Luminaries such as Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi and Hezbollah vice chieftain Sheik Naim al-Kassim are not the only radicals who would like to see Barack Obama win, says a Washington think-tanker.
The terror suspects interned at the Marine base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also are licking their chops, says J. Michael Waller of the prestigious Center for Security Policy.
One of the early and enthusiastic endorsers of the Illinois senator for president was a group called Habeas Lawyers for Obama.
“We have worked closely with Senator Obama,” the group proclaimed in its official endorsement, which said habeas corpus was in danger because of the treatment of enemy coalition troops captured in the war on terrorism.
“Some politicians are all talk and no action,” the group said. “But we know from firsthand experience that Senator Obama has demonstrated extraordinary leadership on this critical and controversial issue. When others stood back, Senator Obama helped lead the fight in the Senate against the administration’s efforts in the fall of 2006 to strip the [Federal stateside] courts of jurisdiction.
“When we were walking the halls of the Capitol trying to win over enough senators to beat back the administration’s bill, Senator Obama made his key staffers and even his offices available to help us,” the group said.
Waller, an international communication professor at the Institute of World Politics and information vice president at the Center for Security Policy, noted that one of the signers of the endorsement letter is the lawyer who successfully argued the Supreme Court case giving constitutional protections to the suspects.
That lawyer, Michael Ratner, heads a legal activist group called the Center for Constitutional Rights, which Waller said “has publicly supported or otherwise defended the murderers of American law enforcement officers, including FBI special agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams; Fulton County, Georgia, Deputy Sheriff Ricky Kinchen; New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster; Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner; and NYPD officer John Scarangella.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights “has been supporting terrorists almost nonstop since the late extremist legal activist William Kunstler founded the group when Obama was about 8 years old.”
Kunstler is a yet another troubling can of worms, said Waller, who recalled that the activist vowed to keep the revolutionaries in the streets by using the legal system as a weapon against American society.
Defending Bill Ayers
Kunstler’s group defended the Weather Underground of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn back then,” Waller said. “Subsequently it supported the terrorists, who planted more than 100 bombs across Chicago and New York, as well as the terrorist group that blew up the historic Fraunces Tavern, killing four and wounding 54, and the bomber of a New York synagogue.
“Later, under Ratner’s leadership, it extended its support to Islamist extremists, including the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and enemy combatants held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo,” he said.
Assisting the enemy combatants — today, not when Obama was 8 — spurred Ratner to support the Illinois senator for president, Waller said.
All this history has Waller wondering how closely the National Association of Police Organizations vetted Obama when it awarded him its imprimatur in September.
The police group “didn’t do its detective work,” Waller said.
Tom Nee, president of the organization, said in the endorsement that the group “believes that Senators Obama and [Joseph] Biden will make giving our nation’s law enforcement officers every protection they need a top priority of their administration.”
In his final analysis, however, Waller wants to know “how can Obama claim to be a friend of the police while he collaborates with lawyers who aid terrorists and cop-killers? What was the extent of his involvement with them? And why has he not renounced their support?”
The Future for Gitmo Prisoners
McCain surrogates have criticized Obama consistently for urging the use of the criminal justice system to prosecute terrorists, according to a report in USA Today.
“Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation a September 10th mind-set . . . He does not understand the nature of the enemies we face,” McCain national security director Randy Scheunemann told reporters when the issue heated up during the summer.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, an adviser to McCain, agreed, saying that Obama has “an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism . . . and toward dealing with prisoners captured overseas who have been engaged in terrorist attacks against the United States.”
Since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this past summer, detainees can go before U.S. federal judges to challenge their detention. But the military tribunals have and will go forward at Guantanamo Bay. The court did not strike down their legality, per se, only the law passed in 2006 that took away the habeas corpus rights of the terrorism suspects to seek full judicial review of their detention.
Meanwhile, both candidates want to shut down Gitmo, but they differ fundamentally on what to do with the detainees.
McCain wants to lock the detainees up in U.S. military prisons and continue with the no-frills military commissions, but Obama voted against the bill that created the special panels in 2006. He is on record as saying that established “court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists.”
Under Obama’s plan, this would mean providing the detainees trials with all the trappings of due process before federal courts or before standard military courts-martial.
The latter courts are the same forums that determine guilt, innocence, freedom or imprisonment, and life or death for our own men and women in uniform.
Very good news for the prisoners of Gitmo.
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