Judge Jeanine Pirro: “They Kill Americans? They’re Terrorists!”

Published on Jan 31, 2015 by Steven Laboe

Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Blistering Opening Statement on Barack Obama’s continued denial to refer to the Taliban as Terrorists

***

State Dept Won’t Label Taliban Attack that Killed Three American Civilians as Terrorism

 

BY:
January 30, 2015 

The White House has already doubled down this week saying that the Taliban is an armed insurgency and not a terrorist group. The State Department is now joining the White House in not saying whether the Taliban is a terrorist group.

The Taliban has taken credit for killing three American soldiers at the Kabul airport Thursday. At the State Department press briefing Friday, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki danced around a the question if the attack on the American soldiers was an act of terrorism.

Psaki repeated the story back to the reporter who asked the question and mentioned that the Justice Department has already spoken on the subject and that there is an investigation into the situation.

“I’m not going to put new labels on the situation today,” Psaki said.

How Long Until ISIS is Elevated to Coveted Position of “Insurgency”

Eric Schultz

Eric Schultz

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 29, 2015:

In the kinds of moments we have seen repeatedly from press officials forced to defend the largely indefensible security policies of the Obama Administration, White House Spokesman Eric Schultz struggled to justify to Reporter John Karl why the White House’s decision to release 5 high-level Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for suspected deserter Bowe Bergdahl was some how superior in strategy and morals, to the contemplation of Jordanian officials to return a failed female suicide bomber, in exchange for a Jordanian fighter pilot captured by the Islamic State. Schultz attempted to argue that the Administration released the five, who all held senior positions with the Taliban, because the war in Afghanistan was “winding down” and prisoner exchanges are standard fare at the conclusion of a conflict. Schultz stressed that the Taliban was an “armed insurgency” where as the Islamic state was merely a “terrorist group” and the United States opposes negotiating with terrorists. Despite push back from Karl, who pointed out that there was no qualitative difference in behavior between the two groups, and that the Taliban continued to attack U.S and coalition forces making the “winding down a war” claim disingenuous at best, Schultz was apparently unmoved.

While Karl did not have the opportunity to make the point, the ludicrousness of this claim is extended further because the Islamic State is indeed an armed insurgency, easily meeting established definitions. And by any reasonable metric the Taliban engages in terrorism. This is because, of course, both groups are jihadist organizations, motivated by precisely the same goals, and operating within the strategic doctrine for how Jihad should be waged, in accordance with Shariah, which calls for both the use of terror (“…strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah… Sura 8:60) and the imposition of God’s law and governance over territory (“And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah… Sura8:39).

This is the problem with having a tactics-oriented strategy, rather than a strategy which orients on the enemy threat doctrine. Given time and opportunity, jihadists will always go from “terrorists” to “insurgents.” If not defeated, jihadists eventually become states, where upon (as the administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran make clear) they are granted yet more privileges and benefits. The Islamic State is not the first band of jihadists to seize territory to further its vision of returning the Middle East to the ways of the earliest companions of the prophet (we call some of their predecessors the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.)

When a terrorist organization becomes an ‘armed insurgency’

American Thinker, by Rick Moran, Jan. 29, 2015

An organization that regularly uses suicide attacks against innocent civilians has been designated an “armed insurgency” by the White House.

The Afghanistan Taliban has sent dozens of suicide bombers and attackers to hit soft targets in Afghanistan, but the administration says it’s OK to negotiate with them because they’re not terrorists.

This pretzel logic was dispensed by deputy press secretary Eric Schultz, who was responding to a question about the proposed exchange of a Japanese civilian prisoner and a Jordanian pilot for an Iraqi woman convicted of terrorism in Jordan.  Isn’t that the same as us exchanging five Taliban commanders for deserter Bowe Bergdahl?

Not at all, said Schultz.

Wall Street Journal:

“Our policy is that we don’t pay ransom, that we don’t give concessions to terrorist organizations,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday. “This is a longstanding policy that predates this administration and it’s also one that we communicated to our friends and allies across the world,” he added.

But the U.S. engaged in a similar prisoner swap with Afghanistan’s Taliban last year, releasing several Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for the freedom of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Mr. Bergdahl had been held by the Taliban as a prisoner since 2009 until his release last year as part of a prisoner swap.

The White House said the situation was different because Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq while the Taliban is not, in the administration’s thinking.

“The Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups,” Mr. Schultz said.

Asked directly if the White House considered the Taliban a terrorist group, Mr. Schultz repeated the line that they are an armed insurgency and said that the swap for Mr. Bergdahl was part of the “winding down of the war in Afghanistan.”

The Taliban was the ruling government of Afghanistan before being ousted by U.S. forces in late 2001 over the government’s refusal to hand over members of al Qaeda who were believed to be complicit in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Since then, the Taliban has emerged as an insurgent force with bases of power in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan that continues to attack U.S. forces, Afghan government forces and civilians in both countries. In December, Taliban militants staged an attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, where 145 people were killed, mostly children.

The United States does not list the Taliban on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list run by the State Department, but it has listed the group on a separate Specially Designated Global Terrorist list since 2002. And the National Counterterrorism Center lists the “Taliban Presence in Afghanistan” on a map of global terrorism presences.

 

The administration is scrambling to differentiate the Taliban from IS because the army is apparently ready to charge Bergdahl with desertion, and giving away five terrorist commanders for a deserter is “bad optics” for the White House.  Besides, the administration would still like to cut a deal with the “good” Taliban to bring them into the Afghan government in a power-sharing arrangement.  If they were to refer to the Taliban as “terrorists,” it would look like an even worse idea than it already is.

There’s no doubt that in diplomacy, exactitude in language is an absolute necessity.  But this constant parsing of words from the White House about the terrorism issue is bizarre and unprecedented and not done to further our understanding of the threat, but rather to obscure it.  It is motivated not by diplomacy, but by domestic politics.

The next bunch of Taliban terrorists who shoot up a school can relax.  Your cause has been legitimized by the White House when they refer to you as an “armed insurgency.”

Jordan agrees to prisoner swap with ISIS in deal that could free pilot, Japanese journalist

Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh was captured by ISIS fighters in Syria last month. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center, File)

Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh was captured by ISIS fighters in Syria last month. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center, File)

Fox News, Jan. 28, 2015

Jordan has agreed to demands from ISIS that it release a female jihadist held since 2006, in a move that could free a Jordanian pilot captured in Syria last month and possibly a Japanese journalist who pleaded for his life in a video released by the terror group on Tuesday.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said in a statement the nation was prepared to free Sajida al-Rishawi, who was convicted of taking part in a deadly hotel bombing, if the Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, is released unharmed. His comments were carried by Jordan’s official Petra news agency. Although he made no mention of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, a hostage audio message released by Islamic State a day earlier tied Goto’s fate to that of Al-Rishawi, as well.

Al-Rishawi was sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack by Al Qaeda on hotels in Amman that killed 60 people. Jordan is reportedly in indirect talks with the militants through religious and tribal leaders in Iraq to secure the hostages’ release. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of Jordan’s parliament, Bassam Al-Manasseer, has been quoted as saying that Jordan and Japan would not negotiate directly with the Islamic State group and would not free al-Rishawi for the Japanese hostage only.

Earlier Wednesday, the mother of the Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto, appealed publicly to Japan’s premier to save her son. The mother, Junko Ishido, read to reporters her plea to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which she said she sent after both Abe and Japan’s main government spokesman declined to meet with her.

“Please save Kenji’s life,” Ishido said, begging Abe to work with the Jordanian government until the very end to try to save Goto.

“Kenji has only a little time left,” she said.

The Jordanian government is under growing pressure at home to win the release of the pilot, with his father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, pleading with Jordan “to meet the demands” of the Islamic State group.

“All people must know, from the head of the regime to everybody else, that the safety of Mu’ath means the stability of Jordan, and the death of Mu’ath means chaos in Jordan,” he told The Associated Press as about 200 of the pilot’s relatives protested outside the prime minister’s office in Amman, chanting anti-government slogans and urging that it meet the captors’ demands.

The development came after Islamic State released a flurry of grim threats at the West, one of which included an apparent beheading of a captured Kurdish soldier. In that video, discovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Tuesday, three Islamic State fighters stand behind the kneeling Kurdish fighter as one of the extremists launches into a diatribe against the U.S. and other Western nations.

Read more

Exclusive: Freed Al Qaeda Agent Was Part of Proposed Swap for Jailed Americans

1422235859979.cached
The Daily Beast, by Shane Harris and James Kirchick, Jan. 25, 2015
An American couple’s freedom may have come at a steep price: the release of a convicted terrorist from Supermax prison.
Before he was released from a U.S. maximum-security prison last week, a confessed al Qaeda sleeper agent was offered up in a potential prisoner swap that would have freed two Americans held abroad.

The Daily Beast has learned that the proposal was floated in July 2014 to the then-U.S. ambassador in Qatar by an individual acting on behalf of that country’s attorney general. According to two individuals with direct knowledge of the case, the proposition was made shortly after the Obama administration traded fiveTaliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Those fighters were also sent to Qatar, where they’re to remain under government watch until later this year. U.S. officials have said they’re at risk of plotting further attacks against the United States.

The proposed swap involving the al Qaeda agent, Ali Saleh Al-Marri, raises troubling questions about whether the Bergdahl trade opened a kind of Pandora’s box, signaling to foreign governments that they can pressure the United States to make concessions on terrorism by trading American prisoners abroad for dangerous extremists held in the United States.

“I believe we must examine the administration’s decision in the case of Al-Marri and determine if his release is connected to negotiations of any kind,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s hostage negotiations, wrote Thursday in a letter to Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the House Armed Services Committee chairman, obtained by The Daily Beast.

Governments’ hostage negotiations policies are once again taking center stage after ISIS released a photograph Saturday showing the apparent beheading of Haruna Yukawa, one of two Japanese men the group is holding. Unexpectedly, ISIS has now dropped an earlier demand of $200 million ransom and says it will free the remaining hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, in exchange for the release of Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber who’s imprisoned in Jordan for her role in an attack on three hotels in Amman in 2005, which killed 60 people.
ISIS has made other demands for freeing prisoners, including a Pakistani woman held in the United Sates, Aafia Siddiqui, known in counterterrorism circles as “Lady Al Qaeda,” who was convicted in 2010 of attempting to kill Americans in Afghanistan. Siddiqui has been used as a bargaining chip in other negotiations, as well. In 2012, Pakistani officials offered to try and win the release of Bergdahl if the United States would free Siddiqui. The Obama administration quickly rejected the idea because releasing her would be seen as offering concessions to terrorist groups and put a potentially dangerous woman back on the streets, according to current and former administration officials.

In his letter, Hunter accused the administration of failing to pursue other avenues for freeing Americans abroad and relying on prisoner releases or exchanges, “which are often counter to U.S. security interests, for leverage in negotiations.” The congressman also alluded to other potential swaps, saying it’s his understanding that “other foreign nationals” who are still in U.S. custody “have also been named as potential figures of interest in other cases, with Qatar at the forefront.”

Tara Todras-Whitehill/The New York Times, via Redux

Tara Todras-Whitehill/The New York Times, via Redux

Qatar has emerged as a go-between in various hostage negotiations. It agreed to take custody of the five Taliban fighters for a period of one year after Bergdahl’s release. And sources close to efforts to free other Americans held abroad said that Qatar facilitated a ransom payment to help free journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was held for two years by al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

Hunter helped spur the administration to review its hostage negotiation policy, which is widely seen by experts and family members of Americans held abroad as dysfunctional.

Read more 

***

ISIS Demands Hostage Swap, WH CoS Assures ‘We Don’t Negotiate With Hateful Characters’

DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA: FRENCH ‘TRACK RECORD OF GIVING IN TO BAD GUYS’ UNDERMINES #JESUISCHARLIE MOVEMENT

Sebastian G.Video at Breitbart, by FRANCES MARTEL, Jan. 8, 2015:

Breitbart National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who is also the Major General Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University, appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday to discuss the potential reactions by the French government to yesterday’s brutal jihadist attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and how a history of negotiating with terrorists might make preventing future attacks of this nature difficult.

“France has a track record all through the Cold War,” Gorka explained, “of deciding behind closed doors to basically negotiate with the bad guys.”

Highlighting terrorist affiliates and organizations, from Algerian groups the Palestinians to Iran, that the French government has worked with, Gorka explained that previous negotiations that “made it very, very difficult for international cooperation against terrorism” may now render any meaningful reaction on the part of France to the Charlie Hebdo massacre near impossible.

“Once the terrorist think that you are a potential funding stream,” Gorka asked, “what’s to stop them from kidnapping more of your citizens? … It’s a neverending cycle.” Past behavior may undermine the popular reaction to the attacks– thousands of French citizens taking to the streets yesterday night holding signs in solidarity with the magazine, with the slogans “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) and “Not Afraid.”

While positive that the French people have reacted so strongly against the attack, Gorka warned, “At the same time, it’s undermined by this track record of giving in to the bad guys”– who, he added, today are not merely partisan radical Islamists but subscribe to a fatalist global jihad ideology. Those who follow globalist Islamist ideology, he explained, cannot be negotiated with because “they want to destroy Western civilization.”

Also see:

ISIS Never Wanted Ransom to Free Foley

2716020119CSP, By Fred Fleitz:

Did ISIS kill photojournalist James Foley because the United States refused to pay ransom to win his release?  I doubt it.

A 100 million euro ransom was not a serious demand.  ISIS knew the US was unlikely to violate its “no-ransom to terrorists” policy to free Foley and would view paying such an astronomical sum a dangerous and unacceptable precedent.

However, ISIS also knew the Obama administration has shown flexibility with its “no-ransom” and “never negotiate with terrorists” policies and might have agreed to a deal to free Foley through a third party with a smaller ransom.

For example, the Obama administration traded five Guantanamo inmates to free U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on May 31, 2014.  Oliver North claims a third country – possibly Qatar – also paid $5-6 million in ransom to free Bergdahl.  The Obama administration denied ransom was paid or that the prisoner swap constituted the U.S. negotiating with terrorists since Qatar did the negotiating and the United States has not designated the Taliban as a terrorist organization.  This was a distinction without a difference in the eyes of the world – the U.S. obviously negotiated a deal with terrorists to free Berghahl.

There was a similar situation in 2011 when Oman paid $1.5 million in bail to free three American hikers who had wandered into Iran.   The Obama administration made the dubious argument at the time that this didn’t amount to the US negotiating with a terrorist state because the US did not pay the bail.

ISIS knew the Obama administration would never agree to pay a 100 million euro ransom for one man, money that it would use for its campaign of terror.  To understand how outrageous this demand was, consider that according to the New York Times, about $125 million in ransom was paid by European states over the last 5 years to free 29 hostages held by al-Qaeda affiliated groups in the Middle East and north Africa.  The largest single ransom paid was $40 million to free four French nationals.

ISIS demanded a ransom it knew would never be paid because it never planned to release Foley and planned to use his execution to terrorize the region and encourage radicalized Islamists worldwide to join its fanatical cause.  Until President Obama approves a strategy of massive military force to destroy ISIS, it will continue to make gains on the ground, commit atrocities and is certain to attempt terrorist attacks against US interests worldwide, including against the US homeland.

 

Also see: