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The Justice Dept.’s War On Heroes

August 25, 2009

The Justice Dept.’s War On Heroes

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | 25 Aug. 09

National Security: Appointing a prosecutor to harass CIA interrogators exposes this administration’s priorities: The global war on terror takes a back seat to terrorizing some of America’s most selfless warriors.


Read More: Global War On Terror


If you look closely, you can see insidious attempts to weaken Americans’ post-9/11 resolve to win against Islamist terrorism, no matter what it cost or how long it took.

Pentagon staff members were informed a mere two months after President Obama’s inauguration, for instance, that we were no longer engaged in a “global war on terror”; what America was now waging was an “overseas contingency operation.”

Holder: Politicizing the war on terror.Holder: Politicizing the war on terror.

Then in April, as the American Spectator’s Matthew Vadum pointed out Monday, the president signed a law re-jiggering 9/11 into a “National Day of Service” that will demean the Pearl Harbor Day of the 21st century “into a celebration of ethanol, carbon emission controls, and radical community organizing.”

This conditioning us out of the war-on-terror mentality seems to be bipartisan. Former Bush administration Homeland Security Secretary and Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, in a forthcoming book, claims that former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pressured him to raise the national terror threat level preceding the 2004 elections.

It’s hard enough to swallow that Ridge, a Bronze Star recipient and Vietnam vet with a well-cultivated reputation for toughness, would clam up for five years about a concerted attempt to manipulate him. But it becomes impossible to accept considering Ridge’s interview with Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV just a year ago.

In that setting, Ridge affirmed there was “never even a hint” of “pressure to raise the alert level for some reason that had nothing to do with the actual threats out there.” If Ridge ever runs for president, as some expect, the tape of that damning interview is certain to come back to haunt him.

If Ridge would have us believe that protecting the homeland is as much about politics as preserving life, current Attorney General Eric Holder apparently wants us to believe it’s about criminality.

At the persistent urging of the American Civil Liberties Union, [ACLU-CAIR] Holder is appointing a prosecutor to investigate nearly a dozen cases of CIA interrogation of terrorist detainees, it was revealed Monday. Justice Department lawyer John Durham has reportedly already spent two years using a Virginia grand jury to trip up CIA officials regarding the destruction of videotapes of such interrogations — attempts which insiders say are proving fruitless.

Also on Monday came word that future interrogations will be handled by a new “High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group,” or “HIG,” to be overseen by the president’s National Security Council rather than any of the government’s intelligence agencies.

The apparent purpose is to avoid practices like sleep deprivation, the playing of loud music, and of course “waterboarding.” [ What would you have agreed to in the wake of 9/11?] Such enhanced interrogation techniques were examined in a CIA inspector general’s report from 2004 that the Obama Administration released under legal pressure, also on Monday.

Among the report’s allegations are that accused U.S.S. Cole bombing conspirator Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was threatened with a power drill. Perhaps the new “HIG” can test the effectiveness of fluffy pillows on getting high-ranking al-Qaida operatives to talk. [ ?? How many Americans were killed on the U.S.S. Cole?]

We have Clinton-appointed Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein, obviously a keen friend of the ACLU, to thank for exposing these and other secret anti-terrorist measures, including the public release of Abu Ghraib videos and photos in 2005.

But the Obama administration is hardly resisting the trend to criminalize anti-terrorist activities.

As Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona and other GOP senators wrote to Holder last Wednesday, launching an inquisition against CIA interrogators could “tarnish the careers, reputations, and lives of intelligence community professionals” and thuschill future intelligence activities.”

As their letter warns, “the intelligence community will be left to wonder whether actions taken today in the interest of national security will be subject to legal recriminations when the political winds shift.” Those fears are, sadly, all too reasonable.

As the president and his family vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, he may wish to give some extra thought to how our enemies will perceive this collective shift in our national security priorities.

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