Saturday, November 14, 2009

Screaming Chickens

The reaction of the right wing to the news that the masterminds of the September 11, 2001 attacks will be tried in a civilian court in New York was predictable: they went crazy, and as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) succinctly proved, there is nothing they won’t use for a political attack.

The Obama Administration’s irresponsible decision to prosecute the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City puts the interests of liberal special interest groups before the safety and security of the American people.

As Glenn Greenwald notes, other countries have tried terrorists through their normal system of justice in open court in their capitals and not only did it without incident, they proved that these horrendous crimes can be dealt with without elevating the accused to heroic status.

These folks really don’t trust the Constitution of the United States and the 200-plus years of jurisprudence that have, with few exceptions, proved to be a fair and just system. Or, to be fair, they don’t think the Constitution and the rule of law apply to other people. And what is most dismaying — although not surprising — is that all the tough talk we got from the “bring ’em on” crowd back in 2001 melts away when faced with the reality of actually applying the rule of law and these guys might actually — horrors! — get a fair trial. What has our country come to?

This kind of response is exactly what the people who really do hate America are hoping for. It shows that for all their tough and sanctimonious talk about American “exceptionalism,” the wingers are a bunch of loud-mouths who run around screaming like chickens in a hailstorm when faced with the prospect of actually confronting our enemies. That’s exactly what the bad guys want:

At its heart terrorism is about fear. While terrorist attacks destroy, maim and kill, the intended audience for these attacks is almost always the whole body politic and the terrorist’s goal is to strike fear into their hearts.

If we as nation are too afraid to put these men on trial in an American courtroom, then the terrorists truly have won.