Connecting the Dots

The unsuccessful bombing on Christmas day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not any surprise, he was no dark horse. Investors Business Daily reported that “Abdulmutallab’s father walked into the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria earlier this year to warn America about this fanatic.” President Obama said, “There were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have and should have been pieced together”. Apparently there was sufficient information, but nobody took the hint.

How hard is this? Information was practically dropped in their lap, and they ignored it. Of course, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is calm, cool, and nonchalant when she says “the travelling public is safe” and that “the system worked”. How can a terrorist who slips through our fingers, despite clear signs, means that the system worked? She later admitted on NBC “Today” that the system “failed miserably”.

Abdulmutallab is reported to have 80 grams of PETN (or pentaerythritol tetranitrate) sewn into his briefs. To his discredit the explosion was “brief”, if any. The problem was that PETN cannot commonly be detonated by lighting it on fire, or dropping it. I suppose you could say that we’re lucky that Abdulmutallab didn’t do his homework.

So what steps have or will be taken to try to hinder educated jihadists and terrorists from their goal of blowing up Americans by the planeload? Mark Steyn with National Review said:

The bureaucrats at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) swung into action with a whole new range of restrictions. Against radical Yemen-trained Muslims wearing weaponized briefs? Of course not. That would be too obvious. So instead they imposed a slew of constraints against you. At Heathrow last week, they were permitting only one item of carry-on on U.S. flights. In Toronto, no large purses.

Um, the Pantybomber didn’t have a purse… But no matter. If in doubt, blame the victim. The TSA announced that for the last hour of the flight no passenger can use the toilets or have anything on his lap — not a laptop, not a blanket, not a stewardess, not even a paperback book. I can’t wait for the first lawsuit after an infidel flight attendant confiscates a litigious imam’s Koran as they’re coming into LAX.”

Other restriction are being considered. But you have to wonder if any of this will actually prevent a terrorist from harming the American people, try connecting the dots. How about taking warnings seriously. We had a perfect chance to do our best, and we failed.

The Wall Street Journal reported that possible links have been made between the recent undergarment guerilla and two Guantanamo detainees released in 2007. A Yemeni group that those two are now thought to be leaders of claimed responsibility (or what they might like to think as credit) for the recent bombings.

And some say that it’s better for our national security to release these detainees? It is quite the opposite. It is according to the detainees religion to kill the infidels in order to go to heaven. And somehow they think that these detainees will just decide it’s not worth it? Ridiculous. They will not stop until they are a martyr.

No, the system didn’t work. It will in the future if we follow the signs, connect the dots, and pay attention.

-Ben

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11 comments

  1. I agree for the most part. The new security restrictions are ridiculous. We need to profile Al Qaedists.

    But, I think its wrong to paint all detainees with a broad brush. Obviously these two should not have been released. But if a detainee has been shown to have been arrested by mistake or if the military determines he or she is not a threat, we should release that detainee.

    1. Adam, thank you for your comment and input.

      When looking at the Guantanamo detainees you also must consider the fact that it is part of their fundamental belief to die while killing others in order to go to heaven.
      Also, in a report by the Department of Defence, I found this chart.


      With the chart you can see that the majority of the Guantanamo detainees belong to terrorists groups.

      Thanks again for your input, I hope this information helps.
      -Ben

      1. Ben,

        If 10% of the detainees at Gitmo don’t appear to be related to a terrorist group, that’s pretty bad. Many guilty criminals don’t justify destroying the lives of less innocent people.

        Consider, for example: ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=1629283
        Or this source: Ex-Bush Official: Many At Gitmo Innocent

        Holding them without a trial is WRONG. If we fight for freedom by destroying it, what do we have left? Those at Gitmo should get a fare trial and release if they’re innocent. Sounds like common sense to me…

        > Brian

      2. I agree. One thought though, if they are not a U.S. citizen are they entitled to a trial? If so, how can they be judged by their peers? Also, they already get a military tribunal, which is also what military personnel receive.

        The report that I quoted in my last comment said that 86% of the detainees are from other countries. The report explains: “86% of the detainees captured by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance were handed over to the United States at a time in which the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected enemies.”

        If they are innocent then it would be a crime to have them there, if they are not, it would be a crime to let them go. My argument was mostly saying that we shouldn’t let them all go.

        -Ben
        P.S. Sorry, the link that I gave to the report by the DOD earlier was incorrect (it will be fixed). Please go to: http://law.shu.edu/publications/guantanamoreports/guantanamo_report_final_2_08_06.pdf (PDF)

      3. I think any moral person would agree we should let the innocent go free and have the guilty punished as quickly as possible. That’s why they are all entitled to a trial, and the most fair trial humanly possible.

        The better the trial, the better it helps America and the West win the PR half of the War on Terror.

      4. It sounds like we all agree that they should have a trial. Now the question is, what kind of trial?
        If we give them a civilian trial, then they all would go free, including the real terrorists. Mostly because they were not read their Miranda rights, and they didn’t have a trial in a timely manner. But since they are not U.S. citizens, and that they were captured as enemy combatants, the situation changes.

      5. I’m not an attorney, but from what I understand by reading the attorneys close to the cases, no one would go free simply because they were not read their Miranda rights. Instead, evidence that was obtained through unreliable means (such as coercive interrogation, which leads to a lot of false convictions even in civilian courts) would not be considered by the jury.

        We’ve tried and convicted over a hundred terrorists in U.S. civilian courts. To alter our policy and try these particular suspects in military courts simply because we’re afraid we won’t get a conviction sets a frightening precedent.

        But I’m more worried about the strategic standpoint. Even the appearance of impropriety on our part gives more credibility to the radical sheiks and brings in more recruits for Al-Qaeda. This is, above all, a war for the ‘hearts and minds’ and since the battlefield is in our own country, there’s no option for withdrawal.

      6. No, they would go free. According to Supreme Court Case Dickerson v. United States in a 7-2 opinion, the court ruled that Congress can not overrule the fact that if the arrested is not read his/her Miranda rights before being interrogated then what they said may not have been voluntary. And thus, cannot be considered evidence against the arrested. Since the Guantanamo detainees are not read their Miranda rights when they were captured anything they had said would be void, and they would all be considered innocent. Thus releasing back into the world, terrorism. This would only happen if we accepted the falsehood that detainees should be tried as U.S. citizens.

        Your statement that, “We’ve tried and convicted over a hundred terrorists in U.S. civilian courts.” Could you please cite a source for this? I have never heard that before.

        On your last statement: This war is not about how polite we are. It is a commandment from their own religion to kill the infidels to go to heaven. History has shown that appeasement does not create peace.

      7. http://m.knoxnews.com/news/2009/nov/29/reasonable-decision/

        http://www.slate.com/id/2219268/

        Nobody said anything about appeasement.

        The War on Terror is an existential threat. It’s a 21st Century war. Our enemy doesn’t wear a uniform or carry a membership card. Our enemy is a particular variant of radical Islam that sees America as the enemy and American civilians as acceptable targets.

      8. Sorry, I also forgot to ask if you know of any legal experts who honestly believe any of these guilty suspects will be freed.

      9. (This is in response to the last two comments by Adam.)

        The Slate article you quoted did say that hundreds are already in American prisons. But, did the Slate article say that hundreds had been tried in civilian courts? No. I just said that they were in civilian jails. And even if the article did say that they had been tried in civilian courts, they shouldn’t have. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to recognize that these people are not United States citizens (except for the terrorists who actually are citizens.)

        Apparently I misunderstood your statement, “Even the appearance of impropriety on our part gives more credibility to the radical sheiks and brings in more recruits for Al-Qaeda.” I thought you were saying that we should appease the terrorists so that we don’t create an excuse for further terrorism.

        And in response to your last comment: I did not directly quote, or know, any experts who say that these detainees will go free. But, if you try them in a civilian court you are treating them as a United States citizen, and if you are to treat them as a citizen then you forfeit the fact they were not read their Miranda rights, and because of that, you would run the risk of them going free. And President Obama recently reinstated military tribunals. Why would we give our enemy’s anything better than our own military?

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