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National Security on the Edge


Where is the Obama Administration Headed on Terrorism?

June 7th 2010

Presidential - Barack Obama
Barack Obama

I had originally planned on writing an article about the National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair’s resignation on May 20th after only 16 months in that position, which came reportedly at President Barack Obama's request. Then, like any good plan following its agenda, only six days later the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, gave a speech at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) in which he announced that President Obama would be releasing his National Security Strategy on the 27th. That speech changed my plans.

Just to put into perspective where this man’s loyalties lie, John Brennan had just given a speech on February 13 at New York University, in which he stated, "...And as part of that experience, to learn about the goodness and beauty of Islam....I came to see Islam not as it is often misrepresented, but for what it is...a faith of peace and tolerance and great diversity….”

Two minutes later in the same speech he referred to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, by its Arabic name, “And in all my travels, the city I have come to love most is Al Quds...”

During his speech at the CSIS however, John Brennan must have forgotten that his title is “Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism”, because according to his speech, our enemy is not terrorism and, therefore, there could be no Counterterrorism;

“The President’s strategy is absolutely clear about the threat we face. Our enemy is not ‘terrorism’ because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not ‘terror’ because terror is a state of mind and as Americans we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.”

Whew, I am glad we are no longer at war with the “terrorists” and right in time for Memorial Day too. This way Obama can speak about it when he lays the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington. Oh, wait, I’m sorry, Obama didn’t do that on Memorial Day as he was in Chicago on a well-deserved vacation. He will, of course, be back in Washington on June 2nd just in time to honor that great American hero Paul McCartney and attend his concert.

To be honest, Obama is not the first President to miss the wreath-laying ceremony. In 2002, President George W. Bush was in France on Memorial Day and participated in ceremonies at Normandy (site of the D-Day landings) honoring the U.S. soldiers who fought and died there in World War II. Hmmm…. Normandy? As the UK Times reported on May 29th last year; “Obama, concerned about offending Britain and Germany, rebuffed strenuous attempts by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to persuade the new American president to make a trip to Normandy.” Just because every U.S. President since WWII has visited Normandy to honor the fallen…but I digress.

Back to National Security (or lack thereof).

Brennan also stated during his speech at CSIS;

“And to secure our homeland, we will continue the never-ending work of strengthening our defenses here at home. In light of the failed attacks over Detroit and in Times Square, it is easy to forget, but it bears repeating. Since 9/11, we have made enormous progress as a nation in securing our homeland.”

We have? Really? You know, I seem to remember some guy by the name of Major Nadal Hassan, too. And as far as other attacks that never panned out, according to the Heritage Foundation, “Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 23 terrorist plots against the United States have been foiled.” Funny how I and every counterterrorism person I know – including the American public - agree on one thing, we are actually less safe today than we were on 9/11.

Brennan continued with some astounding notions, such as:

“We have improved security at our borders, airports and other ports of entry. We have strengthened intelligence, information sharing and cooperation at all levels, federal, state and local and timely analysis of threat information…”

I am beginning to think that the speech writers from the Obama administration are all former fiction writers. “We have improved security at our borders, airports and other ports of entry.” What? Where do they come up with this stuff? According to Atlanta Channel 2 Action News anchor Justin Farmer, on May 3rd of this year, he traveled to Arizona to view a detention center near Phoenix. He viewed records that show illegals who had crossed our border with Mexico and were in custody were from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen. Yeah, we are really secure. I guess someone forgot to tell Brennan that there are terrorists flowing across our borders like the oil in the Gulf. I guess you didn’t plug that whole either Daddy.

After reading all 52 pages of the National Security Strategy and four aspirins later, I cannot write here what I truly think due to language censorship, but suffice it to say, this is a joke. If you want to read it for yourself, you can click on the link above but if you would prefer to not get to the point where your eyes are bleeding, I have rewritten some of the most interesting parts below,

“We will always seek to delegitimize the use of terrorism and to isolate those who carry it out. Yet this is not a global war against a tactic—terrorism or a religion—Islam. We are at war with a specific network, al-Qa’ida, and its terrorist affiliates who support efforts to attack the United States, our allies, and partners.”

Yes, this is a recurring theme throughout the entire document; we are not at war with terrorists, only al Qaeda and its affiliates. Let me see if I understand this…affiliates? As in all other TERRORIST organizations? Or only those that affiliate with them? I guess the people who wrote the National Security Strategy never bothered to read the U.S. Department of State’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, from the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, dated January 19, 2010 in which there are a total of 45 Foreign Terrorist Organizations, (FTOs) designated by the Secretary of State. And no, they are not all affiliated; I guess the administration is going to have to re-word the name of that list as well.

Another part of this preposterous piece of work is how these (no longer called) terrorists will have all the rights of our Constitution, “We will bring terrorists to justice; we will act in line with the rule of law and due process; we will submit decisions to checks and balances and accountability; and we will insist that matters of detention and secrecy are addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution laws.”

Having watched very closely the recent shunning of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu as well as having written about it in my article “Israel - no longer an ally of the U.S” I found this next section comical to say the least:

“The United States has important interests in the greater Middle East. They include broad cooperation on a wide range of issues with our close friend, Israel, and an unshakable commitment to its security.”

However, not to be a total lie when referring to “our close friend Israel” the very next paragraph states:

“The United States seeks two states living side by side in peace and security—a Jewish state of Israel, with true security, acceptance, and rights for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestine with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.”

Ends the occupation that began in 1967? That would be the “occupation” of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the land that Israel took in a war while defending itself? That “occupation?” One thing I can guarantee without any hesitation is that Israel will never, ever give up its Capital of Jerusalem.

Throughout the entire National Security Strategy I found many things rather curious but the section titled “Spend Taxpayers’ Dollars Wisely” was, without a doubt the strangest. I know that you will laugh when you read the next section given the recent stimulus package that has already bankrupted our children and our grandchildren as well,
“The United States Government has an obligation to make the best use of taxpayer money, and our ability to achieve long-term goals depends upon our fiscal responsibility. A responsible budget involves mak¬ing tough choices to live within our means; …being open and honest with the American people.”

No further comment needed here, the hilarity speaks for itself. But, what’s even funnier than that is the next sentence:

“Increase Transparency: Americans have a right to know how their tax dollars are spent, but that informa¬tion can be obscured or unavailable.”

Read that sentence again, will you please, because this is a perfect example of how this administration says one thing while it means something polar opposite. This is, without a doubt, the ultimate example of their chicanery.

Lastly, I couldn’t give you a true insight to the National Security Strategy without including this sentence:

“Enhance Cooperation with and Strengthen the United Nations”

Since we are all aware of what an outstanding job the United Nations is doing with the money supplied by the U.S., who by the way currently pays 26 percent of the United Nations budget, more than any other member nation, maybe we should refer back to the section about fiscal responsibility.

All sarcasm aside, when it comes to our nation’s national security and the document that lays out how we as a country will go about achieving it, we need to realize the ramifications that a change such as this can cause. Back on April 12, I examined the dangers of removing certain words from the central document outlining the U.S. National Security Strategy in my article “The Ultimate Word Game,” when it was announced that was going to be one of the administration’s priorities. Now that politically correct words were instituted, we have gone one step further and rewritten the entire document and reached the point of insanity. This doctrine goes beyond dangerous; it is an open invitation to any and all who wish to harm this country or its citizens.

One thing History has shown us is that any enemy, no matter who that may be, understands and respects only one thing: strength. The enemies we now face, both home grown and from abroad, will not care about sitting down at a table and talking any more than they would want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. I truly worry that the people of this nation will not wake up until after we suffer another “terrorist” attack larger than 9/11.

Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He is currently writing his first book, Terrorism: Understanding the Threat. He can be reached through his website http://gadiadelman.com. 

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