- Interviewed Monday by ABC News, Barack Obama:
blasted the Bush administration for its handling of Guantanamo and said they have given "a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, 'Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.'"Sure, we tried and jailed some Islamic terrorists that failed to destroy the WTC. But not the attack's mastermind, Abdul Rahman Yasin, who fled the United States for Saddam Hussein's Baghdad and is still at large. And in any event, how did criminal prosecution work out? Best of the Web's James Taranto reminds Democrats that "the eventual result was another attack on the World Trade Center. This one was far more successful, destroying the complex and multiplying the death toll nearly 500-fold."
The Illinois senator, a former constitutional law professor, said while he hasn't opposed the national security surveillance program in theory, the Bush administration has "been willing to skirt basic protections that are in our Constitution, that our founders put in place."
"It is my firm belief that we can track terrorists, we can crack down on threats against the United States, but we can do so within the constraints of our Constitution. And there has been no evidence on their part that we can't."
Pointing to Guantanamo Bay, Obama said the fact that so few of the people being held by the U.S. have had a trial has destroyed U.S. credibility around the world when it comes to rule of law.
"We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws," he said, pointing to the incarceration of people involved with the first bombing of the World Trade Center.
"What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated," Obama said. "And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world."
- George W. Bush's most important legacy was changing America's anti-terror tactics:
After our country was attacked on September the 11th and nearly 3,000 lives were lost, I vowed to do everything within my power to bring justice to those who were responsible. I also pledged to the American people to do everything within my power to prevent this from happening again. What we quickly learned was that al Qaeda was not a conventional enemy. Some lived in our cities and communities, and communicated from here in America to plot and plan with bin Laden's lieutenants in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. Then they boarded our airplanes and launched the worst attack on our country in our nation's history.No U.S. cities were attacked after this policy was adopted, a fact that Obama's chief foreign policy advisor, Susan Rice, apparently forgot, calling the Administration's policy "stupid." As "Captain" Ed Morrissey observes:
This new threat required us to think and act differently. And as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, to prevent this from happening again, we need to connect the dots before the enemy attacks, not after. And we need to recognize that dealing with al Qaeda is not simply a matter of law enforcement; it requires defending the country against an enemy that declared war against the United States of America.
I’ll take a “stupid” strategy that results in zero terrorist attacks any day over a return to the Clinton-era strategy of prosecuting terrorists after they kill lots of people. Barack Obama suggested that we return to the posture we took in 1993 of simply arresting people after they commit terrorist attacks, blithely ignorant of the series of escalating attacks al-Qaeda committed during the 1990s after the conviction of the Blind Sheikh and his henchment for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Apparently, Americans need to die before Obama will take action to stop terrorists rather than stop them before they attack.
- When John McCain criticized Obama's position, the New York Times reported that the Illinois Senator complained "the McCain campaign was using fear as a political weapon." Please!: the issue is national security, and there nothing is more central to the country's political decision in November. Meanwhile Democrats largely stay silent on the progress in Iraq, particularly hoping the public forgets those (now mostly met) benchmarks, while Obama's position is both illogical and variable. By contrast, McCain's foreign policy has been both correct and consistent.
(via Conservative Grapevine, Instapundit)