If the 9/11 terrorists (and murderers of Daniel Pearl, don’t forget) want to spend their last days on earth acting out a farce more absurd than Noises Off, don’t they have that right? Say, in lieu of a last meal (which they’ll never finish digesting anyway).
You don’t have to be a mind reader to figure out the propaganda strategy of September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other terrorists who were arraigned Saturday in a 13-hour spectacle in Guantanamo Bay. The idea is to use the open military trial to promote jihad and discredit American institutions, including the military system of justice.
The point to keep in mind is that this would have happened no matter the trial venue, civilian or military. The critics who have never liked military tribunals and accused them of being a form of railroad justice are now blaming them for being so unruly that they give terrorists a chance to act out. Well, which is it?
The real fault lies with the terrorists, who hope to put American justice on trial instead of themselves. The defendants refused even to look at Judge James Pohl, much less to answer questions or wear headsets to hear the simultaneous translation into Arabic. There were unscheduled prayers and a paper airplane. Ramzi bin Al Shibh commented in English that “Maybe they will kill us and say we have committed suicide.”
Sad to say, they were helped by some of the military defense lawyers, who know they can make a name for themselves by putting the Bush Administration’s detention policies on trial. KSM attorney David Nevin said in a press conference that “The government wants to kill Mr. Mohammed. They want to extinguish the last eyewitness to his torture so he can never speak again.” Sure, 9/11 was one giant cover-up.
The terrorists deserve a zealous defense under our adversarial trial system, but the lawyers’ efforts to defend their clients not by any evidence of their innocence but through political attacks on the procedural detail of military tribunals does a disservice to the victims and to their military peers.
The decision by Cheryl Bormann, the lawyer for Osama bin Laden bodyguard Walid bin Attash, to come to court in a black hijab and abaya and urge other female prosecutors to do the same was beyond any reasonable definition of what’s necessary and proper for women working in a U.S. military courtroom.
The professional female lawyers and members of the U.S. military should cover themselves, she said, so that the suspects wouldn’t be in “fear of committing a sin under their faith.”
To hell with that. I say the lawyers should be required to wear stilettos, sequined hot pants, and nothing on top but a push-up bra. And that’s just the guys!
This is America, baby, love it or leave it. To some of us, the Statue of Liberty is just a big dominatrix: “You’re tired! You’re poor! You’re nothing but a huddled mass yearning to breath free, you pathetic excuse for an American.” Crack! (You can’t truly appreciate liberty unless you’ve been in bondage, I always say.)
It’s not like the Gitmo Five haven’t seen their share of infidel flesh. Didn’t Mohammed (that name again!) Atta and his crew hit every titty bar and strip club in the Northeast before carrying out their mass-murderous mission?
We know that President Obama’s preferred method of dealing with America’s enemies is to terminate them with extreme prejudice—preferably by Predator drone, Navy SEALs a close second—and we salute him for that. (If a couple of wedding parties are mistaken for jihadist book groups and “accidentally” vaporized, just put your hat over heart and say you’re powerful sorry.)
If deprived the pleasure of a Hellfire missile or two in the head, however, Obama would settle for a show trial from out of the Cultural Revolution in lower Manhattan. But this? KSM middle-fingering us without consequence? That’s gotta be eating up Obama inside. We all know that in any other country, he’d get 70% of the vote—but in America and within Al Qaeda, he has to endure these indignities.
Me, on the other hand, I love it. The Gitmo Five can drop trou (or robe) and defecate in the middle of the courtroom for all I care. KSM can grope the female lawyers in their hijabs and say “How ’bout abaya drink?” He may make a farce out of the proceedings, but after his scrupulously fair military tribunal, we’ll get the last laugh at the firing squad.
Just swallow the popcorn before laughing. No choking on the concessions.