Why Is There A Law?

I am a bit slow to get to this, but I just came across this quick remark at the end of a blog entry:

When do we get the find­ing in re the qual­i­ty of judg­ment shown by the decision…to Miran­dize the under­wear bomber?

I believe there was not much short­age of politi­cians who made pub­lic com­ments to the effect that Umar Farouk Abdul­mu­tal­lab should not have been treat­ed as a crim­i­nal but as an ene­my com­bat­ant. Now, I am not a lawyer, but I can not help but won­der how many of those politi­cians helped to pass the laws that Abdul­mu­tal­lab is now charged with.

It seems to me if you do not want a per­son who attempts to blow up an air­plane treat­ed as a crim­i­nal, then why are you crim­i­nal­iz­ing such behav­ior? Oh yes. To look tough on the sub­ject of terrorism.

Vot­ers, I believe in being tough on ter­ror­ists and that’s why I helped to put laws against blow­ing up air­planes in the fed­er­al crim­i­nal code. Also, because I am tough on ter­ror, I do not believe that any ter­ror­ist should face those charges, but instead should be treat­ed as an ene­my combatant.”

Or some­thing like that.

I sup­pose it is pos­si­ble that treat­ing Abdul­mu­tal­lab as an ene­my com­bat­ant still requires that there be estab­lished law to charge him with. But if that estab­lished law prop­er­ly belongs in the fed­er­al crim­i­nal code, how is it dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed from the oth­er law that is sub­ject to such things as Miran­da rights?

This being the first time I have post­ed about Umar Farouk Abdul­mu­tal­lab, I feel com­pelled to men­tion that, in the days fol­low­ing Christ­mas, many radio and tv journalists/​announcers avoid­ed pro­nounc­ing his name and sim­ply referred to him as “the Niger­ian man.” I thought that rather amusing.