The Talking Points memo this evening deals with military tribunals and Yasser Arafat, two separate issues. I've given this tribunal thing a lot of thought. Listened with an open mind to both sides. Have come to the conclusion that the tribunals are the right thing to do when it comes to trying suspected foreign terrorists. My reasoning is simple because I'm basically a simple guy.
Anyone serving on a jury, hearing the Usama bin Laden case, for example, would be in danger of a reprisal from fanatics. Anyone testifying against bin Laden or other terrorists would face the same danger. The judge in the case, as well as the prosecutors, could easily become targets.
So an open court hearing is far too dangerous. Since suspected terrorists tried before tribunals are not citizens, they don't have the same rights as Americans. Because this was a war situation and crimes against humanity are involved, due process is not mandatory. The Al Qaeda terrorists are not criminals. They're enemy soldiers who have committed war crimes. They don't have Miranda rights.
Also, the evidence against suspected terrorists often comes from top secret intercepts and interrogations. Some of that information comes from other governments, who don't want publicity.
Now the Johnnie Cochrans of the world would have no compunction about endangering intelligence operations. But clear-thinking Americans know that's dangerous and that other governments would stop cooperating with the United States fast if they thought their intelligence methods would be made public. So onward, military tribunals, your time has come.
Now for Yasser Arafat. The United States sends him and his so-called Palestinian Authorities about $100 million a year. What we get for our money is violence and chaos. Arafat can't or won't control Hamas or the Islamic jihad organizations that want to destroy Israel.
So let's stop the charade. If Arafat's 50,000 plus police force can't rout out the terrorists and control them, then we should cut off all monetary support. The entire world should have zero tolerance for attacks on civilians. And there should be no buts about it.
Yasser Arafat is interested in keeping power and surviving. He's afraid of the terrorists. He is not a peacemaker. The United States does hold some sway over Israel. We can pressure them to negotiate and give up some land. But we have no influence right now over Hamas and the other fanatics who kill babies and then expect to go heaven.
It's time to destroy Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic jihad and all the other psychopathic moments. And if Arafat goes down in the process, too bad. And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Your humble correspondent doesn't make many personal appearances simply because time is not on my side, and nobody likes me.
However, in December we've got a few coming up. This Friday morning, Dec. 7, I'll be in Stanford, Conn., to sign copies of The No Spin Zone book. Details on the Web site. On Sunday, December 9, at noon I'll be at the Costco outlet in Westbury, Long Island, where I grew up -- oh, man, this should be a zoo, out at Costco on Old Country Road.
On Thursday, December 13, in Manhattan, I'll be speaking at a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, and on Sunday, December 16, I'll be at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.
So there's information about all these events on the Web site, [the details are posted in a related story on this site] which pops up right after the mail. Whether or not those appearances will be ridiculous depends on a lot of variables, but chances are, some of them will be.
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