Monday, January 09, 2006

Chancellor Merkel's Visit

Germany has a nerve. It is sending its chancellor over here on a state visit so Bush can be admonished in person for the existence of the Guantanamo Hilton. According to Ex Patica:
     Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to receive a warm welcome when she visits Washington this week with a senior White House official praising Sunday the closer ties that had developed between Berlin and the US since Germany's September election.
[…]
However, during talks Friday with President George W. Bush, Merkel is expected to press for Washington to close America's controversial detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.
This bit of self-righteousness from a country which released Mohammed Ali Hamdi to Lebanon after he served only eighteen years of a life sentence for the torture and death of an American serviceman, US Navy Petty Officer, Robert Dean Stehem.

Michael Ledeen features the letter written by Stenhem’s brother to President Bush, demanding that something be done about the situation:

Date: January 8, 2006 4:15:57 PM PST
To: president@whitehouse.gov
Cc: vicepresident@whitehouse.gov
Subject: ROBERT DEAN STETHEM

Mr. President,

I would like to provide you with an explanation as to why Muhammed Ali Hammadi's recent release by Germany, and your Administration's lack of any attempt to prevent it, is so upsetting to our family and to Americans everywhere. I am not writing you out of grief or anger but out of a hope that his example will inspire you to follow act on your own words and the dictates of your conscious in this War on Terror.

Robert Dean Stethem was singled out, beaten beyond recognition and tortured in order to make him scream into a transmitter (so that the tower would send a fuel truck). Not a cry was heard to come from him, despite the brutal beating he endured. Instead he chose to remain silent and endure the beatings because he knew that the only way a rescue attempt could be conducted by U.S. forces was if the aircraft remained on the ground.

After Robert was beaten and tortured and bleeding from puncture wounds all over his body, he was placed next to a 16-year old Australian girl. As bad as Robert was beaten, he had the courage and strength to comfort and console her. He told her that, "She would be okay and that she would get out of here alive." When she tried to return the comfort, he said, "No, I don't think so. I am the only one in my group that is not married and some of the guys have children, too." Some time later, Robert was again taken up to the cockpit and tortured in order to get the fuel. But it didn't work, he would not give in to them.

One of the hijackers, Muhammed Ali Hammadi, was so enraged that he dragged Robert to the door, pulled a trigger and shot Robert in the head. Then he dumped Robert's body onto the tarmac. While Robert was being dragged to the door, he knew that all he had to do in order to live was to cry into that transmitter, but he wouldn't do it. He would not give in to the demands of the terrorists. He would not allow the honor and dignity of America to be intimidated by the fear and pain that Hammadi and terrorists everywhere represent. Robert sacrificed his life in order to protect our liberty and defend our way of life.

You have rightly said, "Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done." You have truly said that "We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them." Robert lived by them. Robert also died by them. The motto of the USS SSTETHEM (DDG-63), named in Robert's honor, is "Steadfast and Courageous." I hope that his example, and the example of other heroes like him can inspire you to understand why allowing Germany to release Hammadi was a wrong. Justice was not done, Robert was not honored and Americans are not safer by allowing Hammadi to return to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

You know this, we know this and the American people know this.

The Stethem family


So Chancellor Merkel is going to come over here and tell us what to do about Guantanamo? She needs to clean house first, then come share whatever wisdom accrues to her in the process.

Meanwhile, from The American Thinker:

     Lebanon is claiming double jeopardy, and refusing to turn Hamdi over. Congressman Fossella [NY, 13th Congressional District] is threatening to shut off the current $35 million per year in aid to Lebanon. His eloquent statement of purpose speaks for itself:
America’s path is clear: We will pursue terrorists wherever they seek refuge. No individual responsible for the taking of an American life should evade the judgment of an American court. Lebanon can choose to be either a partner in ridding the scourge of terrorism or another obstacle that cowers to the most radical elements of society.
The question is whether Lebanon is up to the task.
Well, that's one question all right. Another question is whether President Bush is going to put equal and opposite "pressure" on Chancellor Merkel for her government's very, very unfriendly gesture in simply letting go the murderer of one of our military men.

Which path is it to be, Mr. President?

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NOTE: Over at LGF, commenter Gymnast has suggested that President Bush arrange a meeting between Chancellor Merkel and the Stethem family. Excellent idea! Perhaps they could have their confab aboard the USS STETHEM. No doubt the ship's commanding officer would be amenable to the idea of entertaining the Stethems and the Chancellor. And the MSM would be right on the story...


Hat tip: LARWYN

7 comments:

John Sobieski said...

This really bothers me. Does Merkel not see the hypocrisy? Evidently not. It's all part of that EU mindset. America is wrong, they are right. I think Bush should set that record straight.

MikeZ said...

Well, at least GWB has a snappy comeback, should she ask.

Annoy Mouse said...

Merkel must play to the neo-communists in Germany, of which there are many. David’s Medienkritik has praised Merkel for at least keeping an even keel;

"SPIEGEL: In the interest of threat prevention, can German officials be sent to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay to interrogate detainees?

Merkel: An institution like Guantanamo in its present form cannot and must not exist in the long term. We must find different ways of dealing with prisoners. As far as I'm concerned there's no question about that.

SPIEGEL: Will you address Guantanamo with President Bush?

Merkel: We will certainly talk about the whole issue of combating terrorism. (...)"

http://medienkritik.typepad.com/

She seems to sidestep the issue. Recently I met some German officers that have been working with US forces in Afghanistan, and recently the Ukraine. Sometime I forget that there are still good Germans out there, but we rarely see them here in the US doing their counter-culture agitprop thing. Let’s be grateful for those who still consider themselves our friends and allies.

Papa Ray said...

Merkel said: "We must find different ways of dealing with prisoners."

I have had the same thoughts. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Line them up after capture and let them pray and then shoot them.

2. Line them up after capture and give them a last meal, let them pray and then shoot them.

3. Use them for testing new vehicles and armor against IEDs and whatever other weapons we can find.

4. Line them up after capture and SHOOT THEM.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

ik said...

Papa Ray,

The easiest thing that could have been done was to quickly interrogate them and then hand them over to the Northern Alliance. Unfortunately that was not done

Archonix said...

There were great hopes for Merkel, perhaps exagerated a little. She was moderately right-wing, and her policies had promised to take germany's economy and actually get it moving again. Unfortunately the SDP played the anti-american card against her and crippled her political campaign with some pretty disgusting lies. Now she's a lame duck. Part of the deal for her becoming chancellor was to adopt a whole raft of SDP policies and, unfortunately, in the world of politics, your policies have to be seen as your own. It's a shame she adopted them with such gusto...

Jeffus said...

Don't hope for much but thank you for bringing us up to date.