Wordsmith opened up a post below for our readers to discuss the signing away of our nations security yesterday but I couldn’t let it go without a few words. Here’s what he did:
President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.
While Obama says he has no plans to diminish counterterrorism operations abroad, the notion that a president can circumvent long-standing U.S. laws simply by declaring war was halted by executive order in the Oval Office.
Key components of the secret structure developed under Bush are being swept away: The military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility, where the rights of habeas corpus and due process had been denied detainees, will close, and the CIA is now prohibited from maintaining its own overseas prisons. And in a broad swipe at the Bush administration’s lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after Sept. 11, 2001.
So the war is over, according to the one. We should see no more attacks from al-Qaeda and it’s affiliates. Let’s all cheer, it’s over man! It’s over!
Obama was so quick to sign that letter that he was in the dark on some of it. I know, shocker:
Even as he signed the executive order to close Guantanamo, Obama was not even aware of what was in a second executive order dealing with Guantanamo inmates.
“Is there a separate executive order, Greg, with respect to how we’re going to dispose of the detainees?” Obama asked White House Counsel Greg Craig.
“We will be setting up a process,” was the answer.
In other words, the administration will figure it out later.
Yeah….it’s only our nations security. We’ll figure it out.
And with that we are now much less safe then we were four days ago.
But hold your horses, could there actually be some light at the end of the tunnel?
Most politicians would rather do anything than make a difficult choice, and it seems President Obama hasn’t abandoned this Senatorial habit. To wit, yesterday’s executive order on interrogation: It imposes broad limits on how aggressively U.S. intelligence officers can question terrorists, but it also keeps open the prospect of legal loopholes that would allow them to press harder in tough cases.~~~
Effective immediately, the interrogation of anyone “in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government” will be conducted within the limits of the Army Field Manual. That includes special-ops and the Central Intelligence Agency, which will now be required to give prisoners gentler treatment than common criminals. The Field Manual’s confines don’t even allow the average good cop/bad cop routines common in most police precincts.~~~
The unfine print of Mr. Obama’s order is that he’s allowed room for what might be called a Jack Bauer exception. It creates a committee to study whether the Field Manual techniques are too limiting “when employed by departments or agencies outside the military.” The Attorney General, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence-designate Dennis Blair will report back and offer “additional or different guidance for other departments or agencies.”
In other words, Mr. Obama’s Inaugural line that “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals” was itself misrepresenting the choices his predecessor was forced to make. At least President Bush was candid about the practical realities of preventing mass casualties in the U.S.
The “special task force” may well grant the CIA more legal freedom to squeeze information out of terrorists when it could keep the country safe. An anecdote former Clinton counterterror czar Richard Clarke recounts in his memoir “Against All Enemies” is instructive. In 1993, White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler was horrified by Mr. Clarke’s proposal for “extraordinary rendition,” where our spooks turn over prisoners to foreign countries like Egypt so they can do the interrogating.
While Mr. Clinton was still chewing his fingernails and seemed to side with Mr. Cutler, Al Gore arrived late to the meeting. “Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides,” Mr. Clarke writes. “Gore laughed and said, ‘That’s a no-brainer. Of course it’s a violation of international law, that’s why it’s a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.’“
The wider danger Mr. Obama is inviting by claiming to draw a line while drawing no line at all is the message it sends to Langley. CIA interrogators are already buying legal insurance in the expectation that a Senator like Carl Levin or some prosecutor-on-the-make rings them up for war crimes. The executive order is bound to produce a more risk-averse CIA culture and over time less intelligence-gathering. No one may be willing to be Jack Bauer when Mr. Obama really needs him. This will have consequences for U.S. safety, and for the Obama Administration if there is another 9/11.
Oh, and on that Gitmo closing:
The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.
The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
His status was announced in an Internet statement by the militant group and was confirmed by an American counterterrorism official.
We’re all less safe now and last I checked, even those lefty Obama supporters are not immune to shrapnel and falling buildings. But Obama and co. are making their bed in this bad policy, nothing to be done about it now. I’m hoping it doesn’t come back to bite our country in the ass but I have a feeling hoping will not be enough.
Our enemies (and we do have them) will sense The Vapid One’s weakness much as a shark smells blood in an ocean. He is inviting another attack.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but perhaps it will take another attack on our soil to awaken us to the fact that in order to defeat our enemies. we’ll have to become just as treacherous as they are.
makes sense though, entice your enemies to strike and then you start over with a clean slate of executive orders that no one will disagree with. Bush had that ability and used it to declare war on terrorism around the world. Its scary when you have a guy in office with no experience, loves power, and is fed by public opinion (don’t want people to dislike you, GWB was made an example of that). Its no wonder that he signed an end to the war on terror, he is too busy fighting the war on unborn babies.
I sure as hell hope that we don’t get another attack. I’m trying to keep hope (for lack of a better word) that all our fears won’t come through and we won’t be struck by another 9/11, but this guy’s naivete is making it really hard to believe that.
Jeebus, are you guys still wetting your beds over 9/11? the way to defeat terror is not to let it scare you to the point where all your values and morals go out the window. Grow a pair, please.
So much for GWB’s warning on complacency in his farewell address. I guess it’s time to get ready for the consequences of very shortsightedness.
So far Obama is short on detail & substance. The Army FM, if you have read it, is for policy for Soldiers. No More Abu Graib frat party nonsense. I have serious doubts about it’s practical application in serious National Security situations.
If an attack can be sensed, even with the current diminished CIA capabilities, remember, it is easier to take the heat later & beg forgiveness than to ask permission. The Field Agents are dedicated Professionals, not Politicians. The time it takes to send info up the chain can be afforded after the threat has been dealt with. Not a Court or Prosecutor in the Land wants to see another 9.11.01 event or worse. Anyone that thinks otherwise is not living in the real world.
Take stock of some facts. The Terrorists are still out there. They are not going to go away or change their intent just because of some Statements of Policy from the most naive and inexperienced US President in history or issuance of some high minded Executive Orders. They will change their tactics. Our Field Guys are still out there in more dangerous places than Senate or Congressional hearing rooms. Not everything gets Press Coverage, as it should be. We have folks out there that frankly can make Jack Bauer look like your Sunday School Teacher. I have met a few of them over the years. An Executive Order does not negate all of the years of Professionalism for Field Agents.
Complacency in DC or around the flag pole dissipates in a heartbeat if an attack is attempted or carried out. We are not France in 1940. The American Public will not allow that. The American Voting Public voted like sheep. The wolves are out there but so are the sheepdogs!
Certainly, our enemies (and make no mistake we have them, mynameis) will closely watch O for weakness they perceive. And, perception of weakness is a very important in this struggle.
Expect more attacks. Expect the enemy to probe for weaknesses.
A Roman proverb that is applicable now as it was centuries ago, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
If the war is over, then bring our soldiers home, they are not criminal fighters. The One has to decide one way or the other, are these bad guys warriors or criminals. It makes a BIG LEGAL DIFFERENCE.
A stunning setback to Mohamed Atta wannabees …
So much for hoping that “The One” might get wise once he was in office and had all the daily intelligence reports that Bush had, and could be more informed than when he was on the campaign trail. But, I suppose it was too much to hope that the Leopard would change his spots.
Nice to see that our President fears the ACLU more than the terrorists and fanatics out there… I guess that shouldn’t be surprising given that at the core the guy is a lawyer.
Turning these guys loose in our broken criminal justice system is the bad joke of all jokes. Anybody who believes this is a criminal matter versus a military / national security one needs to pull their thumb out their mouth. If it comes to that, and we really are forbidden from extracting anymore meaningful intelligence out of them (on that count I hope Old Trooper is right about our guys out in the field); then by all means, load each and every one of them onto a plane, and let it have an “accident” over deep water. Just make sure the pilots have parachutes…
Obama to “Reassure” Muslims
“… The Times of London reported Sunday that Obama “believes a personal initiative will dramatise his wish to reassure Muslims, and intends to give a speech in an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office as a sign of his engagement.”…
“…Of course, it would have been hard for him not to back away from this promise after the Pentagon’s revelation last week that 61 former Gitmo inmates have now returned to the jihad. “…
“…Rather than confront the doctrines of jihad and Islamic supremacism that fuel jihad activity worldwide, Obama seems prepared to play.” …
“…Reassure Muslims? But who will seek to reassure non-Muslims alienated by jihad aggression and Islamic supremacism? Why, no one, of course. That would be “Islamophobic.”…
* It is far from over
* The One takes the counsel of both Fools & Patriots. Lets hope he chooses wisely
* Terrorists are Barbarians, not warriors and All are criminals by Our Standards
* We follow the Geneva Conventions & the UCMJ for Military Personnel
* Terrorists have absolutely No Rules. Convert, Submit or Die
* Legalities are important IF the Court System is INTACT & FUNCTIONAL after attack
* The Current Pack of Jackasses in the Senate approves Treaties (That should Scare You!)
* The Current Dem Majority in Congress funds National Security (That should scare You!)
* Of my 28 years in the Military, I spent 10 of them in the Middle East, Qatar, Saudi, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia briefly, and Kuwait so I know the region
* I would not lie to you but all of the above is common knowledge for those that have been instruments of Foreign Policy when Diplomacy fell on its ass and the Military deployed.
I never worked for the State Department or plan on running for any political office. I am happily retired and would not soil my hands with any of that. I live by a Higher Standard.
I hope that clears up some issues for you. Up until my retirement 3 years ago, I could assure you that you are safe here. Now it is up to others.
One thing for certain. I’m sure that the terrorists will be much more lenient when they slit our throats. I feel so much safer now!! I’m not sure what world the Democrats, led by their messiah, live on but it’s not earth.
@liam: Liam, your comments are spot on. It would be a crime to waterboard a baby but you can stick a rod in it’s brain and kill it!!
Why do I get the scary feeling that the phrase “Don’t blame me. I voted for McCain.” will become very popular very soon?
Once again, Obama has demonstrated how much of an idiot he is. Talk like this is just asking for trouble – both from the terrorists and your political enemies. Obama better be praying that terrorists aren’t going to be able to pull off any kind of attack on American soil on his watch. If it happens, the press and his looney cultists won’t be able to save him. His chances at a second term will fizzle and deservedly so.
Mynameis= Fool!! Grow a pair? My goodness this coming from the run and hide crowd, the head in the sand crowd. Just be thankful that many that have a pair have fought for your foolish hide, just to allow you to make stupid inane comments. I suspect that you don’t even have a pair, nor much of a brain.
Obama has ordered hundreds of time-out chairs and naughty mats to handle the Gitmo terrorists-we can all relax.
When the next attack comes, and it surely will during O’Bama’s term, American’s blood will be on his hands.
He conceded to terror yesterday and History will judge him accordingly.
From the WSJ article Curt linked in the OP above:
The WSJ op-ed makes a stellar point. Our health care system is run from a risk protection/litigation safety aspect… the primary reason for the high costs, of course. If our intelligence departments utilize this same risk protection method, the high costs will be measured not be in dollars, but in quality of intel and performance.
Machiavelli, INRE you comment:
Fear not. Obama has his battle upcoming yet with the ACLU on his hybrid court that he wants to create. blast and I were discussing this on another thread, starting with this comment. The ACLU is already on record that they don’t think a new National Security Court is necessary. The irony is, of course, that they were sure it was going to be Bush pushing for Congress to create the court… not their own beloved Obama.
In fact, back in Nov, the ACLU had taken out a full page ad in the NYTs asking Obama to “shutter” Gitmo on Day One. (guess he heard ’em…). They *also* said there is:
To which the Obama transition team denied all the media reports and comments from their advisors that they were even considering such a court.
Of course there was no decision made… he wasn’t the POTUS yet. But he is today. And this is a hot bleep on my radar screen.
Joint Chiefs chairman: Close Guantanamo
Posted 1/14/2008 6:08 PM
By Robert Burns, AP Military Writer
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — The chief of the U.S. military said he favors closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been “pretty damaging” to the image of the United States.
“I’d like to see it shut down,” Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday in an interview with three reporters who toured the detention center with him on his first visit since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October.
What’s your point, Steve J? That if the media can, en masse, negatively portray something widely enough in the world, that our military should go into PR spin control and back off because we are perceived in a negative light?
Hang… how is that new?
The media has given our US troops negative publicity in Iraq, in Afghanistan, etc…. portraying them as knocking on doors in the dead of night (oh, that was widely reported Sen Kerry… LOL), murderers (oops… that was widely reporting Murtha). They’ve done the same negative publicity campaign to Israel.
Give the media this much credit for creating world perception, and acquiesce to the negatives they have created, and you’ll pretty much have journalists controlling everything sheerly by propaganda, and fear of not be loved and adored.
I’ll agree that Gitmo should be shut down – not for the same reason Mullen said. But because, after Boumediene, it no longers serves the purpose for what it was intended to be… holding enemy combatants on foreign soil for military tribunals.
However it should not be closed until we have determined who is going where, and what court system is going to accommodate it. Also if these animals will have legal recourse against US interests if they are let go by a jury and/or judge. I have no desires for foreign thugs to use our own system and rights against us, and be awarded cash damages to funnel into their jihad efforts.
More of the interview with Adm. Mike Mullen
“Mullen, whose previous visit was in December 2005 as head of the U.S. Navy, noted that President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates also have spoken publicly in favor of closing the prison. But Mullen said he is unaware of any active discussion in the administration about how to do it.”
Interesting, we shall see what the new administration can do with the wealth of experience they bring to the table.
Hussein is keeping promises to the radical left, from Code Pink to the MSM, by dismantling everything which kept the American public safe from Islamic thugs over the past 7 years. Isn’t he worried about the possibiltiy of inviting a future attack…or at least making one a bit easier to carry out? Nah. Because, you see, it isn’t about the attack, the deaths, the destruction or the glory which will be claimed by terror organizations around the world after a successful hit on the US. Hussein knows that the MSM will transfer ALL BLAME to the Bush administration. He abused terrorists so terribly, made so many enemies as a result of his heavy handed tactics, that another attack was virtually certain. As long as blame goes elsewhere and the left has been pacified with his unilateral disarmament, Hussein will be happy. Of course, the United States getting a serious black eye will just be a bonus for these people.
Looks like Barack is off to a great start, on track to keep his word and restore some international credibility for the US