Wall Street Editorial Page: If the Government Claims You Are a Terrorist, Then You ARE a Terrorist (Bill Anderson)
Friday May 18th, 2012
The "War on Terror" has become a sickness. Abroad, the U.S. Armed Forces either commit acts of war in small, defenseless countries or they are engaged in dirty wars of occupation, as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drone strikes kill innocents and now the government has decided that Americans are so evil that they, too, need to feel the full force of the drone.
Cheering on every lie and abuse has been the neocon (emphasis on "con") Wall Street Journal editorial page and today we see the Journal's viewpoint in all its evil: the government should not have to face any restrictions at all when it comes to pursuing what it calls "terrorists." On top of that, the Journal goes on to lambast those few "Tea Party" Republicans who have the audacity to question the abuses of the FBI, the CIA, and the Armed Forces. The editorial states:
A week ago the world learned of another foiled airplane bombing attack by the Yemeni offshoot of al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's successors are desperate to strike the U.S. again, which isn't news to most Americans but seems to elude some Members of Congress. The newest "foiled" attempt was yet another CIA "false flag" operation, but the WSJ wants us to believe that the brave U.S. Government agents, using their vast intelligence network that was gained through waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" methods that in reality have produced nothing but hot air and lies at home, not to mention hatred of the USA by people abroad. But the editorial gets even better:
As early as Thursday, the House is due to vote on a measure that effectively declares the war on terror over in the U.S. and dismantles the legal architecture that has protected the homeland since 9/11. Any wonder Americans have so little respect for Congress? Or the Constitution has Presidents run the nation's wars?
Adam Smith, a Washington State Democrat, and Michigan Republican and tea partier Justin Amash want to bar the U.S. military from capturing, detaining or interrogating any terrorist of any nationality captured on American soil. Their proposed amendment to next year's defense authorization bill more or less revokes the legal authority granted by Congress a week after 9/11 to fight terrorists on every front. If this is not delusional thinking, then delusion is nonexistent. The only true "organized" terror "plots" in this country since 9/11 have been FBI or CIA-inspired "false flag" actions that were orchestrated and led by government agents. That includes the first "underwear bomber" action and the latest howler, the attempt to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio, by a gang that on their own probably could not blow up its own bongs.
What this means in practice is that if al Qaeda big Ayman al-Zawahiri and his soldiers are captured overseas (say, in Pakistan), they can be detained by the military, interrogated, and dispatched to wherever the Commander in Chief decides. But if they happen to make it to the U.S., they will have to be handled like your neighborhood burglar. That means being read their Miranda rights, handed over to the local police and put before a civilian judge. The military or CIA couldn't question them to learn about future plots.
This is a bizarre distinction, as if America is not somehow part of the global terror battlefield. Try to explain that to the al Qaeda bombmakers in Yemen, or the residents of downtown Manhattan. The amendment would essentially reward al Qaeda operatives with better treatment for having the wit to get out of their caves and sneak into America to blow up civilians in shopping malls.
But the neocon Journal is not done, as the editors include this lament:
The tragedy here is that the political battles over terrorist detention were finally calming down. The anti-antiterror left waged war against President George W. Bush for refusing to treat illegal enemy combatants the same as common criminals, but President Obama has adopted much of the same legal framework. Now a misguided wing of the tea party is giving political cover to the left to revive this fight and confuse the American public with overblown fears that the government can arrest anyone for anything and hold him forever.Yes, yes, Barack Obama is a hardcore civil libertarian who respects the rights of everyone, including terrorists. Yeah, that truly is an example of "I'll believe it when I see it," given the legal abuses Obama and his hatchet-man Eric Holder have fomented. As much as anything, this editorial exposes the neocons' desire to essentially turn this country into a military dictatorship in which executive power is absolute and when government claims someone is a "terrorist," that person disappears, a country where no accused person is innocent.