Saturday, December 31, 2011

Trading Safety for Favor

It is said that America does not and will not negotiate with terrorists. But, it appears that our current government will negotiate for terrorists to be released without charges.

Recently the Obama Administration has been negotiating the release of a high value detainee, Mohammed Fazl, and four other detainees. All of them happen to be Taliban members. Fazl is a senior commander of the Taliban's army and has led operations that resulted in the death of one CIA member. This detainee has clearly been involved in nefarious Taliban operations that have targeted America. He has also been suspected of killing Shiite Muslims indiscriminately, in violation of human rights regulations.

The Obama Administration is pushing for the transfer of this detainee and four others to Afghanistan in what is being called a "peace deal." If by "peace" one means turning threats back over to the people who can fund, re-equip, and protect these dangerous men, I don't understand the definition of peace. Let's re-cap: US and Allied Forces capture these five men to decrease the likelihood that they will interfere with or actually oppose our operations to stop terrorism. One of these detainees has been so integral to perpetuating terrorism, that we hold him at GTMO beside KSM, the master-mind behind 9/11, and a handful or so of other high-value detainees. Then when our relationship with Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, and his government begins to unravel, we decide to try winning their favor by giving Fazl and a few other detainees back to Afghanistan. Not only does that sacrifice our safety for the sake of regaining Karzai's good graces, but it endangers us by reintroducing the threats that we mitigated in 2002 when we captured this man. So by "peace" we really mean "shooting ourselves in the foot."

Does anyone really believe that Afghan authorities will hold these terrorists as safely in their custody as we would? Does our government really believe that our national security should rest in the hands of our shaky relationship with Afghanistan? Or is it that the current leadership in our country cares more about repairing a relationship with Afghanistan, than it does about keeping America safe?

Can Afghanistan be trusted to neutralize the threat these terrorists pose? Hardly. That country is too unstable and splintered.

And lastly, will this really bring about peace? -- not if those we release from GTMO rejoin the fight, as many have.

Why not trust one of our allies with the care and custody of this high value detainee? Ohhh, that's right - no other Westernized or allied nation is convinced that they can effectively contain the danger posed by men like this. So, America will roll over - trading our national security for an uncertain relationship with Hamid Karzai. Note that this is a man who most certainly knew the whereabouts of UBL despite claiming to be our ally for the last several years.

Releasing men like Fazl from GTMO, especially for the purpose of repairing a relationship with Afghanistan is nonsense. There are plenty of other diplomatic avenues that do not jeopardize America's safety. We must stop handing ourselves back into the hands of our enemies, who we appear to provide more regard to than the soldiers who endanger themselves to protect us.

We cannot entrust our own safety to our enemies and luke-warm allies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ignorance Endangers America

Recently a reality t.v. show hit the networks. It's called All American Muslim and it's on TLC. It follows several families in Dearborn, Michigan where there is the largest Muslim population outside of the Middle East. The home improvement store, Lowe's, had been running advertisements during the show and recently pulled all of their commercials due to receiving complaints from an organization called the Florida Family Association. The Florida Family Association charged that the t.v. show consisted of "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."


...and false.

The organization went on to complain that the program misrepresented Islam -a religion that really supported mercy killing, the mutilation of women, and other such evils. Again, this is a ridiculous assertion. The Florida Family Association was referring to Sharia Law, whereby the followers inflict a shallow cut on their forehead to draw blood in a symbolic gesture that is related to their faith. The Florida Family Association's assertions are as misguided as the contention that Judeo-Christian religions engage in genital mutilation of infant boys throught the process of circumcision.

Assuming we can close our ears to the judgmental nature of the organization's comments (which is offensive enough), how can this group in Florida paint Islam as having an agenda that in any way endanger's America? This is absurd. Having an Islamic community in America is no more dangerous than having a German community in Israel.

It is a tragedy that there is so much misinformation regarding Islam since 9/11. This type of misguided angst, ignorant pontificating, prejudice, and paranoia is more likely to endanger "America's liberty and traditional values" than Muslims living in America.

C'mon, people, get a grip on the REAL facts about Islam, America, and what's been happening since 9/11. Organizations like the Florida Family Association are not only hurting American credibility, but they are endangering America by confirming the beliefs of the Radical Islamic Terrorists, who believe America is out to abolish Islam.

Let's try not to prove them right, America. And let's try avoiding a downward spiral into their distorted reality whereby statements like those by the Florida Family Association, which confirms to these terrorists that we really want to kill Muslims.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

All Apologies

I am not referrign to the song by the band Nirvana. Rather, I have been extremely busy with...err, uhhh, life to be honest. Imagine that - life getting in the way of blogging and publishing! More to come very soon, I am in the final stretches of editing.

--at least until my editor tells me there is more work to be done!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Former GTMO Detainee Speaks

Recently a Tunisian man, and former detainee of Guantanamo Bay detention facility was interviewed about his opinion of Bin Laden's death. Why the press was interested in the opinion of a convicted and freed terrorist remains a mystery. Did the press actually think a terrorist would speak negatively about his deceased leader? Well, his name is Adel Ben Mabrouk and though he spoke highly of Bin Laden. He also mentioned positive things at GTMO. He remarked that there were alot of good people working there. It's unfortunate that even these sentiments are overshadowed by rumors of rampant abuse and injustice - neither of which have any evidence since 2004. Yet the last 8 years of publicity refer to a pattern of negative detainee treatment without any recent evidence of such. The misinformation persists...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


With the recent killing of Al Qaeda's #1, Osama bin Laden, America revels in a symbolic victory. Americans and perhaps other civilized nations relish the prospect of taking down additional members such as Al Qaeda's second, now perhaps first in command, Al Zawahiri. Though a symbolic victory, this capture turned kill clearly sends a message to the despicable terrorists, who remain on our radar regardless of the time required to track them down. Not surprisingly, Guantanamo Bay detainees generated some of the intelligence information that ultimately led to bin Laden's death. Most notably, it is doubtful that harsh interrogation techniques last seen prior to 2003 were even considered. They were unnecessary. What was instrumental, however, was the continued legal, ethical, and safe operation of the detention center and execution of intelligence missions at Guantanamo Bay. The entire operation exudes more integrity than most would imagine. Too many years have passed without elucidating the true story of what transpires at GTMO. Too few world citizens have appreciated the existence of GTMO and have valued those Americans who serve there. Osama bin Laden's death is one major step in helping to convince the public about the merit of keeping GTMO open.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Military Commissions Trials Resume

I have been remiss in posting - my sincere apologies. This recent news warrants attention.

President Obama signed an executive order yesterday to resume military trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This is excellent news! Not only is there now support for resolution of these terrorists' disposition, but America will take a sensible course of action by putting them to trial. Thank God Congress has continued to oppose efforts to house the Guantanamo detainees within the US.

Here is a quick thought: There will be 80 or so tried of the 170 or so left at GTMO.

At it's height in 2003, GTMO had over 800 detainees. Most of these detainees have been sent home to their countries, or have been received by other countries. There is a reason why there are 170ish detainees left at GTMO. These are not people any country is willing to take. It's not because other countries don't have the money or the time. It's for some other reason...maybe because these remaining detainees truly are the worst of the worst. They are undoubtedly terrorists who pose immense risk to the national security of any nation. 170 minus the 80 who will go to trial leaves about 90 to be housed forever, probably in Guantanamo. Our country will dump billions into housing these 90 terrorists for the duration of their lives. I am more than happy to pay taxes for the next 40 years that support their continued detention if they will never be put to trial. And I would be pleased to pay the same taxes if it supported their trials.

Our American dollars are well worth what they purchase in national security assurance.