The Corner

Update On Hezbo Commander Obama Administration May Transfer To Iraqis

Yesterday, I posted about Ali Mussa Daqduq, the Hezbollah commander responsible for terrorist operations in Iraq that targeted U.S. forces — including the killing of five of our troops in Karbala in 2007. Daqduq has been in U.S. custody in Iraq for several years, but it was reported yesterday that his transfer to the Iraqi government was imminent.

In a nutshell, the Obama administration is ensnared by its own politicization of the war on terror: It cannot bring itself to send jihadist murderers to Gitmo for detention and possible military trial under the laws of war; yet it knows that if it does what it wants to do — namely, bring the war criminal to the U.S. for a civilian trial at which Daqduq would be awarded all the rights of an American citizen and lavish discovery of our intelligence files — it will face the same public backlash that met its debacle of an effort to give KSM a civilian trial. Administration officials may have figured they had an out: quietly transfer Daqduq to the Iraqis. That reportedly was about to happen, as early as today. But something this significant does not happen that quietly. Since everyone knows transfer to our “allies” the Iraqis would result in Daqduq’s instant release to Iran (the regime that sent him to set up terror networks to kill Americans in Iraq in the first place), an AP report about Daqduq’s imminent transfer to the Iraqis prompted vigorous opposition. (Your faithful correspondent ended yesterday’s post with a plea that responsible actors in government not allow the debt-ceiling crisis to cause inattention to Daqduq.)

Thankfully, 20 senators (mostly Republicans, led by Armed Services Chairman John McCain — I will list all the signatories below) fired off a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, protesting the reported transfer of Daqduq, described as “the highest ranking Hezbollah operative currently in our custody,” and as the terror trainer “suspected of orchestrating a brazen kidnapping in Karbala . . . that resulted in the murder of five U.S. military personnel.” The senators aptly concluded: “If he is released from custody, we firmly believe he will seek to harm or kill more American servicemen and women.”

The AP is now reporting that Daqduq’s transfer is on hold. Something has to give, though — and soon. Under the security agreement the Bush administration signed with the new Iraqi government, any prisoners in U.S. custody must be transferred to Iraq by the end of this year. President Obama cannot vote “present” on this one — Daqduq will have to be detained (and possibly tried) outside Iraq as an enemy combatant, transferred to the U.S. for a civilian trial, or handed over to Iraq (translation: released to return to the jihad). 

In the meantime, our gratitude to the senators who mobilized so quickly to stop Daqduq’s release. In addition to Senator McCain, the 19 Republicans included Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sens. John Thune, Jim Inhofe, Jeff Sessions, Saxby Chambliss, Roger Wicker, Scott Brown, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, David Vitter, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Burr, Roy Blunt, Marco Rubio, Jon Kyl, Mark Kirk, and Susan Collins. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, also signed the letter to Secretary Panetta. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More