We are a country of laws

There seems to be concern and anger among pundits that the Underwear Bomber is being given the full protections of our laws and will be tried in a civilian court. I’m actually elated that he’s being treated this way.

For me, this represents one of the single most stinging blows we can deliver to our enemies by demonstrating they have not forced us to our knees and caused us to stoop to their level. We were created as a country of laws and we continue to be so despite their efforts to scare us into chaos.

After 9/11, there was a lot of patriotism expressed through songs and declarations that America is not afraid of anyone. Our attitude was belligerent, exuding a defiant “Bring it one” stance to the extremists and murderers who would destroy us. I hate to think that our purported defiance of these scumbags crumples the minute we are actually confronted by them.

Yet that’s exactly what seemed to happen when Obama declared his intent to close Guantanamo Bay. Various elected officials declared they would never allow these terrorists into their state to endanger their populace. All I could think was, “Really? We’re scared of a bunch of people locked up in a prison with armed guards all around them? Either we don’t believe our penal system is capable of keeping prisoners incarcerated or we are the biggest bunches of wusses ever.”

Even during World War II we had prisoners of war on our soil. Assuming that those incarcerated are, in fact, military prisoners of war, why do they frighten us so much more than their enemies frightened our parents?

Which, of course, brings up the next big issue in this whole debate. Does calling something a war automatically make people enemy combatants who belong only in military custody? Because if so, we have a whole bunch of people incarcerated due to our “war” on drugs that should not be in civilian prisons.

The reality, of course, is that there is a vast difference between calling something a war and something that actually qualifies as a war.

So to come back to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who burned his privates for his god, thereby negating any fun all those virgins waiting for him in heaven might have to offer.  I see no reason to promote him to the position of soldier if only because there are too many American men and women around the world who proudly carry that designation and have every right to see it respected as an honorable profession.

Abdulmutallab is nothing more nor less than a common thug and would be murderer who was too cowardly to face a real opponent and so sought to blow up innocent men and women in the name of some god who, if he does exist, is hiding his head in shame at what is being done in his name. Abdulmutallab deserves exactly what he is getting – a trial as a common criminal and the penalty that follows such a scummy act of cowardice.

For those who think he should have been shuttled off to some secret military base and interrogated beyond the eyes of the American people, I say get a grip. This is a kid who let someone rig explosives in his underpants. How much in depth knowledge do you really think he has? How much do you think they would have let him have? He was a disposable item in the arsenal of a group of murderers who used him and were obviously willing to lose him with no real care or concern.

I am proud that America has not let these thugs win by pulling us down to their level. I am proud we are a country of laws that honors that tradition across the board. The true test of our country is not how we treat the people who commit garden variety crimes. The true test of our will is how we treat a coward like Abdulmutallab when the decision is hard and painful.

Americans are proud of our adherence to the rule of civilian law. So long as we do not let these thugs drag us down from that position, they will never defeat us.