There’s been a lot of discussion and controversy over the Administration’s plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his 9/11 accomplices in civil court in NYC. Most Conservative lawmakers and a great majority of the American public feel they should be tried under the auspices of a military tribunal, and treated as enemy combatants, not as civil criminals: (From CNN Politics)

According to a just-released CNN poll, Americans are giving a big thumbs-down to the Obama administration’s decision to try the Sept. 11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court. Sixty four percent of us want KSM tried in a military court; only 34 percent agree with President Obama that KSM should be tried in a civilian court in New York City.

“The decision to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in front of a civilian court is universally unpopular – even a majority of Democrats and liberals say that he should be tried by military authorities,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, said that KSM et. al, qualify as both enemy combatants and civil criminals and therefore the Government had a choice to make as to where to prosecute them.

They chose Federal civil court, in New York City, near the scene of their crime. President Obama, in his usual avoid-any-responsibility-if-it-casts-a-negative-light-on-me approach, disavowed any personal accountability for the decision, saying only, “It was AG Holder’s call.”

Leaving aside Obama’s part in this for the moment, Holder has said things to the effect of, ‘Trying them in civil court will showcase the American justice system to the world.’ That’s not the exact quote, but that’s the essence of his position.

Here are the follow-up questions that haven’t been asked so far:

What is the benefit to the United States of ‘showcasing’ the trial of KSM to the world?

To whom are we showcasing this trial? Who is (are) the intended target audience (s)? What countries? What individuals? What groups?

Name them.

What specific benefits will accrue to America for said showcasing? By holding the trial in civilian court, what will America be able to do that we couldn’t have done if we held the trial in military court? Is there some future action that we can take by virtue of having ‘showcased’ the trial to the world? Is there some ‘permission’ that we will be granted or some ‘slack’ we’ll be cut by others that we would otherwise not have gotten? Specifically, what?

List them, and their benefits.

On the flip side, is there some action or actions that we couldn’t take in the country’s self-interest unless we hold the trial in civilian court? If so, what is (are) it (they)?

So, what does “showcasing” the trial to the world mean, exactly? Who needs to see this trial? And what does America stand to gain—specifically—by doing so? The Liberal/Progressive narrative is that America should lead by example, that we’re a country that follows the accepted Western-civilized notion of ‘the rule of law.’ However, implicit in the liberals’ position is the assumption on their part, “Therefore, this [undefined] good thing will result if we showcase our legal system to the world by holding the trial in NYC civil court, rather than in a military tribunal.”

I invite any liberal to define and defend—in specific, unequivocal, unambiguous terms—this “good thing.”

Comments