Who Is Killing All Of The Great Jihadis Of The Ummah?

First Umad Mughniyeh takes the 72-virgin ride with a Bashar Assad Special. Now Ayman Atallah Fayed gets blasted in the most literal sense of the word. Both men were high-ranking members of terrorist groups arrayed against Israel. Coincidence?

A powerful blast went off in the house of a senior Islamic Jihad activist Friday, killing him, his wife and daughter, along with three neighbors, medics and an Islamic Jihad spokesman said.
Islamic Jihad claimed Israeli warplanes struck the home of Ayman Atallah Fayed. Israel denied it had launched any airstrike in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza where Fayed lived. Hamas police said the cause of the blast was not clear.
Witnesses reported seeing fragments of what looked like locally produced rockets at the scene, suggesting the house may have been used to store arms

Of course, the explosion could have something to do with the fact that Fayed had his family living on a pile of bombs. Perhaps someone was tinkering with one in the house and connected the right wire at the wrong time. That also could have created the huge scope of the blast. With a lot of ordnance inside, a single explosion could have been amplified greatly through the secondary explosions of the other rockets.
It does seem more than a little coincidental, though. Leading members of two of Israel’s biggest enemies getting their martyrdom visas stamped within days of each other would be awfully lucky for the Israelis. Unless, of course, the Israelis were the ones stamping those visas in the first place.

House Democrats Leave Security On The Table

Yesterday, I interviewed former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy about the fight over FISA reform on Heading Right Radio. McCarthy, who helped put Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and several others in prison for their role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, argued that the expiration of last year’s FISA reform will put the NSA in the unusual position of having to seek warrants for communications with both endpoints outside the US, not involving American persons at all. He explains this at Human Events today:

In 2007, a ruling of the court created by the ill-conceived 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) required the intelligence community to seek court permission before monitoring terrorists operating outside our country — that is, outside the jurisdiction of United States courts.

Actually, Andy and I disagreed on this; I’ll come back to it in a moment.

Let’s say al Qaeda operatives in Iraq captured a U.S. marine. In effect, our military and intelligence services, while desperately trying to rescue one of their own, would now have to seek court permission in order to eavesdrop on the foreign terrorists who carried out the capture — alien enemies who have no conceivable privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment. Such was the conclusion of an unidentified federal judge, in a ruling that radically altered three decades of FISA theory and practice, a ruling the American people have not been permitted to read. (Just imagine the hue and cry if George W. Bush had secretly reversed the foundations of surveillance law. Here, where the sea-change benefits al Qaeda rather than the American people, the silence is deafening.)
Democrats, of course, have fought every sensible national-security improvement since 9/11. Yet, so preposterous was the notion that the NSA should need a warrant from a judge in Washington in order to listen as, say, a terrorist in Pakistan gives directions to a terrorist in Afghanistan that even Democrats relented — or at least enough of them to enact last August’s “Protect Act.” This stopgap measure (the Left would not agree to more than six months of common sense) enabled our spies to continue spying outside the U.S. without court interference, just as FISA intended.

The FISA court ruling relied on the actual language of the 1978 FISA law. Congress defined domestic communications as those passing through American telecommunications switches — which, at the time, was true. Phone calls passing through American equipment meant that at least one endpoint of the call was in the US and almost certainly involved a “US person” by FISA’s definition. That hasn’t been true for at least a decade, though, as globalization has allowed American telecoms to expand to the point where they carry almost all global communications through their switches.
Still, Congress never updated FISA to reflect this reality. The FISA judge, in what should be considered an act of judicial modesty (Andy McCarthy disagrees on this point), followed the law and pointed back to Congress to get it fixed. Congress did so last year in its FISA reform legislation, after several months of the NSA being in the position to require warrants for strictly foreign communications. However, they stuck a six-month sunset clause on it and promised to deliver a long-term fix before the patch expired.
Now, with the Senate passing just such a bill by a 2-1 bipartisan majority, the House’s Democratic leadership plans to allow the patch to expire out of spite. They won’t take up the bill passed by both Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber until after they take their Presidents Day holiday. Meanwhile, according to the ruling from last year, the NSA will once again be required to get warrants to intercept foreign-to-foreign communications, something FISA never intended to do.
The 4th Amendment does not apply to foreign enemies of the nation. FISA intended to protect Americans from unwarranted government surveillance. In fact, it intended to preserve the ability of the intelligence community to conduct surveillance without undue hindrance on foreign communications in order to protect the nation. The House has a bill on the table that would restore FISA’s original intent and give the intel community the power they need to watch for signs of attacks from foreign sources.
The House should ensure that the bill gets addressed before they take their break from reality. I can assure them that our enemies will not be on vacation for the next week.
UPDATE: I’ll address two Democratic talking points that have come up in the comments. First, there’s no reason to strip telecom immunity from the Senate bill, since it passed on a 2-1 bipartisan majority. It would pass in the House if Pelosi brought it to the floor, too. Why should a bipartisan solution have to be jettisoned, especially if it would win a floor vote in the House?
Some commenters here blame Bush for not agreeing to an extension, but that’s also hogwash. The expiration date for the FISA reform was imposed by Democrats last summer. They have had six months, plus a two-week extension signed by Bush in January, to resolve this. The House has had the Senate bill since Tuesday. The issue isn’t time — it’s Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to consider the bipartisan Senate bill sitting on her desk, and an extension doesn’t resolve that issue.
If the Democrats can’t meet even their own deadlines, then their incompetence runs much deeper than anyone ever imagined.

The Terrorist Group Renaming Program

The House will allow the current FISA legislation to lapse rather than address the differences between the their version of the extension and the one passed by the Senate on Tuesday. Democrats wanted yet another three-week extension to kick the can down the road again, and petulantly dropped consideration when both opponents and advocates of the Senate plan refused to agree. Now they’re saying the lapse in the FISA legislation will have no effect — as long as no new terrorist groups arise (via Memeorandum):

Democrats insisted that a lapse would have no real effect.
The expiration of the powers “doesn’t mean we are somehow vulnerable again,” said Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The lapsing of the deadline would have little practical effect on intelligence gathering. Intelligence officials would be able to intercept communications from Qaeda members or other identified terrorist groups for a year after the initial eavesdropping authorization for that particular group.
If a new terrorist group is identified after Saturday, intelligence officials would not be able to use the broadened eavesdropping authority. They would be able to seek a warrant under the more restrictive standards in place for three decades through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

It would have a greater effect than that. They would have to revert to the old language about American switches, which means that foreign-to-foreign intercepts attained through telecom equipment in the US would have to have warrants as well. That decision by the FISA court precipitated the original FISA reform language, in which the Democrats put the sunset rule that has now been extended numerous times while Congress gets its act together.
As for the notion that somehow nothing will change because we can still track all of the existing groups in the same way we have (which is not true anyway), all that does is encourage terrorists to form new groups to exploit a very, very stupid loophole. What if al-Qaeda just splinters into completely new groups? Why not reorganize so that none of the existing groups technically exist after Saturday, forcing the NSA to waste time on new findings for each of the new groups?
Congress has played around with this long enough. The Democrats saw fit to limit the last legislation; they now have a Senate bill with plenty of time for perusal, analysis, and debate. We’ve been debating this for months, and now it’s time to take the vote and get it done. If the Democrats would rather play games than protect the United States from terrorists, then they can pay the price for that in November, while the rest of us hope we don’t pay a much higher price for it before then.
UPDATE: Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy:

This is a game of roulette with our national security, spearheaded by the Democratic leadership in the House, which is following the lead of the party’s two presidential contenders, Sens. Obama and Clinton. Both of them voted against the emergency authorization last summer, and Obama voted against the Senate bill on Tuesday (Clinton did not bother to vote). Make no mistake. The MoveOn.org crowd is calling the shots on that side of the aisle.
President Bush has to keep pounding this, as does Sen. McCain. This is not politics, folks. For grown-ups, this is life and death.

Michelle Malkin reminds us to use our voices by calling Senators at 202-224-3121. It might be better to call Representatives at the same number.

France To The Rescue?

The Canadians have performed magnificently in Afghanistan, but they need more resources. They have asked NATO, in coordination with the US, to provide more troops to their front-line position, and have threatened to withdraw entirely unless Europe starts sharing the load. Help may come from the least-likely source, according to an anonymous French military official:

In American military parlance, it’s gut-check time for NATO in Afghanistan, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy appears ready to answer allies’ calls for more forces to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida.
As early as Thursday, Sarkozy’s top brass is to present him with a variety of options, from sending special forces to more trainers for Afghan troops, a French military official told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity, because the decisions will ultimately rest with Sarkozy.
Sarkozy isn’t expected to announce a final decision until the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, in early April, which is shaping up as a litmus test of his commitment to the Atlantic alliance which has often had a rocky relationship with France.
For Sarkozy, it’s a chance to put muscle where his mouth is. The pro-American French leader has been promising to turn the page from the era of predecessor Jacques Chirac, who in 2006 ordered 200 French special forces out of Afghanistan and was a major critic of the U.S.-led Iraq war.
The NATO mission, known as the International Security Assistance Force, is strained over Canada’s demand for 1,000 troops from another ally to support its 2,500 in the increasingly violence-wracked region of Kandahar, in Afghanistan’s south. Ottawa has said it will pull them out when its mandate ends next year if no one answers its call.

The change in leadership in France has had a beneficial effect already. Chirac would never have agreed to send more troops to Afghanistan, but Sarkozy has a clearer vision of the threat facing the West, especially if the Taliban return to power. His years as interior minister showed him what a wave of Islamist passion can do, and is still doing in France.
France cannot send 1,000 troops itself. It can provide enough leadership, and embarrass other European nations enough, to force them to send more troops. At the moment, the combat missions have primarily been handled by American, British, and Canadian forces. Europe has mostly limited themselves to security in the rear and training missions. A move by France to bolster combat missions would force Germany and others to consider a shift as well.
If NATO wants to survive with a purpose in the post-Soviet era, then it needs to fully participate in threat reduction. The Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan would provide such a threat. In fact, the Madrid and London bombings show that they are already a threat, as do the less-successful attempts in France and Germany. If NATO wants to surrender to that threat, then we need to rethink our security commitments in Europe altogether.

Ban On Waterboarding Wins Approval

The Senate narrowly passed a ban on waterboarding as part of their intelligence bill, setting up a showdown between Congress and the White House on limitations for interrogation techniques. The bill clearly states approved and disapproved procedures, ending the ambiguity that has created much of the controversy over whether anyone has ever broken the law in interrogating terrorist suspects. And surprisingly, one of the figures at the head of the controversy opposed the bill:

The Senate voted yesterday to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics used by the CIA, matching a previous House vote and putting Congress on a collision course with the White House over a pivotal national security issue.
In a 51 to 45 vote, the Senate approved an intelligence bill that limits the CIA to using 19 less-aggressive interrogation tactics outlined in a U.S. Army Field Manual. The measure would effectively ban the use of simulated drowning, temperature extremes and other harsh tactics that the CIA used on al-Qaeda prisoners after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. …
Congress banned any military use of waterboarding and other harsh tactics through the Detainee Treatment Act of 2006, which was co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), now the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.
But McCain sided with the Bush administration yesterday on the waterboarding ban passed by the Senate, saying in a statement that the measure goes too far by applying military standards to intelligence agencies. He also said current laws already forbid waterboarding, and he urged the administration to declare it illegal.

The problem with McCain’s position is that the executive branch can’t simply declare something illegal. Congress has to pass the law before the executive can enforce it. The DTA 2006 bill left enough room for the argument to be made either way. Also, no one has waterboarded anyone since its adoption — no one has waterboarded anyone since 2003, actually — so no cases have come to test the interpretations in court.
Yesterday, Congress did what was necessary if they wanted to make waterboarding an illegal interrogation process. However, they did more than that in this bill, which is why McCain rightly opposed it, and why Bush will wind up vetoing it. They basically gave terrorists a manual for American interrogation preparation. They went too far; they could have passed a very specific ban on waterboarding without having to publish the CIA’s approved list of techniques.
I’m still unsure about whether waterboarding, as practiced by the CIA, really amounts to torture. I can see arguments on either side, although the opponents tend to exaggerate the actual process, as my interview with two Special Ops members revealed. I’m inclined to think that it is torture, and therefore should be banned.
If the sense of Congress is that it constitutes torture, then they took the appropriate action in making it illegal — but let no one run from the consequences of that decision. Congressional leaders of both parties didn’t think it was a problem when the CIA used it in 2002 and 2003 on the highest-level al-Qaeda terrorist detainees in our custody and it produced vital actionable intel. They have cut off this potential solution for saving lives.
Some in Congress have claimed that a ticking-bomb scenario would absolve any interrogator who chose to use waterboarding even if made illegal. This is absolutely false. If Congress wants to leave waterboarding open as a possibility, then they need to write the exceptions into law so that interrogators do not have to rely on fair-weather politicians to absolve them of anything. With this action, the interrogators have explicitly been told not to use the technique. Any intel failure arising from that — and there may well be none at all — will be the responsibility of the people who took that tool out of the tool box.
UPDATE: The Justice Department has reversed itself this morning and says that the DTA did cover waterboarding and that it is now not legal:

“The set of interrogation methods authorized for current use is narrower than before, and it does not today include waterboarding,” Steven G. Bradbury, acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, says in remarks prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee.
“There has been no determination by the Justice Department that the use of waterboarding, under any circumstances, would be lawful under current law,” he said. It is the first time the department has expressed such an opinion publicly.

This will carry some weight; Bradbury was the man who signed off on waterboarding in 2005, before the DTA. It could be enough for the veto to get accepted by Congress without a big fight over an override.


Danish newspapers have demonstrated solidarity with Kurt Westergaard and Jyllands-Posten today. After the arrests of conspirators determined to assassinate the editorial cartoonist, the other newspapers in Denmark today have reprinted the cartoon that aroused the ire of Muslims in the first place. They want to make the point that no one can intimidate them into silence:

Newspapers in Denmark Wednesday reprinted the controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed that sparked worldwide protests two years ago.
The move came one day after Danish authorities arrested three people who allegedly were plotting a “terror-related assassination” of Kurt Westergaard, one of the cartoonist behind the drawings.
Berlingske Tidende, one of the newspapers involved in the republication, said: “We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case, and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper always will defend,” in comments reported by The Associated Press.

The move comes amid some serious soul-searching in Europe. The incident has clarified issues regarding Islamic aggressiveness in intimidating people into silence. CNN notes that the arrests have made it clear to Europeans that Islamists intend on suppressing speech in order to keep criticism of their actions to a minimum.
Unfortunately, American newspapers and media outlets do not appear interested in expressing the same solidarity. CNN doesn’t include the image in its report, and so far, I haven’t seen any newspaper cover it yet, although they may tomorrow. Only the New York Times gave any coverage to the arrests in today’s editions.
In solidarity with the Danish newspapers, here’s the cartoon that has assassins targeting Westergaard:
Perhaps bloggers can take up some of the slack, and provide some leadership for our media outlets here in the US. At the very least, we can do so to salute the courage of the Danes on the front lines for free speech. It’s easy to defend free speech when it doesn’t cost anyone anything. The Danes have manned the barricades when it counts. (via CapQ reader Paul Havenmann)
UPDATE: I will try to link any blogger who links this post and demonstrates solidarity with the Danes by publishing this cartoon. If you can’t get a trackback, put the link in my comments. I’ll post updates during the day with links as I see them, at least for today.
UPDATE II: Michelle and I were posting on this at about the same time, and with the same thought. She has the list of solidarity bloggers from the blogburst two years ago.
BUMP: To top.
Michelle Malkin (linked above)
The Trading Post
DocWeasel (warning: NSFW)
Pirate’s Cove
My Inner Scream
Ladies Logic
Squid Shark
No Burqua
Bookworm Room
Savage Republican
Musing Minds
Common Folk Using Common Sense
Exurban League
Nine Sixteenths
Voice of Liberty
Ron’s Bloviating
Obiter Dictum
Five By Five
Thus Spake Ortner, The Sniper
The World According To Carl
Outside the Beltway
Diary of a Hollywood Refugee
Robert Steely
Red-Blue America
Ernesto Serrano (Welcome to a Spanish language blog!)
Michael Reynolds
Kentucky Packrat
Liberty Zone
Mac Is Whack
Vortex of Freedom
Abu Wabu
Sissy Willis

Going Out In The Appropriate Manner

Scratch one terrorist from the FBI’s Most Wanted list. An explosion killed Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh, one of the planners of the 1983 bombings in Beirut that killed 241 Marines and another 63 people at our embassy in Lebanon. He also took part in the 1985 TWA hijacking that resulted in the beating death of Navy diver Robert Stethem:

A senior Hezbollah commander implicated in some of the most high-profile international terrorist attacks of the last 25 years has died in an explosion in Syria, Hezbollah TV said Wednesday.
Imad Mughniyeh was suspected by Western intelligence agencies in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people, as well as the truck bombing that year of the U.S. Marine barracks there, an attack that killed 241 people and preceded the U.S. military withdrawal from Lebanon, according to a CNN report from 2001.
The FBI listed Mughniyeh as one of its “Most Wanted Terrorists,” blaming him for his role in the June 14, 1985, hijacking of TWA 847, a terrorist episode that captivated television viewers in the United States and around the world for more than two weeks.
Hijackers seized the plane as it traveled from Athens, Greece, to Rome, Italy, and forced it to land at the airport in Beirut, starting a 17-day ordeal during which a U.S. Navy diver, Robert Dean Stethem, was shot and killed.

Hezbollah immediately blamed Israel for the bombing. Israel denies any role in the car bombing, details of which have not been forthcoming from Syria. They certainly had reason to go after Mughniyeh themselves. He planned the attacks on Israel’s Argentina embassy and a Jewish center in Buenos Aires over two years that killed more than 100 people.
Car bombings aren’t exactly Israel’s style, though; that sounds much more like Syria’s military. They have employed that method a number of times in Lebanon against anti-Syria politicians. The most famous of these assassinations occurred three years ago tomorrow, when a massive car bomb killed former prime minister Rafik Hariri. Could Bashar Assad have decided that Mughniyeh presented a threat to him, or that Mughniyeh was more trouble than he was worth as they try to make Hezbollah more presentable as a political party?
One thing is certain: the timing could not have been worse. Tomorrow, the Lebanese will demonstrate in remembrance of Hariri’s death, and as Andrew Exum notes, Hezbollah’s anger over the death of their chief terrorist could provide a flashpoint for renewed violence. It will also complicate the negotiations for power sharing in Lebanon. It could lead to a complete political breakdown and a return to civil war, if cooler heads do not prevail.
Hezbollah has no reason to stamp its feet, however. They live through terrorism, and when their enemies strike back, they have no one to blame but themselves. Good riddance to Mughniyeh, and may the rest of Hezbollah’s terrorists go out the same way — and soon.

A Walk Down Terrorist Memory Lane

Debra Burlingame invites Wall Street Journal readers to take a stroll down Memory Lane, to a time when murderous terrorists gained presidential pardons instead of relentless pursuit. This didn’t happen a long, long time ago in an administration far, far away, but actually less than ten years ago. In 1999, with Hillary Clinton pursuing a seat in the Senate, Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 Puerto Rican separatists whose organization had committed a whopping 146 bombings and more armed robberies:

On Aug. 7, 1999, the one-year anniversary of the U.S. African embassy bombings that killed 257 people and injured 5,000, President Bill Clinton reaffirmed his commitment to the victims of terrorism, vowing that he “will not rest until justice is done.” Four days later, while Congress was on summer recess, the White House quietly issued a press release announcing that the president was granting clemency to 16 imprisoned members of FALN. What began as a simple paragraph on the AP wire exploded into a major controversy.
Mr. Clinton justified the clemencies by asserting that the sentences were disproportionate to the crimes. None of the petitioners, he stated, had been directly involved in crimes that caused bodily harm to anyone. “For me,” the president concluded, “the question, therefore, was whether their continuing incarceration served any meaningful purpose.”
His comments, including the astonishing claim that the FALN prisoners were being unfairly punished because of “guilt by association,” were widely condemned as a concession to terrorists. Further, they were seen as an outrageous slap in the face of the victims and a bitter betrayal of the cops and federal law enforcement officers who had put their lives on the line to protect the public and who had invested years of their careers to put these people behind bars. The U.S. Sentencing Commission affirmed a pre-existing Justice Department assessment that the sentences, ranging from 30 to 90 years, were “in line with sentences imposed in other cases for similar terrorist activity.”
The prisoners were convicted on a variety of charges that included conspiracy, sedition, violation of the Hobbes Act (extortion by force, violence or fear), armed robbery and illegal possession of weapons and explosives — including large quantities of C-4 plastic explosive, dynamite and huge caches of ammunition. Mr. Clinton’s action was opposed by the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. attorney offices that prosecuted the cases and the victims whose lives had been shattered. In contravention of standard procedures, none of these agencies, victims or families of victims were consulted or notified prior to the president’s announcement.

Who did want these prisoners released? Three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, all from New York, had demanded action to release the FALN terrorists. Hillary needed their support in her upcoming Senate bid, and that of other Hispanic leaders. At the time, Hillary expected to run against Rudy Giuliani, who would have been a formidable candidate even before 9/11, and she needed every endorsement she could find.
Bill Clinton gave it to her, but then discovered a problem: the prisoners had never actually asked for clemency. They had refused to renounce violence or express remorse for their actions In fact, they insisted that the US had no jurisdiction over them at all, and that clemency was unwanted. Hillary then flip-flopped, opposing her husband’s release of the prisoners — which records later showed his administration pursued, and not the criminals.
Congress tried to get to the bottom of the issue, but the Clinton administration stonewalled it through claims of executive privilege. The case got so twisted that, as Burlingame notes, the Justice Department had to testify that they had supplied the White House with a recommendation on the clemencies — but couldn’t reveal what they recommended. In the end, presidential pardon power is absolute under the Constitution, and Congress could do little but issue stinging, bipartisan condemnations.
This is the Clinton history on terrorism. If Hillary wants to run on her “experience” from the Clinton administration, then this should be first on the list in determining her fitness to wage war on terrorists — or even to wage law enforcement on them.

Senate Approves Telecom Immunity

The Senate handily defeated an attempt to strip immunity for telecommunications providers from their version of FISA reform this morning, and approved the overall legislation. The amendment to strip telecom immunity only garnered 31 votes, far short of even a simple majority. The bill now goes to the House, which has resisted the immunity provisions:

The Senate voted Tuesday to shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
After nearly two months of stops and starts, the Senate rejected by a vote of 31 to 67 an amendment that would have stripped a grant of retroactive immunity to the companies. President Bush has promised to veto any new surveillance bill that does not protect the companies that helped the government in its warrantless wiretapping program. …
In a separate voice vote Tuesday, the Senate expanded the power of the court to oversee government eavesdropping of Americans. The amendment would give the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the authority to monitor whether the government is complying with procedures designed to protect the privacy of innocent Americans whose telephone or computer communications are captured during surveillance of a foreign target.

This seems like a good and productive compromise. The Democrats had a legitimate point about handing a blank check to the NSA and other intel agencies in regards to warrantless surveillance. We need to give the maximum amount of flexibility and responsiveness to our front-line efforts, but we also need to ensure that they follow the rules and do not abuse their power. Congress should provide for as much oversight as possible without interfering with gathering of intelligence from terrorists.
Telecom immunity should have never taken this long to approve. The immunity covers companies who received assurances from the Department of Justice that their cooperation broke no laws, and they cooperated to help defend the US from attack. Their reward for trust and assistance should not be billion-dollar class-action lawsuits, which would have been nothing more than a back-door attempt to kneecap intelligence operations that kept this nation safe for more than six years after 9/11.
The House has to put this bill into motion now, and the clock is ticking. The Democrats set up these sunset provisions as a means to pressure the White House, and once again they have had the opposite effect. Faced against bipartisan agreement in the Senate on immunity, expect the House to quietly acquiesce.

Danes Break Cartoonist Murder Plot

Danish police conducted a series of pre-dawn raids that broke a conspiracy to murder an editorial cartoonist. Both Danish citizens and foreign nationals plotted to kill Kurt Westergaard, one of the cartoonists that created critical images of the Muslim prophet Mohammed two years ago as part of a series in defense of free speech and open criticism. The cartoons set off riots throughout the Islamic world, and produced death threats to all of the artists who participated:

Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested several people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago.
The arrests were made in pre-dawn raids in Aarhus, western Denmark, “to prevent a terror-related murder,” the police intelligence agency said. It did not say how many people were arrested nor did it mention which cartoonist was targeted.
However, according to Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the drawings on Sept. 30, 2005, the suspects were planning to kill its cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. It said those arrested included both Danish and foreign citizens.
“There were very concrete murder plans against Kurt Westergaard,” said Carsten Juste, the paper’s editor-in-chief.

When the paper first printed the cartoons, it refused to apologize for its exercise in free speech. That steadfast approach didn’t last long. As the riots spread around the world, the paper finally apologized for having offended Muslims. That approach apparently hasn’t worked, either. The Westergaard family and the paper itself has had to live under police protection ever since, and more than two years later, terrorists still plan to assassinate him — for drawing a cartoon.
Westergaard drew the most memorable of the Prophet cartoons, which can be found here. His entry had the turban worn by Mohammed depicted as a bomb, with Arabic writing on it that presumably represents “Allahu akbar”. The story got even more complicated when Muslim provocateurs started circulating faked cartoons that crudely represented Mohammed as a pig, a dog, and a horned devil. That stirred the anger even further against Westergaard especially, as his was probably the most critical of the original 12 cartoons.
Once again, this shows that dialogue won’t stop terrorism. More than two years after the apology and the rioting, Muslim extremists still wanted Westeraard dead for the crime of criticizing their prophet. Freedom cannot coexist with such people. Either we oppose them or we wind up under their thumb.