2008 May 04 Sunday
Yemen Freed USS Cole Attackers
With US attention focused on insurgencies in Iraq Yemen has let go all the people involved in the attack on the USS Cole.
ADEN, Yemen -- Almost eight years after al-Qaeda nearly sank the USS Cole with an explosives-stuffed motorboat, killing 17 sailors, all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.
Jamal al-Badawi, a Yemeni who helped organize the plot to bomb the Cole as it refueled in this Yemeni port on Oct. 12, 2000, has broken out of prison twice. He was recaptured both times, but then secretly released by the government last fall. Yemeni authorities jailed him again after receiving complaints from Washington. But U.S. officials have so little faith that he's still in his cell that they have demanded the right to perform random inspections.
I bet the US government issues visas to Yemenis who want to visit or go to school in the US and that we even get some Yemeni immigrants.
Part of the blame probably belongs on the Bush Administration for not maintaining pressure on our enemy the government of Yemen.
"During the first part of the Bush administration, no one was willing to take ownership of this," said Roger W. Cressey, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations who helped oversee the White House's response to the Cole attack. "It didn't happen on their watch. It was the forgotten attack."
The Bush Administration couldn't even maintain enough forces to hunt down Al Qaeda stragglers in Afghanistan. Iraq beckoned after all.
We should keep Muslims out of the West. We should also very aggressively go after terrorist groups that attack us.
Update: In the comments Brent Lane points to a US government web page which shows 70 Yemenis won US visas through our mind bogglingly foolish diversity lottery. So did 4392 Egyptians. Wonder if any of Mohammed Atta's relatives or friends were among the lucky winners. More Yemenis than Finns came up winners. Can someone explain how this isn't just an incredibly stupid idea for a policy?
In 1985, four Soviet diplomats were kidnapped by Islamic terrorists in Lebanon. Here's how the Soviets responded:
The former Soviet state has never been hesitant about meting out retribution on Islamic hardliners. When Islamic fundamentalists kidnapped four Soviet diplomats in Beirut on 30 September 1985, at the height of the foreign hostage crisis in Lebanon, and demanded Moscow press its client state Syria to stop shelling Sunni Muslim militiamen in the northern port of Tripoli, the KGB responded with characteristic vigour.
After clandestine negotiations failed to secure the men's release, Soviet agents grabbed half a dozen fundamentalists in West Beirut and reportedly sliced off a few of their fingers, sending the severed digits to the fundamentalist leadership with the message: "Release our people or you'll get your people back piece by piece."
Three of the kidnapped Soviets were eventually freed after the KGB threatened to go in shooting. The fourth captive, consular attache Arkady Katkov, was shot and wounded during the abductions and had been swiftly disposed of by his captors: his bullet-ridden body was found on a garbage dump the day after the kidnappings.
No more Soviet citizens were kidnapped in Lebanon, even though dozens of Americans, Frenchmen, Britons and others were held, in some cases for six or seven years. While the Americans, French and Germans sought to buy the freedom of their people, the Soviets fought fire with fire.
Need I say more?
I remember that story. Nobody dared fuck with the Russians after that, nobody. In fact, all those assholes in the ME fell all over themselves to see who could kiss the most Soviet ass. Playing nice, bulding schools and handing out hugs and candy will get us nowhere. If our leaders had a pair, there would be some serious payback.
I am reminded of the 1987 movie "The Untouchables," in which tough, street-smart but honest cop Malone (Sean Connery) enlightens the ambitious but naive federal agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) about the rules of engagement in Prohibition-era Chicago:
You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way!
That's the Middle East way, too.
The results of the 2008 Diversity Lottery are here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1317.html
It indicates 70 lucky Yemenis get a ticket to the US for a shot at a green card. I don't know how detailed the background checks are, or if they ask any probing questions about jihadist sympathies.
Note the number of lottery winners from Mohammed Atta's homeland, Egypt (4,392). Also Bangladesh, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, the Sudan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan all number in four figures apiece (not to mention the 1,435 from Iran).
Of course the good news, only 603 from France. Oh, and a whopping 59 Finns made the cut.
Remind me again why anyone thinks this is a good idea?