Tags: MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Edward Turzanski | Islamic extremism | political correctness

Anti-Terror Expert: Law Enforcement 'Handcuffed' by Political Correctness

By    |   Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:00 PM

The Obama administration's refusal to acknowledge the link between Islamic extremism and terrorism for fear of offending Muslims is depriving law enforcement and intelligence professionals of a critical and common-sense tool — profiling — for identifying the people most likely to attempt attacks, says a former Justice Department anti-terrorism adviser.

"If you don't call things by their real name, you won't come up with a method with which to detect, prevent and respond to the problem," Edward A. Turzanski, a foreign policy scholar who served on the Justice Department's Anti-Terror Advisory Committee under President George W. Bush, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Monday.

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The Obama White House's de facto policy of denying the obvious "because of politically correct sensibilities about Islam … prevents counter-intelligence, intelligence and law enforcement people from doing something when those dots are connected," said Turzanksi,a co-chair of the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Center for the Study of Terrorism.

That policy has put the people charged with keeping Americans safe in "handcuffs and short pants," said Turzanksi.

"They are severely restricted in what they can do and say," he said. "They won't admit it publicly, because no one's going to commit political hara-kiri and go against the administration, but when you talk to the people on the ground they recognize that there are constraints to action."

"We're making the connection," said Turzanksi. "We're just not doing things because this administration won't let them happen."

At the same time, a new Washington Post/ABC poll finds that in the wake of the Paris attacks — carried out by Islamist gunmen who killed 17 people and said they were avenging the honor of the Prophet Muhammad — the proportion of Americans worried about the possibility of more terrorist violence has risen to 76 percent.

"It's an indication that the American people have much more intuitive wisdom than some of the people who lead them," said Turzanksi.

The polling coincides with reports that terrorist sleeper cells are embedded in several Western countries, possibly including the United States.

"Keep in mind that the head of MI5, which is Britain's version of our FBI, has warned that terror cells are not only extant — that is to say, they're in place — but they are operationally ready to act," said Turzanski.

"And he did not confine the warning just to Paris: He was talking about Europe, England, Canada, the United States," he said.

In confronting this threat, the United States can strike an appropriate balance between security and civil liberties, because it has done so in the past when dealing with different enemies, said Turzanski.

"All throughout the Cold War, the West was at a disadvantage because we had laws and public opinions to deal with, and the Soviets didn't," he said. "But it doesn't mean that we lost our mind and forgot the simple truth that if you're not alive, you won't be able to enjoy certain civil liberties — you won't be able to enjoy any of them, in fact."

Turzanksi said that both White Houses in the post-9/11 era have been guilty of political correctness in counter-terrorism work.

"They put everyone under the same scrutiny to say that we're not being unfair to any particular group," he said. "Well, when we focus on those most likely to engage in terrorism, we look at a whole host of activities, a whole host of characteristics, if you will.

"Unfortunately, this label of 'profiling' has denied to law enforcement and to most policy makers the common sense-approach to say that if you've been to certain places, done certain things and said certain things, you may actually be engaged in terror activity," he said.

"We've got to get past that," said Turzanksi. "We've got to bring common sense back into the application of our laws and the methods we use to deal with the problem."

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The Obama administration's refusal to acknowledge the link between Islamic extremism and terrorism for fear of offending Muslims is depriving law enforcement and intelligence professionals of a critical and common-sense tool, says a former Justice Department anti-terrorism adviser.
Edward Turzanski, Islamic extremism, political correctness
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2015-00-19
Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:00 PM
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