I’ve seen many critiques of it, but for me it was, well, boring. Why? Because it was so predictable. Other than some grudging acceptance of the terrorism that has spawned in the US, it was the usual nonsense of lecturing the citizens of the US like they were children. Jim Geraghty picked up on that too:
At this point in his presidency, Obama speaks with only one tone, the slightly exasperated and sometimes not-merely-slightly exasperated “adult in the room” who constantly has to correct his fellow Americans, who are always flying off the handle, calling for options that “aren’t who we are,” betraying our values, and so on. He’s always so disappointed in us.
At certain points, Obama sounded as if he was speaking to children. “The threat is real, but we will overcome it.” “We will not defeat it with tough talk, abandoning our values, or giving in to fear.” “We will prevail by being strong and smart.”
And yet, we’ve heard nothing “strong or smart” from the man giving the lecture. Nothing. For instance:
He made yet another pitch for barring anyone on the no-fly list or terror watch list from purchasing firearms. He simply ignored any of the objections, whether it’s the lack of due process or judicial review, the arbitrary, foggy nature of how someone gets on the list, or the fact that 280,000 people with no recognized terrorist group affiliation are on the list.
Sounds good to those who don’t really think about it, but is it? Not really. Why? Well, that’s fairly simple:
You know who wasn’t on the no-fly list? The San Bernardino shooters. Nor was the Fort Hood shooter. Nor the Boston bombers. Nor the Chattanooga shooter. In other words, no perpetrator of any major attack on American soil was on the no-fly list.
So again, the “smartest guy in the room” acts exasperated with the “children” but offers up a whole lot of nothing – except the usual dump truck load of words – that addresses the problem.
As someone tweeted when they found out that Obama, Biden and Rice among others were meeting to address San Bernardino, “Our JV team”.
America is heading for a civil war, Western civilization is collapsing, and a new Dark Ages is impending. Good luck, everybody!
On the Podcast Page.
The problem, of course, is because of their refusal to secure the southern border and enforce immigration law, it will be innocent Americans who will pay the price if such an attack unfolds. From Judicial Watch via NRO’s “The Corner”:
Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.
Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.
The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”
Mr. Obama, you can’t put the cart before the horse, because you have neither. Neither. You’ve completely failed to secure our borders and you’ve invited this sort of thing to happen for years. You have no strategy for national security, one of your primary jobs.
Any blood from an attack now is completely on your hands. And should an attack come, given all the warnings about the consequences of not securing that border, I think the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” would certainly apply.
I find this story to be fairly astonishing.
We’ve talked about immigration policy before and we’ve certainly noted the Federal government’s outright refusal to enforce our nation’s laws concerning some illegal immigrants. But what about those legally here and in violation of the law or deemed a threat?
Wasn’t that supposed to be the breaking point, the point at which this administration would step in and take action?
Back on Sunday I broke the news here at PJ Media of the arrest of Abdullatif Aldosary in connection with the bombing of a Social Security Administration office in Casa Grande, Arizona, last Friday morning. I noted that while the bombing and Aldosary’s arrest had received local news coverage, there was a virtual blackout by the national media on the Iraqi refugee’s identity.
Yesterday I reported on details provided to the federal court on Monday during Aldosary’s initial court hearing, which included information on what was found when the FBI conducted a search of his Coolidge, Arizona, home last Friday night. Among the items recovered was a bomb-making manual that had been hidden behind a photograph on the wall. Also discovered were an AK-47 and a 9mm Ruger handgun, along with more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. Kerry Picket at the Washington Times also reported that they recovered several gallons of chemicals typically used in bomb making.
When authorities checked Aldosary’s bank statements, they found he had more than $20,000 despite the fact that he was a convicted felon, only worked as a day laborer, and had no visible means of supporting himself sufficient to warrant having that kind of balance.
Sounds like a terrorist doesn’t he?
Well, that’s where the “bombshell” comes in:
But a bombshell report came out today based on information obtained by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who had received a request from Aldosary in November 2011 for assistance in obtaining a “green card.”
According to today’s news report, the Department of Homeland Security responded to Gosar’s request on behalf of Aldosary last year by saying that he was ineligible for a change in status because of “terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility”.
So DHS knew about this guy last year and yet he was still in this country?
Yes he was and last Friday he attempted to blow up a Social Security office.
As you might imagine Gosar wants to know why:
Gosar said DHS responded by saying Aldosary was not eligible for a permanent change to citizenship “pursuant to the terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility, and that “individuals who engage in terrorism-related activity … are barred from receiving various immigration benefits.”
DHS did not elaborate on what the activity was. Gosar wrote that to be barred from permanent status, under federal law the immigrant must have engaged in activity “indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity; to prepare or plan a terrorist activity; to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity” or belong to “a terrorist organization” among other actions.
In light of the Casa Grande bombing, Gosar questioned why Aldosary was not detained and processed for deportation in November 2011, after it was determined he had engaged in terrorism-related activity.
The bombing happened about a block away from Gosar’s office.
“But for the grace of God, no one was injured in the bombing,” Gosar wrote.
Gosar also asked what efforts were made to track and monitor “a known terrorist.”
Of course this is all happening after the freaking guy bombed a building!
Where was DHS in all of this? Why was this guy still wandering around? Why hadn’t he been immediately deported?
And why in the hell isn’t this all over the news?
At this point, I see it as mostly rumor, but I wonder how the left will react if this is true:
As speculation mounts about the motive behind the mass shooting, one private investigator has claimed that Holmes may have been part of Occupy Wall Street’s most violent faction Occupy Black Bloc.
Bill Warner told how the Batman movie portrays the OWS crowd in a negative vein, leading him to believe that may have been a cause behind the shooting.
Again, note the word “speculation”. We’ll learn more as the investigation continues. Interesting that I read this first in the foreign press.
I have to wonder, then, if this indeed turns out to be true, whether authorities will continue to state that he had no ties to known terrorist groups.
That said, my profound sympathies to the families of the victims of this kook’s madness.
UPDATE: Interesting little back and forth on Twitter about this post among friends and colleagues essentially trying to convince me that I shouldn’t “go there”.
I disagree. The possibility exists and this being a news source which clearly identifies the point as “speculation” based on what it gathered from one “private investigator”, I see nothing wrong with posting it. They obviously found something credible in what the investigator said, credible enough to include it in the story (but obviously not willing to cast it beyond “speculation” until they can find a corroborating source). I present it as they have.
Never said or directly implied in the back and forth was the “sensitivity” of the recent massacre or the apparent assumed time one must let pass before “speculating”. We speculate about motive all the time on really fresh crimes (see recent bus bombing in Bulgaria). The size of this one is the only real difference. It was a heinous act – agreed. Got it. So are green-on-blue murders in Afghanistan, be we don’t assume a waiting period on those. We discuss them. We speculate on motive, etc. Talking about it or what may have motivated the crime won’t make it any less heinous.
Should the source choose to retract, I’ll note that. Other than that, this is something to be considered in the mass murders this yahoo perpetrated. Call it what you will, I see it as news. And if you don’t believe this should be “politicized”, that ship sailed hours ago.
In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss the economy, Charlie Crist, and the Times Square bombing attempt. Billy Hollis checks in, too.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2009, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.
An interesting discussion broke out in the comment section of the Miranda post, which I’m hoping will continue. The primary issue (and I’m simplifying here) centers around just how detainees caught on a battlefield should be handled if they don’t fit the established parameters of soldiers under the Geneva Conventions. Although there appears to be agreement that reading detainees Miranda rights is a step (or three) too far, there is also wide agreement that we should be skeptical about allowing our government so much latitude as to hold anyone indefinitely. I think closing the gap on those parameters is the challenge to be met, but I don’t think it is possible to do so without understanding how war differs from law enforcement.
Clausewitz defined war as “continuation of policy with other means.” The crux of his definition is that “war” is simply a tactic used to further political goals. War is not waged as end in itself, but as a means towards other ends which, for whatever reason, could not be accomplished through non-violent tactics. There are always exceptions, of course, but certainly a rational state will not expend blood and treasure when the same goals can be accomplished without. Even an irrational state, with irrational goals, will not waste such resources if it understands that it does not have to.
The other tools in the box for continuing policy include diplomacy and capitulation. Once those are deemed exhausted or unacceptable (as the case may be) then the tool of war is likely to appear. In other words, if agreement cannot be reached between erstwhile enemies, and surrender by one side or the other is not acceptable, then actual battle will be necessary to decide whose policy will be continued. At that point all manner of understanding between the parties is dead and only victory or a credible threat thereof will allow the discarded tools to once again be used in the construction of policy.
In the absence of war, there is general agreement as to how competing parties will conduct themselves in the pursuit of their policies. Citizens may vote, senators may argue, special interests may agitate, and whole nations may barter. The agreements may deal with how citizens deal with one another, how governments deal with their citizens, or how violations of the agreements are handled (i.e. law enforcement). In the modern world those general agreements are reduced to treaties, constitutions, rules, regulations and the like, all of which may be considered law. The policies themselves may also be enacted into law, but without some understanding as to the mechanisms for peacefully deciding which policy will be followed, then war is the only tool available. A rule of law, which is only useful where there is broad agreement on it, obviates the need to use war to advance policy. All of the foregoing are the hallmarks of a civil society that depends on pursuing policies through peaceful tactics. To turn Clauswitz’s definition around, law is the continuation of war by other means.
To be sure, transgressors of law will be dealt with at times in violent ways, but there is at least a tacit agreement to the law’s authority to do so where the violator is operating from within the society and generally partaking of its benefits. If enough transgressors get together then the agreements have broken down, and civil war or revolution may occur. Therefore, war can be understood as the tactic that is used when the law has ceased to be of use. More simply, war is the absence of law.
Given the above, which is nothing more than a condensed version of my personal views on the subject, it is difficult for me to understand how legal concepts can be introduced into war. Opposing factions may agree with one another to fight under particular rules of engagement, or to treat enemy prisoners a certain way, but when those rules are broken there is no legitimate authority to enforce them. The Geneva Conventions represent a more elaborate attempt to impose limits on warfare, but even those were never intended to apply to non-signatories except in very limited circumstances (pre-Hamdan anyway). More importantly, it seems obviously ludicrous to apply laws outside such limited agreement to any of the parties involved in battle, because there would be no battle if such laws were being adhered to in the first place.
So while any number of parties may agree amongst themselves to fight under self-imposed rules, that does not give any of them authority to impose those rules on others. Furthermore, except where explicitly agreed to otherwise, such rules would not govern war between a party to such an agreement and a non-party. To look at it another way, if Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield agree to fight under certain sanctioned rules, that does not mean that either fighter must adhere to the same rules if attacked by a third party on the way home from the match.
Accordingly, in a world of asymmetrical warfare, the basic principle that “war is the absence of law” seems to apply. In this context, the very idea of approaching war with terrorists in foreign countries under a rubric of law intended to govern domestic life appears absurdly out of place. Treating detainees captured on the battlefield to the luxury of legal niceties intended to protect the very citizens those terrorists seek to harm defies all logic. And pretending that reading any of them Miranda rights will do anything more than hamper our ability to defeat these cretins is an exercise in serious delusion. In short, law is a manifestation of the agreements underlying a peaceful community, and war is the means of protecting those agreements from those who seek to subvert them.
When considering just where the line should be drawn then, between reading enemies their “rights” and allowing the government to detain them indefinitely, I think it’s useful to understand that we are not really talking about a “rule of law.” Instead, we are talking about how best to utilize the tactic of war in furthering our policy of not allowing crazed radicals to murder our citizens. While I find great merit in placing the government (i.e. our instrument of war) on a firm leash, I don’t think it is at all useful to conflate the means by which we protect ourselves from an overbearing government with the means by which the government protects us from enemies bent on our destruction.
Picking up on Bryan’s excellent post yesterday, we now have two examples of what could be classified as “domestic terrorism”.
We have the Tiller case in Kansas where a doctor that offered late term abortions was murdered at his church while acting as an usher.
And we have the murder of a soldier and the wounding of another by a “muslim convert” who “was opposed to the US military” in Arkansas.
Each perpetrator appears to have been “a lone wolf”, i.e. someone who may have acted out of some sort of belief, but was otherwise unaffiliated with any group or movement which could be identified as a terror or pressure group.
If that’s the case, would you see each of these cases as “domestic terror” cases – i.e. do they fulfill the definition Bryan used, “the pursuit of political goals through the use of violence against noncombatants in order to dissuade them from doing what they have a lawful right to do”?
If so, what do you think the “political goals” of each given they were, or appear to be “lone wolves” (or was this simply a “crime of conscience” most likely rationalized by a rather sick mind) and do you think their acts were actually intended to dissuade others from doing what they have a lawful right to do?
And, given the new tendency toward attempting to classify crimes in this manner – were each of them “hate crimes”?
In this podcast, Bruce and Dale discuss discuss the president’s announcement of legal indefinite detention, and the economy.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2007, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.