After an arrest like that, Clinton would have held 17 press conferences to praise himself and attack Republicans. Bush has held no press conferences on the capture of this major al-Qaida leader. And yet the Times has repeatedly characterized the administration's bland, straightforward statements about the arrest as "triumphal." "Triumphal" is apparently New York Times code for: "Bush was right and we were wrong."
Not only has the Bush administration figured out how the world's only superpower can fight more than 12 guys at once, but the Democrats' premise is absurd: Terrorism would not instantly vanish if Osama bin Laden were eliminated. Mohammed's career in terrorism is a good example of the far-flung networking among Arab terrorists. According to the New York Times, Mohammed was a free-lance terrorist until around 1998 when, down on his luck, he joined up with al-Qaida. Since Sept. 11, he has helped al-Qaida reinvent itself by "solidifying alliances with other terror groups and permitting midlevel agents to plan and execute attacks."
This leads to a perilous question: What excuse will Democrats use to oppose the war on terrorism after Osama bin Laden is captured? We may soon find out. This week, Time magazine is reporting that for the first time since the bombardment of Osama's cave in December 2001, U.S. officials have been able to determine that Osama bin Laden is alive. Mohammed is considered a key to bringing bin Laden to justice.
Human rights groups have responded to the capture of this major al-Qaida figure with the plea: DON'T HURT HIM! They are hysterical at the possibility that the government is torturing Mohammed for information. There are dark rumors that terrorists are being stripped, humiliated, strapped down and subjected to total sleep deprivation with lights and noise. Then it turned out the hapless victims of such brutal tactics weren't terrorists, but airline passengers since Sept. 11.
No one even knows where Mohammed is being held, much less how he is being treated. It's a tricky business interrogating terrorists. When questioning people who live in caves, government officials have to go pretty far just to deprive them of the comforts of home.
Soon liberals will be asking why we're even questioning Mohammed. As Bill Clinton would say: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed didn't kill 3,100 people on Sept. 11; Osama bin Laden did.
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