Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Water Carriers of Fear


Michael Gerson provides his usual hollow-headed regurgitation of talking points and spin, carrying water for his party. Oh, the horrors of the Obama Administration:
A president can't be held responsible for every mistake at every level of government. But every level of government takes its cues from the president and his main advisers. And it is difficult to argue that the Obama administration has even attempted to create an atmosphere of urgency in the war on terror. The listless, coldblooded and clueless response of the Hawaii White House to the Christmas Day attack was only the most recent indication.
It's apparently "listless, coldblooded and clueless" - what Kathleen Parker, late to the memo but still earlier than Gerson, described as "cool detachment" - they're talking about this statement?
Thanks to the quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew, the suspect was immediately subdued, the fire was put out, and the plane landed safely. The suspect is now in custody and had been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft. And a full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.

This was a serious reminder of the dangers that we face and the nature of those who threaten our homeland. Had the suspect succeeded in bringing down that plane it could have killed nearly 300 passengers and crew, innocent civilians preparing to celebrate the holidays with their families and friends.
As compared to GW's response to the Richard Reid "shoe bomber" incident? Ah, but as I've previously noted, "That's different". Besides... when did Gerson start writing for Bush? Maybe he wrote that wonderfully clueful opening, "I've got to tell you, there's nothing more relaxing than being in Crawford, Texas."

Really, what we're seeing is a response to polls that suggest, in no small part as a consequence of dishonest attacks on the Obama Administration, people are starting to view the Republican Party as more likely to prevent a future terrorist attack. When dishonesty works, people without honor run with it. Hence we have Gerson falsely claiming that the Obama Administration refuses to use the word terrorism, instead referring to "man-caused disasters", citing the mendacious Charles Krauthammer instead of the actual source that betrays their lie. It's typical of people who lack facts - misrepresent a statement in its entirety, knowing that few people have read or heard the real thing, or pluck a few words out of a larger speech or statement and lie about their meaning. After Gerson spent years writing speeches for G.W., he knows full well how the process works - neither he, nor former Mondale speech writer Charles Krauthammer - have any honest excuse - but that would only be relevant if we were dealing with honest people.

Gerson has apparently forgotten that his former lord and master ordered foreign national and terrorist Richard Reid, whose attempt to blow up an airliner mere months after 9/11, to be tried in a civilian court.
This civilian prosecution strategy would make sense if the goal is punishment for an attempted mass murderer. But it makes no sense if the goal is vigilance in the war on terrorism - gaining information to prevent future attacks.
And how did Bush react when his speech writer raised that challenge over Reid's civilian trial?
Abdulmutallab evidently talked a bit with FBI investigators when first captured. But any defense lawyer -- and now he has one -- will urge him to withhold information for use in bargaining with prosecutors down the road. The reality here is simple and shocking: A terrorist with current knowledge of al-Qaeda operations in Yemen has been told he has the right to remain silent.
So we're going to assume that Abdul Mutallab, knowing he was going to be tried in a civilian court, having been advised of his right to counsel, and cooperating with authorities is suddenly going to lawyer up and change his mind? And that, had he been stripped and hooded, drugged, and sent on a plane to Guantanamo, he would have been more cooperative?
As a foreign terrorist, he does not have [the] right [to remain silent] (as even the Obama administration has conceded by its use of military tribunals in other cases). And granting Abdulmutallab that privilege only because he tried to commit murder on American soil is an incentive of disturbing perversity.
Did Gerson just call G.W. Bush a pervert?

The only remaining question is whether Gerson believes any of his rhetoric - that is, whether he's merely a liar, or if he's both a liar and a coward.

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