Try KSM in a Kangaroo Court at GTMO? Fuhgeddaboudit.

November 11, 2010


In this new video, New Yorkers for 9/11 Justice are urging President Obama to do the right thing and prosecute Khalid Shiekh Mohammed and the other four 9/11 suspects in U.S. federal court. Why? The alternative–an unfair kangaroo court at Guantanamo–stinks. Agree? Sign the petition.

Personally, as a New Yorker who could see the Twin Towers from his living room and watched the second tower fall from Canal Street, I have a number of reasons for joining New Yorkers for 9/11 Justice Petition and supporting a federal court trial over a Guantanamo commission:

  • Federal courts are more effective: federal courts have successfully prosecuted over 400 terrorism related cases since 2001. Only five people have been convicted in Guantanamo commissions. Federal courts work.
  • Federal courts are fair: A federal court trial would demonstrate to ourselves and the rest of the world that we are true to our values of justice and due process.  Guantanamo commissions are an embarrassment. They don’t meet international, US or US military standards for fair trials.
  • Federal courts are safe and secure:For the past several weeks, Guantanamo detainee and alleged al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani has been on trial in downtown New York City–without incident, disruption or exorbitant cost.
  • Military commissions are opposed by members of the military: The Guantanamo commissions were not created by the military–they were created by politicians and called “military commissions” to try and give them legitimacy. Even Guantanamo military lawyers have come out against them.
  • We’d all want a fair trial if accused of a crime: It’s easy to trade away other peoples’ rights, but the reality is that all of our rights are tied together. When a government violates the rights of some, it undermines the rights of us all.

And finally, what often gets lost in the chorus of fear mongering is that victims and survivors of 9/11 have the right to justice. They have the right to see, after years of delay, those responsible for 9/11–a crime against humanity–held accountable. A Guantanamo kangaroo court denies this right. Only a fair trial can fulfill the right to justice. Let’s get on with it and try KSM in federal court.

Where do you think KSM should be tried? Let us know in the comments. Bonus points for being civil and avoiding the standard logical fallacies (here’s a useful list). Again, if you support fair trials, sign the petition.