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The Willful Blindness of Barack Obama

Tuesday, June 17, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Barack Obama wants to hike social security taxes, double the capital gains tax and restore the death tax to its highest levels.

Barack Obama opposes any expansion of exploration for oil even though the price you are paying at the pump is soaring and the only way to halt the rise is increased production.

Barack Obama wants to meet, without preconditions, with Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Kim Jung Il.

Barack Obama wants the U.S. to quit the field in Iraq ,imperiling the victory there that is emerging with unmistakable clarity.

But perhaps worst of all his many terrible positions, Barack Obama wants to return to the anti-terrorism model of the 1990s –the criminal justice model.

That’s what he told ABC News’ Jake Tapper yesterday:

And it is my firm belief that we can track terrorists, we can crack down on threats against the United States, but we can do so within the constraints of our Constitution. And there has been no evidence on their part that we can’t.

And, you know, let’s take the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated.

And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, “Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.”

Over the weekend, my C-SPAN “After Words”interview with Andrew McCarthy, lead prosecutor of killers behind the first attack on the World Trade Center aired. McCarthy’s new book, Willful Blindess, details the terrible gaps in the approach to terror that the U.S. pursued in the ’90s, gaps which led directly to 9/11.

Obama wants to return to those days, which means a certain countdown to another 9/11.

Obama’s vacuous assertion that fecklessness in the face of terrorism allows us to say to the world “Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims,” is astonishing. It reveals that at Obama’s core there is a belief the operation of Gitmo somehow makes the U.S. anti-Muslim, and it buys into the most perverse of charges, that the U.S. has lost “credibility when it comes to the rule of law around the world.”

The credibility of our attachment to the rule of law does not depend on the editorial board of Al Jazeera. Nor does it depend on the nod of a first term senator from Illinois with a huge e-mail list.

It depends on our actual, magnificent, centuries-old respect for the law and acknowledgement of its authority, a respect for law that is embodied in the military tribunals being used at Gitmo (which were not overthrown by last week’s decision which instead supplemented them with additional habeas proceedings.)

Over the weekend Obama incoherently suggested that the example of the Nuremberg Trials somehow indicted our system of using military tribunals to try terrorists.

This is another display of historical ignorance by Obama, one that rivals his glowing assessment of the Kennedy-Khrushchev Vienna summit.

The Nuremberg Trials were conducted before an International Military Tribunal.

Our military tribunals at Gitmo are in fact certainly fairer than those used at Nuremberg because there are no successors to Major-General Iona Nikitchenko on our panels.

There were no habeas rights provided the Nuremberg defendants, as implied by Obama this weekend, just as there is no anti-Muslim prejudice in our system of military tribunals, an accusation endorsed by Obama yesterday.

It has become painfully obvious that Obama’s platform embraces all of the anti-American twaddle of the past five years while ignoring all of the great good accomplished in that time, including the overthrow of Saddam and his mad-as-hatter sons, the disarmament of Libya of its WMD, some progress in Lebanon (now imperiled by an emboldened Iran and Syria) and of course no foreign-directed terrorist attack within the U.S. since 9/11. (We should not forget the many examples of Sudden Jihad Syndrome and their victims. In fact, for an example of the efficacy of the Obama model for fighting terrorism, look at the recent result in the trial of the Seattle mass killer: A mistrial.)

On issue after issue we have enormous clarity on the differences between John McCain and Barack Obama, but nowhere are these stark differences more important than on how the two men would conduct the war against jihadism.

John McCain will instruct the military to continue to wage it wherever necessary to prevent its return to our shores.

Barack Obama will attempt to prosecute terrorists after they kill who knows how many Americans even as he badmouths the American justice system.

Kudos to Tapper on focusing his interview on important issues. I will play the audio of my interview with Andrew McCarthy on today’s show. If you want the riveting details on why our approach to terror-fighting in the ’90s was so wrong and why Obama’s declaration is so troubling, order a copy of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad. Send one to Obama is you have his address.

Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad

UPDATE: The interview with Andrew McCarthy did not air this past weekend but will air next weekend. I will play the audio next week.

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