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Messages from our readers last night carry some of the best commentary on recent events that I have read this morning. Regarding Time’s “Inside the interrogation of Detainee 063” (Mohammad al Kahtanni), Dr. Brian Byer writes:

On the CNN web page I read the reactions of U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel and Dianne Feinstein to the report which appeared in Time magazine [click here for the CNN story]…As you know Mohammed al Kahtani was to be the 20th hijacker on United Airlines flight 93. This bloodthirsty murderer was captured alive and brought to Guantanamo Bay where our men and women sought to extract as much information from him as quickly as possible to prevent further attacks and learn more of his al Qaida associates. As reported by Time the methods used included shaving his facial hair, having him wear racy pictures around his neck, sleep deprivation with loud music, standing for prolonged periods, removing articles of clothing and making the once arrogant and still bloodthirsty terrorist wet his pants.
As I mentioned in my previous email, this is equivalent to what the average collegiate freshman athlete must endure from upperclassmen. It is also much, much less than what our elite Navy Seals, Army Rangers and Paratroopers experience during their bootcamps. Of course Amnesty International cares more about the comfort, dignity and well being of terrorists like Kahtani than any member of our special forces. I guarantee they will be crying about Kahtani’s treatment which has been equivalent to a modest hazing at worst.
But what has really struck me to the quick and saddened by heart has been the comments from our elected Senators Hagel and Feinstein. Specifically Senator Hagel was quoted by CNN as saying the treatment of terrorist Kahtani was wrong, dangerous, very dumb, shortsighted, and not how you win Muslim people over to ourside. With these words Senator Hagel has betrayed the brave men and women who protect us from terrorists like Kahtani. He is placing American popularity in the world above the lives of innocent Americans like thousands who died on September 11th. I never thought I would see the day when a U.S. Senator would place the dignity and comfort of an al-Qaida terrorist above the lives of even a single American or an innocent Muslim for that matter. O how my heart weeps for the dedicated personnel who probed Kahtani for details about al-Qaida’s plans and are now insulted and defamed on international television by a U.S. Senator for trying their hardest to protect innocent lives.
Clearly Senators Hagel and Feinstein have forgotten that the terrorist Kahtani was turned back from the Orlando airport in August 2001 while Mohammed Atta was there awaiting his arrival. How is it that they have forgotten that Kahtani planned to join Atta as the 5th hijacker on United Airlines Flight 93? How have they forgotten that Kahtani planned to use a boxcutter or similar instrument to slice the throat of any passenger or crew who resisted? How have they forgetten that Kahtani wished to shout praise to Allah as he and Atta plowed that aircraft full of innocents into New York Cities tallest skyscraper also crowded with innocents?
How have these U.S. Senators forgotten those who were incinerated on that day? How have they forgotten those who were so terrorized with fear and suffering that they jumped to their certain death rather than face the inferno of the Twin Towers? How is it that they have forgotten the brave who rushed to the rescue but never returned? How can they have forgotten about those who lost their lives in the Pentagon only a few miles from their plush Senate offices? How have they so quickly forgotten the brave souls who confronted their terrorist assasins and then lost their lives in a field just east of Pittsburgh? How is it that they have turned their backs on the dedicated men and women who have risked and lost their lives in the hunt to bring back alive evil men like Kahtani?
How do our Senators propose our troops pursue those who would slaughter our children, burn our cities and decapitate innocents? By giving quarter? By show respect and mercy? By providing cozy rooms, gentle questioning and frequent potty breaks to the relentless al-Qaida murderers and assasins? Even today Mohammed al-Kahtani eats a nourshing halal meal and breaths the warm Carribean air while the innocent blood of thousands still cries from the ground. When will they receive justice? When will our Senators fight for their dignity and respect rather than the diginty and comfort of the terrorists who designed their slaughter?
Please Sirs, I beg you to share with your readers the disgrace now being dumped on the memory of those who died, the diligent work of the men and women who have lost their lives defending the innocent and the forgotten deeds of our heroes who willingly enter the dangerous shadowlands of this world and hunt evil men like Mohammed al Kahtani. My heart can barely bear the suffering and disgrace America must endure by the thoughtless words of her own elected officials.

In his earlier message Dr. Byer provided this link to the Defense Department’s press release yesterday on the information reported in the Time story. Please check out the press release.
Reader Philip Zukowsky sent a message elaborating on the subject of Paul’s post “Had microphone, lacked anything to say.” Zukowsky wrote:

The House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Patriot Act that was the subject of your post “Had Microphone,…” was carried by C-Span over the weekend. It was great television. I can not for the life of me understand why anyone watches “West Wing” when you can see the real thing on C-Span.
The hearing finished off as follows. Representative Sheila Jackson of Texas used up all but a minute of her time giving her usual anti-everything stump speech. The panel therefore did not have any time remaining to answer the question that came at the end of her diatribe. Rep. Conyers of Michigan asked for additional time to give each of the four panel members one minute to respond to the question. There was an objection so that went nowhere. Rep. Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the chairperson, then gave the panelists (and their Democratic sponsors) a tongue-lashing that impressed me. He said that the Committee was there to talk about the Patriot Act and the panelists were just there to air their grievances against President Bush on things that had nothing to do with the Patriot Act. He said that the one piece of information that might have been useful was the claim made by one of the panelists that librarians were being served with subpoenas under the Patriot Act.
Mr. Sensenbrenner said that he would give them a week to produce evidence about any librarian that had been so served, implying that no such evidence existed. The Democrats kept asking him to yield the floor, but he refused. At the end of Mr. Sensenbrenner summation the hearing came to an end.
Apparently, however, the Democrats do not think that the rules set ahead of time about the length of hearings are as sacrosanct as the filibuster rules. The Dems tried to keep the hearing going after the Republicans had exited the hearing room. Representative Nadler was able to match Representative Sensenbrenner in the number of chins department, but his performance after the end of the hearing did not come close to being of the caliber of Sensenbrenner’s devastating summation.
Then Representative Jackson addressed the audience left in the room, which mostly consisted of women wearing the hijab. It was pretty embarrassing stuff, at least to my mind. She said that she recognizes that they are not the same by their dress but that Sheila J. would still look after them vis a vis the Patriot Act to make sure that they were not discriminated against. “Not the same” in what way? They are not American citizens? They do not believe in the American dream? They do not believe in democracy, Mom and Apple Pie? They are terrorists? I guess you make those kind of statements when you divide every one by ethnic group, religious group or sexual preference group, instead of seeing individuals. The leftist love-in broke up because they noted that none of this with going on the record. I bet though that if they would have known that C-Span was covering the whole thing they would have stayed on and kept on talking.

Video of the committee hearing on the Patriot Act reauthorization is available via a link on the C-SPAN home page. For students of Rep. Nadler, further analysis of his performance at the hearing on Friday can be found in this morning’s FrontPage column: “Jerrold Nadler’s two faces on terror.”
You who philosphize disgrace and criticize all fears, take the rag away from your face…
DEACON adds: Senator Hagel is an embarrassment. He won’t be the Republican nominee for president in 2008, but if he were, I’d be tempted to vote for Hillary Clinton.

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