Editor's Note: Army Private Andy Long was gunned down by homegrown jihadist Carlos Bledsoe (who had taken the name Abdulhakim Muhammad after training with Al Qaeda in Yemen) at a Little Rock recruiting station on June 2, 2009. After federal prosecutors declined to bring charges, the killer was convicted in Arkansas state court and is now serving 12 consecutive life terms. The two men's fathers, Daris Long and Melvin Bledsoe, spoke at Centennial Institute on Dec. 10, 2012, to promote the new documentary film about their experience, "Losing Our Sons ." Daris Long's remarks were as follows:
Our son Andy would call us on weekends while he was in boot camp. One Sunday he called while I was in the middle of something I thought was important so I made my excuses in order to get back to it. That night I could not sleep so I got up and wrote him a letter. I apologized and told him that I would never do that again; I would always be there for him.
People have commented on how they don’t think they could persevere against a seemingly insurmountable bureaucracy. I would ask, If not I, then who? [Esther 4:14b] states, “Who knows, perhaps [we] have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” It isn’t easy, but I do this because of that promise I made to my son in that letter. I do this because as a former Marine I will not allow his government to leave him behind. I do this as an American because my fellow Americans need to hear the truth.
The night before he was killed, his last words to me before he went to bed I will never forget, “That’s cool, Dad.” The next day, Andy’s mother drove him to the Recruiting Center and was sitting in the car studying her Bible when she saw Andy in the rear view mirror as he came out of the Recruiting Center Office. She told me that she thought about getting out and going to him, but decided against it when she saw another soldier come out with him and did not want to interfere. I believe that action saved her life, because, a few seconds later she heard bursts of gunfire. The next time I saw my son was with my family in the ER.
That was the beginning of a nightmare. Not just the nightmare of losing our son, but the nightmare of the denial. The denial of calling this what it was; the denial that there is an enemy; the denial that that enemy is definable; the denial that this enemy wishes to destroy our way of life; the denial that my wife firmly believes led directly from Little Rock thru Fort Hood to the Middle East Embassy.
We kept our silence for two years, except for three interviews I did, in order to not harm the Prosecution’s Case and because after meeting with the US Attorney and other federal officials, we fully expected federal indictments to be handed out.
We remained silent for two years, but we were not idle. As we listened to this administration’s response, the main stream media’s coverage or lack of, the DOA, DOD, DOJ and their continuing actions to date, my view of justice and trust in government has changed.
In researching, it was amazing the amount of information regarding Abdulhakim Muhammad’s activities we were able to find from open sources that should have sealed the case on federal terrorism charges. When we were told that the Army did not have enough information to warrant the awarding of the Purple Heart, we sent them our research. The responses from our Congressional representatives were positive. The responses we received from the DOA and DOJ were nothing short of insulting.
Melvin Bledsoe, the killer’s father, at the same time was on his nightmare journey and his quest for information in order to understand what had happened to his son and how a son of his could do such a terrible thing. I have to tell you that I have grown to respect and admire Melvin for his courage and desire to ensure that other parents do not have to deal with what his family and ours have had to. I count him as a friend. What Melvin Bledsoe and I have been able to do together in our efforts is because of the grace of God.
Our individual journeys were brought together when we were approached by the group American’s for Peace and Tolerance out of Massachusetts led by Dr. Charles Jacobs. Charles wanted to do a documentary about Melvin and myself losing our sons.
It took two years for the film to be released. It is appropriately titled “Losing Our Sons” as it reveals what is happening in our country today, something the mainstream media will not report.
I have a history with the Muslim people. I have spent almost twenty percent of my life having lived in or deployed to Muslim countries. My nieces’ father is the grandson of a former King of Afghanistan and the nephew of another. It is easier for me to name the Muslim countries I have not been in, than to name the ones I have.
My wife and I cope with this tragedy because we gave it all to God the day we lost Andy. Turning it over to Him is a continuing task. We are determined to not allow Andy’s death to be wasted.
I have tried to avoid the politics of the situation, but it is near impossible when politics are what has clouded the truth. This is not and should not be a partisan issue.
The statutory oath I swore as a Marine “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” is something I still feel obligated to even though I am no longer on active duty.
While in the Corps, we did our duty according to “ground truth.” Ground truth is based on facts as they are, not facts that are viewed through the distortion of a political prism.
As of Tuesday, December 11, 2012, there have been a reported fifty-five thwarted terrorist plots since 9/11 which have resulted in federal indictments and convictions. The attacks in Little Rock, Fort Hood and Benghazi, Libya are not included in this number. On Friday, November 30, 2012 an improvised explosive device was detonated at the Social Security Administration Office in Casa Grande, Arizona. The perpetrator who was arrested is an Iraqi refugee. His house was searched and bomb making materials and instructions were found. A Federal Law enforcement official, on the grounds of anonymity, stated that it could be considered domestic terrorism but the bomber has not been charged under Title 18 Chapter 113b Terrorism due to the “political sensitivity” of the case. If we are to believe these reported incidents were attempted terrorist plots which justified these indictments, then it must follow that Abdulhakim’s attack at the Little Rock Recruiter Center and Major Nidal Hasan’s attack on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood were in fact successful terrorist attacks. The absurdity is that although charges have been levied for “thwarted”, “failed”, “planned” or “attempted” acts of terrorism, Federal Officials have yet to pursue the Little Rock and Fort Hood attacks as acts of terrorism. Abdulhakim Muhammad and Nidal Hasan succeeded in their jihad against America and the powers that be have refused to acknowledge this.
This administration is quick to “take credit” for thwarting plots but is completely silent, even resorting to obfuscation when the facts oppose their official narrative. They would have us believe that radical Islam has nothing to do with the motivations of individuals like Muhammad and Hasan or groups like Al Qaeda, Al Shabab or the Taliban. To deny the direct connections of either Abdulhakim Muhammad or Nidal Hasan to recognized international terrorists in Yemen requires one to suspend belief in the face of overwhelming facts.
Since 2009, we have tried to get a sane answer as to why the attack in Little Rock remains identified as just a criminal act, not an act of terrorism. After meeting with the FBI and US Attorney’s Office in September 2009, we fully expected federal terrorism indictments to be handed down at the conclusion of the state’s trial.
The Department of the Army’s position is that because the Little Rock attack was treated as a criminal act in an Arkansas court, it isn’t terrorism.
The Department of Justice stated that the attack against American soldiers is the Army’s responsibility in determining the shooting as an act of terrorism.
The Department of Homeland Security and White House both made statements to the effect that it was a Department of Defense issue and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Affairs refused in Congressional testimony, to state that radical Islamic extremism might even be a motivating factor of Al Qaeda doctrine.
Abdulhakim Muhammad was not timid when he called his act a jihad justified by Islamic law. Muhammad has since been identified by the FBI in counterterrorism briefs as an Al Qaeda adherent. Nidal Hasan was able to praise Muhammad’s attack in front of fellow Army Officers without repercussion. He did not whisper Allah-u Akbar when he jumped on a table in a crowded office at Fort Hood and then began killing fellow soldiers on his own jihad. His refusal to shave an unauthorized beard is not based on a secular fashion sense, but goes to the core of his motivation. The Army’s inability to enforce longstanding uniform regulations in the face of claims of religious discrimination of Islam speaks volumes about its abdication to political correctness under this administration.
We believe that the attacks on Little Rock and Fort Hood qualify the victims for the Purple Heart as casualties of international terrorist attack. The Congress has adopted language in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that states a successful terrorist attack does not only happen on someone else’s soil. This legislation has bipartisan and bicameral support within our Congress.
The White House threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act. The stated objection, in the Arkansas case, was that it was handled under the state’s criminal code and not as terrorism and that this provision “could” create appellate issues. This administration will not admit the fact that a successful attack occurred on their watch. The statement of objection blames Arkansas for the administration’s own denial, and inaction in not pursuing charges under Title 18 US Code Chapter 113b, Terrorism. The state charges could not address what is reserved for the federal statutes. This position of the government fails to address the still unanswered issues regarding Muhammad’s travel to Yemen to the same Madrassa in Dammaj known as the training site of the American Taliban, John Walker Lynde, which is clearly material support for terrorism, or his attempted attacks on two Jewish Rabbis – one in Little Rock with a rifle and the other in Nashville with a Molotov Cocktail, which is defined as a weapon of mass destruction.
Although jihad is not in the government’s list of approved words, it is front and center in the motives and doctrine of radical Islam. Denying the use and study of the very words used by the terrorists from their point of view and understanding removes an important tool which provides insight into the motives and methods of an enemy. Our government has succumbed to advisors such as the Council for American Islamic Relations, a known Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood front and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terrorist funding trial. CAIR advice is that these words are offensive and should be forbidden. This cedes the initiative to those who would do us harm.
Radical Islam is a political ideology that is grounded on a religion. That radical ideology has defenders who would have us believe that the United States Constitution’s First Amendment’s religious freedom clause prohibits truthful discussion of political Islam. These same defenders promote the expansion of the scope of religion for an explicit few, while at the same time imposing their own limited redefined scope of what can be considered religious belief for all other faiths.
This absurd double standard is not isolated to what happened in Little Rock and Fort Hood. A young girl was suspended from school for failing to stop wearing a “religious cross” on a necklace. The school district relented only after a law suit was initiated in defense of her basic rights. A coach lost his job for openly saying grace over a lunch meal, off campus and not acting in an official capacity.
Conversely, CAIR and its associates are openly invited by a school district into public school classrooms to espouse the glory of Islam. Has the curriculum been vetted, or has it been left up to good graces of the unbiased actors supported by CAIR to honestly present facts? Where are the guardians of “separation of church and state” in this case? They are conspicuously silent.
On September 11, 2012, the heralded promise of the so called “Arab Spring” turned into an Arab nightmare. The demonstrations and attacks on American Embassies in over two dozen countries, resulting in the deaths of a US Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, the Stars and Stripes being torn down and replaced by a black Islamist Banner over sovereign US territory.
The American Ambassador to the United Nations stated that the attack on the Benghazi Consulate was a spontaneous act and was not pre-mediated. Bringing heavy weapons and RPG’s to a demonstration would tell anyone that this was something other than a spontaneous act. The coordination and use of direct and indirect fire, coupled with supporting arms, tells me that the Ambassador obviously has no understanding of military tactics or methods that require a level of premeditation in order to coordinate these fires successfully. Additionally, it is reported that a “secret” safe house off site also came under sustained coordinated fire.
The Administration’s statement that there was no actionable intelligence indicating that possible violence against American interests seems lame and crafted. On the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a heightened sense of vigilance requirement is simply common sense. Every domestic law enforcement agency in this country routinely focuses on possible violent extremist threats because of the historic pattern of terrorist activity surrounding dates which are considered relevant to Islamic victories over infidels. Instead we are treated to an apology over a film which is blamed for starting it all. We then see this statement retracted and then reintroduced and repeated by none other than the Secretary of State.
It is amazing that a single twelve minute film trailer, which was on the internet from mid-June, can be identified by a superpower, with a straight face, as the reason for turning American foreign policy in the Middle East policy into ashes.
Witnessing the President’s Press Secretary’s comments about how this twelve minute film was responsible for starting demonstrations across the globe, reminded me of the statements made by Saddam Hussein’s Information Minister, Baghdad Bob, over how they were in full control of the situation even when the US Third Infantry Division was overrunning Baghdad Airport just a couple of miles away. My wife and I personally experience on a daily basis the denial of our government over what happened in Little Rock, now we are seeing denial of the truth on a national basis, telling us that there is no significance of the 9/11 anniversary demonstrations and violence from the UK to Australia.
The issue is about the truth, about America’s sons, daughters, and future. Melvin Bledsoe lost his son to radical Islam in a Tennessee University setting. I lost my son because of radical Islam on a sidewalk in Arkansas. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.”
PV2 William Andrew Long was a victim of a terrorist attack on June 1, 2009. PVT Quinton Ezeagwula was also a victim of a terrorist attack on June 1, 2009. Andy, Quinton and their families continue to be victims of a government that has stuck its head in the sand and has steadfastly promoted the premise that there is no correlation between radical Islam and those who continue to do us harm.
Washington D.C. – Monday, May 14th CCU students gathered on the top floor of the American Enterprise Institute. The room could almost be mistaken for a combat command room thanks to AEI scholars leading students into a military simulation of the March 2002 Operation Anaconda during the Afghanistan war. The operation lasted several days and resulted in a Coalition victory with nearly 100 casualties and 500-800 Taliban killed.
Students were tasked with roll playing key persons in the U.S. attack. At the end of the simulation students were asked a very straightforward question “was this mission a success?” The majority of students seemed to think that the mission was not a success due to confusion and the loss of U.S. soldiers in battle. Now it is clear that, having gone through the simulation, aspects of the operation were not handled properly and that mistakes were made; but is it unreasonable for us to look at a battle where fifteen Coalition lives were lost en route to disbanding the largest gathering of Taliban and killing 500-800 enemy fighters? I think so.
We are at a strange time. With great advancements in technology we are made to think that anything is possible and in an arena where human lives are on the line we are hesitant to accept any loss. But this is still war and the men who fight for this country believe that there are certain things worth dying for. I believe we all should take such a noble stance and honor their sacrifices and acknowledge the great victory of this battle. Of course I pray that no life is needlessly lost, but I will not look on this battle as a loss.
For the information given to students by AEI click here.
America has been blessed with great peace. This is the gracious realization I felt, standing before David Rubin as he described the constant horrors of terrorism in his hometown of Shiloh, Israel, in a speech at CCU on Oct. 24. David and Ruby, his three year old son, themselves have had their lives threatened by terrorists. 6 years ago both David and Ruby, then just three years old, miraculously survived a Palestinian ambush while driving home from Jerusalem. Before David’s vehicle defied physics and escaped the assault, 49 bullet holes peppered their car… two of those bullets met their true intended targets. One critically sticking David in his left leg, the other entered his son’s head, narrowly missing his brain stem by one millimeter. Both victims needed emergency surgery after their divine and phenomenal getaway. David and Ruby, who were saved against all odds, were the 1,000th victims of terrorism to be treated in that hospital within the previous year and a half. An incredible story of God’s grace and provision in a terrible situation.
David Rubin, Brooklyn born and former leftist, has taken this miracle, which arose from the harsh reality of Islamic hate for Israel, to share the need for action and the reality of this danger with audiences across the world. In his message, he emphasizes that these terrorists are fighting on behalf of their Ideology, Islam. And the application of this Ideology points to the destruction of the infidel, or non-believer. Why then is it, that in the West’s response to attacks, we so frequently compartmentalize the terrorists and ignore the ideological source. Rubin drew on a comparison of the Nazis: not all Nazis killed Jews, yet we fought a war and defeated the Nazis because of the implications of their ideology. We exposed the horrors of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and demoralized the movement, leading us to a post WWII culture where surviving Germans frantically tried to distance themselves from the Nazi past.
Living in Colorado begs an interesting comparison of terror and our responses to it. On April 20th, 1999 in the same county of Colorado as Colorado Christian University, where Rubin spoke, two high school seniors shot and killed twelve students and one teacher before committing suicide. This was a terrible tragedy, perpetrated by two mad and deranged youth. However, the media, along with politicians and Americans in general sought a deeper cause for this horrific violence. They searched for a responsible ideology; examining Goth culture, heavy-metal music, video games, television shows, action movies and the effects of bullying. More than ten years removed from the tragedy, it appears that the culprit we’ve named is bullying. Legislators and media have latched on to this crusade against bullying, but, as National Review’s Peter Kirsanow notes, with little clarity.
On Friday, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing on peer-to-peer violence and bullying in public schools. The focus of the hearing was on the federal response to bullying directed at students on the basis of protected-class status. The commission will issue a report on the matter to the president and Congress in the next few months. Until then, just a few brief observations:
· Several witnesses, including those from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, testified about the “bullying pandemic” sweeping the nation; the bullying “crisis”; the “alarming increase” in bullying. There may, in fact, be an increase in bullying in public schools (I tend to think there has been an increase). But when I asked the witnesses for data in support of the asserted increase (specifically, when did the federal government or any other entity begin collecting data on bullying? What were the numbers then and what are the numbers now?), there was no response. That’s because, according to one expert, no such stats are kept. In essence, the argument for greater federal involvement and legislation in response to bullying is based on no reliable data as to whether the problem has increased, decreased or stayed the same.
· The federal officials failed to cite any examples of how the federal government has, thus far, addressed the problem of bullying better than officials at the state, local, or school level.
· No precise definition of bullying was proffered at any time during the hearing.
· During the seven hours of testimony, a range of issues were discussed: federal jurisdiction, First Amendment concerns, the adequacy or lack thereof of state responses, etc. There was, however, no discussion whatsoever of the role of parents in addressing the problem.
Thomas Sowell also writes on this subject, pointing out the political intentions behind this regulatory push to stop bullying, “Most of the stories about the bullying of gays in schools are about words directed against them, not about their suffering the violence that has long been directed against Asian youngsters or about the failure of the authorities to do anything serious to stop black kids from beating up Asian kids.” This common thread among anti-bullying advocates seems to point to their having liberal cultural aims rather than an actual belief that bullying is the source of school shootings. And after all, the reports from the Columbine shooting suggest that both murderers enjoyed a close-knit group of friends while naming psychopathic and depression issues, evident in both boys, as the source to this violent behavior.
There is no doubt that the violence at Columbine was atrocious, and that bullying is something we must advise our children against and work hard to curtail, however the two are separate issues. We cannot rationalize the actions of those young tyrants. Mad men have perpetrated disgusting crimes throughout history; the Bath School Disaster of 1927 (45 killed), the 1966 University of Texas massacre (17 killed), 2007 Virginia Tech massacre (33 killed).
Why is it then that we have been quick to search for ideological reasoning where it is lacking, yet we refuse to acknowledge it where it is plain and clear? The response in America after the September 11th, 2001 attacks was to blame “madmen” for killing thousands. Likewise, when the world sees the systematic terror so evident in Israel, they brush it off as extremists operating outside of accountable reason or logic. How is this our response when faced with the glaring dogmatism and coherent, though disturbed, uniting source for these attacks. Islamic terrorists are fulfilling their duties to their doctrine… a doctrine of slavery and hate, also known as Islam. Again, this is not to say that every Muslim is active in the perpetration of terrorism, but neither was every Nazi a killer of Jews, gypsies, gays and prisoners. The Qur’an in several locations specifically calls for the annihilation of non-believers. While it has recently been popular to print editions with these passages removed, the vast majority of Muslims reject these copies, some arguing that it is a capital sin to disfigure the great word of Muhammad. Here are a few excerpts from the ‘peaceful’ Qur’an:
[2.191] And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
[5.51] O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.
[4.76] Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil.
This is the ideology that informs incorporated terror attacks, attacks that are celebrated in the street of Palestinian neighborhoods and communities. It is not a religion of peace, rather a conquering ambition, carried by many. Why is it we refuse to understand the dangers of Islam? If we continue to overlook this reality, we face not only the normalization of murder that David Rubin and his family are subjected to, but also more attacks like the ones seen on September 11th.
(Opening Remarks at Campus Ceremony, Sept. 12) How should we approach our commemoration of September 11, 2001, here at Colorado Christian University? Here are some thoughts from my perspective as director of the Centennial Institute, our public policy center at the university.
On the second Tuesday in September ten years ago, Islamist fighters from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE, trained in Afghanistan by the Al Qaeda revolutionary organization under Osama Bin Laden, took over four US airliners and turned them into missiles of war for an attack on New York City and Washington DC.
The twin towers of the World Trade Center, symbolizing American free enterprise, were destroyed. The Pentagon, symbolizing American military might, was gravely damaged. A direct hit on the United States Capitol or the White House, which would have decapitated American self-government, was narrowly averted by the heroism of passengers on board Flight 93.
The strike was brilliantly planned and barbarically executed. It hit us like a lightning bolt from a clear sky. Two thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven lives were lost that day, many of them massacred unawares, but many others in sacrificial efforts of resistance or rescue, with acts of magnificent courage. Thousands of families mourned the loss of loved ones.
The nation’s anger was roused, but our confidence was also shaken. Voices of self-doubt and self-reproach were heard among our own elites. Voices of condemnation from Muslim leaders were hesitant and few. Street mobs celebrated in the home countries of the 9/11 attackers. What did it all mean?
Some Americans said it meant we had cultural fences to mend and yet another criminal-justice job to do. But most Americans understood it meant we were at war. Arguably that war had been going on in one-sided fashion against us from the Islamists since at least 1979 when the US embassy in Iran was seized.
The war continues today – punctuated by progress in Iraq, progress in Afghanistan, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and more than 60 intended or actual jihadist attacks upon the US homeland over the past 3600 days.
Disturbingly, however, what America clearly understood as a long and deadly-serious war ten Septembers ago is now too often blurred and misunderstood as nothing more than one horrific day of terror, trauma, and tragedy. Fellow Americans, fellow patriots, brothers and sisters – this must not be. This must not be.
The consequences of 9/11 WERE tragic in terms of the lives lost, the economic cost, the emotional cost, the compromising of civil liberties. But the event we are gathered to commemorate this evening was no mere tragedy.
A tragedy is something that just happens – the result of fate or bad luck or bad judgment. The 9/11 attack did not just happen. It was a heinous atrocity brought to our shores by a determined enemy. It was a deliberate and unprovoked act of war by forces with a definite address and an agenda of total conquest, total world domination.
Does America remember that and realize that, today in 2011? Parts of America unfortunately do not. But this Christian university and this assembly of wide-awake citizens do remember. Absolutely we do.
We have not forgotten and will never forget why 9/11 happened, what 9/11 cost, what 9/11 still demands of us. We come together to honor the dead and keep their memory alive by living worthily of them -- which includes focusing our minds and devoting our energies and uniting our purpose in such a way as to keep AMERICA alive.
Let us use our time this evening to say not only, “Wasn’t it!” but also, “Isn’t it!” Let us not just look back with remembrance, but let us, even more, look ahead with resolve. Wasn’t it awful that day? Wasn’t it sad? Wasn’t it horrifying? Wasn’t it a more innocent world before the planes hit the towers? Yes, it was, and to reflect on that at a decade’s distance is fitting.
Yet to stiffen our spine now in the present, and set our faces to the future, and rededicate ourselves unswervingly to duty, truth, and honor, is more fitting still. Isn’t it imperative, isn’t it urgent, isn’t it nobly incumbent on us to preserve the America our enemies wanted – and still want – to destroy?
Isn’t it unacceptable that we should lapse back into the softness and complacency they exploited so lethally on that September morning. Isn’t it a great and high calling for each of us to accept, that the decades ahead should be a better, freer, stronger time for these United States and all the friends of freedom than the decades just behind? Yes, it is. It is!
(CCU Student) There is something quite profound I have come to recognize within my family dynamics as I enter adulthood and start investigating the truths of our nature, politic, and universe myself. I have hit a lot of opposition between members to the point of near to complete estrangement. Disagreements over public policy, political philosophy, morality, religion, creation… etc, have crept their way into our lives creating relational barriers between ones I have known all my life and will always love. Yet, despite such pronounced dissimilarities and disagreements, when everything hits the fan, when one member of the family completely falls apart, we all hurt with them and come to render aid.
The American family functions in the same way. I think September 11, 2001 was a great example of that. In an era of relativity and progressive morality, where the political left and the political right are in constant battle, where debates over social values and morality stream the mainline, all Americans were brought back together as fellow Americans, in the horror of one morning in September 2001.
Now, 10 years later I can still remember where I was and every moment of that day as I saw over and over again the first plane hit… and then the second. I was sitting in my 6th grade home room class with my peers watching the scenes through a television set that was brought into our classroom by our teacher. I was only 11 years old, but I remember.
Now we are again back to our old family dynamics, bickering, debating, and even arguing over our intent of going to war post 9/11. Some even advocating for the rights of the terrorists that have been apprehended in affiliation with the aggressor of the attacks. The fire for justice that was so strong post 9/11/01 has seemed to simmer down in many Americans hearts. Yet, with the tenth anniversary of the attack, we must remember the day that will be engrained in the souls of American’s forever, young and old. Even if we are not prepared to pick up the guns ourselves, remembrance and support is what fuels the love felt between bickering, yet hurting family members.
There is truly a unity in the heart of America that will always burn on the anniversary of the attack. I say now in hindsight, God bless America for that unity, which brings forth the memory that displays the true heart of America. May we always remember.
Are many Muslims devoted to a doctrine called jihad, which commands violence against infidels, and another doctrine called sharia, which forbids obedience to the U.S. constitution or any other civil government?
Do many Muslims interpret the Koran to require brutal abuse of women, gays, Jews, and Christians?
Have a number of Muslim charities and mosques in this country been unmasked as fronts for radicalism?
Did a Muslim man from Aurora, Colorado, named Najibullah Zazi, plead guilty in 2010 to a terror bombing plot against the New York subway system?
The answer to all four questions is Yes. But you would never know it from reading the three-part Denver Post series on Muslims in Colorado since 9/11, Aug. 19-21.
Relevant as these matters might seem to be for a serious exploration of his subject, reporter Eric Gorski confronts none of them. Instead, throughout his lengthy front-page articles, Gorski repeatedly implies that even asking such questions betrays ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, and xenophobia. As a result, the series reads more like puffery than journalism.
It would be interesting to know what "assistance" the Denver Post received on this project from CAIR, the Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood propaganda group that was designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in federal court.
Regardless, no matter if the series was CAIR-orchestrated or merely a self-deluded exercise in political correctness, it ill serves the public interest. Coloradans concerned about homeland security, the rule of law, social cohesion, and the trustworthiness of their neighbors deserve "the rest of the story" on the Muslims among us.
(Centennial Fellow) Give the left an inch and watch for a thousand miles of hyperbole, as in concluding mainly from a few instances of waterboarding that the United States under George W. Bush became a sadistic, Nazi-style torture haven for no productive reason.
That last assumption -- that nothing came out of the exercise to justify it -- has once more been seriously challenged, this time by the revelation that tough interrogation techniques produced information happily facilitating Osama bin Laden's exit from terrorism and other earthly activities. The left hates this idea so much that The New York Times did a front page story to muddy the waters.
Yes, the story conceded, maybe getting mean with a bad guy did give us clues "crucial'' in finally figuring out where bin Laden was, but it then went into some other contrary details at odds with the assertion of CIA Director Leon Panetta that waterboarding definitely helped finish this ugly career. On the one hand, you can believe the Times and its convoluted thinking, or on the other, you can believe the straightforward words of someone really, truly in the know.
The reason for saying all this isn't to encourage some sort of uncontrolled, fingernail-pulling, bone-breaking, limb-stretching, eye-gouging assault on every suspected enemy who happens into our care. Torture is an evil, and those who excuse it by noting all the other evils in war -- not the least of them being massive killing -- miss the point. The conventions against torture are a means of saying that even war ought to have some rules, some inhibitions, some semi-civilizing guidance.
But much of what the left describes as torture, such as sleep deprivation, leaves me less than horrified. If that's what we are talking about, shouldn't the emotional tenor of the discussion come down a notch? Waterboarding is different. If not as physically painful as something like a branding iron on flesh, it can be torture psychologically. But it can also be administered by degrees, and to say every instance of it produces grievous agony is like saying every shove equals a shove off a skyscraper.
Hey, some e-mailer will ask, would you like a dose of waterboarding, and my response will be yes, come and get me if I am an enemy combatant refusing to divulge information that might save innocent lives, nothing else has been effective and there's reason to be in a hurry. It's said that other, more reserved techniques work better, and with some people they might, especially if there is no rush, but with some others, they do not. Despite lots of blather to the contrary, history is full of evidence that being more the snarling dog than the meowing pussycat can reward the astute interrogator.
Keep in mind that the United States did not use waterboarding on thousands or hundreds or even dozens of people, but on three who were especially resistant to talking and believed to be especially dangerous. I think the Bush administration signed on to the practice for the same reason Barack Obama as president changed his campaign tune, deciding we should continue rendition, indefinite detention, Guantanamo operations and the Patriot Act. My guess is he was told by intelligence experts that the chances of successful, catastrophic terrorism would increase many times if we did not keep doing these things.
I do not deny there may have been times when our "enhanced interrogation techniques" went too far. I do favor caution in employing them, and I am definitely against cruel treatment of incarcerated citizens, as in the way the government until lately was abusing the soldier accused of handing classified information over to WikiLeaks. But let's quit the hysterical overstatements, and let's get real about being in a threatening anti-terrorist conflict that sometimes demands extraordinary measures.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado and a Centennial Institute Fellow.
(CCU Faculty) On the Sunday night news coverage on the killing of Osama bin Laden, all the networks showed people gathering at Ground Zero, in Times Square and around the White House. Most of those people were in a celebratory mood: singing and chanting about the death of bin Laden. The event struck me as odd. In the few days since, two thoughts come to mind: first, some thoughts on the Christian attitude toward celebration of anyone's death and second, the reality of what bin Laden’s death means and doesn’t mean.
Ezekiel 33:11 says “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’.”
According to this passage, God’s greatest rejoicing is not with the death of an evil person, but when the evil turn away from themselves and towards Him. God is a God of justice, however, and he does indeed delight in justice being served. All must agree that bin Laden’s end is indeed just. However, Ezekiel 33:11 creates a hierarchy as to God’s greatest joy. Wouldn’t God have found greater pleasure (and shouldn’t we all?) had bin Laden surrendered, repented and turned his life to the true and living God? This interpretation provides some context upon which we might temper our joy on this occasion.
With regards to what bin Laden’s death means to our country and the war on terrorism, I began by thinking of the famous scenes of celebration in Times Square following both V-E and V-J Days. Both days marked the end of, and ultimately, the formal surrendering by our enemies in the Second World War.
In contrast, our war with radical Islam is not over. The death of bin Laden is indeed a huge moral victory, but its impact on the war remains to be seen. In President Obama’s address to the nation on Sunday evening, announcing the successful military operation, he stated: “His death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
These two points are in no way intended to denigrate the success of this mission, including the leadership of President Obama, the amazing performance of our intelligence community, and most importantly the Navy Seals who performed the mission. My joy, nonetheless, is restrained.
('76 Contributor) As the Republicans take the House and try to regain control of those issues so many Americans felt were detrimental to the country, many conservative Christians are awaiting the political and financial rebound. As we watch the exchange on Capitol Hill and stay updated on issues, it is important to keep a cautious eye out for enemies of the state and of the church hidden within the Conservative party. One of those worthy of a weathering eye is Suhail Khan. I would like to take this time to encourage readers not to give him a “pass” just because of his seemingly spotless resume. There are several examples of individuals dangerous to the state that have made their way up the political chain of command in Washington; it is our responsibility to keep these individuals in check. In times of such grandiose corruption of language and abuse of flattery within the American political sphere, a vivacious vetting process is necessary.
With a wide array of experience on the Hill in DC, Mr. Khan holds a very impressive, and pubic resume. He is former Policy Director and Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell (R-CA), and White House Office Public Liaison as a religious outreach leader. He was the Assistant to the Secretary for Policy under U.S. Secretary Mary Peters with the Department of Transportation where he received several metals. He is on the boards of several non-profit organizations and political action committees, including: the American Conservative Union, the Islamic Free Market Institute, the Muslim Public Service Network, the Indian American Republican Council, and the Buxton Initiative Advisory Council. He is known for his wide involvement in senior political and social organizations, including the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Council for National Policy, the Harbor League, and the National Press Club. He is also an occasional contributor to the Washington Post and Newsweek Forum on Faith. He is a vocal advocate for freedom of religion, for free market economies, and the Republican Party, and is currently the Chairman for the Conservative Inclusion Coalition.
The beginning of Khan’s suspicious activity begins with his fellowship for the Christian-Muslim Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement. I encourage you to explore the website, you will find that IGE is a direct partner of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talaal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Bin Talaal is the millionaire Saudi Prince, famous for wealth, and known more specifically for his offering of $10million to the city of New York just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2003 it was found that bin Talal gave a $500,000 gift to proven Hamas entity, the Council on American Islamic Relations. As Hamas is a registered terrorist organization by the United States, and there is proof that Talal gave financial aid, he is an entity with hostile intentions toward the United States. Khan’s association with bin Talal is made clear through his deep involvement with IGE.
Mr. Khan was a representative and a board member for the Islamic Free Market Institute, founded by Grover Norquist, and supported by convicted terrorist, Abdurahman Alamoudi. Alamoudi was arrested in Heathrow airport after he was found with $340,000 meant to aid the assassination of the former Saudi Arabian prince. He was found to be an al Qaeda operative, with dangerous influence inside the White House and influential political circles. Norquist has similar associations, being tied to Alamoudi through political and business circles, yet Norquist has another factor of the story, as told by Frank Gaffney. Khan’s work with either of these men severely taints his reputation as a credible source; his declination of distance between himself and these alarming individuals is a red flag, especially due to their very public record of associations with jihadists.
Khan has supported other known terrorists in recent years; Sami al Arian was another example of a seemingly friendly face on the conservative front on Capitol Hill with hostile intentions for the United States. Throughout his investigation and trial, it became known that he was the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in North America, and a secretary of the PIJ Shura Council.
On a more personal front, Khan’s mother, Malika Khan, was an executive committee member for the California branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, giving him yet another tie to the terror organization, Hamas. On his father’s side, Mahboob Khan was a founding member of the Muslim Student Association in America, another branch of the terror support system for Hamas. He also founded the Muslim Community Association in California, where #2 al Qaeda operative, Aman al-Zawahiri, attended. Mahboob also served on the Majlis a’Shura Council for the Islamic Society of North America. Moreover, at an ISNA event in 2008, Jamal Barzinji, known Muslim Brotherhood leader and al Qaeda supporter, was presented with an award named after Mahboob Khan. All three Khans, Suhail, Malika and Mahboob, have all been involved in events sponsored or hosted by that same organization, the Islamic Society of North America, the umbrella organization created by the Muslim Student Association for the Muslim Brotherhood in America.
With connections like these, intentions can be difficult to determine. Khan‘s influence is impossible to deny, especially among policy makers, and his pedigree is questionable, at best. Khan politics on Capitol Hill for conservative ideals, claiming his stand for true American values including freedom, justice and peace; values not so different than those the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University proclaim. Khan’s affiliations and history draw a clear line where his loyalties truly lie. We have seen the effects of people like Suhail Khan within the American policy making arena before, with a gracious presentation of hostile information campaigns; these influences are deadly. It will be wolves such as these, dressed in sheep’s clothing, that will destroy our great republic. I encourage you to do your own research on Mr. Khan to fully understand his intellect. He is currently very active on Capitol Hill among conservative circles; make your representatives known of his past affiliations and keep his power limited.
Susan Brown is a Washington-based investigative reporter specializing in Muslim subversive activities here and abroad.
(CCU Student) If you’re traveling this Holiday season prepare to be “thoroughly” examined. The rules have changed at airports and you no longer have to only take of your belt, shoes, coat, and remove your laptop and toiletries from your bag like before. Now your “privacy” must be investigated as well. There are two ways this may be done. You must either go through a body scanner that show’s the TSA agent a nice picture of what is underneath your clothes or a TSA agent gives you an “intimate” pat down. It’s bad enough when I know that someone is looking at a picture of what my clothes are supposed to be covering, but when I see little children being examined and elderly grandmas being prodded, it irks me.
I can understand that the government is actually trying to protect me and the rest of country, but do they have no other option than to invade our essential right, as citizens, to privacy? When does it go too far? When does safety come before dignity and the individual’s rights separate from the state’s rights? This new safety procedure has gone too far and I will pose this thought, to you my readers, that it has accomplished what the terrorists are trying to do.
How do I mean? People do not want to fly. Grandpas, children and every other traveler is dreading going through security to have their bodies, the most private part of any person, being felt and looked at by any number of people that could have any number of backgrounds, including sex offenders. This does not instill courage in the population; it makes our country look ridiculous. As the most powerful nation in the world, we’ve resorted to this? The terrorists want us to balk at any sign of a threat. They want us to be afraid to fly on our own airlines. We must restore our dignity and stand up against big government tactics.