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