The proposal to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City for trial created considerable controversy. While some of it was manufactured for political purposes, there are significant issues here.
First, there is the practical issue: bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to the city for trial will cost millions of dollars. Interestingly, some folks have expressed a willingness to hold the trial in their town so as to bring that money into their community. In any case, holding the trial on a military facility would presumably be cheaper-the security is presumably already in place.
Second, there is the concern that NYC will be targeted again if the trial is held there. Of course, this concern applies to anyplace the trial is located and, of course, NYC is presumably already a prime target for terrorists (that is, after all, where the 9/11 attacks took place). Also, to use some Bush era talk: if we do not hold the trial in NYC because we are afraid, then the terrorist win by turning us into cowards in the face of their threats.
Third, there is the moral and political statement of holding a civilian trial. It shows that we are committed to the rule of law, justice and due process. In contrast, our terrorist foes are outside of the limits of civilization, law and justice. In a very important sense, our battle against the various terrorist groups is a struggle between our values and their values. You do not win a moral battle over values by abandoning those values-anymore than you defend a city by abandoning that city to the enemy.
Fourth, holding a civilian trial casts the terrorist as a criminal and not a combatant. In a sense, a combatant is a fighter in a war and treating him as such would seem to grant him a certain status. Treating him as the criminal he is makes a statement about the nature of terrorism and terrorists: they are not enemy combatantsmurder of the innocent. fighting a war. They are mere criminals engaged in the
Fifth, it has been contended that trying a terrorist rather than just executing them entourages terrorists by showing that we are weak. In reply, the same argument could apply to any criminal and thus would justify getting rid of the notion of holding trials at all. This seems rather absurd, so the argument should be rejected. As another reply, it is the terrorists who are weak. After all, if we can hold such trials, this shows that we are so strong that we can offer justice even to our worst enemies. Executing people without trials and without justice is the way of the terrorist, not the way of the just.
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- Rep. Frank Wolf claims trying terror suspects in civilian courts would be treating them better than our military. (thinkprogress.org)
- Dan Collins: The Big Apple’s 9/11 Blues (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why the Hell Shouldn’t We Have Terror Trials Here? [New York] (gawker.com)
- US To Move 9/11 Trial From New York City, Official Says (huffingtonpost.com)
My take is this: They are enemy combatants who are breaking the Laws of War. Thus, they are war criminals, and suject to the death penalty under military tribunal–like every other war criminal–except of course when it is politically expediant to make said terrorist into a victim, as with KSM, so that we can parade him around showing the evils and ineptitude of the previous administration.
“Third, there is the moral and political statement of holding a civilian trial. It shows that we are committed to the rule of law, justice and due process.”
What? Are you saying that military court don’t abide by these standards?
“In contrast, our terrorist foes are outside of the limits of civilization, law and justice.”
I’m reading this again to make sure. Are you saying that these terrorists are evil?
Click here to see what Americans did to Germans who violated the laws of wars: http://images.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/album/data/600/medium/c7836b16b447a08b76ad71a16e89d0f4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/album/p-o-w-/p11224-execution-by-firing-squad.html&usg=__vAvaQeJHkAdR8NsOCBuCODzZubw=&h=411&w=600&sz=38&hl=de&start=82&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=zHZkV9awsSbOtM:&tbnh=92&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Damerican%2Bfiring%2Bsquad%2BWWII%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Dde%26rlz%3D1T4SUNA_enDE295DE295%26sa%3DN%26start%3D72%26um%3D1
This is yet another sham–like “closing” Gitmo. It sounded oh-so-good when when you’re trying t get a political offie. Then when you try to put it into practice you see why the previous administration did what it did.
No parade is necessary to show ‘the evils and ineptitude of the previous administration.’ Here’s what the previous administration did directly from the exceptionally puckered mouth of Mitch McConnell http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/01/mcconnell-bush-was-mistaken-to-try-terrorists-in-civilian-court-2/?fbid=o9u4MyfiegJ We’re constantly hearing that sweet refrain these days. From the people who were in power then. ‘That was a mistake.’ ‘Here’s what they really should have done.’ Like Medicare Part D. That was wrong. Because those Republicans were too liberal as kernunos wrote. Would you be surprised that McConnell voted for Medicare Part D? Senate and House Republicans were linked at the hip with Bush passing that huge unfunded monstrosity. Yet Mitch knows that the previous administration was wrong in trying terrorists in civilian courts.Bush was Democrat-Lite we’re told. Because it’s convenient to say that now. Then he and his supportive Congress were voted in again and then again. Magus I’m not certain I trust what you’ve called ‘the mother of all bureaucracies’ the military system to provide fair trials. And Gitmo seems to be one of those “classic institutions of America” you mentioned in ‘Republicans’. Native American Indians, Japanese during WWII. We intern very well. Here’s my take. I’d opt first for extraordinary rendition to an unknown location. I’d trust the CIA to do that. They’ve had practice. We are not at war with a nation. Terrorism isn’t a country. On the other hand, terrorism is a worldwide issue. Within a week of capture terrorists would be tried in a closed international tribunal not unlike a US military tribunal. In any case the US and its stated principles must be distanced from the trials. The two aren’t compatible. Where for example is the jury of peers? Finally, if the subjects(s) are found guilty hang them.
“No parade is necessary to show ‘the evils and ineptitude of the previous administration.”
Then why do it at tax payer expense?
Do it? Do what? Have a parade to proclaim Bush/Cheney’s evils and ineptitudes? McConnell’s an avowed conservative. He’s being paid with my dollars to spout his shit. So don’t ask me. Ask him. He’s leading the bornagain RepCon parade in the link I provided. In case you missed it http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/01/mcconnell-bush-was-mistaken-to-try-terrorists-in-civilian-court- Yours truly joined the parade with the Medicare Part D ref. At no expense whatever to you the taxpayer.