At a more innocent time in Washington — the LBJ era — someone with the same name as mine attended a presidential bill signing, one I had been invited to, though my invitation went to him. As the present media and government rend their garments over how an uninvited couple got into a hot-ticket White House dinner for the prime minister of India, recalling my earlier experience reminds how times have changed in our age of national-security anxiety.
The discussions about the responsibility of high-ranking federal officials in the Defense Department, CIA and Vice President’s Office, and the lawyers who advised them about the legality of torture, seem to be going nowhere. How we define torture and when it is permissible seem more appropriate questions for philosophers than politicians. Reading the lawyers’ analyses about whether throwing someone against a wall or how long it is OK to pour water down someone’s throat makes for some weird jurisprudence. Behind the torture question is the provocative “ticking bomb” rationale.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who blithely admits to planning the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in downtown New York, deserves to be put to death. Less clear is Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement last week that New York City was the best venue to pursue the case against them.
This is plainly absurd. Holding the trial in New York puts a big bull’s-eye on the downtown area. It is common sense that holding the trial in the twice-attacked lower Manhattan community makes it more likely New York will be attacked again. Moreover, the cost of providing security for the trial could easily exceed $100 million for a city that is already embroiled in a fiscal crisis.
In all likelihood, the tragedy at Fort Hood would have been avoided if political correctness hadn’t led military and government officials to turn a blind eye to clear signs that Maj. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist.
Even now, after the full extent of this tragedy has sunk in, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey has warned the public not to make any connections between Maj. Hasan and Muslims. “As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty, as well," said Gen. Casey.
It is true that this tragedy should not become an excuse to nurture irrational fear and loathing of Muslims. But we cannot become so neutered by political correctness that we ignore the facts. Maj. Hasan’s killing spree was the most deadly act of terrorism on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is now conscious and being nursed back to health by hospital staff, just days after he opened fire at the Fort Hood Readiness Center, massacring 13 servicemen and -women and injuring 30.
It is inconceivable to me that we are actually helping this man live. Hasan worshipped at the same Virginia mosque that two Sept. 11 hijackers attended in 2001 — a time when radical imam Anwar al Awlaki preached there. Awaki, who now lives in Yemen and who preaches global jihad against the U.S., praised Hasan’s atrocious slaughter of U.S. servicemen as “the Right Thing" and called Hasan a "hero."
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.
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.
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:
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.