June 2006

Bradford Berenson, former Associate White House Counsel, is on C-Span (Friday evening 3/23), explaining why military tribunals are appropriate for terrorists. He noted that U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy, the judge who tried the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, has a 24-hour guard to protect him from revenge attacks by Muslim terrorists. That is a huge burden for a public servant and the public purse to bear.

A little googling confirmed that the judge is indeed under such protection:

Michael Bounds, 47, Jackson, deputy U.S. marshal:

Terrorists had been on his mind hours before two airliners smashed into the World Trade Center.

That’s because Bounds was in New York City on a special detail, helping to protect U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy, who presided over the trial involving the 1993 terrorist bombing of the center. “He has a lifetime detail protection based on the threats against him.”

When the terrorist strike took place on Sept. 11, Bounds helped rush Duffy to a secure location.

Suppose we capture Osama bin Ladin and he is tried in a civilian court in New York. Suppose you are asked to serve on the jury. Suppose you receive threats against your life from Osama’s supporters. Would you still serve? Suppose jurors at a previous terrorist trial had been decapitated by Muslim terrorists. Still willing to serve? Duffy received threats so serious that he has lifetime protection. Would civilian jurors get the same level of protection? Your call.

If Osama is ever again able to mount a major attack on US soil, I doubt he’ll target the Supreme Court or the NYT headquarters. Just a guess.


Instapundit links to Marty Lederman at Scotus Blog who writes:

Even more importantly for present purposes, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies [sic] as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today’s ruling.

If we are going to win this War on Radical Islam we need to neutralize every weapon in the enemy’s arsenal. Given the Supreme Court’s ruling it would seem prudent for the United States to withdraw from the Geneva Conventions. God knows, the enemy sure doesn’t abide by the Geneva conventions.

In 9/11 City, the paper of record decided to explain to Osama how not to move money around the globe. They also put the Europeans on the spot and likely closed off importants sources of intelligence on terrorist.

Then the United States Supreme Court, in an act of supreme folly, ruled that terrorists deserve a fair trial in US courts with all the rights and protections afforded US citizens and legal residents.

Justice Thomas slams the plurality:

Today a plurality of this Court would hold that conspiracy to massacre innocent civilians does not violate the laws of war. This determination is unsustainable. The judgment of the political branches that Hamdan, and others like him, must be held accountable before military commissions for their involvement with and membershipin an unlawful organization dedicated to inflicting massive civilian casualties is supported by virtually every relevant authority, including all of the authorities invoked by the plurality today. It is also supported by the nature of the present conflict. We are not engaged in a traditional battle with a nation-state, but with a worldwide, hydra-headed enemy, who lurks in the shadows conspiring toreproduce the atrocities of September 11, 2001, and who has boasted of sending suicide bombers into civilian gatherings, has proudly distributed videotapes of beheadings of civilian workers, and has tortured and dismembered captured American soldiers. But according to the plurality, when our Armed Forces capture those who are plottingterrorist atrocities like the bombing of the Khobar Towers, the bombing of the U. S. S. Cole, and the attacks of September 11—even if their plots are advanced to the verybrink of fulfillment—our military cannot charge those criminals with any offense against the laws of war. Instead, our troops must catch the terrorists “redhanded,” ante, at 48, in the midst of the attack itself, in order to bring them to justice. Not only is this conclusion fundamentally inconsistent with the cardinal principal of thelaw of war, namely protecting non-combatants, but itwould sorely hamper the President’s ability to confrontand defeat a new and deadly enemy.

I’d say the plurality has caught a severe case of BDS. Let us pray it is not fatal to the nation.

It was not a win for the pro-illegal immigration lobby. Chuck Muth explains why:

Cannon successfully re-invented himself over the past few months. While once an outspoken advocate of lax immigration policies – telling a Hispanic audience at one point that he didn’t make much of a distinction between legal and illegal immigration – Cannon all but became a born-again Tom Tancredo, the outspoken anti-illegal immigration congressman from Colorado, in his campaign rhetoric the days and weeks leading up to the election.

So Cannon had to swim with the anti-illegal imigrant tide to win. Then Cannon’s opponent, John Jacob, starting shooting himself in the foot. Repeatedly. That’ll hobble a campaign. Muth again:

However, just days before the election, stories appeared which set off alarm bells for seasoned political professionals. The first was when Jacob announced he couldn’t afford to go up on TV the full two weeks leading up to Game Day. The second was that the Jacob campaign hadn’t devoted any serious time or attention to wooing early and absentee ballot voters – voters which can, and often do, make or break a close election

First came the reports that Jacob may have unlawfully funneled money to an immigrant family. It was an involved and detailed story, but in our sound-bite age all the public heard was that Jacob was a personal hypocrite on the immigration issue. Right or wrong, that’s how the story was perceived by the electorate.

Then Jacob was forced to admit, in no particular order, that he: (a) had a gambling “problem,” (b) had his figures all wrong regarding the number of illegal aliens being housed in a Utah jail, (c) had not one, but two bankruptcies and other business failures, and (d) had a “path to citizenship” proposal of his own based on a practice at Disneyland called FastPass which allows certain people to jump to the front of the line. In other words, “amnesty” by another name.

However, the final nail in the coffin came just five days before the election, at a time when Jacob was, despite all his other problems, still in a statistical dead heat with the incumbent.

First at a campaign event, and then in front of editors from the state’s largest newspaper, Jacob blamed his struggles in challenging Cannon on…the devil. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Jacob said that “since he decided to run for Congress, Satan (had) disrupted his business deals, preventing him from putting as much money into the race as he had hoped.”

Blaming Satan? No wonder the voters ditched him.

The BBC reports on ongoing violence by Muslim terrorists in southern Thailand. Just another front in the war on everybody but us being waged by radical Islam. The International Herald Tribune reports on the situation:

Thailand has become somewhat inured to the daily violence that has claimed more than 1,300 lives over the past two years, a startling death toll in a country that is still much better known for its beaches and massage parlors than its homegrown terrorism.

But the beating of Jooling Pangamoon, who taught art at the elementary school, shocked the country, both because of its brutality and because witnesses say the group that abducted Jooling was led by women.

The beating confirmed a disturbing trend: Whereas the victims of the insurgency three years ago were almost exclusively soldiers and police officers, they nowadays are including more and more civilians – Buddhist monks, bystanders, teachers and government officials – according to Srisompob Jitpiromsri, a political science professor at Prince Songkla University in the southern city of Pattani. He counts a total of 3,546 violent incidents in 2004 and 2005.

Thawach Saehum, head of a teachers’ association, says 46 teachers have been killed and 28 wounded since 2004, when violence flared dramatically. He and many teachers now carry handguns to protect themselves, he said.

“The teachers are the last symbol of the government’s presence in the villages,” Thawach said, adding that most other government officers were too afraid to set foot outside of the main towns, especially at night.

Looks like the ROP doesn’t like Bhuddists either.

The NYT was strongly in favor the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the trivial matter of the leaking of an undercover CIA employee’s name. The Special Prosecutor sent Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her source(s). Since then the NYT has printed numerous stories based on unauthorized leaks of important national security secrets. Strangely, the paper hasn’t called for any investigation of those leaks. It would be poetic justice if the reporters and editors involved in those stories had a little jail time to decide whether or not to cough up the names of their sources. As long as it takes, guys.

Memo to Alberto Gonzales – Just Do It!

Post added to the Beltway traffic Jam.

Rule 308 explains what this war is about. I find myself in complete agreement with everything he wrote.

1. That there is no “war in Iraq” and “war in Afghanistan.” There is only The War. Iraq and Afghanistan are two of its campaigns; at present the most active overt ones. There are others: the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and naval operations in foreign waters. Still others are being fought in ways and places that will remain secret for any years.

2. That the War did not begin on 11 September 2001. It began, in its immediate form at least, in February 1993 with the first bombing of the World Trade Center (and arguably years before). While we treated that and other subsequent incidents—Khobar Towers, the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole—as criminal matters, we failed to see them as acts of war. Our responses not only did not punish those responsible, but by their inadequacy actually encouraged further attacks. Also, we did not ask for this War; it sought us out.

3. That the War in its present form is but the latest manifestation in the age-old struggle between the West (formerly European Christendom) and the Middle Eastern, Muslim world. Various powers have carried the standard for each side; it is now the turn of the U.S. to act for the West. It is a struggle between our civilization and an astonishingly retrogressive ideology which combines the most objectionable features of an aggressive proselytizing religion with the social and economic features of modern totalitarianism.

4. That the War is absolutely worth fighting. Our opponents are implacably hostile to us, and would convert, enslave or kill us they see fit. They allow no sort of let’s-agree-to-disagree co-existence. If we do not fight today in Baghdad it does not mean that we will fight next week in Boston, but it does mean that we will take a step backwards and give our enemies breathing room. We should be engaging the Muslim world in all quarters, by diplomatic, economic and cultural means when possible, but by military means when necessary. Nowhere should the extremists go unchallenged, from al-Anbar to Zamboanga. Don’t like oil at $70 a barrel? Imagine it at twice that; imagine U.S. and allied merchant shipping unable to ply the seas without fear of attack; imagine American tourists unable to go to Europe because militant Muslim populations have made it unsafe to do so and have cowed the governments of the countries where they live.

5. That in failing to find distinctly labeled stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we also found, almost by accident, the real weapon of mass destruction: the seething body of discontented, mis-educated, unemployed males, whose sole outlet for dissent is in voluntary destructive acts, and who are preyed upon and exploited by wily, conniving clerics and politicians. They exist in a dysfunctional society, the roots of which go back centuries. To win the battle against those forces will be to score a lasting victory for the human race and protect our own security and prosperity. To quote General McCaffrey, “Our aim must be to create a viable federal state under the rule of law which does not: enslave its own people, threaten its neighbors, or produce weapons of mass destruction.”

6. That the War effort ought to engage and involve the entire U.S. population. Right now, the military and the intelligence community are the ones doing the fighting. Every arm of the federal government should be involved, spearheaded by the State Department. Citizens need to be told and shown that the danger is real, it is potent, and it is the job of everyone to do his or her part. Those who are not in the armed forces have many options open to them, from local first-response units to volunteer organizations dedicated to disaster preparedness and relief. They can also vote. There needs to be a strong national consensus on the War, how to fight it, and why it must be won. It seems to me now that there is too much talk on if to fight the War, and why.

Let’s make damn sure we win this war.

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