Jewish World Review March 14 , 2012/ 20 Adar, 5772
Good for Eric Holder: The education of an attorney general
By Paul Greenberg
Can this be
Yep, the one and same
Even The Hon.
But the study of history is sadly neglected these days. So we get an attorney general -- and a president of
General Holder passed his final exam in this course when he delivered a full-scale lecture last week at Northwestern's law school. Its subject: The Strange Case of Citizen Awlaki. Its essence, or as newspapermen say, its nut graf:
"When such individuals take up arms against this country and join al-Qaida in plotting attacks designed to kill their fellow Americans, there may be only one realistic and appropriate response. We must take steps to stop them in full accordance with the Constitution."
And in full accordance, he might have added, with the age-old laws of war developed over centuries, over eons, of history going back at least to Deuteronomy. The semi-nomadic tribesmen who recorded their laws of war would look advanced compared to the kind of intellectuals who today would deny a nation's right to defend itself against an imminent danger.
Mr. Awlaki, American born and bred, a viper in our midst, would become al-Qaida's chief of operations in
When the said Mr. Awlaki met his inglorious end, that act of justice was a twofer, for it also ended the criminal career of one of his trusted lieutenants. Both of them were, at least technically, Americans. By birth if not loyalties. And both richly deserved what they got.
Mission accomplished. How soul-satisfying to say those words with no sense of irony. For there is little doubt -- indeed, no doubt -- that these enemies of
Nor can there be any doubt that their homicidal activities were fully covered by the various resolutions passed by
"I want to say a few words about some important news. Earlier this morning, Anwar Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaida in the
The bill of particulars against Mr. Awlaki's confederate,
These two will kill no more. To cite a saying among the pilots of those bristling U.S. A-10 Warthogs, an aircraft whose appearance over the battlefield never fails to lift the hearts of our grunts under enemy fire: "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, but sometimes He subcontracts."
Our current president sounds as determined as our last one to bring such killers to justice. Or bring justice to them if necessary. If you didn't know any better, you'd have thought
Goodness, can this be our
Yep, one and the same. And he has since appointed that same general, David Petraeus, as director of the CIA. An excellent choice. There may be no more effective a teacher than responsibility when it comes to educating our politicians.
Mr. Obama seems to have learned considerable since those feckless days before he took the presidential oath of office. Even on his first day in the Oval Office, he moved to dismantle the whole, carefully developed, well-situated and, yes, perfectly constitutional operation at Guantanamo. He ordered it be shut down within a year.
By whatever name, this president is conducting the same war on terror his predecessor did, and relying on much the same legal principles and military methods. And achieving much the same success. He is to be congratulated on his progress. He's learned a lot over the past three years. So has his attorney general.
What both have learned was once summed up by an attorney general of
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