The indoctrination of Islamic youth

September 13, 2006 at 11:16 am

A truly scary report:

Hezbollah’s Shi’ite youth movement, “The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts,” has tens of thousands of members. According to captured documents, they are indoctrinated with the principles of radical Iranian Islam. That indoctrination includes the personality cult of Iranian leader ‘Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah’s “battle legacy;” national Lebanese symbols are minimized.

Five common myths about detainees at Guantanamo Bay

September 6, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Heritage Foundation Senior Defense Analyst James Carafano recently returned from a tour of the detainee facilities organized by the Pentagon. Carafano shared his impressions with me this afternoon and compiled a list of five commonly believed myths about the detainee situation at Guantanamo Bay.


To recap, those five myths are:

Myth #1. Detainees are abused and tortured

Myth#2. Detainees are forgotten and abandoned

Myth #3. Detainees have no rights

Myth#4. Detainees are not dangerous

Myth#5. Detainees have no intelligence value

Terrorism issue breathes life into GOP

August 24, 2006 at 7:01 am

My column today focuses on the GOP’s recent uptick in the polls as a result of successes in the war on terror. You can read it here.

Fox News reporter kidnapped

August 14, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Ugh…terrible news. It looks as though Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and a camera man have been kidnapped at gunpoint in Gaza City. Michelle Malkin has the details.

Lessons from the thwarted British terror plot

August 11, 2006 at 9:47 am

Heritage Foundation colleague Peter Brookes has a must-read column in today’s NY Post in which he reminds readers that “we have two enemies in the War on Terror: terrorists and our own complacency.”

Brookes highlights four lessons to be learned in the wake of the foiled terror plans that could have killed as many as 4,000 innocents:

First: While the London plot bears all the hallmarks of a classic al Qaeda operation, U.S. and U.K. officials say the 20-plus arrestees are British citizens of Pakistani origin - that is, “homegrown,” like last year’s 7/7 London subway bombers.

Meaning? Al Qaeda - which seemed to be a terrorist group on 9/11 - is now a global terrorist movement. Osama bin Laden is much more of a worldwide inspiration to his disciples than an active commander directing operations.

Second: Our first line of defense is good, actionable intelligence. That definitely includes the most vigorous collection and analysis of foreign - and domestic - terrorist-related information that our laws and values will permit.

The foiling of this plot clearly shows the importance - and wisdom - behind well-crafted intelligence programs like the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program and the tracking of terrorist-related international financial transactions, among others.

Third: International intelligence and law-enforcement cooperation is a force multiplier in fighting terrorism. The U.S./U.K. collaboration in foiling this terrorist operation is well known. But early reports indicate that the London terror cell(s) had ties into Pakistan as well. (No surprise there.) It appears that Pakistan’s Interservices Intelligence (ISI) may have pitched in to help scuttle this plot; still, concerns about ISI’s loyalties remain.

Fourth: Al Qaeda and its acolytes continue to evolve their operational techniques, including becoming increasingly sophisticated in their evil handiwork.

This plot is a good example: These terrorists reportedly planned to smuggle undetectable components such as “liquid explosive ingredients and detonating devices disguised as beverages, electronic devices, and other common objects” aboard the targeted aircraft.

British terror plot thwarted

August 10, 2006 at 9:43 am

Pajamas Media has a huge roundup of the thwarted British terror plot.

This is just another reminder that the long war against terrorism must continue to be waged with diligence. The timing also comes as the Middle East continues to boil over with violence. More evidence of Gingrich’s WWIII?

227-183

June 30, 2006 at 8:17 am

The House of Representatives last night approved a resolution condemning the leaking and publication of classified anti-terrorsim programs like the terrorist financial tracking program SWIFT. Only seventeen Democrats crossed the aisle to support the measure…seventeen.

The Washington Post:

The GOP-crafted resolution, approved 227 to 183, also condemned the unidentified sources who leaked information of the program. It said the House “expects the cooperation of all news media organizations” in protecting the government’s capability “to identify, disrupt, and capture terrorists.”

The House vote was the latest volley in a Republican campaign accusing the New York Times and other news outlets of endangering national security by disclosing classified programs, including the warrantless surveillance of Americans’ phone calls and the collection of phone data from U.S. residences and businesses.

The culprit’s take:

Lawmakers expressed their sentiment through a resolution that was approved on a largely party-line 227-to-183 vote after days of harsh criticism by the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans aimed at The New York Times and other newspapers for publishing details of the program, which the government said was limited to following possible terrorist financial trails…

…Mr. Oxley and other Republicans said The Times deserved particular scorn as the first to make public the details of the administration’s effort to try to identify and apprehend terrorists by tracing financial transactions processed through an international cooperative called Swift. The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal published similar accounts soon after The Times. “If you are Al Qaeda, the appropriate response to this publication is, ‘Thank you,’ ” said Representative Spencer Bacchus, Republican of Alabama…

…The Republican-written resolution did not identify any publication by name. But many of the resolution’s backers said The Times had acted irresponsibly.

Representative David Dreier, Republican of California, said The Times had led other news outlets in deciding to publish classified material. He dismissed arguments that the disclosure served a public interest, saying the public would rather be safe from terrorists than “all-knowing” about antiterror efforts.

As noted previously, the coverage and debate are all focused on the NY Times…the more I pay attention to this the more I like the resolution.

If perception is reality…

June 29, 2006 at 4:39 pm

…and in politics it most often is, then the worry that the House and Senate resolutions condemning publication of classified materials do not name the NY Times or the LA Times may be less serious.

Every media outlet that I have watched on cable news over the last 24 hours has portrayed the House and now Senate resolutions as responses to the NY Times‘ decision to publish the classified anti-terrorism SWIFT program. In print the many stories are along the same lines. Granted, some note the absences of the specific names, but most appear to be similar to this Reuters article:

Republicans intensified their criticism of news media over security issues on Thursday as the U.S. House of Representatives debated a resolution that condemns public disclosure of secret surveillance programs.

Republican lawmakers in both houses of Congress said government employees who revealed details of a secret Treasury Department effort to monitor bank transfers to the New York Times and other news outlets had undermined national security.

The NY Times is on the first graf or two of most articles. I wanted to see the NY Times named in the resolution. But if the media understands the resolutions to be aimed squarely at the NY Times and any other outlets that may be as reckless, then the resolution serves a purpose. Read the first two grafs of John Cornyn’s resolution:

Condemning the unauthorized disclosure and publication of classified information about the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, and other vital counter-terrorism programs.

Whereas on June 22, 2006, news organizations publicly disclosed the existence of an ongoing, highly classified national security program to track terrorists’ financial transactions, known formally as the “Terrorist Finance Tracking Program”

I would be willing to wager that when Cornyn takes the floor to talk about his resolution, the debate turns to the NY Times and their irresponsible reporting. After all, his first two grafs here are all about the Times. Who are liberals who dislike the resolution going to be forced to defend? The NY Times…that’s who.

The resolutions appear to have tight enough language to cover all the bases: leaking and subsequent publishing by media outlets of classified info. Yes, it would be nice to see the culprits named. As I said, I would have preferred that. But I expect the culprits to be thoroughly named in the debate surrounding the resolutions. If even the MSM understand what this is about, then I feel pretty good about it.

Cornyn introduces Senate resolution in response to NY Times

June 29, 2006 at 11:34 am

Texas Senator John Cornyn today introduced a Senate resolution condemning the leaking of and publication of classified anti-terrorism programs. Like the House resolution, Cornyn does not specifically name the NY Times or LA Times. The text of the resolution is below:

RESOLUTION

Condemning the unauthorized disclosure and publication of classified information about the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, and other vital counter-terrorism programs.

Whereas on June 22, 2006, news organizations publicly disclosed the existence of an ongoing, highly classified national security program to track terrorists’ financial transactions, known formally as the “Terrorist Finance Tracking Program”;

Whereas the President condemned the unauthorized leak and subsequent publication in the strongest possible terms, calling those acts “disgraceful” and explaining that public disclosure of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program “does great harm to the United States of America”;

Whereas the Secretary of the Treasury noted that this unauthorized leak of classified information and subsequent publication “undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails”;

Whereas similar to the leaks and public disclosure of the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, the disclosure of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program puts America’s terrorist enemies on notice of tactics used to hunt them down and makes defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult;

Whereas Administration officials and the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission (a Democrat and a Republican) urged news organizations to refrain from publicly disclosing the existence of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program because of the probable harm to America’s national security;

Whereas there have been no credible allegations of abuse or infringements on civil liberties in the execution of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program;

Whereas the 9/11 Commission in its Final Report concluded that “information about terrorist money helps us to understand their networks, search them, and disrupt their operations”;

Whereas the 9/11 Commission had given the Administration high marks in its pursuit of terrorist-finance networks, and recommended that “vigorous efforts to track terrorist financing must remain front and center in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts”; and

Whereas the United States must remain vigilant in its War on Terror:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That-

(1) the Senate joins the President in condemning the damaging leaks and subsequent publication of vital national security information about the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program and theNational Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program; and

(2) it is the sense of the Senate that the Department of Justice should vigorously and tirelessly investigate and prosecute any and all persons responsible for the unauthorized disclosure to news organizations of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, and other vital counter-terrorism programs.

Hewitt on NY Times

June 29, 2006 at 10:02 am

In what I think is his first ever (not positive on this) column on Townhall, Hugh Hewitt goes after the “Times Two”:

For the first time in American history, major media outlets have published classified information that they have been warned will directly assist our enemies. They did so having concluded –on a basis undisclosed to the public—that the dangers were either overstated or non-existent.There is no stopping such recklessness except by locating the oath-breaking criminals who betray secrets.

But there is no honor in endangering Americans, and no pose of world-weary knowledge will dress up scribblers as sages, or perfume their low deeds with any thing except the odor of spoiled goods.

UPDATE: It’s his second column of many more to come since the Salem-Townhall merger.

Snow: White House will not call for NY Times investigation

June 29, 2006 at 6:28 am

Last night, on the O’Reilly Factor, White House spokesman Tony Snow said the Administration would not call for investigations into the NY Times publishing of classified information. More here.