When I heard President Obama's speech yesterday in which he practically accused the former administration of war crimes, I had to go out into my yard and walk off my anger.
The new president assessed all previous efforts to prevent terrorism against U.S. targets either a waste of time or a criminal enterprise that should cause all Americans to hang their heads in shame.
One wonders if our new president has yet realized who it was he was referring to. Although he no doubt intended to attack the previous administration, imagine how it must sound to the family of some U.S. soldier killed or maimed in the past seven years. Was all their suffering for nothing?
What about those members of the armed forces who executed lawful orders that the president now speaks of with such derision?
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"I know some have argued that brutal methods like waterboarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more," the president told the nation in his address from the National Archives.
Mr. Obama continued, "As commander in chief, I see the intelligence, I bear responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What's more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured. In short, they did not advance our war and counterterrorism efforts – they undermined them, and that is why I ended them once and for all."
What, do you think are the odds that American treatment of detainees has any bearing on how al-Qaida treats its American captives? Before there was Gitmo, there was Danny Pearl. The guy who cut Danny Pearl's head off and sent back the videotape was Khalid Sheik Mohammed. And very importantly, he was one of the planners and facilitators of the 9/11 attacks.
Sheik Mohammed was one of only three detainees subjected to waterboarding. But first he was involved in of all the above. I would think the order of events is important if we were arguing a cause and effect timeline.
"Rather than keep us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security," Obama said. "It is a rallying cry for our enemies," he argued. Obama would have us conjure up the mental image of the 9/11 terrorists shouting, "Remember Gitmo!" But I am once again forced to recall the chronology – first there was 9/11 and then there was Gitmo.
President Obama accused the Bush administration of maintaining Gitmo to operate outside the law (which is, by definition, a crime) in order to prosecute the war on terror, (which is, by definition, a war crime) as if the terrorists detained at Gitmo were innocent bystanders.
President Obama never fails to blame America for "losing its moral compass" or "losing its way" or substituting "fear for judgment" – the profoundly candid stuff that earned him such accolades by the left-leaning drive-by media.
It's easy to be candid when you're blaming everything on the previous administration or our military. Obama isn't shy about admitting to mistakes, just so long as they aren't his.
Obama closed by saying, "And I do know with certainty that we can defeat al-Qaida." He even told us the reason why – it makes you wonder why nobody thought of it before: "Because the terrorists can only succeed if they swell their ranks and alienate America from our allies, and they will never be able to do that if we stay true to who we are; if we forge tough and durable approaches to fighting terrorism that are anchored in our timeless ideals."
According to the president, the way to defeat al-Qaida is not by defeating them in the traditional sense. We just have to be so fair and so nice at the same time that the enemy will be so awestruck by our adherence to our timeless ideals they'll pack up their stuff and go home.
I have news for the president and his far-left administration – you have no idea of the beliefs and nature of the Muslim terrorists that are determined to destroy us. Our ideals and principles are the very thing they hate most about us. They will interpret this latest speech as weakness. More than anything else, this will encourage them to press in for the kill against a leadership that can be easily deceived and manipulated. At just the time we need the most aggressive and effective intelligence on these terrorists, this administration has all but neutralized them by calling all their courageous and dedicated service worthy of possible prosecution.
May God save the United States of America from this kind of leadership that borders on criminal ignorance of the motivating factors of our most deadly enemy.