It’s war, not ‘Amer­ica’s Most Wanted’

The White House min­i­mizes the dan­gers posed by Americans who leave to fight for ISIS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Tammy Bruce

Have you no­ticed that our war with the Is­lamic State, also called ISIS and ISIL, seems more like watch­ing an episode of “Amer­ica’s Most Wanted”? Con­sider last week when we heard two le­gal-based law en­force­ment re­ac­tions to the prob­lem of so-called Amer­i­can ISIS fight­ers.

On one hand, in an in­ter­view with CBS’ “60 Min­utes” we heard FBI Di­rec­tor James B. Comey tell the world that Amer­i­can ISIS fight­ers have ev­ery right to come back to the United States if they want to. “Ul­ti­mately, an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen, un­less their pass­port is re­voked, is en­ti­tled to come back … So some­one who has fought with ISIL with an Amer­i­can pass­port and wants to come back, we will track them very care­fully.”

That’s right. Th­ese peo­ple who trav­eled to Syria to join and support an army of psy­cho­pathic mass mur­der­ers, will sim­ply be “tracked” once they get back on our soil. The fact that we will al­low them to re­turn at all is bad enough (pre­sum­ing we’ll be killing them on the bat­tle­field is ap­par­ently off the ta­ble), but why Mr. Comey wouldn’t even com­mit to the Amer­i­can peo­ple that Amer­i­can ISIS fight­ers would at least be ar­rested the mo­ment they step foot on our soil is in­ex­pli­ca­ble.

Com­pare this with the ar­rest last week of 19-year-old Amer­i­can Mo­hammed Hamzah Khan, who was ar­rested at Chicago’s O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port be­fore he could board his flight to Istanbul. Mr. Khan left notes for his par­ents mak­ing it quite clear he was run­ning away from home not to join the cir­cus, but to join the Is­lamic State. He is ac­cused of at­tempt­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial support for a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, and will be ad­ju­di­cated through crim­i­nal court.

So let’s see if we have this straight: If you have al­ready been to Syria, joined up with the Is­lamist ter­ror­ist group, have been trained by psy­cho­pathic mass mur­der­ers to be just like them, likely killed in­no­cent peo­ple your­self, and have re­turned to the United States with a plan to con­tinue the ji­hadist orgy of head-chop­ping here at home, you’ll be “tracked very care­fully.”

But if you write a note to your par­ents telling them you’re go­ing to join the Is­lamic State and buy a ticket to Istanbul, you’ll be ar­rested at the air­port and charged with some­thing that could get you 15 years in prison.

I’d like both peo­ple to face mil­i­tary jus­tice. Crazy, I know. For any Amer­i­can ma­niac who thinks it’s a good idea to be­come part of an army of ter­ror­ists and ac­tu­ally pulls it off, his jus­tice should be found on the wrong end of a Tom­a­hawk mis­sile. After all, any­one dis­turbed enough to join al Qaeda de­serves to be in­tro­duced, by us, to Al­lah on the bat­tle­field.

Ul­ti­mately, though, we must en­sure there will be no “Amer­i­can ISIS” fight­ers. The mo­ment any­one leaves this na­tion to hook up with al Qaeda 2.0 is also the mo­ment they’ve clearly re­jected their Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship.

Be­sides as­sur­ing us ISIS ter­ror­ists with Amer­i­can pass­ports would sim­ply be tracked here at home, Mr. Comey also told CBS’ Scott Pel­ley that he thought there are a “dozen or so” Americans fight­ing with the Is­lamic State, and that the FBI knows ex­actly who they are.

Or maybe not. Just a few days after Mr. Comey’s com­ments, the FBI put out an alert ask­ing for the pub­lic’s help in iden­ti­fy­ing a masked ISIS ter­ror­ist whom they de­scribe as English-speak­ing with a North Amer­i­can ac­cent. Seen in a 55-minute video re­leased by the ter­ror­ists last month, this pos­si­ble Amer­i­can is seen mak­ing his vic­tims dig their own graves after which he and a few oth­ers are then seen shoot­ing their help­less vic­tims.

I sup­pose it’s a good thing the FBI is ask­ing for the pub­lic’s as­sis­tance in iden­ti­fy­ing those who are com­mit­ting crimes against hu­man­ity. Here’s the prob­lem, though — Pres­i­dent Obama’s team is ap­proach­ing the war against the Is­lamic State as though it were an episode of “Amer­ica’s Most Wanted.”

Whether it’s “track­ing” ter­ror­ists re­turn­ing to the United States or ar­rest­ing those who want to travel to join the ter­ror­ist army, we’re see­ing the dan­ger­ous short­com­ings when law en­force­ment is in charge and treats war as though it were as ba­nal as the hunt for a few odd crim­i­nals.

This rev­e­la­tion about the FBI and the in­creas­ing pro­file of Mr. Comey tells us some­thing else: The mil­i­tary is ac­tu­ally not in charge, and it’s law en­force­ment lead­ing what the pres­i­dent him­self has called a “war.”

No mat­ter how good he was as the first di­rec­tor of the FBI, would you have wanted gen­er­als such as Dou­glas MacArthur, George Pat­ton and Dwight Eisen­hower re­placed by J. Edgar Hoover? Don’t look now, but it seems we’ve had Gen. David H. Pe­traeus and Gen. Stan­ley McChrys­tal re­placed with Eric Holder Jr. and James B. Comey.

If we were an­ni­hi­lat­ing the en­emy, the Is­lamic State wouldn’t still be around in­spir­ing the dis­turbed and dis­af­fected, nor would the en­emy be “com­ing home.” The last time I checked, in the 1950s after win­ning World War II we didn’t have fas­cists around the world rush­ing into Ger­many or Ja­pan to “join the fight.” Why? Be­cause there was no fight to join — ev­ery­one who started that world­wide con­fla­gra­tion was ei­ther dead or in hid­ing.

War is not a job for lawyers or law en­force­ment. It’s the job of the mil­i­tary. As Win­ston Churchill is com­monly cred­ited with say­ing, “We sleep soundly in our beds be­cause rough men stand ready in the night to visit vi­o­lence on those who would do us harm.” Tammy Bruce is a ra­dio talk-show host, au­thor and Fox News contributor.


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