Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Government Giveth, And The Government Taketh Away

Blessed be the name of the Government! OK, I got that off my chest. I found it in the Little Pink Book of Chairman Obama (and yes, I did just make that up). Within a twenty-four hour period the Obama administration made a move that almost looks sensible, followed by a typical Obama misreading of American law and temperament. The glow lasted less than a day between almost patriotic Obama and out-to-get-us Obama.

First, the good news. In a fit of patriotism and good sense, the Justice Department has made its first move against Iran. Well, at least that's what they'd like us to think. It just seems terribly coincidental that after several days of being pounded about political correctness resulting in the deaths of 13 American soldiers on American soil followed by a weak-sister response to the terrorism, the Obama administration decided it had better do something to make itself look a little less idiotic. And since it has also been pounded about its cowardice in the face of Iranian threats and lies, this seemed a golden opportunity to put on a show.

Four mosques and the Piaget Building in New York, all under Iranian control, have been under investigation and close watch since the middle of the second Bush administration. The Obama administration has been less enthusiastic about the pursuit, but since most of the evidence has been gathered, and much of the paperwork completed anyway, Obama and Eric Holder appear to have decided that this was as good a lifeboat as any. Pursuant to federal law, the government has seized the assets of the four Mosques and the Alavi Foundation which "manages" the Piaget Building on behalf of the Iranian government (the Foundation is a front for the Iranian radical government in order to avoid direct involvement in American financial affairs).

The more suspicious among us might consider this to be an extension of the stimulus package, since the mosques and the Piaget Building together are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But the merely cautious among us can't help but wonder how closely this is related to the angry controversy surrounding the multiple layers of defensive political correctness which allowed Malik Hasan, a known jihadist sympathizer and promoter of mass murder to rise the the rank of major in the U.S. Army before committing his terrorist act at Ft. Hood.

Before anyone gets his panties in a bunch over this attack on a house of worship, consider the true purpose of a mosque. Prayer and preaching are conveniently located there, but they could just as easily be conducted in a hastily thrown-up tent. Those who know Islamic history know that the original and ongoing purpose of a mosque is as an armory and money-for-Allah collecting spot, which later took on religious trappings. The mosque has never had the same religious significance to Muslims as the synagogue to Jews or the church to Christians. Radical Muslims get no more murderously outraged by the seizure of a run-of-the-mill mosque than they do about cartoons of Mohammed.

That said, who cares? It wouldn't be any different if these were synagogues or churches if they're being used as a front for terrorist activity. Many, many mosques are used for little more than recruiting stations for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. But you're unlikely to find a lot of churches recruiting soldiers for Christ, out to destroy or dominate everyone else. Check the basement of your local church or synagogue and see how many weapons of war you find. Look around the pews and library to see how many "kill the unbelievers" tracts you find, or how many priests you hear giving sermons about killing all the Muslims. You get the idea.

Nevertheless, that doesn't stop the always hysterical and perpetually grossly overweight Muslim celebrity Ibrahim Hooper from saying: "We are concerned that the seizure of American houses of worship could have a chilling effect on the religious freedom of citizens of all faiths and may send a negative message to Muslims worldwide. Hooper is the most visible face of the terrorist-protecting and Iran-promoting CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). Pay attention, Pastor James, Rabbi Dan and Father John--they're coming to get you next! Aw, baloney.

The Piaget building is an equally good front. The main floors are occupied by high-end jewelry stores, most particularly the namesake ultra-expensive Piaget watches. It appears to be a place of normal (if high-priced) commerce. Just don't look into the upper floors where the real business is being conducted.

Considering that the Obamists are hell-bent-for-leather to prosecute "hate speech," it's about time they went after terrorist funding organizations led by imams who preach jihad. Freedom of speech and religion are no more absolute than any other right, and when they present a clear and present danger to the survival of the Republic, they should be squelched.

So now to the bad news. In a move which pretty much undoes the good in the seizures of Iranian property, the Holder Justice Department, at the behest of their messiah, has now decided that military tribunals and admissions of guilt by the 9-11 conspirators (the ones who didn't fly the planes into the Trade Center Towers) aren't sufficient. No, like any regular American citizen accused of a civilian crime, these terrorist masterminds are entitled to all the benefits of our brilliant criminal courts (just like the O J Simpson double murder trial, with an equally likely result).

The Obamists have once again proven that liberals and leftists cannot distinguish between terrorist warfare and civilian crimes. One murder, 3,000 murders, what's the difference? And the "Justice" Department is going to bring out the very best right at the beginning. Chief jihadist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his closest terrorist buddies will be brought from Guantanamo and given a civilian trial right here on American soil that was bloodied and scarred by their acts of undeclared warfare and mass murder on civilian targets. How civilized.

Unlike Lincoln and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Obama and Holder apparently do think that the Constitution is a suicide pact. The terrorists were already being tried by military tribunals for acts of war in violation of all international treaties and plain human decency. They were getting full due process, access to counsel, and the right to see the witnesses against them. But as terrorists, they did not get to see all the evidence against them because in military trials they're only entitled to see the evidence which is being used against them in court. They don't get to see all the memos and investigatory procedures which were used to obtain that evidence, let alone the national security conclusions that were formed as a result of the information obtained.

We've already seen the best result of terrorist prosecutions in civilian courts after the first World Trade Center attack. Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman al-Sudais was tried and convicted as the chief organizer of the attack. He was convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. So we got "justice," didn't we? Not exactly. Despite the fact that anyone with the least bit of common sense believed the death penalty to be the only appropriate remedy, the ultimate penalty was not imposed. But even if it had, he still had twenty or thirty years of frivolous appeals ahead of him, and given his age, it wouldn't have mattered much anyway.

But equally importantly, the conviction didn't stop his terrorist activities. While exercising his right to visit frequently with his civilian attorney in complete confidence, Rahman was gathering the information he gleaned from the civilian evidentiary process concerning how he was caught and what the intelligence agencies had learned about him and how to prevent future attacks. And this being a civilian prison and a civilian civil rights attorney, the inevitable happened. The unethical and treasonous attorney passed on the information to Rahman's cohorts overseas. She was caught after several trips to the Islamic terrorist information-gathering centers, and we'll probably never know how much of that information actually got to the 9-11 conspirators. But it doesn't take a great leap of faith to believe that they probably got plenty of it. Her punishment for her complicity was to be disbarred and charged with relatively minor criminal offenses. I'm sure that's of great comfort to the victims of the 9-11 attacks, dead and alive.

So if you happen to be in New York City some time in the near future, and see Khalid Sheikh Mohammed window shopping on Fifth Avenue before setting off his next murderous attack, be sure to send a thank you note to Barack Hussein Obama and Eric Holder.


Cheryl said...

That's infuriating!
Who needs coffee anymore. Just give me some Obama news in the morning to get my blood boiling.
I'm continuously flabbergasted by the stupidity of this administration!
I just don't get it!
What is wrong with these people?
Don't answer that.

StanH said...

Breathtaking stupidity Lawhawk! I saw the best, most impassioned case, so far, against the coming circus trials by Rudolph Guilianni on Cavuto. Being a former US Attorney (prosecutor) and someone who fully understands close up and person what KSM did, was an act of war, and not a street crime. He laid out through, rules of discovery, Miranda, civil rights, change of venue, and on and on, where even I, not a layer, a layman sat with my mouth agape in horror of the possibilities. We are in the midst of a moral equivalence nightmare. All the BS that I heard 40 years ago has come to fruition, and brothers and sisters it’s stupid, as it is dangerous. In 2010, ‘60s radicalism must be part of the campaign, to begin purging this great country of the insanity that has infected us for so long. God help us, the radicals are in charge!

Writer X said...

What's to prevent the Iranian terrorists from opening up shop somewhere else? The first act felt like a bandaid on a much bigger problem.

The second move, trying the terrorists in NY, is pure stupidity. But I get the feeling that Obama/Holder have been itching to do this for a long, long time. Republicans need to keep this in the spotlight.

AndrewPrice said...

I love the way they're pointing to Bush precedent (where he tried several terrorists in civilian courts) as a basis for what they're doing. Seriously? I thought we hated Bush. Wasn't he the guy who did it all wrong?

If they're going to try these guys in federal court, they should have picked a couple districts in the Fourth Circuit, in some of them, the US Attorneys have a conviction rate that I'm pretty sure exceeds 100%, if that's possible.

Joel Farnham said...

What I am puzzled by is that they were in a Military Prison. They plead guilty. They are guilty. They weren't executed by the Bush Administration. Why?

I mean justice does work slowly, but not that slow.

DCAlleyKat said...

Hubby and I were out running errands when the newsflash came over the radio waves. I turned to him and said, "Well there's the official bone thrown to the dogs." A conversation ensued (of course, hey we are husband and wife) coming from socialism he ook the coincidence stance, while I, red blooded American rebel took the nothing the WH does is coincidence - on guard stance!

As a Christian it must be said that I appreciate your input about what can be found inside our houses of worship. Indeed we freely admit, as did the apostle Paul, that our war is not against 'flesh and blood' but that it is spiritual warfare in which we are engaged. Against spiritual wickedness in high places. We have no directive to 'kill the infedels.'

Whew...that said, great article! You are so cutting edge....

Unknown said...

Cheryl: I'm with you, up to a point. My adrenalin starts flowing at the sight of the messiah, obviating the need for caffeine. On the other hand, I have to take Pepto Bismol for the nausea. LOL

Unknown said...

StanH: We 60s radicals had some major misguided ideals, and the attacks on American troops were happening thousands of miles across the Pacific. Today's radicals have an advantage we didn't have. Major attacks by terrorists on American soil. It was one thing for us to be blind in the abstract, quite another for them to be willfully blind to what is going on right in front of them.

And as horribly wrong as we were about so many things, we didn't gather up Viet Cong murderers and transfer them to the United States mainland to be tried in civilian courts.

Unknown said...

WriterX: You have a good point. However, ridding ourselves of terrorist organizations completely is like eating an elephant--you do it a bite at a time. If this were not such an ideological and cynical unAmerican administration, I would be sincerely applauding this as a good start. A first bite if you will. But after so many betrayals by Obama and Holder, I can't believe this is anything but another dog and pony show. After some of them are found not guilty on ridiculous procedural grounds, Holder will hire them as poll workers in Philadelphia.

Writer X said...

LawHawk, it makes you wonder if acting all tough on the Iranians was only cover to soften the blow from allowing the terrorists to be tried in NY? This may sound all conspiracy theory but I have to admit it crossed my mind.

Unknown said...

Andrew: as we both know, double-think is a characteristic of our radical "civil rights" left. I would have preferred a court in the Fourth District as well, but we both know that at least in this one instance, the feds do something better than the states. The courts are far more efficient, and verdicts tend to be much quicker and more sensible. Our real problem here is prosecution by a Justice Department that doesn't even see the terrorists as simple murderers. They're misguided freedom fighters. It will be a very poor prosecution case, by a department that sees procedural due process as more important than substantive due process. They'll blow it in pretrial, they'll blow it in trial, they'll fail to object to outrageous defense motions and phony evidence, and there will be national security leaks galore.

Unknown said...

Joel: Even Bush had a bad habit of prefacing every remark about jihadists with some smarmy comment about not judging all Muslims by a few extremists. The guilty pleas were also taken at a time when enhanced interrogation was already under the looking glass, and habeas corpus procedures had been successfully questioned in relation to foreign nationals for the first time in American history.

It was a very unfortunate chapter in American legal history, but a very fortunate one for the terrorist murderers.

Unknown said...

DCAlleyKat: Even the timid clergy in Germany came to see the error of their ways, and at risk of their lives, began to speak out against the Nazi murderers. Many rebelled against their church leaders who were complicit with the Nazi authorities.

Jihad is being preached on a daily basis in nearly every mosque in America, and through some misguided sense of freedom of religion and political correctness, the authorities have done nothing. But claiming they can't do anything is baloney. Ask a few of the prisoners in well-deserved incarceration who espoused white supremacy in the Aryan churches how well their "religious freedom" was protected. First Amendment speech and religious protections were never designed to protect mass murderers or preachers of mass murder.

Imagine what would happen if Christian churches started preaching a "New Crusade" against Muslims, complete with arms-gathering and instruction manuals. Of course, to listen to the rabid left, that is already happening.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, what will really be telling is if they let the Assist. US Attorneys (who are generally very competent) try the case, or if Holder appoints someone "special" to handle this.

Unknown said...

WriterX: The Obamists are devious enough to do something exactly like that. If that wasn't the reason, it certainly fits into their pattern of weakening American national security. Nevertheless, I think it had more to do with the Ft. Hood attack than to their desire to get terrorists into a civilian court. We just need to remember, complicated political questions rarely have one simple answer.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Whatever they decide, you know it won't be any of the old pros who understand what their job actually is. Maybe they'll use some of the political supervisors who quashed the Black Panther prosecutions in Philadelphia. Or they could bring in former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (omigod, did I really suggest that?).

DCAlleyKat said...

"First Amendment speech and religious protections were never designed to protect mass murderers or preachers of mass murder."

I agree wholeheartedly, or wholeheartedly agree!

On the 'clergy'..the inability of 'clergy' to see evil and speak out against it, is the same as that of anyone to see evil and remain silent. The weight of their silence was in their perceived role of leader, when in fact the dogma which they embraced should have led them to speak out.

It was probably this predicament mixed with the horrors surrounding them that created the situation where they finally had to speak out against, or become completely for all that Der Meister stood.

At some time in our lives we are going to find ourselves having to make such choices, but unless one has prepared themselves to know what is evil and what is good they may never get to the choice step.

Enter today, where there is a battle going on about defining evil, who decides what is evil and what is good? That knowledge is necessary to get to the "choice" step of the process. For the Christian the "who" has been decided.

For the secularist, well...they don't even want to have the debate!

StanH said...

As David Horowitz said the other evening on Hannity. Everything this administration engages in has a direct link to the ‘60s counter culture, and a purpose to those ends. Ho Chi Minh regarded the counter culture an ally, returning soldiers were spat on and called baby killers, Jane Fonda posing on antiaircraft gun positions, Abie Hoffman, trying to levitate the pentagon, and on and on, hell I’m not telling you anything. Given the opportunity that same group, and the ACLU would have gladly tried the Viet Cong in an American court, to make America look bad. These same adolescents are now in charge of the MSM, Academia, Government, and see what the terrorist did on 9/11 as “America’s chickens…coming home to roost.” This is nothing but the leftist attempt to put the Bush Administration and America on trial, it’s a terrible thing, IMO!

Unknown said...

DCAlleyKat: You and I and most of our readers have no problem with the use of the word "evil." It's not nuanced enough or sufficiently intellectual to appeal to liberals and leftist theologians. Yet evil it is, and must be called out. Satan is the Great Liar, and the greatest lie he tells is that he doesn't exist. No Satan, no evil, no problem. And just like Satan, murderous fundamentalist Islamic jihad doesn't exist either. If it weren't for all those murderous Jews, Christians, Buddhists and other radical groups, this would be a wonderful, peaceful world.

Unknown said...

StanH: At least there's one good thing going for us. The 60s generation is inching closer to the grave (and Obamacare will hasten that end). And their influence on today's young people is more apparent than real. Without the constant propping up of the leftist "teachers," the MTV attention span will be replaced by family, church, responsibility and the real world.

Of course, David Horowitz and I intend to outlive all our former friends on the left.

Joel Farnham said...


Almost every step that Obama takes is opposite of what GWB did. The taking of property of Iranians is actually in lockstep with Communism. I don't recall an instance where the Bush Administration confiscated a single building because of ties to Iran.

Unknown said...

Joel: Seizing of assets in this case is nothing like communism at all, except in the fact of the seizure itself. Seizing the assets of foreign enemies goes back to the founding of the Republic, and has solid constitutional support. Unlike the communists (and any other confiscatory dictatorship), we have rules heaped on rules, and a full opportunity to dispute the seizure in our courts. Like every other human institution, the law can be misapplied, but that's what due process of law is about. The Iranians will no doubt challenge the seizures, and win or lose, they will have been give the full strength and protection of the law and the Constitution.

The misuse of seizure has been most evident in drug-related cases, and some serious revision of the law needs to be done there. But this kind of seizure is an ancient and honorable legal institution. The federal government has certain narrow, carefully defined and constitutionally authorized powers, and this action fits perfectly into those powers. Even the bad guys do the right thing occasionally, even if for all the wrong reasons. I won't slam this action regardless of my intense dislike for everything Obamist. I only question the motives.

And there were seizures of assets and buildings under the Bush administration, but none of them were this closely or directly tied to Iran.

Joel Farnham said...


I don't object to it, but we don't have a declared war against Iran. Do we? We do have a declared war against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and all things terrorist, but not Iran. Could it be that Obama wants a war with Iran? I just don't get it. Maybe, I just don't believe the Obama Administration. So far, what ever they have done, it is NOT in the best interests of this nation. Could this seizure not be in our best interest?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel and Lawhawk, Weren't the laws forbidding Iran from doing business (or holding assets) in the United States put into place in the 1970s and 1980s? I know they've been after this current group since 1995, but weren't able to prove that Iran "exerts day to day control" over the assets.

Joel Farnham said...


I remember that the assets were frozen because of the hostage situation, but that they were un-frozen when Reagen assumed office.

Unknown said...

Joel: I understand your frustration with the Iran issue. We actually do not have a formal declaration of war against anyone at the present time. The President(s) have taken military action against terrorists, and Congress has funded it (reluctantly in most cases). But the seizures in this case don't relate to a declaration of war in any real sense. This was a seizure of terrorist assets, which only incidentally happen to be Iranian.

We have declared war on the Taliban, terrorists in general, and al Qaeda only in a figurative sense. All of these are military actions against terrorists and their camps, but there are no clearly defined lines of national, identifiable enemies on whom we can legally declare war in any meaningful sense. In fact, we are going out of our way to make it clear we are fighting terrorists, not the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am absolutely convinced that the seizures are in our national interest, just as I am equally convinced that Obama's reason for doing so is far less patriotic or national security oriented. In fact, it may blow up in his face when Iran reacts violently to what is otherwise a fairly minor international incident.

Unknown said...

"I am absolutely convinced that the seizures are in our national interest, just as I am equally convinced that Obama's reason for doing so is far less patriotic or national security oriented. In fact, it may blow up in his face when Iran reacts violently to what is otherwise a fairly minor international incident."

Very well put LawHawk!

StanH said...

From your mouth to God’s ears Lawhawk! I believe one thing that the left has underestimated with the youth is their love of country, and belief in a better tomorrow. Once they leave the clutches of the left (school) they become American in every way, hopeful. You know how at Pear Harbor, that veterans will tell a verbal history. You could do the same thing in SF the epicenter of the counter culture. LOL!

Unknown said...

Kathy: Nobody truly wants an incident with Iran, but something has to wake Obama out of his hope and change torpor. I just hope it doesn't cost any American lives in the process.

Unknown said...

StanH: I've always planned to do that, and somehow current events seem to take over and squelch my plans.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I can't help wondering whether each of the DOJ attorneys will get a Piaget platinum and diamond watch with a personal message from Imadinnderjacket on the back. Bling beats justice and national security any day in the week. And that will be the end of the prosecution of Iranian terrorists and terrorist fund-raisers.

Unknown said...

HamiltonsGhost: That's probably true, but I think they'd sell out their country and its Constitution for much less. Like the watch without the diamonds, and in mere 18K gold.

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