Today begins the trial of 3 Navy Seals charged with mistreating a prisoner of war, aka terrorist. The arraignment will take place in Norfolk, Virginia on the largest naval base in the world. A protest has been planned by supporters of the Navy SEALs and will take place today outside the courthouse during the arraignment. These three men, Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe, are all accused of punching a terrorist in the mouth while he was detained. The terrorist, Ahmed Hashim Abed, is suspected of participating in the murder of four Blackwater employees in Iraq in 2004. Just to refresh your memory - these four men were civilian contractors helping with security operations in Fallujah when their convoy was attacked by Iraqi gunmen with small arms and grenades. The four men were killed or injured and the Iraqis dragged their bodies through the streets, burned them and hung their burned bodies from a bridge in Fallujah. This was an absolutely disgusting and appalling act committed by Islamic extremists and constituted (in my mind) an act of terror. As a result, Abed was added to the "Most Wanted" list of terrorists. After trying to capture him for five years, three brave Navy SEALs approached his camp under cover of darkness, captured him and successfully detained him: all without firing a shot. Apparently, Abed received a bloody lip in the process and filed charges against these men. There is no corroborating evidence from any other servicemen who came in contact with Abed, but the Navy is bringing them up on charges anyway. Fast forward to the present - these men are being court-martialed and face possible dishonorable discharge and incarceration time. They will be pleading "not guilty".
This is ludicrous! Our Navy is charging three of their own elite special operations men with punching a terrorist with NO evidence to support the terrorist's claim. The bravest amongst us are being forced to defend THEIR actions while arresting a TERRORIST! This is nothing but a knee-jerk reaction spurred on by the "mistreatment" of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and should not be allowed to happen. Many people lament the length and cost of our War on Terror and complain that we need to get our soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but never consider the cost of early withdrawal from these areas. Our leaders have tied the hands of our soldiers behind their backs with ridiculous and unnecessary rules of engagement and procedures for detention and interrogation all designed to protect the rights of the terrorists. Let me say that again: our nation's leaders are more concerned with protecting the civil rights of the TERRORISTS that we are fighting. What is wrong with this picture?
Yesterday marks the 68th Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor where 2,402 people were killed, 1,282 were wounded, 15 Navy ships were badly damaged or sunk and 188 aircraft were destroyed in an attack that lasted just a few hours. Following this attack, President Roosevelt spoke to the nation and declared that December 7, 1941 was "a day that will live in infamy". We officially entered World War II by declaring war on Japan and began launching our own attacks on their ships and aircraft and eventually organized and executed the "Doolittle Raid" which struck at the heart of Japan. After four years of brutal war against the Japanese, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima effectively ending the war with Japan. This history lesson is meant to refresh your memory and remind you that we did not expect our soldiers to fight the Japanese and the Nazis with one hand tied behind their backs like they are expected to do now. Imagine if we had used "kid gloves" throughout World War II; would we be saluting a Nazi flag today? Perhaps. If the war had not been fought in such an effective and determined manner the outcome might have been very different. This was a war fought against an extremist ideology, Nazism; not unlike the war we are currently engaged in against Islamic extremism. Thank God our President and Congress were not afraid of trampling on the non-existent civil rights of the men we were fighting against.
The Global War on Terror is being fought with a lack of concern for our fighting forces and a unwarranted emphasis on the manner in which it is fought, i.e. protecting the "feelings" of the terrorists we are fighting against. This latest trial is just another example of this misguided method of fighting a war. McCabe, Huertas and Keefe should be hailed as heroes, not brought to trial for allegedly punching a Most Wanted murderer while attempting to capture him so that he may be brought to Justice for the heinous atrocities he committed against American citizens. I believe that this war would be much closer to completion if we were not so preoccupied with the civil rights of our enemies. Another example of this can be seen in the decision by the Obama administration to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in a civilian court in New York City. Once again, a lack of emphasis on the rights of the victims and the assignation of American citizen's rights to terrorists.
What about the rights of the American men and women killed by terrorists? The 3,000 dead in the attacks of September 11th, the 17 dead in the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, the many dead in the embassy attacks of the last decade, the soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines killed while fighting in the War on Terror, Daniel Pearl, the four Blackwater employees, Scott Helvenston, Jerry Zovko, Wesley Bartelona and Michael Teague, and the countless others murdered by Islamic terrorists? Their rights were certainly not even considered by their murderers. The families of these men and women are entitled to justice for their loved ones and their rights should be paramount to the rights of the terrorists guilty of murder. Here's hoping that justice will be meted out with a firm hand and the guilty will be properly punished.