July 16, 2009

My Final Reason For Opposing Sonia Sotomayor

Many of you know that I grew up in a military family.

What most of you don't know is that I came closer than comfortable to becoming the victim of a terrorist attack on a military base here in the United States 30 years ago.

What, you may be asking? A terrorist attack in the US -- on a military base, no less -- that long ago? Tell us more.

In 1979, I was a sixteen-year-old living at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. I was a pretty average kid. My best friend, Mike, and I used to go to the Reserve Center building when his father had the evening duty, so we could shoot pool on the reservist's pool table. We'd then catch a ride home with his father when he was relieved.

I remember one October night really clearly. Mike and I stopped to admire the car that belonged to his dad's relief. I don't remember any more whether it was a 'Vette or a Camaro -- but I do remember this guy basking in the admiration of a couple of teens as he showed off his vehicle before he went inside and the Chief took us home.

A couple hours later, the phone rang at home. He was one of the senior officers on base, so this happened any time there was a significant event on base. Over breakfast the next morning I found out why -- the FALN, a Puerto Rican terrorist group, had set off a bomb outside the Reserve Center. I'll never forget my reaction when he told me that the only significant damage was that car my buddy and I had been admiring not-so-many hours earlier. It had been totaled by a bomb that had been placed under the concrete parking block I had been resting my foot on while lusting after that automotive work of art.

I've thought about this event more than once over the years. Once was when Clinton pardoned a group of FALN terrorists back in 1999. Another was on 9/11, when I reflected on how terrorism had already touched my life.

But it all came back to me in a big way when I saw this ad -- mocked by a local liberal Democrat who is apparently both ignorant of the history of terrorism in this country and unconcerned about terrorist sympathizers in high places in our government.

I had mellowed on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination before I saw this. I could ignore the bad decison in Ricci, in which she seemed to imply that white men have no Fourteenth Amendment rights that a judge need respect. I could accept her explanation of her "wise Latina" comments as inartfully made, despite their clearly racist subtext. And I had already dismissed her "making policy" comment as correct in its full context. Only her free speech douchebaggery in still troubled me.

But no more. Her history of active participation in an organization that supported terrorists tears it. This is not just abstract for me. I was ever so close to being a victim of one of the bombs planted by those terrorists, had it only detonated a couple of hours earlier.

Sonia Sotomayor wearing the black robes of a Justice of the United States Supreme Court? Utterly unacceptable in my eyes.

Indeed, I now believe that Sonia Sotomayor belongs in the orange jumpsuit of an inmate in a federal prison, serving time as an accessory after the fact in the many terrorist activities of the FALN.

I urge -- no, I demand -- that every Senator cast a resounding NO vote against her confirmation. Terrorist sympathizers have no place on the highest court in the land.

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NAME: Greg
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