January 12, 2006, - 3:05 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Since 9/11, President Bush has consistently marketed himself as the counter-terrorism President. But many events have proven otherwise–that his “War” is really a lot of PR and very little in hard results.
Two events tomorrow put the lie to Bush’s claim that he is really tough on terror:
* Bush’s welcoming White House meeting with German Chancellor Angie Merkel; and
* the sentencing of former INS/Customs and Border Patrol official Daphiney Caganap.
In November, we broke the story of Germany’s release of the Mohammad Ali Hamadi, the Hezbollah terrorist and murderer of Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, to freedom in Lebanon–apparently in exchange for the release of a German Muslim hostage in Iraq. The Bush Administration did little to nothing to stop Hamadi’s release. And since the release, the Administration provided at least 4 different stories to the press and the Stethem family, regarding what it did and didn’t do.
To make matters worse, tomorrow, President Bush will welcome German Chancellor Angie Merkel–whose first act regarding terrorists was the release of Hamadi–with open arms to the White House. Merkel has also been very vocal and very critical against U.S. holding of terrorists without civilian criminal trial in Guantanamo Bay.
What kind of message does this send? Not a good one. Remember President Bush’s now non-uttered declaration that “you are either on our side or the terrorists’ side.” Guess what? Angie Merkel is on the terrorists’ side, but she seems very welcome by Bush’s side on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Instead of welcoming Ms. Merkel, Mr. Bush should have pulled our Ambassador to Germany. But he did neither that nor anything else. Clearly, Bush is not so serious in the war on terror when it comes to demanding justice for the brutal, tortuous death of a loyal U.S. American serviceman by Islamic terrorists.
Robert Stethem’s family is rightly outraged, and all Americans should be, too.
Then there is Daphiney Caganap. We wrote about Ms. Caganap’s disgraceful career as both an INS intelligence official at a U.S. port of entry and later promotion to port director (in locales in California and Michigan)–all while she was accepting thousands in bribes in exchange for covering up the smuggling of humans and drugs into our country. And all while our government knew about it as early as 2001, but let her stay on the job until this year.
Tomorrow, is Ms. Caganap’s sentencing, originally scheduled for Halloween and now auspiciously scheduled for Friday the 13th. The problem is the bad luck is on us, the U.S. citizens–not Caganap. She stood to do at least 36 years jailtime, but prosecutors will recommend not a SINGLE day in jail! She will likely get just probation.
If that is not a sign that Bush’s Justice Department is not serious on fighting the War on Terror and protecting us, what is?
We’re not superstitious. But given tomorrow’s date and the bad things our country will endure then, perhaps we should be. Friday the 13th is proving to be every bit of bad luck as the believers claim.
Tags: ambassador, Angie Merkel, Bush administration, Bush Welcomes Woman, California, Chancellor, Daphiney Caganap, Debbie Schlussel, Department of Justice, director, Germany, Guantanamo Bay, Halloween, Hizballah, INS intelligence official, Iraq, Lebanon, Michigan, Navy Diver, official, President, Robert Dean Stethem, United States, White House