Dec 30, 2009
Republican spin on Detroit foiled terrorist attack is out of control
Right-wingers are spinning so hard on the attempt on Christmas day to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit Metro Airport they are in danger of spinning themselves into the ground.
We had rightwing U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C, who apparently hates union members and police and fire fighters more than he does terrorists. He is filibustering President Obama’s nominee for the position of administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) because he has not answered questions on his position on unionizing TSA employees. First, it’s not up the TSA administrator. If a majority of workers say they want a union they have one; it has nothing to do with who is in charge. Unions are the most democratic thing in the workplace.
His excuse is they will less flexible. Democratic strategist James Carville had a very good point on a talk show. The hundreds of fire fighters and police officers who died in the World Trade Center during 9/11 were union members. Did that stop them from sacrificing their lives?
Then we have “Twitter” Pete Hoekstra shamelessly using it to raise money for his Michigan Gubernatorial run. This is a guy who held a press conference to tell the world the U.S. had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the ranking Republican on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee has compromised more classified information than Mata Hari. It’s amazing he still has a security clearance.
But the most recent outrageous spin is that of U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Macomb County, leading a lynch mob against the “Underpants Bomber.” According the to the AP, “Miller urged the Justice Department to immediately classify the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a packed Detroit-bound plane as an enemy combatant and turn him over to the military for enhanced interrogation and trial.”
“Enhanced interrogation?” That is a code word for torture, and there are two things wrong with this. First, information obtained from torture is unreliable. Second, torture is illegal as well as immoral. A friend of mine, also a military veteran like me, was angry when he heard Miller’s comments on WJR. See, there is this thing called the Geneva Convention that makes torture illegal, and it protects combatants.
Now, I know terrorists ignore it, but how can we expect other countries to respect the Geneva Convention when the U.S. - the shining example of fair play and freedom - ignores it? My friend has a grandson who just graduated from Navy boot camp, and he is angry that Miller is putting him in danger. Apparently, Republicans have been watching too many episodes of “24.” I saw rightwing tool Pat Buchanan on TV recently saying we should deny the underwear bomber his pain medicine. That’s called torture, Pat.
But the “Underwear Bomber” is a criminal, and he should be treated as such; not raised to the level of a soldier like he wants. He should be tried as a civilian in U.S. District Court in Detroit just like the Justice Department is doing just like the 6th amendment says.
The Detroit incident bears a striking resemblance to the incident involving another al-Qaeda bomber, Richard Reid, AKA the Shoe bomber. You will recall that he was arrested on December 22, 2001 for attempting to destroy an American Airlines Boeing 767 bound to Miami from Paris, France with an explosive in his shoe. He was convicted on charges of terrorism and is currently serving a life sentence without parole in the United States.
Why weren’t Miller and the Republicans screaming about the shoe bomber being tried in civilian court? How is the shoe bomber any different than the underwear bomber?