The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

You extended deserved praise and congratulations to the SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden. You did not, however, extend praise and congratulations last year to the SEAL team that captured Ahmed Abed — the most wanted al-Qaeda terrorist in Iraq — responsible for killing and mutilating a number of Americans. Instead, three members of that SEAL team — Officer Second Class Matt McCabe and Petty Officers Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe — were tried because Abed claimed he’d been slapped by one of the operators. All three SEALs were acquitted.

Will you now praise and congratulate McCabe, Huertas, and Keefe for capturing Abed? If not, why not?

Monday’s bonus questions: Similarly, you’ve justifiably praised the work done by intelligence officers leading to the termination of bin Laden. Even members of your own administration concede that some of the information leading to bin Laden resulted from the work of intelligence officers using EITs on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other high-value detainees. Yet, as Mona Charen notes, your administration isn’t praising these officers. Rather, Eric Holder is investigating them with an eye toward possible prosecution — even though their actions were assessed lawful at the time.

Do you agree with your attorney general’s decision? If so, aren’t you concerned that his actions might sow confusion and chill the resolve of intelligence officers pursuing leads today? Isn’t that risk important enough to at least get an explanation from Mr. Holder as to why dedicated intelligence officers – whose work, in part, led  to the termination of the world’s most wanted terrorist — should be in continuing legal jeopardy for actions they’d been assured were not only lawful, but necessary to national security?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More
White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
World

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More