Eight terrorist enemy combatants have been captured in the U.S. as they prepared to carry out a wave of attacks in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Organized in two squads, one group illegally entered the US from a boat June 13 off the shores of Amagansett, New York. The other group waded to shore June 16 at Point Vedra Beach, Florida. The eight were armed with guns, explosives and about $175,000 in US currency. Fortunately for Americans, one of the New York terrorists got cold feet and turned himself into the FBI. By June 27 agents of the FBI arrested the other seven.
In spite of the fact that the eight included two U.S. citizens, they have been tried by a military tribunal on order of the president. Meeting for three weeks in July, the tribunal has handed out eight death sentences. The president commuted the sentences of the two who had gotten cold feet. The other six—including one US citizen—were electrocuted in the District of Columbia electric chair on August 8.
But this was another war against fascism. The year was 1942. The president was Democrat Franklin D Roosevelt. The fascists were German Nazis smuggled from U-boats into America to carry out “Operation Pastorius.” After eight years of stalling, Roosevelt had finally decided to get the US into the war. As a young Wellesley College senior then named Hillary Rodham would write some 27 years later, “The Depression demonstrated the feasibility of federally controlled planning, and a massive war effort convinced us of its necessity.”
Fast forward to 2008. The president is a Republican, George W. Bush. He has no interest in convincing anybody of the necessity of “federally controlled planning,” and the War on Terror is not being fought in alliance with anything like the Soviet Union. Thanks to passage of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, presidents can only serve two terms. After eight years of stalling by the Clinton administration, it is Bush who is waging war on the fascists.
As is the case today, in 1942 the fascists’ lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court. The high court ruled on July 31, 1942 issuing “Ex-Parte Quirin” decision upholding the death penalty. A key consideration was that the terrorists had shed their German uniforms and conducted their operations in civilian dress.
In 1942 the legal community and the media recognized the long-held death penalty for spies, saboteurs, and terrorists who violate what was later written into the 1949 Geneva Convention article 4 section 2 by: not “being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates,” not “having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance,” not “carrying arms openly,” and not “conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.”
Today, the Legal Left, the media, and the Democratic Party are engaged in a years-long effort to win sympathy for (mostly non-citizen) fascists captured operating in violation of Art 4 Sec 2 mostly on foreign battlefields and held at a foreign base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their supporters feel very intimate “serving the caged prisoners.” One Oregon Democrat, Rep. David Wu, sees himself as virtually in bed with Islamic terrorists, telling Congress last October, “Let us say that my wife…is walking by the friendly, local military base and is picked up as an unlawful enemy combatant. What is her recourse?”
The answer is simple: her recourse is to the federal courts, as it was in 1942 for the eight Nazis and it is in 2008. But this obvious answer seems to escape the grasp of the “enlightened” “progressive” and “conscious” supporters of al-Qaeda who spin increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories about a “fascist USA.” Not only does she have recourse, but the courts today are questioning practices far gentler than electrocution.
Where fascists once fried, their supporters and apologists now complain that they are being subjected to “torture.” In response to their campaign, President Bush July 20 signed an executive order directing the CIA not subject detained fascists to “Cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”
The order protects CIA agents who rely on it from prosecution or civil suits brought by peeved head-choppers and bus-bombers who might be upset that their Gitmo lemon baked fish or honey glazed chicken dinner service was a tad late or a bit undercooked. Others have complained about cold air conditioning, bright lights, and loud Christina Aguilera and Eminem music.
What passes for ‘torture’ these days isn’t like the treatment given to the 1942 fascists. Instead, it involves sleep deprivation, stress positions, and water boarding, techniques which scare, exhaust or disorient the Islamist killers. Unlike actual torture which often creates false confessions, these techniques are effective. The 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is said to have lasted about two-and-a-half minutes before cracking. Even more serious, the chief of al-Qaeda in Iraq recently cracked under interrogation and revealed that al-Qaeda was almost entirely a non-Iraqi operation with a radio voice-over actor pretending to be its Iraqi head. This revelation undermines one of the Democrats’ chief excuses for demanding the U.S. surrender to al-Qaeda in Iraq. If these techniques are not stopped, Democrats and terrorists can expect more embarrassing revelations.
In one of the most clear-cut statements of the partisan nature of the Global War on Bush, Christopher Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office responded to the July 20 Executive Order saying, “If any of the recent past presidents, Republican or Democrat, were applying this order, we wouldn't have any doubt that it means an end to torture and abuse by the CIA….”
If a few fascists run rampant, that’s just collateral damage in the Global War on Bush. Many of the poor, sensitive souls released from Guantanamo thanks to the efforts of their supporters have gone right back to their jihad. Just four days after Bush’s executive order was signed, Pakistani police announced the death of former Guantanamo detainee Abdullah Mehsud. Mehsud’s cheerleaders at the BBC tell the world that Mehsud’s “long hair and daredevil nature has made him a colourful character (who has) become a hero to anti-US fighters active in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mehsud sometimes rides a camel or horse while visiting his fighters in his mountainous abode…He led his fighters by example by taking risks and surviving in tough conditions…the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan was a provocation for the followers of Islam and must be avenged.”
Mehsud spent five years spent fighting with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance long before the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent US liberation of Afghanistan. The average Taliban fighter is dirty, infested with fleas, lice, worms and disease. Captured in December 2001, Mehsud was turned over to US forces, who held him for 25 months at Guantanamo—probably the best months of Mehsud’s life. After being released from Guantanamo in 2004, Mehsud stood out for his plump face and soft skin. But he went right back to his old ways, organizing the 2004 kidnap of two Chinese workers, one of whom was killed. He died in an explosion as Pakistani troops closed in on his hideout in Zhob, Baluchistan.
News reports did not indicate whether he died happy in the knowledge that his comrades won’t have to listen to any more Eminem albums.