911 attack Civilian Trials vs. Military Tribunals – What’s the Fuss?

So now we’ve got all manner of partisan hatchetmen coming after President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for deciding to try Khalid Shiekh Mohammad and the men charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks in a New York civilian courtroom.

Khalid Shiekh Mohammad
Khalid Shiekh Mohammad

Holder says he’s going after the death penalty, but that doesn’t seem to be good enough for the likes of Rudy Giuliani.

The so-called “hero of 9/11” took time out of his busy schedule this weekend to Fox News that the President “just doesn’t get it” when it comes to the war on terror. Rudy, of course, does get it.

He’s the guy whose recommendation for chief of homeland security will instead be going to jail after the holidays. But, no matter. He’s an expert at these things after all.

Am I the only person who gets the irony of a former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York saying the current US Attorney for the Southern District of New York can’t handle this trial? That Rudy Giuliani spews this crap on national TV is offensive.

Then there are those who whine about Khalid Shiekh Mohammad and his cronies having a platform to spout anti American rhetoric.

Whether their cases are held in civilian courts or military tribunals, they’ll do that. People may forget, but that’s just what they did at their arraignment, and virtually every appearance before a military tribunal to date. By the way, in case anyone’s forgotten, they have confessed, and say they want to be put to death. Just what else do the tribunal advocates want?

Fact is, none of these GITMO detainees have actually faced justice up to now. Trying them in New York does pose some legal obstacles, but the benefits of showing American justice in the light of day far exceeds them. I remain opposed to the death penalty for anyone, but if the nation’s bloodlust over 9/11 is to be sated, what difference does it make what type of court reaches that conclusion?

And then there is the record, which Rudy Giuliani and his ilk  avoid talking about at all costs. From a Huffington Post piece by Brian Levin from Cal State University.

“After 9/11 the government prevailed in civilian criminal courts in some high profile extremist cases like that of the “Lackawanna Six” (participation in al Qaeda terror training), attempted airline “shoebomber” Richard Reid, al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui, attempted terror camp organizer James Ujaama, New York City bridge bomb plotter Iyman Faris, Al Qaeda supporter Jose Padilla, and lesser figures like Jewish Defense League leader Irv Rubin, and white supremacist Matt Hale.”

However, justice isn’t on the agenda for Rudy and his fellow travelers, partisan attacks are. He tries to tie together President Obama’s deliberations on Afghanistan (“He has delayed inordinately in making this decision about the war strategy in Afghanistan,”), the Ft. Hood massacre (“He doesn’t get the fact that there is an Islamic war against us.”) along with the civilian trial decision to make Barack Obama look soft on national security.

What a joke, coming from this man.

Rudolph Giuliani
Rudolph Giuliani

In Rudy’s world, taking the five defendants and Major Hasan together and shooting them without trial, followed by nuking Afghanistan would solve all our problems.

Maybe keeping him off TV would work better. What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “911 attack Civilian Trials vs. Military Tribunals – What’s the Fuss?”

  1. Rudy G. won one case out of about 22 when he was fed prosecutor, free speech cases. He is not worthy of any more of my gray cells.

    I wonder if anyone can get a fair trial in re anything around Sept. 11, 2001. I am reminded of the case the federal (DOJ)government brought twice against Lynne Stewart. The first one was thrown out of court by the judge. The DOJ went back for a 2nd try and got an indictment. She was indicted for
    reading a press release by her client, the “blind” sheik. Here’s the “screwy” part: the judge allowed the prosecution to show a video, in the court, of Osama bin Ladin and then told the jurors to not think about it when they were deliberating. Truly odd.

    I totally support federal criminal court for trials, not military tribunals. Glenn Greenwald covers the issue well from various legal points of view, for us lay folks.

  2. (Continued) I went back to http://www.democracynow.org to read the transcript of the Nov.12,2009 show that I’d heard on that day, the segment with the two daughters of William Kunstler. They were there to talk about the documentary they made of his life.

    I went back for his comment about people getting a trial in an organized society, and if the person is convicted, the society assumes the person is guilty and turns its back on the person and goes on to looking at other things. And he added, that probably more better people have been killed and have been innocent than in corrupted societies.

    (My skills don’t allow me to move the paragraph from the transcript to here.) At DemocracyNow, there is the video as well as the transcript of that segment about William Moses Kunstler, a great lawyer.

  3. I must say I admired Giuliani during the September 11th attack, he showed us what a true leader is but since then he has just spiraled down the flag pole. I was listening to friggin Fox news (I know, shame on me)and they interviewed some relatives who were extremely upset that the terrorists were to be tried in New York. I could see their point of view but they have to be trialed somewhere and at least if it is at the scene of the crime, so there maybe some closure.
    .-= Friggin Loon´s last blog ..Simon’s Friggin Cat =-.

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