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.
They say actions speak louder than words. In this case, the action is laudable, but the words that accompanied it are unfortunate at best and loathsome at worst. Halverson sums it up rather neatly:
Imagination is captured by triumph. Redemption. Beheading doesn’t qualify, nor does it “remind us” of anything besides evil. The president’s refusal to acknowledge evil empowers evil.
Had Obama said something along the lines of, “The horrendous death of Daniel Pearl at the hands of Islamic terrorists captured the world’s attention because it reminded us how ruthless and dangerous the enemy we face is,” I would not be in the middle of this commentary. But Obama didn’t even see fit to mention the manner of Pearl’s death, nor did he bother to mention who was responsible. As Mark Steyn reminds us, the man who actually wielded the knife was none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. “But Mr. Obama is not the kind to take ‘guilty’ for an answer, so he’s arranging a hugely expensive trial for KSM amid the bright lights of Broadway,” says Steyn.
Obama and members of his administration have a strange aversion to pointing the finger of blame at Islamists when they perpetrate their acts of horror in the name of Islam, even going so far as to ban “Islamic extremism” from the national security lexicon.
Meanwhile, Obama and his minions scolded Israel for constructing homes in the West Bank and Obama treated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu like something he found in the litter box when Netanyahu visited the White House in March — holding back red carpet treatment, not posing for official photos, and leaving him on his own at dinnertime.
So the question remains: is Obama just an insensitive boob, or is he an anti-Semite?
Daniel Pearl’s terrible, unwarranted death doesn’t capture my imagination. What is does capture is the idea of Obama being swept out of office in 2012. Now that’s change I can believe in.