I must have heard or read this expression hundreds if not thousands of times last week after the release of the CIA report by Senator Diane Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee. From the President down to the last uninformed person in America, the expression was repeated time after time.
If this is not who we are, who are we? No one informed us about “who we are” up to the writing of this article. I am beginning to have an identity crisis already. If we are going to tell our enemies all our military techniques and intelligence collecting secrets for cheap political thrills, how will we expect to beat the terrorists whose collective single goal in life is to kill us all?
It was reported that upwards of $40,000,000 of taxpayer money was spent by Senate staffers who wrote this shameful report never bothering to interview a single CIA official allegedly involved in the enhanced interrogations immediately after 9/11 when our country was under great threat. Operating in a vacuum within the cozy confines of the Senate chambers, these bureaucrats who never disliked a terrorist they met, wrote a report based on millions of pages of reports filed by CIA operatives. When Sen. Feinstein stood up to read the message in the floor of the Senate of the United States of America, she reminded me of the Iranian Shiites marching towards their holy shrines, beating themselves up with chains and cutting their foreheads with knives to bleed for glory.
Attacking the intelligence collection operations of the CIA publicly or disclosing the battle tactics of the US military to the rest of the world for political gain has never been useful or productive for our country. Those of us who are old enough will remember the famous Church Committee Reports (a Senate committee headed by the Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho) and the damage it did to our intelligence operations worldwide for many years to come.
In 1975 and 1976, the Church Committee published 14 reports on various US intelligence agencies, formation, operations and the alleged abuses of law and of power that they had committed with recommendations for reform, some of which were later put in place. There was a huge backlash to the activities of the committee.
The 1975 assassination of Richard Welch, a CIA station chief in Greece, followed by assassinations of a number of CIA operatives around the world intensified the public backlash against its mission. The committee’s work has more recently been criticized after the September 11 attacks for leading to legislation reducing the ability of the CIA to gather human intelligence. The agency never fully recovered from the terrible damage caused by the Church reports.
Some of us in America do not seem to grasp the reality that history always repeats itself.
On one side are the Radical Islamic Terrorists of many different stripes, killing and beheading Christians in particular and Westerners in general. As young as 15-year-old Christian boys were beheaded just a few days ago when they refused to denounce theirreligious beliefs and accept Islam as their religion! Then came the horrific and unbelievable news of Taliban killing at least 132 children and nine staff in a school attended by the children of Pakistani military officers in the city of Peshawar.
On the other hand are the members of the so-called Senate Intelligence (must be an oxymoron) Committee, who are hell-bent on destroying the intelligence services of our country. The message from Sen. Feinstein to the CIA and FBI operatives seems to be: “If in future conflicts or war you catch terrorists in the battlefield fighting to kill our men and women in uniform, immediately read them their Miranda rights, take them to a cushy jail, give them three meals a day, hand out Korans and let them lawyer-up and give us zero intelligence — actionable or not.” The message is clear: Be careful or you may someday be subject to interrogations, indictments and possible jail times. We might as well get these terrorists dates and send them off to a high school prom of their choice!
The readers may have already figured out by now that I do not consider enhanced interrogation techniques torture under any and all circumstances during a time of war. Despite what you are being told by the “this-is-not-who-we-are” crowd, the methods work, and with the intelligence gained as a result of such techniques used on terrorists caught on the battlefields, we may have stopped hundreds if not thousands of attacks on our country since 9/11.
After watching the so called CIA report on torture on the evening news, I had a strange dream. I was in Iraq, watching the Baghdad evening news in my hotel room, delivered in full color by that extremely independent network called Al Jazeera. The leader of the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS/ISIL), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was releasing a special report on the terrorists “hostage taking and beheading operations” in great detail. He was very clear as to how they operated, naming names of their fighters, their recruitment techniques and how best to behead someone using a small serrated knife letting as much blood out as possible to speed up death while posing for the TV cameras and screaming “God is great” using their best British accent!!! I woke up drenched in sweat, thankfully, on my living room couch.
Hypocrisy and political correctness reached a new high when this report was released.
Then I went back to the original statement made by the President and followed by others: “This is not who we are.” To those who made the above mentioned statement I ask, who are you then?
Are you the same people who are hiding the final report on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the Army deserter who left his base in Afghanistan and joined the Taliban becoming a traitor and causing the deaths of many American servicemen and women by turning over information to the enemy? The report was completed months ago but has been held up for political expediency. In the meantime, the terrorists who were released in exchangefor the traitor and sent to Qatar for securing the Sargent’s release are free men now, operating and doing evil things in the Middle East. Do not be surprised if they all appear on your TV screen sometime soon, wearing a black hooded garb, holding a knife or a gun to the head of a Western hostage wearing a red garb representing Satan, whose only crime was being there to help the poor and the innocent receive care.
Are you the same people holding up the release of the report on what really happened in Benghazi where Radical Islamic terrorists killed our ambassador and three other true American heroes and you lied for weeks that it was a “video” that caused the riots? The readers may be relieved to learn that the broadcaster of the lies Susan Rice is now United States National Security Advisor to the President. I suspect she may also have been given a date and sent to a prom of her choice, but I don’t know that for sure!
Are you the same people who declared “executive privilege” and suppressed the final report on the “fast and furious” program of the US Justice Department where arms were shipped to Mexican drug lords — allegedly to have them followed by devices embedded in the weapons — who in turn used these weapons to kill our border patrol officers?
Are you the same people who treated the Prime Minister of Israel, possibly the one and only ally of the United States in the Middle East and beyond, shabbily and rudely, equating the actions of Israeli Defense Forces to the dastardly operations of those who placed rocket launchers in schools, hospitals and homes causing the deaths of innocent women and children?
And we are afraid to use enhanced interrogation techniques from the bunch of human debris who are trying to kill us all! I am sorry, but I am still not too sure who we are. Let me get off this subject which may fill the rest of the columns of the Coastal Breeze.
Now, a few words about my predictions for 2015 and beyond:
I strongly believe that America is still “a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” After not being able to write for Coastal Breeze for an extended period of time, (I was completely disillusioned and had lost my focus on events going on unchecked around the world which would directly affect every single one of us here later on), I decided to get back to writing once again.
I think in the year to come America as a nation will start to rebuild her military decimated by budget cuts; protect and secure her borders to make sure that a fair immigration law is passed and enforced as the present situation is neither fair nor acceptable; let businesses function as businesses and not extensions of a bureaucratic government busily filing reports on anything and everything. America should become the largest exporter of energy to the world; we just need to take politicsout of our energy policy, upgrade existing oil refineries and allow the Keystone Pipeline project go through.
Oil prices are now at historically low levels. As a result, Russia is near a total economic disaster, and Venezuela is beyond bankrupt. These two countries, aside from being supporters of state sponsored terrorism worldwide, were the main supporters of Cuba, the awful dictatorship 90 miles south of Key West. I was hoping that finally Cuban people would have a chance to rise up and topple the Castro regime once and for all. I was unpleasantly surprised by our government’s announcement that we will now be resuming diplomatic relations with the human rights violating, terror-supporting dictators of Cuba.
And what did we get in return for our gift of generosity? Same thing we got from extending a friendly hand to the Mullahs of Iran, the corrupt president of Afghanistan and conqueror of Ukraine Vladimir Putin of Russia: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! We have just rewarded a Communist dictatorship for all the human rights violations they committed over the past 50 years just before they economically collapsed. This is who we really are these days!
I am now sitting here in my backyard under a brilliant and clear Florida sky,on a sunny and cool afternoon wondering, “Oh! When will we ever learn?”
This year is coming to an end. The usual suspects are all around us, trying their very best, hiding behind their faulty interpretation of the law of the land to stop our fellow Christians from observing their religious Holidays freely. Gender-neutral Santas are talking to young innocent children in malls all over the country and store clerks are greeting us with “Happy Holidays” — the all-encompassing and totally meaningless greeting.
Where in the Constitution of the United States does it say one can’t say prayers anywhere they wish on God’s Earth? Where in the Constitution does it say “there shall be no Christmas trees in Government buildings?” (By the way Christmas trees are NOT religious symbols at all. Shop fronts all over Istanbul, Turkey, a country where the population is 99 percent Muslim are adorned with Christmas Trees with the “HAPPY NOEL” signs lighting up the entrances. Advice to the politically correct crowd from me, we don’t have to tolerate other’s religions; we have to respect them.)
Hope is eternal, and for the sake of my country and for the sake of the future of our children and grandchildren, I hope and pray (yes, pray) that this Christmas will be a merry one for all the Christians around the world as well as believers and followers of every other recognized religion around this beautiful world of ours.
I believe in the exceptionalism and the greatness of the American people. That will never change for me.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all my Christian Readers and Friends. Happy Hannukah to all my Jewish Friends, Readers and Family.
Tarik Ayasun is president of the Marco Island Charter Middle School Board of Directors and has given many years of service of community service to various organizations. Tarik Ayasun at firstname.lastname@example.org