Ken Blackwell

Why should he only be charged with 288 counts of attempted murder? Isn’t it clear that he waited until his jet was descending over Detroit’s airport crowded with Christmas travelers? If he wanted to kill only those 288 passengers on Flight 253, he might have ignited his underpants over the Atlantic.

We still don’t know if terrorists brought down TWA Flight 800 off Long Island in 1996, killing all 230 people aboard. That’s because it’s so difficult to investigate crashes over open ocean. So, even if it was caused by terrorists, they did not achieve their goal—which is to maximize the number of deaths and to do it in a way that leaves no doubt that they are responsible.

The key here is that the Obama administration is dangerously naive about terrorism. Can John Brennan really be talking about extracting information from the underpants bomber by offering him a reduced sentence? From what to what? Should we charge him with the attempted murder of 3,000 Americans—including all those on the ground that Christmas Day—and let him plea bargain down to only the 288 on board his own jet?

What, exactly, does Brennan’s kid glove mean in terms of terms? Will Abdulmutallab be allowed to plea bargain down to, say, the 150 years that Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to serve in federal prison? What possible difference would this make in his willingness to talk? What deterrence does this policy provide to men who are perfectly willing to commit suicide? No security for us, no deterrence for them. Obama, Holder, Napolitano, Brennan have this much in common: They’re not serious.

You can tell they’re not serious when even liberals like California Congresswoman Jane Harman (D) is arguing for no more releases from Gitmo. "I think it is a bad time to send the 90 or so Yemenis back to Yemen," said Chairman Harman in a story reported in The Hill. When would be a good time? Still, Harman continues to support closing Gitmo, which raises the question: Where do you put the prisoners? If you put them in U.S. prisons, they get “lawyered up” and the full range of rights of U.S. defendants. And they can potentially infect our own prison population.

Can any Member of Congress face the voters this November pledging to have a kinder and gentler policy toward those who have vowed to murder Americans? By extending the rights of Americans to those who are trying to destroy America, the Obama administration is turning the Constitution into a suicide pact. They can’t find the needle. They can’t even find the haystack.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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