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The New York Times: Terrorist Trials In New York Are A Mere Inconvenience We Must Accept, Just Like Serving On A Jury

Posted on January 31 2010 11:47 am
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In an editorial today entitled “It Happened in Our Backyard,” The New York Times argues that the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed belongs in the United States District Court in Manhattan.  The Times actually has the audacity (no, the stupidity) to claim that it is our duty as citizens to put up with this trial, calling it a mere inconvenience:

Holding the trial in New York would be inconvenient. Democracy makes demands on its citizens. It is inconvenient to serve on a jury, too.

The Times is so infatuated with its notion of “American values”, “justice” and “this country’s global image” that it loses sight of the larger question. Why endanger more innocent American lives and rack up a billion dollars or more in costs to provide the al Qaeda mastermind of 9/11 a free platform for  propaganda by the foreign terrorist organization that has declared war on the United States and with whom we are at war?   Does The Times really think that America’s “global image” will be enhanced by a show trial, especially if there is a guilty verdict that our enemies and their left-wing supporters will characterize as a rigged outcome?

Contrary to The Times’ erroneous characterization of the law, the Supreme Court has held that military tribunals are constitutional.  Now that the initial defects in the current system of tribunals were rectified by Congress in response to Supreme Court rulings, they are the only appropriate place to try alien enemy combatants directed by al Qaeda from abroad.  They will still have an opportunity to argue their case in federal appeals court if they are denied due process.

However, rather than rely on the obvious legal and practical arguments to refute The Times, I would rather focus on the experience of the federal prison guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, Louis Pepe, who was almost killed by two al Qaeda detainees accused of bombing a couple of embassies in Africa in 1998.  They gouged his left eye with a comb that they had sharpened like a knife, plunging it three inches into his brain.  For two years he could not speak, walk or write.

Mr. Pepe has recovered to some degree and now warns us against the folly of giving the terrorists anything but a military trial:

These people want to kill and go to Allah…They want to become martyrs. They want jihad. They want to kill people. And that’s all they want.

We don’t need Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York City. President Obama should do the right thing and keep him at Guantanamo Bay.

Mr. Pepe met the enemy literally face-to-face.  We should not have to meet them again in our homeland because of some misguided notion of “justice.”

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