Watching Attorney General Eric Holder as he testified recently before the House Judiciary Committee was a disheartening experience. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) tried repeatedly to get the general to acknowledge that “radical Islam” was a motivation for three of the recent attacks on the homeland--Nidal Hasan’s murderous Fort Hood attack, and the failed attempts of Abdulmutallab and Shahzad in Detroit and New York, respectively. The administration has said again and again that these were “isolated” individuals, only to be contradicted when the facts came out. Could radical Islam have been even one of the motives of Hasan, Addulmutallab, and Shahzad, Smith implores of the general. “I don’t want to say anything about a religion,” replies the general. Not even the radical variant of that religion. Not even after Hasan cried “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great) as he gunned down his fellow soldiers.
Now, we have the New York Times, in one of its typical front page editorials, anguishing over the Obama administration’s decision to go after Anwar al Awlaki, Yemeni cleric who communicated via email with Hasan and who seems to have inspired Abdulmutallab’s failed Christmas Day attack. Awlaki, like Nidal Hasan and Faisal Shahzad, also holds American citizenship. Here’s what the Times says:
The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism.
It’s one of the few things this administration is doing right, but it is provoking the usual round of hand wringing. When we are attacked by enemy combatants who declare war on us but who are not “state actors,” operating under the regular articles of war set out in the Geneva Convention, may we respond with deadly force? The liberal commentariat would have us send in predator drones with recordings of Miranda warnings, no doubt.
Liberals invented theater of the absurd. Now, they’ve invented combat theater of the absurd. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is a hero of liberals. He famously said in construing the law, “a page of history is worth a volume of logic.”