|Terrorists on Trial in NYC Is an Unacceptable Risk
Posted 11/16/2009 ET
So Khalid Sheik Mohammad and his buddies are coming to New York for a civilian trial. Big mistake, on a number of levels.
First, this all could have been over a long time ago. KSM and his cohorts were well into the military commission process when the incoming Obama administration put those proceedings on hold. They had pled guilty and, in fact, requested execution. KSM himself requested "blessed martyrdom" at the hands of his enemies.
That was one detainee request that ought to have been given. Happily.
Instead the Obama crew, insisted that the military could not give a fair trial and that they must be hauled before civilian courts at huge expense and additional extraordinary delays. In this, the Obama administration was led by Attorney General Eric Holder who, in his pre-appointment job as senior partner for Covington & Burling law firm, was instrumental in much pro-bono legal defense work on behalf of these same Guantanamo detainees,
The Obama team consistently blames the Bush administration for "failure" to bring more than a handful of terrorists to trial during the seven-year period that Guantanamo was functioning. What they don't say is that it was because of endless delaying legal actions on the part of attorneys representing detainees -- including lawyers from Covington -- who were the prime cause of the blockages.
This is the same Holder who continues to draw a $2 million dollar annual salary from Covington in 2009 as part of his severance package. Does conflict of interest seem to be an accurate term here?
Make no mistake, these trials are going to take years and years to finish and will end up costing financially-strapped citizens of New York tens of millions of dollars in unfunded security mandates imposed by the Federal government. Federal agencies such as FBI and ATF will handle security inside the wire. But they will insist on security standards outside that will be laid heavily on state and city authorities. With no compensation.
Need proof? Just look back at the Alexandria, Va. trial of a single terrorist, Zacharias Moussaoui, and assess the extraordinary expenditures in police overtime, traffic disruption, and impact of businesses to that locale and you'll get an idea. Add a big multiplier for New York with higher visibility terrorists in the docket and the number will be shocking.
Lower Manhattan will become an armed camp.
Meanwhile, media is already moaning about the "impossibility of finding an impartial jury" in New York in order to preserve these murderers' rights. Stay tuned: it will only get worse.
When asked about the proposed relocation for trial, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) revealed that he had been asked by the White House to withhold comment until he could meet face-to-face with President Obama after the latter returns from Asia. Graham acceded to the request -- in effect a presidential gag order -- while Democratic proponents of the move are filling the airways with positive remarks.
For all intents and purposes, the administration is stifling public opposition to this move in order to front-load public opinion on its side. This is disgraceful
When trials took place in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, reams of classified information were forced to be released in order for the government to make its case. One of those tidbits was a list of unindicted co-conspirators. Prominent among that list was Osama bin Laden, who was then alerted that he was on the target list and immediately disappeared into Afghanistan to resume plotting. We know all too well the results of that civilian court -- induced security leak.
The unintended consequences of leakage in the KSM trial potentially could be even more disastrous.
Furthermore, the "rock star" appeal of these terrorists -- the kingpins of the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist world -- will be irresistible to cells and lone wolf terrorists eager to make their bones on the international stage. New York and environs will become even more of a terrorist magnet that it already is, with the potential for a Beslan, Russia-like incident overshadowing all proceedings.
Smart terrorists -- and it is critically important that we realize the degree of sophistication and cunning many of these men possess --are not going to attack the trial or prison in order to break the defendants out. They prefer soft targets such as schools, hospitals, and churches that they will take down and hold hostage for release of their compatriots.
If they die in a fusillade of SWAT team bullets in the attempt while taking hundreds of innocents along with them to Paradise, so much the greater for their martyrdom aspirations. When this happens, the blood will be on the hands of politicians who insisted that they be brought onto U.S. soil for trial.
Think back to Beslan. Chechen terrorists were being held in Moscow, hundreds of miles distant, but their loyal supporters picked a soft target, a school packed with hundreds of teachers, parents, and children, as a vulnerable target to make their odious statement. It was a middle school, preferred by terrorists because the boys are too small to fight but the girls are old enough to rape.
Male teachers and boys were used as laborers to improve defenses by moving furniture against doors and windows while the terrorists pretended to negotiate. Then they were coldly executed. Meanwhile, women and girls were systematically raped by the terrorists who planted explosives throughout the building, intending to cause the greatest bloodshed possible if and when an attack by authorities materialized.
Their goals were achieved -- not release of their fellow Chechens -- but a mindless slaughter of hundreds of innocents while becoming martyrs to their evil ideology.
Think it can't happen here, that this is just fear-mongering? Think again. In the past several weeks, cells around the U.S., including New York, and lone wolf terrorists have been apprehended at an alarming rate. The Fort Hood attack alone ought to be a sufficient wake-up call to convince us that the previously unthinkable is now stark reality.
Even if skeptical about these dire possibilities the essential question remains: Are you willing to risk the safety of hundreds of innocents by being sanguine about terrorist intentions and capabilities within this country so that Obama can fulfill a campaign promise?
In his press conference announcing this move Holder was quoted as saying "To the extent that there are political consequences, I'll just have to take my lumps."
Political lumps are trivial compared to the potential blood-bath this move could generate. It has happened before, and can happen again. If you live in a town where school children are held hostage, raped and murdered, perhaps in Westchester Country, New Jersey, or Long Island, or another more remote location, ask yourself, are you as personally willing to accept the risk?