In Memory of September 11, 2001

     The year was 1987, and Congress was holding hearings investigating the alleged shenanigans of the Ronald Reagan administration concerning the Iran-Contra affair.  Congress had called Lt. Colonel Oliver North to be a witness at the hearings in an attempt to determine if he had any involvement in the events which had led to the hearings being called by Congress. The senator who was questioning Colonel North was attempting to squeeze from the colonel an admission of excessive expenditures that would seem to be beyond the means of a midlevel officer in the military. The senator, after spotting one item on the colonel’s financial record, begin to interrogate: “Did you not recently spend close to $60,000.00 for a security system for your home?”
     The colonel replied, “Yes, I did.”
     Trying to get a laugh from the audience, the senator retorted, “Don’t you think that amount of money is just a LITTLE excessive?”
     "No, I do not,” replied the colonel, “because the lives of my family and me were threatened.”
     “Threatened? By whom?” questioned the senator.
     “By a terrorist, Sir.”
     “Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?”
     “His name is Osama bin Laden,” replied Colonel North.
     The senator tried to repeat the name, but stumbled a couple of times, causing some laughter in the audience.  Then the senator continued, “Why are you so worried about this man?”
     “Because, Sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of.”
     “And what do you recommend we do about him?” pressed the senator.
     “Well, Sir, if it were up to me, I would recommend that an assassination team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth.”
     The senator expressed his profound offense at such a suggestion, then dropped his line of questioning and moved to other matters.  The questioner was Tennessee Senator Al Gore, who later became Vice President alongside President Bill Clinton.
     In 1986, a year before the Iran-Contra hearings on Capitol Hill, a terrorist blew up a bus in Israel, killing several Israelis.  The Israelis tracked him down, captured him, and imprisoned him for life.  Fast forward to 1993, the American President, Bill Clinton, who was attempting to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, pressured Israel to release all political prisoners.  Israel resisted, claiming that the imprisoned terrorist had committed mass murder and should not be released.  Clinton’s Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, “insisted’ that all prisoners be released, and Israel reluctantly acquiesced. Thus the terrorist was released, and on September 11, 2001, the terrorist, Mohammad Atta, flew a commercial aircraft into Tower One of the World Trade Center.
     Today, Osama bin Ladin is gone, but we continue to hear cries to release or to transfer the terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because they have “rights."  Those who helped capture and interrogate the terrorists are being criticized and threaten with criminal charges for their actions.  It is interesting to note that of the detainees who  have been released through negotiations, 28 percent are known to have returned to their terrorist organizations and resumed their criminal activities.  You have to wonder…when the time comes that all the terrorists are transferred out of their prison cells, which prisoners who were or are now at Guantanamo Bay will come back to do damage to the United States of America?  Additionally, which governmental official will we look to and know that he was the one who was instrumental in unleashing more terrorists on our land?  In times past, prisoners of war were never released until the armed conflict was over and peace was reestablished.  The war on terror is far from over.