Back to September 10th: KSM Will Be Tried in NY—Just Like His Nephew in First WTC Bombing

November 13, 2009

President Obama and his AG Eric Holder plan to take Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the USS Cole bomber and other terrorists from Gitmo and bring them to New York for trial (here)[UPDATED NOTE: The administration has since said the Cole bomber will not be tried in NY but rather in a military tribunal]. Andy McCarthy argues in his book Willful Blindness: A Memoir of Jihad, that prosecuting terrorists is a fool’s errand because US Courts are not up to the task of properly prosecuting jihadists. Sure, McCarthy nabbed a few (including KSM’s nephew Ramzi Yousef) when he prosecuted several for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but many co conspirators disappeared into the ether–after the process of mutual discovery resulted in the co conspirator’s list getting into the hands of the terrorist community. It really won’t matter what KSM and the Cole bomber and the rest admitted to (see KSM’s confession nearby), it probably won’t be admissible seeing as how it was obtained by an interrogation method that domestic law enforcement can’t use. In other words, President Obama and AG Eric Holder will oversee a show trial which will result in either lesser charges being brought, no convictions on the main charges, or a dismissal of charges. All of those results are, to say the least, unsatisfying. All of those make a mockery of what happened on 9/11 and to the 17 sailors who died in Yemen aboard the USS Cole. And worse, McCarthy notes in the National Review last month (here), that if KSM et al ARE released, they’d be released–free–on US soil. 
If Guantanamo Bay is closed, scores of trained jihadists, committed to killing Americans, will be released to dwell among us: It is that simple.

Pres. Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder contend that America’s civilian federal prisons are secure. Our “supermaxes,” they insist, are up to the task of confining the most lethal terrorists. Even if that were true (and history shows it is not), the argument is the most hollow of strawmen. These terrorists are not going to escape – they are going to walk right out the prison gates. They are going to be freed by a perverse new legal system, an ad hoc creation of progressive federal judges, assisted mightily by an Obama Justice Department rife with lawyers whose former firms and institutions spent the last eight years representing America’s enemies.

The civilian criminal-justice system is neither designed for nor capable of handling wartime detention cases. The basic presumptions of the civilian system – innocence, privacy, the preference that the prosecution lose any case in which there is the slightest doubt about guilt – have no bearing on the detention of enemy operatives in wartime. Yet, international terrorists present challenges that traditional enemy combatants do not: They do not wear uniforms, they do not carry their weapons openly, they conduct their operations in secret, and they blend into the general population, intentionally creating ambiguity about whether they are combatants or civilians.

When Eric Holder isn’t busy speaking with Hamas supporting groups and pretending terrorists don’t exist at Fort Hood, he’s attempting to dismantle the only construct, albeit flawed, for contending with the worst of the worst. Gitmo may not be perfect, but it’s the only thing that makes sense—unless we just kill the bad guys.

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