Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Andy McCarthy on the Obama gaff (if it happened)

Here is another interesting article sent me by a lurker: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWZlZjBhNDA0ODEzNWE2ZDMwMDk1MjZkMWE3NjUxZDM=

It is by Andy McCarthy who was the Federal Prosecutor of the Blind Shiek. McCarthy wrote a book about the trial: http://www.amazon.com/Willful-Blindness-Andrew-C-McCarthy/dp/1594032130/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221586345&sr=1-1

Publishers Weekly wrote, “. . . the prosecutor responsible for leading the investigation of Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and others involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing dissects the miscues between federal agencies that led to that event . . . The pre-1993 comedy of errors begins with the CIA's decision to funnel arms and money to Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war and continues with inexplicable lapses of communication between the State Department and immigration officials (despite having been placed on a State Department terror watchlist, the sheikh travels freely to the United States). The most enduring oversight, however, at least from McCarthy's perspective, is the refusal among academics and political leaders to confront fundamentalist Islamic tenets, the 800-pound gorilla that is somehow always in the middle of the room when terror strikes. The jihadist philosophy that guided the Blind Sheikh is traced through generations of Islamic thinkers to the Prophet Mohammed himself. . . his firsthand account of jihad's rise and the sheikh's trial of the century is an important contribution . . . to existing literature on the attack that foreshadowed disaster to come.”

Someone on National Review asked him to respond to the Amy Holmes article: He writes, “If Obama did what he's been accused of, it was an outrageous bit of treachery and in my mind shows he is unfit to be president. (Of course, you might point out that I'd already made up my mind about that, but I would counter that this episode, if it happened, was singularly egregious.)

“That said, I'd make two points. First, I don't like the idea of Logan Act prosecutions. I addressed this back in 2007 when Speaker Pelosi tried to conduct foreign policy in the Middle East, and I haven't changed my mind. Like the Pelosi gambit, this Obama misstep would be a golden political opportunity for the McCain campaign and the GOP. It ought to be handled just that way — argue how despicable and hypocritical the conduct is, but refrain from calls for prosecution.

“Second, at this point we also have to be concerned about the overlay of this whole issue of criminalizing politics — which is banana-republic stuff and which Obama and Biden have threatened to do to their political opponents if they get their hands on the Justice Department. The editors addressed this in an editorial last week, and I think, for the reasons argued there, that the criminalization of our policy debates is to be avoided. That doesn't mean Obama would not have violated the law if he did this, or that such a violation would not merit our condemnation. But letting prosecutors decide our politics is a prescription for a very bad brand of politics.”

Lawrence Helm

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