Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others are going to be tried for their crime in New York City. It seems to me that this is a simple proposition: a crime was committed in the US, so the perpetrators of the crime should be tried in the US. Given that, we need to follow the rules of law in the US Constitution where every person is guaranteed a fair trial (and everyone is equal before the law, no matter how rich or poor, no matter how bad or good, no matter anything except the amount of evidence that shows their guilt). It shows how far we’ve fallen that this is not universally agreed upon. Instead we get statements like:
“The Obama Administration’s irresponsible decision to prosecute the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City puts the interests of liberal special interest groups before the safety and security of the American people,” said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) in a statement. “The possibility that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators could be found ‘not guilty’ due to some legal technicality just blocks from Ground Zero should give every American pause.”
and (this is Palin):
Horrible decision, absolutely horrible. It is devastating for so many of us to hear that the Obama Administration decided that the 9/11 terrorist mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be given a criminal trial in New York. This is an atrocious decision. […]
Criminal defense attorneys will now enter into delaying tactics and other methods in the hope of securing some kind of win for their “clients.” The trial will afford Mohammed the opportunity to grandstand and make use of his time in front of the world media to rally his disgusting terrorist cohorts. It will also be an insult to the victims of 9/11, as Mohammed will no doubt use the opportunity to spew his hateful rhetoric in the same neighborhood in which he ruthlessly cut down the lives of so many Americans.
“It gives an unnecessary advantage to the terrorists and why would you want to give an advantage to the terrorists, and it poses risks for New York,” Mr. Giuliani said in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He also interviewed on ABC’s “This Week” and “Fox News Sunday.”
It shows a willingness to disclose how our intelligence process works and offer [the suspects] a platform in our legal system to gather intelligence for themselves,” Mukasey said before an audience of conservative lawyers at the national Federalist Society’s annual legal convention in Washington.Holder’s plan “creates a cornucopia of intelligence for those still at large and a circus for those being tried,” Mukasey said.
Unfortunately it’s not just Republicans:
Sen. Webb (D-VA) responds to Holder announcement on trials for KSM and others …
“I have never disputed the constitutional authority of the President to convene Article III courts in cases of international terrorism. However, I remain very concerned about the wisdom of doing so. Those who have committed acts of international terrorism are enemy combatants, just as certainly as the Japanese pilots who killed thousands of Americans at Pearl Harbor. It will be disruptive, costly, and potentially counterproductive to try them as criminals in our civilian courts.
And there are conservatives that have the right perspective:
Former Republican Congressman and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, have teamed up to urge the Gitmo detainees be taken to the U.S.
“The scaremongering about these issues should stop,” Barr, Keene and Norquist wrote.
“Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases,” they wrote. “Civilian prisons are the safe, cost effective and appropriate venue to hold persons in federal courts.”
In his article decrying the cowardice of these people, Glenn Greenwald has links that show how that many other countries have also relied on their civil courts and tried terrorists in country. I haven’t seen any survey of relatives of 9/11 victims, but at least some think we need this kind of trial.