. My friend, it's time to face a hard, cold fact. Militant Islam wants to kill us just because we're alive and don't believe as they do. They've been killing us for decades. So it's time to stop pretending these terrorist incidents are mere episodic events and face the reality that our way of life is in grave danger. This threat is not just going to go away because we choose to ignore it.
Some say we should try diplomacy. Yeah, well, tell me, how do we negotiate with people whose starting point is our death? Ask them to wait for ten years before they kill us? When good negotiates with evil, evil will always win and peace follows victory, not words issued by diplomats. But some Americans, sadly, not interested in victory, and yet they want us to believe that their behavior is patriotic.
Well, it's not. When the critics are more interested in punishing this country over a few incidents at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay than they are in defeating those who want to kill us; when they seek to destroy a foreign surveillance program which is designed to identify those who want to kill us and how they intend to do it; when they want to grant those who want to kill us U.S. constitutional rights, I don't call that patriotic. Patriotism is rallying behind the country, regardless of party affiliation to defeat Islamofascism. Patriotism is supporting our troops in the battlefield, not undermining the mission and morale. Let there be no doubt about this: America will prevail. We're the same country that survived a bloody civil war, defeated the Nazis and the Soviets. Each generation has a responsibility to the next, our generation will not disappoint.
AT GITMO, PC RULES LET QAEDAS PLOT ON RICHARD MINITER
September 15, 2006 -- GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA
ON the military plane back from America's most fa mous terrorist holding pen, the in-flight film was "V for Vendetta," a screed that tries to justify terrorism. It was a fitting end to a surreal, military-sponsored trip.
The Pentagon seemed to be hoping to disarm its critics by showing them how well it cares for captured terrorists. The trip was more alarming than disarming. I spent several hours with Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., who heads the joint task force that houses and interrogates the detainees. (The military isn't allowed to call them "prisoners.")
Harris, a distinguished Navy veteran who was born in Japan and educated at Annapolis and Harvard, is a serious man trying to do a politically impossible job. I spoke with him at length, and with a dozen other officers and guards, and visited three different detention blocks.
The high-minded critics who complain about torture are wrong. We are far too soft on these guys - and, as a result, aren't getting the valuable intelligence we need to save American lives.
The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can't be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day.
Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two - and (of course) are interrupted for prayers. One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald's sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o' Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.)
Interrogations are not video or audio taped, perhaps to preserve detainee privacy.
Call it excessive compassion by a nation devoted to therapy, but it's dangerous. Adm. Harris admitted to me that a multi-cell al Qaeda network has developed in the camp. Military intelligence can't yet identify their leaders, but notes that they have cells for monitoring the movements and identities of guards and doctors, cells dedicated to training, others for making weapons and so on.
And they can make weapons from almost anything. Guards have been attacked with springs taken from inside faucets, broken fluorescent light bulbs and fan blades. Some are more elaborate. "These folks are MacGyvers," Harris said.
Other cells pass messages from leaders in one camp to followers in others. How? Detainees use the envelopes sent to them by their attorneys to pass messages. (Some 1,000 lawyers represent 440 prisoners, all on a pro bono basis, with more than 18,500 letters in and out of Gitmo in the past year.) Guards are not allowed to look inside these envelopes because of "attorney-client privilege" - even if they know the document inside is an Arabic-language note written by a prisoner to another prisoner and not a letter to or from a lawyer.
That's right: Accidentally or not, American lawyers are helping al Qaeda prisoners continue to plot.
There is little doubt what this note-passing and weapons-making is used for. The military recorded 3,232 incidents of detainee misconduct from July 2005 to August 2006 - an average of more than eight incidents per day. Some are nonviolent, but the tally includes coordinated attacks involving everything from throwing bodily fluids on guards (432 times) to 90 stabbings with homemade knives.
One detainee slashed a doctor who was trying to save his life; the doctors wear body armor to treat their patients.
The kinder we are to terrorists, the harsher we are to their potential victims.
Striking the balance between these two goods (humane treatment, foreknowledge of deadly attacks) is difficult, but the Bush administration seems to lean too far in the direction of the detainees. No expense spared for al Qaeda health care: Some 5,000 dental operations (including teeth cleanings) and 5,000 vaccinations on a total of 550 detainees have been performed since 2002 - all at taxpayer expense. Eyeglasses? 174 pairs handed out. Twenty two detainees have taxpayer-paid prosthetic limbs. And so on.
What if a detainee confesses a weakness (like fear of the dark) to a doctor that might be useful to interrogators, I asked the doctor in charge, would he share that information with them? "My job is not to make interrogations more efficient," he said firmly. He cited doctor-patient privacy. (He also asked that his name not be printed, citing the potential for al Qaeda retaliation.)
Food is strictly halal and averages 4,200 calories per day. (The guards eat the same chow as the detainees, unless they venture to one of the on-base fast-food joints.) Most prisoners have gained weight.
Much has been written about the elaborate and unprecedented appeal process. Detainees have their cases reviewed once a year and get rights roughly equivalent to criminals held in domestic prisons. I asked a military legal adviser: In what previous war were captured enemy combatants eligible for review before the war ended? None, he said.
America has never faced an enemy who has so ruthlessly broken all of the rules of war - yet never has an enemy been treated so well.
Of Gitmo's several camps, military records show that the one with the most lenient rules is the one with the most incidents and vice versa. There is a lesson in this: We should worry less about detainee safety and more about our own.
Some 20 current detainees have direct personal knowledge of the 9/11 attacks and nearly everyone of the current 440 say they would honored to attack America again. Let's take them at their word.
Richard Miniter (richardminiter.com) is a bestselling author and adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute.
. "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? "Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors; When I said, 'This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!'
"Have you commanded the morning since your days began, And caused the dawn to know its place, That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it? It takes on form like clay under a seal, And stands out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, And the upraised arm is broken.
"Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
"Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths to its home?
Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great? "Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail, Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, For the day of battle and war? By what way is light diffused, Or the east wind scattered over the earth?
"Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water, Or a path for the thunderbolt, To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, A wilderness in which there is no man; To satisfy the desolate waste, And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
The waters harden like stone, And the surface of the deep is frozen. "Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That an abundance of water may cover you? Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, And say to you, 'Here we are!'? Who has put wisdom in the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven, When the dust hardens in clumps, And the clods cling together?
"Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, When they crouch in their dens, Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
Who provides food for the raven, When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?