Friday, May 01, 2009
If you read one thing today, it ought to be Andy McCarthy's letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. Teaser:
This letter is respectfully submitted to inform you that I must decline the invitation to participate in the May 4 roundtable meeting the President’s Task Force on Detention Policy is convening with current and former prosecutors involved in international terrorism cases. An invitation was extended to me by trial lawyers from the Counterterrorism Section, who are members of the Task Force, which you are leading.
The invitation email (of April 14) indicates that the meeting is part of an ongoing effort to identify lawful policies on the detention and disposition of alien enemy combatants—or what the Department now calls “individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.” I admire the lawyers of the Counterterrorism Division, and I do not question their good faith. Nevertheless, it is quite clear—most recently, from your provocative remarks on Wednesday in Germany—that the Obama administration has already settled on a policy of releasing trained jihadists (including releasing some of them into the United States). Whatever the good intentions of the organizers, the meeting will obviously be used by the administration to claim that its policy was arrived at in consultation with current and former government officials experienced in terrorism cases and national security issues. I deeply disagree with this policy, which I believe is a violation of federal law and a betrayal of the president’s first obligation to protect the American people. Under the circumstances, I think the better course is to register my dissent, rather than be used as a prop.
In light of the demonization of the OLC lawyers and the interrogation consultants to the CIA who somebody in the federal government outed yesterday, people are learning that it is very dangerous to help the United States fight a war. Barack Obama, and the rest of us Americans, had better hope that he never needs help from rough men who stand ready in the night.
This is your best, most declarative post in a long time. There's no beating about the bush in what you say, trying to find any possible silver linings, and that's the right way to treat what can only be described as an administration lead effort to endanger our citizens.
Of course I agree completely with both McCarthy and you, and the fact that our free press is not critically examining this policy with an eye toward shedding light on it is an abominable travesty. Those folks are a waste of valuable carbon rights.
Well, i don't disagree. The liberals have shown time and time again that facts, evidence and common sense often go right out the window when they decide public policy. And Gitmo would be far less polarizing an issue if it wasn't for the "fake, but inaccurate" Koran flushing story and the dozens like it that were intended to make it a polarizing issue.
In IE6, all I got was a gold and brown checkerboard, but from what I got by reading the page source, in essence (and very politely) the letter says:
“I’m sorry but no. Your roundtable outcome has already been preordained, and I’m not going to attend just so you can use my very presence to bless a “solution” that I completely disagree with. In addition, anything that I might say there will be twisted and used against me in the endless smear war that the Obama administration is carrying out against anybody who supported the Bush administration and their war efforts.
So go play Kabuki theatre with your little friends. Let me know when you are ready to get serious and defend American lives.”
I agree with him totally. Those seeking the defeat of the US could not possibly have a greater ally in the AG office than what they have now.
Andrew McCarthy's a douche. Everybody, from the Inquisition to slaveholders to the SS to the Taliban justifies murder, torture, by "saving lives" or a "way of life." And usually it becomes torture and murder as a form of control, or power...scoring safety and security out of dumbass luck. Now we're no different (and never have been), so? Business as usual. Why is this such a big deal for you?
Got nothing left to talk about?
No CC, you are the douche (as long as ad hominem is the flavor of the day you should get your taste). Striking out with your usual strawman arguments ignores the specifics McCarthy raises. Speak up with something specific or shut the hell up while the adults try to save you miserable butt.
McCarthy makes a compelling case that BHO plans to ignore existing laws designed to protect the American people.
BHO's assertion that his election victory trumps every opposition idea--including everything President Bush did--his holding conferences on issues as cover for decisions made--that we are a flawed nation--is wearing thin.
Is BHO's presidency an attack on America? Is it time to think impeachment? I'm just asking......
Would it not be a far braver stand to actually participate in the conference and then raise these objections, rather than refuse the offer outright? Holding a conference with only people who agree with the current policies is window dressing. Inviting those who dissent at least offers a voice to that opinion. I suppose McCarthy preserves his ability to denigrate any recommendations of the conference by remaining on the outside and hurling invective, rather than participating in a legitimate debate.
Answering your comment is the precise point of McCarthy's letter.
Some might think it would have been better in some undefined way to have been a political prop than to stand publicly against this policy, but McCarthy is obviously not one of those people. No idiot, he.
The greater point to worry over is the repeatedly demonstrated overt hostility the Obama administration has shown to the "rough men standing guard", and targeting those men for harrassment and even death by leaking their names is horrible. Has the Obama administration declared war on our own protectors? It is appalling.
Perfesser C: No, not really. Omar Abdel Rahman , now there is a douche. Andrew McCarthy is just the guy who put that particular douche in jail. Reason enough to at least listen to what he has to say.
Anon @11:50 : respectfully, no. You're on the right track with this:
Holding a conference with only people who agree with the current policies is window dressing.But so is holding a conference with a beard or two. It is a sad fact but true that conferences are always window dressing.
Considering the absolute war the media declared on the Bush administration when Valerie Plame's was leaked, later shown not to even be occupying a classified position with the CIA (and releasing her name therefore not a crime) I fully expect to see all those who screamed loudly for a special prosecutor to be pounding the table now. This is the real thing, so all those who were so sanctimonious in the Plame affair will no doubt be even more outraged this time.
As a conservative, it pains me to write this, but the detainee issue in general, and Gitmo in particular, are issues on which conservatives have sown the seeds of their own destruction by failing to establish, articulate, and defend a coherent position on the legal status and treatment of these detainees. Responsibility for this failure rests entirely on the Bush administration. The Bush administration also failed on policy execution by co-mingling legitimate military detainees captured in a military theater with terror suspects captured nowhere near a military theater.
Detainees captured in a military theater and who did not comply with the requirements for protection under the Geneva Convention have no legal rights, period. Under the laws of war they can be (and routinely have been) summarily executed on the battlefield on the orders of a commanding officer. Further, under the laws of war they can remain in military custody for the duration of the conflict, which is to say indefinitely.
Gitmo is a military prison and should have been reserved only for irregular (i.e., non-uniformed, etc.) detainees captured in a military theater. The military should have pushed back HARD on the Bush administration on this issue. Now Gitmo houses a rag-tag bunch of bad guys captured in a wide variety of contexts and locations.
As a substantive matter, we can sort through the details of each person and separate those who properly belong in military custody from those who do not. But as a public relations matter, this was an error from which we cannot recover. Our left-leaning press will always focus on Ahmed the innocent goat herder whose neighbor turned him over to the U.S. Military for the reward money. There is no point in fighting this PR battle, it is already lost--ergo, President Obama and a Democratic Congress. Gitmo will be closed, making us all less safe.
I applaud Andrew McCarthy's efforts, but it is time to recognize that this battle is lost. Now conservatives should be forcefully and publicly advocating the position that these detainees cannot be held in custody in the U.S. criminal justice system. There simply is no way, consistent with our constitution, to imprison someone who has not been convicted of a crime for this duration of time.
For the detainees at Gitmo, the choice is between military custody and freedom. If Obama wants to set them free, then his administration can suffer the political consequences of that action. If you think the Willy Horton ads were bad, just wait for the ads if Kalid Sheik Muhammad walks free. It's enough to give Karl Rove a wet dream.
Christopher - I am surprised you think Andy McCarthy is a "douche." Read his book and his other writings, and start by reading his letter in the link. He is the one suggesting a hybrid system -- not purely military, not purely criminal justice system.
He calls them as he sees them -- when righty blogs were all over Patrick Fitzgerald regarding how he was proceeding in the Plame mattter, McCarthy, who knew him well, basically said, hey, Fitzgerald knows what he is doing and wouldn't be prosecuting Libby unless there was a good chance of a conviction. McCarthy also has had kind collegial words to say about Lynne Stewart, the defense attorney, when she had her own run in with the law for passing information from the jail cell of a convicted terrorist, still recognizing that she ought to be punished.
I do think McCarthy is being slightly disingenuous in his third paragraph:
"Moreover, in light of public statements by both you and the President, it is dismayingly clear that, under your leadership, the Justice Department takes the position that a lawyer who in good faith offers legal advice to government policy makers—like the government lawyers who offered good faith advice on interrogation policy—may be subject to investigation and prosecution for the content of that advice, in addition to empty but professionally damaging accusations of ethical misconduct. Given that stance, any prudent lawyer would have to hesitate before offering advice to the government."
Surely he knows that advising the Obama administration is a legal advice safe zone!
Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Andy's point is well taken. All BHO and friends want is support for their preconceived positions.
By the way, with Swine Flu, torture, etc. in the news, was there a small budget package passed recently? Guess not. Haven't heard much about it.
Could the Obama administration have set out on a course to do a more effective job of disarming America (ideologically, legally, politically, diplomatically and militarily) in the face of a genocidal enemy than what they have done in mere 100 days time?
"Surely he knows that advising the Obama administration is a legal advice safe zone! Interesting point, even with tongue in cheek. Obama should remember that all of these revelations he's made, and that lawyers have presumably written opinions supporting, will be "reviewed" when power changes. The partisan use of the legal system, something civilized republics have been wary of ever since Cicero set his enduring example, can turn from hurting the goose to crushing the gander with a single election.
If Obama wants to set them free, then his administration can suffer the political consequences of that action.Let's not forget--although I'm sure most of you already have--that more than 500 of the 720 detainees held at Gitmo since 2001 were "set free" without charge by the Bush administration!
I wonder what Mr. McCarthy has to say about that.
He would probably say "you are an idiot". Just because they are detained doesn't mean we hold them for life. We let them go if we think we're holding them wrongly, and even then we sometimes make mistakes.
WHAT political consequences? In order for there to BE consequences there would need to be a fair and unbiased media to report on their actions. Since we do not have that, how exactly would the voters understand what the Left has done to them?
Anonymous, at Fri May 01, 02:59:00 PM:
"If Obama wants to set them free, then his administration can suffer the political consequences of that action." Let's not forget--although I'm sure most of you already have--that more than 500 of the 720 detainees held at Gitmo since 2001 were "set free" without charge by the Bush administration!
I wonder what Mr. McCarthy has to say about that.Well you won't have to wonder what O'Malley has to say about that because he will tell you.
The Bush Administration was under tremendous pressure to pressure to close Gitmo (which of course Anonymous knows).
Some Gitmo prisoners were safe to release (which of course Anonymous knows).
There were some Gitmo prisoners whose release was risky (which of course Anonymous knows).
There were some prisoners who were too dangerous to release (which of course Anonymous knows) so they were retained at Gitmo (which of course Anonymous knows).
Some of the Gitmo prisoners who were released returned to jihad (which of course Anonymous knows).
Suggesting that releasing the most dangerous Gitmo prisoners, those remaining in Gitmo, is not prudent (which Anonymous ought to know)
I am blaming Matt Drudge, who links to the story on the CIA psychologists with a headline saying "ABCNEWS outs" them.
However - Vanity Fair had a long piece in 2007 naming them and detailing their role with the CIA in the Zubaydah interrogation. The recently declassified Senate Armed Services Committee report named them ad certainly described some of their role as consultants.
I don't think ABC helped by including their photos, but it is hard to compare this, as Drudge did, to the Plame non-case. (Which was a travesty; don't get me started...)
As a result of all this, here is a prediction ... no, make that a guarantee:
I make the premise that Obama and his ilk are indeed making us less safe.
What happens when (1) the next terror attack happens to us and (2) a new administration in the opposition party is elected to office?
Barak Obama, Eric Holder and those who have participated in making us less safe are going to be investigated and prosecuted by that opposition party when it gets into power.
Look for us, Barak. Look over your shoulder, Holder. We are going to come for you with every legal mechanism we can find and we are going to be your worst nightmare.
And if it rips apart the Republic, so be it. You are going down.
Huh? Jameel is leveling accusations against Jim & Bruce? Have I phased into an alt-universe in which the other side is winning this war?
You're right, TH, what sane person would stick his neck out for America now, with all this willful blue-on-blue fire coming from the top? (At least, what educated professional would do so? I'm sure Obama can continue to find cannon fodder, but incidents like this risk lobotomizing our intelligence services.)
Mission accomplished, Barack.
I deeply disagree with this policy, which I believe is a violation of federal law and a betrayal of the president’s first obligation to protect the American people.Disagreement over policy is precisely what is driving the attempt to prosecute former Bush Administration officials. The Obama Administration should be very careful. Tides change and if McCarthy's perception becomes widely adopted in the wake of a terrorist event on these shores, there will be Hell to pay.
The esteemed TM notes:
"Vanity Fair had a long piece in 2007 naming them and detailing their role with the CIA in the Zubaydah interrogation."Ok, well then, Cheney must be at fault. Special Prosecutor!
paul a'barge -- As a result of all this, here is a prediction ... no, make that a guarantee:
I make the premise that Obama and his ilk are indeed making us less safe.The people of Manhattan and Jersey City apparently agree with you.
I don't recall any reports of panicked people emptying buildings and fleeing from what they feared was another 9/11 type attack during the Bush administration. Of course, I don't recall President Bush choosing to buzz Wall Street with Air Force 1 either.
"...had better hope that he never needs help from rough men who stand ready in the night."
I think what frightens me most about our new leader is that like the "folks with the teabags", he is totally dismissive of the thoughts and advice of those "rough men" to whom you refer.
And that's extremely dangerous.
Here's the Tom Maguire post on the outing of the interrogators. I somehow missed it, made a comment in a thread over on his blog noting Tigerhawk mentioning the ABC article here and only then found he had written an earlier post concerning the Vanity Fair article. My mistake.
We can afford to have as many debates about this as we can muster. My concern: how will our allies react to what is "legally" going on in the US regarding this theme? How far would the arm of the law reach? How vulnerable would those foreigners who have helped us along the way be? Or, more importantly, how vulnerable would they think they are?
Vanity Fair is one thing. World wide coverage of an ABC expose is another.
These people and their abetters on all sides of the political are sick.
Time to investigate the ABC crew that did this and release everything found on the internet.
To Chris Chambers: Sir , are you reading a teleprompter erected in your "toiletten" ( you egregiously flip the SS into your prism ) by Michelle? Are you now "just" proud of your country- what IS it about attending Princeton- or are you just afraid of "acting white"? You sir, are THawk's Al Sharpton moment-you spew "facts"(emoticons)and then proceed to "act white"...you know, you're a superior intellect'cause, 'cause ...you say so? You sir are a racist! Sorry to be the first to tell you-would that it was to your face.How about this factoid- if the Royal Navy had not ordered the seizing of slave ships...you might be supporting ?Zuma?today...is that too bloody intense for you- what a load of covert racist crap you write- having writer's block , are we? Go back to Princeton,NJ and enroll at the Hun school - you are not fit to claim a Princeton degree...or perhaps , viewing Michelle's encomia , you are the extant product- lordy lordy...how hollow is thy hall of ivy!
I'm amused by the comments saying that Obama and crew should fear prosecution when the next administration takes over. What makes you think that will happen?
The natural result of establishing that policy disputes will become criminal matters if you peacefully give up power is that power will never peacefully be given up.
And with ACORN handling the Census, and a new amnesty plan, Obambi will never "legally" have to give up power. After all, this is the man elected by 36+ million in illegal campaign contributions. He should have been disqualified for the election by that alone.
Anon said, "Would it not be a far braver stand to actually participate in the conference and then raise these objections, rather than refuse the offer outright?"
The point is that it is now dangerous to participate. The precedent that the President is setting is that anything you do can be undone by the one who won. There was a reason why Bill Clinton's retroactive income tax raised so many eyebrows among conservatives. McCarthy doesn't want his name added to a "bipartisan" effort that is going to be nothing more than another witch hunt.
Gotta hand it to Obama: he parlayed affirmative action into a presidency legendary for its incompetence after a mere 3+ months. Chris Chambers, on the other hand, only has being a foul-mouthed, angry retard in the comments of his classmate's blog to show for it. But hey, life ain't always fair.
There is another possible result from a terrorist attack on the US that I heard someone voice either on the radio or some blog comments somewhere (can't recall which): Martial Law, and potential cancellation of the next election cycle. God help us all if that happens...
Miss Ladybug ... don't count on it. But the leftists, including Chambers' friend Holder would LOVE to take away your right to keep and bear. They are clearly petrified by the growing number of the new Greatest Generation - men and women who share in common the finest military training on earth, and who took their obligation seriously to protect our country. They also know the reason we have a right, and it includes protecting ourselves against government gone wrong. If we get to where we need martial law, the hundreds of millions of firearms in this country won't be sitting in police stations, and they'll be loaded.
Our elections will go on. The real question is, can the right stuff the ballot boxes enough to offset the stuffing by ACORN or the zillions of illegals Obama wants to let in? Or can we get our the vote among the growing numbers of disaffected middle of the road voters who now know that Hope & Change was a campaign slogan, and money grab. We're billions into stimulus, summarized as taking over key industries by clowns in government, channeling dollars thru AIG to Geithner's cronies on Wall Street and foreign banks. And that doesn't start to count billions to Obama's cronies. Payola. Someday, we should have special counsel to look into that.
Chambers isn't even good at being a racist. He hates whites, hides behind his Princeton degree or 'professorship'. Any 48ish man who uses "douche" to describe another scarcely merits serious discussion. I've always figured he'd love for us to just level criticism at the color of his skin, or Barack's or Holder's to confirm that we're all just secretly hating what's happening cause they're not 'white' ... the world blends browner everyday. This is simply a question of naive policy that wants to treat acts of war as violations of US law.
If it were that evil 'chimp' and his puppetmaster doing this, he'd be all over the war for oil, or Mr. Whitey tightening the chains of persecution over his 'brothers'.
I'm amused by the comments saying that Obama and crew should fear prosecution when the next administration takes over. What makes you think that will happen?You may find the one premise amusing, but I find the one you offer anything but.