The charges against Abdulmutallab will doubtless include 288 counts of attempted murder. But if the jet jockeys terrorist wanted to kill only 288, he could have detonated his bomb over the Atlantic. He waited until final descent because he wanted to bring down that Northwest Airlines jet over the Detroit airport crowded with holiday travelers. The death toll might well have exceeded that of 9/11. On Christmas. Get the point?
Are there more young killers in the skies? Before he was read his Miranda rights, and given a taxpayer-funded lawyer, Abdulmutallab was our best source for information about the nature, extent, and future plans of the worldwide terrorist conspiracy bent on slaughtering Americans.
President Obama--in between Hawaiian snorkeling sessions and family outings to anti-American movies--said we were doing “all in our power” to meet this threat. I wanted to yell: “Where’s Joe Wilson now?” Even if we didn’t agree with the obstreperous South Carolina congressman who yelled “You lie!” during Obama’s September speech, we have to admit there’s an overwhelming temptation to yell when Obama says things that are patently untrue.
Of course, he is not doing all in his power to fight terrorism. He could give them military trials at Guantanamo Bay. That’s what the facility was designed for. That’s what it should be used for. That’s what a strong liberal President like FDR would do. Military trials for would-be killers during time of war is exactly how FDR treated captured Nazi saboteurs.
Congress should bow to reality. It can show it understands the nature of the terrorist threat better than the Executive. Congress has the power to deny any federal funds for civilian trials of enemy combatants. If President Obama clings to the isolated extremism of the ACLU, Congress can save him--and us--from the dangerous consequences of this folly. And if Congress refuses, the people can give them a reality check in November.