It's been an amazing week in the war on terror, and a mixed bag; from the Christmas Day Panty bomber to the decision to release Qais Qazali in a prisoner swap for British citizen Peter Moore, we're decidedly less safe going into 2010 than we were at the beginning of 2009. The Obama approach to terrorism has been basically to pretend it doesn't exist.
Charles Krauthammer sums it up pretty well in his column today:
The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism “man-caused disasters.” Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.
Incomprehension, indeed. It's incomprehensible to me how anyone thinks that a criminal justice approach to terrorism is the right path given the mistakes made in the past with that approach.
This is all quite mad even in Obama’s terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.
The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator — no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.
So this week alone, we've forfeited the opportunity to obtain information from an active terrorist about planned attacks, co-conspirators, etc., and we've released other known terrorists back into the jihadi fold.
Tell me again how this administration makes me safer?