Speed-Fisking Burck and Perino

(Linked to this post)

(1) “homicide bombers” – This is a conservative politically correct term, originally coined to replace “suicide bombers” which some on the right considered too sympathetic, or something. It’s use here is odd, since no suicide was intended, so politically correct cleansing is unnecessary. It seems that “terrorists” or “bombers” or even the old-fashioned “mad bombers” would suffice.

(2) “don’t be fooled by claims in the press that this was an amateur attack” – The car was packed with non-explosive fertilizer, non-explosive propane tanks, gasoline, and some fireworks. But the bomber was a pro!

(3) “Whoever tried to kill innocents in midtown Manhattan last night knew exactly what they were doing.” – Apparently it is impossible to “know exactly what you are doing” and be an amateur at the same time.

(4) “They targeted Times Square in Manhattan not as a random act…”Straw man. Nobody in the press claimed this was random. Also, Burck and Perino seem to think that random targeting is the hallmark of an amateur.

(5) “Whoever did this, we can be sure, is in league with the underwear bomber, Major Hasan, and other terrorists either in fact or in spirit.” – I guess the kid who set his genitals on fire is another example of the non-amateurs we need to fear. And how exactly can one be in league “in spirit?” Do they communicate by Ouija Board?

(6) “New Yorkers, it’s time for you to demand that the administration come to its senses and officially shut down the civilian terror trial in NYC.” – As a (recent) former New Yorker of 10 years, this type of talk has always rankled me. Note the “you.” It’s not a “we.” New Yorkers are aware of the the threats they face. They choose to face them anyway, as the price of living freely in a beautiful city that is the envy of the world. Nothing irritates like non-New Yorkers using appeals to fear as a means to tell New Yorkers what to do. Grow a pair, for god’s sake.

(7) “Let’s not make New York more of a target than it already is” – More of a target than “The world’s number-one terrorist target?”

(8) “[H]e will have the world’s biggest platform to rally his fellow lunatics and jihadists to his cause.” – Remember this. It becomes important later.

(9) “The only reason to try KSM in New York is to vindicate a misguided political agenda by people that have staked their personal reputations on having a civilian trial in New York, ostensibly to show the world that our justice system is fair.” – Untrue. I can think of other reasons, including the satisfaction New Yorkers would feel at showing the world that they aren’t afraid to try KSM at the scene of the crime – That some of us aren’t so easily terrorized.

(10) “For all of its flaws, our justice system and Constitution remain the envy of the world…” – Many of those flaws are new, and brought to you by the Bush administration, aka Burck and Perino’s former employer. This has reduced the envy somewhat.

(11) “If they think that a civilian trial will turn our enemies into our friends, well, there’s really not much to talk about.” – Setting aside the straw-man phrasing here, juxtapose this statement with #8 above. – In Burck and Perino’s view, KSM has near-limitless persuasive power, yet we have none. They worry that in a contest between jihadist ideals and American ideals, American ideals would be unable to compete.

(12) “…the attorney general and the White House have undermined even that goal by guaranteeing KSM’s conviction and execution, which violates the core principles of a fair trial. – This is flatly untrue. Holder and Obama have indeed said that KSM will be convicted and executed. But that is not a guarantee. It is an expression of confidence. Apparently that distinction is too subtle for Burck and Perino to perceive. Additionally, let us pause to savor the hilarity of Bush administration officials worrying that an accused terrorist might not receive a fair trial. It’s funny on so many levels!

Summary – I think there may be good reasons for holding the trial elsewhere (mostly related to cost). But the idea of facing threats while living up to your highest ideals fills my patriotic heart with pride. I no longer live in New York, but unless things have changed drastically in the last six months, I can tell you that most New Yorkers I know find this sort of fear-mongering unpersuasive and somewhat pathetic.

Published on May 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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