Thursday, March 11, 2010

Holder/Reno Amicus for Padilla

Power Line points to an Amicus Brief signed by noted terror warriors Janet Reno and Eric Holder in 2004 for the benefit of suspected dirty bomber Jose Padilla. Here are a few observations beginning in the section entitled "intelligence ..
A listing of some of these cases illustrates the effectiveness of the investigative tools we have described to stop terrorists before they carry out their plans:

Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and his followers were convicted of plotting a “day of terror” against New York City landmarks, including the United Nations building, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and the George Washington Bridge. The government used traditional investigatory powers, including physical surveillance, search warrants, and informants, to track the activities of this group, and arrested them when they had begun building an explosive device
And in the process we found out squat about their network and friends around the world plotting more death and destruction. Lawyer Lynne Stewart later kited messages from the Shiekh to his followers in Egypt a year or so after his followers murdered 58 tourists in the Luxor massacre. Then a few years later 9/11 happened.
Ahmed Ressam, the so-called “Millennium Bomber,” was arrested in December 1999 as he attempted to enter the United States in a rental car containing homemade explosives and timers. Ressam eventually pleaded guilty and cooperated extensively with the government in its prosecution of others involved in the planned attacks. He also provided more general information about al Qaeda and its training camps in Afghanistan and identified potential terrorists.30
Ressam was captured by a vigilant border guard, not anything to do with the Reno Justice Dept. Interestingly, it was the case that later prompted Sandy Berger to steal materials from the National Archives in front of the 9/11 Commission hearings. And boy, did his intelligence ever help us nail down that AQ network--Atta and company were basically streaming into the country as he was being questioned.
Iyman Faris pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism. Faris visited an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and investigated the
destruction of bridges in the United States by severing their suspension cables. The government developed evidence through physical and electronic surveillance
This was somewhat of a success before and after the fact since Faris was persuaded into becoming a double agent under the threat of being deemed an enemy combatant, which he knew might means years of detainment. He then retracted his guilty plea and sued George W. Bush when the New York Times exposed the NSA eavesdropping program, since indications were it was used to supply the evidence in nailing his plot to down the Brooklyn Bridge.
It's a common strawman to say people on the right desire torture or that innocent people should be detained for indefinite periods without charges or access to lawyers--we know a lefty president might abuse this power much worse than did George Bush. It comes down to solutions. Or in other words, what's a president--sworn to protect the public--to do when suicidal terrorists threaten mass destruction? The constitution is not a suicide pact.

Part of the problem is the left's overall failure to recognize the threat. AQ has considered itself at war against America since the Gulf War but it's not clear the left believes this, despite Obama's contention of such and despite the nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan fighting against extremists to stop them from allowing terrorists to have a base. Accomplishing this requires using force without Miranda or a trial every day. Such is common for a shooting war.

Yet if one of those same combatants gets on a plane to America with a bomb he suddenly is no longer a combatant but rather a common criminal and worthy of all the rights of our constitution. That's never been done in a war before, especially one where the enemy is utterly determined to the point of suicide of using WMDs should they ever obtain any. Nevertheless it's a tough question that pits Americans against each other and strains our very system, something that surely pleases the enemy greatly.


Debbie said...

Lynne Stewart is a perfect example of a terrorist sympathizing attorney. Which speaks to Liz Cheney and her concerns about the al-Qaeda 7 as they are being called.

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

Even if an attorney isn't sympathetic (and how do we know) they might still manage to make a mistake and let something sensitive loose. In the case of the Holder 7, who knows whether they had sympathy for the terrorists or whether it was just hatred for Bush? I'd say it was more the latter.