Obama: Daniel Pearl's Beheading 'Captured the World's Imagination'

Greg Halverson of the American Thinker reports that President Obama recently signed the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act, “which authorizes the State Department to include information about attacks on journalists in its human rights reports.”

Pearl, as you recall, is the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered -- beheaded in a gruesome manner -- by Islamic terrorists. In January of 2002, Pearl was on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani in downtown Karachi, Pakistan. Kidnapped by a group called “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty,” Pearl was accused of being a CIA agent. The group then used a Hotmail e-mail account to send the U.S. a number of demands, including the freeing of all Pakistani terror detainees. They threatened to kill Pearl if their demands were not met. Photos of Pearl in handcuffs with a gun held to his head were attached.

Nine days later, Pearl was beheaded. A month later, a grisly 3-minute video was released showing Pearl admitting to be an American Jew and stating his captors’ demands. It then portrays his horrible murder. Nearly four months later, his remains were discovered in a shallow grave about 30 miles north of Karachi.

Angelina Jolie starred in 2007’s A Mighty Heart, which focused on Pearl’s pregnant wife Mariane’s search for her husband after he went missing.

In this era of Obama signing objectionable legislation, who could complain about the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act? Greg Halverson doesn’t, nor do I. No matter how irritated I may get with certain journalists, I certainly don’t like attacks on their persons, especially attacks that could turn deadly. Freedom of the press is a cherished tradition here in America and anything that promotes that freedom and the safety of those who practice it is all right in my book.

So what’s the problem? It lies in Obama’s comments as he signed the legislation:

Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.

The loss of Daniel Pearl didn’t exactly “capture” my imagination. Rather, it sparked a combination of indignation, anger, and horror that this barbaric act which hearkens back to the 7th century (where, if Islamists had their way, we would travel back as though in a time warp) was visited upon anyone, much less a fellow American. That it was a group of Islamic terrorists who kidnapped a Jew makes it even more upsetting, considering the hatred encouraged by Islamists toward Jews, going back to the days of Mohammed.