There’s talk pushed in the media by the Obama administration about the “underwear bomber” being “broken” by having brought his family in. Even though this issue is being drowned out in rhetoric about the desirability of torture over “soft” interrogation methods (to not mince words too much), let me remind everyone of a salient fact here.
The man’s father tried to turn him in. The family did not have to be “turned”; it was already on America’s side.
This is not a case of a family of skeptics being convinced by the presence of Obama that terrorism is not the right and proper option; his father is a major banker in Nigeria. Of course, anyone who has received a Nigerian e-mail scam may immediately snicker, but seriously, people of actual wealth (and not just born to wealthy people) are a lot less likely to regard the U.S. as the root of all evil.
The real story is not that the family wanted to help the United States; the story is that the United States was willing to accept such help graciously and employ it in a civilized manner. (I mean, when I first read about family being used to “break” the suspect… I had some very unpleasant thoughts flash through my mind. Fortunately, reality was nothing of the sort.)
So, let’s keep in perspective the fact that it’s not a rogue family; it’s a rogue son with a family that was never on the “enemy” side to begin with.