Tonight, on The Factor, I heard—news flash—a whole bunch of bullshit. Our boy Newt Gingrich and Factor host Bill Oaf-Reilly were discussing Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the diaper bomber) in a civilian court.
“The attorney general is more concerned with protecting terrorists than protecting his own family,” Gingrich said, in all his glimmering wisdom. “Why else would he let [Abdulmutallab] lawyer up?”
Now, I know ol' Newt isn't exactly the fastest salamander in the slew, but there is quite an abundance of people who actually, truly, honestly believe this garbage he's spewing. They believe the reason Holder, Obama and others such as me care so much about Abdulmutallab's rights is because we are a bunch of big, fat terrorist huggers who want to keep terrorists safe and sound so they can continue to do those cute little terrorist-things they do, like murdering and torturing and raping our families.
Boys will be boys, right?
A little later, media analyst Bernie Goldberg, also irritated that Abdulmutallab has been permitted to “lawyer up,” told Oaf-Reilly that the Obama administration, and the left in general, are “putting terrorist's rights in front of the safety of every single American family.”
Now, I know Bernie Goldberg ain't exactly the team captain of the Houston Rocket Scientists, but, really, B.G.? You haven't figured out that it's not terrorist rights we are worried about but, rather, human rights—specifically, humans who may have been mistaken for being terrorists, thanks to the fog of war and a rush to judgment.
Mr. Oaf-Reilly, who clearly will never be offered any column space at Voice of Reason Monthly, bewailed, “Why, why, why!? Why would we let him lawyer up? I don't understand!”
OK, Bill, Newt, Bernie and the rest, let me break it down for you in a way that might actually sink in—with simple language and a lot of imagery.
When a lifeguard enters the water to save a drowning person, he brings that little red floaty-tubey thingy with him. When in the vicinity of the imperiled swimmer, the lifeguard pushes the tube toward the swimmer and tows him or her to safety. The reason they don't just swim right up to a drowning person is because a drowning person is dangerous. Stricken with mortal fear, a drowning person will claw and grasp and drag you under as he clamors over you for air. Fear makes people do some fucked-up shit. Ditto anger, which is why our justice system is designed the way it is, with checks and balances, to remove the human element of fear and anger from the equation, so that when we become panicked—such as after a major terrorist attack—we don't become that drowning person, clawing and grasping and clamoring to strike down the first person we can get our soggy mitts on. Unchecked fear and anger is what permitted the Salem witch trials, the McCarthy blacklists, the Japanese internment camps and the McMartin pre-school lynchings to happen. It's exactly why we have Miranda rights, habeas corpus and other protections, and it doesn't matter a good-goddamn whether they are Americans, foreigners, minorities, homosexuals or little gray people from Planet Piglicker—everyone deserves due process.
“He lives in a world where somehow the United States is dangerous,” Gingrich said of Holder, and, well, yeah, Newt, that's my point. Any country can become dangerous when stricken with rage or mortal terror, especially when that rage and terror is triggered by its own government as a tool to manipulate the public into approving whatever global transgressions it intends to commit.
Of course, Fox News isn't the only place people are making such egregious remarks. We also have members of Congress echoing the same sentiment: “We should not allow terrorists to lawyer up,” said Rep. Michele Bachman, “[They] should not be afforded the rights of American citizens.”
Lord knows that Michele Bachman won't ever get elected as the Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Common Sensistan, but, wow. Apparently, Bachman doesn't know the difference between someone who's accused of a crime and one who's been convicted. By the way, have you noticed how a lot of people, whether Fox news analysts or members of Congress, keep using the term, “lawyer up?” It's almost as if “lawyer up” is some sort of prearranged talking point. Anyway, what a joke! Doesn't Gingrich, Goldberg, O'Reilly and Bachman—aka The Four Whores of the Hypocrilypse—all have an army of lawyers at their disposal? Add their lawyers together and you have a veritable Great Wall of Shyster protecting them from any comers. Besides, how did “lawyer up” become a bad thing? Isn't “lawyer up” just another way to say, “You can accuse me all day long, but at some point you're gonna need to prove I'm a terrorist”? How is it possible that we strayed so far from that basic and inarguably righteous legal concept? Fear and anger is how, and it both scares and pisses me off.
The bottom line is this—and, to be honest, I really hate it when people say “bottom line,” as if that somehow makes their point irrefutable, that it will be the last word on the subject, but, really, sometimes there is a bottom line, and it is irrefutable, and it should be the last word, such as a last word like this: If you really believe people like me care more about terrorists than our own families, then you are either an idiot, a liar or both. Bottom line.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Visit edwindecker.com for world peace.