Navy Seals be­trayed by their gov­ern­ment

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

The United States Navy has be­trayed its own. The names of the vic­tims are Petty Of­fi­cer Matthew McCabe, Petty Of­fi­cer Jonathan Keefe and Petty Of­fi­cer Julio Huer­tas.

They are Navy Seals, part of an elite com­mando unit, who re­cently cap­tured one of the most wanted ter­ror­ists in Iraq — the ac­cused mas­ter­mind of the 2004 in­fa­mous war crime in the Iraqi city of Fal­lu­jah, Ahmed Hashim Abed. Mr. Abed is said to have or­dered the as­sas­si­na­tion of four Black­wa­ter USA se­cu­rity guards.

Th­ese se­cu­rity guards — all of them Amer­i­cans — were slaugh­tered in an am­bush, their bodies then burned and mu­ti­lated as they were dragged through the streets of Fal­lu­jah. Two were later hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River, dan­gling from a noose so the world press could pho­to­graph them.

Mr. Abed also has spear­headed in­sur­gent at­tacks against U.S. sol­diers. His ji­hadists are re­spon­si­ble for mur­der­ing in­no­cent Iraqi civil­ians — many of them women and chil­dren.

The three Seals should have been given a medal for their brave ac­tions. In­stead, they face court-mar­tial. They will be sep­a­rately ar­raigned in a mil­i­tary court on Dec. 7. Their tri­als will take place in Jan­uary.

Their crime: They pur­port­edly punched Abed, giv­ing him a bloody lip. They face prison time be­cause their ac­tions con­sti­tuted “as­sault,” thereby ris­ing to the level of pos­si­ble “de­tainee abuse.” The U.S. mil­i­tary is de­ter­mined not to have an­other Abu Ghraib prison scan­dal. Navy au­thor­i­ties fear Mr. Abed’s al­le­ga­tions of “abuse” and “tor­ture” could em­bar­rass Amer­ica, un­der­min­ing our pub­lic out­reach to the Is­lamic world.

The three Seals are be­ing sac­ri­ficed on the al­tar of lib­eral mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism. They are be­ing smeared and treated as crim­i­nals for — at worst — do­ing the equiv­a­lent of what hockey play­ers reg­u­larly do: smack some­body in the mouth.

More­over, they may not have even laid a hand on Mr. Abed. Al Qaeda ter­ror­ists have been or­dered by Osama bin Laden to claim tor­ture once in U.S. cus­tody — even if it means in­flict­ing self-abuse. The goal is to con­tinue ji­had within the prison sys­tem, pre­sent­ing Amer­ica as a na­tion that vi­o­lates hu­man rights and op­presses Mus­lims. It is part of rad­i­cal Is­lam’s pro­pa­ganda play­book. Hence, Mr. Abed just as likely hit him­self, claim­ing his cap­tors did it.

Yet even if one of the Seals did punch him, big deal. They are not po­lice of­fi­cers ar­rest­ing a U.S. ci­ti­zen; they are war­riors who ap­pre­hended a mass-mur­der­ing for­eign ter­ror­ist — some­one with Amer­i­can blood on his hands. Mr. Abed does not de­serve to be treated with kid gloves. He is not en­ti­tled to have his Mi­randa rights read. If Mr. Abed is tough enough to mas­sacre Amer­i­cans, be­head Iraqi civil­ians and wage a bru­tal in­sur­gency, he cer­tainly can take a punch. Had the three Seals been cap­tured by Mr. Abed’s forces, a bloody lip would be the least of their prob­lems.

The fact that th­ese brave men now face court-mar­i­tal is em­blem­atic of our mil­i­tary’s in­abil­ity to suc­cess­fully pros­e­cute the war on ter­ror. We are no longer able to dis­tin­guish real and fake abuse. The rights of ter­ror­ists take prece­dence over the rights of U.S. sol­diers. Any bo­gus claim of “abuse” can be used to legally ha­rass Amer­i­can troops.

More­over, our ser­vice mem- bers are ex­pected to con­front fa­nat­i­cal, ruth­less ji­hadists in a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment un­der strict rules of en­gage­ment. They are sub­ject to reg­u­lar road­side bomb­ings, sniper at­tacks, am­bushes and a cow­ardly en­emy that blends into the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion. Yet the mil­i­tary brass is more in­ter­ested in a pub­lic-re­la­tions cam­paign aimed at winning Arab sym­pa­thy rather than pro­vid­ing our sol­diers with the sup­port they need to win.

Amer­ica has be­come so overly sen­si­tive about mas­sag­ing world Mus­lim opin­ion it is no longer able to de­feat the ram­pag­ing Is­lamists in Afghanistan and Iraq. The wars have evolved into pro­tracted mil­i­tary quag­mires.

Dur­ing World War II, the United States razed Ger­man cities to the ground. The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Na­gasaki. It was to­tal war for to­tal victory — re­gard­less of the cost to Ger­man and Ja­panese civil­ians. To­day, it is the op­po­site: a par­tial, in­hib­ited war with no vi­sion for victory. Our troops are be­ing be­trayed by their mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal leaders.

Our per­verse mil­i­tary cul­ture now tar­gets its he­roes, while pro­mot­ing and turn­ing a blind eye to a home­grown ter­ror­ist such as Army Maj. Ni­dal Ma­lik Hasan. For years, Maj. Hasan pub­licly ac­knowl­edged his sym­pa­thy for ji­hadism be­fore the mas­sacre for which he is ac­cused was com­mit­ted at Fort Hood. The re­sult was 14 dead (in­clud­ing an un­born child) and 29 wounded in the worst ter­ror­ist atroc­ity on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, at­tacks. The Army’s knee-jerk re­ac­tion, how­ever, was to de­fend “di­ver­sity.”

“Our di­ver­sity, not only in our Army, but in our coun­try, is a strength,” said Gen. Ge­orge W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff. “And as hor­rific as this tragedy was, if our di­ver­sity be­comes a ca­su­alty, I think that’s worse.”

No, it isn’t. What is worse is how the virus of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness has in­fected our mil­i­tary — to the point, where our Is­lamic out­reach ef­forts have de­scended into the the­ater of the ab­surd.

Di­ver­sity is not our strength; unity is — unity of pur­pose, will and com­mit­ment. We used to know that.

Jef­frey T. Kuh­ner is a colum­nist at The Wash­ing­ton Times and pres­i­dent of the Ed­mund Burke In­sti­tute in Wash­ing­ton.

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