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A just trial for a terrorist (Update)


Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

It is clear to me that those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks are sick and twisted individuals. Somehow, conservatives have decided that putting terrorists on trial is too something — too risky, too easy and too open to the public. So we need to do more. We need military tribunals. For some conservatives, that doesn’t sit right either. Some have argued that these terrorists do not deserve the same rights that we enjoy. They should not have a trial. They are guilty and that’s that.

I beg to differ. We have evolved a legal system over more than 250 years. Our system balances the rights of the accused versus the rights of the victim. Trials are as much about evidence as they are about process. We’ve been told by our politicians that we are a good and just people. If that is true then we should be able to have a trial in which US citizens sit on a jury, weigh the evidence and make a fair decision. In my opinion, these trials are as much about placing the guilty behind bars as they are about showing the world that eight years after the terrorist attacks we can conduct a fair and just process; not only in the eyes of the American people, but also in the eyes of the world.

Finally, on a personal note, I do not want revenge. There is nothing that a trial will do to erase the memory of that awful day. I personally do not want the death penalty for these terrorists. I would like for these guys to sit in jail and rot for decades. I would like for them to have long lives. I would like for them to be able to live long enough to understand that God is not about killing people. It doesn’t matter if it is the God of the Jews or of the Christians or of the Muslims. God is about love. God is about tolerance. God is about loving thy neighbor as thyself.

Glenn Greenwald has some additional comments about the amazing amount of cowardice that the conservatives are showing:

Understanding and Combatting Terrorism, USMC Major S.M. Grass, 1989:

Terrorism is a psychological weapon and is directed to create a general climate of fear. As one definition cogently notes, “terror is a natural phenomenon, terrorism is the conscious exploitation of it.”  Terrorism utilizes violence to coerce governments and their peopleby inducing fear.

William Josiger, Fear Factor: The Impact of Terrorism on Public Opinion in the United States and Great Britain, 2006:

At its heart terrorism is about fear. While terrorist attacks destroy, maim and kill, the intended audience for these attacks is almost always the whole body politic and the terrorist’s goal is to strike fear into their hearts.

GOP House Leader John Boehner, condemning Obama’s decision to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York for trial, yesterday:

The Obama Administration’s irresponsible decision to prosecute the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City puts the interests of liberal special interest groups before the safety and security of the American people.

This is literally true:  the Right’s reaction to yesterday’s announcement —we’re too afraid to allow trials and due process in our country — is the textbook definition of “surrendering to terrorists.”  It’s the same fear they’ve been spewing for years.  As always, the Right’s tough-guy leaders wallow in a combination of pitiful fear and cynical manipulation of the fear of their followers.  Indeed, it’s hard to find any group of people on the globe who exude this sort of weakness and fear more than the American Right.

The Attorney General Eric Holder was on Capital Hill yesterday talking about his decision to try KSM in NYC. Rachel Maddow discusses this with Steve Simon.

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By |2009-11-19T05:10:05-04:00November 19th, 2009|Legal, Terrorism|Comments Off on A just trial for a terrorist (Update)

Simple Math and Joe the Plumber

Were Joe the Plumber working 12 hour days, 7 days per week for 12 months at $50 per hour, he would bring in $201,600 before taxes. This is without one day off. He still wouldn’t be able to afford to buy this business he was talking about.

Joe, your five minutes of fame (you don’t merit all 15) are about up. Before I leave Joe, I have to dish up some Joe-isms

Joe on Iraq: We’ve liberated another country. I mean, you know, freedom. Things that every one of you guys take for granted, that Americans take for granted…these guys didn’t have it, now they’ve got it. I don’t know if you guys are Christians or not, but it’s like someone coming to Jesus and becoming saved. These guys have freedom. Our guys here that are poverty stricken? They’ve got cell phones. Those poor people over there, they have one pair of pants and a shirt.

Please Joe Iraq isn’t a poster.  There are real people over there.  I’m not sure that a Sunni in Baghdad who was forced out of his house but Shiite militias would think that he was living in the land of freedom.  We have given the Iraqi people something.  I just don’t know what that something is yet.

Joe on Social Security: Social Security’s a joke. I have parents. I don’t need another set of parents called the government. Let me take my money and invest it how I please. Social Security, I’ve never believed in, don’t like it, hate that it’s forced on me.

Since many of the people who are on Social Security are there because of disability I think that Joe is again way off base here.  If God-forbid Joe has an accident at work, I think that he will be glad that we have that safety net.

By |2008-10-17T09:08:04-04:00October 17th, 2008|Economy|Comments Off on Simple Math and Joe the Plumber

Christians under attack but not here in the US

Christians are being driven out of Iraq by the thousands.

From Center for American Progress

Christians around the world are currently observing Lent, a time of reflection and prayer before Easter and a period that symbolically commemorates 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. Lent this year comes at a moment of crisis for some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, especially for Christians in Iraq.

Internal conflicts there have led to the death of tens of thousands since 2003, contributing to the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1948. Nearly 4 million Iraqis are now refugees or internally displaced, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with Christians disproportionately among those forced to flee their homes. (more…)

By |2007-03-07T16:14:42-04:00March 7th, 2007|Iraq|Comments Off on Christians under attack but not here in the US
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