Risky Business

by Clifford D. May

A few more thoughts regarding the Talking Points Memo, in which Josh Marshall chides National Review and asserts:

There’s no reason beside GOP electoral strategy for not trying AbdulMutallab in a regular American Court.

It is not clear how Josh arrived at this conclusion, but certainly logic was not the vehicle in which he traveled. Consider:

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has reportedly told investigators:

There are more just like me who will strike soon.

If he knows that, he may also be in possession of information that would help investigators locate these individuals before they strike. Indeed, it is likely that UFA attended suicide-bomber school with some of them in Yemen between August and September.

But because UFA is being treated as a criminal suspect to be tried in a regular American court, he has been told he has a “right to remain silent.” And his attorney, presumably, has told him to exercise that right until such time as it is possible to determine how much leniency his cooperation may be worth.

In the meantime, one of these terrorists may succeed in his mission. That will be the price we pay for treating UFA as criminal suspect rather than an unlawful combatant.

I guess Josh, the ACLU, MoveOn.org — and the current administration as well — are okay with that. I doubt most Americans would agree. Because of partisan politics? No, because they aren’t eager to risk hundreds of lives in order to strike a pose.

BTW, I argue in this NRO column for three lessons this administration ought to learn from this experience. And in this piece for AOL.com I develop some arguments for why airport security officials should be spending less time looking for weapons and more time looking for terrorists (the ACLU takes the opposing argument).

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