Nearly 11 years after the September 11th attacks, the man who planned and oversaw the murder of 3,000 people on American soil has come to trial. The first day of the proceedings, the arraignment of Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-terrorists, ran from 9:23 am well into the night and was marred by the antics of the terrorists and their attorneys, one of whom appeared in a burka and demanded that the other women in the courtroom dress in similar fashion in deference to the religious sensibilities of the murders.
And so more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, we continue to allow these evil men to inflict pain on the families of the victims and the nation at large--to mock the very system of justice that we extend to them.
To what end? In a usual criminal matter, the accused has the option to enter a plea of not guilty and demand a trial or enter a guilt plea and face sentence. In June 2008, KSM admitted his guilt and asked to enter a plea accordingly. He wanted to be "martyred." Again in December 2008, KSM asked for a hearing so that he could announce his glorious guilt to the world.
So KSM is a confessed terrorists and war criminal who wished to plead guilt. Ergo, justice does not demand that we treat him to any further form of "due process". He has no regard for, or interest in, our justice process, nor are there any material issues in dispute that require a trial to resolve.
"The Court hereby deems your earlier plea as accepted and shall now pass sentence. The sentence of the court is that you be taken hence to the gallows and hanged from the neck until dead. May God have mercy on your soul. Next case."
One of the great disgraces of the present era has been the political madness that infected the way in which we handle intelligence gathering and the administration of justice in the War on Terror. It is ironic that the KSM trial commences immediately following President Obama's obscene self-congratulatory victory tour on the anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
After all, the president is a man who, in large measure, built his political career by denouncing Guantanamo Bay as evil and accusing his own country of "torturing" terror suspects. As president, his very first act was to announce the closure of Gitmo, followed on by his plan to try KSM in federal court in Manhattan and his proclamation that American does not "torture" on his watch. When he couldn't pull off the civilian trial, he needlessly delayed the military commission action against KSM.
Obama also permitted the Justice Department to conduct a witch-hunt against government lawyers and CIA operatives who had allegedly sanctioned and participated in torture--even after earlier investigations had cleared all suspects. And on and on.
It turns out that only three men were ever waterboarded, and then only briefly under highly controlled circumstances. It turns out that the intelligence gathered from these men, and others subjected to the enhanced interrogation techniques, contributed mightily to our finding Bin Laden so that Obama could give the order to kill him and then parade his head on a pike.
But now we must endure the final insult of KSM and his fellow madmen abusing and twisting "due process", mocking the Court, the victims' families and the nation. This charade could drag on, literally, for years.
In mid-June 1942, eight Nazi spies entered the United States by sneaking ashore on Long Island and in Florida. By June 27th, all eight had been arrest. They were tried before a military commission appointed by President Roosevelt between July 8 and August 4, 1942; all were condemned to death. The president commuted the sentences of two men; the other six were executed on August 8th, four days after their convictions.
President Obama fancies himself a new FDR; as such, he ought to follow his predeccesor's penchant for the swift administration of justice to war criminals and murders.