Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Politics of (Foreign) Boogeymen

Now, unless you've been living under a very large rock, with no cable or internet, on Mars, you're likely aware that Attorney General Holder has announced that a handful of men that the United States currently holds in connection with the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be brought to the United States for trial in civilian courts.

Given that it's a Democratic administration that's making this call, Republicans are, predictably, sounding the alarm that we're being lead into disaster.

[Members of Congress as well as relatives of victims and neighbors of the federal courthouse] argued that [...] bringing [Al Queda suspects] into the United States would heighten the risk of another terrorist attack, that civilian trials increase the risk of disclosing classified information, and that if the detainees were acquitted they could be released into the population.

“We should not be increasing the danger of another terrorist strike against Americans at home and abroad,” said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York.
Accused 9/11 Mastermind to Face Civilian Trial in N.Y.
My response to this is: Let me get this straight - the same people who have maintained for nearly a decade now that it's possible for the United States to a) manage to pacify two foreign nations, b) completely expunge them of, if not anti-American feeling, people who are willing to take violent anti-American action, and c) install governments that will be friendly to the West in general and the United States in particular AND be considered legitimate by their constituents while d) actively decreasing the risk to our national security and citizenry - are now utterly convinced that we're sowing the seeds of our own destruction by putting accused terrorists on trial, rather than simply holding them for the rest of their natural lives without charge. Note that despite the fact that members of Congress are quick to expect us to believe them when tell us, over and over, how unrelentingly dangerous these people are, they are dubious about the ability of the United States Department of Justice to make that same point under formal circumstances.

Uh huh. Yeah. Right.

And I think that I'm also annoyed with the idea that these guys are either so guilty or so angry that if a jury does find that they didn't do it, that they're still too dangerous to let go.

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