Only 13% of the American people surveyed by Gallup recently, support drone strikes on against American citizens on American soil while 79% oppose. 65% support them as a weapon of war on enemy soil against terrorists or enemy forces. Significant majorities do not want them used on American soil even against terrorists. In other words, we stand with Rand. So much for the dummies who pretend to be political analysts and John McCain who thought the American people could not distinguish between the two concepts.Most intriguing is the fact that a similar survey in February, gave 50% to 45% opposition. Now with a month of debate, it is 79 to 13%. Leadership matters. Engagement matters. It is why our side has to stop ducking issues and engage them intelligently.
There was a real divide in the Presidential debate over the Patriot Act. Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and Herman Cain understand that we need reform. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry do not agree. Some say expand it. Read this and tell me there is no problem. How about this account of the abuse of a national security letter to an ISP? Expand it–No way. Repeal the parts with the sunset position, yes way.
A decade later, much of the government’s surveillance policy remains shrouded in secrecy, making it impossible for Americans to engage in a meaningful debate on the effectiveness or wisdom of various practices. The government has used NSLs to collect private information on hundreds of thousands of people. I am the only person from the telecommunications industry who received one to ever challenge in court the legality of the warrantless NSL searches and the associated gag order and to be subsequently (partially) ungagged. In 2004, it wasn’t clear whether the FBI would charge me with a crime for telling the ACLU about the letter, or for telling the court clerk about it when I filed my lawsuit as “John Doe.” I was unable to tell my family, friends, colleagues or clients, and I had to lie about where I was going when I visited my attorneys. My father was battling cancer and, in 2008, he succumbed to his illness. I was never able to tell him what I was going through. For years, the government implausibly claimed that if I were able to identify myself as the plaintiff in the case, irreparable damage to national security would result. But I did not believe then, nor do I now, that the FBI’s gag order was motivated by legitimate national security concerns. It was motivated by a desire to insulate the FBI from public criticism and oversight. In 2007, the Washington Post made an exception to its policy against anonymous op-eds and published a piece I wrote about my predicament. In August 2010, the government agreed to a settlement, and I was finally allowed to reveal my name to the public in connection with my case. But I am still prevented — under the threat of imprisonment — from discussing any fact that was redacted in the thousands of pages of court documents, including the target of the investigation or what information was sought. I don’t believe that it’s right for Americans’ free speech rights to be bound by perpetual gag orders that can’t be meaningfully challenged in a court of law. The courts agreed, but the NSLs and the gag orders
Let’s start with this is not a blanket condemnation of Islam. If you are a Muslim, I do not hate you, want to deprive you of any rights, advocate any violence, bash your faith, or think that you are less of an American. I understand there is a great variety of perspectives in Islam. My criticism is meant only for those to whom it applies. There is a poison in the world that is a threat to stability and human rights which is second only to the Red Menace. That poison is Militant Islam. It is not some radical fringe, but a mainstream thought within Islam that has claims going back to the early generations. Islam has long had a tension between the peaceful, spiritual side and the militant conquering side. The modernist have sided this century with the mystical side. In spite of this alliance, the 1970’s saw a popular revival of Jihadists in both the Sunni and the Shiite branches of Islam. The modernist were blamed rightfully in many cases for corrupting the moral strength of Islamic culture with its love of the worst of Western decadence. The Mystics did not push back, but the militants did. They became the voice of purity and submission to Allah. Post 9/11 there has been a revival of spiritual Islam. The intellectual field is no longer ceded to the Militants. That is the good news. The bad news is that the militants have guns and bombs. They will not only kill infidels, they will kill Muslims they view as competitors. In areas where they have a critical mass, it becomes very difficult to unseat them. That is why the Arab spring was not a great event. Look at the instability between Egypt and Israel. It used to be one of the best borders in the world between former adversaries. 30 years of peace and prosperity is falling apart within months under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood which is pushing the interim government to become more and more hostile to Israel. The oldest Christian community in the world is not faring well either. If you want to see areas where they have control, look at the Sudan. Genocide is a tool of statecraft. Even with the division and peace treaty, militant groups are still being sent across the borders. In Iran, the quest for the bomb is not a Pakistan style quest for a military edge against a larger rival. Pakistan never intends to use the bomb. Its existence is a tool of statecraft to give it a stronger position in its continuing disputes. Iranian leaders have fantasized that their bomb could be used to eliminate Israel, cause a nuclear war, and out of the crisis could usher in the return of the last Imam. There is an element that actually wants to sacrifice 1/2 of their population to achieve it. They believe that like the suicide bombers giving of themselves to advance the cause, the massive sacrifice of the faithful will open the door to move Allah to send the last Imam and cleanse the world of evil. What does that mean? It means to me that Iran cannot get the bomb. They are the only country that may actually use it. Of course that could be a strategic deception to frighten us into submission if they get the bomb because we will believe they are on the verge of using it or it could be a way to get us to attack them and then Allah will send deliverance and He will then usher in the global kingdom of Islam. On 9/11/2001, Americans realized that radical Islamists were at war with us. 9/11/11 Americans need to realize that a larger militant movement exists and it controls several countries and is on the move to take over several more. Africa is in warfare. In Nigeria, people are killed for conversion. The nation is divided between North and South. The Islamic north is on the verge of succession. In the Stans, radicalization is a real and present danger even in progressive nations like Pakistan. It is estimated that 1/4 of the Islamic world is militant or sympathetic. Even in modern Indonesia and Turkey, they are making headway. The United States has to admit that the War on Terror is just the beginning. We have to win something bigger. We have to defeat a global movement. Like the Cold War, the answer is not to wage war everywhere and spending our blood and treasury into exhaustion. It is to support the opponents of this movement around the world. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists are all allies. The enemy of our enemy must be our friend. We should be funding alternative media. We need to scholarship students from the Islamic world into our colleges. We need to step up the 70 nation special ops secret war against the militant elements. We need to bring back rendition. Abandoning tough policies undermined the governments keeping them under control. We need to encourage religious freedom. We need to covertly fund non militant mosques to make up for the Saudis funding radical ones. We need to expose their abuses daily. We should never treat them as the legitimate voice of Islam. We must do what it takes to keep Iran from getting the bomb even if that means severe sanctions or a blockade. That is a last resort because the rise in global oil prices would hurt our flagging economy. If you thought 9/11 was bad, imagine a world 10 years from now where these militants control the oil from North Africa to the Chinese border and have Nuclear weapons in Pakistan, Iran, and Kazakhstan. Imagine them getting the technology from Kazakhstan for ballistic missiles. Imagine while we are focused from that threat that we miss a suitcase nuke in an imported car or soda machine. Imagine 10 city blocks reduced to rubble. Then hearing that their are 20 more if we do not withdraw all operations immediately, one will go off everyday until we do. Imagine we are forced to watch while we are millions are slaughtered a Christian Holocaust as tens of millions of Christians and millions of Jews are killed. Imagine while we are in turmoil, millions of refuges are heading toward our borders. If we do not take this threat seriously, we will be overwhelmed by it.
If the Ambassador from India is a security threat, then we lost already. Where is the common sense? Shall the President be patted down when he visits a foreign country? Once again we show our cluelessness to the world. Guard against actual threats, don’t go through the motions. Governor Haley Barbour gave this statement
GOV. BARBOUR ISSUES STATEMENT CONCERNING TSA PAT-DOWN OF INDIAN AMBASSADOR “I have spoken to Ambassador Meera Shankar and expressed my concern on behalf of Mississippi for the way she was treated by the federal Transportation Security Administration personnel while she was in our state. I assured the ambassador that I have taken up the issue with the TSA and with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. I hope to see whatever necessary procedural changes made within TSA that make our visitors feel welcome and safe in the Hospitality State.” .
A lady in Oklahoma became tired of being groped every time she flew. She is wheelchair bound and a frequent flyer. Her answer is to arrive in her bra and panties. Like Bikini girl, it seems to work most of the time. Tell me again why American frequent flyers can’t be prescreened like Mexican Frequent flyers entering America?
So now it is coming out. The Obama White House gave the unofficial go ahead to the Scottish Government to release the thug terrorist responsible for the brutal murder of Americans over Lockerbie Scotland. Remember last week Obama said, “that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release. Well it turns out Obama was not really surprised disappointed or angry. In fact the Obama White House “ secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be “far preferable” to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.” The Obama White House has fought tenaciously to keep the diplomatic letter that gave the U.S. position on this matter between the U.S. and Scottish Ministers a secret. This is no surprise. The letter demonstrates that Obama’s so called shock and surprise was an acting job worthy of an Academy Award nomination. The letter was sent by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London to Scottish Ministers. “In the letter, sent on August 12 last year to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and justice officials, Mr LeBaron wrote that the US wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime. The note added: “Nevertheless, if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose.” In diplomatese this letter says that if you let the guy go we won’t make a stink about it. In fact this is the Message the Scottish Ministers got. Again, “Scottish ministers viewed the level of US resistance to compassionate release as “half-hearted” and a sign it would be accepted.” Remember, last August, Obama was still in apology mode and thought that being “compassionate” to murderous thugs would make them like us. Any righteous American would have communicated to the Scots that in no way would any release be acceptable. Obama should have stated that any release would involve consequences. Instead in his typical limp wristed approach to foreign policy, Obama gave the tacit go ahead to the release of a murderous thug bent on the destruction of America and the killing of Americans. One has to really feel for the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie Bombing. Once again Obama has betrayed decent Americans. Abdel Baset al-Megrahi is free in Libya and is treated like a hero. The victims of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi are cold in their graves. Thank You Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Article on Lockerbie Bomber: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/white-house-backed-release-of-lockerbie-bomber-abdel-baset-al-megrahi/story-e6frg6so-1225896741041
There is a dust up over minor remarks by National Republican Committee Chairman Michael Steele in which he called the War in Afghanistan a war of Obama’s choosing (refering to the surge and refocus from Iraq). He noted correctly that over the centuries not foreign power has conquered the land through a land war. The Neo Con faction of the party is demanding that Steele resign. Bill Crystal, Liz Cheney, and Charles Krauthammer are leading the charge. Readers here know that I support the President’s resolve to winning this war so that we can come home and not go back latter when hundreds or thousands of Americans have died again. General Petraeus put it well when he said that we are in this to win it. On this I agree with the Neo Cons. Where I am disagreeing with them is the idea that a little noted comment which was retracted by the RNC before the digital ink could dry is cause for resignation. Even if the Chairman stuck by the remarks, it is not a cause for resignation. The Neo Con faction with its constant over reaching in the name of a robust national security has done great harm to the Republican Party. The losses of the party in 2006 lie almost solely at the feet of the Neo Cons. This faction has condemned any voice which disagrees. It is the new boy on the block but acts as if it owns the block. I believe that a robust discussion of our national security strategy is fair game. Steele needs to stay put through these elections as any disruption would only be a major distraction at this point. I especially do not think that anyone should resign for a statement that was reversed. If we say that even mentioning the difficulties ahead is a “capital offence”then we are saying to our traditional base of people like Will and Buchanan that you no longer have a place in the party. We are saying to 60% of the people who share the war fatigue that your concerns are not even worth voicing. That is not wise. We are not talking about fundamental positions of the party. We are talking about a fluid strategy. He is still wrong. I do not fault the Neo Cons for differing and calling for a withdraw of the statement. I just think resignation calls 4 months before the election are arrogant and unreasonable. It is like the Neo Cons think they own the GOP. The Neo Cons can get in line. There is going to be a robust debate next year over whether Chairman Steele is the man to guide us into 2012. That will be the appropriate time to make the case for change.