Obama Administration Releases Terrorist

Editor’s Note – In this PC world, led in America by the current leftist government where people like Eric Holder, who’s law firm defended terrorists pro bono, its more important to send a known terrorist back to London that we captured in Pakistan. The same place that would not allow Geert Wilders to visit now lauds the release of Binyam Mohammed, the Jose Padilla cohort. has the west lost its mind? The administration that won’t prosecute New Black Panther members who intimidate voters at polling places, and wanted to give terrorists the same rights American citizens have in court. To whom is this administration beholding?

A Terrorist Released

The Obama administration let Binyam Mohamed go.

National Review Online

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Binyam Mohamed is back in the news. You may remember him as the al-Qaeda operative who was slated to help would-be “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla conduct a second wave of post-9/11 attacks, targeting American cities. You also may not remember him. After all, the Obama administration quietly released him without charges.

Binyam Mohamed

Well, there’s a new chapter in this sordid tale. Mohamed is living large — taxpayer-funded large — in Great Britain. For that, we can thank the Lawyer Left’s stubborn insistence that enemy war criminals are really run-of-the-mill defendants. Actually, make that run-of-the-mill plaintiffs.

Unlike Padilla, who actually got into the United States, only to be apprehended in Chicago, Mohamed was captured in Karachi and turned over to the CIA. (Marc Thiessen provides more details about the case here.) Mohamed was interrogated by American and British intelligence.

The U.S. Defense Department wanted to try Mohamed by military commission. Alas, Britain’s Labour government was deathly afraid of the potential for a trial to expose its complicity in “enhanced interrogation” tactics, which an international propaganda campaign had equated with “torture” — and how about a round of applause for Sen. John McCain and Attorney General Eric Holder for sharpening that arrow in every defense lawyer’s quiver? Like virtually all captured terrorists now do, Mohamed claimed to have been tortured with Saddam-style cruelty. And as is virtually always the case, to call the allegation overblown is not to do it justice. Based on disclosures in various court cases, it is now clear that Mohamed was subjected to stress — essentially, sleep deprivation. Compared to actual torture, that is trivial.

Yet, goaded by its base (the leftist and pro-Islamist contingents that now make up the Occupy London crowd), the Blair-Brown government pleaded with the Obama administration to transfer Mohamed from Gitmo to England. The fact that Mohamed, when he was captured in the midst of plotting to kill thousands of people, had been trying to board a flight to London with a fake British passport was apparently of no import. That he is an Ethiopian national who had no legal right to be repatriated to England did not matter. The same British government that slammed the door on Geert Wilders, an anti-Islamist Dutch parliamentarian, rolled out the welcome mat for the jihadist. President Obama acquiesced, and Mohamed was released — free and clear.

Yes, free and clear. The Obama administration said barely a word about Mohamed’s transfer. Odd, since this was early 2009, right when the administration was gearing up its campaign to give enemy combatants civilian trials, and Mr. Holder was here, there, and everywhere, assuring every ear that there was no terrorism case the justice system could not handle. In fact, the officials involved in the decision to release Mohamed understood full well that he would be neither detained nor prosecuted by British authorities. He was to be freed.

To grasp just how outrageous that is, a comparison is in order. After being held for years as an enemy combatant, Mohamed’s accomplice, Jose Padilla, was finally convicted in civilian court. The charges involved terrorism, but not the “9/11 second wave” plot that had led to his capture (about a month after Mohamed’s). This was not because the second-wave conspiracy was fiction. It was because the plot could not be prosecuted under civilian due-process standards. To prove it, prosecutors would undoubtedly have had to cut deals with witnesses who knew its details — al-Qaeda bigwigs such as Khalid Sheikh Mohamed. As if that prospect were not unacceptable enough, such deals require the government to disclose the intelligence debriefings of these witnesses — something that is intolerable in wartime.

That is one of the principal reasons the Bush administration adopted, and Congress later endorsed, a military-justice system for detaining and prosecuting enemy war criminals. The military system makes possible prosecutions that would be impractical under civilian rules: It provides additional protections against unnecessary disclosure of intelligence, and it eases evidentiary standards so that information from witnesses can often be presented by hearsay, rather than by calling the witnesses themselves.

Regrettably, the Bush administration flinched from a Supreme Court challenge to its treatment of Padilla as a military detainee — even though the Fourth Circuit had upheld Padilla’s detention in 2005 (no thanks to an amicus brief filed on Padilla’s behalf by some lawyer named Eric Holder). As it happens, Padilla had been an ambitious enough terrorist that his hands were in multiple schemes, including one in Florida to recruit jihadists to commit mayhem overseas. Had that not been the case, the decision to treat Padilla as a mere criminal defendant would have resulted in his outright release. And because, unlike Mohamed, Padilla is an American citizen, we would have had no recourse against his living in our midst.

Echoing Mohamed, Padilla claimed to have been tortured. But the courts ruled that this was irrelevant: Even if his allegations were true, the abuse was a matter separate from the question of whether he had committed terrorism crimes — at least as long as the government did not attempt to use evidence derived from the alleged abuse to prove his guilt. A federal court in New York City drew the same conclusion in a prosecution against one of the 1998 embassy bombers, who also claimed he had been tortured. Padilla’s indictment thus stood. In fact, the most notable aspect of his case is that a federal appeals court found the 17-year sentence imposed by the trial judge to be woefully inadequate. The jail term has been remanded to the lower court for re-sentencing.

Now, let’s contrast this with the treatment of Binyam Mohamed. Because he is not an American citizen, there would have been no tenable legal objection to trying him for war crimes by military commission. (The Military Commissions Act directs that only alien enemy combatants may be subjected to such military tribunals.) And even if, in slavish deference to its political base’s aversion to commissions, the Obama administration remained hell-bent on resisting a military war-crimes trial, Mohamed could still have been detained indefinitely. Indeed, our military is still holding at Gitmo scores of enemy combatants who are less serious offenders than Mohamed — in the sense that, however threatening they may be, they did not plan to carry out mass-murder plots on American soil. In sum, the Obama administration could have declined to transfer Mohamed — certainly in the absence of a commitment that the Brits were willing and able to keep him under lock and key. If the president had done that, Mohamed would still be detained at Gitmo today.

But instead, Mohamed has hit the jihad jackpot in Albion — or is it al-Bion? I’ve previously noted that British authorities not only released him but also sustained him on public welfare. Now, we learn, that’s not the half of it.

The British government has actually given this al-Qaeda celebrity a cool £1 million payment. Mohamed, you’ll be shocked, shocked to learn, showed his gratitude for being extracted from Gitmo through the intercession of Her Majesty’s government by . . . suing the Brits for being complicit in his “torture.” The £1 million payment is the settlement the government decided it was best to have British taxpayers fork over. Thus, the Daily Mail reports, Mohamed was recently able to plunk down £250,000 for a lovely three-bedroom, two-bathroom terrace house in Norbury, South London — conveniently located near the Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre.

That makes him one of 16 terror suspects who have scored huge financial payouts by simply claiming to have been mistreated by security and intelligence officials. Why does the British government settle rather than fight these claims by jihadists whose goal is to destroy the very system on which they are feasting? Because the Lawyer Left that makes up the transnational progressive vanguard insisted that enemy-combatant terrorists should be seen as civil litigants, and the Brits went along.

Under prevailing justice-system rules, the jihadist gets to sue and, if the British government tries to contest the case, the jihadist is entitled to discovery of all the intelligence about him in British government files. With this lawfare gun at its head, the government’s choice is to tell al-Qaeda what the West knows (and how we know it) or pay pricey settlements. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke explained that Mohamed got £1 million because, if the government hadn’t settled, the case might have cost British taxpayers £50 million.

One unnamed British government official told the Daily Mail, “The danger is that we have become a cashpoint for terrorists.” Gee, you think?

— Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Shalit is freed – the price, thousands of criminals go free as well

Editorial Note – SUA brings you two articles; first, the long awaited release of Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Gazans in 2006, the second article is commentary on how ridiculous this whole negotiation process has played out. The diminutive Shalit shown below, is home, a prisoner for over 5 years. The price for the release was years of missiles flying overhead into civilian neighborhoods, the release of over a thousand ‘Palestinian’ prisoners, and the breakdown of the notion that one should never negotiate with terrorists. The terrorists won, again, as Israel capitulated, again, and the road to peace is once again shown to be paved with broken glass and lies.

SUA wonders, what price should a free democratic nation of law-abiding peaceful people pay to stay free? Israel has given, given again, and again…ad nauseum. Yet, the world still vilifies every step they take. An innocent young soldier is kidnapped by thugs, yet tried and true criminals and terrorists go free, defying logic, again! We are very glad he is now home; and his life is his own again, or soon will be, once the celebrity and debriefings wane away. We do salute the resolve that all soldiers should be brought home, but the price is very dear indeed. The winners are the actual losers of every battle they wage, but propaganda and horrid negotiations defines its own end, and so the criminal gets to declare a sick, convoluted, hollow victory.

The Guardian UK

Israeli intelligence officials are planning to wait for at least several days before beginning the delicate process of debriefing Gilad Shalit on his five years and four months in captivity in Gaza at the hands of Palestinian militants.

The soldier, who was freed on Tuesday in a deal involving the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, is expected to be questioned by military intelligence and other agencies for information about his captors, the location and conditions in which he was held, and any other details he can provide.

Gilad Shalit outside his home in Mitzpe Hila, Israel. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

But the priority is to establish his physical and psychological health, according to military and government sources. “Of course, he will be debriefed, but we will put first ensuring his wellbeing is taken care of,” said one official.

An army source said: “Right now we want him to be with his family and for his health conditions to be stable.”

Following his first night at home, Shalit went for a walk with his mother, Aviva, in Mitzpe Hila well away from reporters and TV crews still gathered in the small community, near the Lebanese border. Noam Shalit said his son was feeling well and had slept through the night.

Police barriers were still blocking the road where the family lives and said officers would be stationed in Mitzpe Hila for at least a week at the family’s request.

An army psychologist was on hand and Shalit was expected to undergo further medical examinations, including dental and orthopaedic tests, in the coming days. After initial assessments, doctors said he was suffering from malnutrition and the effects of being deprived of natural light. One source suggested he was weak and was having difficulty in managing stairs.

Israeli officials are more concerned about Shalit’s physical health than his psychological state, saying that the interview he gave to Egyptian television within minutes of his release had shown his mind was sound. The fact that he had access to television and radio during his captivity would have helped his mental state, said one source.

All medical care, including trauma counselling, will be funded by the state of Israel indefinitely. Shalit has also been given non-commissioned officer status by the Israeli army, which will provide him with a salary.

Speaking to the media after returning to the family home on Tuesday evening, Noam Shalit said his son was having difficulty in coping with the attention surrounding his release. “Naturally he can’t be exposed to so many people because he was in isolation so many days and years and couldn’t interact with people in his language and all he could do was communicate with his abductors and guards,” Noam Shalit said.

Shimshon Liebman, who chaired the Shalit campaign committee for the past three years, received offers of help, including from a professor of nutrition and a masseur. Despite his physical weakness, doctors were encouraging Shalit to “take his first steps at home”, he said.

“I don’t know if he has a lot to tell,” he said, referring to the intelligence debriefing. “But they will ask him very gently, and slowly, slowly.”

The debriefing process may provide an insight into how Shalit’s captors held him for more than five years without Israel succeeding in obtaining intelligence about his whereabouts, according to Uri Bar-Joseph, professor of international relations at Haifa University.

“They will want to know how many people was he in touch with, whether they brought him cooked food, what information they let him have, whether he had access to doctors. How you keep a kidnapped soldier for such a long time,” he said. “It’s possible they would like to know also what [Shalit] told them.”

Any information could be useful in dealing with a future kidnapping, he said, but it would be unlikely to be of “operational value”.

According to an opinion poll taken on the eve of Shalit’s release and published in Israel Hayom, 29.1% of respondents said their opinion of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, was “more positive” as a result of the prisoner-swap deal. Just over 58% said their opinion had not changed, and 8.7% said it was “more negative”.

Gilad Shalit will be allowed time with his family before debriefing

Israeli officials say they will establish the freed soldier’s physical and psychological health before asking about his captors

Madness

National Review Opinion – The Corner

By Seth Leibsohn

The idea that Israel would negotiate with terrorists is appalling, and yet it has been true for too long. It is also true that it has accounted for nothing but more innocent blood being shed.

According to the Jerusalem Post, over 180 Israelis have been killed since 2004 by prisoners/terrorists that Israel has released since then. Let’s say that number is too high by half: Wouldn’t 90 be astounding? Say that number is off by half again: Wouldn’t even 45 be astounding?

Now I read that over the last 30 years, Israel has released about 7,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure freedom for 19 Israelis and to retrieve the bodies of eight others. That isn’t disproportionate, that’s madness. It seems to me a far saner policy would be that when a soldier is taken, the government gives 24-hours notice that if he’s not returned, the area where he was captured will face holy hell — door-to-door searches, home razings — holy hell. Over 1,000 terrorists are a lot of terrorists, and now we read it may include two terrorists involved in the Sbarro pizza-parlor bombing as well, and that it definitely includes a terrorist who received 36 life sentences for a 2002 attack in a Jerusalem bar that killed eleven Israelis and another terrorist who killed 29 Israelis at a Passover celebration.

I can’t think of a scenario where the American people would tolerate the return of a soldier captured on the battlefield of Iraq or Afghanistan (be it a general or a private) if the price were even one Gitmo detainee. Now it’s true we have returned Gitmo detainees, many of whom have rejoined the battlefield. But that was never in exchange for prisoners, it was done out of what we might call “the mercy of fools.” And it’s been bad policy. Finally, wasn’t the nadir of the Reagan presidency the idea of weapons for hostages — never mind terrorists for hostages? When that story broke, Reagan’s popularity dropped over 20 points in 1986. To paraphrase Kipling, “For the end of this game is oppression and shame, and the nation that plays it is lost.”

Gilad Shalit to be released next week…

Editorial Note– Is Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006 actually going home, finally? The price paid… years of turmoil, thousands of criminals and terrorists traded by Israel for a single soldier, several years of rocket launches dating back to his capture, Hezbollah and Hamas waging almost continuous war, many Israeli concessions met by none from Hamas, and finally, he may be going home now.

Israeli Soldier - Gliad Shalit - Kidnapped June 25, 2006 by Hamas Gazans

How many Israelis kidnapped or captured have never come home? Propagandists and apolgists for the ‘Palestinians’ will ask the same, but moral equivalence has long since been totally debunked, and the ‘Palestinians’ have no credibility, yet the world always applies force to Israel alone.

Two reports tell us the details, and we encourage you to read both, and weigh the situation for your self:

Hamas will snatch more Israelis until all 8,000 Palestinian terrorists freed

Debka

Tuesday night, Oct. 10, the Israeli cabinet by a majority of 26 approved the accord with Hamas for the release of Gilead Shalit. Three ministers opposed the deal – Avigdor Lieberman and Uzzi Landau of the Israel Beteinu party and Moshe Yaalon of Likud.

The Israeli soldier will gain his freedom – probably next week – after he was hidden by Hamas in the Gaza Strip for more than five years. Israel will hand over 1,027 Palestinian terrorists, cutting short the life sentences of 280 mass murderers responsible for hundreds of Israeli deaths. Among them are Israeli Arabs and East Jerusalem residents convicted on charges of terrorismn as concessions made by Israel to clinch the deal. Of the 110 allowed to return to the West Bank and Jerusalem, 55 are members of Hamas.

All Israel’s security chiefs, from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen and Mossad head Tamir Pardo, approved the exchange, which requires Israel to pay the highest price every to secure the release of one soldier. It means that hundreds of arch-terrorists, high-profile activists, will be turned loose, although most face deportation overseas, some to Turkey, or to the Gaza Strip.

Read the rest here.

Israel and Hamas are both winners and losers in Shalit swap deal

Never before has Israel paid so high a price for a single soldier, while Hamas must have been pushed into a corner to have agreed to such a dramatic compromise.

Haaretz

This Sunday will mark 25 years since Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad was taken captive, never to return. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s effort to conclude a deal for the return of Gilad Shalit, was meant to ensure that the kidnapped soldier would not share Arad’s fate. Barring any last-minute hitches, it seems Shalit will be home in a few days, after more than five years in captivity.

There have been many previous reports predicting that a deal would soon be signed, especially in the Arab press. But this time, there is good reason for optimism – mainly, the fact that both sides now seem serious about signing a deal whose outlines have been known for years: Israel will release some 450 Palestinians convicted of serious crimes in two stages, the first when Hamas transfers Shalit to Egypt and the second upon his return home. Some time later, Israel will free another 550 or so, to be billed as a gesture to Cairo. Hamas dictated the identity of the first 450; the remainder are at Israel’s discretion.

Read the rest here.