By Fr. George Welzbacher
May 5, 2013
In the face of the latest outburst of jihadist rage, the spectacular display of vicious hatred for the United States that the Boston bombings represent, our government persists in clinging to a policy that is stultifying and self-defeating, a policy that can be reduced to the formula: "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil - yea, and THINK no evil!" with respect to anything and everything touching on Islam. Thus we are told that we must wait and see what motive or motives may eventually emerge to elucidate the Tsarnaev brothers' gleeful decision to kill, maim or otherwise harm, to the maximum degree achievable, victims targeted at random. At present reckoning that number comes to 264 injured, four slain, and more than a dozen adults who have been subjected to amputation. One of those slain was an eight-year-old boy.
In the ongoing investigation it already seems clear that the government's overriding preoccupation is to do whatever it takes to ensure that Islam is kept OUT of the picture. Didn't you notice, it has been suggested that the bombings took place on April the fifteenth? Could what we have here be a striking exemplification of tax-payer rage? After all, consider in this context our government's official explanation for Major Nidal Hasan's shooting spree a few years ago at Fort Hood. Though embellished with shouts of "Allahu akhbar!," this orgy of killing was subsequently diagnosed as the grim outcome of "workplace stress" " - Allahu akbar!" being just another shout customary while "going postal"! So forget about Russian tip-offs concerning Tamerlan's, the older brother's, intermittent displays of Islamist zeal. Forget Tamerlan's demand that his American wife should clothe herself from (hooded) head to toe in servile accord with sharia. Forget as well the beatings he administered to her whenever she "misbehaved". Such beatings, after all, are normal in Islamic culture; they are explicitly endorsed in the Koran. (Talk about a war on women!). Forget, too, Tamerlan's half year's stay in the Islamist hotbed that is Dagestan. Forget, you might as well throw that in, too, his govemment-noted and quite frequent resort to Islamist sites on the Internet. No matter. All in all, our government chose to see no need to keep a watchful eye on what this young zealot might be up to. And with the advantage of hindsight we can add to the gathering parade of red flags the recent radicalization of Taineran's younger brother, Dshokhar, who, according to many who knew him fairly well, seemed not so long ago to have been a friendly, quite likeable kid.
All of this to the contrary notwithstanding , our Justice Department insists that the April 15th atrocity must NOT be considered to have been AN IDEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN ACT OF WAR PERPETRATED BY ENEMY COMBATANTS, but it must rather be judged to be a case of armed murderous assault, much like Chicago's bootlegger wars back in the 1920's and 30's. Justice Department attorneys thus rushed to file charges under the CRIMINAL justice code, an action which by law then NECESSITATED reading his Miranda rights to the defendant Dshokhar:
Thus the treasure trove of information that plausibly could have been retrieved through the leisurely interrogation that would have been permissible IF Dshokbar had been designated an ENEMY COMBATANT, is now out of reach. Dshokhar now has every reason not to talk.
Some will argue that an American citizen cannot legally be charged as an enemy combatant IF his anti-American belligerent deed took place on AMERICAN soil. Back in World War II President Roosevelt felt no rush of scruples when an American citizen was seized on Long Island in the company of a squad of Nazi saboteurs who had come ashore from a German submarine. The American among them, after a swift military trial, was found guilty of, and was executed for, treason. Nor did President Obama himself feel any scruple at all when he gave authorization two years ago for the assassination of two American citizens by means of a Helifire missile fired from an American drone. The citizens in question were Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. They were killed in Yemen at the President's command because their propaganda (as government agencies inconsistently conceded) was inciting Americans (such as Major Hasan) to commit violent acts here at home. Thus: If you incite, you can be killed. But if you act (at least on American soil) you can't even be asked a few questions. So now an American citizen, Dshokhar Tsamaev, who swore his oath of allegiance to the U.S.A. a few months ago on -- of all days of the year -- September the eleventh, 2012, supposedly cannot be legally designated an enemy combatant and thus become subject to interrogation since his vicious action took place ON AMERICAN SOIL. Go figure.
What is as clear from all of this as it is from our government's past handling of Islamist terrorist acts committed in the U.S.A. is that at all costs a manifest connection between terrorist action and a radical formulation of Islam must be ignored, concealed and denied. Which is why all reference to militant Islam has been REMOVED from government manuals dealing with terrorism No wonder, then, that not one, not two, but no less than THREE major government agencies - the CIA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security - somehow lost sight of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's coming and going between Russia and the U. S. A. None are so blind as those who CHOOSE blindness.
If appropriate measures are to be devised and taken to defend our republic against a formidable foe, one must above all else be clear as to precisely who - and what - that enemy is. In the meantime, pleasant dreams, America! Your government is standing guard!
* * * * *May I be permitted once again to share with you an analysis, this time a reading of the Boston bombings, that appeared in the paper that provides day in and day out the most perceptive reports, which is why I cite that paper so often.
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Make No Mistake, It was Jihad
The Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2013
Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the U.S.A.
If your concern about the threat posed by the Tsarnaev brothers is limited to assuring that they will never be in a position to repeat their grisly acts, rest easy.
The elder, Tamerlan -- apparently named for the 14th-century Muslim conqueror famous for building pyramids of his victims' skulls to commemorate his triumphs over infidels -- is dead. The younger, Dzhokhar, will stand trial when his wounds heal, in a proceeding where the most likely uncertainty will be the penalty. No doubt there will be some legal swordplay over his interrogation by the FBI's High-Value Interrogation Group without receiving Miranda warnings. But the only downside for the government in that duel is that his statements may not be used against him at trial. This is not much of a risk when you consider the other available evidence, including photo images of him at the scene of the bombings and his own reported confession to the victim whose car he helped hijack during last week's terror in Boston.
But if your concern is over the larger threat that inheres in WHO the Tsarnaev brothers were and are, what they did, and WHAT THEY REPRESENT, THEN WORRY -- A LOT.
For starters, you can worry about how the High-Value Interrogation Group, or HIG, will do its work. That unit was finally put in place by the FBI after so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airplane in which he was traveling as it flew over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 and was advised of his Miranda rights. The CIA interrogation program that MIGHT have handled the interview had by then been DISMANTLED by President Obama.
At the BEHEST of such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], and other self-proclaimed spokesmen for American Muslims, THE FBI HAS BOWDLERIZED ITS TRAINING MATERIALS TO EXCLUDE REFERENCES TO MILITANT ISLAMISM. Does this delicacy infect the FBI's INTERROGATION group as well?
Will we see another performance like the Army's after-action report following Maj. Nidal Hasan's rampage at Fort Hood in November 2009, preceded by his shout "Allahu akhbar"-- a report that spoke nothing of militant Islam but referred to the incident as "workplace violence"? If tone is set at the top, recall that the Army chief of staff at the time said the MOST TRAGIC result of Fort Hood would be if it INTERFERED with the Army's DIVERSITY program.
Presumably the investigation into the Boston terror attack will include inquiry into not only the immediate circumstances of the crimes but also WHO FUNDED Tamerlan Tsarnaev's months-long sojourn abroad in 2012 and his comfortable life style. Did he have a support network? What training did be, and perhaps his younger brother, receive in the use of weapons? Where did the elder of the two learn to make the suicide vest he reportedly wore? The investigation should include as well a deep dive into Tamerlan's radicalization, the Islamist references in the brothers' social media communications, and the jihadist websites they visited.
Will the investigation probe as well the FBI's OWN questioning of Tamerian TWO YEARS AGO at the behest of an unspecified foreign government, presumably Russia, over his involvement with jihadist websites and other activities? Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the FIFTH person since 9/11 who has PARTICIPATED in terror attacks AFTER questioning by the FBI. He was preceded by Nidal Hasan; drone casualty Anwar al Awlaki; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (born Carlos Leon Bledsoe), who murdered an Army recruit in Little Rock in June 2009; and David Coleman Headley, who provided intelligence to the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre in 2008. That doesn't count Abdulmutallab, who was the subject of WARNINGS to the CIA that he was a POTENTIAL terrorist.
If the intelligence yielded by the FBI's investigation is of value, will that value be compromised when his trial is held, as it almost certainly will be, in a civilian court? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers, as they have every right to do, will seek to discover that intelligence and use it to fashion a case in mitigation, if nothing else, to show that his late brother was the dominant conspirator who had access to resources and people.
There is also cause for concern in that this was obviously a suicide operation - not in the direct way of a bomber who kills all his victims and himself at the same time by blowing himself up, but in the way of someone who conducts a spree, holding the stage for as long as possible, before he is cut down in a blaze of what he believes is glory. Here, think Mumbai.
Until now, it has been widely accepted in law-enforcement circles that such an attack in the U.S. was less likely because of the difficulty that organizers would have in marshaling the spiritual support to keep the would-be suicide focused on the task. That analysis went out the window when the Tsarnaevs followed up the bombing of the marathon by murdering a police officer in his car - an act certain to precipitate the violent confrontation that followed.
It has been apparent that with al Qaeda UNABLE to mount ELABORATE attacks like the one it carried out on 9/11, other Islamists have stepped in with SMALLER and less intricate crimes, but crimes that are nonetheless meant to send a terrorist message. These include Faisal Shahzad, who FAILED to detonate a device in Times Square in 2010, and would-be subway bomber Najibullah Zazi and his confederates.
IS THIS as former CIA Director Michael Hayden put it, THE NEW NORMAL?
There is also cause for concern in the president's reluctance, soon after the Boston bombing, even to use the "t" word -- terrorism -- and in his vague musing on Friday about some UNSPECIFIED AGENDA of the perpetrators, when by then there was NO mystery: THE AGENDA WAS JIHAD.
For five years we have heard, principally from those who wield executive power, of a claimed need to make fundamental changes in this country, to change the world's -- particularly the Muslim world's -- PERCEPTION of us, to press "reset" buttons. We have heard not a word from those sources suggesting any need to understand and confront a totalitarian ideology that has existed since at least the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s.
The ideology has regarded the United States as its PRINCIPAL adversary since the late 1940s, when a Brotherhood principal, Sayid Qutb, visited this country and was aghast at what he saw as its decadence. The first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993, al Qaeda attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, on the USS Cole in 2000, the 9/11 attacks, and those in the dozen years since -- all were fueled by ISLAMIST HATRED FOR THE U.S. AND ITS VALUES.
There ARE Muslim organizations in this country, such as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, headed by Dr. Zubdi Jasser, THAT SPEAK OUT BRAVELY AGAINST that totalitarian ideology. THEY receive NO shout-out at PRESIDENTIAL speeches; NO outreach is extended to THEM.
One of the Tsamaev brothers is dead; the other might as well be. But if that is the limit of our concern THERE WILL BE OTHERS.
Mr. Mukasey served as attorney general of the United States from 2007 to 2009 and as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of new York [including New York City] from 1988 to 2006.
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World Watch, Syria* * * * *
The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2013
Bishops are Abducted
Two prominent Syrian bishops, who had warned of the threat to religious tolerance and diversity from the two-year conflict in their country, were kidnapped on Monday by armed rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, state media said.
SANA news agency said the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, were seized by "a terrorist group" in the village of kfar Dael as they were "carrying out humanitarian work" The two bishops are the most senior church leaders caught up in the conflict. The Orthodox Church in America confirmed the abductions.
Reuters News Service