Filed under: Law, Terrorism, The Constitution | Tags: national security, Playing Politics With the Law, Progressivism
Friday News Dump: The White House asked Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department to find an alternative site to hold the federal trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYC Police Commissioner are opposed to a New York trial. The estimated cost for providing security alone is $200 million a year, and the trials may last for years. It would paint a large bullseye on the city, any large noise could terrify citizens, the media circus would be hugely disruptive, as well as revealing matters of national security to the world.
Senators from both parties sent a letter to the president asking him to strongly reconsider the decision to try KSM in a Federal Court. Yesterday Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence publicly withdrew her support.
The administration has absurdly tried to avoid seeing acts of terrorism against the United States as acts of war. Thomas Sowell points out the mindset of the left as exposed in an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be tried the right way — the American way, in a federal courtroom where the world will see both his guilt and the nation’s adherence to the rule of law.
Terrorists are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, much less the Constitution of the United States.
The Conventions are designed to protect civilians and soldiers who observe the rules. The pious notion that KSM or Abdulmutallab “deserve their day in court” is nonsense as a matter of law or tradition.
A.G. Holder, when asked pointedly by Sen. Lindsey Graham, when in history terrorists had ever been tried in Federal Court or offered the protections of the Constitution, could not answer. It appears that when he announced New York City as the trial venue, he didn’t consult with anyone.
The Justice Department has been asked to “find another venue.” The American people were outraged at the inept treatment of Umar Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day panty bomber, who was questioned for only 50 minutes before he got his Miranda rights and an attorney who told him not to talk. That was too much for Congress as well. If the administration does not do the right thing, Congress may force their hand by denying funding.
It’s time for the administration to acknowledge the folly of deciding to try KSM in federal court and refer him back to a military commission where he belongs.
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