In yet another case showing the utter lunacy of right wing positions on how to handle terror cases, a civilian court had no difficulty convicting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airplane with explosives hidden in his underwear. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. TPM has a roundup of some of the statements from the wingnuts about the case before it happened:
Still it’s worth revisiting just what critics of the civilian court system predicted. Some examples:
- Sen. Mitch McConnell said in early 2010 that the Obama administration treated Abdulmutallab “as if he had robbed a convenience store” and joked that CNN’s Larry King “has interrogated people longer and better” than the FBI. TPM asked his spokesman if the successful prosecution of Abdulmatallab had changed his views, but his office did not respond.
- Here’s Sen. Kit Bond from January 2010: “We have learned the hard way that trying terrorists in federal court comes at a high price, from losing out on potentially life-saving intelligence to compromising our sources and methods. We must treat these terrorists as what they are—not common criminals, but enemy combatants in a war.”
- Reps. Peter King, Buck McKeon, Jerry Lewis, Peter Hoekstra and Lamar Smith “sent a letter to Obama shortly after the attempted attack… demanding that Abdulmutallab be tried in a military court instead.”
- Michele Bachmann late last year: “He was not an American citizen. We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don’t read them their rights. They don’t have any.”
- Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins also in January, 2010: “We write to urge the administration to immediately transfer Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a foreign terrorist, to the Department of Defense to be held as an unprivileged enemy belligerent (UEB) and questioned and charged accordingly.” Lieberman’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Civilian courts have a far better track record than the military tribunals at Gitmo in convicting terrorists.