Moving The 9/11 Plotter Trials

Posted: January 30, 2010 in Current Events, Politics
Tags: , , ,

Looks like Obama is going to bow to public pressure and move the 9/11 plotter trials out of New York City.  Something just doesn’t smell right about all this.  It just seems too much is being made about the security and logistics of these trials that for some reason is supposedly has to be far beyond the security and logistics provided for any other trial.  The cost estimate is $200 million a year?  That is just exorbitant.  I would love to hear exactly how that figure was calculated.  Generally speaking though they are talking about having to have car checkpoints, helicopter patrols, bomb-sniffing dogs, rooftop snipers, and otherwise treating the area around the courthouse as if it is a war zone.  This seems to me like a case of a) overestimating the capabilities of terrorists (i.e. on par with the Legion of Doom) and b) trying to achieve an unreasonable level of safety (i.e. 100.00000% safe).

Here’s the problem with moving the trials.  It is not like the planned site for these trials was the courthouse in Hazard County with Roscoe P. Coltrane in charge of security.  This is one of the most secure courthouses in the nation, if not the most secure.  Concerns for the trial at this courthouse would apply even more so at most other possible locations.  Cynically I think we are creating excuses not to have these guys tried in our criminal justice system, but rather to use the military tribunals (the use of which is dubious at best).

I just don’t like where this is going.

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Comments
  1. Have you been to downtown Manhattan where the trials would be held? Have you seen all the buildings where thousands of people have to commute to every day to go to work?

    They want to try the terrorists responsible for planning the destruction of the WTC just blocks away. The media circus and attention that this would draw would create a monumental task to secure the lives and safety of the terrorists, jurors, judges and civilians that work, live and travel through the area every day.

    Regardless of your views on whether or not the trials should be held there (which they shouldn’t) I think you are underestimating the scale and complexity of the security issues involved in tacking a security task of this magnitude. Think about it.

    I think the reasons for trying the terrorists in civilian court are dubious at best. More likely it is politically motivated, judging from the attitudes displayed by Holder and Obama regarding terror and foreign policy in general. It a joke.

    ~ATM

  2. gesvol says:

    I will grant that holding the trial blocks away from the WTC location probably was more of a symbolic choice than anything else.

    Also, the best argument for not giving these guys a trial in a civilian court is that we are not giving all the people we are holding that same opportunity. Either the military tribunal system is legitimate, which means it shouldn’t matter which system is used to try these guys, or it is not, which means that all of the detainees should either be tried in civilian court or let go. The current administration wants to have it both ways. There is no defense for that position.

  3. The best argument for not giving them a civilian trial is the Supreme Court decision:

    UNITED STATES V. VERDUGO-URQUIDEZ, 494 U. S. 259 (1990)

    …(c) The Fourth Amendment’s drafting history shows that its purpose was to protect the people of the United States against arbitrary action by their own Government, and not to restrain the Federal Government’s actions against aliens outside United States territory. Nor is there any indication that the Amendment was understood by the Framers’ contemporaries to apply to United States activities directed against aliens in foreign territory or in international waters. Pp. 494 U. S. 266-268.
    http://supreme.justia.com/us/494/259/case.html

    I agree with your statement here:

    “The current administration wants to have it both ways. There is no defense for that position.”

    This and Eric “a nation of cowards” Holder’s comical inability to defend his decision before a Congressional Judiciary committee ( see link below) illustrate the arbitrary, and in my opinion expose the political nature of the reasoning beyond this incredibly irresponsible and illogical decision. He is the top law enforcement official and he sounds like a high school kid that forgot to do his homework. It would be funnier if it wasn’t so disturbing and wasn’t a national security issue.

    ~ATM

  4. Here is a great article that illustrates in detail the reasons not to hold the trail in NYC:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/423438/about-saving-face/bill-burck–dana-perino?page=2

  5. bohzo (hello)

    I saw your avatar and was born in Chicago but live in Michigan so I never know what to do on game day. Great blog!

  6. gesvol says:

    Thanks Pokagon Indian! I was initially confused by your comment, since I was thinking WordPress avatars. I finally realized the avatar you were referencing was Yahoo! avatar and it all made sense! Glad you enjoy the blog and I hope you visit often!

  7. gesvol says:

    Thanks for the link atm. Whether or not the trials should be held in NYC, I think the article does illustrate why the trials will not be held there and instead will be held at Guantanamo Bay. If they do that, it creates an interesting dilemma for Obama. If Guantanamo is necessary for these trials, who is to say it won’t be necessary for other trials in the future? And if that’s the case, do you still have justification to close it down? After all, if we are going to need a Guantanamo Bay-like facility, why not just keep the original?

    • It is a complex issue. That is why I feel that Obama promising to close Gitmo was a political decision and was not carefully considered.

      Ok… so you are going to close Gitmo. Great… now what?

      Obama was a strong critic of the Bush administration, and yet Obama has nothing better to offer regarding the handling of terrorists.

      What does he give us? Eric “Americans are cowards” Holder arbitrarily decides to hold KSMs trial in Federal court in NYC blocks from where the WTC once stood. When asked before a Judiciary committee to explain how he determined that this was the best option… Holder offers vague evasive nonsense and gets called out on it.

      People have a right to have their opinions regarding the handling of terrorists and enemy combatants. But if you are in charge of making policy you had better know what the hell you are talking about.

      Obama, it is time to stop blaming Bush and start earning your paycheck. You ran opposing Bush’s policies. You got elected. Now want?

      Democrats were the party of no. No to Bush. That is fine. But what are they bringing to the table now that they have the ball?

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