“After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for the attacks of September the 11th will finally face justice. They will be brought to New York—New York — to answer for their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks from where the twin towers once stood.” - Attorney General Eric Holder.
Eric Holder is mistaken. Those terrorists coming to New York for trial were brought to justice years ago. They aren't on vacation down there in Guantanamo Bay. They are prisoners of a war Al Qaeda declared against the United States in 1996. Self-confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in 2003. All five of the terrorists coming to New York for trial were already set to be tried before military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. What Holder has done is to grant foreign warriors the full rights of American citizenship by putting them into our civilian court system. Holder is seeking the death penalty, but KSM also faced the death penalty under the military commissions system.
What is to be gained from this ?
It isn't to console the families of 9/11 victims. Hundreds of them are already protesting this decision:
“Families are furious about this,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother Chic Burlingame was the American Airlines pilot of one of the planes hijacked on Sept. 11. She said more than 300 family members have implored the administration not to move the trial to New York. “They know we don’t support this. We support military commissions but they are going to see a wave of fury, and I don’t think they’re prepared for it,” she said Friday after the decision became public.
Bringing the terrorists to New York and trying them only blocks away from the World Trade Center site will guarantee one thing - a media circus, perhaps unlike any we have yet seen. Won't it be fun to watch the terrorists exercise their new array of civil rights ? I know I can't wait for KSM's attorneys to say he should be freed because we didn't read him his Miranda rights. I also can't wait for his lawyers to ask for the evidence against him to be thrown out due to the enhanced interrogation techniques, aka torture. I can't wait for KSM to become the victim. I definitely look forward to KSM taking the stand to urge his followers to continue their jihad against the Great Satan, and having the media instantly spread his message across the globe. And what will happen when KSM's attorneys request access to classified intelligence materials as part of his defense ? There's a reason crimes and wars are treated differently, even if Eric Holder and Barack Obama don't know there is a difference.
Last week, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) tried to pass legislation that would have forced the administration to try 9/11 plotters in military courts. Democrats voted that legislation down by a vote of 54-45. We've spent years insuring that the military commissions pass Constitutional muster, and Obama has said he will try terrorism cases with military commissions, but then he brings the highest profile cases possible into federal court. Why ?
It's not that I think we can't try terrorists in federal court. We've done that before successfully lots of times, and in KSM's case we should be able to prevail, though how we'll get an impartial jury blocks away from the WTC site should be a circus all it's own. It's just that WE DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THIS. We could have avoided the circus.
Here's President Obama from earlier this year:
"When this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, in some cases because evidence may be tainted, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States. Examples of that threat include people who’ve received extensive explosives training at al Qaeda training camps, or commanded Taliban troops in battle, or expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden, or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans. These are people who, in effect, remain at war with the United States. Let me repeat: I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture — like other prisoners of war — must be prevented from attacking us again."
Obama admits KSM and company are prisoners of war who will not be released. Sooooo, why bring them into civilian court ? You know darn well that KSM will NEVER be released. That would be political suicide for Obama and the Democrats. This decision makes no sense to me.
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