Foreign and Domestic Policy Debates


Note:  The material about domestic surveillance is now on another page.

Public embracing war torture, ex-CIA interrogator says 'It works'.  Despite the continued outcry in the United States over torture, especially waterboarding, a new international poll of those in war torn nations shows growing support, and a former CIA interrogator Friday [12/9/2016] declared that it works.  James E. Mitchell, who waterboarded 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, claimed in a column for the Wall Street Journal that it worked to get the prisoner to cough up secrets of future attacks on the U.S.

How to Fight Terrorism.  [T]errorism has been around for quite some time.  When it was directed against Israel, no one much cared.  In fact, many serious Western thinkers — especially on the left — tended to believe that the Israelis had brought it on themselves.  Before BDS, leftists gave their seal of approval to terrorism as a tactic.  If they did not understand that Israel was merely a proxy for Western civilization, they should now.  When terrorism was directed by Iran, no one much cared either.  After all, the ayatollahs took power in Iran with the blessing of Pres.  Jimmy Carter.  In the Democratic playbook, if you can't blame it on a Republican, it's not a problem.  And yet, once the Iranians showed that terrorism could work, other branches of Islam got into the business.

We Should Ban Muslims On Terrorist Watch Lists From Praying Or Attending Mosques.  In fact, the steps taken should go beyond praying and attending mosques.  If a Muslim appears on a terrorist watch list, law enforcement should have every right to search the homes of those on watch lists any time they choose for any reason and without a warrant.  Make it harder for terrorists to plot attacks, store weapons and explosives.  Otherwise, despite extraordinary efforts across our government, by local law enforcement, by our intelligence agencies, by our military — despite all the sacrifices that folks make, these kinds of events are going to keep on happening.  We have to make it harder for people who want to kill Americans to use the places they live in order to plot attacks.  It must stop.

The Editor says...
The writer of the article immediately above is essentially proposing second-class citizenship for Muslims.  It would be far more effective — and far more likely to withstand legal challenges — to simply deport all known Muslim troublemakers.  History shows us very clearly that there will never be any assurance of peace in this country until all the Muslims are driven out.

5 Ways Orwell's 1984 Has Come True Since Its Publication 68 Years Ago.  In itself, dystopic, perpetual war now appears to be a reality thanks to the U.S. declaring a War on Terror — a concept, whose reality to people in countless locations it plays out, should honestly be called the War of Terror.  Through the use of such preposterously vague terminology, U.S. bellicrats — the war-touting politicians determined to plump the wallets of the military-industrial machine — cemented the country's dubious status as World Bully.  After all, waging war on a concept begets a bottomless trove of potential 'enemy' targets.

Guess what, Hillary: Waterboarding works.  For someone who wants to command our military forces, Hillary needs to get herself up to speed on very basic military matters rather than simply spouting liberal pieties.  If torture doesn't work, then why are our troops trained very harshly to be prepared to resist it?

Ten months later, still no strategy on ISIS.  Speaking Monday [6/8/2015] at a news conference in Germany, President Obama acknowledged that the United States does not yet have a "complete strategy" for training Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq.  If that admission sounds familiar it's because Obama said almost the same thing last August when he told White House reporters "We don't have a strategy yet" for defeating the Islamic State.  So, what exactly has the administration been doing for the last 10 months?

Special Ops to Obama: Let Us Fight ISIS, Already.  Fighting simmering frustration in their ranks over ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria, top U.S. special operations commanders say they are building forces for a multi-generational fight — not a war that will be won in the next few years.  "We recognize this is a longterm prospect," said Gen. Joseph Votel, the overall leader of U.S. Special Operations Command, in remarks to The Daily Beast during a special operations forum in Tampa.  "We're patient."

Don't Just Shut Down the DHS — Get Rid of It.  [Scroll down]  In retrospect, the Bush administration did almost everything wrong after 9/11:  it attacked the wrong country (Iraq, instead of Saudi Arabia, which might actually have done some good, global-security-wise), it penalized honest Americans via the horrendous TSA instead of immediately closing the country to all Arabs and Muslims until we could sort them out; and it created a bureaucratic monster that, by definition, was ill-suited for the purpose for which it was allegedly established.

If You Want to Get into a Really Big War, Elect a Liberal.  If I pointed out that involvement in every major 20th-century conflict the US was part of occurred on liberals' watch, it might not be entirely fair.  True, there was WWI under Wilson, WWII under FDR, Korea under Truman, and Vietnam under Kennedy and Johnson.  But the second Great War needed to be fought, four conflicts aren't exactly a scientific sample, and some could contend that these men were, to some extent, victims of timing and circumstance.  It also should be said that with modernity's characteristic flaw of relativism causing ever shifting social visions, yesterday's liberals aren't like today's.

Rules of engagement limit the actions of U.S. troops and drones in Afghanistan.  The new U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement adds restrictions on already bureaucratic rules of engagement for American troops by making Afghan dwellings virtual safe havens for the enemy, combat veterans say.  The rules of engagement place the burden on U.S. air and ground troops to confirm with certainty that a Taliban fighter is armed before they can fire -- even if they are 100 percent sure the target is the enemy.  In some cases, aerial gunships have been denied permission to fire even though they reported that targets on the move were armed.

The Editor says...
So now we're staying forever in an unwinnable war while the generals are hamstrung by White House micromanagement.  Sounds like Viet Nam.

Obama's Fallout for the Left.  Remember the liberal uproar — led by Senator Obama — over the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols, especially renditions, preventive detentions, tribunals, Guantanamo Bay, drones, and the Patriot Act?  For nearly eight years, the liberal critique of the Bush administration was that it had essentially shredded the Constitution over a puffed-up "war on terror." [...] Closing Guantanamo is a dead letter.  Drones, the use of which has increased tenfold since 2008, are a sort of Zen way of killing suspects without brouhaha.  Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and the congressional Democratic antiwar caucus are nowhere to be found.  Apparently the rebranding of the entire 2001-2008 anti-terrorism package as Obama's ended all the old constitutional worries.

Bin Laden Is Dead, Terrorism Is More Alive Than Ever.  Osama bin Laden is dead, drones are eliminating people and privacy everywhere, but terrorist killings hit a record of nearly 15,500.  So much for the claim that "al-Qaida has been decimated."

Did Obama swap 'black' detention sites for ships?  Instead of sending suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay or secret CIA "black" sites for interrogation, the Obama administration is questioning terrorists for as long as it takes aboard U.S. naval vessels.

Twelve Years Later  ... we are still at war with the Muslim world, and it most certainly is still at war with us. [...] in addition to the 3,000 souls lost in 2001, more than 5,000 soldiers have perished in the "War on Terror," and for absolutely no strategic purpose or effect.

Is There a War Powers Act on the Books or Not?  If it is indeed unconstitutional, it would be good to get the Supreme Court to sort this out tout de suite.  Because if it isn't, it has been violated fairly regularly, and we may see it violated again soon.

But... But... BUSH!  Here's Joe Biden arguing, in 2007, that if the president took the nation to war without congressional authorization, Biden would make it his mission to impeach that president.  [Video clip]  The subject at that time was Iran, which sought and still seeks nuclear weapons.  That threat is orders of magnitude greater to the United States and our allies than the threat of Syria's chemical weapons, some of which it surely obtained from Saddam's Iraq.  Bush didn't go to war with Iran.  When he did go to war with Iraq, he sought and got congressional authorization first, and got UN authorization before leading a coalition of nations into battle.

White House: Obama to make Syria decision based on U.S. interests.  The White House reiterated on Thursday [8/29/2013] that President Barack Obama would make a decision on how to respond to chemical weapons use in Syria based on U.S. national security interests.

The Editor says...
"National security interests" is a mushy and flexible term than is used to justify the President's rash behavior, and by that I mean wag-the-dog operations designed to put Middle Easy crises in the headlines to displace the numerous scandals that would otherwise be in the press.  Syria has not attacked the U.S., the Syrians are bombing and gassing each other.  I'm all for national defense, but attacking Syria (and taking a side in its civil war) does not promote our national security.

If Obama planned D-Day like this Syria attack....  The public lead-up to President Obama's punitive attack on Syria this Friday must be among the least secretive military assaults in history.  The Democrat hasn't deigned to talk to the American people about starting another war with their sons, daughters and treasure.  Two years ago with no discussion Obama attacked Libya, ousting its dictator, who wore funny hats.  At this rate, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has time for one more war before leaving office.

Obama's third war.  The "peace president" is about to embark on his third military adventure, this time in Syria, without having learned the lessons of his botched efforts in Afghanistan and Libya.  He hasn't even learned from the Bush administration's mistakes — which he mocked with such delight.

Are Terror Warnings Pointless?  Official warnings of imminent — or even of not so imminent — al-Qaida attacks have (fortunately) had a perfect record:  They never seem to pan out.  During the George W. Bush administration, the public was regaled repeatedly with warnings that intelligence had determined, through an in-depth analysis of "chatter" and other such information, that al-Qaida was about to strike again.

The Never Ending War.  Trying to fight a "politically correct war", "winning the hearts and minds of the enemy," and having a large portion of our troops assigned to "Nation Building" is not working and it is getting our combat forces chewed up, resulting in the needless deaths of our servicemen and servicewomen.  The micro-managing of our war(s), by our politicians, is dragging out every conflict for years when they could have been finished — decisively in our favor — in months or even weeks.  American lives are being lost just to make a political point.

Obama's Serial Ineptness.  [W]asn't one of the key selling points of Mr. Obama in 2008 that he would improve America's relations in the world; that he would sit down with other leaders and reach agreements his predecessor did not; and that Afghanistan was the "good war" that America would prevail in under his inspired leadership?  Instead, America's image in the world is worse than ever, the leaders of many other nations have sheer contempt for the president, and the Afghanistan war is in the process of being lost.  Mr. Obama seems to think a retreat substitutes for a strategy and that a defeat is the same thing as a victory.  He's wrong on both counts.

The NSA state of secrecy must end.  The "war on terrorism" has gone on for 12 years, and while President Obama says it must end sometime, there is no end in sight.  Secret bureaucracies armed with secret powers and emboldened by the claim of defending the nation have proliferated and expanded.  The surprise of legislators at the scope of NSA surveillance shows that checks and balances have broken down.

We've been fighting for people like this?
Afghanistan: Obama Surrenders.  In an incident emblematic of American policy failure in Afghanistan, American and Afghan officials in Afghanistan's Farah province were holding an inauguration ceremony last August for new recruits to a village police force.  As part of the ceremony, the new policemen were given weapons that they would use for training.  As soon as one of the recruits, Mohammad Ismail, received his, he turned it on the American soldiers who were present, murdering two.

The New American Enemies List.  The CIA and FBI knew of the suspicious activity of the Boston bombers, of Major Hasan, and of Anwar al-Awlaki.  And they did nothing to preempt their violence.  The FBI is said to be carefully avoiding monitoring mosques, although all of the above terrorists were known by many fellow Muslim worshipers to be either disturbed or extremist or both.  In contrast, the NSA monitors, we are told, nearly everyone's communications rather than focusing on Middle Eastern male Muslims, even though Middle Eastern male Muslims have been involved in the vast majority of post-9/11 terrorist plots.  The NSA is the electronic version of the TSA, which feels it is noble and liberal to stop an octogenarian in a wheel chair for special frisking as proper compensation for every focused look at a West Bank resident or Pakistani visitor on his way into the United States.

It's better to take our chances with the Muslim terrorists than to forfeit our liberty.
Are you Willing to Die for your Freedom?  [Scroll down]  I'm willing to die for my freedom.  I'm certainly willing to take the slightly-increased risk of dying in a terrorist attack that ostensibly will result from the government not sifting my email and monitoring all my calls and banking activity and who knows what else.  At this point, I'm becoming convinced it's not worth it.  We're groping children and Korean War vets in airports as part of an expensive show of security.  We're teaching our kids to put up with government intrusion into our lives.  On my most recent flight, I saw a father help his 5-year-old son remove his shoes and show him where to put them, how to remove his belt, how to wait his turn, how to go through security and comply with routine government searches.  It's not worth the toll on our freedom and our veneration of freedom.

It's The U.S. Constitution, Stupid!  The Obama administration has thrown out all the rules, insisting that when you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it's OK to seize the haystack, keep it permanently on record and to look for whatever needle they want at any time they want.  They say they're looking for terrorists but can't find or stop those they have in plain sight.  Such sweeping surveillance did not catch the "underwear" bomber who, thanks to sheer luck and alert passengers, failed to bring down an airliner over Detroit.  It did not catch the Tsarnaev brothers as they freely traveled to the terrorist haven they called home before bombing the Boston Marathon.  It did not stop Maj. Nidal Hasan before he slaughtered U.S. soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood.  It has not found those responsible for the attack in Benghazi.

No Cop/Bad Cop.  How did all these Tsarnaevs-in-waiting wind up living in the United States?  They were let in by the government, and many of them were let in in the years since 9/11, when we were supposedly on permanent "orange alert."

Obama's Drone War.  George Bush called this conflict a "global war on terror," but the left so ridiculed the phrase that even Bush gave up on the term.  Three years ago, Obama banned the terms "Islamic extremism" and "jihad" from the official statement of our national security strategy.  If we can't use these terms to describe the enemy — even the ones he uses to describe himself — how can we know his mind and defeat his beliefs?  In short, under the policies of the Obama administration, we can't.

How Obama Betrayed America.  Far from shouldering his responsibility as the commander-in-chief of America's global War on Terror and embracing it as this generation's equivalent of the Cold War, Obama showed his distaste for the entire enterprise by dropping the term "War on Terror" and replacing it with an Orwellian phrase — "overseas contingency operations."  Minimizing the Islamist threat to the United States is not an oversight of the Obama administration; that is its policy.

JW Obtains FBI Records Detailing Banking Activity and Purchases Linking Anwar al-Aulaqi and 9/11 Hijackers.  "The more we learn about Anwar al Aulaqi, the more questions arise not only about his activities before and after 9/11, but also about the al Qaeda operational and support network still active in the United States," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  "It is now even more concerning that al Aulaqi was invited to the Pentagon after 9/11 and then let go by the FBI despite warrants for his arrest."

The GOP's Vietnam.  America has been at war in Afghanistan for the entire adult life of any voter under 30.  For still younger Americans, every living memory is of a country with troops in combat overseas — and for what?  The wars haven't brought prosperity:  just the opposite.

Middle East in turmoil 10 years after Iraq invasion that officials said would bring peace.  After tens of thousands of deaths, not just of Americans, but also of Iraqis — many, if not most, at the hands of other Iraqis — that country is still in turmoil.  American troops are gone and a democratically elected government rules.  But bombings and massacres continue, and the country remains mired in sectarian feuding between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

The 5 Biggest Insults to American Manhood by the Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan.  As West spells out in frustrating detail, the nation-building policies of the last two administrations have made welfare clients rather than allies out of Pakistani villages.  Even if you think that counterinsurgency programs rather than counterterrorist missions are a wise policy, all carrot and no stick is doomed to fail.

Our Sort-of War on Terror.  What is the current Obama position on the so-called Bush-era war-on-terror protocols?  Are they still useful in stopping terrorists, irrelevant, toxic, or sort of all three?  The administration has never given us an explanation of its attitude toward the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay, the use of military tribunals, the exact status of renditions, the use of preventive detention, and the employment of the Patriot Act, especially wiretaps and intercepts.

It's Dictators All the Way Down.  Look down on Cairo, Baghdad, Benghazi or Ramallah, or any of those other exotic eastern precincts where the democracy dreamers thought the reformation and renaissance of Islam would begin, and as far as the eye can see, it's dictators all the way down.  The great spiritual, political and cultural revivals that were supposed to neuter terrorism, end the need for drone strikes and naked scanners, for men pouring water down on other men in secret prisons, and for all the rest of it, has never come to pass.

Has the War on Terror failed?  The number of terrorist attacks each year has more than quadrupled in the decade since 9/11, according to a study launched today [12/4/2012].  The Global Terrorist Index showed that in 2002 there were 982 separate attacks.  By 2011 that had risen to 4,564.  Researchers suggest the U.S. military interventions pursued as part of the West's anti-al Qaeda 'war on terror' may have made terrorism worse.

Three Reasons to Kill the Dept. of Homeland Security:  It's unnecessary, ineffective, and expensive.  And that's just for starters.

DHS Sounds The Alarm On The 'Terrorist Implications' Of Food Trucks.  [Scroll down]  The DHS' unfocused "terrorvision" continues to see a threat in every situation and the department seems to be busying itself crafting a response to every conceivable "threat."  The problem with this "method" is that it turns any slight variation of "everyday activity" into something suspicious.  The number of "terrorist implications" grows exponentially while the number of solutions remains the same.

Why Our Forces Were Told to 'Stand Down' in Benghazi.  What went wrong in Benghazi is the same thing that went wrong in Afghanistan.  It is the same thing that went wrong on the original September 11.  It is the same thing that has gone wrong throughout the War on Terror.  If we are to learn any lesson from what happened in Benghazi, it should be that American lives come before Muslim diplomacy and that any government which does not put American lives first, which does not take whatever measures are necessary to save their lives, regardless of what Muslims may think, is not an American government, but a post-American government.

The remarkable, unfathomable ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  On 29 May 2012, the New York Times published a remarkable 6,000-word story on its front page about what it termed President Obama's "kill list".  It detailed the president's personal role in deciding which individuals will end up being targeted for assassination by the CIA based on Obama's secret, unchecked decree that they are "terrorists" and deserve to die. [...] At a weekly White House meeting dubbed "Terror Tuesdays", Obama then decides who will die without a whiff of due process, transparency or oversight.

Al Qaida strikes America; America denies reality.  Al Qaida, "The Foundation," represents resurgent Muslim imperialism, which dates back to Mohammed, fourteen centuries ago.  Like Lenin and the Viet Cong, AQ does not have to win every fight, only the last one.  Al Qaida's late leader, Osama bin Laden, boasted of the organization as a "strong horse," that would attract admiration and support from around the world, as opposed to the "weak horse" embodied by the United States.

Americans Should Stop Being Surprised by Terrorism.  Criminals and killers are not morally or psychologically strong.  They only act when they see evidence that their intended victims are weak.  As with purse-snatchers and serial killers, so too with Islamic fundamentalists who kill American diplomats.  For years, especially since the Obama Administration but also before Obama came to office, America has done nothing but apologize for itself:  Both in word and action, time and again.

Not Even the White House Knows the Drones' Body Count.  Government officials claim they're ultra-precise killing machines that never, ever miss their targets.  Outside groups say they're covered in children's blood.  The fact is no one has a clue exactly how many militants and how many innocents have been slain in the U.S. drone war that spans from Pakistan to Somalia.

U.S. Special Forces Being Deployed to Protect "Security" of Yemen.  When asked by reporters if U.S. troops would be sent to Yemen, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta responded, "There's no consideration of that.  Our operations now are directed with the Yemenese going after al-Qaida."  "No consideration" is exactly the type of vague and undefined phrase the American people have come to expect from representatives of the national government, particularly when it comes to questions about the interminable "War on Terror."

The President's Private War.  Did you know that the United States government is using drones to kill innocent people in Pakistan?  Did you know that the Pakistani government has asked President Obama to stop it and he won't?  Did you know that Pakistan is a sovereign country that has nuclear weapons and is an American ally?  Last week, the Obama administration not only acknowledged the use of the drones; it also revealed that it has plans to increase the frequency and ferocity of the attacks.

Obama's bipolar approach to terrorism:  While some terrorists are pampered, others are blown up.


"The quickest way to end a war is to lose it."
-- George Orwell                 


Victory and Deceit.  In the Middle East, terrorists have been around for a long time.  The international terrorist organizations are nothing new either.  They have existed since the 11th century.  The first one, back when the world was a smaller place, was the Hassassins (or "hashasheen") of 11th century Iran.  Back then, a minor noble with a grudge, and excellent organizational skills, created a network of suicide assassins that were used for many decades until the Mongols came along and destroyed their "impregnable" mountain fortress.  The Mongols were annoyed, not frightened, by suicide assassins.  Back then, annoying the Mongols was almost always fatal.

Afghan police chief kills US soldiers invited to dinner.  Three American special forces soldiers were shot dead by a man in Afghan uniform in what appeared to be the latest incident of local forces turning their weapons on their foreign allies.

U.S. Drone Manufacturers Contribute Millions to Congressional Campaigns.  President Obama's drone fever is contagious and is spreading worldwide, and the American industries that build the drones are slavering over the chance to supply the demand.  Christopher Ames, the director of international strategy development for Pentagon contractor General Atomics Aeronautical, was almost gleeful in his statement to Reuters regarding the opening of a potentially lucrative overseas market for his company's remote control killing machines. [...] Ames would not disclose which countries were expressing the most interest in acquiring his company's drones, but he did confirm that Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia "were all areas of considerable buyer interest."

Revolutionary Islamists Taking Power Produces Moderation and Ends Terrorism!.  Well, now at least the debate is in the open and we can see just how questionable are the talking points of those who claim the United States has nothing to fear from Islamists.  The New York Times publishes an article with the promising title of "Fast-Changing Arab World is Upending U.S. Assumptions," yet sadly, the article shows that certain assumptions are not changing at all.  Indeed, are not even discussed.  To summarize the article's thesis:  before Obama's election, the United States thought that pro-American regimes were good and radical Islamists were bad — but now we know better.

The Obama Foreign Policy.  What Obama said he wanted to do and what he actually did do are quite different things.  In truth, he embraced or expanded almost all the Bush-Cheney protocols that he demagogued against as a state legislator, a senator, and a presidential candidate.  That he gave George W. Bush absolutely no credit for surging in and saving Iraq, or setting up the procedures for operations like those that killed bin Laden, is again a matter of ingratitude, not foreign policy, given that the war on terror is now a successful eleven-year continuum.

The S.S. Obama is Leaking.  The holes in the Obama Administration continue to show the greatest inherent problem to the President's re-election:  These people are incompetent.  At almost every level, in almost every issue the Obama Administration is barely keeping afloat. [...] Imagine the apoplexy among the studio hosts on MSNBC if George W. Bush had been found riffling "baseball cards" deciding who should live, who should die and in which order.

Obama's 'kill list' is unchecked presidential power.  A stunning report in the New York Times depicted President Obama poring over the equivalent of terrorist baseball cards, deciding who on a "kill list" would be targeted for elimination by drone attack.  The revelations — as well as those in Daniel Klaidman's recent book — sparked public outrage and calls for congressional inquiry.  Yet bizarrely, the fury is targeted at the messengers, not the message.

"The usurped absolute power of life and death over humans is the essential mark of a true and absolute dictator."
US Media: If you're Totalitarian you can Kill Anyone you Like!  Obama now has a "kill list" that has been devised to allow him to murder anyone he designates as a "terrorist" worldwide — that means domestic murders also — with no oversight or restrictions, whatsoever, from anyone or any US governmental department.  He is using his new favorite toys — the drones — to affect the deaths of those who do not enjoy the favor of the tyrant-in-chief of the [former] USA. [...] It is also, now being reported that Obama plays the "kill flicks" over and over again — as if he cannot get enough of his "brilliantly" commanded assassinations.

Why would Obama's campaign strategist attend Obama's Kill List Meetings?  David Axelrod evidently attended the highest level national security meetings that decided who would be subjected to targeted assasination from above via drone strikes. [...] Wonder if Axelrod has security clearance?  Recall that Axelrod also attended meetings with Netanyahu -- why was he there then?

Choosing who lives and who dies: the methodical assassinations of Barack Obama's 'kill list'.  There is something deeply unsettling about the disclosure in The New York Times that America has developed a clinical, dispassionate procedure for selecting the targets of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.  Every week or so, about 100 national security officials gather by video conference to pore over the photographs and biographies of al-Qaeda terrorists.  They decide who should be spared and who should be marked for death.  Those "nominated" for assassination (yes, "nominated" is apparently the official word) are placed on a "kill list" that passes directly to Barack Obama.  He then exercises the judgment of Solomon, going through the list name by name and deciding who will die.

President Obama's Role as Drone War Kill List Decider-in-Chief.  The New York Times has a pretty lengthy piece on the President's role in the waging of a drone war over Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, which serves to highlight some of the differences between the way President George W. Bush's prosecution of the war on terror was perceived and how President Obama's continuation and expansion of that war on terror is perceived today.

Krauthammer: Obama Denounced Enhanced Interrogation; Now He's Judge, Jury And Executioner.  "We can understand why Obama is doing this," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said about the president's 'kill list.' [...] "Obama went around preening, particularly in '08 and even after he's elected he went around the world preening about how there is a new direction and a moral direction of the United States.  How we had lost our way with Iraq with these enhanced interrogations and he's going around and killing people where he is judge, jury and executioner," Krauthammer said on FOX News' "Special Report" tonight [5/29/2012].

Obama's 'kill list' revealed: How President uses Al Qaeda 'baseball cards' to decide who will live and who will die.  Barack Obama has insisted on personally approving a 'kill list' of Al Qaeda terrorists who should be hunted down and executed, according to reports.  The U.S. president requests that his advisers draw up 'baseball cards' with pictures and biographies that he pores over to see who should live and who should die.  As part of the bizarre 'nomination' process he then retires for personal reflection to work out whether or not to order a drone strike to take them out.

Obama's secret kill list.  Two [New York] Times journalists, Jo Becker and Scott Shane, painstakingly and chillingly reported that the former lecturer in constitutional law and liberal senator who railed against torture and Gitmo now weekly reviews a secret kill list, personally decides who should be killed and then dispatches killers all over the world — and some of his killers have killed Americans. [...] Can the president legally do this?  In a word:  No.

Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will.  Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret "nominations" process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.  He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

The war on terror is over?  "The war on terror is over," or so claims an unnamed senior State Department official, as reported by National Journal's Michael Hirsh in his recent article "The Post Al Qaida Era."  If the war is over, I must have missed the peace treaty signing ceremony.  I also haven't noticed a decline in incendiary rhetoric, or the disarmament — or at least laying down of arms — that usually accompanies the end of war.  Does this mean we can do away with full-body scanners and TSA pat-downs?

If 'The War On Terror Is Over,' We Must've Lost.  "The war on terror is over," the senior State Dept. official tells the National Journal.  "Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism," he says.  But, a quick scan of recent news shows the threat of terrorism isn't over — even according to some administration officials.

Obama's military madrassas.  America's top-line military schools are supposed to be cutting-edge centers of strategic education.  But say a bad word about Islam there, and it could end your career.

The Feds Would Like to Know if You Enjoyed That Video.  [Tarek] Mehanna — a U.S. citizen born in Pittsburgh — recently was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for providing material support for terrorism.  Mehanna did not send al-Qaida lawyers, guns, or money.  He was indicted for engaging in criminal conspiracy by doing such things as "watching jihadi videos" and "[seeking] out online Internet links to tribute videos."  Those acts "were not used by the government to demonstrate the intent or mental state behind some other crime," says Yale professor Andrew March, a defense witness who wrote about Mehanna's case.  "They were the crime."

When Can the President Kill?  In traditional conflict the opposing sides are reasonably clear.  Not so in the "war on terrorism."  Is this fight traditional war, law enforcement, or a new hybrid?  If the latter, what rules apply?  What should be done if there are no obvious battlefields and no certain combatants?  Should propagandists be treated as fighters?  Are any procedural protections required before a U.S. citizen can be killed?

'The War on Terror Is Over'.  "The war on terror is over," a senior official in the State Department official tells the National Journal.  "Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism."

Worse Than a Powder Keg.  Our troops have been the target of serial sneak attacks by the Afghans with whom they are forced to "partner."  Nevertheless, our Marines were ordered to disarm before being admitted into the presence of Obama's defense secretary, Leon Panetta.  Yes, you read that correctly:  Our Marines were stripped of their arms.  Panetta was at Camp Leatherneck on a "surprise" visit, hoping to calm the disastrous situation in the combat theater.  Turns out not to have been much of a surprise:  One of our Afghan "partners" — a contract interpreter hired to help our armed forces in deadly Helmand province — seamlessly converted to Islamist suicide assassin.

White House doormat.  [Scroll down]  The latest, and one of the most ominous, examples of Mr. Obama's low regard for the Constitution came to light in congressional testimony last week by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta.  He told incredulous senators that the United States would only go to war in Syria if it got international permission.  Wherever you come down on the advisability of America engaging militarily in yet another Middle Eastern nation, if we decide it is in our national interest to do so, it should be up to our elected representatives, not the United Nations, the Arab League or some other multilateral entity.

The Power to Kill.  President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.

The Moral Hypocrisy of Barack Obama.  For those of us who remember Eric Holder and Barack Obama decrying waterboarding of three known foreign terrorists who provided information that saved American lives and played a role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, it is with some interest to hear the attorney general said the U.S. government has the right to order the killing of American citizens overseas if they are senior al-Qaeda leaders who pose an imminent terrorist threat and cannot reasonably be captured.

Here's Why the Government Thinks It Can Kill You Overseas:  The Obama administration calls it "targeted killing."  Steven Seagal would call it getting marked for death.  It's the practice of singling out an individual, linked to a terrorist group, for killing, and it's been played out hundreds of times in the 9/11 era — including, more recently, against U.S. citizens like al-Qaida's YouTube preacher, Anwar al-Awlaki.  The Obama team has said next to nothing about how it works or what laws restrict it.  Until Monday [3/5/2012].

All the "domestic surveillance" protestors from a few years ago are now totally silent.
Can the president kill you?  Can the president kill an American simply because that person is dangerous and his arrest would be impractical?  Can the president be judge, jury and executioner of an American in a foreign country because he thinks that would keep America safe?  Can Congress authorize the president to do that?

Obama's Kill Doctrine.  On Monday, March 5, Northwestern University School of Law was the location of an extraordinary scene for a free nation.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder presented President Barack Obama's claim that he has the authority to kill any U.S. citizen he considers a threat. ... What's even more extraordinary is that this claim, which would be viewed by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution as the very definition of authoritarian power, was met not with outcry but muted applause.

Obama and the assassin's creed.  This week, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. laid out the Obama administration's rationale for assassinating Americans abroad.  Cutting through the rhetoric, the argument still amounts to saying, "because we can."  Speaking to an audience at Northwestern University law school Monday, Mr. Holder revealed some of the previously secret rationale for targeted killings of American citizens engaged in terrorism abroad.

'Hope and Change' Only for America's Enemies, Islamic Extremists.  Islamism is so pervasive, so zany, so entrenched all over the world that I could throw a dart at the globe any random day and find a story to discuss involving extremism, violence, or oppression from its adherents.  And it's getting worse.  Why is it getting worse, you ask?  No doubt there are many reasons, but the one that sticks in my craw is that American weakness is largely responsible.  Weakness will always invite aggression, and this president's profound lack of leadership — weakness — has inspired our enemies the way fuel enrages wildfire.

Obama: Sharia Enforcer.  Madness has overtaken Washington, and the world.  Every day this past week has brought fresh reports of more people murdered in Afghanistan over the burning of some copies of the Qur'an at Bagram Airfield.  In response, every day new apologies come from American officials.

A Canary in the Mine.  One rare apology might in theory make things safer for Americans; lots of them in fact make things more dangerous for our troops.  In general, if you apologize gratuitously when there is no need, remorse loses its currency in the rare cases when it might be necessary.  All this saying "we are sorry" has also energized our enemies as much as it has depressed the public at home.

Karzai goes crazy.  President Obama should man up and tell Hamid Karzai in very plain and graphic language just what he can do with his demand that the greatest nation in the world sacrifice its soldiers and its honor to save his hide.  We have been there for 10 years.  That's enough.  Go home already.

The Curious Lack of Indonesians at Gitmo.  [Scroll down]  Sure enough, zero Muslims from the world's largest Muslim society were lured by the siren call of 72 virgins to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq to wage glorious jihad against invading infidels.  That is, unless they were either extraordinarily cunning or extraordinarily easy targets.  Coincidentally, that's the same number of Indonesians caught trying to hijack our planes or blow them up with bombs in their Reeboks or underwear.

VP Biden Says that 'The Taliban, Per Se, Is Not Our Enemy'.  The ongoing reconciliation process has long included bringing in forces who have taken up arms against the U.S. and against the Afghan government, but Biden might face criticism for stating that as an organization the Taliban is not the enemy of the U.S., when its leadership and members have devoted so much time, resources and energy towards killing American soldiers.

Obama's war on decency.  On Dec. 1, the story broke that Bethesda-based Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where wounded veterans convalesce, apparently had banned visitors from bringing in Bibles or other religious items. ... The policy was rescinded, but that it was imposed at all is a reminder of the culture President Obama has fostered in the armed forces and executive agencies, where extreme environmentalism, moral relativism and sexual immorality have replaced traditional American values.  We shouldn't really be surprised when a bureaucrat tries to bar Bibles in a U.S. military stateside hospital while other bureaucrats make sure terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, get copies of the Koran.

Indefinite Detention and American Citizens.  I, like most Americans, want to ensure that we punish and prevent terrorism.  However, we must do so in a way that protects the rights of American citizens.  In his recent column, Andrew C. McCarthy simply has his facts wrong when he claims that last week's Senate debate on the 2012 defense-authorization bill was not about American citizens.  It was.

FBI Learning to Disconnect the Dots.  A new campaign has been opened by Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the United States against federal agencies charged with conducting counterterrorism investigations.  The strategic goal is to eradicate completely all references to Islam, Muslims, or the Qu'ran from training materials on violent extremism and terrorism.  Spokesmen for the Ikhwan are threatening the Department of Justice to get rid of the "anti-Muslim" training materials, or else the feds can kiss all the invaluable cooperation they're getting from the "community" goodbye.

Predator-in-Chief.  In systematically deadly fashion, Predators are picking off the top echelon of al-Qaeda and its affiliates from the Hindu Kush to Yemen to the Horn of Africa. ... Waterboarding, which once sparked a liberal furor, is now a dead issue.  How can anyone object to harshly interrogating a few known terrorists when routinely blowing apart more than 2,000 suspected ones — and anyone in their vicinity?  Predators both depersonalize and personalize war in a fashion quite unknown in the past.  In one sense, killing a terrorist is akin to playing an amoral video game thousands of miles away.

The ACLU Weeps Over Dead Terrorists.  The source of their angst?  News last Friday [9/30/2011] that one of Al Qaeda's most senior leaders, Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed in a U.S. drone attack on his convoy in the Yemeni desert.  Awlaki was, as the President described him, "the leader of external operations for Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula." ... He advised Nadal Malik Hasan, who is charged as the Fort Hood Shooter.  He helped train Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the stymied Christmas Day underwear bomber.  And he inspired the Times Square car bomber, too.  The guy was our enemy.

Did the U.S. Sanction Murder?  Please consider for a moment the fate of one Anwar al-Awlaki.  I won't disagree that this demented jihadist was one of the bad guys.  I'll even grant that this renegade U.S. citizen did all he could to give "aid and comfort" (the Constitutional definition of treason) to our enemies.  But so what?  As far as I know, he was never accused of a crime by any legal authority in this country or abroad.  Not only did he never get a chance to face his accusers, there was never a trial or even a hearing by any court, military or civilian.  Yet the President of the United States ordered his death.  And an unmanned drone, armed with a Hellfire missile, carried out the execution.

Obama, the Hitman: Killing Due Process.  In the United States, no man can be deprived of life without due process — i.e., a trial by a jury of his peers.  However, using shady CIA "hit lists" designed to thwart American-born terrorists, President Obama claims the power to capriciously do away with this most fundamental of American freedoms.  Through a new clandestine assassination program targeting selected citizens, Obama will void due process.  The list of targeted Americans is currently not available to the public.  The New York Times and the Washington Post both report that Obama has approved the assassination of U.S. citizens engaged in terrorist acts overseas.  U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was killed pursuant to this new program.

The Killing of al-Awlaki and the Death of the Fifth Amendment.  Al-Awlaki was an acknowledged "bad guy" who incited, trained, and prepared others to commit heinous terrorist crimes designed to inflict death and injury upon his fellow countrymen.  He was, assuredly, our self-confessed enemy, and he fully deserved to die — but not without due process.

On the other hand...
Was Awlaki an American?  [Scroll down]  Obama did the right thing, but we need clarity in this new kind of war.  Having struck al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, where else is it permissible to use drones to kill enemies?  If American propagandists for al-Qaida are legitimate targets, who else is?  Sympathizers?

Panetta: loose lips on CIA's not-so-secret secret.  One of the U.S. government's worst-kept secrets is the CIA's program to hunt and kill suspected terrorists with armed drones.  Everybody knows the CIA does it.  The agency, however, refuses to publicly acknowledge the covert program, a fig leaf that has obscured the CIA's operations and limited official accountability.

Saddam: What We Now Know.  Before the consensus is written in stone, it is worth going over the evidence collected since the removal of the Saddam regime.  Leaving aside the fact that he slaughtered more than a million of his own people and was prone to launching unprovoked wars against his neighbors — both good reasons for his violent removal — what threat did Saddam actually pose?  Let's go through just a sliver of the evidence.

The Wasted Valor of the Navy SEALs.  Last week, 30 American service personnel, including 22 Navy SEALs, died when their helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. ... The fact is that the SEALs died in vain, and their valor was squandered by a nation led by incompetents and craven political hacks that have no idea how to win the war in Afghanistan after a decade of trying.

Our Sharia-Compliant Afghan War.  Patrick Poole reported at Pajamas Media on Tuesday [6/21/2011] that the secretary of the army has just granted "conscientious objector" status to Pfc. Nasser Abdo, a Muslim American soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan.  Heeding the admonitions of CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood operatives, the Pentagon accepts the claim that sharia forbids Muslims from assisting infidels in a war against Muslim forces in an Islamic land.

Obama Values: Kill But Don't Waterboard.  UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, who wrote memos authorizing waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques when he worked in the Bush Justice Department, penned a piece last week in The Wall Street Journal that criticized Obama for not trying to take bin Laden alive. ... Of course, Yoo knows that under Obama's terms, U.S. officials likely would not learn much from a captured bin Laden.  The late al-Qaida founder knows that intelligence officials can't threaten him or try to strong-arm him; they can only read him his Miranda rights.

Unilateral Information Disarmament.  In the end, the courier did him in.  With enough friends in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden managed to hide out for years in a million-dollar estate.  But terrorists can't function without information and communications.  When U.S. intelligence managed to track his courier, they got bin Laden.  The conclusion of the decade-long manhunt is a reminder that the war on terror is an arms race for information.

Truth vs. Ideology.  Frustrating!  That's the appropriate word for what is happening in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid.  Besides the precision of the Navy SEALs, the big story to emerge from the action is that coerced interrogation gave the CIA vital information used to track bin Laden to his lair.  Current CIA Chief Leon Panetta has confirmed that.  Of course, that exposition is embarrassing to the left, including President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton, who are all on record as saying coerced interrogation does not work.

Osama Bin Laden and Dangerous Double Games.  Americans have had a rude awakening.  The military's liquidation of Osama bin Laden a few days ago in a million-dollar, heavily secured compound close by a Pakistani military academy has brought home to many what had previously been understood by only a few:  One of the nations officially deemed a key ally in the so-called "War on Terror" has been playing us for fools.

Thank you, President Bush!
Rep. Peter King: Intel That Led To Bin Laden's Death Came From Waterboarding.  During tonight's [5/2/2011] O'Reilly Factor, guest Rep. Peter King (R-NY) claimed to host Bill O'Reilly that the information that led to bin Laden's death came as a result of waterboarding.

The White House and Guantanamo:  Today [4/24/2011] the Washington Post published a lengthy investigation into administration's failure to close Guantanamo Bay, and its findings won't be a surprise to anyone who was skeptical of Obama's vow to shutter the detention center.  Obama's plan ran into the predictable obstacles.  From a practical standpoint, many Guantanamo detainees simply couldn't be prosecuted because much of the evidence against them couldn't be introduced at trial.

New Terror-Alert System Unveiled.  The much-derided color-coded terror-alert system introduced after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks will be officially scrapped next week.  It will be replaced with a tailored alert system designed to give the public more-specific information about "credible" terror threats facing the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday [4/20/2011].

The Editor says...
The new system has two states:  Bad and Worse.  We will now live under a perpetual state of emergency.

When 'Muslim Outreach' Handcuffs National Security.  For some years now, there have been a few voices sounding the alarm on "Muslim outreach" — the intensive engagement the US government entered into post 9/11 with a rogue's gallery of Imam Flim Flams and Muslim taqiyya artists that has subverted our nation's response to jihad, violent and stealthy, to spread the rule of Islam. ... Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been waged by strategists who scrupulously avoid these same mental No Go Zones when sending troops to fight and to "nation-build."  This has had and continues to have tragic — and, I would argue, criminally irresponsible — results measured in an incalculable loss of life and limbs.

Obama Doctrine Is All Bark, No Bite.  A White House suddenly enthralled with cruise missile diplomacy and, without a Libyan exit strategy, issues a verbal warning to another murderous dictatorship.  Our policy is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Federal Agents Told They Can Delay Miranda Warnings in Some Cases.  The FBI has issued new guidance to its agents in terrorism investigations, emphasizing that law enforcement investigators can question suspected terrorists without immediately reading them their Miranda rights in some instances.

Obama's unambiguous confusion.  [Scroll down]  The president cited the danger that "the region could be destabilized."  But both in his Cairo speech in 2009 and in his policy statement on Egypt last month, he rejected regional stability as a justification for regime support or opposition.  The president called for a policy that forcibly removes the Gadhafi regime because it threatens to kill its own people, but it supports other regimes that do the same thing (Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, etc.).  Based on his public words, the president's policy goals are contradictory and would seem not to be achievable...

War by Global Committee.  America's founders gave the powers of Commander in Chief to the President because they knew that war had to be prosecuted with determination, discipline and the national interest foremost in mind.  By marked contrast, the use of force against Libya looks like the first war by global committee, with all the limitations and greater risk that entails.

Administration hypocrisy over treatment of WikiLeaks prisoner.  During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama took unseemly advantage of the accusation that George W. Bush's administration tortured terrorist detainees.  Now even an O Force insider is strongly hinting that the administration's conduct toward the individual thought to have leaked thousands of classified documents amounts to torture. ... The military cannot openly address how Pfc. Manning is being treated because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) forbids disclosure of anything that might touch on Pfc. Manning's mental state.

The Muslim wall of resistance.  Opponents of New York Republican Rep. Peter King's hearings on domestic Muslim extremism have tried to make the controversy into a civil rights battle.  The more the left obfuscates the issue, the more dangerous the threat becomes.

The Muslim Brotherhood in America, Part I:  Understanding the Threat.  The national security apparatus of the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to "make America safer," yet we still have not defined our enemy — or even tried.  There is no place in the national security structure which has objectively evaluated the threat doctrine of our enemy, and then created a strategic plan for victory for the United States — per U.S. warfighting doctrine.  This lack of strategic understanding of the nature of the threat we face is not only costing us lives on the battlefield in wars with no realistically stated objectives, but so long as we drift aimlessly, we cannot win and we allow the enemy to move our boat as he sees fit.  That, is the enemy's strategy.  And he is executing with great success.

Obama proves Osama was right.  Osama bin Laden warned Arab regimes that the United States always abandons its friends when the going gets tough.  President Obama is proving bin Laden was right.

Homeland Security to replace color-coded terror alerts.  The color-coded terrorism alert system that has greeted travelers at airports since shortly after the Sept. 11 hijackings is being phased out, the government announced today [1/26/2011].

Fake Terror And The War For Your Mind.  The FBI has set up then knocked down dozens of terrorist straw men in an effort to convince you that the 'war on terror' is real.

Bombs Don't Kill People; Terrorists Do.  The leftist lunacy when it comes to potentially dangerous things and genuinely dangerous people was rampant during the Cold War.  Nuclear weapons, silly people across the Free World told us, were a grave danger to the survival of mankind.  Yet what sane person lost a wink of sleep because France had 482 nuclear warheads, or because Britain had 200 nuclear warheads?

Study Shows How Terrorists Infiltrate U.S. Government.  There is a very important — one might even say life-and-death — distinction that should be made in considering U.S. counterterrorism policy.  Certainly, U.S. forces have had many successes in stopping intended terrorist attacks against the United States.  Yet there have also been a number of failures.  How to distinguish what made the difference?

The Ground Zero Mosque Holds the Key to the Attack on America.  Why did terrorists attack America on September 11, 2001?  We're a nation of 310 million freedom-loving Americans, protected by the greatest military the world has ever seen.  Did Osama bin Laden really think he could conquer the U.S.A. with nineteen jihadists, wielding boxcutters?  Yes.  And he may very well be right.  America is under siege from an enemy who doesn't need the blitzkrieg tactics of tanks, infantry, artillery and air power.  These enemy combatants use bursts of violence to terrify us; then, they smile and overwhelm us with floods of radical asylum seekers, hate preachers and Ph.D. students.  When the time is right, they unleash bare-knuckled threats and intimidation, demands for special privileges, decimation of our free speech, cooption of our ruling class, and relentless legal warfare, in which they turn our own laws against us.  Right now, they're winning.

It's a good thing Obama closed Gitmo so KSM can stay there forever.  As Byron York reports, Obama has three options for dealing with the highly inconvenient Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:  try him in a civilian court, try him at Gitmo, or just hold him at Gitmo until somebody figures out what to do with him or he dies of old age, whichever comes first.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will be held in military prison without a trial indefinitely:  report.  Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will likely be held in military prison without a trial indefinitely as the Obama administration decides what to do with the 9/11 mastermind, according to a new report.  A trial — civilian or military — is not expected to happen before the next presidential election, the Washington Post reported Saturday [11/13/2010].  The Obama administration apparently fears backlash will come from either decision.

Obama and Holder and Their Massive Failure to Think.  Well, the bubble of Obama supremacy has finally exploded in all our faces and is now lying in tatters, with little giblets of its former hot-air glory spread from here to kingdom come.  The candidate who played his "Peace is just an Obama speech away" tune to the easily bamboozled left has just been dealt the final blow that crashed the big, fat hot air balloon.  The very first test case was just last week: a former Gitmo detainee, brought to NYC to be tried as a civilian with all the rights of a genuine American citizen, was found guilty on a single picayune count from a list of 280-plus murder charges.

Affirmative Action for the Navy SEALS?  The Navy SEALS are embarking on a targeted campaign to recruit more minority candidates, reports the Navy Times.  Apparently some are concerned because "minority representation" is below the national average.  There is no evidence that they are changing the standards to be a Navy SEAL. ... [But] Why seek to hire more African-American or minority SEALS?  Why not just recruit SEALS, pure and simple?

U.S. to ban some toner, ink cartridges from flights.  The Obama administration on Monday [11/8/2010] banned all cargo shipments to the United States from Somalia, expanding a ban imposed initially on shipments from Yemen in the wake of a recent foiled bomb plot.  Two weeks ago, authorities in Dubai and the United Kingdom intercepted two bombs hidden in toner cartridges destined for the United States from Yemen via FedEx and United Parcel Service after a tip from Saudi Arabia.

The Editor says...
Who orders toner cartridges — or anything else — from Yemen?

Orange Alert.  Homeland Security needs to do more than heighten aviation security in response to the cargo bomb plot from al-Qaida in Yemen.  It should elevate the national terror threat level.  Despite what the president called a "credible threat" to the U.S. — along with a dramatic spike in "terrorist chatter" and international travel among terrorist suspects with U.S. passports — the National Threat Advisory is still stuck at yellow, or elevated.

It takes one to know one.
Arif Alikhan Appointed as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development.  Arif comes from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa's office, where he served as Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety.

"Devout Muslims" in Homeland Security Leadership.  Obama and Janet Napolitano appointed Arif Alikhan, a devout Muslim, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development.  DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano swore-in Kareem Shora, a devout Muslim, who was born in Damascus, Syria, as ADC National Executive Director as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

Two "Devout Muslims" appointed to Homeland Security.  America hasn't lost its mind... but Washington obviously has.

Arif Alikhan, Asst Secretary DHS.  Arif Alikhan, currently deputy mayor for the city of Los Angeles, was appointed as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security.  Muslim Democrats welcome Alikhan's appointment.

The Editor says...
I'm sure they do.

Shultz to Obama:  'You're out of your mind'.  Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz blasted President Obama Monday night [10/4/2010] for his scheduled July 2011 date to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The Pentagon's Budget Is Not Bloated.  With America facing a $1.4-trillion deficit, ideological opponents of a strong defense — liberals and libertarians alike — have called on the Congress to severely reduce the defense budget.  To try to justify their proposals, they make false claims about the defense budget, including its size and how it compares to the other items in the federal budget.  However, none of these claims stand up to scrutiny.

Muslim prayers welcome at Pentagon chapel.  Less than 100 feet from where a hijacked airplane slammed into the Pentagon, Muslim military personnel bring prayer rugs on weekday afternoons for group worship.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  Is keeping homosexual behavior and Islamism out of the barracks wrong?  The Manning leaks and Hasan massacre both show it to be sound policy.  Bradley Manning's Facebook page reads like a second-tier soap opera.  According to the London Daily Telegraph, the 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst, suspected of leaking more than 90,000 pieces of classified material to the WikiLeaks Web site, was depressed over breaking up with a male companion.

Military Homosexual Scandal Tied to WikiLeaks Treason.  In the scandal involving the theft and release of classified military information that could cost the lives of U.S. military personnel, the British Telegraph newspaper is reporting that the American soldier at the center of the scandal was "openly homosexual" and apparently held a grudge against the U.S. because of the military's anti-gay policy.

Obama's credit-grab.  How's this for hubris:  President Obama extolling his "new strategy" in Iraq — even though it never would have succeeded had his original vision prevailed?  The president struck a triumphal tone this week about the Iraq mission coming to an end — but shunned the word "success." ... Indeed, Obama couldn't bring himself to give a shred of credit to the man who most deserves it:  George W. Bush.

The Immorality of the Moral High Ground.  [Scroll down]  Putting liberals in charge of determining what soldiers can do in a war is like putting die hard big government advocates in charge of privatizing the government.  Not only will they see that the whole thing fails, they'll make sure that it fails as painfully and horribly as possible in order to serve as a lesson to any future government that might flirt with any similar notion.

Fire The Plan.  The president has fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, but McChrystal's "courageous restraint" rules of engagement have also got to go.  And they're just one component of a war strategy leading us to defeat.

A reckless, graceless exit.  Over the weekend, I read that the Senate Armed Services Committee decided to cut $1 billion from the aid the Obama administration requested for Iraq during that country's period of transition to a new government.  The cuts extend to funding for security forces.  They seem absurd under the present circumstances.

The Afghanistan Quagmire.  The war in Afghanistan has been going on for more than eight years as of this writing. ... It's over.  That war is lost.  Once the Taliban acquired surface-to-air missiles, the primarily advantage our military had was removed.  In the past month, the Taliban have shot down two of our helicopters.  Any low-flying aircraft will be vulnerable along with all our front-line forces.  This is a repeat of how the Soviets lost their war in Afghanistan.

'Bush Did It' Is Not a Foreign Policy.  [Scroll down]  What exactly does Barack Obama wish to accomplish abroad?  In interviews and speeches, Obama emphasizes his nontraditional background and his father's Islamic heritage.  Apparently, he hopes that by reminding the world that he is not George W. Bush, America will be better liked.

Losing Their Religion.  Although many won't admit it, we are in the midst of an ideological war with Islam.  And since the advantage goes to the side that fully realizes they are at war, the West is losing.  The propaganda war is going in favor of Islam precisely because the West doesn't realize it is supposed to be fighting one.

Paralyzing American Power.  The decision to elevate climate change to the threat level of jihadist terrorism amounts to a mockery of reason.  First off, climate change is not an immediate threat — it is a cyclical process that can only be measured in terms of centuries.  Developing national security solutions to a clear and present global insurgency that threatens to subvert every nation's stability and sovereignty, such as al Qa'ida-styled jihadism, on the other hand, is an immediate necessity.

How Faisal snuck through:  Of all the holes in US secu rity highlighted by Faisal Shahzad's failed effort to blow up Times Square, here's the most outrageous:  Almost every major domestic anti-terror operation over the past several years has involved travelers from Pakistan — yet Homeland Security still lacks a comprehensive strategy to shut down "terror tourism" from that nation.

I Think, Therefore I Profile.  Two recent events have propelled the issue of profiling to the forefront.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an immigration bill that "requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the United States illegally."  And on May 1, a Pakistani-American failed to set off a car bomb in Times Square.  In both situations, Americans are exhorted to refrain from profiling.

How much "Homeland Security" is too much?
Justices Angry Over Closing Court's Doors.  Over the objections of two justices, the Supreme Court announced Monday [5/3/2010] that due to security concerns the front doors of the courthouse will no longer be open to people wishing to enter the building.  A pair of new entrances will now be used that are just below and to the side of the front doors which are located atop a set of marble steps that had served as a majestic entry into the nation's highest court.

New national security strategy borders on incoherent.  Is it possible to defeat an enemy we don't understand?  That is only one of the questions that ought to occur to anyone reading President Obama's new national security strategy.  Administration officials and loyalists have been trying to put the best possible face on the congressionally mandated 52-page document.  But anyone who glances at so much as a page will see that is rife with platitudes, wishful thinking and self-delusion.

Terrorizing Our Rights.  We're grateful for plain old cops.  What a relief that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who could be mistaken for Inspector Clouseau, was not in charge of the search for the Times Square bomber.  The mayor, he told NBC News, was looking for "a home-grown" someone protesting health care reform legislation.  Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, was looking into "a man-caused disaster," not terrorism, and Attorney General Eric Holder was on the scout for someone to listen to his Miranda rights.

Miranda and Public Safety.  [W]hat if Faisal Shahzad, the confessed Times Square bomber, had stopped talking?  When you tell someone he has the right to remain silent, there is a distinct possibility that he will remain silent, is there not?  And then what?  The authorities deserve full credit for capturing Shahzad within 54 hours.  Credit is also due them for obtaining information from him by invoking the "public safety" exception to the Miranda rule.

Just a matter of time before attackers get lucky in America.  The Times Square car bomb plot, and with it the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, is merely the latest case involving a US resident of foreign origin who has allegedly attempted to mount a terrorist attack inside America.  In each case, the suspects have been thwarted by their own amateurism.

Why wasn't Faisal on the terror watch list?  Yesterday the FBI announced that the Times Square Bomber was placed on the No Fly list — after he parked his smoking car bomb in Times Square and was already on the run.  Think about it:  That little fact captures the entire Keystone Kops insanity of this administration.  Faisal wasn't put on the No Fly list when he trained in Pakistan to bomb you and me. ... And he wasn't even picked up by our vaunted intelligence apparatus when he applied to become a US citizen last year.  How many other new citizen-terrorists do we have in this country?  We don't know, because our defenses are staffed by idiots.

More about the Times Square Idiot Bomber.

There is no Taliban.  The business of politicians is getting re-elected, and business is bad for President Obama and his cronies in congress.  Failing domestic policies and two endless wars have White House and Pentagon spin doctors working overtime, especially on Afghanistan and recent "victories" over the Taliban.  But the inconvenient truth is that there is no Taliban, and the victories belong to Pakistan.

Straddler In Chief.  President Obama has OK'd plans to target for assassination an American-born al-Qaida leader who poses a proven threat to America.  What, no Miranda warnings?

You can't win hearts, minds of radical Islam.  We're mired in Afghanistan because successive administrations in Washington have conflated the hayseed Taliban with al Qaeda's cosmopolitans.  These organizations have different ethnic compositions and profoundly different goals:  The first isa regional actor with local aspirations, and the latter an international force with global ambitions.  Instead of exploiting the differences between them, our policies encourage them to cooperate.

Sending a Woman for a Man's Work.  Our grandparents would have treated as a bad joke the idea that mothers of small children could be soldiers and sailors.  The idea that some of them would go to war "in a family way" would have been beyond understanding.  But one Navy ship became famous as "the Love Boat" when one in 10 members of the crew reported to sick call pregnant.

The Tragic Truth of War.  Victory has usually been defined throughout the ages as forcing the enemy to accept certain political objectives.  "Forcing" usually meant killing, capturing, or wounding men at arms.  In today's polite and politically correct society we seem to have forgotten that nasty but eternal truth in the confusing struggle to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.

What Do Muslim Nations Think about Terrorists?  Both before and after the terrorist attacks on our country in 2001, we have been assured that Islam is a religion of peace, that most Muslims don't identify with the terrorists, and indeed that most do not wish us ill.  This conviction has driven our war on terrorism — we have continued to shower money on Egypt and Jordan...

Is It Possible for a Practicing Muslim Soldier to Swear Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution?  [Scroll down]  It is indisputably clear from these two Shariah passages that it is incumbent on every practicing Muslim, which indicates Shariah-compliance, to pledge his or her total allegiance to Islam.  Furthermore, it is mandatory for anyone claiming to be Muslim to actively oppose by force of arms U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Privacy.  Remember all the caterwauling by the Democrats and then Senator Obama about the Bush Administration's deliberate attempt to pry into the lives of Americans using the war on terror as an excuse.  The protection of privacy was the battle cry against the dastardly Republicans in the White House.  In a matter of less than 13 months the Obama administration has taken steps that show its true colors and allegiance to the "big brother' philosophy exposed in George Orwell's "1984".

U.S. Judge Comes to Rescue of Terrorist, Throws Out Confession.  Get ready folks because this is the world of terrorist coddling that Barack Obama is setting up for us from now on.  A left-wing, multicultural-loving, half-wit federal judge has sided with those who would kill us all by throwing out most of the evidence as well as the confession of a terrorist ensconced in Guantanamo Bay.

"Notional" Security.  This administration pays lip service to national security and gives out with a lot of rhetorical notions that makes it notional security instead of national security.  The Muslim major who was arrested for the murders of American soldiers at Fort Hood had left so many clues to his hatred of this country that all you had to do was count the dots, without even connecting them, to see where he was coming from.

Governing class:  Elites or idiots?  Anti-anti-Islamic radical-ism is growing among Western elites.  In the aftermath of the Fort Hood Islamist terror attack on our troops by United States Army Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan and the Christmas Day airline Islamist terror attack attempt, it is becoming ever more obvious that there is a widening gap between public common sense and governing class idiocy when it comes to spotting Islamist danger in our midst — and doing something about it.

Who was behind the September 2001 anthrax attacks?  It seemed to me [in October 2001] that the anthrax attacks were overwhelmingly likely to be the product of al Qaeda or another terrorist organization, quite likely aided by a state actor, and that the FBI by concentrating its investigation on domestic scientists had been barking up the wrong tree.

Terror in the Skies Requires Real Action on the Ground.  Shortly after the incident on Northwest Flight 253, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano first insisted that "the system worked" regarding the Christmas Day attempt.  This particularly blatant act of defensive self-protection was such an obvious falsehood that Counterterrorism Czar John Brennan has had to go from news show to news show offering a retraction.

White House:  Justice Dept. made decision to hold Detroit bomber in civilian justice system.  Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Brennan was asked why the Obama administration did not choose to treat Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant.  "He was arrested on U.S. soil," Brennan answered.  "The Department of Justice makes that determination about what is the best tool to use."

The Constitutional Crisis and the Security Crisis.  [Scroll down]  First, there is the matter of the ongoing constitutional crisis that, as al-Qaeda's attempted Christmas Day attack amply demonstrates, is now endangering our nation.  The Constitution gives the political branches plenary responsibility for the conduct of war. The conduct of war includes the detention, trial, or release of enemy combatants. The federal courts have no role except the one they have usurped.  This brazen power grab flouts the bedrock constitutional separation of powers, and the political branches do not have to abide it.  Indeed, as national defense is their chief responsibility, it is their duty not to abide it.

DHS Decided It's OK to Allow Some Terrorists to Board Planes.  Even if Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab had never boarded that Christmas flight from Amsterdam to Detroit wearing explosive underpants, a passage on page 17 of a report published in July by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security would still be eye-popping.  "Not all known or reasonably suspected terrorists are prohibited from boarding an aircraft, or are subject to additional security screening prior to boarding an aircraft," says the passage.

Why shouldn't we waterboard Abdulmutallab?  Now we have a real, live Al Qaeda operative — fresh from a foiled terrorist plot hatched in a country fast becoming the center point in the war on terror — in our hands.  Surely we ought to be using the tools at our disposal to find out the who, what, where, when and how of the next potential mass casualty attack.

Obama's Second Major Terror Failure in Two Months.  After a known Islamic radical psychiatrist shot more than forty unarmed American military personnel at Forth Hood last month, this is the second easily preventable failure of the Obama administration to protect the country against domestic terrorism.  Obama has let down our guard, and al-Qaida's got his number.

See also Obama is weakening America's defenses.

Ditch the 'smoking gun' standard, Mr. President.  Does Mr. Obama need another 9/11 to wake up from his Hawaiian dream world? ... The administration has been taking an extremely lackadaisical approach to securing our nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Flying Lessons.  Several hundred men, women, and children will live to see the New Year thanks to good luck:  The terrorist on Delta/Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit was inadequately trained, and one passenger turned out to be remarkably quick-thinking and courageous.  But a multi-billion dollar government security system failed.  The question now:  Is the Obama administration smart enough to go to school on this attack?

Another Reason To Keep Gitmo Open.  Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the attempted destruction of Flight 253 were released from Guantanamo two years ago.  The case for indefinite detention has been made once again, and not in Illinois.

How Right Was Cheney?  Very.  Liberals have sneered that Cheney was exaggerating or misreading the Obami's approach to terrorism.  But at each turn — the plan to close Guantanamo and send detainees to places like Yemen, the release of the enhanced interrogation memos (but only selectively), and the decisions to cease enhanced interrogation techniques and give KSM a civilian trial — the Obama team has in effect proved Cheney's point.

Hoekstra doubles down on criticism of Obama on airline attack.  Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said Sunday that it is fair to blame the Obama administration for the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit on Christmas Day.  Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Select Intelligence Committee said that the administration has not taken the threat of terrorist threats on the U.S. seriously.

Surrender on a Timetable.  Not long after taking power he announced that he was determined to see an end to the Afghan War.  The number of troops serving in Afghanistan was increased to 108,000 and given a 1 year deadline.  The allied regime in Afghanistan received a simple and direct message, that after a year they could no longer count on military support.  It was time for the Afghan government to figure out how to make it on its own.  It was bluntly suggested that they forget social reforms and seek to cut a deal with the Mujahadeen.  The year though was 1985, not 2009.

You don't know what you got 'til it's gone.  When folks tell me we need to leave the war behind so we can focus on domestic needs, I want to shout to them that unless and until we finish this war and so thoroughly rout the enemy that they no longer dare to cross us, we cannot confine our concentration to fixing healthcare, social security, or other myriad social problems.  For once we as civilians become so vulnerable that fear becomes a daily part of our lives and our children's lives, we will find it is far too late.

Yep, It's Terrorism.  Now What?  When Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old airport shuttle driver from Denver, was arrested by the FBI in September, counterterrorism officials told reporters that Zazi seemed to be the real thing — a would-be terrorist who had trained with Al Qaeda, who was planning attacks on Americans, and who had recruited a cadre of sympathizers. ... It was a few days before [President] Obama even addressed the topic...

Murder by Lawfare — How Liberal Lawsuits are Taking American Lives.  Not being able to stop a terrorist before he strikes.  Not being able to remove Muslims who are engaging in threatening behavior on a plane.  Not able to take action against a terrorist plot for fear that the terrorists will be allowed to walk free.  That is what the domestic version of the War on Terror looks like today.  Those are the wages of Lawfare, the legal campaign on behalf of terrorists waged by well known liberal legal advocacy groups...

Patriotic Farce:  Losing Our Liberty in the Name of Fighting Terrorism.  Is the government protecting us from terrorists or is the government using 9-11 as a pretext to establish a massive system of government control over our lives?

THEY are at war with US, but...
Are We At War or Aren't We?  By banning any talk of a "War on Terror" and bringing through a civilian criminal trial for the mastermind of 9/11, Obama and his fellow liberals are doing their best to whitewash Al Queda as nothing more than common criminals.  This refusal to accept that Al Queda has made war on America, rather than carried out a few lone attacks which we should all get over with, has been at the heart of the Clinton Administration's misguided approach to terrorism, as well as the ongoing liberal furor over Bush treating Al Queda as an enemy, rather than a bunch of hoodlums who need to be put on the usual legal treadmill to nowhere.

Barbecue The Taliban.  It all boils down to this simple question:  Do you want to win the war or not?  Barry O, Sen. Kerry and others are frittering the days away while the man that knows — General McChrystal — has stated he needs 40,000 more troops to win the war in Afghanistan.  And he's also said that if we don't do this smart, hard and fast we will — within a year — be unable to defeat the Taliban.

Lessons of Fort Hood.  When a military officer participates in a war against his own country, that is high treason, and that is the charge that ought to be brought against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.  But it's not going to happen.  Hasan should have been weeded out of the military long ago.  There was abundant evidence that his allegiance was not to the United States...

Betraying Our Dead.  Eight years ago today, our homeland was attacked by fanatical Muslims inspired by Saudi Arabian bigotry.  Three thousand American citizens and residents died.  We resolved that we, the People, would never forget.  Then we forgot.  We've learned nothing.  Instead of cracking down on Islamist extremism, we've excused it.  Instead of killing terrorists, we free them.  Instead of relentlessly hunting Islamist madmen, we seek to appease them.

Obama Sets Punt Formation.  Under Taliban rule, strict Sharia law was enforced by thuggish "morality police".  The Taliban cut off hands and heads, flogged people for dancing, kite flying or listening to music.  They oppress and beat their women and kill Jews for sport and Christians just for the [heck] of it.  They have vowed to kill other NATO forces in retaliation, the moment we turn our backs and they would surely lop the heads off of any Afghans who had connections to US or NATO forces.

'He will destroy the Democratic party'.  [Scroll down]  There's this anonymous quote from one observer:  "He can send more troops and it will be a disaster and he will destroy the Democratic party.  Or he can send no more troops and it will be a disaster and the Republicans will say he lost the war."

Who's Responsible for 75 Dead and 310 Injured?  Barack Hussein Obama.  Determined to keep some form of his arbitrary Iraq troop withdrawal plan intact, just to keep his Code Pinko constituents back home appeased while he fumbles every political football on earth, Barack Obama left the Iraqi people at the mercy of Islamic terrorists still anxious to kill and this morning's [8/19/2009] headlines read — 75 killed, 310 injured in Baghdad attacks.

Abolish the DHS.  In a forthcoming book, [Tom] Ridge complains that the weekend before Election Day, Bush administration officials leaned on him to raise the color-coded threat level.  Dismayed, Ridge refused the demand, and concluded he needed to resign.  "I wondered," Ridge writes, "Is this about security or politics?"  That's a question we ought to ask about DHS as a whole.  Since its creation in 2003, the department has done little to provide genuine security and much to encourage a pernicious politics of fear.  We'd be better off without it.

The Real CIA News.  Whoever advised people to be skeptical of what they read in the papers must have had in mind this week's coverage of the documents about CIA interrogations. ... The news is that the program was thoughtfully developed, carefully circumscribed, briefed to Congress, and yielded information crucial to disrupting al Qaeda.  In other words, it worked — at least until politics got in the way.

Do Terrorists Captured on the Battlefield Have Constitutional Rights?  At a Senate hearing Tuesday on the use of military commissions to prosecute terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay, some members of the Armed Services Committee took offense at the Obama administration's view that the detainees should have the same legal protections under the Constitution as U.S. citizens.

Government may scrap color-coded terror alert.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Wednesday [7/29/2009] told the Council on Foreign Relations that she is considering scrapping the widely ridiculed, color-coded terror alert system.  The Tom Ridge-era relic is being reviewed by a task force — generally the first step in the long, governmental process of killing something.

How Hard Do We Want to Fight Terrorism?  The criminal justice system is built full of holes on the principle that it is better to weigh the odds toward freeing the guilty, than imprisoning the innocent.  But applying that same system to enemy combatants is a blatant misapplication of the purpose for which it was intended.  The legal system is intended to clarify the guilt or innocence of the defendant, and then apply a punishment or release the defendant.  This entire process has no relevance to terrorists, where our goal should be to extract information from captured terrorists.

Instant Justice.  We made one great mistake regarding Guantanamo:  No terrorist should have made it that far.  All but a handful of those grotesquely romanticized prisoners should have been killed on the battlefield.  The few kept alive for their intelligence value should have been interrogated secretly, then executed.

Stop Mirandizing terrorists.  Osama bin Laden, you have the right to remain silent.  You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, an attorney will be provided.  Do you understand these rights?  Well, we don't.

Not Right: The Obama administration grants Miranda rights to detainees in Afghanistan.  When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was captured on March 1, 2003, he was not cooperative.  "I'll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer," he said, according to former CIA Director George Tenet.  Of course, KSM did not get a lawyer until months later, after his interrogation was completed, and Tenet says that the information the CIA obtained from him disrupted plots and saved lives.  "I believe none of these successes would have happened if we had had to treat KSM like a white-collar criminal — read him his Miranda rights and get him a lawyer who surely would have insisted that his client simply shut up," Tenet wrote in his memoirs.

Miranda Warnings for Terrorists Thank Sen. McCain.  I hate to say I told you so, but back when we were having this debate, thanks to Senator McCain's grandstanding on "torture," I warned that his amendment would lead to the legal claim that American agents — including the military — were now required to give Miranda warnings to captured terrorists outside the U.S.

Flashback: Obama Said Terrorists Shouldn't Get Miranda Rights.  In September 2008, when McCain-Palin pulled ahead of Obama-Biden, Candidate Obama publicly mocked Sarah Palin's suggestion that Obama favored giving captured terrorists Miranda warnings.  It happened in Farmington Hills, Michigan. ... And two months after his Inauguration, President Obama reiterated, "Now, do these folks deserve miranda rights?  Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter down the block?  Of course not."

Politicizing 'Torture' Will Backfire on the Left.  If liberals truly detest torture, why do so many of them sing the praises of Castro's Cuba, which today incarcerates and tortures hundreds of its citizens for the "crime" of promoting basic human rights?

Nine Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture.  [#1]  Given how much you rightly hate torture, why did you oppose the removal of Saddam Hussein, whose prisons engaged in far more hideous tortures, on thousands of times more people, than America did — all of whom, moreover, were individuals and families who either did nothing or simply opposed tyranny?  One assumes, furthermore, that all those Iraqi innocents Saddam had put into shredding machines or whose tongues were cut out and other hideous tortures would have begged to be waterboarded.

On the other hand...
Five Things You Should Know About the 'Torture' Memos.  [#5]  The memos place Attorney General Holder, who argued for their release, in an untenable situation.  He has stated under oath, at his confirmation hearings, that waterboarding is torture and torture is prohibited by numerous federal laws.  He has also taken an oath to uphold all federal laws, not just those that are politically expedient from time to time.

Security vs. liberty.  Putting furry caterpillars in terrorists' cells doesn't rank very high on the list of history's greatest war crimes.  The idea that use of waterboarding increases the vulnerability of our troops who might be captured is even sillier.  The kind of people who ram airliners into skyscrapers to kill thousands of innocent civilians and who behead hostages on video don't need additional excuses to torture infidels.  They do it for fun.

Miranda rule may hamper detainee trials.  Accused in a 2002 grenade blast that wounded two U.S. soldiers near an Afghan market, Mohammed Jawad was sent as a youth to Guantanamo Bay.  Now, under orders by President Obama, he could one day be among detainees whose fate is finally decided by a U.S. court.  But in a potential problem, Pentagon officials note that most of the evidence against Jawad comes from his own admissions.

Yes, we need censorship.  During wartime, there is a natural tension between civil liberties and national security.  Security must take precedence.

Who Made the World Safer — Bush or Clinton?  While no weapons of mass destruction were ever found, we know that Saddam had used them in his long war against Iran and against his own Kurdish subjects.  What ever happened to the other WMDs?  No one knows for sure, I happen to subscribe to the theory that the fuel for the Syrian bomb factory laid waste by the Israeli Airforce almost two years ago came from Iraq.

Shoe-Fly Liberty.  President Bush's thanks for ousting Saddam Hussein is to have a pair of shoes thrown at him.  If Arabs are so ungrateful for our sacrifices in ridding them of tyranny, should we even bother?

Asia's Islamism engine.  Following the terror massacres in Mumbai, Pakistan may now be the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism, beyond even Iran.  Yet it has never been listed by the US State Department as a state sponsor ofterrorism.  In 1998, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, the State Department's counter-terrorism co-ordinator recommended listing Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.  Then [Clinton's] secretary of state Madeleine Albright decided against it, saying it would destroy US influence in Islamabad.  And that has been the dilemma of Western policy towards Pakistan ever since.

History Will Judge.  For the past 150 years, most American war presidents — most notably Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt — have entered (or reentered) office knowing war was looming.  Not so George W. Bush.  Not so the war on terror.  The 9/11 attacks literally came out of the blue.

So Much for Lists.  One thing we now know for certain:  the American list of state sponsors of terrorism has no moral authority.  It is merely a tool with which to pressure countries into accepting deals with the U.S.  Case in point:  North Korea is no less "sponsor of terrorism" today than it was two days ago.  Still, the US has decided it will be removed from the list.

No More Jihadists.  The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. government is moving to kill off jihadists, Islamo-fascists, and mujahedeen.  Not the people:  the words.  Reports from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center recommend discontinuing the use of such terms, because, as the AP report says, "Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates." … If we eschew these words, what how are we supposed to refer to our enemies?

Flying Blind in the War on Terror:  Imagine that following the bombing of Peal Harbor in December 1941, that FDR had prohibiting the use of the terms "Nazi" or "Japanese Imperialism" due to pressure brought to bear by German and Japanese-American lobbying groups.  Or at the height of the Cold War that the US government had determined to ban the use of "Soviet" or "communism" for fear of offending the sensibilities of Russian-Americans or European socialists.  Yet that is precisely what has happened following the revelation last week by the Associated Press that the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security has issued guidelines banning the use of "jihad", "mujahedeen" and other Islamic terminology with reference to Islamic terrorism.  This move lays bare the ideological prison house of political correctness in which our top policymaker's reside.

SOFA Leaves US Handicapped.  Under SOFA, the Iraqis are now boss, not good for us.  We put up the lives and the money, and they get the control.  This is unprecedented.  We have freed the Iraqis from a brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, and have just about stabilized and secured the fabric of Iraqi society.  We then capitulated to Iraqi political and operating leadership.

Contrasting Liberty and Tyranny.  Can America bring liberty to lands that have never before known it?  Free people will always be the mortal enemy of dictators, each endangering the other's existence.  Tyranny and terror are blood brothers, born of the same womb and equally evil.  We are fools to make nice with evil as some have suggested we do.

A Quick Way Forward After Boumediene:  The war on terror is not like other wars.  No war has a determinate end, but this one does not have a foreseeable ending scenario.  With radical Islam, there will be no treaty, no terms of surrender, no conquering enemy territory.  Instead, there is only vigilance until the enemy's capacity to project power is quelled.  Because of that, strict application of the laws of war — which permit indefinite detention until war's end — strikes our influential legal elites as unduly onerous.

Can Congress Give Military Orders To The Commander-in-Chief?  For the third time since becoming the majority in Congress in January 2007, the Democrats have attempted to order the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed forces, George W. Bush, to bring the U.S. military forces home from Iraq.  For months, Congress has been debating whether or not that it a good idea or a bad idea.  However, whether it is a good idea or a bad idea is beside the point.

Freed to kill again.  Yes, you could argue, were you so inclined, that Benazir Bhutto might well be alive today if only Washington had not leaned on her to return to Pakistan for the sake of a U.S.-brokered political deal that was perhaps not in her personal best interest.  More to the point, you could argue that Benazir Bhutto might well be alive today if only Abdullah Mehsud had not been let loose from Guantanamo, where he plainly belonged, regardless of what the bleaters and hand-wringers thought about that.

Every War Is a Choice.  Claims that the Iraq War was a reckless "war of choice" — rather than a prudent war of "necessity" — are a standard element of the anti-Bush narrative.  The latest critic to make this claim is former White House spokesman Scott McClellan.  But a close look at American history shows that this distinction makes little sense.  All wars are wars of choice, because it is almost always possible not to fight.  The real question is whether the price of peace outweighs the costs of war.

None Dare Call It 'Appeasement'.  When Obama compared Hillary Clinton's threats against Iran to President Bush's threatening "bluster" and "cowboy diplomacy," no one batted an eye.  But when Mr. Bush, in addressing Israel's Knesset, compared those who want to negotiate with today's terrorists and tyrants to an American senator in 1939 who lamented that Hitler's march into Poland might have been avoided "if only I could have talked to Hitler," Obama, other Democrats and the mainstream media went ballistic.

Questions for the Pentagon:  In the sorry tradition of shooting the messenger, the Pentagon is cashiering its top expert on Islamist doctrine, Stephen Coughlin.  Some members of Congress are now contemplating hearings to ask why.  Along with drawing attention to Coughlin's research, now circulating on the Internet, the growing controversy has thrown a spotlight on Coughlin's alleged nemesis at the Pentagon, a top aide named Hesham Islam — whose tale deserves closer attention.

Islamofascism.  [Scroll down]  That's the tie-salesman approach to war-naming.  ("You like this one?  How about this one?  Or this?")  This was not typical, ringing, forthright Bush oratory; rather, it was as if the president had taken the contribution of the speechwriters Gerson and David Frum years ago and fused Saddam's Iraq, the mullahs' Iran and nuclear-armed North Korea into an "axis of whatever."

Profiles in Cowardice.  On Tuesday [2/12/2008], we got a double-winner.  First, the senate voted to approve an overhaul of intelligence law which, though flawed, provides authority for American intelligence agencies to continue monitoring the savages trying to kill us.  Second, we got inescapable confirmation that Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the two contenders to be the Democrats' nominee, are not fit to be president of the United States.

Fired for the Truth.  Bill Gertz, Washington Times national security columnist, reports (1/4/08) that the Pentagon has fired Stephen Coughlin, its most knowledgeable specialist on Islamic Law, and jihad terrorism.  As Gertz observed aptly, the Pentagon thus ended the career of its most effective analyst attempting to prepare the military to wage ideological war against jihadism.

Iraq Is a Mess.  But Germany Was, Too.  Rebuilding a nation is possible.  But even in the best of circumstances, it takes effort, time, patience and pragmatism.  As 1945 confirms, liberation from a dictator in itself offers no easy path to peace or democracy.  Battlefield victory is the easy bit.  Building peace is a constant struggle — and it's a matter of years, not weeks.

Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S..  The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea's legal authority. … Democrats say [Michael] Chertoff has not spelled out what federal laws govern the [National Applications Office], whose funding and size are classified.  Congress barred Homeland Security from funding the office until its investigators could review the office's operating procedures and safeguards.

Opposing viewpoint...
Suspicious Eyes:  It's impossible to know whether the [National Applications Office] will ever assist in foiling a terrorist plot.  But it would be a shame — and a needless danger — if this ready resource weren't marshaled.

Close Enough to Shoot.  [A game of "chicken"] of international proportion occurred on January 6 involving three US Navy ships and Iranian "hoodlums" aboard five fast inshore attack craft belonging to the Islamic Republican Guard Corps (IRGC).  Fortunately for the Iranians, there were no fatalities, but their aggressive and confrontational conduct could well have triggered a swift and devastating attack by the US ships making a split-second decision whether a perceived imminent threat exists to their safety.

Iran 1, USA 0 — Naval Error in the Gulf.  Early Sunday morning [1/6/2008], the US Navy lost its nerve and guaranteed that American sailors will die at Iranian hands in the future.

Speedboat Bluff in the Persian Gulf.  Under the mullah-led thieves' regime, Iran has become an explosive political mix of ethnic, economic and ideological fragments, a mosaic powder keg. … The Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 Islamic Revolution failed, then fossilized, leaving a corrupt junta of robed kleptocrats who use the dictator's classic tools of murder, terror and economic favoritism to control an impoverished, splintered and increasingly restless populace.

The Quixotic Quest of President Bush.  Where is the coherence in this "peace process?"  How does it advance our strategy in what is properly called World War Four?  Harming democratic Israel and an ostensibly stable and relatively pro-western Jordan is not policy.  It harms those nations irreparably, paving the way for Arab massacres and weakens bulwarks of defense against growing militant Islam.  It makes all the tough talk about "the war on terror" more like tilting swords at windmills than real policy.

Broken Windows.  President Bush calls Iran a "threat to peace" and promises there "will be serious consequences if they attack our ships."  If they attack?  Whatever happened to the military doctrine of pre-emption? ... After 9/11, President Bush solemnly vowed not to wait until we were attacked again.  The doctrine of pre-emption was launched and Operation Iraqi Freedom was the first fruit of that doctrine.  It was the wise and prudent thing to do.  So why with Iran are we waiting to be attacked again?  We should be well past the warning and advice stage.  Neither should we sit and wait for Iran to develop a nuke.

But Who Was Right -- Rudy or Ron?  Ron Paul says Osama bin Laden is delighted we invaded Iraq.  Does the man not have a point?  The United States is now tied down in a bloody guerrilla war in the Middle East and increasingly hated in Arab and Islamic countries where we were once hugely admired as the first and greatest of the anti-colonial nations.  Does anyone think that Osama is unhappy with what is happening to us in Iraq?

CYA Security:  Since 9/11, we've spent hundreds of billions of dollars defending ourselves from terrorist attacks.  Stories about the ineffectiveness of many of these security measures are common, but less so are discussions of why they are so ineffective.  In short:  much of our country's counterterrorism security spending is not designed to protect us from the terrorists, but instead to protect our public officials from criticism when another attack occurs.

Lawyers Versus the Troops.  We are in but the early stages of the war against Islamist terror; it is not too late to get moving.  If the authority for such an operation is indeed lacking, Congress or the president could move to rectify the situation by legislation or executive order — and they owe it to our GIs to do it, like, yesterday.

Fixing What's Wrong With Iraq:  According to the original authorization (Public Law 107-243) passed in late 2002, the president was authorized to use military force against Iraq to achieve the following two specific objectives only:
    "(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq ; and
     (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."
I was highly critical of the resolution at the time, because I don't think the United States should ever go to war to enforce United Nations resolutions. … When we look at the original authorization for the use of force it is clearly obvious that our military has met both objectives.

In the Name of Patriotism:  It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous, undeclared, no-win wars that are politically inspired.  Sending troops off to war for reasons that are not truly related to national security — and for that matter may even damage our security — is hardly a way to "patriotically" support the troops.

No more GWOT, House committee decrees.  The House Armed Services Committee is banishing the global war on terror from the 2008 defense budget.  This is not because the war has been won, lost or even called off, but because the committee's Democratic leadership doesn't like the phrase.

Is the War on Terror Over?  An influential book making the rounds — "Overblown:  How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them" — argues that the threat from al-Qaida is vastly exaggerated.  Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, goes further, assuring us that we are terrorized mostly by the false idea of a war on terror — not the jihadists themselves.

Why Iraq Is Crumbling:  In retrospect, I think we made several serious mistakes — not shooting looters, not installing an Iraqi exile government right away, and not taking out Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army in its infancy in 2004 — that greatly compromised the occupation.  Nonetheless, the root problem lies with Iraqis and their political culture. … The problem is not, as we endlessly argue about, the number of American troops.  Or of Iraqi troops.  The problem is the allegiance of the Iraqi troops.  Some serve the abstraction called Iraq.  But many swear fealty to political parties, religious sects or militia leaders.

To Win in Baghdad, Strike at Tehran.  As early as next week, President Bush is expected to give a major speech announcing a new strategy in Iraq.  This is an excellent opportunity for the administration to announce a big strategic change that could dramatically improve America's prospects in Iraq.  Unfortunately, however, no one has been discussing the one option that would actually have this effect.

Why America Can't Win the War Against Jihad:  College-educated, pseudo-humanists of the media have eroded American resolve.  A poll just days after 9/11 showed that 76 percent of Americans said they would support military action against Al-Qaeda even if it meant 5,000 troops would be killed.  Today, a majority no longer identifies the war in Iraq as part of the wider War on Terror.  Moreover, less than 10 percent supports military action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Using Every Tool in the War Against Radical Islam.  As those in our government who are obsessed with troop reductions and redeployment continue to argue that Iraq was an illegitimate battlefield from the start (hint:  the enemy doesn't think so), radical Islamists headed by al Qaeda are expanding the conflict to battlefields in Somalia, Sudan and Indonesia.  Our enemy has not wavered in its dedication to total victory, something we cannot say for ourselves.

How the West could be lost:  If you want to understand why many people feel the West has a death wish these days, you had only to look at yesterday's international reaction to the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.  While paying various degrees of lip service to the fact Saddam was a mass murderer, what really bugged the politicians and bureaucrats?  They were incensed that Saddam had been executed instead of sentenced to life in prison.

Bush adrift:  [President Bush] has left the question of troop levels in Iraq to the generals on the ground.  Gen. George W. Casey Jr. told Bush a few months ago that they would wait and see how Iraq looked after Ramadan, which ended in late October.  Well, Iraq looked worse.  Now the administration seems to want to wait to see the conclusions of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group or one of its internal reviews of Iraq policy before making any new departures.  In the meantime, Iraq looks still worse.  As the administration waits, Iraq burns.

To the President:  Lead!  Wasn't it plain enough going in?  You don't need a blue-ribbon commission stuffed and dressed with Beltway eminences to tell you how to win a war.  That isn't what blue-ribbon commissions are for.  … Politics:  That's what we are about with the study group.  Plain old politics.

Vietnam-Like Defeat in Iraq Will Have Far Worse Consequences.  I think history shows that the United States and South Vietnam might have prevailed against the North but for the flagging will of the American people and opposition from the media and Congress.  For sure, as recent commentary has reminded us, the 1968 Tet offensive was a colossal military defeat for the communists — 58,000 killed in two months — even though it convinced Walter Cronkite and American elites that the war was unwinnable.

Insanity.  Cash-strapped North Korea's only exports are counterfeit U.S. currency, illicit drugs and rocket/missile technology.  Pyongyang's No. 1 customer for these "products" is Tehran. … It requires the willful suspension of disbelief to trust that Iran — awash in petro-dollars — won't try to buy North Korean nukes.  Put differently, if you think that the jihad being waged against us is a tough fight now — just wait until Islamic radicals have North Korean nukes.

Warriors and The Myth of Peace.  The historic reality is that there has never been a long era of "peace," of the absence of conflict, anywhere on earth, in any historic time, that lasted more than a few decades, before large masses of humanity threw another tantrum, or succumbed to another grand mal seizure of violence on a national or multi-national scale.  We ignore and forget this immutable truth at our peril.

How to win the winnable war?  Oil.  As creatures of political correctness, we have tied our own hands.  And almost literally.  The PC rules of engagement imposed on American soldiers have as much to do with the chaotic limbo our troops find themselves in as failed political policies.  Closely held, these rules — burdensome constraints, really — have become obvious to everyone, including our foes.

Radical Islam, not Bush, is the enemy.  Before I mention the possible consequences of leaving Iraq, I'd like to mention an often overlooked result of our pulling out of Vietnam in 1973.  Within two years of our leaving Southeast Asia, much of that region had fallen to brutal communist regimes, and several million innocent civilians were slaughtered by the communist Khmer Rouge in the killing fields of Cambodia, as well as hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese killed by their new communist government.  The United States, the United Nations and the rest of the world did nothing.  However, as bad as this was, it will be small compared to what will likely happen when we withdraw from Iraq with our tails tucked between our legs yet again.

It's been five years, so who's our enemy?  Five years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II was over, Japan and Germany vanquished.  Five years after Sept. 11, we still speculate as to who, or what, our enemy is.  We have had a brief fling with "Islamic fascism," a phrase that, in its 20th-century-European political connotations, is misleading about jihad's 1,300-year-old religious roots.  But now, in the president's just-released "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism," we're back to plain vanilla "extremist ideology."  We seem to find a generic comfort in being vague.

Are Bush's critics right?  We are all aware of the dangerous Middle East conditions the United States faces today after five and half years of President Bush's leadership.  So let's consider what the world might well look like if, in his remaining two and a half years, he were to follow the recommendations of his critics.

Why Americans Oppose the Iraq War.  The American people strongly supported the original war on terror, when it was aimed at destroying terrorists and punishing the regimes that harbored and supported them.  The American people do not support the current incarnation of the war, which is focused primarily on democratic nation-building in Iraq.

These are the people we're fighting for?
Iraqis Loot Base After British Leave.  Looters ravaged a former British base Friday [8/25/2006], a day after the camp was turned over to Iraqi troops, taking everything from doors and window frames to corrugated roofing and metal pipes, authorities said.

The war we are fighting needs a more accurate name.  We are no more fighting a "War on Terror" than we fought a "War on Kamikazes" in World War II.  Of course we had to stop Kamikaze attacks, the suicide crashing by Japanese pilots of airplanes into American war ships.  But we were fighting Japanese fascism and imperialism.  The same holds true today.  We are fighting Islamic fascism and imperialism (though surely not all Muslims).

Head, arm, hand or finger?  [The death of Zarqawi] was a welcome victory in a war that is too often fought on one side with bombs, guns and no rules, and on the other with too much diplomacy and too many constraints.  Evil understands only defeat and humiliation.  The way to win this war is by defeating and humiliating the enemy in such a way it will be a thousand years before they try something like this again.

It Didn't Work.  Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans.  The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough.  No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.  The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that Americans aren't on the scene to protect them and to punish the aggressors.

Should we remain in Iraq?  Let Iraqis decide.  President Bush has said that if a democratically elected government of Iraq asked us to leave, we would.  I think Bush is sincere, but the truth is that no Iraqi government is going to ask U.S. troops to withdraw anytime soon, because American troops are the only thing holding the country together.

The Constitution Limits the President Even as "Commander in Chief".  Constitutionally speaking, "war" is a very specific set of legal relations between two or more independent nations.  For the most obvious example, in an actual "war" soldiers of one nation may, within certain limits, intentionally kill soldiers of another nation without thereby being guilty of murder.  Thus, according to strict constitutional logic, a "war on terror" is an existential impossibility — if only because "terror" is a tactic, not a country; and "terrorists" do not constitute one or more independent nations, but at most are mere bands of private criminals.

Henry Hyde is right — again.  House International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde, the 81-year-old Illinois Republican, embodies the institutional memory of modern American foreign policy, which is why it mattered a great deal last week when he politely made plain he is not marching in President Bush's global crusade for democracy.

How to create conflict:  High up on my list of annoyances are references to the United States as a democracy and the suggestion that Iraq should become a democracy.  The word "democracy" appears in neither of our founding documents — the Declaration of Independence nor the U.S. Constitution.

Comparing the Threat of North Korea with the Threat of Iraq.  Is the Bush administration using a double standard by aggressively reacting to Iraq but seeming to downplay the North Korean threat?  The Left criticizes Bush, claiming that his concentration on Saddam Hussein is causing him to ignore the real threat, Kim Jong-il, who is rumored to already have missiles with the capability of striking the United States.

Five Fixes for DHS:  There are five steps that should have been taken within a year of 9/11 that are still not complete.  These steps are fundamental to building the security infrastructure that the nation needs for the long term.

The Truth about Torture:  Torture is not always impermissible.  However rare the cases, there are circumstances in which, by any rational moral calculus, torture not only would be permissible but would be required (to acquire life-saving information).

Five Minutes Well Spent.  Less than five minutes.  That's the total amount of time the United States has waterboarded terrorist detainees.  How many detainees?  Three.  Who were these detainees?  One was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, "the principle architect of the 9/11 attacks" according to the 9/11 Report, and the head of al-Qaeda's "military committee."

Tortured Democrats:  So now we will have an inquiry into whether the CIA has violated the law by destroying tapes it was under no obligation to make in the first place; concerning an interrogation technique that at the very worst (say most reliable reports) involved making three notorious terrorists think, for a few seconds, that they were drowning.  I have severe doubts as to whether waterboarding constitutes torture.  But I am certain the unceasing attention it receives and the eagerness of many Democrats to indict the Bush administration damaged America's image more than anything the CIA has done.

Pullout rejected 403-3.  The House last night [11/18/2005] overwhelmingly voted down a resolution calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, as Republicans tried to draw a line in the sand after a week's worth of back-and-forth charges over the war.

Is Jack Murtha a Coward and a Traitor?  Jack Murtha's call for immediate disengagement took him far outside the boundaries of legitimate disagreement.  He has never been able to articulate any plausible basis for his position on Iraq.  There is a simple reason for that.  There isn't one.

The Sky Is Not Falling.  Senator Clinton and her party of appeasers have no idea how to prosecute a war against Islamic terrorists or properly respond to madmen seeking nuclear weapons.  There are, in fact, easy answers to fighting terrorists.  You start by killing all the terrorists.  You don't arrest them, prosecute them and pay for their lifetime imprisonment in American jails.  You kill them.  That's the only language the terrorists understand.

The cut and run party.  True to their heritage in foreign policy, 40 out of 45 Democratic senators voted last week to demand a timetable for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.  As in every conflict since Vietnam, Democrats are hoping not to succeed but to skedaddle.

White House Nonchalance:  Expect the Bush administration to continue to make the Middle East the center of American foreign policy.  Also expect its strategies to remain basically unchanged.

National security 2.0:  Three weeks ago, I wrote about George W. Bush's September 2002 National Security Strategy and examined how it has stood up over time.  Last week, the White House released an updated version of the National Security Strategy — almost twice as long, and with much more specific material on many issues.

How about a roadmap out?  A successful end game may be the most important part of war-making.  Because of the finality of V-E Day and V-J Day, FDR and Truman were viewed as successful wartime leaders.  Because of the sloppy, dishonorable end to Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson is viewed as a failure.  Will the current administration heed that lesson?

Women in combat (again).  Critics of placing women in combat units say the Army is manipulating language in rules governing such placement to achieve a social objective that would substantially and significantly change the way America fights wars and possibly put all soldiers – men and women – at greater risk.

Facing Our Madrid.  The real target of the increased insurgent attacks — their strategic grand prize — is American public opinion.  The real reason for the surge in violence this fall?  The U.S. presidential election.

Blood for Oil:  Someone, finally, has stated the truth to the administration and to the world:  Saudi Arabia is our enemy.

Only Guns Can Stop Terrorists:  It's harder to victimize armed citizens.

House of God, House of War.  The only way to protect Americans — and, coincidentally, good Iraqis — is to bomb the Najaf mosque into a parking lot, and to announce that any building used for such purposes gets the same treatment.

Security Guru Says Profiling Works if Done Right:  An aviation security expert says airport profiling of Arabs and Muslims must be done immediately in order to deter future terrorist attacks.  Charles Slepian is CEO of the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center, a group that analyzes safety and security event data in an effort to identify how future incidents can be avoided.

PLO Not On List Of U.S. Terrorist Organizations:  Despite the recent violence in the Middle East and the rift between the United States government and Yasser Arafat, neither the Palestine Liberation Organization nor the Palestinian Authority, which Arafat has led, are on the list of U.S. terrorist organizations.

Patterns of Untruthfulness:  U.S. State Department "Patterns of Global Terrorism".  It's always been a highly politicized document, reflecting the Washington debate and diplomatic imperatives, but this year it has veered into unreliability and even f alsehood.  It's a dangerous document likely to harm the war on terrorism.

Should Terrorists Be Tried in Civilian Courts?  Terrorists who infiltrate the American homeland are combatants, not criminals, and they are combatants out of uniform who disregard the rules of war, forfeiting the protection of those rules.

Fading Shock and Fading Resolve:  With the destruction of the Taliban and the dispersing of al-Qaeda's terrorists — and after four months with no major terror attacks — many people are beginning to adjust back to their normal intellectual and political routines.  They are relapsing into the complacency and conventional politics that prevailed before September 11.

Homeland Security?  You're Kidding, Right?  Are we more secure?  I don't think so.  I don't think any nation with the kind of 2,000 mile-long open northern and southern borders, countless flights from overseas, and an indigenous population of three million Muslims can ever expect to be secure.

DHS acknowledges its own computer break-ins.  The Homeland Security Department, the lead U.S. agency for fighting cyber threats, suffered more than 800 hacker break-ins, virus outbreaks and other computer security problems over two years, senior officials acknowledged to Congress.  In one instance, hacker tools for stealing passwords and other files were found on two internal Homeland Security computer systems.

House Panel Criticizes Homeland Security.  A House panel gave a tongue-lashing to the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday [5/17/2006] before approving a $32.1 billion spending plan for the troubled agency.

The Geneva Convention and the Guantanamo Detainees:  Breaking with other Cabinet officials this week, Secretary of State Colin Powell urged President Bush to ensure that, in the event of a surprise attack by North Korea, the Office of Homeland Security have full resources and authority to respond to any anti-Korean hate crimes.  Mr. Powell was expressing the concerns of our allies and human-rights advocates.  Actually his real beef concerns the technical procedure by which the United States concludes that the terrorists held at Guantanamo are not "prisoners of war."

Tracking down the enemy within:  If we are serious about this war on terrorism, Congress ought not only to declare war, but warn that any terrorist caught in the U.S. on a mission of massacre will go before a military tribunal and be put to death quickly and in secret [as was done in World War II].

Libertarians:  Repeal all gun laws:  Party calls firearms 'practical solution' to problem of terrorism.

No more jury trials for terrorists.

War, Nuclear Weapons and "Innocents":  America is at war.  To win, we must destroy not just individual terrorists like Osama bin Laden and his allies in Afghanistan but the power of brutal, authoritarian governments to send out their armies of terrorists against us.  Central among these is Iran, but the enemy includes Iraq, Syria, Sudan, the PLO and others.

In Crisis, Do Americans Prefer a Republican in White House?:  While there is a well-established pattern of the public rallying behind its president in times of crisis, some say Americans breathe a little easier knowing there's a Republican in the White House when the country is under attack.

Castro, Bioterrorist in Our Backyard:  With all the coverage lately in the U.S. media about bacteriological warfare, why have Americans been kept ignorant about Castro's factories of bacteriological and chemical weapons in Cuba?  Undoubtedly, there is a deliberate effort by the U.S. media not to report negative information about Cuba.

Why and How to Conquer the Savages:  A murderous leader of a foreign government forfeits his right to life, and a murderous government forfeits its right to exist.

Declare War:  The people who planned and carried out these attacks don't see themselves as "criminals."  They see themselves as warriors against the United States, and it would be irresponsible for us not to treat them as such.

An American Peace:  How to Win the War Against Terrorism:  After over twenty years of unpunished terrorist violence against American servicemen and civilians that culminated in a September 11th attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center more destructive than Pearl Harbor, the Bush administration has declared a world war against terrorism.  How can America and her allies possibly win such a war?

U.S. sent Afghanistan $125 million:  The United States has sent nearly $125 million in aid to Afghanistan this year, making Washington the country's largest benefactor for the second straight year.

The section about domestic surveillance, normally seen at this point, has been moved to a page of its own.



The ACLU Goes Shopping for a Friendly Judge

Judge Finds NSA Program Unconstitutional.  Back in January of 2006, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the NSA wire tapping program.  The ACLU's lawsuit was on behalf of journalists, lawyers, and others who said that the NSA program made it hard to do their jobs.  I can't see as how that would be correct; unless they were in contact with terrorists.

A judge's ruling as evidence of collapse.  Somewhere in Detroit a dimwitted federal judge appointed by the late, lamentable and toothy Jimmy Carter, who made militant Islam what it is today by his feckless and toothless response to the capture of our hostages in Tehran back in 1979, ruled that the highly successful NSA program is unconstitutional.  And by doing so she ruled against years of precedent and all too obvious common sense, and is trying to put the kibosh on a program which was most recently used in stopping the 24 folks in custody in Britain.

When Bad Decisions Go Good.  When is a bad decision good?  When it yields unexpectedly good returns. … The plaintiffs in this case … apparently hand-picked a court and a judge that would deliver the desired result.

The ACLU and forum shopping in NSA caseOf course the ACLU looked for the forum, and probably even the judge, that gave them the best chance to be gifted with at least a lower court win.

Wiretap-case judge has ties to ACLU.  Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who last week ruled President Bush's wiretapping program unconstitutional, serves as a trustee and officer for a Detroit nonprofit group that has given at least $125,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan, a plaintiff in the case.

Wiretapping Judge May Have Had Conflict of Interest.  Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who last week ruled the government's warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional, serves as a Secretary and Trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case.

The Living Constitution's Double Standard:  You do see the irony here, don't you?  A coalition of pressure groups — Greenpeace, the ACLU, and a bunch of left-wing professors — are arguing that the Constitution must be immutably inflexible, adamantine in the face of changing times.  The fact that al Qaeda is using new technologies the Founders could never have imagined is irrelevant, say the absolutists. … Isn't this just a bit hard to take with a straight face from the ACLU…?

Shaky surveillance ruling.  If last week's decision in ACLU v. NSA is left standing, America may have to decide to shut down its commercial passenger airline industry or leave passengers totally at the mercy of terrorists armed with guns, knives, and liquid explosives.

Judicial impropriety:  Judge Anna Diggs Taylor illustrates why Democrats cannot be trusted with political power in time of war.  Judge Taylor, who is the chief judge of the federal district court in Detroit, ruled Aug. 17 that it is unconstitutional for the National Security Agency to listen in, without warrants, on telephone conversations between terror suspects abroad and people in the United States.  Her ruling was praised by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and other prominent Democrats.

More derogatory information about the ACLU can be found here.



Internet data retention  is far worse than sifting through phone numbers.

Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping.  A Democratic Congresswoman is proposing to fast-track a bill or amendment to require essentially permanent retention of users' Internet activity data (until at least one year after the user closes their account).  For long-term users, this means effectively permanent retention.

Mandated Data Retention:  Noble Goals With Evil Outcomes.  I believe that in the majority of these cases we're dealing with legislators and others who genuinely believe in their causes, and either don't have the will or background to recognize or understand the horrible collateral damage that their proposals would do.

U.S. asks Internet firms to save data.  Top law enforcement officials have asked leading Internet companies to keep histories of the activities of Web users for up to two years to assist in criminal investigations of child pornography and terrorism, the Justice Department said Wednesday [5/31/2006].  Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller outlined their request to executives from Google, Microsoft, AOL, Comcast, Verizon and others Friday in a private meeting at the Justice Department.

Feds Continue Push For Mandated Internet Data Retention.  This is a critical topic.  The impracticality and cost issues associated with the new DOJ Internet data retention proposals are relatively obvious.  It's difficult to even understand who would be required to comply with such demands.

Much more information about the government sifting through internet data is on this page.



Privacy issues related to the Global War on Terrorism
... or whatever they call it now.

Editor's Note:  This next section started out as a collection of editorials about America's short-range plans in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks.  It was a volatile time in American politics, and if you ask me, a number of politicians took advantage of the moment to pass laws like the Patriot Act.

You may also be interested in the page about domestic surveillance.



Trashing privacy:  Thanks to the U.S. Senate's remarkable but well-known lack of backbone, nations such as Albania, Croatia, Uganda and many others now will be able to call up the U.S. Justice Department and find out as much as they would like about anything you do with your computer.  At this point, you probably wonder why you haven't read about this.  Frankly, there's not much reason you would have, unless you read some relatively obscure publications that focus mostly on technology issues.  Another reason you wouldn't likely have heard of it is, of course, that most major media outlets ignored the issue entirely….

Pentagon creating student database.  The Defense Department yesterday [6/22/2005] began working with a private marketing firm to create a database of all U.S. college students as well as high-school students between ages 16 and 18, to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment.

Are you 16 to 25?  The Pentagon Has Your Number, and More.  The Defense Department and a private contractor have been building an extensive database of 30 million 16-to-25-year-olds, combining names with Social Security numbers, grade-point averages, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.  The department began building the database three years ago, but military officials filed a notice announcing plans for it only last month.  That is apparently a violation of the federal Privacy Act, which requires that government agencies accept public comment before new records systems are created.

Total Surveillance Equals Total Tyranny.  In the name of fighting terrorism a new kind of government is being implemented in Washington, D.C.  We are witnessing the birth of a powerful multi-billion dollar surveillance lobby consisting of an army of special interest groups, Washington lawyers, lobbyists, and high-tech firms with wares to sell.

Complexities Of Federal Data Mining:  Whether or not the powers of the federal government to mine data make us safer from terrorism is open to serious question.  The government has yet to prove its efficacy in fighting terrorism.

CIA expands its watchful eye to the US:  It will gather intelligence at home to curb terrorism.  Critics see era of Big Trenchcoat.

Anonymity in America:  Does National Security Preclude It?  Anonymous speech has proud roots stretching to the origins of America.  Gentlemen calling themselves "Publius" wrote the Federalist Papers.  Thomas Paine's Common Sense was signed by "An Englishman."  Today, computer programs that allow us to encrypt emails — to scramble them such that only the intended "key-holding" recipient can decipher the message — represent perhaps the newest incarnation of the old tradition of speaking both freely and anonymously.

NJ Bill Would Prohibit Anonymous Posts on Forums.  Too much important opinion, including that leading to the founding of the country, was published anonymously to permit the government to ban anonymous opinion.  Even unto this day, anonymous pamphleteering is an honorable activity at the core of the First Amendment. … I would expect that such a statute, were it to be enacted, would be quickly challenged and almost as quickly overturned.

Is privacy the next casualty?  Sen. Mike DeWine is crusading to hand the FBI new powers to eavesdrop on immigrants and other non-citizens living in America.

Cyber-Surveillance in the Wake of 9/11:  "Cyber-snooping" has been the subject of heated debate in recent years between the law enforcement community and many privacy advocates who seek to secure their right of free speech and to guard against "unreasonable searches" that new technologies can make easier.  The fears of both sides are well-founded.

Who gave your rights away?  Many conservatives, liberals and libertarians are protesting the numerous invasions of your liberty that Congress and the Bush administration have imposed during the past two months.

The Price of Peace:  It's privacy.

Surveillance Switcheroo:  How the anti-terrorism bill got passed.  In the days following September 11, it was easy to feel kinda bad for Attorney General John Ashcroft.  He really wanted to catch the terrorists, but he just didn't seem up to the job.  Whiz-bang encryption and communication technologies had left the cops in the dust, he said, and unless the country acted fast, things would only get worse.  That's compelling stuff, but it turns out to be an almost complete inversion of the truth.

Does More Listening by Law Enforcement Make America Safer?  "Our nation's time-tested freedoms can be eroded by the overzealous use of electronic surveillance by law enforcement. … Wiretaps can be an important and legitimate tool for law enforcement, but the importance of probable cause and respecting privacy should not be lost."

(Not the exact title, but close enough):
Report on Federal Court Applications for Orders Authorizing Wiretaps:  One fact worth noting is that encryption was encountered in 16 wiretaps that were terminated in 2001.  However, in none of the cases involving encryption were law enforcement officers unable to obtain the plain text of the communications that had been intercepted. [PDF file]

FBI Seeking to Wiretap the Internet:  The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking to broaden considerably its ability to tap into Internet traffic in its quest to root out terrorists, going beyond even the new measures afforded in anti-terror legislation recently signed by President Bush, according to lawyers familiar with the FBI's plans.  Stewart Baker, an attorney at the Washington D.C.-based Steptoe & Johnson and a former general consul to National Security Agency, said the FBI has plans to change the architecture of the Internet and route traffic through central servers that it would be able to monitor e-mail more easily.

Congress Mulls Stiff Crypto Laws:  The encryption wars have begun.  For nearly a decade, privacy mavens have been worrying that a terrorist attack could prompt Congress to ban communications-scrambling products that frustrate both police wiretaps and U.S. intelligence agencies.  Tuesday's catastrophe, which shed more blood on American soil than any event since the Civil War, appears to have started that process.

Senate OKs FBI Net Spying:  FBI agents soon may be able to spy on Internet users legally without a court order.  On Thursday evening, two days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, the Senate approved the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001," which enhances police wiretap powers and permits monitoring in more situations.

Show Me the War:  Yes, I expected something different from our nation and its leaders, I expected a war on terrorism, not confiscating crochet hooks from grannies.  Actually I expected that the liberal agenda of suspending our constitutional freedoms as Americans would be set aside, at least temporarily, while we fought the terrorists.  Now we're calling out the national guard, state by state, where martial law could be imposed at any moment against any individual, citizen or alien.  Just what kind of a war is this?

Executive power grab on tap at White House?:  Attorneys say Bush's post-attack directives could lead to liberty-curbing restrictions.

Executive Orders and National Emergencies:  How presidents have come to "run the country" by usurping legislative power.

Constitutional Rights Should Trump Terrorism Regs:  After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Left moved quickly to use it as an excuse to enact draconian federal gun control.  Fortunately, saner heads prevailed by showing that no new gun control laws would have been the slightest deterrent to that tragedy.

Contrasting Views on Preserving Civil Liberties in the Aftermath of an Attack

Former FBI Director:  Balance Intelligence Needs With Civil Liberties.  Congress has a difficult but important task ahead as it weighs new legislation that would give the Justice Department and FBI new powers to surveil U.S. citizens and foreign visitors, says former FBI Director William S. Sessions.

Threats to Privacy Seen in Wake of Attacks:  Human and civil rights experts expressed worry Friday [9/14/2001] about the chilling effect Tuesday's terrorist attacks may have on individual liberties.  Simon Davies, director of Privacy International and a professor at the London School of Economics, said that "a chill went up the spine of civil liberties groups across the world in the aftermath of this horrific attack."



Other related information
If you're really concerned about this issue, you should also visit these pages:

Privacy Compromised by Big Government.

Wiretaps:  Mostly having to do with internet and cell phone eavesdropping (where you shouldn't expect much privacy anyway), but also dealing with keystroke logging and other more directly invasive wiretapping techniques.

Carnivore:  This is a computer program (and from what I've heard, not a very effective one) designed to sift through all the internet traffic at a given point, looking for unusual keywords, encrypted traffic, and generally suspicious stuff.

Echelon:  A world-wide system of listening posts that can and does listen to every international phone call, and has done so for years.  I'm not sure why the domestic spying issue is suddenly so hot.  International phone calls have never come with any guarantee of privacy.

Other privacy issues, and there are many.

Back to The War With No Name
Over to Domestic Surveillance
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"Times of tragedy and war naturally bring out strong emotions in all of us.  Yet we must be careful to preserve personal liberty and privacy rights in the months ahead.  Sometimes the people are only too anxious to sacrifice their constitutional liberties during a crisis, hoping to gain some measure of security.  Yet nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willingly gave up some of our cherished liberties because of their actions."

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)  



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Updated December 14, 2016.

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