Tom Ridge offers opinion about failed Christmas plane bomber

Tom Ridge told Larry King, “I don’t think ( the failed-christmas-plane-bomber ) deserves the full range of protections of our criminal justice system embodied in the Constitution of the United States,” CNN, 12-29-09.

It bothers me that someone as influential as Tom Ridge would make such a suggestion. Surely the suspect should get all of the rights that our justice system ensures; who knows, maybe the failed-christmas-plane-bomber was forced to do what he did with a threat of violence to his family – it happens. A fair trial can determine the facts.

Ridge’s comments sound too similar to the story where China tried a suspected British drug smuggler without due process ( qualified representation, etc ), and subsequently they executed him even though the British government suggested that that suspect was mentally ill and may have been coerced into carrying the drugs on someone else’s behalf.

Tom Ridge’s comments make our country look arrogant and unjust, which fuels an international bitterness towards us, which leads to more terrorists pursuits against us.

Nevertheless, I appreciate his gung-ho attitude.



9 responses

  1. The jihadi isn’t a normal criminal; it’s an “illegal” – as in not abiding by or protected by the Rules of War – enemy combatant in a global war (jihad).

    As such, the jihadi terrorists are not deserving of the full protections of civilian law. It is a military manner and such things as the jihadis are allowed and meant to be dealt with via summary military justice.

  2. jonolon, thanks for your response;

    I will take issue with your comment, however …

    you seem to be accepting that the suspect is indeed guilty ( did you see the movie 12 Angry Men? not all is as it seems ).

    suppose that the suspect WAS NOT a willing participant; suppose that possibly he was kidnapped and coerced, or that he is mentally ill and coerced, or that his family was kidnapped and he was coerced, or who knows what else.

    in my opinion the idea of a fair trial extends to everyone, and if within that framework it is determined that a suspect is guilty then there you have it.


  3. Frankly, I don’t care why an enemy goes to war against me and mine, only that he has done so.

    That’s the underlying difference between us. You keep thinking in terms of “crime” whereas I understand that this is “Asymmetric Warfare” that follows the methodologies that – sadly and to our later detriment – America and the Allies created and disseminated during and after WW2.

    A conscripted (coerced) soldier is still an enemy and must still be neutralized.

  4. RE:Surely the suspect should get all of the rights that our justice system ensures;

    RE: A fair trial can determine the facts.
    Wrong. All that is required is an investigation which would give rise to further action if warranted. To wait for a trial to bring this fantasy to light is absurd. For example, if OJ was innocent in the eyes of those 12 idiotic jurors believed, where is the investigation to find the true killer. Nada. Zip. Zero.

  5. Ben, thanks for your response;

    I hear you … I share some of your cynicism about the effectiveness of our judicial system ( ex: innocent people in prison ) …

    but is our negative attitude enough to invalidate the principles that serve as the foundation of our country;

    fair trials should belong to everyone, and if you and I are concerned about the culpability of our judicial system in action then we need to focus on judicial reform … but not denial … in my opinion;

    are you aware of the John McCain logic regarding fairness for POW’s: if we treat foreign POW’s unfairly, other nations will do the same to ours … which, I believe, is the Golden Rule;

    and let’s suppose that tonight on your way home from wherever that you are stopped by a police officer and told that you look exactly like the description of child-abductor from a nearby Wal-Mart … do you want a fair trial?


  6. Being a foreigner, he has no rights to any protection granted upon its citizens by our constitution. Furthermore, you either believe we are at war with Islamic-borne terrorism or you don’t. If not, then you see it as a mere crime conducted by one and therefore your flawed logic leads you to civil trial.

  7. Ben,

    suppose that I commit a crime in Finland, maybe I spit on the sidewalk … do I deserve a fairness upon me as a local Finlander would receive ( I know nothing about Finland by the way ) … or can the Finland judicial system just amputate my legs and have a blast urinating on me in the center of their town square … even before they give me a trial;

    surely nationality should not be an issue, or the modern world can justify using foreign-born lawbreakers for gladiator spectacles;

    it is obvious that there are a bunch of extremist Islamic pecker heads ruining decency … but my fear and anger don’t substantiate the negation of the principles of our country;

    I have a feeling that our discussion is a red-vs-blue discussion … if so, we need to be more mature;


  8. Shannon,

    Your position rests upon civil law as it applies to its citizens. My position rests upon a war footing with willing combatants.

    The goal of Al Qaeda is to bankrupt America so that we can no longer support Israel. They will stop at nothing to reach that goal. They will even recruit loss souls such as the so-called Christmas bomber, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and those in “Gitmo” should not get a civil trial as many would grant them. Since they are combatants who deliberately murder civilians as well as our military personnel, they should be tried in a military court of law. If found guilty they should face execution, but not before we extract as much usable information from them as possible so we can protect America and her citizens who really do deserve the protection given to them by the U.S. Constitution.

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