Inside Townhall Magazine for April: Could al Qaeda Wind Up in Your Neighborhood?

Chris Field
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Posted: Apr 02, 2009 12:01 AM
We can’t say we weren’t warned.

President Obama campaigned on the promise to “fix” the United States’ image in the rest of the world.

STEP #1: Close Gitmo.

And then what? Well, don’t ask “then what?”

In the April of issue of Townhall magazine, regular contributor and Heritage Foundation fellow Peter Brookes asks not only “then what?” but also many of the other important questions about Guantanamo Bay that anti-Gitmo reactionaries didn’t bother to consider during their demands to close the prison holding enemy combatants.
On only his second day in office, newly minted President Barack Obama promulgated an executive order closing the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base on the island of Cuba within one year—if not sooner.

Unfortunately, President Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo Bay—known affectionately by sailors for years as “Gitmo”—seems little more than a symbolic sop to domestic and international critics of the War on Terror.

It also means that some of those held may be released, repatriated to their native land or transferred to third countries, leaving open the possibility of a return to the battlefield.

Worse yet, others, who are deemed too dangerous to be released, may be transferred to prison facilities in the United States for detention, opening a Pandora’s box of potential terrorist nightmares for local citizens.

In this case, the rush to fulfill a campaign promise could be a dangerous thing.


In “Closing Gitmo: A Dangerous Decision,” Brookes goes in depth in his report on the controversial prison as he examines the recidivism rate among former Gitmo inmates, reports the views of national security experts, shares the thoughts of 9/11 victims’ families, and looks at the all-too-real possibility that al Qaeda and Taliban could be coming to a prison near you and your family.
Detentions at Gitmo and the intelligence gained there were some of the building blocks of our security.

While the idea of “try them or set them free” resonates with the ACLU and some of Obama’s supporters, many others such as the liberal Center for American Progress have rejected the concept, recognizing the need for some form of military detention.

No nation can have a veto over our national security—and we must be cautious about outsourcing it to other countries, which might not share our perception of the threat from individuals or groups, especially to the United States.

As some have said, delegating our counterterrorism responsibilities to others may help us skirt tough legal and moral questions, but ultimately, it may increase our vulnerability to terrorist attack at home and abroad.

No country will look after America’s security like America.
Get the April issue of Townhall to get the full report.

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In “Fractured & Fading,” Larry Kelley, a Townhall contributor and California-based reporter and writer, trekked to Los Angeles for us to examine and tells of what he found during nighttime ride-alongs with L.A. Police Gang Enforcement Detail officers and in his daytime excursions through various L.A. neighborhoods. His conclusion: If California doesn’t confront its illegal immigration problems and assimilate its people to American culture, it risks further balkanization—and we could be looking at a new Republica Del Norte.
Sgt. Coleman told me that when he grew up in South Central, if a single homeless person was seen wandering the streets, police were called. Now, as the city of Los Angeles rapidly becomes majority Hispanic, there are 57 gangs operating in the city limits, 40 of which are Latino, with new mutations forming new gangs at an ever-increasing rate. What will greater Southern California become when there are 100 gangs in L.A.?

Is it possible that a new Che Guevara-styled revolutionary could arise, rallying his Hispanic gang-linked brethren to conduct massive civil disobedience, combined with pockets of sporadic armed insurrection? In Mexico, the drug cartels already control an estimated 200 counties where they have set up new “narco city states” with their own armies and, through extortion, have set up parallel tax systems that replace the government’s ability to levy taxes.

In these vast balkanized, Spanish-speaking areas of the American Southwest, the Mexican drug cartels, the Mexican Mafia and myriad other U.S.-based Hispanic gangs could be mobilized to reject “Gringo” rule in favor of establishing a new Republica del Norte, a breakaway state promoted by a wide coalition of the pro-Aztl?n groups. Such a state, nominally aligned with an enfeebled Mexican government, is a nightmare scenario that becomes much more likely if and when the old majority of white European, Asian and African-Americans in larger numbers give up on the region and migrate to safer zones where a more traditional American culture still exists.
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The Cato Institute’s Daniel Mitchell, in “This Is Fair?”, takes a look at who’s actually paying taxes and how the tax code impacts our economic growth. We have a dire need for change—but not the kind of change that’s being pushed by the White House.
Beginning as a simple two-page form in 1913, the internal revenue code has morphed into a complex nightmare that simultaneously hinders compliance by honest people and rewards cheating by Washington insiders and other dishonest people. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The tax code also penalizes economic growth, distorts taxpayer behavior, undermines American competitiveness, invites corruption and promotes inefficiency.
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The George Soros-backed liberal attack machine Media Matters continues in its efforts to bully the press into advancing the left-wing agenda. Capital Research Center editor Matthew Vadum, in “What’s the Matter With Media Matters?”, reports on the organization’s crazed anti-conservative smears that reveal the ugly truth about the nonprofit “impartial” watchdog.

Also in the April issue:
*Pat Toomey blasts GOP apostates Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins for making Obama’s “stimulus” plan possible.

*Dead terrorists, super storms and an “invasion” from the south.

*Amanda Carpenter reveals how the Democrats have timed the “stimulus” spending to maximize their chances in 2010 and 2012.

*Alec Baldwin blows up (again), and we get a chuckle at Maxine Waters.

*Mary Katharine Ham notes how the Obama team, once the masters of message, have lost their rhetorical way.

*A special report on the dangers of following other nations into universal health care.

*Jay Sekulow is inducted into our Townhall of Fame.

*How expensive pensions have bankrupted government.

*And much more
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