Obama’s Bow to “World Opinion” – by Thomas Sowell


In the string of amazing decisions made during the first year of the Obama administration, nothing seems more like sheer insanity than the decision to try foreign terrorists, who have committed acts of war against the United States, in federal court, as if they were American citizens accused of crimes.

Terrorists are not even entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention, much less the Constitution of the United States. Terrorists have never observed, nor even claimed to have observed, the Geneva Convention, nor are they among those covered by it.

But over and above the utter inconsistency of what is being done is the utter recklessness it represents. The last time an attack on the World Trade Center was treated as a matter of domestic criminal justice was after a bomb was exploded there in 1993. Under the rules of American criminal law, the prosecution had to turn over all sorts of information to the defense— information that told the Al Qaeda international terrorist network what we knew about them and how we knew it.

This was nothing more and nothing less than giving away military secrets to an enemy in wartime— something for which people have been executed, as they should have been. Secrecy in warfare is a matter of life and death. Lives were risked and lost during World War II to prevent Nazi Germany from discovering that Britain had broken its supposedly unbreakable Enigma code and could read their military plans that were being radioed in that code.

“Loose lips sink ships” was the World War II motto in the United States. But loose lips are mandated under the rules of criminal prosecutions.

Tragically, this administration seems hell-bent to avoid seeing acts of terrorism against the United States as acts of war. The very phrase “war on terrorism” is avoided, as if that will stop the terrorists’ war on us.

The mindset of the left behind such thinking was spelled out in an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, which said that “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be tried the right way— the American way, in a federal courtroom where the world will see both his guilt and the nation’s adherence to the rule of law.”

This is not the rule of law but the application of laws to situations for which they were not designed.

How many Americans may pay with their lives for the intelligence secrets and methods that can forced to be disclosed to Al Qaeda was not mentioned. Nor was there mention of how many foreign nations and individuals whose cooperation with us in the war on terror have been involved in countering Al Qaeda— nor how many foreign nations and individuals will have to think twice now, before cooperating with us again, when their role can be revealed in court to our enemies, who can exact revenge on them.

Behind this decision and others is the notion that we have to demonstrate our good faith to other nations, sometimes called “world opinion.” Just who are these saintly nations whose favor we must curry, at the risk of American lives and the national security of the United States?

Internationally, the law of the jungle ultimately prevails, despite pious talk about “the international community” and “world opinion,” or the pompous and corrupt farce of the United Nations. Yet this is the gallery to which Barack Obama has been playing, both before and after becoming President of the United States.

In the wake of the obscenity of a trial of terrorists in federal court for an act of war— and the worldwide propaganda platform it will give them— it may seem to be a small thing that President Obama has been photographed yet again bowing deeply to a foreign ruler. But how large or small an act is depends on its actual consequences, not on whether the politically correct intelligentsia think it is no big deal.

As a private citizen, Barack Obama has a right to make as big a jackass of himself as he wants to. But, as President of the United States, his actions not only denigrate a nation that other nations rely on for survival, but raise questions about how reliable our judgment and resolve are — which in turn raises questions about whether those nations will consider themselves better off to make the best deal they can with our enemies.

  • Robert Bernier

    Every American should see this video !

    The ambition of Islam to conquer the world.
    For centuries Islam of the militants have been on the march to conquer the world. We did not notice because we chose not to notice. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in
    1920 by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt and was in deep confrontation with the Egyptian government. The current goals for Islam to achieve global domination for a Muslim Caliphate: a world under strict Islamic “Sharia” law, pulling Muslims back to the 7th Century.

    Consult : http://xrl.us/bf66jj

  • D77

    And———- the Democrats, news media and Hollywood just keep on saying what a great President Obama is. No one tells them they are dead wrong. I do not feel safe in this country now that our great President has been opening doors to evil.

  • Moonbat

    Careful, Mr. Sowell, careful. I'm sure you remember the university professor who was forced to resign his position a few years ago because he used the word “denigrate”!!

  • edwinsvigals

    America'a present problems come out of its racist behavior. We elected Obama not for his experience – he didnt have any – or his intentions – he hardly revealed them – but simply because it would be so cool to have an African-American president – we just loved the color of his skin!!!
    When one relates to a person on the basis of his/her race – that's called'racism', and one the is then a racist.
    And that's how we got saddled with the disaster that is Barack Obama.

  • BS77

    Wrong…the word was “niggardly”….meaning stingy.

  • BS77

    Make calls to the military justice dept….it is time the military stopped this change of venue, or at least challenges it with a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. THe AG does not have unlimited and arbitrary powers. This decision must be challenged in court. Putting mass murdering foreign captured agents of war in a civilian court is NUTS. Call your congressional representative and ask that military justice prevail……let's not sit idly by and allow this trial to become a living nightmare….with objections, appeals, continuances, outbursts and endless delays, calls for sub poenas, more objections and propaganda…..New York deserves better than this! Try them in Gitmo and then exterminate them.

  • Pilgrim

    Does Obama's forcing disclosure of military secrets to the world constitute an act of treason? If so, the military should arrest him and bring down all those who voted with him.

  • PAthena

    President Obama's foreign policy is appease enemies and attack allies. His returning of the bust of Winston Churchill to the Prime Minister of Great Britain shows his views: he detests Churchill and all he stood for. He would have “extended his hand” to Hitler instead of fighting and would instead have given no aid to Britain. His bow to the Emperor of Japan shows, probably, his apology for the United States having declared and waged war against Japan from December 7, 1941 – August 1945. He should, according to his present jurisprudence, have tried to prosecute the Japanese leaders for the crime of arson and bombing the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, a domestic crime since it took place on the soil of the United States; certainly the U.S. should not have gone to war against Japan!

  • RD1953

    Obama is not “making an ass” out of himself! All of these things he has carefully calculated to insult the American way of life and be subservient to the World. He hates everything America stands for.


    PS: I also believe he IS muslim; and, is doing all he can get away with to aid the jihad.

  • jerry

    We don't have to see much more of Obama to realize that he is the poorest example of American values, strenght, and greatness. He is a socialist with a small s. His every decision smacks of socialistic ideas and his people around him were and are socialistically inclined. He can't help it. He was raised on welfare, a recieptient of affermative action, allowed to attend prestigious univesities, while others who had higher grades were denied the same chance. If figures if he could do it, then blacks yellows browns except white, should have all the breaks he had.

  • teresakoch

    Mr. Obama does realize, doesn't he, that the 1st likely target is going to be the one that wasn't hit on September 11th – the White House? Has he thought about the danger that he is putting his two young daughters in – that they may very well be in harm's way as a direct result of his decisions in this matter? My guess is no – but then again, I didn't go to Columbia or Harvard Law School…….

  • JPOrwell

    The deep bow expressed by President Obama when he went to the Palace in Tokyo seems to become an issue in the United States.

    What is wrong? And what is the news? Isn't it nice for President being respectful to a head of state and its people?

    A spokesman of the State Department correctly commented that the bow was intended to show respect for the Emperor and the people of Japan. This blog think that the couteous manner impressed Japanese people and it's been very well received in Japan.

    Her Majesty Empress shaked hands with President even though shaking hands is not a Japanese custom. To stick to the western way of showing respect by shaking hands is only a prejudice and Japanese nationals noticed that President Obama is never narrow-minded and rude to stick to one's own rules and culture as a former President and then Japanese prime minister pretended to peform an Elvis music instrument.

    President Obama showed fully that he is a man of words and dignity over substance and action. He is the person who can understand the true meaning of humbleness even though or because he is truly the top person of the most strongest country on this planet earth.

    The writer of this blog is not an American but I would say, come on now, for the criticising part of the society to know that there are plenty of things to debate over and restore the trust which was destroyed by the neocons and market fundamentalists both in the United States and Japan, between the most important allies in the world.

    I could see in the courteous and elgant manner of President Obama, an audacity of hope as his biography book title suggested and a new born strength of the United States of America. Utterly there should not be any consciousness of master servant relationship on both sides of the Pacific ocean, and there should remain a solid mutual respect.

  • Frank333

    Besides the problems stated, the issue potentially goes even deeper:

    It sets a legal precedence for terrorist-related cases in the future, allowing the defendants to insist on a civil U.S. law trial by jury at tremendous cost;

    It can be extended to U.S. owned or controlled territory, theoretically forcing a U.S. civil trial for any terrorist acts in U.S. embassies or military bases and vicinity.

    Giving a terrorist a U.S. trial should be declared invalid on its face for many reasons. For one, there is no remote possibility that our attorneys will be given access to any discovery material from the terrorist organization or their state sponsors. Even asking for it would be interpreted by them as a form of U.S. humor. Without equal access to evidence by both sides, the trial becomes a sham on day one.

    Besides evidence, what about witness testimony? Are we to be allowed to subpoena documents or witnesses fro Al Qaeda with a sherrif?

    And even if we prove guilt, how do we punish someone who's criminal act was already intended as a form of suicide? Should we make him watch morning soap operas for the rest of his life?

  • bubba4

    More stupid conjecture…OMG…what if they are aquitted and released onto the streets of New York!…

    STFU you moron. You know what good PR is for a terrorist? When the US bombs an innocent wedding party. Trying them in court and giving them justice is sign that we are not the savages we are fighting.

  • Kathleen3

    I may not agree with everything they say, or how they say it, but the 4 people I most admire for their courage in speaking the truth are Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. We so desperately need a leader (president!) who is unafraid to speak the truth and denounce radical Muslims (Vs asking us to appreciate diversity) and rid this country of illegal aliens (Vs cowering to LaRaza and enjoining with this radical group and calling anyone who opposes illegal aliens “racist”). The true definition of politically correct is: 1) liar or 2)weakness.

  • Len Powder

    Obama and Holder want to showcase our criminal judicial system to the world. And what is the purpose? Surely Obama and Holder must want to create a favorable impression of the US by trying KSM and other murderers in civil court. But the world already had an opportunity to witness our system after the 1993 bombing of the WTC. Why do we need a repeat performance?

    This argument is a ruse to cover up the real intention of having this trial in civilian court. Regardless of what the real goals of this travesty are, the actual consequences will not bring anything good for the US. The Left never tires of humiliating the US in general, and in this instance, of doing the same thing to George Bush and Dick Cheney. These gentlemen are irrelevant but totalitarian regimes are known for 'show trials' whose intent is to destroy their enemies, meaning anyone who disagrees with them or opposes them. This trial is no different than those conducted in Stalinist Russia, Castro's Cuba, or Iran's Islamist regime. It is the tyrant's way of showing the entire world that dissent will not be permitted, that those who do not conform to the Leftist ideology will be subjected to public trials and political executions.

    One of the intended recipients of this message is the CIA and another is the Military. The message to them is that terrorists are entitled to Constitutional protections and are not to be treated as enemy combatants. Hence, waterboarding and other forms of interrogation which violate the Constitutional Rights are outlawed. This will, no doubt, cause celebrations in the world of Islamist groups.

    Speaking for myself, if I were a member of the military, the FBI, or the CIA, and a Muslim terrorist came into my domain of influence, he or she would be guaranteed to not appear in any courthouse in the United States. They would be sent to their heavenly reward.