The infamous terror plot which lead to the horrific events of 9/11 will finally face justice after years of sitting in limbo. The debate as to whether or not Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in a federal court or a military tribunal is an interesting one. I can see reasons for supporting either method. It's a strange feeling I'm having, but for once, I'm actually agreeing with what some Republicans have to say. Certainly not everything they're saying appeals to me. I still think they're a bunch of cutthroat assholes.
In my opinion, the standard has been to try these kinds of cases in a military tribunal and not as a federal case. I am siding with those who prefer we try this terrorist via military tribunal. I'm not 100 percent on this idea. I do have questions. What makes this especially interesting is Khalid's status in this country. It's my understanding that he had visa status and went to school in North Carolina. In light of trials over home grown terrorism, as in the case of Timothy McVeigh for example, it's no stretch of the imagination to suggest that perhaps someone with visa status should be tried in federal court. To suggest otherwise reveals your arrogant inflexibility, a behavior I find unacceptable.
Many have said that to try this man in federal court serves as an example to the world of just how solid and fair our judicial system is. We are, after all, a nation of laws. By trying this man with standards equal to our own, we are saying to the world that we treat people as innocent until proven guilty. As Americans, we need to stand by that belief or lose everything that makes us who we are. We can't be the symbol of democracy for other nations when we treat people from those nations in a less than democratic fashion.
However, would it really matter?
We could try him in federal court. We could try him in a military tribunal. In either case, it appears he will be convicted. To the radical Muslim world, no matter which way we go, we will still be viewed as the infidel out to rid the world of Muslims. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. No matter how fair of a trial this guy gets, in the minds of Islamic extremists, Americans are incapable of being fair. Putting this man to death will irritate an already volatile group of folks. Imprisoning him will produce a similar reaction. It doesn't matter what we do. So we have to ask what we want. We have to ask what the world wants. After all, the attack on the World Trade Center killed people from countries other than our own. Shouldn't they have a voice in this?
In many respects, Republicans are no different than the extremists. Had Obama sent this guy to a military tribunal, it still wouldn't have been enough for Republicans. They'd still find something to bitch about. Why should we appease a bunch of assholes? We shouldn't.
International law is a funny thing. Perhaps we could hand the case over to the United Nations. Of course, in doing so, Democrats would face anger and severe criticism from Republicans because, if I'm not mistaken, those silly Republicans don't give two shits about the UN. Another interesting point to make in international terms is that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a solider. He is not an enemy combatant fighting under the command of any one nation. He is a terrorist and in legal terms, that's something different. They have no place in a military tribunal. To blatantly disregard this definition is to appeal to an irrational paranoia and the growing trend of intentional misinformation.
One could also argue that by bringing these individuals to New York, the city will have its chance to seek revenge for what was done. It could be our way of symbolically allowing New York some additional closure. I suspect Texans would feel the same way. Nothing screams Texas justice like getting your hands around the throat of the bastard that attacked your home city. If Texans like it, chances are, it's the Republican way too. Revenge is always their prerogative.
Whatever we end up doing, we ought to push for a little solidarity. Instead, I fear we will continue down this divisive path. Republicans would rather divide us than say anything worth listening to. While I may agree with their opinion that we should try this case in a military tribunal, these jerks have been taking it one step further by trying to evoke fear from the American public.