Just Watch the Right Distort Obama’s Guantanamo/al-Qaeda Remarks
Posted by brotherkharma on January 6, 2010
Warning – This is long (for me), meandering, and quite possibly incoherent. Please do not mistake this for an official White House briefing or proposed legislation.
It is amazing to me, although I thought I was finished being shocked by the left. I Googled the phrase “Obama’s Guantanamo/al-Qaeda remarks” and it took me 10 minutes to find the actual remarks. I had to search Whitehouse.gov to find the text of the speech. All that came up on Google (at least the first 2 pages – which is all my attention span will allow me to look through) was the same silly blog being reposted all over the place. The blog was “Just Watch the Right Distort Obama’s Guantanamo/al-Qaeda Remarks”. They claim the President was saying Guantanamo was a propaganda and recruiting tool, and that the right has begun to twist his words. The same way the head of Homeland Security had her words twisted by being quoted? Maybe the same way Supreme Court nominees have their words twisted, by repeating them in their entirety with contextual explanation? Now I’ll grant them that President Obama said:
“For over seven years, we have detained hundreds of people at Guantanamo…. There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. …. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.”
The problem is he said that in May, 2009. What he said in January of 2010 was:
“But make no mistake: We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda. In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And, as I’ve always said, we will do so — we will close the prison in a manner that keeps the American people safe and secure.”
Now the phrase “explicit rationale for the formation of al Qaeda” seems to my untrained ears to mean the reason they are there. If he wanted to say Guantanamo helped them recruit or helped raise sympathy in the Islamic world, I think he would have said it like that. You know, the way he did in May. Both speeches do a lot to tell you his mind set in dealing with this threat. Following the “explicit rationale” comments, he went into detail on how he will address security. The President warns us that al Qaeda is “constantly evolving and adapting their efforts to strike us”. The White House site also says what I hope is a typo: “As they refine our tactics, we’ll enhance our defenses”. People tell me I am overly critical of the President on this issue, so here I am going to rush to his side. He did not mean that al Qaeda is refining our tactics! They are not wondering into the White House, uninvited, and offering their opinions. I mean, no one gets in there like that! The President promises us “smarter screening and security at airports, and investing in the technologies that might have detected the kind of explosives used on Christmas”. Well, I am willing to help my country. I have an old laptop that is kind of slow, a little buggy, and needs an external keyboard attached to it, but it can run e-mail, a web browser, and word. I will happily provide this 21st Century anti-terror technology to the TSA so they can see if someone on multiple watch lists, buying a one way ticket in cash the day of the flight without a valid passport should be searched as thoroughly as I was the 3rd time I flew round trip from Philly to Colorado Springs in the same month.
In May, he really laid down the gauntlet. In that speech he stated “We are indeed at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates”. Hoo-rah! (Can’t you just hear R. Lee screaming that out maggot?) He followed it up with the caution on how to prosecute this war. “But we must do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process; in checks and balances and accountability.” Hoo-hah!
I don’t recall FDR demanding lawyers and checks and balances to combat the Nazi threat. I do not recall a stirring speech to Congress promising to bring Admiral Yamamoto to justice. I have spoken to many WWII vets, none of whom have ever issued a Miranda warning on the battlefield. But wait, he leans on some quasi historical precedent. “…the decisions that were made over the last eight years established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable — a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions…” . Can anyone tell me what war the US waged with a reliance on “our legal traditions and time-tested institutions”? The American Revoloution? No. Civil War? Hmmmm, nope. Either World War? Don’t think so. Wait! I have it. The closest we came was in Vietnam. That’s the model we want to follow, right?
Well, if that didn’t strike fear in the hearts of our enemies, they did it today. They revoked the Visa of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who tried to blow up 300 people on Christmas day. 12 days later, they revoked his visa. The Administration is sending a STRONG Clear statement! If you are a failed terrorist, we don’t want you here! And Gitmo, which of course is the main reason that al-Qaeda flourishes on the Arabian Peninsula, will ABSOLUTELY be closed! Sometime. Soon. Probably. We think, just don’t send them to Yemen. Or to Illinois because we can’t afford to buy lights and a new fence at the vacant state prison – fiscal responsibility is part of the new change in Washington remember!
Now there are some who will point to the cooperation of the Yemen government as evidence that Obama is gaining support around the world. It might seem like the approach to this as a legal issue and closure of Gitmo has garnered support in the Middle East. However, let’s take a deeper look. Since 2001, US military, not prosecutors, have driven the Taliban into the mountains. They have ripped Saddam from power and wrought havoc on the terror organizations that attempted to move into Iraq. The war was pushed away from our shores and towards the heart of Islamofascism. But why the sudden support of Yemen? There has also been support of the Saudis, who have launched air strikes against al-Qaeda on the Saudi/Yemeni border. In August of 2009, for the first time in decades, there was an attempted assassination of a member of the Saudi Royal Family. Al-Qaeda sent a suicide bomber tried to kill Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, assistant interior minister for security affairs, in his palace in Jeddah. Somehow I think this is far more likely to cause Saudi and Yemeni cooperation than a guarantee that someday Gitmo will close and the threat to deport every failed terrorist.
BTW – if anyone is still reading this, I feel sorry for you but wanted you to know one more thing. The reason I gave it the title I did was to hopefully get it in the mix of those other brain dead blogs that made me go on this rant. Have a nice day and go J-E-T-S-Jets Jets JETS!!!!