Civilian Trial, or Military Tribunal?

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Sept 11 Trial Defendants This combination of undated photos shows, from left: Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, Waleed bin Attash, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi and Ramzi Binalshibh. The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants said Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009.(AP Photos) Also, be sure to take the poll at The American Legion Big Q Website. This pronouncement should surprise no one:
The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants said Sunday. Scott Fenstermaker, the lawyer for accused terrorist Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, said the men would not deny their role in the 2001 attacks but "would explain what happened and why they did it."
It was virtually pre-ordained, following on the heels of news from earlier this month:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the biggest trial for the age of terrorism, the professed 9/11 mastermind and four alleged henchmen will be hauled before a civilian court on American soil, barely a thousand yards from the site of the World Trade Center's twin towers they are accused of destroying. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the decision Friday to bring Kalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to trial at a lower Manhattan courthouse.
The decision to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice in a civilian court, vice a military one seems to be one inciting strong reactions on both sides.
“I welcome anything that would bring these terrorists to trial,” said Sally Regenhard, whose son, Christian, was killed in the attack, his remains never recovered. “After eight long years there has been no justice on this on any level, and we want these people brought to justice.” The lingering wash of emotions of Sept. 11, however, runs strong, and they run differently. To many others, the prospect of the trial was both unfair and too repulsive to entertain.  “It’s absolutely disgusting,” said Joan Molinaro, whose son, Carl, a firefighter, also died in the attack. She said of Mr. Mohammed, “He was willing to plead guilty in a military court. Now he comes to New York and gets all the rights of an American citizen, which he isn’t. He’s going to be, what, two blocks from ground zero, where he can see his handiwork and mock those he murdered.”
The 9/11 Families for a Secure America Board Member Joan Molinaro asked rhetorically:
 What are they thinking? Is this a good idea? No! It is a travesty of justice. It is a desecration of the 3000 people murdered on 9/11. This is a without a doubt a very dangerous thing to do. As a mother of one of the 343 firefighters murdered that day, I am appalled by this decision. You are giving this radical lunatic an open forum to spew his poison and laugh in the face of the victims' families.
So, what do you think?  Is civilian court an appropriate venue for this trial, or should it have transpired in a military tribunal?
Posted in Uncategorized, the burner | 11 comments
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I think that arguments toward the nature of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" are probably going to get made. If you eschew the civilian court system, then people will question whether we are in deed, a Nation of Laws (notwithstanding the fact that military laws I guess are laws too). If you go the civilian route as we are doing, then to what end? There is no question as to the guilt of the defendants, and sort of by their own admission they are then going to hijack (ooh, too soon?) the procedings as a platform to spew their hateful filth. We're giving them what they wanted, an international pulpit to condemn us...WE'RE giving it to them.

It's times like this I wish there was a convenient Captain Louis Renault to take care of the trash, then pick up the phone and say "Kalid Sheikh Mohammad has been shot...round up the usual suspects."

Yes, we are a nation of laws. According to those laws the individuals captured on a battlefield and held at GITMO are NOT afforded Constitutional rights. They are not mere criminals and they sure has hell are not US citizens. Military tribubals are more than they deserve in terms of 'due process'. We have given them comforts and rights that they and their ilke would never give us. They deserve to be treated far worse than we have treated them. However, because we are America we have treated them with a higher level of dignity and humanity than they probably have ever experienced in their lives. They see our kindness as weakness and seek to further exploit that weakness. According to international laws we could have shot these individuals on site. They are terrorists and are not subjected to the same protections that uniformed soldiers are under international agreements. This trial is a show trial. It is a circus meant to distract and divide the American people. The politicians are playing political games with our national security right now. With each passing month we are placed at ever increasing peril. My fear is that something dramatic and tragic will occur before the rest of America wakes up and demands accountability from their corrupt and incompetent government.

These individuals should be tried in a military court since they are enemy combatants. That our elected and appointed representatives should be playing politics with this decision is abominable. Is it too much to ask that these Officials act in the best interest of all Americans? The decision to try them in civilian court does nothing to improve our National Security. In fact, it does the opposite.

One of the family members of the victims said, "You are giving this radical lunatic an open forum to spew his poison and laugh in the face of the victims’ families." I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. Exposing his poison to the world will show just how dangerous those modes of thought are. You don't combat ignorance and stupidity by hiding it away. You expose it for what it is. You let the strong light of reason and sanity shine on its darkness. There is NO reason to hide these miscreants away - we need to show the world we are a nation of laws - no matter WHAT - and that we will prosecute violations of those laws to the fullest extent possible. I'm ashamed at my fellow veterans who would so quickly cast aspersions on our criminal justice system - THE BEST IN THE WORLD. Granting them the status of "Enemy Combatants" gives them a respectability they SHOULD NOT HAVE. An enemy combatant is one who is at war. It justifies their position of opposing us. Trying them in a CRIMINAL court only shows that they are CRIMINALS. There is no respectability at all in being a criminal. THINK ABOUT THAT.

Right after 9/11, remember how much sympathy the entire world had for the United States? Remember the solidarity we had worldwide? Even the most strident Islamic countries stood behind us and condemned the criminal actions and decried the insane rhetoric that bin Laden and Al Qaeda spewed. Now we hear that some want to silence those 'enemy combatants' and not let them air their poison. I say let them! Let them remind the world of their violent hate. Let the world remember the anger that all of us - as an entire world - felt when we heard their hate. Let the world remember and we will have the world on our side once more, and do not do the United States the disservice of saying we don't need the world. Remember the days after 9/11. Remember how it felt to grieve - but to know the entire world stood with us to grieve. Don't throw that away by hiding our chance to publicly show we trying these criminals and will prosecute their crimes and we will find them guilty by rule of law. Wars are about ideology and ideologies can be argued. Laws are set in concrete. There is no argument with the law.

Civilian court is fitting for cowardly mass murderers and hate mongers such as these. Bringing them before a military tribunal and prosecuting them under military codes of law, in my opinion, is an insult to real soldiers who wear the uniform and defend their countries every day. It's an insult to the soldiers profession the world over to subject these men to soldiers laws.

Put them in a civil court. Let them spout their hate-filled rhetoric. Let the free world see what these evil men stand for, and let the free world examine and discuss their tirades in the open air and light of freedom.

I sincerely hope the twelve jurors assigned to this case are wise enough to not recommend the death penalty. If anyone deserves death, it's certainly these mass murderers. I just think it's a more fitting punishment to deny them their martyrdom and promised virgins. Let them rot in prison instead.

Justice? Tell you what.....find an old decaying skyscraper in one of the big this time of recession/depression we have plenty. put these guys at desks, handcuffed of course. make it a pretty blue sky morning. and since we have the capacity, rig a small jet loaded with gas inside and out to fly right in their windows....and of course let the firetrucks and police arrive,,,,,but hold them back so they won't get hurt.....and just let the building burn down and fall down.....seems fair to me. Spend 75 million on security to bring these animals to America for justice? Every move Obama and his ilk make further descrates this country, its citizens, and especially the military. Give these animals the same fate they gave 3,000 innocent non-combatants most who never even heard about Al Queeda or cared, the same chance those people received on that beautiful September morning. Expect Obama before his term is over to announce his conversion to you there is a prayer rug in the Lincoln Bedroom. Was willing to give the man a chance, but with his tearing down of America to our allies, his bowing and scraping before Muslim kings, and his insulting of our Generals and our country, he has directed these civil trials because he knows they will never be convicted.....and that will be his gift of peace to the Al Queda people.....perfect for the Nobel Peace Prize Winner!

the only people who are fighting to have a civil court case is the people who are getting money for it! we should not be showing any of these terrorists respect! They are NOT civilians! they are TERRORISTS!!

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I don't think my opinion counts for two much. But I vote military tribunal. Otherwise it is like online gambling

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.