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A killer workout, &c.


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A few days ago, I read a story that reminded me of something — first, the “something,” then the story. In 2010, I wrote about two men: Michael Mukasey and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They could not be more different. Judge Mukasey was an attorney general under George W. Bush; Mohammed was . . . not. In February 2008, Mukasey visited our facility at Guantanamo Bay.

He looked at many of the high-value detainees on video monitors. But he did not see Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Mohammed wasn’t in his cell. He was off having a Red Cross visit.

Mukasey did see the exercise room, adjacent to Mohammed’s cell. And he noticed something interesting: Mohammed had the same elliptical machine that he, the attorney general, had back home in his Washington apartment building. Only there was this difference: Mukasey had to share his, with other residents; there was a mad scramble in the morning to get to it. Mohammed had his machine all to himself.

Bear in mind that he was the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people. That he was the beheader of Daniel Pearl. And so on. I wonder how much more tenderly America’s critics expect us to treat such people.

On Friday, I saw this story in the Daily Caller. A Taliban terrorist — whom apparently we would have traded for Sergeant Bergdahl — died at Gitmo in 2011. He was exercising on an elliptical machine at the time. What can I say? “Killer workout” or something flip like that?

I’ll leave the commentary to y’all . . .

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Earlier this month, I wrote about a bad mistake by the Obama White House. Which one, you ask? I’m thinking of the release by the press office of the name of the CIA chief of station in Kabul. That name was on a list distributed to some 7,000 people. If the George W. Bush White House had done this — if any Republican White House had — what would the media reaction have been?

There has been next to no media reaction, as far as I can tell. Also, according to this story, no one will be fired, or even disciplined, in this case. Could that possibly be right?

On Friday, I wrote about a statement signed by hundreds of Cuban democracy activists. One of the things they were pleading for was a continuation of U.S. sanctions on Cuba (i.e., the Castro dictatorship). At the time, there were over 550 signatories. Now I see that the list is over 800. On Friday, I wrote,

The list includes some of the people I admire most in all the world — starting with the first name, Antúnez, the moniker of the leader who has been in and out of prison more times than I can count, and who has had the living hell beaten out of him (his wife has, too), and who never, ever breaks (neither does she).

There ought to be a statue of Antúnez somewhere (of Iris, too). If I had the nerve and the ability, I’d do it myself.

Antúnez and his wife have, once more, been arrested. And brutalized. State security agents told Antúnez that he had become a barrier to the normalization of relations between Havana and Washington. He was strangled and lost consciousness twice. He was also injected with an unknown substance. Before he was released, he was told that he is more at risk than ever. Which is believable.

To read a press release from the Directorio Democrático Cubano, go here. To hear Antúnez give his testimony, over the phone (in Spanish), go here.

In Cuba, opposition to the lifting of sanctions is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The 800-some signatories have risked this. I wish that our anti-embargo people here in America would remember this risk, once in a while. Maybe remark on it. They are free to express their view. People such as Antúnez have a different view — and they are not free to express it. If they do, they are strangled, one way or another.

Cuban democrats are, honestly, some of the bravest and best people on earth. I hardly have the words to express my admiration for them, or to express my contempt for their enemies.



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