An unsettling question has begun to nag as Team Obama's conduct of security policy becomes ever more inconsistent with common sense — and, at least in some cases, manifestly at odds with our national interests: Whose side are they on?
Consider the following illustrative examples of such troubling behavior: The Obama administration has done everything possible to obscure the true nature of the jihadist attack perpetrated at Fort Hood, Texas, this month. Unfortunately, it may not be merely complicating the prosecution of the alleged perpetrator, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. For instance, terrorism expert Steve Emerson has warned that, by charging Hasan only with murder rather than terrorist acts, the Justice Department is denying investigators tools available to law enforcement under the counter-terrorism Patriot Act. Worse yet, by denying the role that Hasan's adherence to the seditious, jihadist program authoritative Islam calls "Shariah" played in the attack, the administration can only compound the problem that the investigation has illuminated: the collective refusal of the Army, the intelligence services, the FBI, and the U.S. government more generally to act against an individual with such proclivities.
This refusal goes beyond "political correctness." It reflects more than an understandable reluctance to risk the retribution to careers and livelihoods associated with being labeled "racists," "bigots," and "Islamophobes." It amounts, as a practical matter, to submission to the dictates of Shariah. And Americans are understandably horrified by the extent to which this practice has been — and is — affecting the capacities of those responsible for keeping us safe. Then there is Attorney General Eric Holder's decision, putatively taken without input from President Obama, to subject New York City to a trial in civilian court of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Gitmo detainees believed to be responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Holder's truly pathetic — to say nothing of unpersuasive — appearance before Senate Judiciary Committee last week made clear that this trial has no real upsides for the United States, and plenty of downsides.
The latter include: the prospect of new terrorist attacks in Manhattan (Sen. Chuck Schumer says he wants the feds to provide an additional $75 million to protect the city), the certainty that the defendants will use the "platform" they would be afforded as a vehicle for waging political warfare against this country, and the distinct possibility that the constitutional rights they will undeservedly obtain in such a trial will prompt a federal judge to let them off the hook, or at least seriously compromise sensitive intelligence sources, methods and data. The president is signaling by his indecision (and by the leaks coming out of his administration regarding his interminable deliberations) that he is now more interested in figuring out how to get out of Afghanistan than how to win the struggle there. Our enemies have understood the sea change that has occurred in this erstwhile "necessary war" and are redoubling their efforts to defeat us.
Meanwhile, ordinary Afghans are, quite sensibly, anticipating a Taliban victory and hoping to obtain a tolerable separate peace.
At the same time, al-Qaida is striving to reassert itself in Iraq, exploiting the vacuums of power created by the precipitous withdrawal of American forces from cities and the reopening of smuggling routes from Syria. President Obama's studied indifference toward the situation there and his determination, come what may, to pull all U.S. forces out is setting the stage for a portentous American rout. Team Obama's diplomatic initiatives elsewhere also have been unblemished by success. The Iranian mullah-ocracy has responded to the President's "outstretched hand" with spittle and contempt as it relentlessly marches, essentially unimpeded, towards its goal of operational nuclear weapons. The administration's fatuous bid to "engage," and thereby disarm, North Korea has fared no better. Its only tangible negotiating "success" to date is the U.N.'s adoption of an Islamist prohibition on "hate speech" against Muslims, which was, believe it or not, co-sponsored by the United States, despite the assault it represents on our First Amendment rights. Other adversaries have taken Team Obama's measure, too. Russia is being rewarded for signing onto an arms control agreement it needs much more than we do with far-reaching and ominous concessions (notably, deep cuts in the numbers of U.S. missiles and bombers and restrictions on our strategic conventional arms and missile defenses). China's massive anti-American arms build-up is being greeted with nothing more than President Obama's fatuous talk about bilateral "partnerships" and "cooperation."
We can only speculate about the motivations behind such deeply problematic behavior on the part of a president of the United States and his administration. What is beyond dispute, however, is the cumulative effect of the application worldwide of the Obama Doctrine — emboldening our enemies, undermining our allies, and diminishing our country: Team Obama is making it much more difficult to defend our vital interests and the security of our people, even as its actions encourage the emergence and intensification of threats to both.
History will judge such behavior harshly. Whatever the intentions that motivate it, hindsight will surely deem the side this presidency was on was not ours.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for The Washington Times, and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio.
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