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A forgotten day of infamy: 10-year anniversary of the Cole bombing — and still no justice; Update: White House finally releases statement

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 12, 2010 02:29 PM

Scroll for updates…4:56pm Eastern…the White House finally releases statement…

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Did you remember? Before 9/11, there was 10/12. The USS Cole bombing, ten years ago today, should have taught us all that the jihadists’ war on the infidel West started a long, long time ago.

Remember: The flame of Muslim outrage is eternal.

Never forget: The American heroes who gave their lives.

Electronics Technician 1st Class Richard Costelow
Mess Management Specialist Lakina Francis
Information Systems Technician Tim Guana
Signalman Seaman Recruit Cherone Gunn
Seaman James McDaniels
Engineman 2nd Class Mark Nieto
Electronics Warfare Technician 3rd Class Ronald Owens
Seaman Recruit Lakiba Parker
Engineman Fireman Joshua Parlett
Fireman Apprentice Patrick Roy
Electronics Warfare Technician Kevin Rux
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ron Santiago
Operations Special 2nd Class Timothy Sanders
Fireman Gary Swenchonis Jr
Ensign Andrew Triplett
Seaman Apprentice Craig Wibberly
Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Clodfelter.

***

Flashback October 12, 2001…

A forgotten day of infamy
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
10/12/01

BEFORE 9-11, there was 10-12. On this dark day, one year ago, a bomb ripped through the U.S.S. Cole – and tore apart the lives of 17 American families who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack. The Cole, a guided missile destroyer sent to enforce the United Nations embargo on Iraq, had been refueling at the Yemeni port of Aden when a pair of suicide bombers rammed their explosive-packed skiff into the American ship.

A year later, the Cole crewmembers and their families have been largely forgotten. Despite former President Clinton’s swaggering promise to track down the attackers (“We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable.”) not a single suspect has answered for the despicable murders on Oct. 12, 2000. Yemen – long a safe haven for terrorists — refuses to cooperate with our Federal Bureau of Investigation. Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind both the 10-12 and 9-11 attacks, continues to breathe free while American widows grieve.

One of those young widows is Sharla Costelow. Her husband Richard, a chief petty officer on the Cole, died while lunching in the chief’s mess when the explosion hit. A communications technology whiz, he had been promoted at sea a month before the attack. In a paper he wrote during his Chief’s initiation process, Costelow reflected on his new responsibilities: “To instill excellence in today’s generation is a tough job. A Chief must be ready for the challenges that this job creates. I will be ready. I have to be. The future of the Navy depends on it. I will not sit back and take it easy. I will strive for excellence in all that I do.”

Chief Costelow — 35, dedicated to the defense of his country, and devoted to his family — now lies buried in a field of fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.

“There are still days when I get depressed, and angry, and can’t stop crying,” Mrs. Costelow told me in a phone interview earlier this week. The pain, she said, “didn’t end with the death of my husband. It’s part of our daily lives.” She preserves the memory of her husband and the Cole by maintaining a website and writing letters to Congress — which have been ignored.

The great Christian author C.S. Lewis wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Shame on those government officials who refuse to hear the Cole families’ pleas for answers – and accountability. “It’s been swept under the rug,” Mrs. Costelow noted. But she won’t be silenced. She supports the current action in Afghanistan against bin Laden, but she is upset that “so many people had to die because of these terrorists. I feel strongly that our government at the time of the Cole attack was totally negligent.”

Mrs. Costelow wants to write a book about her experience, but in the meantime, her children (Dillon, 14, Brady, 6, and Ethan, 4) keep her going — along with her religious faith. On her website memorial to her husband, Mrs. Costelow posted an image of an eagle along with a scriptural passage that inspires her: “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40: 31).”

The most difficult thing to deal with, Mrs. Costelow said, is the irreplaceable loss suffered by her boys. “The love of their father, the look in his eyes, the feeling from his heart – they won’t ever have that again.” Her youngest son, Ethan, still has trouble sleeping sometimes because “he’s afraid the bad guys will come and get him like they got his dad.”

Never forget Ethan Costelow’s fear. Never forget his father’s bravery and his mother’s grief. This is why we are at war with the evil forces of terrorism. This is why we must win.

***

Cassy Fiano remembers at Hot Air.

Blood-boiling: Ten years later, still no trial.

Pentagon officials have been repeatedly blocked in their efforts to revive charges against the alleged architect of the bombing of the USS Cole due to political wrangling within the Obama administration over how and where to try accused terrorists, administration officials tell NBC News.

Military prosecutors had originally charged Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — known to law enforcement investigators as al-Qaida’s “maritime commander” — with engineering the Oct. 12, 2000 bombing of the Cole, a U.S. naval destroyer, off the coast of Yemen, killing 17 U.S. sailors and injuring 39.

But, in a move that rankled many Cole survivors at the time, the charges against al-Nashiri were withdrawn by President Barack Obama shortly after he took office last year. His administration wanted to review how to handle the prosecution of high-value Guantanamo detainees.

As family members and crew assembled in Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attack, the president’s decision to withdraw the charges — and his administration’s failure so far to revive the case — has re-emerged as an angry source of contention.

When the Justice Department recently filed a motion saying there were no immediate plans to bring new charges against al-Nashiri, “We were stunned,” Kirk Lippold, commander of Cole at the time of the attack, told NBC. “The crew was very upset. … It’s almost like the victims themselves are being disregarded for the sake of larger political purposes.”

The US Department of Social Justice continues to spit on the graves of the fallen.

***

I searched the White House website today for any mention of the USS Cole bombing anniversary.

This is the result:

Searching without the periods – “USS Cole” yields a few articles — most recent one in May 2009.

Obama issued a statement celebrating the 10th anniversary of the “Community of Democracies.”

The 10th anniversary of the Cole bombing…not worthy.

Dear White House press office: Hurry up. There’s still time left in the day to acknowledge this brutal attack and the men who gave their lives.

Upate – 4:58pm Eastern – I tweeted Robert Gibbs at 3:16pm Eastern. The White House finally released a statement acknowledging the 10th anniversary of the Cole bombing. Better late than never.

Here’s the full statement.

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