American Elephants


Navy Readiness Crisis, Unprepared for Combat. by The Elephant's Child

The U.S. military is an enormous enterprise, and there are always places to cut. Slashing readiness  as a way to shrink the budget may be a huge mistake. The world remains a dangerous place, and the U.S. Navy has played a large part in protecting the world. So-called “peace dividends” usually end up with an unprepared America that is not ready to defend the nation.



Detention and Trial Are Wrong, but Drone Strikes Are Fine? by The Elephant's Child

President Obama marked up another kill on his al Qaeda chart on Monday, when a drone strike killed al Qaeda’s second-in-command in Pakistan. Abu Yahya al-Libi is a charismatic terrorist and religious leader who had risen to operational command after Osama bin Laden’s death last year at the hands of Navy SEALs.

Stories appearing in major newspapers portray a White House war room where Mr. Obama studies pictures and records of potential targets, compiles a “kill list” and makes the final decision on drone strikes. So far there have been 38 in Yemen and 269 in Pakistan. Patrick Donilon, the White House national security adviser, told the New York Times that “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short,”

The president campaigned on ending enhanced interrogation, closing Guantanamo Bay and trying terrorists in civilian courts — to move away from a “wartime approach” to terrorism and toward a criminal justice approach.

The Bush administration’s War on Terror outraged the Left. They were offended by everything from the name given to the war, to every event in the war. When the first captured terrorists were transported to Guantanamo in orange jumpsuits  with hoods over their heads during travel, the Left instantly assumed that to be a sign that they were tortured and abused, and that Guantanamo was an evil place where such crimes against humanity took place. No assurances from the International Red Cross that the inmates were well treated, properly fed, and provided with Korans made the slightest difference.

Marc A. Thiessen, author of Courting Disaster, begins his book saying: “You should not be reading this book.  I should  not have been able to write it.”

This volume contains some of the most sensitive intelligence information our country possesses: the secrets behind how the CIA successfully interrogated the men who killed thousands on September 11, 2001, and stopped them from killing thousands more.

This information has been leaking, drip by drip , into the public domain for years, as irresponsible government officials have shared secrets they swore to protect with the news media, and left-wing journalists have twisted this information to paint our intelligence community as a band of rogue operators who abandoned our ideals in the fight against terror.

When Barack Obama took office, those drips turned into a torrent, as the new president released reams of highly classified documents describing the details of our nations’ interrogation policies. President Obama declared our intelligence professionals had committed “torture.” They did nothing of the sort. And while Obama’s revelations have done enormous damage to our national security, the have also made it possible to prove that he is wrong.

It’s hard to remember all the lies the Left threw out there. The inmates at Guantanamo were simply innocent goat herders, picked up from their home fields by the evil CIA. The proof of torture was “waterboarding,” an interrogation technique that has been used, not only on our pilots and special forces, but more journalists had themselves waterboarded to prove that it was torture, than the three detainees who were waterboarded. The loss of seven international flights over the Atlantic Ocean with 6,000 passengers was prevented because Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded. And that was only one of a number of planned attacks  that didn’t happen.

The president’s leaks of classified information has been disgraceful, and Congress is concerned. The implication is that information has been released for campaign purposes, to give credibility to Obama’s foreign policy. As Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) remarked today:

I am deeply disturbed by the continuing leaks of classified information to the media, most recently regarding alleged cyber efforts targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

Today I sent a classified letter to the president outlining my deep concerns about the release of this information. I made it clear that disclosures of this type endanger American lives and undermine America’s national security.

We still live in a dangerous world, and the president may feel that he is solving that problem by eliminating al Qaeda  members (and whoever else happens to be around them) he is somehow making the world less dangerous. Fewer al Qaeda terrorists is good.   Are we moving forward to drone wars or are we destroying our longstanding relationships with the allies who have stood by us and fought by our side for years.




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