ANOTHER OUTRAGE COMING? – AT 8:46 A.M. ET: Appeasing enemies of the United States is an Obama specialty, and he has perfected the technique. Is there another outrage coming? There are stories that the administration is negotiating with the new Egyptian regime for release of the so-called "Blind Sheik," currently serving a life sentence in the United States for assorted terror-related offenses.
The administration has issued vague denials that it is planning to release the "sheik." But former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who actually sentence the sheik while a federal judge, wants absolute answers, and we're not getting them. From Mukasey's piece in The Wall Street Journal:
Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik, is one of the world's leading theologians of terrorism. Abdel Rahman, who has diabetes and is in his mid-70s, is confined at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Butner, N.C. He served as spiritual adviser to El Sayid Nosair (in connection with the 1990 assassination in Manhattan of Meir Kahane, a right-wing Israeli politician) and to the band of terrorists who carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six and wounded numerous others (an operation undertaken in part to free Nosair from jail).
Abdel Rahman was convicted in 1995 of participating in a seditious conspiracy that included the Kahane murder, the 1993 WTC bombing, and a plot to blow up other landmarks in New York and to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak when he visited the United Nations. I presided over the trial as a U.S. district judge; upon his conviction, I sentenced Abdel Rahman to life in prison.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Egypt in July to meet with President Mohammed Morsi, an avowed Islamist and leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and invite him to the U.S. He will be in New York this week for the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly. Mrs. Clinton's visit came two weeks after Mr. Morsi's inaugural speech in Cairo's Tahrir Square, in which he promised to seek the release of the Blind Sheik. This month, when Mr. Morsi dispersed protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo (following a telephone scolding from President Obama), he left in place those protesting the Blind Sheik's continued confinement.
Transferring Abdel Rahman to an Egypt already under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood and presided over by Mohammed Morsi would be pouring gasoline on a bonfire.
Mukasey reports that some in the administration apparently believe that if Abdel Rahman dies in American custody there would be another series of attacks against American targets in the Mideast.
The State Department's spokesperson last week, after the ceremonial "let me be clear," said that there had been no approach on this topic "recently" from any "senior" official of the Egyptian government—an elucidation laden with ambiguity and certain to send chills up the spine of anyone familiar with Abdel Rahman's record and President Morsi's inclinations...
...It appears that the only course open now is for Congress to demand an unequivocal statement from the State Department and the White House that the U.S. will not transfer or release Abdel Rahman under any circumstances. Absent such assurance, it may be time for Congress to make clear that such a transfer or release could be considered the kind of gross betrayal of public trust that would justify removal from high office.
COMMENT: Those are pretty strong words, coming from a former attorney general and federal judge, but they're meant to be strong. Congress should demand the kind of assurance that Mukasey outlines. Otherwise, should Obama be re-elected, we're bound to have another outrage dressed up as a "humanitarian" gesture.
September 25, 2012