The phrase “death by a thousand cuts” is so concise and descriptive that I thought it must be Shakespearean, but it is a translation of the Chinese word “lingchi” (alternately transliterated ling chi or leng tech). The word is translated variously as death by a thousand cuts, the slow process, the lingering death, or slow slicing. It was a venerable form of torture and execution used in China from roughly 900 A.D. until it was banned in 1905. “In this form of execution,” Wikipedia advises, “a knife was used to methodically remove portions of the body over an extended period of time, eventually resulting in death.”
President Obama is inflicting lingchi on the Constitution’s restraints on the executive branch. Here, however, he is acting consistent with a tradition that, while it doesn’t date back to 900, dates back to around 1900 and the onset of the Progressive Era in American politics.
He is also inflicting death by a thousand euphemisms. George Orwell wrote the book on it, so to speak, but here Obama is plowing new ground in American politics.
Obama has given us Violent Extremism in lieu of Islamist terrorism. He has given us Building Community Resilience to Counter Violent Extremism.
It’s hard to take the Islam out of the Islamic State, or ISIS, or ISIL. It’s hard to take the Islam out of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet that is what Obama would have us do.
Obama acts according to what he believes is a higher wisdom behind the apparent denial of reality that makes him look stupid. John McWhorter defends the higher wisdom in “The big problem with calling it ‘radical Islam.'” Jeffrey Goldberg draws on his interviews with Obama to do the same in “What Obama actually thinks about radical Islam.”
Now the Obama administration refuses to release the transcript of Orlando mass murderer without redaction of his pledges of allegiance to the Islamic State. An edited transcript will be released today. Attorney General Loretta Lynch blandly announced this remarkable event to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday (video below).
Query what is going on here. Who is protecting whom from what?
Caroline Glick comments:
The most devastating, and at this point clearly premeditated, outcome of Obama’s refusal to name the cause of the violence is that he has made it illegitimate to discuss it. He has made it controversial for Americans to talk about Islamic supremacism, extremism, violence and war for world domination.
He has made substantive criticism of his policies tantamount to bigotry. And he has rendered the public debate about the most salient strategic threat to American lives, liberty and national security a partisan issue.
Today in Obama’s America, only Republicans use the terms Islamic terrorism or radicalism or jihad. Democrats pretend those things don’t exist.
The higher wisdom is a component of Obama’s strategic withdrawal of the United Staters from the Middle East. It is getting us killed now with more to come later. See, for example, the accounts of CIA Director John Brennan’s congressional testimony last week by Jonathan Tobin and by the editors of the Wall Street Journal (accessible via Google here).
It requires a bald denial of reality. While Obama’s courtiers (paid and unpaid) tell him that his intellectual finery makes him beautiful, the intellectual finery is stupid and Obama is naked.