Less than a week after President Barack Obama dressed down and cast aside recommendations made by the CENTCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and his own Secretary of Defense in a meeting which left one observer saying that “Petraeus made the mistake of thinking he was still dealing with George Bush instead of with Barack Obama,” our 44th president is once again going against the advice of his military commanders on the ground. Today, he will likely drop charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, known Al Qaeda terrorist and mastermind of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, an attack which claimed the lives of 17 U.S. sailors.
Al-Nashiri is currently in the middle of the military commissions process set up by former President George W. Bush, charged with “organizing and directing” the Cole bombing and potentially facing the death penalty. Just last year, in a revelation which surely went straight to the bleeding hearts of those on the political left who live for the protection of those who would kill each and every one of us infidels if given the chance, al-Nashiri claimed that he only admitted to orchestrating the bombing because he was . . . wait for it . . . waterboarded.
Within hours of capturing the presidency, of course, Obama signed an executive order which would suspend all such proceedings and close Guantanamo Bay within a year. Nevertheless, the military judge supervising the case in question and in charge of all war crimes cases at Gitmo defied the presidential order and scheduled a hearing for al-Nashiri for Monday, arguing that Obama’s plans were “not reasonable” and hardly “in the interests of justice.”
However, despite being advised to the contrary once again by military commanders and officials on the ground, Obama will dismiss the charges against the Cole bomber because the military commissions set up by the Bush administration don’t jive with the methods by which Obama wants to polish up how America is perceived by the rest of the world.
Now, the terrorist will remain in custody, and the charges will likely be dropped without prejudice–meaning that they can be reinstated in another military commission or civilian court–but what kind of example does this send to those who would gladly die if it meant causing the death of Americans? Khalid Sheikh Mohammed laughed at the fact that we actually gave him a trial — now, news will circulate among our enemies that America is bending over backwards to accommodate terrorists who killed Americans.
And, worse yet, Obama has the audacity to claim that this is not an example of leniency. Of course it is. Today, he will announce that he would rather drop the charges and empower our enemies than let the war crimes trial go ahead and, God forbid, actually result in the death penalty for a murderer of American soldiers. And, much like the decision made regarding the detention facility itself, Obama will make today’s announcement without having thought through the consequences or even the next move.
His plans for Guantanamo Bay and the murderers housed there are rooted in hatred for George W. Bush. Just like how any hippie you’d encounter on the street or in Whole Foods would decry Bush’s “failed policies” without having any sort of viable, common sense solution of their own, Obama has ordered the suspension of the military tribunals because he simply deems them illegitimate, and he has done so without having any viable, common sense solution as to what to do next.
Now, we hold a terrorist–a murderer of 17 American sailors–without charge and pending decisions to be made down the road, likely involving civilian trials where al-Nashiri and his murderous comrades will be afforded the same, if not more, rights afforded to the Americans they wish to kill. How is that not lenient? How can Obama look in the eyes of those who lost a mother or father or son or daughter on that day eight years ago, or in the eyes of the commander who has shouldered that burden every day since, and say that justice is being served?
Barack Hussein Obama has been president of the United States for 17 days now, whether it be through his perceptible disdain for the military or his detente-at-all-costs approach to foreign policy, with every single passing day America is less safe than She was the day before.