If self-importance were wisdom, these people would be geniuses ....
John McCain, Lindsey Graham and their buddy Joe Lieberman's replacement, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, like to pose as serious voices of reason on matters of terrorism and foreign policy. They are not.
Rather than conduct reasoned, case-by-case analysis, they abide by one guiding principle applied to all situations: Every problem can best be solved by turning it into a military problem. If they had their way, just to cite a few examples, we would probably have tens of thousands of troops on the ground in Libya and tens of thousands more in Syria; we would be expanding rather than reducing our military presence in Afghanistan, and we'd have hundreds of thousands positioned to invade Iran and force regime change there.
In the latest pronouncement for which no one was waiting breathlessly, the Three Amigos have decided that 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged marathon bomber, poses such a threat to the security of our nation that he must be declared an enemy combatant and handled through military tribunals rather than through the civilian judicial system.
Joined by U.S. Rep. Peter King, they issued the following press release Saturday:
"It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.
“The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent....
We should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect right now that can help our nation understand how this attack occurred and what may follow in the future. That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete....
We continue to face threats from radical Islamists in small cells and large groups throughout the world. They have, as their primary focus, killing as many Americans as possible, preferably within the United States. We must never lose sight of this fact and act appropriately within our laws and values."
That is sheer and utter nonsense. The American justice system, complete with the constraints placed upon it by the U.S. Constitution and centuries of precedent, is perfectly capable of handling Tsarnaev's case and meting out the harsh justice that he has earned. Civil authorities investigated and exposed Tsarnaev and his brother as the perpetrators of the bombing; civil authorities killed his brother and captured Tsarnaev; civil authorities, not the U.S. military, can now complete the job.
Taking the alternative course advocated by McCain and his friends not only diminishes us, it elevates a sadsack such as Tsarnaev to a status that he simply does not deserve and that may make him a hero to other wannabes. Rather than overreact, we need to take these things in stride and make it clear to ourselves and the world that we can handle them within the ordinary process.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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