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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2010 / 12 Kislev, 5771

With Holder at the helm, detainee policy is a disaster

By Michael Gerson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison and civilian trials for terrorists were more than policy changes proposed by Barack Obama as a presidential candidate. They were presented as a return to constitutional government - a dividing line from an uncivilized past.

The indefinite detention of terrorists, according to Obama, had "destroyed our credibility when it comes to the rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment." Testifying last year before Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder not only defended a New York trial for lead Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, he lectured, he taunted, he preened. Unlike others, he was not "scared" of what Mohammed would say at trial. Failure was "not an option." This case, he told a reporter, would be "the defining event of my time as attorney general."

Which it certainly has been. Under Holder's influence, American detainee policy is a botched, hypocritical, politicized mess.

The case of embassy bomber Ahmed Ghailani - the only Guantanamo Bay detainee the Obama administration has brought to trial in the United States - was intended to increase public faith in civilian prosecutions. But a terrorist hugging his lawyers in victory can't be considered a confidence builder. Days before the Ghailani verdict, the White House admitted that Mohammed, because of massive, public resistance, would not be seeing the inside of a Manhattan courtroom anytime soon. "Gitmo," one official told The Washington Post, "is going to remain open for the foreseeable future."

Where do these developments leave Holder, for whom failure is not only an option but a habit? A recent profile by Wil Hylton in GQ magazine attempts to put his tenure in the best possible light - the lonely, naive man of principle undone by politics. But the portrait is unintentionally devastating. Holder clearly views the war on terrorism as a distraction. "The biggest surprise I've had in this job," he told Hylton, "is how much time the national security issues take."

He was oblivious to predictable reactions in the Mohammed case. "The political furor that erupted next," says the article, "took Holder completely by surprise." The attorney general has been stripped of authority over the trial venue by the White House. And Holder's unshakable legal principles, it turns out, were more like poses.

"In case after case, he seems to have reconciled himself to policies that he would have once condemned," concludes Hylton, a true progressive believer. "As we went back and forth, I began to realize that it was impossible to know how much of Holder's argument he really believed, and how much he was merely willing to say."

Holder clearly believes that his virtue was violated by politics. But there is a better explanation. President Obama's undeniable continuity in conducting the war on terrorism - the use of indefinite detention, Guantanamo Bay and targeted killing of terrorists - reflects the continuity of the threat. These measures did not result from some anti-constitutional ideology. They were difficult, conflicted but reasonable responses to an ongoing terrorist offensive - a war that is more than a metaphor.

Civilian courts were not designed for high-profile enemy combatants such as Mohammed, who would use a New York trial to embrace martyrdom and encourage violence. The use of military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay is fully constitutional, approved by Congress and consistent with wartime precedent.

Obama seems to be realizing - gradually, reluctantly - that applying the rules of war in the midst of a war does not destroy the credibility of the rule of law or encourage terrorist recruitment. But his public inability to admit this shift seems to be leading to the worst of possible outcomes.

In all likelihood, Mohammed won't be tried in a civilian court. But Obama's progressive allies would revolt against a military tribunal for the killer of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl and the mastermind of Sept. 11. So Mohammed is left in legal limbo. This, in its own way, does seem at odds with the rule of law - a prisoner condemned to detention without trial because a president cannot admit he was wrong.

How does Obama back down and accept a tribunal? He could begin by appointing an attorney general who understands the requirements of national security. Some on the left believe Holder should resign out of principle. Some on the right believe he should leave because he is out of his depth. Such bipartisanship should not go to waste.


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Previously:



11/12/10 Blue-state budget crises spell even more trouble for Dems
10/19/10 Obama the snob
10/12/10 Seeds of victory in Afghanistan
10/05/10 Believers' remorse
10/04/10 Pound-foolish on national security
09/28/10 Babylon on the Potomac
09/27/10 Our reluctant commander in chief
09/21/10 Blue strongholds are becoming Democratic graveyards
09/17/10 For the GOP, a bittersweet brew from the Tea Party
09/15/10: Insanity's great enablers
09/13/10: The lost communicator
09/08/10: Will 2010 midterms be 1994 all over again?
09/01/10: Obama's economic wandering
08/27/10: Miracles from abroad
08/25/10: Address these issues in order to strengthen the Tea Party
08/20/10: The lost promise of Barack Obama
07/23/10: Obama's greatest nightmare
02/04/09: The Reality of Innocence
01/07/09: The Risks in Obama's Ambitions
12/31/08: Support Obama Will Need
06/13/08: Prince Charles, Organic Conservatism Icon
06/11/08: No longer a bankrupt political joke but still overshadowed
04/23/08: McCain's anger management
04/10/08: A Country for Old Men
03/06/08: Does the America Need a Hug?
03/06/08: Obama's First 100 Days
02/29/08: Words Aren't Cheap
02/22/08: He Said, They Said
02/20/08: Dying silently in Zimbabwe
02/15/08: Hillary's Unappealing Path
02/13/08: NATO's Afghan Stumbles
02/08/08: Why McCain Endures
02/06/08: One surge that led to another
02/01/08: In North Korea, Process Over Progress
01/30/08: Compassionate to the end


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