How to talk to a jihadist

Andrew Sullivan:

Watching senators and pundits huff and puff about Mirandizing terrorists when they should apparently be declared enemy combatants and tortured at length is a depressing spectacle. To see political leaders in the West have such a low view of the American judicial system and such an elevated view of the world-historical significance of these pathetic, twisted, religious nutjobs … well, they look like a bunch of scaredy cats to me. What the hell happened to “Live Free Or Die?” What happened to the confidence of a society that its ancient traditions are perfectly capable, indeed precisely tailored, to cut down to size these narcissistic, fundamentalist celebrity-seekers?

Which reminds me. One of the high points in the West’s defense against these losers was the trial of one Richard Reid, an unspeakably ugly and deeply stupid Brit whom Dick Cheney decided should – gasp – be treated as a terrorist under the criminal law in the months after 9/11. Not an enemy combatant to be flown to Gitmo and tortured. A terrorist brought to justice in the light of day. Eight years later, Cheneyites are drumming up panic that the Obama administration would do exactly the same thing for exactly the same reasons. But that they have lost their shit is no reason for the rest of us to lose ours.

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