Continuing Mystery


President Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, pictured on the right, announced on November 13, that five suspected al Qaeda terrorists would be tried in federal district court in lower Manhattan. The suspects — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi — are all accused of involvement in the 9/11 plot, which resulted in thousands of deaths as well as the destruction of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center.  In a 2003 confession, Mohammed described himself as the mastermind of the plot.

When Mr. Holder was asked to name a single precedent where an enemy combatant, caught on a battlefield, was tried in a civilian court within the United States, the attorney general was stumped.  He actually drew a blank in response to a question even a non-lawyer could have reasonably anticipated.  Mr. Holder embarrassed himself.

But his embarrassment, as telling as it is, underscores yet another reality  beginning to dawn upon the President's red-faced devotees on the far left.  The reality is that his administration is not sure whether this country's differences with al Qaeda are adjudicable in America's civilian court system or its military one.  The President and his cohorts appear to want to leave a window open to the possibility that al Qaeda is simply a miscreant group of folk, who should be treated the way American citizens are if and when we are accused of criminal activity.

So you ask:  is America, or is it not, involved in a global war on terror?  At times, Mr. Obama has insisted that the Afghan theater is a "war of necessity."  At other times, he gives the impression that his administration really does not care to talk about a war on terror at all, at least in any categorical sense.  Did not the defense department's office of security review inform us, in March, that the proper terminology for the conflict is not "war," but "overseas contingency operation"?

The President's divided mind on what is happening in the Middle East projects confusion, weakness, and indecision to his friends and foes alike.  The inordinately long period of time during which he has taken under advisement General Herbert McChrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan strengthens the image of the President as one without a coherent policy regarding what to make of acts of terror against our country.

Might it be that Mr. Obama's lack of executive experience is now becoming painfully apparent? Yet foreign policy is only one concern.  Fiscal and economic policies are another.  Healthcare and environment constitute still others.  In what area or areas, I ask, is this man inspiring confidence?  The recent opening skit on the popular television show, "Saturday Night Live," was not directed at Mr. Obama's character, his winsome personality, or his oratorical skills, but at his administration's ludicrous policies, such as the "Cash for Clunkers" program.  If you have not seen the skit, take a look at it:  Fearless Leaders China Press Conference.

We all know that Mr. Obama ran a masterful campaign for the presidency.  He was aided in his effort by fawning, sycophantic media, which demonstrated no critical interest in discerning the truth about him or his lack of qualification for the job he sought.  They saw him as "an African-American male with a gift for eloquence, who graduated from Harvard University, and was elected to the United States Senate!"  That was enough for newspapers such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as for the leading commercial news networks. The media's miserable default has contributed to the uncertainty and instability in our world, and has deepened the ideological rift in our country.

The gratitude engendered by Thanksgiving Day is not lost.  Citizens can be thankful that no one, even the media, "can fool all the people all the time" and that the electorate in this country remains constitutionally empowered to turn a hopelessly weak leader out of office.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2009