How do Americans deal with criminals? Whether they be alleged robbers, murderers or suspected terrorists, we hold courtroom trials to decide their guilt or innocence. And regardless of how guilty they may appear, we give them fair trials despite the costs. This is the way it is done in America, and how we are different than many other nations.
Yet, there is a clamoring in New York City about why we should not hold the accused 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accountable for his alleged crimes in civilian court. The Republicans say that he is far too dangerous to be tried in federal court, and instead should be under the jurisdiction of a military tribunal where he supposedly has fewer rights. Yet, the 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, and the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, were both found guilty in civilian courts with no terrorism ramifications. So why is there such a fear with KSM?
There are now reports that Western Pennsylvania -- specifically Pittsburgh -- could be the location for the terror trials because hijackers crashed Flight 93 into a Somerset County field. Why is there so much fear over a trial here? To quote a former president, "Bring em on." We should be hungry for a trial for the man who is accused of orchestrating the worst act of terrorism in history. We should believe that our justice system will give him a fair trial and deserved punishment. I welcome this judgment and the impending security restrictions in my hometown that might accompany such a proceeding.
We hold ourselves to a higher standard, regardless of the inherent dangers. What has changed since we proudly wore T-shirts after 9/11 that read... These colors don't run. So why are we still living in fear? Why should we be afraid to hold a man accountable for his actions? Instead, I think the terrorists should be frightened that we are keeping to our ideals rather than stooping to their barbaric level. We are ruled by law, and that is a powerful force that should not be broken.
6 months ago