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GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on?

A pattern of soft-pedaling U.S. response to terrorism prompts questions

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, the investigation into its perpetrators has been marred by a series of bizarre and even alarming actions by President Obama and his administration. Unfortunately, these increasingly suggest a pattern that is at odds with our national and homeland security. The question must be occurring to many Americans: Whose side is he on?

Consider just a few of the recent examples suggesting the ominous answer is "not ours":

Team Obama decided precipitously to charge the surviving alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in civilian court. This action resulted in his being read Miranda rights and obtaining a lawyer, prompting him to refuse to answer more questions from investigators. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observed, "Obama was determined to end the public debate over whether the jihadist is a wartime enemy combatant or a mere criminal defendant."

Mr. McCarthy theorizes on what is going on here: "[We] are being softened up. Steered by its Gitmo bar veterans and lawyer left compass, the Obama administration is executing a massive national-security fraud: the farce that the jihad against America can be judicialized, that civilian-court processes are a better answer to enemy warfare than are combat protocols."

Then there is the peculiar case of the Saudi "student," Abdul Rahman al-Harbi. Glenn Beck and syndicated columnist Diana West have done yeoman's work connecting the proverbial dots on this young man, starting with his detention at the scene of the bombing (where he was wounded) and initial designation as a "person of interest" in the investigation. The FBI reportedly spent seven hours searching his apartment but, following an in-person and unscheduled intervention with Mr. Obama by the Saudi foreign minister, Mr. al-Harbi ceased to be classified as even a witness to the jihadist attack.

Still more bizarre is what happened next: The Saudi press reported that first lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to Mr. al-Harbi in a Boston hospital where he was recuperating, even as federal agencies sought to deport him on the grounds that he was a national security threat. That would, needless to say, put him safely beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement. At this writing, Team Obama seems to be resisting congressional efforts to establish Mr. al-Harbi's whereabouts and true status. Neither has there been any explanation to date for why a man who, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement records made public by Mr. Beck, is ineligible on terrorist-ties grounds to be in the United States and was admitted to the White House on numerous occasions.

Meanwhile, the evidence continues to accumulate that the FBI failed to appreciate the nature of the threat posed by Dzhokhar's Islamist elder brother, Tamerlan, because it has had to operate for years under guidance that obscures the direct connection between the supremacist Islamic doctrine he practiced, known as Shariah, and the terrifying form of jihad it compels its adherents to wage. The Center for Security Policy is helping Americans who think we cannot afford such shackling of our first line of defense against domestic threats to express their concerns directly to Mr. Obama with a Web-based campaign at FreetheFBI.com.

A corollary to this insanity has been the administration's effort to portray other communities as equivalent threats to that posed by Islamists. This notion is inherent in Team Obama's adoption of the euphemism "violent extremism," and in an Army Reserve unit's equal-opportunity training materials that identified evangelical Christians, Catholics and Islamophobes as on a par with al Qaeda and similar Shariah-adherent terrorist organizations in terms of readiness to engage in such extremism.

One of the chief architects of the Obama administration's efforts to pander to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists and to use selective enforcement of the law to promote divisiveness among Americans is the president's choice to become the next secretary of labor, Thomas E. Perez. Mr. Perez's recent confirmation hearing barely scratched the surface of the unsuitability for such a post of a man whose views and conduct align him with such other radical post-American Friends of Obama as Van Jones, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. We know whose side they are on.

No less worrisome is the president's commitment to so-called comprehensive immigration reform that clearly will perpetuate the unsecured borders that have contributed to the current crisis of millions of illegal aliens in our country. He seems indifferent to the fact that millions more are headed our way, confident that he will get them amnesty and a "path to citizenship," too.

Last but hardly least, we have the wrecking operation Mr. Obama is engaged in with respect to the U.S. military. While furloughs of air-traffic controllers and meat inspectors are prompting measures to mitigate the damage, the hollowing out of our armed forces and the industrial base is going forward apace. Ditto the president's efforts to denuclearize this country and to negotiate new restrictions on our ability to defend it against missile attack.

Unfortunately, we are likely to learn just how harmful sequestration and the other Obama-induced rounds of cuts have been on the military only after the myriad international crises of the moment — including, notably, Syria, the Senkaku Islands, the Iranian nuclear program and Korean Peninsula — rocket out of control in ways that threaten our vital interests.

At that point, the question of whose side the president is on will be self-evident. By then, we may even regard his malfeasance as constituting high crimes and misdemeanors.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. was an assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan. He is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the syndicated program Secure Freedom Radio.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author

Frank J. Gaffney Jr.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on 1260 AM.

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