Is it me or has the whole world turned upside down?
I don’t know about you, but I was stunned by the Obama administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the self confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks —and four of his accused co-conspirators in a civilian court in New York City.
This decision defies reason and common sense.
Are we not at war with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida?
Is there no longer a war on terror?
Does the Obama administration believe that what occurred on 9/11 was a criminal act or crime against humanity?
With the announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder to forgo military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay — notwithstanding White House spin — the nation must conclude that President Obama and his advisers believe that what transpired on 9/11 was a crime and not an act of war.
This decision formalizes the Obama administration’s willingness and intent to treat terrorism as a law enforcement matter.
What concerns me the most, is that Obama and his administration are so politically correct and subservient to the left wing of the Democratic Party and the ACLU that they would grant constitutional rights to terrorists.
With a civilian trial, KSM and his cronies will be given the same rights as an American citizen. They will have the same presumption of innocence and the same legal protections. Historically, we have not given enemy combatants access to our civilian courts and the rights afforded American citizens.
During the Second World War, in 1942, eight German saboteurs were caught after being put ashore by a submarine. They were tried in secret before a military commission and executed with the approval of the Supreme Court.
Why the exception now?
For the life of me, I can not understand why we would give a propaganda platform to an animal who participated in and planned the deaths of thousands of our fellow citizens.
For the families and the memory of the victims of the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks, this decision is devastating. And it will make New York City an even more high-profile target.
Now, these terrorists will be just few short blocks from Ground Zero, City Hall, police headquarters, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
While the security concerns stemming from a trial in New York are real, I believe that the NYPD and other appropriate law enforcement agencies can handle them.
But make no mistake about it, what we are about to witness will be a media circus that will jeopardize our national security and that will give aid and comfort to our enemy. the the radical Jihadists.
What will be put “on trial” is George W. Bush’s foreign policy and the CIA’s methods of interrogation. Somehow there will be leaked intelligence.
Muslim extremist Web sites around the world will post their hate-filled slant on what transpires at the trial.
It will be a recruiting tool for al-Qaida and its network.
After World War II, the Nazi hierarchy was put on trial at Nuremberg. The Nuremberg trials were military tribunals. The world recognized that the that Nazis were not just everday criminals but monsters who had committed crimes against humanity. By criminalizing terror, Obama is setting a very dangerous precedent. One in which I fear will embolden our enemies.
Marc Rotterman is a Senior Fellow at the John Locke Foundation and a former political appointee in the Reagan administration.