11.23.2009

Conservative Cowards: Yeah, Bill Kristol. We're Talking to You

In an Op-ed piece in the Hill last week, the Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas exposes the "macho conservatives" who are terrified to try the terrorists in a Federal Court and have little faith in the United States Constitution:

Conservative hack Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard fretted: “In open court, it will be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who will hold forth, mocking his victims, exulting in the suffering of their families, ridiculing the judge, his lawyers and the American justice system, and worst of all, rallying his jihadi brothers to kill more Americans … just blocks from where 20,000 body parts were dug out of the rubble of the Twin Towers.”

Kristol’s words were as inflammatory as they were cowardly, betraying a sad fear that the pathetic Mohammed could shout out, “Allahu akbar!” in a courtroom and … what? Generate sensationalistic headlines in the New York Post? Immediately convert millions of Americans into radical Islamic extremists? Give slacking terrorists new resolve to attack America?

Fact is, there are 216 international terrorists currently serving time in U.S. prisons, all of them tried and convicted in U.S. criminal courts, including Sept. 11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (tried in a federal court by the George W. Bush administration).

So why change now? Because conservatives are terrified of what terrorists might do? Well, the point of “terrorism” is to instill terror. Apparently, in the case of terrified conservatives, it’s mission accomplished.

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Even Retired Military Leaders Say Stop Fear-Mongering, Close Guantanamo to Ensure National Security:

The letter and today's hearing come just days after Attorney General Holder announced the U.S. will move the trials of the five Guantanamo detainees accused in the 9/11 conspiracy from the discredited Guantanamo military commissions and into federal courts, which have an impressive track record in trying complex terrorism cases. It also comes just one day after the Senate blocked an amendment to restrict the Administration's ability to move detainees into the United States for prosecution.

"We have watched with disappointment efforts to engender fear among the American people about the prospect of bringing suspected terrorists to the United States for trial," wrote the 32 retired military leaders in an open letter to Congress. "Our federal justice system has a proven track record of successfully prosecuting terrorists and incarcerating them safely in our prisons."

[snip]

The retired military leaders are among those who stood with President Obama in the Oval Office as he signed Executive Orders ending the use of torture and ordering the closure of the Guantánamo detention facility. The group stated that many al Qaeda terrorists are already serving long sentences in federal prisons and pointed to a recent American Correctional Association resolution assuring the American public that they "would be safe from harm and free from danger should any detainees be transferred to a facility or facilities within the United States." They also noted that U.S. prisons currently house more than 150 convicted terrorists and none has ever escaped.

"The American people can have confidence that our judicial and penal institutions are strong and that our military, law enforcement and corrections professionals are second to none. Closing the Guantanamo prison facility will make Americans more secure, both on our own soil and on the battlefields where our service members fight valiantly on our behalf," the letter stated. "We urge you to do all you can to ensure that Guantanamo is closed promptly by sending detainees to their home countries or other nations willing to accept them, and by bringing those who have committed crimes against the United States here to face justice."

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