by Janet Levy
Resplendent in her royal blue hijab for an official appearance in Bangladesh on Sunday, Hillary Clinton proclaimed that she was deeply hurt by charges brought forth at a public forum that the United States was biased against Muslims.
"It hurts me so much," Clinton lamented. "It's a painful perception to hear about, and I deeply regret that anyone believes that or propagates it."
Even for a woman who had no trouble during her husband's tenure as president consorting with the father of modern terrorism, Yasser Arafat and his wife, Suha -- recipient of the famous Clinton kiss -- it is a remarkable statement. Hillary Clinton voiced no public distress over the findings of the last FBI report on religious hate crimes in the United States, which revealed that the overwhelming majority of hate crimes -- 72% -- target Jews, compared to just 8.4% for Muslims and 6.4% for Christians. Meanwhile, in the Indian subcontinent, Mrs. Clinton also failed to address the decades of oppression and massacres suffered by the Hindus of Bangladesh at the hands of Muslims and the abject discrimination, extortion, and threats that remain rampant today.
Instead, under the guise freedom of religion, Clinton held a summit last December -- the "Istanbul Process" -- that actually promotes the global blasphemy law relentlessly pushed for over a decade by the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation to combat "defamation of Islam." Ironically, in the United States, a country with an exemplary record of upholding freedom of religion and little evidence of anti-Muslim discrimination, Clinton chooses to advocate on behalf of Islam.
Clinton is not alone in her deference to Islam. This bending over backwards to appease and accommodate Muslims has been blatantly displayed throughout the recent arraignment of 9/11 terrorists at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base (GITMO). What should have been a straightforward presentation of charges was instead a showcase for how we are compromising our rules and values in the face of the Islamic threat.
Defense attorney Cheryl Bormann, sporting a black hijab and abaya in court, audaciously requested that the prosecution's female paralegals and FBI agents dress with cultural sensitivity for enemy detainee defendants. Perhaps she was unaware that her call for respect is directed toward followers of a doctrine which commands men to beat wives who fail to meet their husbands' sexual demands, mandates gender apartheid, allows men to enslave infidel women, sanctions female genital mutilation, allows a husband coital relations with his wife up to six hours following her death, demands the stoning of women suspected of adultery, and requires four male witnesses to corroborate a woman's accusation of rape.
While it is doubtful that Ms. Bormann's shameful request will be honored, it is astonishing that it would be uttered in the first place and unconscionable that she would display such insensitivity toward members of the court and especially families of victims of the 9/11 attacks who are following the proceedings. An arraignment for terrorist activities that resulted in the mass murder of innocent Americans is certainly not the venue for catering to jihadist demands. By contrast, a captured enemy combatant in a Muslim country would be fortunate to remain alive with all limbs and vital organs intact. Due process and humane treatment wouldn't even be part of the equation. The five GITMO 9/11 plotters have been housed in a model detention center, afforded all Geneva Conventions rights without fulfilling the required qualifications of military combatants, and are being defended by both military and civilian counsel at U.S. taxpayer expense.
Defiant and disrespectful, the 9/11 plotters refused to answer questions, removed the headphones that were transmitting translations of the arraignment, and provocatively arose from their seats to pray during the proceedings. One defendant mocked the 9/11 atrocity by making a paper plane and placing it on top of a microphone. This was a blatant attempt to sabotage the military commission and stage what appeared to be a well-rehearsed publicity stunt.
In a further show of Islamic appeasement, the court tolerated the indefensible display of the Muslim defendants, including the disruptive prayer break, and failed to mete out appropriate discipline that would normally be conferred in a like situation with non-Muslims. This and the grandstanding of the defense team raise the question: "Where is the equivalent concern and respect for the victims of Islamic terrorism? Why is the focus on how Muslim terrorists are treated, while 9/11 families and traumatized Americans are victimized once again on the taxpayers' dime?"
Defense attorneys harped on the extreme distress and "torture" suffered by their Muslim terrorist clients to justify their behavior in court. Bormann requested a court order preventing forcible extraction of detainees from their cells if they were unwilling to attend the next hearing. Another defense attorney complained about the strip-searching of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed prior to the arraignment, the denial of terrorist detainee sartorial choices for the court appearance, and the regular review by GITMO prison officials of prisoner correspondence. None of these actions on the part of prison personnel appear unusual, given the circumstances, and wouldn't normally warrant an extensive court discussion.
Further, that perpetrators of the largest attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor and their defense attorneys would complain about treatment at GIMTO is beyond arrogant. As I learned during a visit in 2007, GITMO is a model detention facility, where enemy detainees receive balanced meals -- six menu choices per meal, with schedules and content modified for holy periods, clothing, and comfort items -- prayer mats, skull caps and Korans in their native languages, good medical and dental care the same as what base soldiers receive, generous recreational activities, access to attorneys and a library, and visits from the Red Cross in a secure environment in strict accordance with Geneva Conventions.
Further, GITMO guards receive Muslim and cultural sensitivity training and bend over backwards to accommodate the demands of Muslim detainees, despite constant assaults and threats. Astonishingly, troops at GITMO are not allowed to handle the Koran without donning white gloves; are prohibited, as a show of respect, from walking in front of prisoners' quarters during the five daily calls to prayer; and must keep halal meat for detainees in a separate freezer from their non-halal provisions to avoid contamination. Also, at a time when the U.S. is cutting defense spending and threatening health care reductions for our troops and veterans, GITMO is completing a brand-new, $750,000 soccer field financed by taxpayer dollars. This level of appeasement is unprecedented and not afforded to any other prison populations.
Also unusual and observed during the arraignment proceedings was that the defense attorneys and their clients seemed oblivious to the gravity of the charges being presented. While they concentrated on spurious charges of torture, it seemed forgotten that GITMO houses jihadists picked up on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Of those released to date by the U.S. government, 27% return to jihadist activities, according to a recent report by the House Armed Services Committee. This is the same sort of jihadist fanaticism that spawned the murder of 30 people, including six U.S. soldiers, after the burning of Korans defaced with seditious messages penned by terrorist prisoners in American military facilities. And the jihadists have also been responsible for a series of suicide bombing attacks in Syria.
Indeed, defense attorneys sought to deflect attention away from the actions that led to their clients' capture, incarceration, and arraignment and appeared to be obfuscating who the five GITMO defendants actually are. A cursory review of their records is instructive.
- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the al-Qaeda member who was the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks. He also confessed to his involvement in the first World Trade Center bombings in 1993, the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and the bombing of the Bali nightclubs, as well as other plots.
- Walid Bin Attash reportedly selected and trained the 9/11 hijackers. The former Osama bin Laden bodyguard researched airline schedules and flight simulators and allegedly played a significant role in the 1998 East African embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole.
- Ramzi bin al-Shibh worked with Mohammed Atta, who crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, to mastermind the attacks. He also wired money and passed vital information to the hijackers.
- Ammar al-Baluchi and Mustafa al-Hawsawi provided funding and logistical support to bring the hijackers into the U.S. Incidentally, Baluchi is married to Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the incarcerated neuroscientist who, when apprehended in possession of recipes for weapons of mass destruction, instructions for shooting down U.S. drones, descriptions of New York landmarks, and two pounds of cyanide, grabbed a rifle and attempted to murder U.S. interpreters in Afghanistan.
At this point, in what was formerly referred to as the Global War on Terror, it should be no surprise that indicted Islamic terrorists would use obfuscation tactics against any charges. This strategy was documented in the al-Qaeda manual discovered during a terror raid in Manchester, England in 2006. In it, a chapter on "Prisons and Detention Centres" encourages terrorists to claim torture and mistreatment while in prison and to resort to hunger strikes. In fact, one passage states, "At the beginning of the trial ... the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison."
We must not forget the words of General Bantz J. Craddock, who, in 2006, explained, "Detainees are held at JTF-Guantanamo because they are dangerous and continue to pose a threat to the U.S. and our allies. They have expressed a commitment to kill Americans and our friends if released. These are not common criminals; they are enemy combatants being detained because they have waged war against our nation and they continue to pose a threat."
As was evident at the GITMO arraignment, even following capture and indictment, Muslim terrorists continue to wage jihad in the courtroom. Our tolerance for this level of disrespect and disruption of our judicial system is an indictment of American leadership and an example of how we are accommodating Islam in our society. If we bow to Islamic requests and demands in the courtroom, how long until we end up bowing to Islamic supremacy altogether and hand ourselves over, ever so politely, to our sworn enemies?
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