Tag Archives: 911

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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How Did Phillip Garrido Keep His Secret?

The sordid story of Phillip Garrido, convicted sex offender and alleged kidnapper and rapist, boggles the mind.

Here you have a career criminal who manages to snatch an 11 year old girl off the street and hold her for 18 years! Allegedly.

And father two children by her. Allegedly.

While his wife looked on? Allegedly. As details of Garrido’s past come to light, you’ve got to wonder if any child is safe, anywhere.

It now seems the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard was the culmination of Phillip Garrido’s long criminal career.

He and his wife managed to abduct and keep her captive while being under the “supervision” of law enforcement the whole time. His rap sheet makes you wonder how he was even walking the street in 1991.

Nancy.garrido

In 1977 he was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for kidnapping and raping a 25 year old woman, and taking her across state lines from California to Nevada.

A Nevada court sentenced him to 5 years to life in the same case.

You would think that would be that?

50 years as well as 5 to life.

Yet Phillip Garrido was paroled on the federal beef in 1988, then sent to serve the Nevada sentence. However, he was automatically eligible for parole because of the federal time he served. After four trips to the parole board, Garrido was freed in August 1988. That would be three years before he allegedly kidnapped Jaycee Dugard.

You do the maths.

Phillip Garrido served about 20% of his federal sentence. Had he done just one third of his time, he wouldn’t have been out to snatch this young girl. And all this doesn’t begin to explain how Garrido managed to keep Dugard and their two children together so well hidden. Two years after the abduction, he was jailed on a parole violation. Aside from that, the guy was a convicted sex offender. Yet it doesn’t appear that parole officials or anyone else in California found anything wrong with Phillip Dugard. Not even when a 911 call brought police to his home in 2006. That call alleged that children were living in tents behind his house.

So what do we have here? Is it that there isn’t enough money spent on supervising parolees? Is it that law enforcement didn’t dig deep enough to find the tents housing Jaycee Dugard and her kids on Phillip Garrido’s property?

The question must also be asked, what kind of monster does this to an innocent child of 11? And how do you explain to two children, ages 11 and 15, the horror that brought them into this world?

So many questions. So few answers. Do you have any?

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Jet Photo-Op Over NYC- What Were They Thinking?

It  was supposed to be a photo opportunity, a 747, one of two used as Air Force One, flying over the Statue of Liberty. Trouble is, a combination of secrecy and New York City’s collective muscle memory turned it into a public relations disaster. For about a half hour after the workday began Monday, that plane, escorted by an F-16 fighter, flew frighteningly low over the city. For many, it was a nightmarish reminder of 9-11.

air-force-one

Workers poured out of their office buildings. Some lower Manhattan buildings were completely evacuated. Windows reportedly shook in their frames as the planes passed by. And for what? So someone could take a picture of the 747 flying over the Statue of Liberty? Who in the world gave this exercise the green light?

Worse still, the federal government threw a veil of secrecy around the fly-over. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg wasn’t told by the one member of his staff that was notified (that hapless employee was reprimanded). The Department of Defense and FAA combined to joined forces to keep New Yorkers in the dark about a giant plane, accompanied by a fighter, flying 1500 feet over their heads. What were they thinking would be a charitable question, and one figures Mayor Bloomberg had a more blunt response once he was informed.

Even President Obama is being described as furious when he found out. No, he wasn’t actually on the plane. Of course, this sort of thing makes it look like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in his administration. Fly-overs for photo-ops might not look like the best use of the government’s time, what with the economy and swine flu and all.  However, we’re still waiting for an explanation as to why all the cloak and dagger, and why anyone thought this made sense.

In the end, two people ended up falling on their swords. The city official who knew and didn’t tell the mayor is one, the other is the director of the White House military office. Louis Caldera apologized for the whole mess, most likely at the behest of someone in the Obama inner circle.

All that is cold comfort for New Yorkers, especially those who remember a cloudless day almost eight years ago when their city was changed forever.

So you tell me. Does any of this make sense?

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