A judge who sentenced the “shoe bomber” delivered a stinging rebuke to a terrorist that is worth repeating. Richard C. Reid was sentenced to life sentences and some financial provisions also were part of his punishment. The judge is William Young.
The defendant attempted to ignite a fuse leading to plastic explosives hidden in the sole of a shoe he was wearing on an airline flight. He was subdued by passengers and arrested. He entered guilty pleas to charges of attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in 2002. He had attended an al-Qaida training camp. This all happened some time ago but the judge’s remarks received little publicity and we think they are significant. Some of his remarks follow:
“We are not afraid of any of your terrorist co-conspirators . . . We are Americans . . . You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist . . . It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom . . . Make no mistake though. It is true that we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms . . . See that flag Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after all of this is forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will.”
The judge’s remarks always will be timely, especially every June at Flag Day and July 4 on Independence Day.