A grieving father battles for justice for his son who was killed at the Little Rock Recruiting Center on June 1, 2009
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Daris Long, Father of PV2 William A. Long, who was one of the two soldiers shot at the Little Rock Recruiting Center on June 1, 2009. William Long died of his wounds. Daris Long testified on December 7, 2011 in front of the joint House/Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, stressing that no federal terrorism charges have ever been levied against the perpetrators of the only two successful attacks on US soil since 9/11 (Little Rock Recruiting Center and Fort Hood).
The above picture of Daris Long was taken during the Committee hearing on Dec 7, 2011. The item he is holding is his son's Identification Tags that he was wearing when he was killed. The man behind his right shoulder is Dr. Charles Jacobs -- who came down from Boston to support Mr. Long during the hearing.
FP: Daris Long, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
I am very sorry about your son and I speak on behalf of everyone here at Frontpage in giving you our sincere and heart-felt condolences.
Let’s begin by you telling us about your testimony on December 7, 2011 in front of the joint House/Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing. You made it powerfully clear that this is an irregular war and that, despite the wall of silence and denial put up by the administration, army leadership and media, there have already been casualties on our soil.
Long: My position has always been that the War on Terror has not been isolated to what has been historically deemed the battlefield. We are not fighting against a foe that represents a government or territory. We are fighting against an ideology that is transnational in nature and doesn't recognize territorial boundaries. In this case we are up against an ideology that divides the world into two spheres, the Land of Islam and the Land of War. The opponents we face are not clearly identified by openly carrying arms nor do they wear uniforms which clearly identify them as part of an organized force as defined in the Laws of War. They can easily hide in the open and only become visible when they decide to perform their act of terror.
I was asked to speak at the hearing because I have been open about the ridiculous position that the government seems to have. It trumpets its success in thwarting terror related attacks. The authorities have been successful in identifying those who have planned to go to the Middle East and join the "jihad" such as the fourteen Somalis from Minnesota in Jun 2010 and the two New Jersey men in August 2010. Both plots resulted in the arrests and indictments under Federal terrorism statutes.
They were able to stop bombing plots, NY subway system, Brooklyn Bridge, Springfield, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas; they even stopped a similar planned attack to what happened in Little Rock in the Seattle Recruiting Center plot. They went so far as to say they stopped the Christmas Day and Times Square bombers. Those were after the fact captures of perpetrators whose bombs failed to function. Good law enforcement but nothing was thwarted. Of course, both had Federal fingerprints all over them in how they have been pursued in court. Just recently another potential terrorist was captured and arrested in Yemen trying to cross into Somalia and join Al Shabaab. Upon his return to the U.S. he was arrested and charged in Federal Court with material support for terrorism.
This case is particularly grating. The Feds were fully aware of Abdulhakim Muhammad's adventures in Yemen and actually interviewed him on at least two occasions while he was still in a political prison in Yemen. It was reported in the L.A. Times by Richard Serrano on Feb 9, 2011, that the Feds knew Muhammad was dangerously radicalized before he was ever deported back to the United States on Jan 29, 2009 at the request of the State Department and the American Embassy. He was interviewed again in Nashville by the same FBI agent who interviewed him in Yemen. I have been told that he was to have a polygraph test but failed to show up for it. At that point, I don't understand why he was not picked up.
I was also told that three FBI Field Offices were involved in the investigations of Muhammad. I believe two, Nashville and Memphis were active before the shooting in Little Rock and that the Little Rock Office got involved after the attack. In reading the Senate Homeland Security Report on Fort Hood, "A Ticking Time Bomb," it was identified that these Field Offices don't play well together and there are some real issues about territory and whether they actually pass information along which is why the Homeland Security Department was established. I believe that was the case before the Little Rock attack. Of the 33 attempts that specifically involve the military, only two resulted in deaths of Americans at the hands of people who unabashedly claim it was jihad and a religious duty. Of those 33 cases, only the ones where the government can claim they thwarted the plots and did not result in the killing of American soldiers on US soil resulted in formal Federal indictments. Where there were casualties, Little Rock and Ft Hood, they were relegated to State and military jurisdiction. I wanted to identify this disparity.
Daris Long's son, PV2 William Andrew Long. This picture was taken about 2 weeks before he was killed on June 1, 2009. He had just completed the final field problem in his training at Fort Benning. The date of the picture is around May 15, 2009.
FP: Your thoughts on the Obama administration’s role in all of this?
Long: Our Constitution allows for the redress of grievances. I do not believe that this administration has kept faith with the dead and wounded of these attacks. Both perpetrators had clear ties to Yemen but that is lost on the DOJ. In my testimony, I tried to highlight the absurd position of the government which is ruthlessly editing out any reference to what may be deemed offensive to some, but those same words are used by the terrorists themselves to define what and why they did. Unless you can specifically identify the enemy's threat doctrine, how can you work out a strategy to defeat him? I am amazed that the point man of the effort to scrub "offensive language and materials" seems to be CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator organization which renamed itself, from the Holy Land Foundation terrorist funding trial.
Why are they still unindicted? I was struck by the unabashed position of the DOD at the hearing that they will not state the motivation of who they are at war with. In my 27 years of service in the Marine Corps, when we went into harm's way, we made sure we knew as much about the threat as possible, especially motivations for why and what the enemy was doing. In every one of the instances I mentioned, the threat has been from people who have a particularly militant view of their beliefs. I think this has a great deal of bearing on how we should respond. It seems that the Army has a view that all threats are now generic which is dangerous. I was asked about the Army's movement to "behavioral indicators" as the means to identify the threat.
My response was that I am a father, that my kids would hide what they were doing if they didn't want me to know what they were into. It could be weeks before I would find out if they were messing up because of that. In the Marines, we had two missions. In the offense we were to close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, in the defense we were to destroy the enemy by fire and close combat. The behavioral indicator approach tells me that they are willing to cede the advantages of being on the offensive, to wait until the bad guys are in amongst you so you can observe them and then get rid of them through close combat. It makes no sense to me.
FP: What are your conclusions on this wall of silence and denial that you have discussed? What does it mean for our nation and for this war we are in?
Long: Over the past ten years, through two administrations, the position has been to extol the peaceful virtues of Islam, while completely downplaying the violent political aspects practiced by the very people who have been fighting. John Brennan, in a speech given at CSIS in May 2010, identified terror as only a tactic and that jihad is the battling against the inner self to attain private holiness and devotion to Allah’s path. I understand that the source of this statement is from the Koran.
The problem is that in Islamic jurisprudence, jihad means to war against non-Muslims. It is contained in the Reliance of the Traveler, Supra Note 10 at 599. This book is the major source for Islamic law. It does not refer to the issue of an inner struggle. Umdat al Salik, Islamic Sacred Law, which has been certified by leading Muslim Brotherhood front groups International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the Fique Council of North America, also identify jihad as war against non-Muslims and include this as Muslim Brotherhood Doctrine.
If the chief counter terrorism advisor to the President refuses to see the term jihad as what our opponents define it as, I can only conclude that it is a willful and purposeful omission. During the testimony of Mr. Stockton in front of the Joint House /Senate Homeland Security hearing of December 7, 2011, he refused to identify the enemy as violent Islamist extremists, but said we are at war with Al Qaeda. During previous hearings on the Hill, both the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security appeared to almost be apoplectic in their refusal to even mouth the words terrorist or terrorism despite clear and repeated questions on the subject. We received a letter of condolence from President Obama dated 5 June 2009. These letters are only sent, by a policy began under the Clinton Administration, to the families of military members killed as a result of hostile action.
At some point someone must have thought that the attack in Little Rock met that threshold. We met with our Congressman during the summer 2010. He said that there are some who believe that trying Muhammad in State Court for murder, vice Federal Court for terrorism, was the best way to address the situation. This position and statement has bothered me greatly and remains in my mind nagging me over the “true” position of my government. We bought a memorial paver to be placed on the honor walk at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, GA. There was a limitation of the number of letters that could be used in each of the three lines allowed for the sentiment. We shortened and edited until the words fit. We were called a couple of months later if it would be alright to change the word jihadi to terrorist, as they didn’t want to offend “our Muslim friends.” We agreed to make the change because that was our original word of choice, but I told them that if they are trying to kill you then they aren’t your friends. The Army initially told us that the Little Rock victims did not rate the Purple Heart because they didn’t have enough information to determine whether Muhammad was acting as a member of a hostile force or at the direction of a hostile leader.
We put together a package and submitted it to the Army obtained completely from open sources in an attempt to get them to investigate the circumstances. Their answer was that since the attack was being treated as a “criminal act” they were ineligible. We have been in contact with the Department of Justice and their response was that it was an Army issue even though the terrorist aspects of the attack have never been formally addressed by the Department of Justice. The recent scrubbing of words deemed “offensive” from Federal and Department of Defense lexicon as a result of complaints from organization which purportedly represent all persons of Muslim faith and heritage in America.
I find it amazing that the loudest advocacy voice is CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism funding trial since 2001, and that this organization still has footing in Washington D.C. During the week of 13 December the Department of State hosted a closed meeting to discuss UN Resolution 16/18. This resolution has been introduced and championed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and refers to defamation of religion. The Secretary of State has actually said that if we cannot get it into law then we should be able to advance the issue through old fashioned shaming.
This effort is nothing more than a fig leaf to impose Islamic blasphemy laws on non-Muslim people. It removes open discourse which is guaranteed in the First Amendment under the right to free speech. That same First Amendment is being used as the basis to justify all aspects of Islam, especially the economic, political and military, as just a religion and therefore it is not to be scrutinized.
Our history is replete with examples whereby courts have ruled against religious organizations where their actions, even when justified by their religion, break the law of the land. Abdulhakim Muhammad said that the attack in Little Rock was justified by Islamic law. Are his and Nidal Hasan’s actions protected under the First Amendment? The answer is a resounding no!
Recently the Vice President made the unbelievable statement that the Taliban were not our enemy. There has been serious consideration to release the five worst human rights offenders who are also the most important Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo in order to get talks going to achieve a political solution to the Afghan War.
Since when did the longstanding policy of not negotiating with terrorist go by the wayside? I know that there are some Marines in Helmand Province who wonder who has been shooting at them for the last ten years, if the Taliban are not the enemy. I can only surmise that despite clear evidence of the intent and the ideology of the threat, this administration has thrown out the facts because they don’t fit a politically correct agenda.
FP: What might all of this lead to?
Long: I believe that we are being strangled slowly by “our own miserable hand.” By buying into the politically correct solution that the threat does not have a basis in the religious ideology that our opponents have chosen to bring here to hometown U.S.A., disarms those who are charged to carry out our projection. It distorts the facts. We dumb down and become disarmed intellectually. We obtain knowledge by understanding the meaning of language. We have to understand the language of our opponents as they understand it. We cannot look at their words and try to view it through a western view. I have read that words matter.
“The more generic the language, the less precise the knowledge: conversely the more precise the language, the more precise the knowledge.” We are giving the advantage to the enemy when we don’t determine what he is going to do by applying his understanding of his doctrine to the problem. If we are going to prevail, we need to know the enemy, not mask him into nonexistence. Instead of acting from a narrative, the government needs to act from fact, wherever the facts come from. Our lexicon should be getting larger out of necessity, not smaller out of sensitivity.
FP: What, if anything, can those of us who want to save this country do to make a change?
Long: We need to get out of our comfort zone. We know what happened in Little Rock. We know it was repeated at Fort Hood. These are acts of terrorism. The government does not get to identify only those instances where the perpetrators are caught before the act or when their efforts failed as terrorist acts. I know that there are lots of dedicated men and women who are striving to protect us. But there are going to be leakers that get through and cause pain and harm.
The sheer number and rapidly increasing number of attempts will result in an eventual successful attack despite the best efforts of dedicated government servants. This started out for us as just trying to get justice for our son and the other soldier wounded on 1 June 2009. We felt that they were entitled to the Purple Heart under provisions adopted in Army Regulation 600-8-22 on 28 March 1973 whereby soldiers killed as a result of an alleged international terrorist attack are eligible. As we have drilled down though, it has become apparent that this Administration has no intention to accept that anyone has died on their watch as a result of terrorism.
The issue is not that it happened, but that when they had the opportunity to be clear and transparent, they choose the path of denial. Their position that we are not fighting a religiously motivated enemy and their inability to speak openly and honestly about that causes a degradation of faith in our institutions. We need to stand up and be heard. Keeping this country safe is not a partisan issue. It is a part of the statutory oath required of all officials to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Not to do so, a disregard for the duty one is sworn to uphold and if not actually criminal, it borders on it. Don’t stand back thinking that your voice does not make a difference.
Those who would have us believe that are the same people who have pursued a politically correct whitewashing of the threat violent extremism brings to our freedoms. Speak out, write to your elected officials, let them know when they mess up and when they do well. After being stationed in Washington, I know that it is a different world inside the Beltway. Infuse your opinion and position into the informational void that exists which supports touchy-feely non-solutions to real problems. Most importantly, vote! Firing incompetence overcomes a lot of hurdles.
FP: Daris Long, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview and thank you for your fight for the truth.
Our prayers are with your son and with your whole family. Please know that our hearts are with you every step of the way in your battle to get justice for your son.
Take care for now.
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