KSM TO NYC??
Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to be tried in a civilian court for his role in 9/11.
Debra Burlingame, a board member of KeepAmericaSafe.com, and the sister of Chip Burlingame, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon, said in a statement, “The trial will be a travesty. The prosecutors at the Southern and Eastern Districts fought over these career-making cases like vultures at a kill. But who will be the vulture? In open court, it will be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who will hold forth, mocking his victims, exulting in the suffering of their families, ridiculing the judge, his lawyers and the American justice system, and worst of all, rallying his jihadi brothers to kill more Americans as the men and women of the US military risk their lives in the mountains of Afghanistan and the sands of Iraq.”
The potential damage to our intelligence community is incalculable. Andrew McCarthy wrote on National Review Online’s The Corner: “Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses—intelligence sources—must expose themselves and their secrets.”
What will be done to protect our ability to gather intelligence to prevent the next 9/11? Or is this just going to be a means to let al-Qaeda terrorists put the Bush administration on trial in a media circus just blocks away from Ground Zero?
HUGO’S NEXT TARGET?
In a column for the Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes about how Hugo Chavez may be eyeing a new target after Honduras—El Salvador. Chavez, it seems, is trying to engineer a leftist takeover of what O’Grady has described as “Central America’s most promising free market.”
Will this effort succeed? As it stands, apparent vote-buying has left FMLN within two seats of a two-thirds majority.
It did not take long for some anti-gunners to start clamoring for gun control in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting. Part of it was the fact that the gun misused in that killing was the Fabrique Nationale Five-seveN, a gun that the Brady Campaign has been demonizing. Yet despite growing evidence that warning signs were ignored, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is calling for more gun control laws. Never mind the fact that Chicago, with a handgun ban in effect for over 25 years, has some of the country’s highest murder totals.
NEW FIREPOWER FOR THE TROOPS!
The troops in the field may very well be getting some new firepower. The XM25 grenade launcher that fires a 25-by-40-millimeter grenade is going through the last stages of field testing and may be on its way to troops on the front lines soon! Unlike grenade launchers in present service, which are single-shot systems, the XM25 is a gas-operated, semi-automatic system that features a six-shot magazine. The grenades can either detonate on impact or detonate in an airburst. This is a LOT of bad news for the bad guys.
SAFEST YEAR YET!
The Air Force recently – and quietly – compiled a milestone achievement through fiscal year (FY) 2009, making it their safest year yet. They finished the fiscal year with 17 Class A mishaps, defined as accidents where a life was lost, an aircraft was lost, or where $1 million or more in damage was done. The Air Force lost only eight aircraft in those mishaps – a figure matching the FY 2006 total, down from 15 aircraft lost in FY 2008. WELL DONE, AIR FORCE!
NAPOLITANO ON THE BORDER
The M3 Report from the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (www.nafbpo.org) provided an interesting summary of an interview that she had with El Pais, a Spanish-language daily newspaper. In this interview, Napolitano claimed that the United States and Mexico have been doing better than ever before in working together, and indicated that Obama will be pushing immigration changes next year. How about push for finishing the
border fence instead?
V-22 TO AFGHANISTAN
The V-22 proved itself in Iraq – and now, it is on the way to Afghanistan, where it will give the Marines there a surge in their lift capabilities. This tilt-rotor, once on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s hit list when he was Secretary of Defense, is now filling out Marine squadrons, replacing the aging CH-46.
USS NEW YORK JOINS THE FLEET
In a commissioning ceremony that was more poignant than normal, the landing platform dock USS New York (LPD 21) joined the United States Navy on 7 November. The fourth of the San Antonio-class vessels was commissioned in New York City, with members of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 26 participating. USS New York displaces 24,900 tons, carries two LCACs, and can also carry helicopters and V-22 Osprey aircraft. Seven tons of steel from the World Trade Center are in the ship’s bow.