The Traitor Anwar al Awlaki is dead. This is war, not a police matter.

September 30, 2011

"I say again, the infidels will never find me! Wait. What's that noise?"

And, we sincerely hope, he is in a place decorated in fire and brimstone.

I’ve waited most of the day to post the good news, because it’s happened many times over the years since 9/11 that we’ve announced a major kill, only to have the target show up in another video thumbing his nose at us. But now it’s confirmed: we nailed the traitor Anwar al Awlaki:

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure in al-Qaida’s most active branch, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks in the United States, was killed Friday in the mountains of Yemen, American and Yemeni officials said.

The Yemeni government and Defense Ministry announced al-Awlaki’s death, but gave no details. A senior U.S. official said American intelligence supports the claim that he had been killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Yemeni security officials and local tribal leaders said the was killed in an airstrike on his convoy that they believed was carried out by the Americans. They said pilotless drones had been seen over the area in previous days.

And we didn’t just get Awlaki; this same strike also took out another traitorous dirtbag, Samir Khan, the editor of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) online magazine, “Inspire.” Khan also had regularly threatened the lives Dr. Rusty Shackleford and  his family. Shackleford is the main Jawa at The Jawa Report, an important counter-jihad blog that’s done invaluable work against Al Qaeda’s online presence,  so this news is doubly sweet.  Replacing these two won’t be easy for Al Qaeda; as men born in America, they had a unique ability to communicate jihadist thinking to radicalized Muslims in the West who might not speak Arabic well enough to understand the garbage spewed by the likes of Zawahiri and bin Laden.

Naturally, this set off caterwauling among Leftists and hardcore libertarians (and jihadist sympathizers) about the targeted killing of American citizens, denying them due process in a court of law. I can understand the argument and I have a reasoned, thoughtful reply:

Boo-freaking-hoo! Cry me a river!

Forget the whining from CAIR, they’re nothing but tools of the Muslim Brotherhood. But leftists like the ACLU and Ron Paul-worshipping libertarians need to pull their heads out of their collective rears and realize one thing: this is war, not a police matter. Traitors like Awlaki, Khan, and al Qaeda mouthpiece Adam Gadahn chose to side with those who make war on their (former) country. Awlaki in particular was described as having operational control over AQAP’s foreign strikes. He was involved in the attempted bombing of a Northwest flight over Detroit; he was at least the spiritual mentor to Major Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter; and he may have had an operational role in 9-11, itself. And who knows what else he was planning?

To quote what I’ve been told is the First Rule of Texas Common Law:

“He needed killing.”

And so did Samir Khan, and so does Gadahn, and so does everyone who takes up arms for Al Qaeda. I’m very much a Jacksonian about this: they are traitors and they are trying to destroy my country. They want to kill my people. They need killing.

Again: this is war, not a police matter.

If traitors who join the jihad against us want to surrender, fine: we’ll give them a fair trial, hopefully followed by a hanging. But, if we spot them going about their merry jihadi way, then…

“Gentlemen, you may fire when ready.”

And, to the group that tracked Anwar al-Awlaki and took him and Khan out, good work!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker about to break wide open?

September 29, 2011

This might be the final crack before the dam surrounding Operation Fast and Furious collapses altogether. We already knew that a BATF operation, with the cooperation of other federal agencies including the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in Arizona, knowingly allowed regulated heavy firearms to be sold by US gun dealers to “straw buyers” who were acting on behalf of the Mexican drug cartels. We also know that those guns were knowingly  allowed to “walk” over the border to the waiting hands of the cartels , where we promptly lost track of them. And finally, we know that up to two US federal officers and over 200 Mexican soldiers, federal agents, and civilians have died because of “walked” guns.

That’s bad enough.

But today’s revelation in the New York Post is even worse: the BATF may have bought some of the guns themselves and resold them to the cartels:

Let that sink in: After months of pretending that “Fast and Furious” was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorney’s office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.

Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy four Draco pistols for cash and even got a letter from his supervisor, David Voth, authorizing a federally licensed gun dealer to sell him the guns without bothering about the necessary paperwork.

“Please accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62×39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson,” read the June 1, 2010, letter. “These aforementioned pistols will be used by Special Agent Dodson in furtherance of performance of his official duties.”

On orders, Dodson then sold the guns to known criminals, who first stashed them away and then — deliberately unhindered by the ATF or any other agency — whisked them off to Mexico.

People were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, including at least two American agents and hundreds of Mexicans. And the taxpayers picked up the bill.

So where’s the outrage?

(Emphasis added)

Darned good question. While I think Michael Walsh’s speculations on the motives behind Gunwalker (1) are premature in the absence of more facts, I agree one-hundred percent with his conclusion: it’s time for a special prosecutor.

With the DOJ stonewalling House and Senate investigators, it’s the only way we’re going to get to the bottom of this fiasco.

RELATED: Prior Gunwalker posts.

Footnote:
(1) That it was either (or both) an effort to create a crisis that would lead to a call for strict gun-control in the US, or a CIA operation to arm other cartels against the Zetas, out of fear the Zetas might overthrow the Mexican government.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The anti-democratic Democrats

September 28, 2011

Governor Bev Perdue (D-NC) said the most amazing thing yesterday:

Speaking to a Cary Rotary Club today, N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue suggested suspending Congressional elections for two years so that Congress can focus on economic recovery and not the next election.

I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that,” Perdue said. “You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

The comment — which came during a discussion of the economy — perked more than a few ears. It’s unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious — but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.

(via Big Government)

Forget for a moment the odd spectacle of a state’s chief executive suggesting that elections be called off at all –something that’s never been done, even during the Civil War and World War II, the two greatest threats to our national existence, ever– the terms of the House and Senate are specified in Article I, Sections 2 and 3 of the the Constitution; before those terms expire, elections must be held. By suggesting elections for Congress be suspended and the term of Congress be extended in defiance of Article I, Governor Perdue was suggesting suspending the United States Constitution, itself.

Naturally, Governor Perdue’s people tried to pull her foot out of her mouth by claiming she was joking and engaging in hyperbole, as reported by my blog-buddy, ST.

Whatever. Whether she meant it as a joke or a serious suggestion, it is a sentiment that should never, ever be uttered by any elected official, because elections are the sole source of legitimacy for a democratic government. To call off elections and extend the term of Congress in defiance of the Constitution would be to destroy utterly that legitimacy. Perdue’s suggestion, joking or not, was madness; I wouldn’t at all blame the North Carolina legislature if it voted to censure her or even consider impeachment. A governor who can so cavalierly suggest doing away with elections is unworthy to hold office.

But Governor Perdue’s Kinsleyan gaffe is really representative of a larger problem within the Democratic Party, a problem with democracy, itself. In this case, I’m not talking about contempt for free speech shown by the 2008 Obama campaign or by the president after taking office, part of what Michael Barone has dubbed the “thugocracy.”

No, the problem is more fundamental and it dominates the thinking of those who are its leaders — they are Democrats who don’t like democracy. It’s messy and it keeps them from doing the things they want to do that they know are best for us. Consider, for example, President Obama’s first Budget Director, Peter Orszag:

To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.

(…)

Virtually all responsible economists agree that we should be aiming to reduce the deficit in the long-term but not in the short-term. We need an even larger deficit in 2011 and 2012, to support a weak economy—but a much smaller deficit in 2020 and 2050, to put the nation back on a sustainable fiscal course. Yet our polarized political system has proved incapable of reaching a consensus on this common-sense approach.

What we need, then, are ways around our politicians. The first would be to expand automatic stabilizers—those tax and spending provisions that automatically expand when the economy weakens, thereby cushioning the blow, and automatically contract as the economy recovers, thereby helping to reduce the deficit.

Or how about President Obama, who lamented having to deal with Congress and a political process and wished he could go around it:

“As I mentioned when I was at La Raza a few weeks back, I wish I had a magic wand and could make [immigration reform and the DREAM Act] all happen on my own,” Obama told a meeting of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “There are times where — until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again — I’d like to work my way around Congress.”

Maybe Governor Perdue was auditioning to replace Biden on the ticket in 2012?

These aren’t the only instances where we’ve seen impatience, frustration, and even contempt for the democratic process coming from Democratic Party leaders. We’ve encountered it in the reaction to the rise of the Tea Party — a loose populist coalition calling for less power for the federal government, more fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution as written — implying that they’re fascists (1) and un-American, simply for exercising their right to free speech to peacefully oppose a policy proposal. Here in California, where Democratic Party dominance is nearly total, then-Assembly Speaker and now Congresswoman Karen Bass referred to people making their opinions known to their legislators and promising to hold them accountable for their votes as “terrorists.”

This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. It’s old, going back to the roots of American progressivism in the 19th century, what we now call, incorrectly, “liberalism.” It’s fundamental thesis is that the modern world is too complex for a governing system designed in the 18th century for a rural, isolated republic; that legislatures were too fractious and trapped by partisan interest to do what was best; and that these complexities were best handed off to boards of experts and technocrats who could make the correct decisions with scientific dispassion — Orszag’s “depoliticized commissions.” Woodrow Wilson crystallized this contempt for democratic governance when, before becoming president, he argued in essence that the Constitution was obsolete. (See also Goldberg’s excellent “Liberal Fascism.”)

While initially a bipartisan fad (I’m sorry to say TR, one of my favorite presidents, was a progressive), progressivism and its preference for bureaucratic technocracy over constitutional democracy has become the bailiwick of the Democratic Party. Sometimes it was muted, as under Truman or Carter, sometimes it roared loud and proud, as under FDR, LBJ, and Obama. And the impatience with democracy, usually hidden behind the standard vocabulary of American politics, becomes open when progressives encounter opposition and don’t get what they want. Then we hear the cries of “Washington is broken” and how the nation is “ungovernable.” No longer given their way as the natural governing party (unlike from 1933-1981), Democrats look more and more to activist courts or to bureaucratic fiat — “working my way around Congress” — to get what they cannot achieve through an uncooperative electorate.

To put it bluntly, the elite core of the Democratic Party –its leadership, not the rank and file average voter– is anti-democratic.

Which is why we must defeat them in every election we can, until they either reform or go the way of the Whigs.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey calls Governor Perdue’s comedy act a total bust.

Footnote:
(1) An almost Orwellian misuse of the word on their part.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


OMG! Racist cupcakes invade Berkeley!!

September 28, 2011

Credit the College Republicans of UC Berkeley (1) for coming up with a brilliant way to make their point — and to recruit UCB’s humorless Left help in making it.

The background is that, many years ago, the people of California voted to end Affirmative Action ethnic and gender discrimination in the admissions process of the UC system. (2) The Left, however, has never given up trying to reinstate Affirmative Action re-legalize ethnic and gender discrimination. Their latest effort comes in the form of Senate Bill 185, passed by the legislature progressive oligarchy in Sacramento on September 9th and currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature or veto.

The College Republicans decide to protest the bill by engaging in satire: they set up a table selling cupcakes, the price of which was determined by the customer’s ethnicity and gender — Whites were charged $2, while Blacks, Hispanics, Asians,woman, and almost any other minority one could think of were charged varying lesser amounts. The result was a predictable howl from the perpetually outraged Left, screaming that this was discrimination, to which the College Republicans would agree and ask “then doesn’t this make SB 185, which does exactly the same thing, also wrong and discriminatory?”

As you can guess, this went right over the heads of the enlightened, educated progressives there.

Be sure to click through to PJM for Zombie’s photo-essay (language warning) of the cupcake sale and protest, and hats off to the UCB College Republicans.

Footnotes:
(1) They still exist at Berkeley? I thought they would have been hunted to extinction by the Progressive Tolerance Police. They must have secret hiding places in the steam tunnels…
(2) See? We’re not all a bunch of loopy Lefties out here.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee: conservative bloggers should “shut up” and “buy American” should be “buy African-American”

September 27, 2011

I’m glad to see she’s against playing racial politics:

While speaking with Tavis Smiley of PBS, Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee said conservative bloggers should “shut up” and “stop playing racial politics.”

This from a member of the caucus that does little else but play the race card.

Seconds later, Jackson Lee went on to say that buy American should be “buy African American.”

She also said that if Obama’s jobs bill is passed, that contractors who “do not look like” her need to make sure that if they get federal money, their workforce “better be reflective of those suffering double-digit unemployment.”

“I don’t consider it discrimination, I don’t consider it affirmative action,” she added.

No, it’s just a bit of ethnic strong-arming. “Nice business you have there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

Roger L. Simon is right: the Congressional Black Caucus should be disbanded. Far from fighting racism, they exploit it for personal gain and in the process harm the very constituency they claim to serve. (Although in Jackson-Lee’s case, I doubt she’s smart enough to know what she’s doing.)

By the way, Sheila, this conservative blogger does not plan to shut up. But you can take your racial grievance pandering and shove it.

via Clarice Feldman

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How our tax system punishes saving and rewards consumption

September 27, 2011

Economists and financial writers regularly bemoan our low savings rate in the US. But one big reason why our savings are so minimal is our tax system, which encourages spending and discourages savings and investment by the double taxation of income. This chart from Dan Mitchell illustrates the problem:

(Click the image for a larger version)

In short, if you spend your after-tax earnings, no problem. You’re only taxed the one time. But, if you invest that income in productive activities that help expand the economy and provide for your future security, the government takes more and more and more, even after you’re dead.

In other words, the tax system is biased toward giving government money and away from real prosperity.

Have a look at Mitchell’s post for a fuller explanation.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Forget “Where’s Waldo.” Where’s Muhammad?

September 27, 2011

I bet this news from PJM’s Patrick Poole will make you all feel safe and secure:

Two Bangladeshis who were caught by Customs and Border Protection illegally crossing the border in June 2010 admitted under questioning that they were members of a designated terrorist organization that signed on to a fatwa by Osama bin Laden pledging to wage war against Americans.

But amazingly, after one of the men requested asylum, he was released on bond. And now one Homeland Security official tells me, concerning the released terror operative, “We don’t have the slightest idea where he is now.”

The two men, Muhammad Nazmul Hasan and Mirza Muhammad Saifuddin, were intercepted near Naco, Arizona, not long after they had crossed the border on June 25, 2010. During their interrogation, one of the men admitted that they were members of Harakat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), which was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in February 2008. Earlier this month the group claimed responsibility for a bombing a courthouse in New Delhi. That attack killed 11 and wounded at least 45 others.

(Emphasis added.)

Reading this, one’s first reaction is probably a hearty “WTF?” and some choice words about the competence of the Border Patrol and the courts for allowing an admitted terrorist to walk on bail, something that defies common sense.

But it’s not the agencies’ actions that run contrary to wisdom, but the law itself. While Poole doesn’t go into detail about the relevant laws, I’m willing to bet existing statutes, reflecting a pre-September 11th mentality that treats terrorism as a law-enforcement problem, left the CBP and the court with little choice — once the Bangladeshi jihadist invoked the laws of asylum, the relevant officials were obliged to obey them. And because no one is mandated to keep track of asylum-seekers out on bail, this Al Qaeda ally walked out the door and vanished into an Arizona sunset, never to be heard from again, until… ?

More than ten years after 9/11, it’s way past the time that our laws were updated to reflect a time of war and potentially catastrophic terrorism. At a minimum, people who admit to belonging to organizations allied to our deadly enemy should be held without bail; more properly, since we’re dealing with terrorist operatives, they should be transferred to military custody and their cases decided by a military commission. We’re not talking about people sneaking into America looking for a better life; these are people sneaking into America to take lives.

As Poole points out, the southern border is the preferred route for people seeking illegal entry into the United States, and, regardless of what President Obama claims, that border is not secure. It’s clear Obama and the Democrats won’t do a thing to genuinely control it, in spite of the obvious threat to national security (1), so it will be up to the next, hopefully adult, administration.

Meanwhile, don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll find the missing Bangladeshi jihadi… right after the car-bomb goes off.

Footnote:
(1) You know, that thing that really is one of the assigned duties of the federal government. But they have more important things to do, like regulating which light bulbs you can buy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)