Hope and Change in the War on Terror

In 1942, eight Germans arrived in New York with the mission of destroying civilian targets including aluminum plants and bridges.  The Germans were sure to wear their Nazi uniforms after landing and departing from their submarine until they were able to hide.  They wore their uniforms in case they were caught.

Two of the eight decided to defect from the mission and turn themselves in.  In fact, one of them went to Washington DC to turn himself over to the FBI.  He had to pour out the $84,000 he had as a budget for his mission onto the FBI agent’s desk for him to believe that their mission was for real.  It was certainly a pre-9/11 world.

Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt charged the saboteurs with violating the laws of war, correspondence with or giving intelligence to the enemy, espionage, and conspiracy to commit these crimes.  Roosevelt ordered that they be tried by Military Commission and the Supreme Court backed him up in Ex Parte Quinn. This is despite their lawyers arguing for a civilian trial.

All eight were sentenced to death.  Roosevelt granted clemency for the two defectors, giving one life in prison and the other (who had turned them all in) thirty years.  Six years later, after the end of the war, Truman used his Presidential pardon to set the two defectors free and deport them back to Germany.  The others were put in the electric chair.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a US citizen.  In 1993 he masterminded a plot to blow up the World Trade Center.  Six Americans were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.  He conspired to commit other acts of terrorism and planned acts of terrorism.  Then on September 11, 2001, Mohammed’s most terrible plan came to fruition as he directed hijackers to fly airplanes into the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, and planned for another plane to strike which was brought down by the passangers into an empty field in Pennsylvania.  2,995 people died on September 11, 2001.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did not have a rank or uniform.  He was not a US citizen subject to US civilian laws.  As a non-uniformed enemy combatant of a country or group that has not been invaded, he is not subject to the protections of the Geneva Conventions.  There is absolutely no legal reason that Mohammed should receive a civilian trial.

Unfortunately, our current President and Attorney General disagree.  Barack Obama, who is not a shell of the man Franklin Roosevelt was, has decided to send Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City, where he killed more than 2,000 people, to face a civilian trial.  Mohammed will be granted all the same rights and constitutional protections as any American citizen who has committed criminal acts against the people of the United States.

President Obama fails to realize that we are in a war.  Even if Bush failed to secure a properly worded declaration of war from our congress, foreign radical islamic terrorists have failed to recognize the technicality and continue to claim American civilian and military victims at home and abroad.  Now, Holder must find an impartial jury in New York who have not already made up their minds about Mohammed and 9/11.  By the time he finds an impartial jury, Mohammed will have died of old age.  Either that or Holder could pick a jury out of Obama’s advisors who seem to have already forgotten 9/11, or have no opinion on whether it was right or wrong.

Perhaps the bigger issue is Mohammed’s treatment.  He was brought to a prison outside of US territory and they held him down and poured water on his face.  A US citizen who is treated such a way would rightfully receive concessions in their civilian trial, or even have the trial thrown out.  War criminals also should not be treated such a way.  We have the Geneva Conventions to regulate war and to ensure that troops are treated with respect, especially when they are captured.  However, the Geneva Conventions do not apply to non-uniformed enemy combatants.  The other reason we would normally avoid making prisoners stand in an uncomfortable position for 8 hours (like you do at work every day) or having water poured on their face is because we wouldn’t want our troops treated that way.  For Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who said that he beheaded “that jew” Daniel Pearl himself, I don’t think pouring water on his face would change how he would treat our troops.

What Obama has done, by ordering a civilian trial in New York City, is and should be recognized as an incompetent blunder by this President.  By making it a civilian trial, Obama has done nothing short of declaring the war on terror to be over.  The only problem is that it wasn’t our war to declare over.  Will allowing Mohammed to gloat in a New York City courtroom while Obama blames the mis-trial on the last 8 years prevent the next Ft. Hood?  Will putting the Bush administration on a de facto trial for pouring water on terrorists’ faces make terrorists stop being terrorists?  Or will this victory for Mohammed and his terrorist companions please the radical terrorists as much as it will Europe and the radical left?

With Obama’s early withdrawal from Iraqi cities, months of waffling on Afghanistan, and now shear incompetence with these trials, even New York liberals may be starting to question if Obama is really the man they want answering the phone at 2am.

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