Thursday, December 31, 2009

Terrorists Need to be Treated Like Common Criminals

Obama has this down. Why elevate the stature of a terrorist?
Obama's not giving the terrorists what they want, but republicans seem to want to elevate the status of a common criminal to "enemy combatant." Republicans don't think Obama is tough enough on terrorism, which has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with their own ignorance.
The GOP is behaving like small idiots, and frankly, I'm sick of their nonsense, especially when it comes to national security. Obama is the president. HIS foreign policy is the one that we voted for. Pete Hoekstra, Peter King, Dick Cheney, losers.
I don't want to see anyone pointing fingers. I want to see people fixing things. They need to be helping. If not, find something else to do. I still can't help seeing the GOP as a giant troll under the bridge.
Wouldn't it be refreshing to see someone like Hoekstra act like an adult and say, hey, what can I do?
Two good pieces today on the importance of treating terrorists, not as worthy enemies, but plain and simple criminals:
Nothing plays more right into the hands of Al Qaeda than glorifying them as some sort of special and unique class of warriors -- enemy combatants -- rather than treating them as the lowly, common, murderous criminals they are. When we deny them due process and imprison them without charges because they're something stronger and scarier than mere criminals -- when we pronounce that they are our enemies waging holy war on America -- we do more to elevate their stature and, in the eyes of their followers, justify their violence than anything they could hope to do themselves. The more fearful and extreme our reaction to them is, the better their cause is served. Is there anything they can do or say to make that clearer? Salon
From the Washington Post:
Mr. Cheney and others argue that Mr. Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to down Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas, should have been held as an enemy combatant and pumped for information, rather than read his Miranda rights and provided a lawyer. They further argue that the decision to shuttle him to federal court shows that President Obama is in denial about the dangers of terrorism.

This last claim has no merit. Just as it would be a mistake to approach all terrorist acts as a law enforcement challenge, so would it be imprudent to dispense with strong and available law enforcement tools, and to deal with all such incidents as acts of war. Recall that the Bush administration prosecuted shoe bomber Richard Reid in federal court for attempting to down a transatlantic flight using the same type of explosives allegedly found on Mr. Abdulmutallab. No one then questioned the Bush-Cheney administration's judgment or its resolve -- and rightly so.
So why not bundle the Nigerian suspect to a secure location for intensive questioning by the CIA? First, because he already has been talking to authorities about his affiliation with al-Qaeda and the possibility of other attacks. Second, because he is no Khalid Sheik Mohammed -- he is not a seasoned al-Qaeda operator but a disturbed young man whom the group tried to use as cannon fodder.

Most important, the Bush administration's own experience has showed that holding suspects as enemy combatants creates more problems than it solves, because of the lack of due process and legal accountability. WaPo