On Christmas Day, Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (“UFA”), in possession of a US Visa, boarded a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb strapped to his underwear. UFA attempted to kill himself, all those on board, and create as much collateral death as possible over the City of Detroit. The operation failed because the explosive ignited improperly injuring him and two passengers out of the 300 that were on board. UFA was subdued until landing where he was arrested by Federal authorities.
He was then charged with attempted murder and use of a weapon of mass destruction and is being prosecuted in Federal Court at the behest of most Americans who believe that he should be treated as an enemy of America and tried at a military tribunal.
One of the biggest problems with prosecuting this case in Federal Court is it returns the US to an ineffective policy that failed to avoid 9/11. The policy lumps terrorists with everyday criminals, and guarantees the accused a whole slew of rights, including the right to be silent. After only 30 hours of interrogation by CIA officials, UFA has an attorney, has pleaded not guilty, and has chosen to remain silent.
Do not be mistaken this terrorist is no dummy, an engineering student, and former president of the Islamic Society at University College London between 2005 and 2008 “was known by the UK security services to have contacted radical Islamist preachers while in Britain.” It is also suspected that the attempt on Christmas Day was “organized and launched by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen.” The amount of dots that could have been connected if only he was treated as a terrorist instead of a criminal is astounding.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Nation understood that War had been declared on America and Western civilization in the name of “Allah”. This jihad movement, no matter how demolished by American and allied military forces over the past 9 years, has not relented and is determined to invoke holy terror on the world.
Military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (“Gitmo”) were instituted to specifically handle terrorists, so it is stunning that the Obama administration chooses to avoid such tribunals set up for this purpose in the first place. President Obama can call the actions of UFA terrorism (which he has on a number of occasions), but until he permits the military to treat him as a terrorist, uncovering terrorist plots will be hamstringed in every case moving forward.
President Obama should see the futility of closing Gitmo, but instead falls in line with his most ardent supporters – the hard left – who has accused the Bush administration of torture there, and want Gitmo closed. The decision to close Gitmo is surely on the top 10 of Obama’s biggest foul ups of 2009. Most Americans understand that Gitmo serves its purpose and most Americans want it and its terrorists to stay there.
Obama’s actions beg the familiar question; does he know who the enemy is? If you dare criticize him for his policies, he will pounce like a lion after its prey. If only Obama would take such a hard line with Islamic terrorists as he does with former Vice President Dick Cheney, Americans would feel a little safer.
Note that the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department were focused on partisan politics for most of last year. Homeland Security spent months preparing a report outlining the threats of right wing extremists, while Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was communicating with a known terrorist in Yemen right under their nose.
Justice Department officials have re-opened a closed case against CIA agents from the Bush administration for alleged torture of terrorists; and most egregious of all, are in the process of moving 9-11 mastermind Kalid Shaikh Mohammed (“KSM”) to Federal Court for a show trial in NYC even though he had pleaded guilty and was scheduled for military trial at Gitmo.
KSM is now given all the rights granted to every American in a court of law, including a presumption of innocence, all so that Obama can show the world that he is not George Bush – who handled terrorists in a post-911 way and no doubt saved lives – and so the world will like America better.
Either the President starts looking out for American interests over politics fast or the public had better pray and pray often, because even though this administration says they have their eye on the ball, clearly their actions say something else.