Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Willful Blindness

Andrew C. McCarthy

Willfull Blindness is an overview of the 93 World Trade Center bombing from the lead prosecutor, Andrew McCarthy. It’s a narrative focusing on the informant and the jihadist who were ultimately brought to justice including Omar Abdel Rahman a.k.a the “Blind Sheikh”. How OBL bodyguard, Ali Mohamad fits into the picture and the incarcerated ring leader, El Sayyid A. Nosair (Meir Kahane murderer) whose expertise and approval was sought out prior to any jihadist action.

An informative read about the prosecution of terrorists in the 1990s, specifically the 1993 World Trade Center attackers. We get a glimpse of the government inner workings which help you frame the current argument about where (US or GITMO) and how (courts vs battlefield) to defeat the current threat. The war room, as McCarthy called it, was not inhabited by military experts planning a counterattack but rather by lawyers preparing indictments. McCarthy describes the daunting task in prosecuting warriors, combatants against the United States, and how the rights afforded to citizens of this nation actually hinder the prosecution and assist the defendants at trial.

The ongoing oversight is the refusal among academics and political leaders to confront fundamentalist islamic tenets, the “800-pound gorilla” as McCarthy calls it, “that is somehow always in the middle of the room when terror strikes”. In closing McCarthy offers an insight on the potential damages if we bring the war to our courts. An unbiased and honest account, that is full of praise in addition to pointing out flaws in the system. The final segment in the last chapter offers some advice to “Confronting Islam”. Conceding the blithe views that the uninformed hold, that "islam is a religion of peace" that’s been "hijacked by the extremist fringe". And how this school of thought will surely lose the war. The inconvenient fact is when jihadists cite violent koranic scripture, it’s not distorted.

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