Category Archives: terrorism

Paul Krugman and the Flag Burners

There’s been a good amount of reaction to the blog post put up by Paul Krugman at the NY Times today. There’s been less reaction to the story that’s linked below Krugman’s on memorandum as I write:

A group of Muslim protesters set fire to an American flag outside the US embassy in London during a minute’s silence to mark the moment that the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Center 10 years ago.

You expect some Muslims fanatics to burn a US flag somewhere on any given day. You expect some irrational, angry leftist like Paul Krugman to post some irrational, angry bile on a day like today. So we don’t get particularly shocked or outraged by either event.

We tend to agree with William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:

That’s how they feel, so in a sense I’m glad Krugman gave voice to it on this day. They can’t stand the fact that the attacks on 9/11 proved that their world view was wrong, and every mention of 9/11 is like a thorn in their political sides.

Clarity about how leftists like Krugman think and what they believe about America is important, especially important as we approach an election year. We should encourage them to be as open and honest about their real views as possible.

Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air isn’t outraged either:

It’s nothing Krugman wouldn’t say (and probably does say) the other 364 days out of the year, and Krugman says it in pretty much the same vacuous manner of the everyday sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome. After reading this, you seriously have to remind yourself that the New York Times pays Krugman to write it; this wouldn’t even pass muster for a Letter to the Editor at most newspapers. It’s so trite, sad, and cliched that it’s hardly worth the effort to rebut. He’s mailing this in from 2003. It’s as if Krugman hasn’t bothered to think about 9/11 in the past ten years at all, which says a lot more about Krugman than it does about 9/11.

Another conficting account from Osama bin Ladin SEAL raid

From the Associated Press today:

“The decision to launch on that particular moonless night in May came largely because too many American officials had been briefed on the plan. U.S. officials feared if it leaked to the press, bin Laden would disappear for another decade.”

From President Obama’s appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday, May 8th:

KROFT: Did you have to suppress the urge to tell someone? Did you wanna tell somebody? Did you wanna tell Michelle? Did you tell Michelle?

OBAMA: You know, one of the great successes of this operation was that we were able to keep this thing secret. And it’s a testimony to how seriously everybody took this operation and the understanding that any leak could end up not only compromising the mission, but killing some of the guys that we were sending in there.

And so very few people in the White House knew. The vast majority of my most senior aides did not know that we were doing this. And, you know, there were times where you wanted to go around and talk this through with some more folks. And that just wasn’t an option.

Last Sunday, as the final preparations for the raid were underway, President Obama continued with his charade of “business as usual.” Most people in the White House, including some of his closest aides, had no idea what was about to happen. To break the tension and to clear his head, he played some golf in the morning, waiting for the sun to go down in Pakistan.

Then he returned to the White House for the most critical 40 minutes of his presidency. In mid-afternoon, he gathered the architects of the mission in a windowless room in the White House basement to watch it all unfold.

So which is it? Did the mission get pushed up because too many people knew? Or did the administration demonstrate great skill and success keeping it under wraps, with just a few key people knowing about it at all?

We can guess which story is more likely to be true based on the fact that the AP story is based accounts from “officials [who] spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a classified operation.” The AP doesn’t make clear who these “officials” are – they could be at the White House, in Congress, at the Pentagon, the CIA… “classified” is evidently defined by some as “you can talk about it all you want, just don’t put your name on it.”

Michael Mukasey on the “Christmas Day bomber”

Michael Mukasey has a good article today in the Washington Post on the Obama administration’s handling of the “Christmas Day bomber”, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, debunking many of the disingenuous talking points coming from the administration..

Contrary to what the White House homeland security adviser and the attorney general have suggested, if not said outright, not only was there no authority or policy in place under the Bush administration requiring that all those detained in the United States be treated as criminal defendants, but relevant authority was and is the opposite. …

Perhaps the most dishonest, but most repeated, of the Democrats’ talking points is the comparison to Richard Reid. Mukasey quickly debunks it:

What of Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber,” who was warned of his Miranda rights and prosecuted in a civilian court? He was arrested in December 2001, before procedures were put in place that would have allowed for an outcome that might have included not only conviction but also exploitation of his intelligence value, if possible. His case does not recommend the same procedure in Abdulmutallab’s.

It’s especially shameless for all these Democrats to use the actions of the Bush administration as the standard in defending their own policies, after spending the last eight years demonizing every move made by the Bush administration.

Department of No Planned Security

Via Yahoo News:

U.S. authorities told The Associated Press that the suspect came to the attention of intelligence officials in November when his father went to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, to express concerns about his son.

One government official said the father did not have any specific information that would put his son on the “no-fly list” or on the list for additional security checks at the airport.

….

Abdulmutallab appeared on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database maintained by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, said a U.S. official who received a briefing. Containing some 550,000 names, the database includes people with known or suspected ties to a terrorist organization. However, it is not a list that would prohibit a person from boarding a U.S.-bound airplane.

Being in a database of “people with known or suspected ties to a terrorist organization” is not enough to prohibit a person from boarding a flight into the U.S.? Being reported by your own father as a potential threat is not enough even to trigger additional security checks at the airport? And the answer is to require passengers to remain in their seats for the last hour of all international flights?

It’s both scary and infuriating to contemplate how absurd all this is, the reactions of so many of those who are supposed to be experts dedicated to protecting us. But it becomes increasingly difficult to muster any real outrage any more. At some point, hopefully before there’s another major terrorist attack, we’ll have to decide which is our real aim — to stop terrorists, or to avoid offending anyone. So far the signs have not been encouraging.

In partial defense of the people at the embassy, who among us hasn’t ignored a correspondence that starts off: “Hello, I am a prominent Nigerian banker, and I have important information for your immediate attention…”

Donald Sensing satirically suggests the passenger who subdued the UndieBomber on flight 253 will be prosecuted for injuring him. It’s truly scary how close to impossible it is to parody these things.

There is “no suggestion” Janet Napolitano is competent to head DHS

Via Politico,

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit airline flight Christmas Day demonstrated that “the system worked.”

Napolitano added that there was “no suggestion that [the suspect] was improperly screened.”

Really? No suggestion? No suggestion at all? The fact that a terrorist brought an explosive onto an aircraft and set it off in flight (apparently the device only failed to explode because of a failed detonator) doesn’t even suggest to the head of DHS that the man was improperly screened? What is screening for? Isn’t proper screening by definition meant to keep bomb-carrying terrorists off of airplanes? This should be a question much too obvious to ask. Apparently both the question and the answer baffle Secretary Napolitano. She could hardly have been more clueless if she had replied, “Plane? What plane?”

Jonah Goldberg is right. She should obviously be fired immediately.

Michelle Malkin gives Napolitano much more of the derision she deserves in this Clown Alert.

Racism! they projected – now the AP plays the race card

We noted it when the slimy Time magazine blog a couple of weeks ago accused the McCain campaign of racism when they showed Barack Obama in an ad next to crooked former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin “Heckuva Job, Frankie!” Raines who happens to be a black man.

We said then, “At this rate, pretty soon they’re going to accuse the McCain campaign of racism if they show Barack Obama by himself in an ad.”

The latest of this sort of slimy, slanderous attack from the DeMSM comes from the once venerable Associated Press, in an “analysis” piece by Douglass K. Daniel. This attack is as baseless as the one from Time. It doesn’t come in response to an ad, but it comes as close to suggesting that any criticism of Obama is racist as any we’ve seen to date.

Daniel accuses Sarah Palin, and by extension the McCain campaign, of racism for noting Obama’s long association with radical, unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, who by the way happens to be white.

By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists” and doesn’t see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.

And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

Daniel also proceeds to helpfully regurgitate Obama campaign talking points – “there’s no evidence Obama and Ayers were close” (false), “Obama … was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs (irrelevant), “has denounced Ayers’ radical views…” (false).

One of the central themes of Obama’s campaign, at least in much of his rhetoric, has been that he will “bridge the divides” in America, and “bring us together” (of course, like most of his campaign, this is mostly just talk and no action). But it should be obvious that the sort of knee-jerk accusations of racism like those from Time and the AP will have the opposite effect.

Others:
Michelle Malkin
The Corner

New attack ad ties Obama to terrorist Ayers…

… and the new ad is from the Obama campaign! The ad begins:

“With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the 60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers,” the Obama ad states. “McCain knows Obama denounced Ayers crimes, committed when Obama was just 8 years old.”

Good question (leaving aside the false claim that John McCain is talking about it), thanks for asking it Senator Obama! Why should Obama be linked with his long-time friend and fellow left-wing activist Ayers? Some professional, unbiased journalist ought to really dig deep into this matter. Obama has now asked questions that demand answers!

What is their relationship? Why did Obama assert that Ayers was merely “someone who lives in my neighborhood”, when the relationship clearly goes well beyond that? When did Obama denounce Ayers’ crimes? When did he learn of Ayers’ radical views? Between learning of those views and now, when did Obama cut off ties to the former terrorist and still radical Ayers, if he in fact did so? Get on the story, DeMSM.

Democrats OUTRAGED! by President’s anti-appeasement comments

It’s quite funny to watch the Democrats sputtering in phony outrage over the president’s comments to the Israeli Knesset about the dangers of trying to appease our jihadist enemies.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain their words away. This is natural. But it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Upon hearing this passage, which you’ll note does not refer to anyone by name, several Democrats immediately assumed the president must be talking about them, especially the ever self-referential Barack Obama:

“It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack,” Obama said in a statement released to CNN by his campaign. “It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel….”

“George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel,” Obama’s statement said.

Wow, touchy, touchy. Imagine if the president had actually mentioned Obama. But of course Obama did say he would sit down without conditions with the Iranian regime, which supports terrorism and has called for the elimination of Israel. Ultimately though, if the Democrats don’t want to be attacked for being weak on matters of national security, then they ought to stop being weak on matters of national security.

And incidentally, they might have a shred of credibility left if they had exhibited the slightest outrage when their own Dick “Pol Pot” Durbin compared U.S. servicemen to Nazis, for example.

A real criticism of the president might be to say it’s a foolish delusion to keep trying to carve a state from the terror havens of Gaza and the West Bank, even as rockets continue to rain down on innocent civilians in Israel. But the Democrats aren’t going to make that case.

Pentagon Report Documents Iraq – al Qaeda Connections…

…and the corrupt and/or incompetent DeMSM grossly misrepresent its findings –

The headline from ABC News: “Report Shows No Link Between Saddam and al Qaeda”

From the NY Times: “Oh, By the Way, There Was No Al Qaeda Link”

From CNN: “The U.S. military’s first and only study looking into ties between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaeda showed no connection between the two, according to a military report released by the Pentagon.”

But from the actual report from the Pentagon (via The Weekly Standard):

The Iraqi Perspectives Project (IPP) review of captured Iraqi documents
uncovered strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional
and global terrorism. Despite their incompatible long-term goals, many
terrorist movements and Saddam found a common enemy in the United States. At
times these organizations worked together, trading access for capability. In the
period after the 1991 Gulf War, the regime of Saddam Hussein supported a complex
and increasingly disparate mix of pan-Arab revolutionary causes and emerging
pan-Islamic radical movements. The relationship between Iraq and forces of
pan-Arab socialism was well known and was in fact one of the defining qualities
of the Ba’ath movement.

But the relationships between Iraq and the groups advocating
radical pan-Islamic doctrines are much more complex. This study found no
“smoking gun” (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.
Saddam’s interest in, and support for, non-state actors was spread across a variety
of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic terrorist organizations. Some
in the regime recognized the potential high internal and external costs of maintaining
relationships with radical Islamic groups, yet they concluded that in some
cases, the benefits of association outweighed the risks.

….

When attacking Western interests, the competitive terror cartel
came into play, particularly in the late 1990s. Captured documents reveal that the
regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al
Qaeda – as long as that organization’s near-term goals supported Saddam’s longterm
vision.

….

Saddam’s interest in, and support for, non-Iraqi non-state actors was
spread across a wide variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic
terrorist organizations. For years, Saddam maintained training camps for foreign
“fighters” drawn from these diverse groups. In some cases, particularly for Palestinians,
Saddam was also a strong financial supporter. Saddam supported groups
that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad,
led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) or that generally
shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.

No unbiased, objective reading of the report justifies the headlines used by ABC News or the NY Times, period.

UPDATE: Stephen F. Hayes has a detailed article on the Pentagon report at The Weekly Standard.

Others:
Hot Air
The Corner

United Nations condemns Israel for self defense

From the AP (via Yahoo News):

The U.N. Security Council issued a media statement early Sunday condemning the escalation of fighting in southern Israel and Gaza and urging Israelis and Palestinians “to immediately cease all acts of violence.”

So after the Palestinians rain down thousands of missiles into Israeli neighborhoods month after month, as soon as the Israelis take any action in self defense the UN finally gets interested in a non-judgmental call for an end to “all acts of violence”. This is typical and unsurprising from the UN, an institution for which becoming merely useless would be a step up.

The statement, though not a formal resolution, also stressed that the violence “must not be allowed to deter the political process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority aimed at establishing two states – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security.”

But this is based on a basic untruth. The Palestinians, or at least certainly their “government”, have shown no sign that their aim is to establish two states. They still express the idea that they want one state, “Palestine”, after destroying Israel. And it cannot really now be claimed that the “government” of “Palestine” does not represent the views of the Palestinian people, because they elected two terrorist organizations, Fatah and Hamas, to head their “government”.

Such resolutions have failed repeatedly in the past because of U.S. and European objections that they are not balanced in their condemnation “” and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters as he left the meeting that “it’s not a balanced resolution, certainly.”

But what is needed is not “balance”, but acknowledgment that there is a right and a wrong here: the Palestinians are the terrorist aggressors, and the Israelis are trying to defend themselves. We didn’t demand a “balanced condemnation” of the U.S. and al Qaeda after 9/11. There should be no promises of recognition of a state of Palestine until they fully renounce terrorism and recognize the right of Israel to exist.