Paul Greenberg

Ever since that trial and ordeal, Andrew C. McCarthy has been arguing against handling the terrorist threat facing this country and the rest of the civilized world as the kind of ordinary criminal case that Sen. Obama confuses it with.

Magazines, books, forums, speeches and interviews … Mr. McCarthy has employed them all to warn that relying on civilian courts to do what military courts should endangers us all.

Lest we forget, that first criminal trial didn’t incapacitate the enemy. On the contrary, al-Qaida conducted a second attack and then the third, final, coordinated assault of September 11, 2001, that would finally topple the Twin Towers, kill thousands, and strike the Pentagon, too. It would prove the most devastating attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Some incapacitation.

To quote Counselor McCarthy: “In the eight years between the World Trade Center’s (first) bombing and its destruction, the high-profile court cases that constituted the Clinton administration’s counter-terrorism strategy resulted in the convictions of exactly 29 terrorists.”

Twenty-nine. When by the count of the Clinton administration’s OWN Richard Clarke, who was supposed to be in charge of protecting this country against terrorist acts, there were at the time “perhaps over 10,000 terrorists” being trained “at the camps in Afghanistan” alone. Some incapacitation.

And this is the “strategy” Barack Obama would return to as commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States. Probable result: Hundreds, if not thousands, of courtroom endurance tests as zany as the nigh-endless trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. That spectacle went on approximately forever before his life was spared. Welcome to Barack Obama’s world, or maybe Lewis Carroll’s.

They say this young senator from Illinois has a sharp learning curve. Lord knows he’ll need it if he becomes the 44th president of the United States; certainly the country would.

Recommended reading: “Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad” by Andrew C. McCarthy.


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.