While lawfare in United States courts, to set Islamic
terrorists free, has been cutoff due to
the Military Commissions Act, the
lawfare threat has not ended. Now, the threat comes from ostensible
allies in Western Europe, like Italy and Germany, and this may be tougher to
deal with. Already, one lawsuit, targeting then-Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former CIA Director George
Tenet, is aimed at getting the German government to investigate alleged war
crimes that have, to date, been shown to have little basis in reality.
Many of these claims have centered around Guantanamo Bay, where the United
States has been keeping a number of dangerous terrorists on ice. However, a new
trend has emerged. Germany is charging 13 CIA operatives in connection with the
capture of one suspected terrorist. Italy has charged 26 with the capture of
another suspected terrorist. Again, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
in involved with these efforts.
In essence, the CCR is trying to protect terrorists from the United States
military. For an example of who they are protecting, one of their clients,
Mohammed al Khatani, is worth a closer look. Khatani is believed to have been
slated to be the 20th hijacker on 9/11. Information he gave up provided leads
that enabled the break-up of terrorist cells before they could carry out
Khatani's interrogation diary was leaked to Time Magazine in 2005. The
methods used during the detainee's interrogations were portrayed as routine.
They were not - the techniques had been authorized as part of a special
protocol. Naturally, human rights groups have been complaining about this, and
their concerns are amplified by sympathetic news reports. Having lost in the
legislative arena, they now have turned to foreign courts.
Another detainee of note was an Iraqi who was captured in Pakistan in 2002.
This was an a-Qaeda operative, who, according to an evidence summary released
after a Freedom of Information Act request, was supposed to work with an Iraqi
intelligence officer in carrying out a chemical mortar attack on the U.S. and
British embassies in Pakistan in August 1998. These are the kind of people who
the Center for Constitutional Rights has chosen to defend. They also ignore the
necessity of protecting methods of gathering intelligence and sources of
As for the guards at Guantanamo Bay, who suffered over 400 assaults in 2006,
they are out of luck. The same goes for any civilians who might be killed or
maimed in a terrorist attack should these terrorists be released. In the eyes
of human rights groups, the terrorists are apparently worth protecting, while
those trying to stop their attacks, which kill and maim innocent civilians, are
war criminals. While the mainstream media seems content to parrot human rights
groups, nobody seems to be willing to speak up for those who would be harmed by
the terrorists if they got the chance. - Harold C. Hutchison