The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Gail Colins of the New York Times suggests that it “just feels wrong” to move the trial of 9/11 terrorist and mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) out of Manhattan. Actually, it seems to me that she’s generally depressed about the broad electorate pushing back against her beloved Obama administration on a variety of poorly thought-out and counter-productive ideas and actions. She writes:
As I was saying, last November, the Justice Department announced that the terror trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would be held in Manhattan. Almost everyone in New York rallied around. This was seen as standing up to terrorism.

It may very well be that “almost everyone” who Gail Collins knows thinks that an unnecessary civilian trial is “standing up” to terrorism. But I’d venture to guess that there are a few New Yorkers (readers of papers other than the NYT) who understand that “fighting terrorism” is NOT merandizing terrorists, granting them the right of evidentiary discovery, allowing them a public platform to condemn our country, providing al Qaeda with a propaganda victory, and creating a show trial that is both unnecessary and dangerous.

But Collins then goes further. In discussing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s objection to the cost (estimated at $200 million per year), the security problems, and general upheaval of such a trial, she suggests that:
The Bloomberg rebellion fits right into the sour, us-first mood that’s settled over the country … It’s all part of a cult of selfishness that decrees it’s fine to throw your body in front of any initiative, no matter how important, if resistance looks more profitable.

So … let me see. Gail Collins thinks that those of us who object to a civilian trial for KSM are being selfish? How selfish that we object to an administration and its supporters who hold to the delusional theory that (1) Islamic fanatics will somehow think better of us if we try their compatriots in a civilian courtroom and (2) that closing Guantanimo and spending $1 billion to build a new prison within our borders will somehow cause fewer islamic fanatics to join al Qaeda?

Collins reminds us that:
Safety is always a concern, but Al Qaeda doesn’t operate like a season of “24.” Terrorists don’t generally strike when it’s most symbolic or best serves a story line. They do the things that happen to work out. So Barack Obama is inaugurated and the 9/11 anniversary passes in peace and quiet. Then a guy tries to explode his underwear while heading for the Detroit airport.

No symbolism, huh? Seems that Ms. Collins failed to notice that the underwear bomber attacked on Christmas Day. If that’s not symbolic, I’m not sure what is.

Gail Collins plays her trump card when she writes:
Democrats are starting to join the Republicans’ call to toss out the Constitution and try suspected terrorists in military courts. Some of the same senators who gave you the endless health care bill obstructions have already signed on, saying federal trials are too expensive and too dangerous.

Ms. Collins is worried that enemy combatants, not an American citizen among them, captured in a foreign war, and held outside the United States cannot benefit from the protections of our constitution. That we're about to "toss out the Constitution" if we don't give KSM his day in court. Oh my.

Unlike Ms. Collins, the vast majority of Americans realize that failure to grant constitutional protections to foreign nationals who want to kill us is not an erosion of our values. It’s common sense. Sadly, that commodity seems in very short supply within the walls of the White House and among its many supporters in the media.