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The Detroit Attack

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There’s so much to write about here. This was an attack, and the system didn’t work at all. The perpetrator claimed allegiance to a foreign army at war with the United States after trying to set off high explosives in the passenger compartment of airplane, resulting in three-feet high flames and third-degree burns. My thought is that he should be treated the same as the German saboteurs who were left on the coast of Long Island by a U-Boat in 1942.  They were quickly captured, tried by a military commission and most were given the death penalty.

Trying him in a civilian court will be messy. The FBI is calling at least one eyewitness a liar after he described the arrest of a second man after the passengers deplaned, were segregated, and a bomb-sniffing dog alerted to luggage. The eyewitness sounds credible, but in a case that’s otherwise so clear-cut, what’s the point of introducing doubt? We should not forget that it does not take a lot of doubt to acquit a defendant: when Detective Mark Furhman testified that he jumped a fence to enter defendant O.J. Simpson’s home without a search warrant because there was no time to obtain one, an otherwise strong case against Simpson started to crumble. Of course there was time to get a warrant. The falsehood was unnecessary. Why would the detective lie? So here. Why would a credible eyewitness describe a second arrest? Why would a Customs official play semantic games by saying that there was no arrest but a second official was “not arrested, but taken into custody?” What does this drivel mean? What is the effect of these contradictions on a jury?

Add to this reports of another Nigerian who didn’t have a passport, who couldn’t explain why he was coming to the United States and who locked himself in the bathroom when no one was permitted out of their seats during the last hour of flight and you have mysteries, questions, doubts—and no faith in the government’s spokesmen, the same spokesmen who will seek conviction.

This trial won’t be pretty. And I would like someone to explain to me how anyone could board an airplane heading to the United States without a passport.  

Written by mokane

January 1, 2010 at 1:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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