Someone named Kejda Gjermani writes about being among 300 to 400 people on Foley Square, Manhattan, yesterday. They were protesting the upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others alleged to be responsible for the 9/11 attacks. In Manhattan, you can more people than that to line up for coffee and bagels. Even the dimmer New Yorkers who don’t grasp the significance of a civil trial are not worked up enough about it to protest, apparently.
Doubtless, the weather deterred many would-be attendees. But the 300-400 people who had shown up were determined and righteously angry–at the president’s and attorney general’s measly arguments for extending to the 9/11 mastermind the same legal privileges of American citizens; at the travesty of justice that his civil trial would entail; and at the cheap rhetorical shots through which the administration is dismissing the critics of its decision.
Cheap rhetorical shots like calling the lot of you cowards and appeasers of terrorism, Kejda Gjermani? Because as far as I’m concerned, that’s what you are. Instead of standing up to terrorists, you would rather fearfully betray our laws and values and demonstrate to terrorists we’re the despots they thought we were. Thanks loads.
The poor sap Gjermani actually quotes the engraving on the New York State Supreme Courthouse — “The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government” — as an argument for military trials. Stupid, much?
The rally was sponsored by something called the 9/11 Never Forget coalition, which is supposed to be “a diverse group of 9/11 victims, family members, first responders, active and reserve members of the military, veterans, and concerned Americans.” The comment I left on their website is awaiting moderation and I don’t expect it to be posted, so here it is —
Speaking as someone who was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 — after years of listening to President Bush claim that we were attacked because “they hate us for our freedoms,” it seems to me that trying KSM in a civilian court in New York City is the biggest flipped middle finger we could display to the terrorists. Trying KSM secretly in a military court is cowardly and caving in to terrorists, and all of the people on this panel should be ashamed of themselves.
But someone named Joe Citizen left a better comment —
I respect all of you, but think you terribly wrong on this issue. I am thrilled that the Justice Department has refused to play the game that KSM and his ilk wish, that they be considered some sort of legitimate military force fighting for their people. They are the lowest form of murderous criminals, and I am thankful that a jury of New Yorkers will get to pass judgment on their crimes.
I don’t know why exactly you people have chosen to take the opposite position on this. Some amongst you are driven, I am sure, by rank political opportunism, some others I fear, do not have much confidence in the American judicial system, or the American people. Maybe there are other more benign motivations, but they are erroneous and damaging.
Our American system, and our American values, are fully capable of dealing with horrendous crimes like this, and I wish you all would understand and support that.
That says it all pretty plainly, and it got past the site moderator. Glory be.