Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How Safe is America?

The botched Christmas terror attack making headlines in the news for failed security, intelligence, and counter-terror agencies is merely the recent-most act of war on America that began on November 5 with the Ft. Hood shootings. It was there that the psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan stormed the fort, screaming “Allah Akhbar!” and killed thirteen people while wounding thirty more (including a family friend of mine). While the current Administration has busied itself with labeling the attack a “tragedy” committed by a man who merely needs to be committed, the truth of Hasan’s terrorist motivations are becoming clearer and clearer. Former Democratic VP nominee Joe Lieberman went on record saying the Ft Hood attack was “the most destructive terrorist attack on America since September 11, 2001.” Ultimately the terrorism at Ft. Hood has led to our current situation in Yemen, which former GOP presidential nominee John McCain calls the new front in the War on Terror.

The connection between Ft. Hood and the second, albeit failed, terror attack on Christmas is the man Anwar al-Awlaki. Known as “the bin Laden of the internet,” al-Awlaki is a known al-Qaeda recruiter who recruited radical Muslims in the United States and is now helping to build a formidable al-Qaeda network in, you guessed it, Yemen. Furthermore, al-Awlaki preached to three of the 9/11 terrorists from a mosque in northern Virginia and was the personal spiritual advisor to Hasan, the terrorist shooter at Ft. Hood. But while the Obama Administration continued to pass off the Ft. Hood shootings as non-terror related, it began applying pressure on the Yemeni government while launching airstrikes on al-Qaeda camps in Yemen. Why would Obama do such a thing?

One word: Healthcare.

That’s right, Obama’s efforts to “fix” the economy have brought the unemployment rate above 10% while his efforts to “reform” healthcare has backfired at almost every turn. As the Ft. Hood terror attack took place, Obama was deeply entrenched in war on healthcare, not on terror. During his first year in office, the only new tactic the Administration has offered to fight terror is to close Guantanamo Bay, the prison where we are holding “enemy combatants” (i.e. the prisoners of war captured during the War on Terror thus far). As we shall see, the decisions to close Guantanamo Bay marked a shift away from fighting terror that has only helped terrorists while lead us to continued problems in Yemen.

What’s important to note is that the Ft. Hood terrorist continued to stay in contact with the al-Qaeda recruiter al-Awlaki since 9/11 and up until the attack in November. At the beginning of October, however, al-Awlaki announced the attacks coming the following two months when he said, “The simple answer is: America cannot and will not win, the tables have turned and there is no rolling back of the worldwide jihad movement and when this new front of jihad starts in Yemen it might become the single most important front of jihad in the world.” Shortly after announcing this to the world, Hasan began his final preparations for the attack on Ft. Hood while Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the attempted Christmas suicide bomber, called his father to let him know they would never speak again.

The fact is, America had plenty of warning regarding these attacks. Unfortunately our government is being run by those who seek to give more protection to terrorists than to its own citizens. Indeed, the strategy of closing Guantanamo Bay has been to treat the prisoners of war as if they were American citizens. This is exactly what has happened with the attempted suicide bomber, Abdulmutallab, who was speaking to authorities until the government sent in a lawyer to keep him from speaking to us. Now there are undoubtedly more attacks being planed against America by our enemies, but the government will not allow the military to conduct standard interrogations against captured soldiers at war with us. What’s worse, many of the prisoners kept at Guantanamo Bay are from Yemen and are scheduled to sent back to Yemen –then to be released back to al-Qaeda by the Yemeni government! Thus what we see is case after case of this Administration weakening America’s protection against foreign threats.

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