Preventing Another 9/11
Vol: 28 Issue: 11 Tuesday, September 11, 2018
What would you expect the US government to do in order to prevent another catastrophic terror attack like the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001?
Let’s ask the question another way. If you knew what was going to happen on September 11, and you had a chance to stop it, what WOULDN’T you do? Suppose, for the sake of argument, you knew who the 19 guys were and what they had planned.
You are all riding on the same bus high in the mountains with a sheer drop over a cliff. There are a half-dozen innocents aboard, as well. Would you grab the steering wheel from the driver and plunge the bus over the cliff?
Even if it meant you, the bus driver and the half-dozen innocents aboard would all perish as well. If you KNEW what would happen on September 11 if you didn’t?
In one sense, it is a really hard question. In another sense, its a no-brainer.
If you could step into the WayBack Machine to 1911 Vienna and meet an obscure painter named Adolf Hitler, would you have any compunction against pushing him in front of a street car if you knew in so doing that you would prevent both the Holocaust and World War Two?
I confess that I would cheerfully shoot that then-innocent Bavarian painter in the head without hesitation. I probably would be less cheerful about grabbing the steering wheel of the bus, but I’d like to think I’d still do it.
Before you start criticizing me and quoting the 6th Commandment to me, think, for a second, about the passengers on Flight 92. Think about Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer, and the handful of passengers who rushed the terrorists and forced their flight to crash into that field in Shanksville, Pa.
Were they murderers? Of course not. They were heroes whose names will be spoken in the same breath with the greatest American heroes in history.
My hypothetical scenario is, of course, hypothetical. Nobody could know in 1911 what Hitler would unleash. Nobody could know what carnage those 19 hijackers would impose on America on September 11. Except Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer, et al. And look how they responded. We celebrate their heroism as much as we mourn their loss.
They had certain knowledge, and they took the extreme action their knowledge demanded. It raises all kinds of issues. They knew they were going to die, but that is not the same as taking action that would cause their deaths.
They knew the terrorists were going to kill them. To prevent it, they killed themselves and their would-be killers. Morally, was it the right thing to do?
Now let’s return to the original question. What would you expect the government to do to prevent another 9/11? Is killing a terrorist before he commits an act of terrorism over the line?
Is it wrong to kill an enemy soldier in combat? If you don’t, he will probably kill you. But if you kill him, by definition, you have killed him BEFORE he did anything to you. So are you wrong? Clearly not. The issues are starkly black and white.
This is the same question facing the government, only greatly expanded to include the inevitable shades of gray, since the enemy in this case goes out of his way to make it so. Our enemy hides in the shadows, disguises himself as an innocent, hiding to wait for the opportunity to strike.
When the government captures a terrorist who has knowledge of an impending attack, where should the government draw the line in trying to obtain knowledge to prevent the attack?
But, you argue, the terrorist hasn’t actually done anything yet. If that is the standard, combat soldiers would have to wait until the enemy killed them before they killed them back.
So, if killing a terrorist to prevent an attack is acceptable, why is it unacceptable to make him uncomfortable in order to get information that will prevent an attack?
The administration has agreed to abide by the nebulous and subjective terms of the Geneva Conventions when it comes to the treatment of captured terrorists. That includes promising not to subject enemy prisoners to ‘degrading or humiliating’ treatment in order to obtain information that might prevent another 9/11 attack. Congress has demanded that the definition be expanded to include ‘outrages upon personal dignity’.
What is ‘degrading and humiliating’ treatment? What constitutes an ‘outrage upon personal dignity?’ It depends on who you ask.
If you ask a Muslim, being interrogated by a woman is ‘degrading and humiliating’. If you ask a Congressman, being subjected to extremes of heat and cold are an ‘outrage upon human dignity.’
So, under the terms of the Geneva Conventions, these are now ‘torture’. Let’s see. You can kill a terrorist to prevent a terrorist attack, but you can’t torture him. Why?
Because, according to Senator John McCain, among others, if we don’t afford the terrorists the protections of the Geneva Conventions, they won’t grant those same protections to our prisoners.
If this weren’t so insane, it would be laughable. I know Marines who have fought against the enemy. They save their last bullet for themselves. Being captured means to be hideously tortured to death and decapitated.
The war has been going on for five years. There is not a single living American captive in enemy hands. The moment they capture one of our guys, they start cutting parts off him until he is tortured to death. Then his body is dumped somewhere in the street.
The moment we capture one of their guys, he gets three religiously sensitive meals per day, a warm, comfortable bunk, a prayer mat, a sign pointing toward Mecca, and a copy of the Koran, carefully handled to preserve their religious sensitivities.
We cannot subject him to ‘outrages on his dignity’ even though he would subject us to death without discrimination. It is more than obvious that, since he is dedicated to our destruction, he is not going to volunteer life-saving information about his compatriots because we ask him to.
And without that information, no action can be taken to prevent an impending attack. You can’t stop what you don’t know is going to happen. You can only retaliate afterwards. That is no consolation to the victims of September 11.
It doesn’t return fathers to their children, husbands to their wives, mothers to their families. At best, it just replicates the situation on the other side.
It doesn’t dissuade future attacks. It provides the motivation for them.
America is a good place. It is a place where human dignity is respected. Americans are good people. But America’s enemies are none of these things.
And the penalty for being a good people in this scenario is death.
That is the price demanded by the politically correct, although it is massaged and tweaked until it sounds like we are doing the right thing.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)
In reality, it is no different than a soldier in combat not killing the enemy until AFTER the enemy has done something to them.
It is a hard truth, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It doesn’t matter how good you WERE, after you are dead. You can’t do good things anymore.
I don’t know where America is during the Tribulation Period. The Bible makes no mention of it, so I only know where it isn’t.
And we may now be getting some inkling of why.
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