WASHINGTON -- This week, while "the most traveled president in history" was on his latest foreign adventure and bowing to Japanese Emperor Akihito, the rest of the O-Team was busy kowtowing to political correctness. The headlines tell the story:
"(Defense Secretary Robert) Gates Condemns Leaks on Fort Hood Investigation," and "Gates Says 'Shut Up' About Fort Hood."
"Attorney General Eric Holder Announces Terror Trials in New York City for 9-11-01 Plotters."
"Guantanamo Detainees to Illinois Prison."
All three of these actions -- the Gates outburst, the Holder decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 conspirators in a Manhattan federal court, and the plan to transfer nearly 200 radical Islamic terrorists to a state prison in western Illinois -- have been decried as egregious examples of political correctness run amok. Actually, coming as they did -- while Mr. Obama was on a meaningless, ceremonial Asian junket -- the "package deal for terrorists" is much worse than many imagine.
Secretary Gates' admonitions regarding Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan -- now charged by the U.S. Army with murdering 12 soldiers and one civilian and wounding about 30 others at Fort Hood -- have nothing to do with protecting the rights of the accused. His misplaced anger is directed at those in our military and defense and intelligence agencies who have justifiable concerns about radical Islamic militants' conducting acts of terror on American soil. Inside the Obama administration, muzzling critics is now an accepted practice -- even at the Pentagon.
The move to relocate up to 200 terrorists from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and house them in the nearly vacant Thomson Correctional Center is a double whammy for the O-Team. It assuages leftist elites in the U.S. and Europe who have been grousing about delays in closing Gitmo and serves as a multimillion-dollar "stimulus" for Mr. Obama's home state.
Though Rep. Tom Latham, a Republican from neighboring Iowa -- directly across the Mississippi River from the Thomson prison -- wants to introduce a "Keep Terrorists Out of the Midwest Act" to prevent the move, it is already a fait accompli. Sen. Richard "Dick" Durbin of Illinois immediately endorsed the idea, saying, "We should not let the unsupported and misplaced fears of a few stand in the way of this historic economic boost to our region."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.