Posted on 15-11-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Yglesias raises a question whether by terming terrorism as war you end up justifying (at least in part) the declarations of the perpetrators that they are somehow holy warriors instead of murderous thugs. This comes in light of the Obama administration’s decision to finally bring the 9/11 accused to trial.  This has caused the usual suspects including Rudy Giuliani to raise the standard weak on terror charge (ignoring his previous support for such trials by the Bush administration). A depressing characteristic of American conservatives after 9/11 is their willingness to eviscerate the rule of law in this country by permitting limitless wireless wiretaps, challenging the patriotism of attorneys who defended the Guantanamo accused (forgetting that John Adams defended the accused in the Boston Massacre) and letting a President claim that he can hold suspects (initially even American citizens) in prison indefinitely without trial.

After the Bush administrations bungled the opportunity of military tribunals by patently trying to turn them into show trials, it is hard to see how they could have regained international credibility.  However, a civilian trial is not without risks.  It requires a strong judge who will prevent the proceedings from turning into a circus Zacarias Moussaoui attempted to do and Slobodan Milosevic managed to do.

Ultimately, it is antithetical to American values to indefinitely hold persons without trial.  While some conservatives are fond of stating that as non-citizens have no rights, it flies in face of the Constitution which extend these rights to all “persons” and not just “citizens”.  It is time these criminals stop being used as a bogeyman to curb American values and liberty.

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