Attorney General Eric Holder is in Brooklyn to deal with the tidal wave of mobsters hauled in by FBI busts yesterday. During a question-and-answer session, he delivered this astonishing remark: “We are still in the administration trying to work through how we will bring to justice those who perpetrated those heinous acts on September 11.” When pressed for details, the New York Observer reports Holder said “nothing’s off the table yet.”
There is something terribly wrong when a nation is completely paralyzed for years over how to dispose of a brutal terrorist mastermind like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has the blood of thousands on his hands. In the early days of the Obama Administration, Holder announced that KSM would be tried in New York City by a civilian court. America went mad with outrage, while New Yorkers began frantically sawing at the base of Manhattan, hoping to float it out to sea before Holder and his terrorist circus could arrive. Years later, it’s obvious there was no Plan B.
As far as anyone can tell from Holder’s remarks, the Administration’s entire strategy for dealing with terrorists amounts to whining about how awful Guantanamo Bay is, while never actually doing anything about it. Once again, we know what they want to do, but they won’t follow through, because they know it would be political suicide.
Even worse, Holder makes it increasingly clear that he and the President understand nothing about terrorism, and have no intention of learning. They just repeat tired fictions to support their rhetoric. For example, Holder claimed intelligence establishes that Guantanamo Bay is a “recruiting tool for terrorists.” This is not true, and never has been. As the Weekly Standard pointed out in December, the major topics of al-Qaeda propaganda are Israel, Jews, Zionism, Palestine, Gaza, and “crusaders” – that is, American troops deployed on “their” soil. They mention Guantanamo only in passing.
When you hear someone like Holder claim our terrorist detention facility must be closed because its existence is somehow strengthening the enemy, you are hearing a politician lie to you, in order to keep his clueless base whipped up in anticipation for something he will never actually do. A far more effective recruiting tool for terrorism is the spectacle of the Great Satan dithering helplessly because it has no idea how to deal with captured al-Qaeda masterminds.
If you want to understand the ghastly paralysis of the Obama anti-terror apparatus, just contrast the early threats to put Bush Administration officials on trial for their actions in the War on Terror (remember that?) with Dick Cheney’s recent assessment that President Obama has “learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate.” For reasons of both hard-core liberal politics and personal ideology, the current Administration cannot admit its predecessors were correct about virtually every aspect of the War on Terror, and since moving forward is impossible without making such an admission, everyone in both Washington and Guantanamo Bay is sitting still.