When President Obama took his oath of office, he said, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. In Obama’s definition, that seems to exclude Muslims. Since 1972, there have been 70 Islamic terrorist attacks on American soil that resulted in the death of 3,101 persons. It will be interesting in the next three and a half years to see if President Obama or a senior member of his administration will utter the words “Muslim Terrorist”, “Islamic Extremist” or “Radical Jihadist”. The words have been expunged from all Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security documents. In a speech on October 27, 2012 concerning the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, Obama said, in part, “What happened in Benghazi is a tragedy. I take full responsibility for that fact. I send these folks in harm’s way. But my biggest priority now is bringing those folks to justice.” So to the President, the victims are “these folks” and their killers are “those folks”. They are the same, just one letter difference. If he did not want to implicate someone “before all the facts are in”, why was he so quick to blame a YouTube video by an unknown filmmaker in the United States that turned our to be an outright lie?
Speaking to an audience at Oxford University, the Pentagon’s top lawyer Jeh Johnson signaled the Obama administration would soon transition from handling terrorism as an act of war to handling it as a criminal matter. Johnson broached this information after re-stating Obama’s infamous pre-election line: “Al Qaeda is on the run.” In light of Al Qaeda’s supposed weakened state, he reasoned, the time is right to switch from a war on terror to “a counterterrorism effort against individuals” that can be carried out “by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” Johnson said that while the Obama administration has no intention of signing a “peace treaty with Al Qaeda,” they “cannot capture or kill every last terrorist who claims an affiliation with Al Qaeda.” To the degree that Johnson’s words reflect Obama’s intentions, this represents a huge step backward for U.S. efforts against terror. Treating terrorists as criminals is a re-adoption of Bill Clinton’s approach, and that was the very approach that resulted in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Johnson’s words were an indicator of what Obama was about to do, and it also means our domestic court system is about to be overloaded with case after case against captured terrorists.
Johnson’s words were confirmed when President Obama unilaterally declared the war on terror over. The end of that war, Obama stated, meant we could return to the halcyon days of the Clinton-era law enforcement, during which America experienced a spate of terrorist attacks ranging from the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 to the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 to the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 to the USS Cole bombing in 2000. What justified Obama’s announcement? Nothing, except his need to pacify his leftist base. With scandals brewing on the home front – the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative non-profits, the Department of Justice targeting of journalists – President Obama must shore up his left or face the prospect of being an early lame duck. Meanwhile, the Benghazi scandal simmers in the background, a reminder that President Obama’s Middle East policy has not quelled terror but emboldened it across the region. He said, “the threat today is more diffuse” than it was before 9/11, a provably false claim, considering that al-Qaida always had affiliates, allies and terrorist competitors across the globe. The threat of terrorism predated 9/11 and always went further than al-Qaida (Hezbollah, not al-Qaida, attacked Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, and Yassar Arafat’s Black September, not al-Qaida, attacked the Berlin Olympics in 1972). But in order to justify his attempts to cut national defense funding and shut down Guantanamo Bay without a viable alternative, Obama announced that the war on terror had changed on a fundamental level. Perhaps this is a mere attempt at diversion from the president. Perhaps he doesn’t mean what he says. Or perhaps he’s dooming America to a future of increased terrorism, state-sponsored, organized or disorganized, all to avoid scandal now.
This is the same administration that insists that the Muslim ‘Soldier of Allah’ at Ft. Hood who murdered 13 fellow soldiers in cold blood committed ‘workplace violence’ not a terrorist attack. Major Hasan was clearly on a kill mission on behalf of Allah. He reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) before opening fire. Why wasn’t this a terrorist attack, given Major Hasan’s Islamic extremist views? According to the London Telegraph, Hasan ”told classmates in graduate school that Islamic law trumped the U.S. Constitution.” On May 14, 2010, Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, in questioning Attorney General Eric Holder, found out just how far members of the Obama Administration will go to avoid saying the words. Smith asked Holder if he thought the common denominator between the Ft. Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber and the Times Square bomber was that they had ties to “Radical Islam.” Holder then did remarkable, though awkward, verbal calisthenics to avoid using the term. “There are a variety of reasons,” was his oft used phrase. Holder insisted that Islam “the religion” was not the problem, that a false “interpretation” of Islam might be the factor.
Say the words, Mr. President.