Obama's lenient policies could lead to another big terror attack on the USA -- as the NYT is warning him. If that happens after NO attacks under GWB, both Obama and the Democrats will be finished
Cognitive dissonance anyone? "Promising to return America to the 'moral high ground' in the war on terrorism, President Obama issued three executive orders Thursday to demonstrate a clean break from the Bush administration, including one requiring that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within a year," CNN reports. But in its front-page story on Guantanamo today, the New York Times took a drastically different angle:
The emergence of a former Guantanamo 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.
So wait, you mean those guys are terrorists after all? Go figure! As the Times explains, Said Ali al-Shihri was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and went through a "Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists." Thus rehabilitated, he went to Yemen, where he is believed to have been involved in a September bombing of the U.S. Embassy.
What's going on here? Having led the campaign against Guantanamo, and having won at least a preliminary victory, the Times is now preparing its readers for the eventuality that the unlawful combatants being held there will not simply be released, or treated as common criminals:
The development came as Republican legislators criticized the plan to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp in the absence of any measures for dealing with current detainees. But it also helps explain why the new administration wants to move cautiously, taking time to work out a plan to cope with the complications.
Those complications could be extremely dire, in both real and political terms. Whatever President Bush's shortcomings, his antiterror policies were indisputably successful, inasmuch as there has been no major terror attack on U.S. soil since he instituted them.
When Obama and other Democrats were in the opposition, it was easy to complain about insensitivity to civil liberties, or to engage in cant about how Bush's policies actually made us less safe. Now that Obama is president, his most important responsibility is to defend the country. If terrorists successfully strike on his watch, headlines like "Bush's 'War' on Terror Comes to Sudden End" (an "analysis" from today's Washington Post) will come back to haunt Obama, who will be seen as having failed where his predecessor succeeded.
Should this happen, it is possible Obama will end up getting a bum rap. After all, Shihri was released during Bush's presidency, as were the three score or so other Guantanamo detainees who, according to the Pentagon, have returned to the battlefield. But if Bush's policies were too lenient, more-lenient policies from Obama are a step in the wrong direction.
We aren't saying anything that isn't obvious, and no doubt it is obvious to Obama as well, which is why his executive orders provide for time to study the issues and room for alternative policies. Once the new president has put his mark on antiterror policy, there is nothing he will be able to do to escape blame if there is another successful terrorist attack. Whatever his rhetoric about "moral leadership" and civil liberties, preventing another attack must, and surely will, be his top priority.
More BBC deception
What should the BBC do if the new US President's references to global warming in his inaugural speech don't quite come up to expectations? Last night I was reading through the full text of Barak Obama's speech just before the BBC's daily current affairs magazine, Newsnight, came on television. So his words were fresh in my mind when Susan Watts, Newsnight's science editor, presented a piece on the implications of the speech for science in general and global warming in particular. I was surprised when it started with this sound bite from the inaugural speech: We will restore science to its rightful place, [and] roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.
I didn't seem to remember him saying that at all. When the program was over, I went back to the text and this is what I found. It would seem that someone at the BBC had taken the trouble to splice the tape so that half a sentence from paragraph 16 of the inauguration speech was joined on to half a sentence from paragraph 22, and this apparently continuous sound bite was completed by returning to paragraph 16 again to lift another complete sentence. Susan Watts then started her report by saying: President Obama couldn't have been clearer today. And for most scientists his vote of confidence would not have come a moment too soon. In the eight years of the Bush presidency, the world saw Arctic ice caps shrink to a record summer low, the relentless rise of greenhouse gas emissions, and warnings from scientists shift from urgent to panicky.
But the `quotation' that she was referring to only exists in a digital file concocted by a sound engineer. (It would be kind draw a veil over evidence that Newsnight's science editor seems not to know the difference between sea ice and an ice cap, but that's another story.)
Britain plunges into recession: "Britain's economy shrank at its fastest pace in nearly three decades at the end of last year, sending the economy into recession for the first time since 1991 as the financial crisis hit even harder than expected. Friday's bleak data piles pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown, under fire after massive job losses, banking sector turmoil and a plummeting currency knocked Britons' faith in his ability to deal with the global economic downturn. "The economy entered recession with an almighty bang in the fourth quarter of 2008," said Howard Archer of Global Insight. The Office for National Statistics said the economy shrank by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of last year, the biggest drop since 1980. That followed a 0.6% fall in the third quarter, fulfilling the technical definition of recession."
Obama the bomber? "The CIA's bombing campaign against al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan continued with two more attacks today, an indication, senior officials say, that President Barack Obama has approved the U.S. strategy that has killed at least eight of al Qaeda's top 20 leaders since July 2008. The two attacks today in Pakistan were the first since President Obama took office on Tuesday. Asked about it at his daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "I'm not going to discuss that matter." During the campaign, Obama called for cross-border attacks against high-value al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, even before the CIA campaign began."
Excerpt from Sarah Palin's State of the State speech: "First, please join me in thanking those who protect our freedoms that allow us to assemble – our good men and women in uniform – they are America’s finest, our U.S. military. It’s been quite a year since we last gathered in this chamber. Just two days ago we witnessed a shining moment in the history of our country. Millions of Americans are praying for the success of our new president, and I am one of them. His work is cut out for him, but if President Obama governs with the skill, grace and greatness of which he is capable, Alaska’s going to be just fine. We congratulate President Obama. And, for keeping the homeland safe, and being a friend to Alaska, I thank President Bush."
Homosexual MPs Demand Death Sentence for Disagreeing With Them: "No that is not an overstatement. Members of the European Parliament have called for the suspension of all aid to Nigeria following the Nigerian Parliament’s unanimous support for legislation prohibiting marriage between persons of the same gender. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Despite recent reforms, it still needs help to overcome violence, poverty, lack of educational, transport and medical infrastructure, etc. A reduction in aid will mean less support for local agriculture, fewer medical resources, reductions in vaccination programmes. People will die. I have encountered the same kind of liberal love and inclusiveness in some church and environmental groups. All the talk is of tolerance and valuing diversity. Until someone actually expresses a divergent opinion."
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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