Horrible decision, absolutely horrible. It is devastating for so many of us to hear that the Obama Administration decided that the 9/11 terrorist mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be given a criminal trial in New York. This is an atrocious decision.... Criminal defense attorneys will now enter into delaying tactics and other methods in the hope of securing some kind of win for their "clients." The trial will afford Mohammed the opportunity to grandstand and make use of his time in front of the world media to rally his disgusting terrorist cohorts. It will also be an insult to the victims of 9/11, as Mohammed will no doubt use the opportunity to spew his hateful rhetoric in the same neighborhood in which he ruthlessly cut down the lives of so many Americans.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried in New York has sparked an understandable and justifiable level of debate nationwide. I've arrived at the point where I believe that no matter what or where, any trial of this nature is going to be a nightmare for someone somewhere. For those of us clamoring for the closing of Guantanamo Bay...well, KSM had to go somewhere, right? For those still looking for revenge, ANYTHING resembling due process and the rule of law is too good for those cold-blooded thugs responsible for 9.11. Better we should just summarily execute them and be done with it. While I don't necessarily disagree with this sentiment, I also recognize that we cannot afford to take a walk on the dark side. Justice, in order to be effective and consistent with American ideals, must be applied fairly, evenly, and dispassionately...as repulsive at that may seem in this case.The news that
If we expect Guantanamo Bay to close and the rule of law to be respected, we're going to have to find a way to swallow the idea that those responsible for 9.11 will be tried in a court of law. Yes, the desire for revenge is understandable, but we are still a nation of laws. If we bend and/or ignore the law in this instance, it's a slippery slope that may lead to some unintended destinations. The decision to try KSM in an American court only means that he will be tried for the heinous crimes the government has accused him of. He may be a mass murderer and worthy only of our scorn and derision, but if he's being held in this country he has a right to a trial by jury, just as any other accused criminal does. As revolting as this idea seems, it actually represents the triumph of the rule of law. Our occasionally inept, sometimes unfair, and somewhat skewed legal system is the worst thing going- except for every other legal system on the planet. Face facts, y'all; the rule of law works, and it's one of the big things that distinguishes this country from the old Soviet Union or any number of banana republics.
Right-wing zealots may condemn those responsible for the decision to try KSM in New York, but they seem to conveniently forget that justice is neither easy nor pretty. Righteous outrage may serve Sarah Palin's political ambitions or William Kristol's blood lust for revenge , but there are very good reasons why justice is blind. One good reason is to protect the rule of law from being corrupted by those who, like Palin and Kristol, would use the law to exact a measure of frontier justice. When the blindfold is removed from Lady Justice, those who would manipulate her for their own ends will rush to the fore.That the rule of law prevents this means that our system works.
Justice will be done. It may not be satisfying to those who'd like nothing better than to see KSM dragged alive down the Avenue of the Americas, but I have to have faith that in the end justice will be served. If we lose that, if we compromise the rule of law to satisfy a desire for revenge, then when all is said and done we we'll be the real losers.
The rule of law means that we- all of us- are protected from those who would apply frontier justice when it serves their purpose. Would that demagogues like Sarah Palin and William Kristol could keep that in mind.