What’s the next step in the Obama administration’s fight against Muslim extremists? Going after cia operatives.
It’s a radical step into murky territory that gives a number of advantages to avowed enemies of the United States. A strong case can be made that it could lead to former high-ranking Bush administration officials—even President Bush—being indicted by foreign governments.
This decision may have the appearance of righteousness—America atoning for its sins and so on. In truth, though, it reflects an astonishing failure to understand the seriousness of the war the nation is waging, and the nature of the enemy it faces.
As the U.S. argues over which interrogation techniques are torture, we are forced to confront the limits of American power: Possessing history’s most fearsome military does nothing to protect a nation whose leaders believe that battering and shackling its own intelligence agents will produce happier, mellower enemies and greater safety for its people.
“Death Sentence” on the War
Back in 2004, the U.S. Justice Department investigated several cia interrogations of terror detainees for possible abuses. It charged only one individual, and he was later acquitted. In August, however, Attorney General Eric Holder named a special prosecutor to reopen those cases. “A review is never going to be final anymore now,” lamented former Vice President Dick Cheney.
This action will have an obvious chilling effect on American interrogators. It means that even if they scrupulously follow the rules, someone could change the rules down the road. It means they face the axe or even jail time pending review of their actions by patently liberal officials.
To ensure that future interrogations are conducted according to the Obama administration’s exacting standards, a newly created organ called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will supervise them. The Wall Street Journal explained, “Interrogation techniques will be limited to those in the Army Field Manual or that are ‘non-coercive,’ which suggests more constrained than a big-city police department. … This means that the class of person who blows up skyscrapers, American embassies or the uss Cole would spend less time under a bare light bulb than a domestic robbery suspect” (August 26).
Of course, a detainee now knows exactly what to expect and how far his interrogator is allowed to go. He knows the president is looking over the interrogator’s shoulder, and that one false move would end this guy’s career. And this is supposed to make America safer.
“[I]t’s a death sentence for an effective war on terror,” wrote columnist Daniel Henninger. “It makes what’s left of the war—telephone wiretaps or monitoring money transfers—vulnerable to a steady stream of congressional and legal objection” (ibid.).
Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.), who has spent decades in military intelligence, contends that the clampdown “promises to do more damage to the intelligence community than even the crippling Carter-era shenanigans—whose effects are still felt today” (New York Post, September 2).
The people the president is trying to satisfy by implementing these steps do not want to make America stronger. They believe America deserves to be knocked down a peg or three. The policy of handcuffing interrogations and handing the agents’ slimmed-down playbook to future terrorist detainees should further their goals quite nicely. To the extent that these people have a constructive goal for America’s future, it is that the country would, having atoned for its arrogance, be able to take its seat among equals in what is supposedly a happy family of nations. This would, in their view, represent an improvement in America’s standing in the world.
Eric Holder and his boss are working diligently toward this end. With deadly effectiveness, they are succeeding.
The glaring problem, though, with the idea that a prostrate America is an improved America—that submission to other nations will earn their admiration—is that those other nations are basically hungry to see the U.S. go down. It is absurd to interpret their eagerness to help President Obama dismantle American power as a sign of friendship.
And the truth is, submission to man in place of submission to God will always lead to curses (Jeremiah 17:5). That is exactly what is befalling a United States that is betting its future on the goodwill of foreign states. But you don’t need the Bible to understand that. The signs are abundant and plain.
Submitting to Foreign Courts
While visiting Berlin last spring, Attorney General Holder was asked if he would cooperate with foreign or international tribunals to prosecute Bush-era officials for how they fought the “war on terror.” His answer was essentially that Washington wouldn’t arrest anyone or hand former officials over for foreign trials, but it would fulfill any “evidentiary requests” to help build legal cases.
In other words, if a foreign or international court wants to try U.S. officials, the White House is there to supply the evidence it needs. Whatever is necessary to “clean up” America’s international reputation.
“This is an administration that is determined to conduct itself by the rule of law,” Mr. Holder said. “And to the extent that we receive lawful requests from an appropriately created court, we would obviously respond to it.” By “rule of law,” the attorney general was referring to international law—laws written by nations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere—trumping the U.S. Constitution, the foundation of America’s national sovereignty.
You can be sure that Mr. Holder is going to start receiving those requests from foreigners eager to impose their laws on American officials. A number of foreigners are already getting busy.
For example, the United Nations “special rapporteur on torture” has said that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld should be tried for torture. “Judicially speaking, the United States has a clear obligation” to put them on trial, Manfred Nowak told German television after President Obama’s inauguration.
A Spanish court is investigating Bush administration officials for torture of Guantánamo Bay prisoners. The case is being reviewed by the judge who successfully had Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet arrested in England in 1998.
Human rights groups in France and Germany have said they want to bring legal action against Mr. Rumsfeld. And surely there are some enterprising lawyers in the Organization of the Islamic Conference that would love to file a case or two as well.
All of these entities are being egged on by the Center for Constitutional Rights (ccr). This radical New York-based legal advocacy group, which sells “Torture Team” playing cards of Bush-era officials, “has been attempting to convince Germany, France, Spain, and other countries to file war-crime indictments against former Bush administration officials, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld,” Andrew McCarthy wrote in the National Review. “In representing America’s enemies, ccr has collaborated with many private lawyers, who also volunteered their services—several of whom are now working in the Obama Justice Department” (August 28; emphasis mine).
Yes, the new Justice Department is stacked with people who have legally represented al Qaeda and other Guantánamo detainees.
Is it any wonder, then, that they want to share evidence with foreigners eager to imprison former U.S. officials? That they want to put cia anti-terrorism operatives on the chopping block? That they want to prioritize the international legal order over America’s national law—and its clear national interests? No—it’s no wonder. Still, the speed at which they’re moving takes one’s breath away.
How do these events factor in to biblical prophecy? One way to answer that question is to see what prophecy does not say.
Daniel 11:40-44 could be considered the keynote prophecy of the Trumpet. And as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in The King of the South, this is an end-time prophecy about the clash of three distinct power blocs. Verse 40 discusses the first clash, which occurs when the king of the north (a German-led European empire) invades the Middle East and destroys the king of the south (led by Iran). This clash marks the beginning of World War iii.
The second major clash is mentioned in verse 44, when the king of the north, after clashing with the king of the south, is forced to turn and confront the “tidings out of the east.” This, as the Bible explains elsewhere, is the army of a great Asian bloc, led primarily by Russia and China.
Mr. Flurry spoke about this prophecy to students at Herbert W. Armstrong College in September, saying, “The most important part of this prophecy is what it doesn’t say.” Read the entire prophecy. The United States (identified in the Bible as Israel) is not mentioned once. Why?
Because at that time, America will not exist as a major political or military force in the world.
This spectacular prophecy is a forecast about the downfall of America as a superpower as much as it is about the rise and collision of the king of the north, the king of the south and the kings of the east.
Look at the Bible’s other key prophecies about major geopolitical events we are about to witness, including half of Jerusalem being forcibly seized by Muslims (Zechariah 14:2), and a destitute Israel asking Germany for military protection (Hosea 5:13). There’s an unseen but clear common denominator in all of these scenarios: the startling absence of the nation that, until recently, has been among the most active participants in these arenas: the United States.
Match those conspicuous omissions with dozens of other prophecies that foretell America’s downfall, and the truth becomes unequivocally clear: The world’s mightiest superpower is about to be conquered.
America’s will has been broken—a curse God promised to send upon our disobedient people (Leviticus 26:19). The belief that America’s war against Islamic extremism is best prosecuted by going after American intelligence agents stems from a broken will. It will hasten defeat for America.
Someday soon, war itself will be history. Scripture promises it. Swords will be beaten into plowshares; nuclear bombs will be melted into playground equipment.
But guess what: Even that time of peace won’t be brought about through negotiations and treaties, nor by gestures of goodwill. It will come only after the King of kings returns, “and in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11). He will fight with a sharp sword and rule with a rod of iron (verse 15). Once the nations submit—and only then—will He be able to teach and enforce the way of peace for all flesh.
God speed that day.
Request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy for a comprehensive scriptural explanation of America’s future. •