In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Can we have it both ways?
I decided today that being a spy chief must be one of the most stressful jobs.
These thoughts were prompted as I read an AFP article highlighting the fact that president Obama has complained about a disastrous intelligence "screw-up" regarding the failed bombing of a Northwest jet on Christmas by a young Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. James Jones, Obama's national security adviser, commented regarding this incident, that Americans would feel a "certain shock" when they read about systemic failures in intelligence operations designed to keep them safe. The article I read said that a confidential source had revealed that in a private meeting with the spy chiefs in the White House Situation Room, President Obama told the chiefs that: "this was a screw-up that could have been disastrous".
Even if it is found that the intelligence community did not do as good of a job as they could have, I can't help but sympathize with them. I can't help but think about all the complaints I read and hear about the intelligence community being too zealous about obtaining information, and too quick to ignore human rights. There's been the ongoing controversy since 9/11 about warrantless surveillance and debate over if the U.S. should have a system of non-criminal military detention for enemy terrorists who for many reasons are difficult to convict by trial (i.e. the whole argument about what to do with the Guantanamo Bay detainees) .
It would seem as if these folks are in a situation where they are looked at poorly every which way they turn. Whenever I'm in those sorts of situations I have to remind myself that I just have to do what I believe is right, to the best I can figure that out by the grace of God, and then live with whatever results come my way.
One thing I did find of interest in the criticism levied against the intelligence comminity regarding the failed bombing of a Northwest jet on Christmas, was the tie in between Abdulmutallab and the the Fort Hood bomber Nidal Malik Hasan. The tie in comes in the form of a radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki; both men had connections with this cleric. I found this interesting because of all the talk when the Fort Hood situation occurred about how wrong it was for anyone to try to connect him with any kind of terrorist group "just because" he was Muslim.
Anwar al-Awlaki is said to have advised Fort Hood suspect Maj Nidal Malik Hasan by e-mail. Although there is general agreement that Anwar al-Awlaki influenced the attempted jet bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, there is much disagreement as to when/where. Some point to when Abdulmutallab studied at University College London (UCL) from September 2005 to June 2008 and was president of its Islamic society in 2006-07; but UCL says his recruitment occurred in Yemen in the months before the attack.
Anwar al-Awlaki was born in Mexico in 1971 and moved to Yemen in 2004 to live in ancestral home village. He is a U.S. citizen. Anwar al-Awlaki served as an Iman in Colorado, California, and later in the Washington, D.C. area where he headed the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and was also the Muslim Chaplain at George Washington University. He has Endorsed violence as religious duty. While serving in San Deigo, 2 of the 9/11 hijackers had attended sermons by him. He was Jailed in Yemen in 2006 for alleged plot to kidnap US military attache.
As I read about all this in the news today I found myself thinking that there is constant criticism levied against the intelligence community for disregarding the freedom of individuals when obtaining information, for jumping too quickly to conclusions when apprehending suspects, and in how they follow up with suspects. There is truth to all of these criticisms; yet we are still faced with the reality of the need to protect the American people from terrorist acts.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on where you think the most positive contributions to protecting the American people from terrorism are coming from?
I'm just grateful to God for His goodness to me and want to live my life following after Him. I've been blessed with 3 awesome sons and in July of 2005 I remarried. My husband truly knows me and still loves me - how much more blessed could I be!
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Perceptive words spread knowledge; fools are hollow—there's nothing to them. GOD can't stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers. A life frittered away disgusts GOD; he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.