This is Richard Jewell. He's dead now, but when he was alive, he was an unexpected and under-appreciated hero. A humble man with what's been described as a deferential manner, Jewell was the security guard who first spotted the bomb that Eric Rudolph left in a crowded park during Atlanta's Olympics.
Within days, the FBI let it leak that Jewell was "a person of interest" in the bombing. He fit the profile. That is, someone at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit thought Jewell was a single loser with a love of law enforcement. The hell that the cops and the press put Jewell through in the following years, I wouldn't wish on the biggest ad weasel I've ever known. (Yes, Mr. Mooth, I'm talking about you.)
Eric Rudolph's bomb killed one person and injured 111 more. He killed that woman to make a point about abortion and homosexuals.
People like Eric Rudolph are seriously twisted.
This is Stephen Hatfill.
Hatfill was a scientist working on biological weapons at Fort Detrick, Md. Someone sent envelopes full of anthrax to liberals. Again, innocent people died, this time postal workers, because someone wanted to make a point.
About what I don't know.
The FBI fingered Hatfill for the job. He was later declared innocent and we, the taxpayers, had to pay him close to 6 million bucks because we, as a government, fucked up his life in a major way.
Now the FBI has decided that Bruce Ivens, a scientist who worked on biological weapons at Fort Detrick was really the guy. Inconveniently, Ivens killed himself this week.
C'est la vie.
This is Abdul Rahim Dost and his brother Badr Zaman Badr.
They spent 3 years being interrogated by grim men in small rooms at Guantanamo. They were among what Donald Rumsfeld once described as "the worst of the worst."
What was their crime? They wrote a satirical piece about Bill Clinton. The interrogators didn't get the joke. Interrogators aren't chosen for their deep appreciation of satire.
The brothers were released after someone finally got the joke. They were lucky. They were educated. Badr holds a master's degree in English lit so he could speak with his interrogators, a real plus considering they weren't allowed a lawyer.
If writing satire about Bill Clinton is enough to get you tossed into Gitmo, the staff of the National Review should be afraid. Be very afraid.
These 4 men have one thing in common. They were all wrongly accused of terrorism. All of them had their lives disrupted, even ruined, because law enforcement made mistakes. Law enforcement people are human, after all, and will.
Which is why the accused are given such latitude in our society. They're considered innocent until proven guilty and given every chance, from lawyers to judges, bail to habeas corpus.
That is, unless you're considered an unlawful combatant, a term that is decided by one man, the Decider himself, George W. Bush.
Given his track record so far, would you want to place your freedom at the mercy of his sound judgement? I didn't think so.
The next time some dick spouts off about how liberals want to give terrorists rights, think of these men, all innocent, who were once labeled terrorists by people we thought we could trust.