In April, 2012, The US Report took issue with a statement in an article at National Journal claiming:
’The war on terror is over,’ one senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues told me. ‘Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.’
That statement was at odds with coverage from independent news organizations and media reportage from international news sources.
If you backtrack, even for a short period of time before the official’s statement was made, it’s obvious the War on Terror is far from over and current U.S. policy, rather than an obscure film made famous by President Barack Obama, may be a factor in ongoing unrest and attacks.
Furthermore, Gov. Mitt Romney’s remarks are relevant to this discussion.
Romney commented on a statement released by the Cairo Embassy on the morning of Sept. 11, 2012. The Embassy said:
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions… We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
That statement should have drawn immediate fire from U.S. media whose very existence is reliant on the First Amendment.
Instead, the fire was trained on Romney who responded to the statement with this at 10:24 p.m.:
I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.
Ahead of the attacks, controversies were actually raging about Obama’s war policy. Media just haven’t reported them as they might if a Republican was in the White House. Here are some key incidents:
─(9-21) The American Civil Liberties Union challenged Obama “to reveal records of the CIA’s drone programme, including the legal basis and policy decisions…”
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK) reported this, saying the government refused “even to confirm or deny whether the records exist.”
─(9-14) In the U.S., a hearing is held before the House Homeland Security Committee panel on Overisght, Investigations and Management. The hearing was about Nidal Hasan, the soldier charged with 13 killings at Ft. Hood in 2009.
Army Times reported:
“Hasan is accused of using two handguns and shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he shot 13 people at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. He is facing a court-martial that could result in the death penalty. [and]
“Top military investigators downplayed warnings about the alleged shooter in the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, and opted not to interview him before the tragedy because they feared casting suspicion upon him would harm his Army career, experts told lawmakers Friday.”
U.S. officials called Hasan’s acts “workplace violence,” avoiding the premise of terrorism in the homeland.
Critical Threats, an initiative of the American Enterprise Institute, reported that Defense Sec. Leon Panetta announced “[T]he Pakistani military plans to launch a major military operation in September to clear militant groups in the tribal areas of Waziristan…”
Waziristan is Pashtun territory.
Panetta compared the Pakistani offensive to the “2009 Swat Valley operation in which thousands of troops were deployed…” The initiative was to “target Taliban militants from both Afghan and Pakistani factions.”
Obviously someone should ask why the Obama administration routinely warns the enemy about what will happen in the future, complete with timeline.
The Pew Global Center reported, “Roughly three-in-four Pakistanis (74 percent) consider the U.S. an enemy, up from 69 percent last year and 64 percent three years ago.” Note the “three years ago” would have been attributed to the final term of President George W. Bush.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism said under Bush 43, there were “52 drone strikes on Pakistan.”
BIJ noted that under Obama in 2009, Obama had carried out “as many drone strikes in Pakistan as Bush in five years.”
In 2010, the highest tally of drone strikes was marked.
Thus far, there have been 346 total U.S strikes; 294 of those have been under Obama. Total civilians killed reportedly range between 2,570-3,337. Of that number, 176 were allegedly children.
Officials reported a Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.
One mother of a Navy SEAL told Human Events [print] in Sept., 2012, as reports emerged in following months, “she wanted to know specifically why any of the U.S. aircraft circling the area had not laid down pre-assault fire…”
The Rules of Engagement prohibited that.
Human Events said the crash was “later determined to be caused by Taliban rocket-propelled grenade fire, claimed the lives of all 38 American and Afghan troops aboard, including 21 other members of the SEALs. It was the greatest tragedy in the history of U.S. special operations.”
ABC’s Jake Tapper reported on the takedown of Osama bin Laden:
“The president met the elite Team 6 squad on the same day that bin Laden's terror network, al Qaeda, admitted that its leader was dead. Al Qaeda vowed that it would try to make America pay for his death.”
Publicly disclosing information about Navy SEAL operations contradicts the SEAL ethos to not disclose details about any special ops.
Alarms and Preparation
As the anniversary of Sept. 11 approached, alarms should have been sounding at U.S. interests in the Middle East. The US Report asked whether drone strikes could have triggered the unrest.
To date no media have asked Obama about evident contradictions in transparency on his policy and promises he made before he was elected. No media have asked Obama whether his ramped up drone policy has further harmed U.S. relations with Pakistan.
No media have called Obama out on his conflicting statements regarding the obscure filmmaker the government continues to blame for unrest even as the administration conceded publicly the terrorist attack on the Libyan Consulate was “self-evident.”
No media have called Obama out on the BIJ report claims on civilian casualties.
No media have called Obama out on any aspect of his war policy.
Meanwhile Islamist theocracies continue to call for international blasphemy laws that would violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
What media should acknowledge—Romney got the initial response exactly right.
In contrast to Bush, Obama has received a complete pass from media and those quirky anti-war groups aligned with Democrats.
Obviously, the War on Terror is not "over."
Obviously, Democrat-allied media owe the governor an apology, although it's not likely one will come.
Meanwhile, a de facto terrorist awaits trial on charges filed in 2009.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 26, 2012)