9-11: George W. Bush and his bullhorn

September 11, 2010

Lots of people have written today about that terrible morning: where they were, what they remember, maybe honoring the victims or the many valiant heroes of the battle and its aftermath. I wondered what I would write. I decided that, rather than focus on the day itself, something others have done much more eloquently than I ever could, I wanted to share video of what has become one of my strongest memories from that time: the moment, when, three days later, George W. Bush stood amidst the smoldering ruins from which the dead were still being recovered and rallied a stunned and bloodied nation:

That was the day a man who won a disputed, contentious election truly became President of the United States of America, and I’ll forever be grateful for him.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Ground Zero Mosque: should CBS have rejected this ad?

July 7, 2010

CBS has refused to air the following ad from the National Republican Trust, which I assume is a  Republican Party-affiliated group, opposing the construction of a large mosque just yards from Ground Zero, the site of the most devastating of the September 11th attacks. Before commenting further, I’ll let you watch it. Tito, roll tape!

It’s powerful and intense, no doubt. And anyone who’s followed this blog knows my feelings about Islam and the jihad against the West. And I do oppose building that mosque. But two questions remain.

Does this ad cross the line into religious prejudice and smear Muslims in general? No, I think it stays just this side of that. The message it conveys is true: there is a religiously-inspired war against us, that war is being fought in the name of Islam’s god and for the supremacy of Islam, and the massacre of 3,000 of us was launched by a Muslim group and carried out by Muslims for Allah’s sake:

Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.

(Qur’an sura 9, verse 111)

It’s also true that a mosque is a symbol of conquest and the supremacy of Islam. To place one at Ground Zero would be interpreted inevitably in the Islamic world as a victory marker. So the ad is right to object for this reason, too.

The other question revolves around CBS’s right to refuse to carry it. Recalling what’s happened in the last few years when someone has “offended Islam” (riots against cartoons, the murder of a filmmaker, a professor getting his hands cut off for asking the wrong question), one can understand if the managers there are afraid of the reaction to this ad. And they are a publicly-traded private company and can freely choose which commercials to accept and which to reject. So I think Big Peace is wrong to characterize this as a “ban,” which implies censorship. The ad is free to run elsewhere, such as YouTube.

But I still wish they had accepted it, because this ad raises important issues for both New York City and the nation that should be freely discussed. I suspect its rejection was born largely of fear, and it is the resulting surrender of the right of free speech and the tacit acceptance of dhimmitude that makes CBS’ rejection wrong. The corporation has both a moral duty and a self-interest in the defense of that right, and it should change its mind and run the ad.


No mosque at Ground Zero

June 5, 2010

The great Pat Condell with words for Americans on the prospect of a mosque being built just yards from where Muslim jihadists killed thousands of our people in 2001:

I admit this is a difficult issue for me, since, as an American, anything that smacks of abridging freedom of religious expression gets greeted with great skepticism. As it should.  And yet, this case is different: a mosque is a symbol of Islamic domination and, per sharia law, becomes a permanent possession of the Islamic ummah, or community. It is no longer American soil, but part of the Dar ul-Islam, the House of Submission.  This is as much a part of Islamic law as the call to jihad, that same called that resulted in so many deaths on 9-11.

I’ll have more to say about this some other day, but, for now, I think the mosque should be blocked. It’s not an act of “reaching out” or “building cultural ties.” No, by placing it at the site of Islam’s “great victory,” it’s an act of conquest and domination – of cultural jihad.

RELATED: (via Hot Air) By the way, did you know that the imam of this proposed mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf, belongs to a group that is the largest donor to the group that organized the Gaza “aid” flotilla? What a coincidence. Hmmm…  Thinking


Eric Holder lies

November 26, 2009

I don’t have any proof of that, of course, but I find it absolutely incredible -as in, “I don’t believe it”- that he didn’t tell the President about his decision to move Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City for trial in a federal court until after the President was in the air, heading for Asia:

Second, we have learned since the announcement that Holder apparently did not consult Obama before deciding to bring the Sept. 11 terrorists back to Ground Zero. No further evidence is necessary that Holder regards the war on terrorism as a law enforcement matter. In a decision with obvious national security implications, the attorney general consulted with neither the commander in chief nor the secretary of defense. He employed a process that might be more appropriately applied to the trial of a mafia kingpin or a serial killer.

And what a process. In an interview on Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour, Holder described consulting with Justice and Defense department prosecutors and staffers. The rest of the interview deserves to be quoted at length:

Lehrer: Did you run [the decision] by President Obama?
Holder: Just informed him of the decision….
Lehrer: So you just told him what your decision was; you didn’t say, “What do you think about it, Mr. President?”
Holder: Nope. Told him last night, or had relayed to him what I was going to do last night while he was on Air Force One on his way to Asia.
Lehrer: Did you talk to anybody outside the government?
Holder: I talked to my wife —
Lehrer: Yes? Okay.
Holder: — about what she thought. And I actually talked to my brother, who’s a Port Authority police officer who served —
Lehrer: Oh, is that right? Yes.
Holder: — in New York, New Jersey, and who lost friends and colleagues on 9/11 in the towers. And I talked to them about what — was it appropriate to bring it in New York, the symbolic significance of it, the possibility of getting a good and fair, detached jury.

Michael Gerson, the author of the article, rightfully calls this “embarrassing.” And he also justifiably excoriates Holder for his miserable, incompetent performance in front of a Senate committee explaining his decision and rips him a new one for his mind-boggling decision to give jihadists a public stage in Manhattan, not to mention the security risks such a trial poses for the city

But, I’m sorry, I don’t agree with Gerson’s acceptance of Attorney General Holder’s story. The man may not give a damn about voting rights, he may be corrupt as hell, he may be a far-Left ideologue bent on a witch hunt against the CIA, but he is not so stupid as to be unaware of the political risks to his boss, the President, in any move to try KSM in civilian court – especially just blocks from Ground Zero. It’s inconceivable. Does he really expect us to accept his word that he only consulted his wife and brother, and then only about jury selection and symbolism?

How dumb does he think we are?

No. In my opinion, he consulted the President before this decision was announced, and Obama gave his blessing, with the understanding that Holder takes the fall if (and when) something goes wrong. Already the polls are running massively against this move, and Obama’s own numbers are tanking, probably partly as a result of this. Holder is the designated sacrificial lamb donkey. He’ll take the heat for this decision, but the real responsibility is President Obama’s.

AFTERTHOUGHT: I suppose it is possible that Holder is telling the truth about how he made the decision and when he told Obama, but what does that tell us? First, that Holder really is incredibly stupid, if this is true. Anyone in the corridors of power in DC who could not see the ramifications of this move has a cranial density far surpassing that of lead. Second, it means President Obama is both incompetent and weak. His chief law enforcement deputy makes a decision of this magnitude without any significant consultations with other departments or the president, and then blindsides Obama with it after he’s off on a major foreign trip? And Obama didn’t fire him on the spot?? Is he too weak to fire his own Attorney General or too clueless to see the mess Holder dumped on him? Regardless, if Obama was not consulted and didn’t override Holder on the spot when he found out, it makes the President look very bad.

Thus, I still lean toward the first explanation (Obama knew and approved), if only because the implications of the second are in their own way scarier.


What could go wrong?

November 14, 2009

The big news yesterday was the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the confessed, proud mastermind of the 9-11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 of our people and foreign guests, would be tried in a civilian court in New York City, just blocks from Ground Zero:

The Obama administration said Friday that it would prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a decision that ignited a sharp political debate but took a step toward resolving one of the most pressing terrorism detention issues.

The decision, announced by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., could mean one of the highest-profile and highest-security terrorism trials in history would be set just blocks from where hijackers for Al Qaeda destroyed the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Mr. Holder said he would instruct prosecutors to seek death sentences for Mr. Mohammed and four accused Sept. 11 co-conspirators who would be tried alongside him.

I can’t decide if this is some sort of continuation of Holder and his boss’s war against the Bush Administration and the CIA, monumental stupidity and incompetence on their part, or both. Do these two geniuses realize that trying KSM and his buddies in Manhattan invites every jihadi in the world to strike the city again, either to rescue them or avenge them? Do they comprehend what a circus and a farce this will become? This is the ultimate act of reverting to a pre-9/11 mentality, which for the length of the 90s assured us that law enforcement was the proper venue for handling terrorists.

And we saw what that bought us.

This is depressing and disturbing on so many levels, I can’t even work up a good rant. Others however, had plenty to say. Let’s start with my hero of that terrible day and first choice for President in 2008, Rudy Giuliani:

Part 1

Part 2

Let me repeat Hizzoner’s trenchant observation: the decision to try KSM in New York is “frighteningly incompetent.”

Michael Mukasey was George W. Bush’s last Attorney General and had been the presiding judge at the trial of the Islamic terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. If anyone should know why the civilian court system is not competent to handle cases of jihadist terrorism, it is he:

The difficulty of trying terror suspects through civilian courts, he said, is that the discovery process, the public presentation of evidence, and other elements of a trial “could turn a criminal proceeding into a cornucopia of information for those still at large and a circus for those in custody.”

He pointed out that when capturing the enemy combatants, pieces of information “were not gathered, nor was evidence gathered, on the assumption that they would be presented in a federal court.”

There would also be tremendous security issues involved with making sure that courthouses, jails, the judge and jury, were all safe.

“It would take a whole lot more credulousness than I have available to be optimistic about the outcome of this latest experiment,” Mukasey said at the conclusion of his formal remarks.

Somehow, I think Judge Mukasey was understating his misgivings. (via Hot Air)

Finally, former Governor Sarah Palin weighed in on her Facebook page, calling it an “atrocious decision:”

It is crucially important that Americans be made aware that the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks may walk away from this trial without receiving just punishment because of a “hung jury” or from any variety of court room technicalities. If we are stuck with this terrible Obama Administration decision, I, like most Americans, hope that Mohammed and his co-conspirators are convicted. Hang ‘em high.

I’m with ya, Governor.

LINKS: Fausta calls it a suicidal move. Jimmy Bise wonders if Obama is committing political suicide. Baseball Crank, a Manhattan attorney, is seeing red. The Weekly Standard explains why this is a very risky proposition for the Democrats. Connecticut’s lone honorable Senator politely told Attorney General Holder and President Obama to think again. Debra Burlingame, via William Kristol, reminds us of what Khalid Sheikh Muhammad said when he was captured.