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Trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC

2 Ratings: -3.5
A decision by Attorney General Eric Holder

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, will be tried in a Manhattan federal courtroom instead of Guantanamo Bay.  There has been much political debate over where the trial would be held.

1 review about Trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC

A reckless and irresponsible decision by the Attorney General!

  • Nov 19, 2009
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The idea of trying the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators in a civilian courtroom in the heart of New York City is simply outrageous.  Attorney General Eric Holder made the decision this past week and critics have been quick to point out the sheer folly of this approach.  At the same the American people are clearly uncomfortable with his decision.  The latest Rasmussen poll finds that 51% of U.S. voters oppose the idea while only 29% are in favor.  By according these defendants a trial in a civilian courtroom Mohammed and his comrades will necessarily be accorded all of the rights and privileges of American citizens.  But they are not American citizens and in their gut a majority of Americans find the prospect of such a spectacle to be very ill-advised.

Since the decision was announced a whole host of objections have be raised to this approach.  I will attempt to summarize them here:
1)    It has been estimated that the trials could take up to four years to conduct and the incessant media coverage will give the terrorists a forum that they will surely avail themselves of to encourage unrest and hatred of the United States in the Muslim world.
2)    There would be a dramatically increased risk for violence and/or another terror attack in NYC.
3)    Many people continue to argue that the appropriate venue for these trials is in military tribunals.  Many such tribunals have already taken place.  This is the proper venue for these trials as well. Trying foreign born terrorists in U.S. civilian courts makes a mockery of our legal system.  
4)    Such trials would risk disclosure of sensitive intelligence information.  Under American law the defendants could choose to represent themselves and thus be entitled to see for themselves every scrap of the evidence against them.  This obvious breach of security would likely come back to haunt this country in myriad ways in the future.
5)   The cost of such a trial would be exorbitant.  NYC is in no position to pay for the added security that would be needed and already Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for the addtional expenses to be paid for by the Federal government. Just in case you haven't noticed our country is bankrupt as well.  Furthermore, such trials would cause disruptions in the day-to-day lives of millions of New Yorkers.  The added traffic and inevitable delays would be costly and inconvenient both to individual citizens and to those attempting to conduct business on the streets of the city.
6)    Despite Eric Holder's assurances to the contrary it is entirely conceivable that another O.J. jury could acquit one or more of these individuals.  Or perhaps a judge would decide to drop the charges altogether. I agree with former Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckaby who opined in a recent interview:  "God help us if they get off on a technicality because of the way the evidence was gathered."  He goes on to say that if such a thing ever happened: "I would tell you not only is the Obama administration finished, I think the Democratic Party is finished." 

At the end of the day it would appear that the Attorney General's decision defies all logic.  It certainly makes me wonder what the end game is here.  As far as I am concerned holding these trials in a civilian courtroom in midtown Manhattan works against the best interests of our nation.   Perhaps if enough of us continue to raise valid objections the Administration would be willing to reconsider their approach.   

A reckless and irresponsible decision by the Attorney General! A reckless and irresponsible decision by the Attorney General! A reckless and irresponsible decision by the Attorney General! A reckless and irresponsible decision by the Attorney General!

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November 20, 2009
I agree with you totally on this one! I do not understand why a military tribunal is not being used. I am worried that he will be let off on a technicality. On top of this I work in Manhattan and there is enough of a circus atmosphere around here without having this going on too. I hope it is not a "done" deal that cannot be reversed.
November 19, 2009
I understand where everyone is coming from with the criticisms and all that... but some are coming off more as if the sky is falling more than anything.  When it comes to all of this... do you really think they're going to let the mastermind of 9/11 off?  Do you really think the US is going to let him get away with it?  I don't think so.  I know the trend when a Democrat is in office is to totally not trust government and have no faith in the Government... but I don't have so little faith as to think that they're going to let this guy go.  I don't have that little faith in America or the American Citizen.  In truth, I'm at least glad that someone is actually doing... something.  I'm actually not in favor or opposed (something the math doesn't add up...29+51 isn't exactly 100... so what exactly is happening with that remaining 20%)... but I truly honestly don't believe that all the bad things that are going to happen will happen as a result.  My faith in this country isn't that shaken.

I don't think this is going to destroy the Democratic Party, though.  I really don't.  Look at what this Country has already bounced back from and already gone through.  I'm not sure trying him in New York is going to bring about all the things people keep saying.  This just seems like another one of those, "The guy I didn't want in office--but who was elected to that office democratically--is doing stuff."  At least this one actually makes more sense.  I understand the objections, what I don't understand is the panic and the fear coming from it.  And hey, I actually happen to agree with some of this.  I happen to feel that a trial is a waste of time.  Problem is this: Due Process.  And whether people agree with this or not some REALLY do believe that we HAVE to do this orderly.  I don't know why they think that but they do.  Like I said, I think a trial is a waste of time.  But I don't think HAVING the trial is going to bring about the end of days like everyone is saying.
November 19, 2009
Thanks for your thoughts Sean but I beg to disagree. These people are not entitled to due process in our civilian courts. They are not American citizens. We just might be opening a real bad can of worms by doing that. Rather, they should be dealt with in military tribunals. The risks of trying them in NYC are simply too great.
November 20, 2009
Hold on a minute, I didn't say they were entitled to due process at all.  Remember my words were, "I think a trial is a waste of time."  I said SOME people out there think we should do it this way... and then I said I don't know why they think that.  I never said "I think we should go through due process," because I think a trial for guys that we already know are guilty (by their own admission) is just a waste.  I never said that's what I wanted.  What I said was... "SOME really do believe that we HAVE to do this orderly."  I never stated I was one of those folks.  All I stated was that the fear about doing so seems more like paranoia.  I understand why people are angry about this--that's fine.  But putting up the slippery slope argument just doesn't settle well with me.  But I never said they were entitled.  I just said some people seem to really believe that's what we should do because it is the "American" way.  Like I said (and I'll keep saying it) a trial seems like a waste of time.

What's confusing me, however, is that people keep talking about the "risks".  I'm just not all up for this "The Sky is Falling" kind of paranoia.  This whole, "If we try him in New York it'll mean the death and destruction of America."  That's where I'm confused.  I don't think bombs will be raining or anything like that.  The idea that trying this guy in New York means the destruction of America is just ludicrous. 

What I AM saying, however, is that if they do have a trial I'm no opposed... or in favor of it.  The whole point of fighting Terrorism (at least if I am to listen to former President Bush) is to not be scared of them.  That doesn't mean I think they're entitled to due process.  It just means that if they get due process I'm not opposed or in favor of it.  I don't like this idea that those are my only two options, and I think it's unrealistic to think I HAVE to choose A or B here.  I'm not choosing either, I'm simply saying that whatever happens happens.
November 19, 2009
Thanks for bringing this to our attention! You bring up many valid arguments and it's obvious that many others agree, so I wonder why the Obama administration decided on this instead of trying at Guantanamo Bay...
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