Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Well, I may have been wrong -- or at least premature -- when I predicted a little while ago that right-wingers will insist that it's too dangerous to try the Times Square bombing suspect in New York. So far the righties are sticking to the old familiar opportunistic responses to terrorism:

* John McCain is insisting that it would be "a serious mistake" to read the U.S. citizen who's under arrest his Miranda rights "until we find out what it's all about." Congressman Peter King has a similar reaction.

(Meanwhile, those other alleged terrorists, the folks from Michigan's Hutaree militia, were not only Mirandized, they're free on bond, subject to electronic monitoring. "It is alleged they planned to kill a police officer in Michigan and then stage a second attack on the funeral, using landmines and roadside bombs" -- ah, but that's OK because they're white.)

* Charles Krauthammer is literally twitching at the prospect that the Times Square incident will mean that Guantanamo won't be closed for a couple more years (and I do mean literally twitching -- watch the video here). He's also predicting (and clearly hoping) that the Obama administration is going to do something approaching "enhanced" interrogation in this case (Krauthammer's sinister term of art is "a little more scrupulous," as in "they're going to be a little more scrupulous in interrogating the guys if and when they find them"). Hot Air's Allahpundit, by contrast, warns that Gitmo is more likely to be closed down after this, a theory for which he offers this utterly implausible explanation:

After they back down on a civilian trial for KSM, Team Barry will need some sort of political victory in this area to atone to its base.... Obama's a guy who likes to double down when challenged. In fact, given the certainty of big GOP gains in the fall, I wouldn't be surprised to see the White House start a new push to close Gitmo and transfer the prisoners to a mainland facility this summer. Sure, the politics will be dicey, but the bigger the looming Republican tidal wave, the less congressional Democrats have to lose by playing ball. Their huge majority will be gone in six months; why not put it to use? Worst-case scenario, I think there'll be some sort of deal after the midterms but before the new Congress is seated, when all the lame-duck Blue Dogs can "vote their conscience" or whatever.

(I don't know what parallel-universe country Allahpundit is talking about, but I'd like to move there, because the Democrats there seem to offer at least a tiny bit of pushback.)

* And Fox Nation proves it's not going to let words actually uttered on Fox News get in the way of a talking point:

And what did she get "wrong"? Here's what she said on Fox News Sunday:

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: ... Secretary Napolitano, before we get to the oil spill, I want to ask you about that car bomb overnight in Times Square in New York City. New York Governor David Paterson is calling this an act of terrorism. Do we know that?

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO: Well, we're certainly considering it right now as if it could be an act of terrorism or was intended to be an act of terrorism....

WALLACE: And one last question. Do you have any evidence as to whether this is homegrown or whether it has links to foreign groups?

NAPOLITANO: It's too soon to tell, but again, we're not ruling anything out at this point.

And all she said to ABC's Jake Tapper was that "right now" she had "no evidence" that this was "anything other than a one-off," while listing the many avenues of pursuit and the many agencies involved in that pursuit. But for all time, the words "right now" will be excised from that statement by the right's propagandists, and "one-off" will be shouted from the right's housetops. She said nothing untrue or objectionable, but she's going to be pilloried -- again -- based not on reality but on a wingnut distortion of reality.

(More on that last point here, from Betty Cracker.)


ARGH. I almost missed this: via the Mahablog, I see that the right-wing showboater Tammy Bruce thinks the Obama administration is to blame for the failed attack because Faizal Shahzad was naturalized in April 2009 -- on Obama's watch! -- then booked a flight to the United Arab Emirates. Apparently Obama is supposed to be micromanaging the naturalization process, or maybe just not allowing any of those people to become citizens even if they fulfill all the requirements, even someone who, according to officials, "passed all the criminal and national security background checks required for citizenship." Or we're not supposed to let them leave the country afterward, even though we just made them citizens.

By the way, do any of you still doubt that if Al Gore had been president when 9/11 happened, he would have been impeached or hounded relentlessly until he resigned (and possibly faced charges even after that)?

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