicans play the politics of fear and many Democrats run for cover. Republicans play the politics of personal destruction, in this case attacking the Speaker, and many pundits parrot the spin and pretend it is news. Washington wages its war of words while troops in Afghanistan fight without everything they need to win.

Obama Giving Oxygen to Cheney's Fire

If you didn't watch both speeches yesterday from President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney, you will want to take the time to watch or read them in full. The dramatic day underscored just how much Obama struggles with balance as a former presidential candidate and new commander in chief.

Indeed, Cheney's whole presentation was at times rather unseemly. He waited for the president to finish before starting his speech so that he could have his own nationally televised moment. He criticized the president for taking too long, mocked him, chided him and all but called him a wimp.