American Elephants

Reality Strikes! No Detainees to Yemen Just Now. by The Elephant's Child
January 5, 2010, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has told reporters that the administration “will not” send Guantanamo detainees to Yemen for the time being.

“We’re not going to make transfers to a country like Yemen that they’re not capable of handling” detainees, Gibbs told reporters.  “The determination has been made that right now any additional transfers to Yemen is not a good idea.

Gibbs otherwise continued with the message, saying that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula used Guantanamo “as a tool” and that the administration remains “committed to closing the detention facility.”

Hopefully the Guantanamo-to-Yemen express will be closed down a little longer than the embassy was.

Yemen, Hillary says, Is So Dysfunctional That It is A Danger to the Entire Arabian Peninsula. by The Elephant's Child
January 4, 2010, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Law, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

The United States has closed its embassy in Yemen because of the danger of terrorism from al Qaeda.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism on Fox News Sunday:
There are indications that Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is targeting our embassy and targeting our personnel, and we’re not going to take any chances with the lives of our diplomats and others who are at that embassy.

Abdulmutallab claimed that there are dozens more jihadis who are being trained to attack the west.  We don’t know if anyone is climbing on an airplane, but we’re trying to find out.

Some of the Guantanamo detainees have been returned to Yemen, and released to return to al Qaeda and assumed important posts in the al Qaeda organization. Surely we aren’t going to release any more Guantanamo alumni to return to Yemen?  No, we’re talking to the incredibly weak government of Yemen and having a dialogue about what we expect, and trying to help them out, but we plan to release lots more Yemeni detainees — maybe 60 or so.

But we’re absolutely closing Guantanamo because we claim that al Qaeda is using Guantanamo as a propaganda tool.  And we’re sure that now the [incredibly weak] government of Yemen will now do the right thing. [sigh!]

So why are we treating Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant instead of treating him as an enemy combatant and trying to get more information from him? [ Like who are those dozens of jihadis trained to attack the west?]  Now that he’s had his Miranda rights and has a lawyer, he doesn’t have to speak at all.

John Brennan on Fox News Sunday:
He doesn’t have to, but he knows that there are certain things that are on the table and if he wants to , in fact, engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways that he can do that. […]
There’s — there are no downsides or upsides in particular cases.  What we’re trying to do is to make sure we apply the right tool in the right instance.  In this case, we made a determination that he should be tried in a U.S. criminal court.

The entire interview with Chris Wallace was embarrassing.  Yemen is so dangerous that we’re closing the embassy, but we’re sure that Yemen can handle 60 or more dangerous Yemenis who will be discharged from Guantanamo.  The object is not to protect America from attack, but to close Guantanamo.

Obama made a big deal during the campaign about a promise to close Guantanamo. It was clear that he had no understanding of the nature of the detainees, no grasp of the nature of the detention facility at Gitmo.

The left, who basically do not believe in prisons and are sure that poverty and deprivation are the cause of all ‘misbehavior’ — saw those first photographs of enemy combatants in shackles and orange jumpsuits in outdoor cages — and that formed their permanent understanding of Guantanamo.  Any of the stories told by inmates to their lawyers — flushing the Koran down a toilet, for example — were instantly accepted, in spite of the sheer improbability, because it fit their warped view of the American military.

Brennan went on to say that well, yes, Mr Abdulmutallab’s father’s information was entered into the TIDE record system, but nobody said he was a terrorist and was getting on a plane to come here and blow up the airplane.

They say “It was a failed attempt,” but nobody mentions that it was just sheer luck that Mr. Abdulmutallab did not succeed, along with the heroic actions of  the Netherlands’  Jasper Schuringa.  And most people think that 300 dead Americans is a very big deal.  Maybe this all makes sense to you.

Here is the entire interview with John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

ADDENDUM: Late evening, same day.  The radio announces that the embassy in Yemen is now open again.  That closure was impressive.

The Terrorists have Declared War on Us, They Have Told Us So, Over and Over. by The Elephant's Child
December 28, 2009, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Law, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , , ,

There have been 28 foiled attacks on the United States since 2001.  There have been 12 terrorist incidents just this year, the most in any one year,  and the attack by Nidal Malik Hassan was not stopped, or not stopped in time.  He killed a dozen of his fellow soldiers and wounded twenty more.  There was ample evidence that Major Hassan was some one to be concerned about, but the evidence was ignored.

Umar Abdul Mutallab has told his FBI captors that there are far more trained al Qaeda members in Yemen, ready to attack us again.  Perhaps we should pay attention.

Some young men were recruited here to attack abroad.  The “system” has failed over and over.  The government has shown that it is not very serious.  It only reluctantly and recently has managed to say the words “war on terror.”

Umar’s Abdul Mutallab’s name was on a list, but the fact that his own father had made the effort to go to an American Embassy to warn that he should be considered dangerous to the US, was ticked off as insignificant since there was no “confirmation.”

There are, the spokesmen say,  so many names on the watch lists.  As a reader commented in the Corner at NRO, he can swipe his credit card at any retailer and it can be authorized in seconds, distinguishing that card from millions of others, but we cannot identify those who are supposedly on the ‘no-fly’ list?

Jennifer Rubin called attention to the language employed by the president to describe an act of terrorism against the United States.

On Christmas Day, Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit. As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire.

Thanks to the quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew, the suspect was immediately subdued, the fire was put out, and the plane landed safely. The suspect is now in custody and has been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft.

Allegedly. Suspect. Charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft. One would use the same language to describe a suspect who stole a car, not someone who — but for a little bad luck and a courageous passenger from Amsterdam — would not have “attempted” to destroy an airplane, but blown himself and nearly 300 passengers and crew to bits of flesh and bone that could only have been sorted out by DNA evidence, as one of the passengers put it.

The young Nigerian was trained and outfitted in Yemen by at least two former detainees from Guantanamo who were released and have returned to Yemen’s al Qaeda training camps.  President Obama is planning to release another 60 Gitmo detainees to return to Yemen.  Is it a good idea to send dangerous detainees to a country hosting al Qaeda?  A country with a weak and ineffective government? Perhaps Mr. Obama will rethink that one.

Jennifer Rubin quoted a Georgetown University terrorism expert:  “This incident was a compound failure of both intelligence and physical security, leaving prevention to the last line of defense — the passengers themselves.” And an observation from Ken Dunlap, security director of the International Air Transport Association was the smartest comment: “We’ve spent eight years looking for little scissors and toenail clippers… Perhaps the emphasis should be looking for bad people.”

Political correctness demands that looking for bad people cannot be done. It might offend.  It might be perceived as “racial profiling,” and that would be far worse than blowing several hundred people to bits.

We may be engaged in an “overseas contingency operation” and afflicted with “man-caused disasters,” but the Islamist jihadists have declared war on us. They have told us so over and over.  Somehow the administration needs to come to terms with that fact, for fact it is.  Bringing  jihadists to a prison in Illinois is not just a boon to the Illinois economy.  Trying one of the world’s worst terrorists in a show trial in New York with all the consequences that could entail is foolish beyond measure.  There are worse things than admitting that you have been mistaken.

Obama: Bush Was Right About Guantanamo by American Elephant

Of course he doesn’t have the character to actually say Bush was right, or admit that he was wrong, but he is at least grown up enough to throw his campaign promises about Gitmo under the bus, blaming, essentially, his nutroot followers for failing to realize how difficult an issue it is. Of course, he fails to mention that he was the one encouraging them not to realize it for his own political gain:

President-elect Barack Obama said this weekend that he does not expect to close Guantanamo Bay in his first 100 days in office.

“I think it’s going to take some time and our legal teams are working in consultation with our national security apparatus as we speak to help design exactly what we need to do,” Obama said in an exclusive “This Week” interview with George Stephanopoulos, his first since arriving in Washington.

“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the president-elect explained. “Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it’s true. And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo-American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn’t result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.” [Emphasis added. read more]

Better late than never, I suppose. Too bad he has already done so much damage convincing people around the world of the opposite.

The weasel-elect is also still trying to play the fence on prosecuting Bush and Cheney; trying to imply to his psychopathic followers that he isn’t ruling out putting Bush on trial, while his equivocation makes it clear he knows damn well that Bush and Cheney never did anything illegal, and has no intention of doing so. Yet, again, he lacks the character to admit that he knowingly made false implications of treason for political gain. What a swell guy!

Ironic that an ostensibly “better” president than Bush, like say, FDR, might very well  have prosecuted Obama for sedition.

But hey, Obama never claimed he was going to put “Country First” — that was the other guy.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

About Guantanamo. by The Elephant's Child
September 1, 2008, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Iraq, Media Bias, Military, Politics, Terrorism, The Constitution, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Claims about the horrors of the mistreatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo continue to feature prominently in Democrat speeches.  The Landmark Legal Foundation fought to force the Pentagon to release the daily briefs of activities at the prison. Cassandra at Villainous Company has posted a typical one of the daily briefs as an example:

We had 3 significant activities last night; 691 balled up feces and threw it at the guard hitting him in the chest saying next time he would hit him in the mouth.  Next, as 155 was being taken to rec, he bit a guard on the arm until it bled….

Do read the whole thing. Landmark President Mark Levin points out why some access to the daily briefs is valuable:

Lawyers for the detainees have done a great job painting their clients as innocent victims of U.S. abuse when the fact is that these detainees, as a group, are barbaric and extremely dangerous, They are using their terrorist training on the battlefield to abuse our guards and manipulate our Congress and our court system.

Visitors to Guantanamo have consistently been amazed at the careful treatment of detainees, the  respect for the Muslim religion and the prison meals, far more interesting than the MREs eaten by the troops.  But those who desperately want to believe the worst will not be swayed. The Heritage Foundation took apart the claims of the UN Commission on Human Rights quite effectively.

It is always fascinating to behold the vast sympathy for the detainees at Guantanamo contrasted with the lack of sympathy for their victims, but there’s no accounting for the American media.

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