American Elephants

Attorney General Erik Holder Refuses to Say That “Radical Islam” Is a Cause of Terrorism. by The Elephant's Child

Attorney General Erik Holder testified today before the House Judiciary Committee — and demonstrated in a few moments of painful video — that he simply cannot bring himself to utter the words “radical Islam.”  He has, in the recent past, cheerfully described the American people as “a nation of cowards on race,” and officials of the Bush administration as “war criminals,” without a single stutter.

There are, according to Mr. Holder, innumerable reasons why Muslims commit terrorist attacks; but those reasons have nothing to do with Islamic doctrine.

This mindset creates some potential problems when it comes to how radical Islamic terrorists are to be treated under American law, how they will be questioned, where and how terrorists will be tried and/or imprisoned.  Not to mention where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried.

To top that off, Attorney General Holder — who has been commenting in several venues on the Arizona Immigration law, discussing how illegal it was — was forced to admit that he had not read the law.  Ouch!

Two Botched Attempts Don’t Mean Terrorism is Not Serious. by The Elephant's Child

In almost six months, there have been two unsuccessful attacks on American soil,  the Detroit Christmas Day bombing, and last  Saturday’s  Times Square attempted bombing.  Warnings were ignored, facts were not put together.

Our first line of defense is the Visa Security Program which puts Homeland Security officers at U.S. Consulate offices to perform background checks on visa applicants.  To date, the Administration has only deployed officers at 14 high risk countries, out of 57 likely candidates.

Jurisdictional disputes between the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security have interfered with the process.  James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation emphasizes that “visas …are part of a layered national security system for fighting transnational terrorism.” Effective management of visas and passports has a vital role to play.

Obama is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011.  It’s hard to avoid the idea that the administration does not take terrorism very seriously.  There is a constant attempt to over-reassure, and play down the attacks that have taken place. It would seem that this is part of Obama’s efforts to reach out to Muslim countries in hopes of — successful talks someday?

Senators Lieberman and Collins are considering suing the administration to get information about why the signs of Major Nidal Hassan’s increasing radicalism were ignored or sloughed off. Shahzad was dismissed as an amateur, dismissed as a one-off attempt by a lone wolf angry about health care, and Abdulmutallab was given a visa in spite of warnings from his own father that he was dangerous. And at that, because his attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit failed, it was again sloughed off as unimportant. The terrorist attempt in Times Square is referred to on the White House website as “The Times Square Incident.” Another ‘Man-Caused” Event?

We just have different priorities.  Will they change before there is another successful attack?


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