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Debate: Trying 9/11 terror suspects in NYC courts

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-=== Should 9/11 suspects be tried in New York, as ordered by US attorney general Eric Holder? ===+=== Should 9/11 suspects be tried in NY courts, as ordered by US AG Eric Holder? ===
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===Background and context === ===Background and context ===
 +
 +In November of 2009, US Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in a federal criminal court in Manhattan, New York. These civilian courts are an alternative choice to trying terror suspects in military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.[[Image:September 11th picture.jpg|left|160px]][[Image:Keleid Sheik Muhammad.jpg|right|180px]] The decision sparked substantial debate in the United States and around the world. The main questions framing the debate include: Can the conviction of the 9/11 terrorists be ensured in civilian courts, where there exists a risk of acquittal? Do civilian courts better uphold the rule of law, or are military tribunals consistent with US Constitutional law, rights, and values? How do civilian courts compare to military tribunals in terms of efficacy and the rule of law? Have civilian courts been more or less succesful than military tribunals in trying and convicting terror suspects? Have they been faster? Is trying terrorists in NYC courts fair to the victims of the attack and the city's inhabitants? Is trying terror suspects in NYC safe? Will it incite attacks at or near the trial? Will it turn into a circus of protesters and radicals vying for attention? Will protests and counter-protests surround the trial? Will the trial jeaparize intelligence sources? Will the terror suspects use the trial as a platform to spread their ideologies? Will the trials be a propaganda win or loss in general for the US and West versus terrorists and their radical ideologies? Overall, was the decision to try the 9/11 terror suspects in NYC a good one?
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- +=== Conviction: Can civilian trials ensure conviction of the 9/11 terrorists? ===
-===Write Subquestion here...===+
|- |-
|WRITE SUBQUESTION BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| |WRITE SUBQUESTION BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
====Pro==== ====Pro====
-''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here'' 
 +*'''[[Argument: US courts have successfully tried many terrorists| US courts have successfully tried many terrorists]]''' [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]: "our federal courts have waged an admirable war of their own against terrorists, whether the judges call it that or not. Our civilian courts have tried 195 cases of terrorism since 2001, according to Justice Department figures, and 91percent of them have resulted in convictions."
 +*'''[[Argument: KSM will almost certainly be convicted in NY civilian courts| KSM will almost certainly be convicted in NY civilian courts]]''' [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18simon.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Steven Simon. "Why We Should Put Jihad on Trial." New York Times. November 17th, 2009]: "Others complain that Mr. Mohammed might take advantage of quirks of the criminal justice system and go free. That’s highly unlikely. First, he has already confessed to the crime; and, given the zero acquittal rate for terrorists in New York previously, any anxiety about a “not guilty” verdict seems unwarranted."
 +*'''[[Argument: If acquitted in civilian courts, terrorists could still be detained| If acquitted in civilian courts, terrorists could still be detained]]''' Eric Holder said at a November Congressional hearing on his decision to try terrorists in NYC: "We would continue to hold them under the laws of war. We believe we have the authority to do that."[http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/11/18/holder.new.york.trial/index.html?eref=rss_us&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_us+%28RSS%3A+U.S.%29]
 +|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Pro" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +*'''[[Argument: Civilian trial of terrorists risks acquittal, hung jury| Civilian trial of terrorists risks acquittal, hung jury]]''' [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]: "There is, inherent in civilian criminal trials and given the likelihood that the defense will seek to play politics with the trial, some risk of one or more acquittals or hung juries." This could result in terrorists being set free.
 +*'''[[Argument: Detaining KSM after acquittal would undermine justice| Detaining KSM after acquittal would undermine justice]]''' [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/20/travesty_in_new_york_99224.html Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20, 2009]: "everyone knows that whatever the outcome of the trial, KSM will never walk free. He will spend the rest of his natural life in U.S. custody. Which makes the proceedings a farcical show trial from the very beginning."
 +*'''[[Argument: Measures to address acquittals are risk to civilian courts| Measures to address acquittals are risk to civilian courts]]''' [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]: "8. There is a risk that, to guard against [an acquital], rules and precedents governing criminal procedure will be distorted in ways that have lingering effects on the regular justice system."
-|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Pro" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em;"|+*'''[[General statements against trying terrorists in civilian courts| General statements against trying terrorists in civilian courts]]'''
 +|-
 +|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Con" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"|
 +=== Law: Is trying terrorists in courts consistent with the law? ===
 +
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in civilian courts restores US rule of law| Trying terrorists in NYC restores US rule of law]]''' [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/14/opinion/14sat1.html "A Return to American Justice." New York Times Editorial. November 13, 2009]: "Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. took a bold and principled step on Friday toward repairing the damage wrought by former President George W. Bush with his decision to discard the nation’s well-established systems of civilian and military justice in the treatment of detainees captured in antiterrorist operations."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Terror subjects are due fair trials in civilian courts| Terror suspects are due fair trials in civilian courts]]''' Rudy Giuliani told reporters about the 2006 civilian trial of "20th hijacker": "I was in awe of our system. It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial, that we are exactly what we say we are. We are a nation of law. ... I think he's going to be a symbol of American justice."[http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-oped1118pagenov18,0,2246867.column]
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Civilian trials avoid using evidence from coercive interrogations| Civilian trials avoid using evidence from coercive interrogations]]''' [http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20091121_1730.php Stuart Taylor. "No Need To Fear A Manhattan Terrorist Trial." National Journal. November 21, 2009]: "Brutal interrogations. Holder and his team plan to prevent the 9/11 prosecution from morphing into a trial of the CIA for torture, Newsweek has reported, by avoiding or minimizing reliance on admissions derived (or arguably derived) from coercive interrogations. These admissions may include Mohammed's statements during a 2007 Guantanamo hearing that he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and "was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Nothing mild about civilian court punishments for terrorists| Nothing mild about civilian court punishments for terrorists]]''' US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a November 2009 Congressional hearing defending his decision to try 9/11 terrorists in NYC: "There is nothing common about the treatment the alleged 9/11 conspirators will receive. In fact, I expect to direct prosecutors to seek the ultimate and most uncommon penalty for these heinous crimes."[http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/11/18/holder.new.york.trial/index.html?eref=rss_us&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_us+%28RSS%3A+U.S.%29]
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: The law is blind to terrorist wishes to by tried in NYC| The law is blind to terrorist wishes to be tried in NYC]]''' Some argue that trying terrorists in NYC grants terrorists their wish. But, the law is blind to such considerations.
 +
 +
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
====Con==== ====Con====
-''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here'' 
 +*'''[[Argument: Terrorists should not be given privileges of civilian courts| Terrorists should not be given privileges of civilian courts]]''' [http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/McCain-says-trying-KSM-in-New-York-would-be-like-trying--70304987.html Susan Ferrechio. "McCain says trying KSM in New York would be like trying Nazi in San Francisco." San Francisco Chronicle. Washington Examiner. November 17th, 2009]: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., compared the decision to try accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorists in New York City to trying Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering in San Francisco. "It's ridiculous. These are war criminals and terrorists and they should not be privy to regular courtroom procedures."
 +
 +*'''Terrorists should not be treated as common criminals.''' Terrorists are a certain kind of villan. They attempt to kill massive numbers of civilians in a war against civilization and society. They are not like common criminals, so should not be treated as such, with rights in a civilian trial.
 +*'''[[Argument: Civilian trials show more concern for terrorists than public| Civilian trials show more concern for terrorists than public]]''' Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani commented that he felt the decision to try terror suspects in New York: "seems to be an overconcern with the rights of terrorists and a lack of concern for the rights of the public."[http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GUANTANAMO_US_TRIAL?SITE=KFWB&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]
 +*'''[[Argument: Trials far terrorists should not be held until after conflict| Trials for terrorists should not be held until after conflict]]''' [http://www.kansas.com/opinion/story/1060410.html Cal Thomas. "Trying terrorists in New York is dangerous." The Wichita Eagle. November 18, 2009]: "The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an act of war, as much as if a nation-state had attacked us. Trials should not be held for war criminals until the war has been won."
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in NYC grants them their wish| Trying terrorists in NYC grants them their wish]]''' Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on ABC's This Week: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, when he was first arrested, asked to be brought to New York. I didn't think we were in the business of granting the requests of terrorists." [http://www.slate.com/id/2235773/]
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Vs. tribunals: Are courts better than tribunals for trying terrorists? ===
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +*'''[[Argument: Military tribunals have performed poorly versus civilian courts| Military tribunals have performed poorly versus civilian courts]]''' [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111903470.html Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith. "Holder's reasonable decision." Washington Post. November 20th, 2009]: "In deciding to use federal court, the attorney general probably considered the record of the military commission system that was established in November 2001. This system secured three convictions in eight years. The only person who had a full commission trial, Osama bin Laden's driver, received five additional months in prison, resulting in a sentence that was shorter than he probably would have received from a federal judge."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Military tribunals do not uphold rule of law| Military tribunals do not uphold rule of law]]''' [http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20091121_1730.php Stuart Taylor. "No Need To Fear A Manhattan Terrorist Trial." National Journal. November 21, 2009]: "Trying the 9/11 defendants before military commissions, on the other hand, would be widely (if unfairly) denounced as designed to ensure convictions regardless of the evidence. A decision to continue holding the suspects without trial -- after eight years of presidential vows to put them on trial -- would be a damning admission that America is simply not up to the task of bringing war criminals to justice."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Civilian courts are faster than military tribunals| Civilian courts are faster than military tribunals]]''' [http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw Margaret Carlson. "Big Apple Justice Fits Man Accused of 9/11." Bloomberg. Nov 19, 2009]: "a federal court trial will come sooner and be speedier, since the new military rules have yet to be completed and tested in the real world."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Little difference between civilian courts and military tribunals| Little difference between civilian courts and military tribunals]]''' [http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw Margaret Carlson. "Big Apple Justice Fits Man Accused of 9/11." Bloomberg. Nov 19, 2009]: "there is no longer much difference between a military and civilian trial. After the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the shortcomings of George W. Bush’s tribunals, Congress and the Obama administration granted more rights to the accused." Therefore, trying terrorists in civilian courts is little different, and not more risky.
 +
 +
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Military tribunals make trying terrorists in court unnecessary| Military tribunals make trying terrorists in court unnecessary]]''' [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]: "The trials are wholly unnecessary; the Administration is holding some enemy combatants without trial and trying others through the military commission system, thus conceding that it has alternatives. As a result, any risks, expenses or other downsides of the trials are being undertaken solely for the purpose of empty symbolism."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Tribunals for terrorists is consistent with US Constitution| Tribunals for terrorists is consistent with US Constitution]]''' [http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/oped/eastman/01/tribunals.html John C. Eastman. "Military tribunals are perfectly constitutional." Ashbrook Center. November 2001]: "The Fifth Amendment requires indictment by a grand jury, but specifically excepted from that requirement are "cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger." In other words, the men and women serving in our own military forces are not entitled to the benefits of trial in civilian courts, nor are civilians serving in the militia when they have been called into service. It would be odd indeed to read the Fifth Amendment as affording greater access to civilian courts to non-uniformed soldiers of terrorism waging war on the United States than it provides to our own soldiers and civilians."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Military tribunal would have been faster with KSM| Military tribunal would have been faster with KSM]]''' [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/20/travesty_in_new_york_99224.html Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20, 2009]: "Alternatively, Holder tried to make the case that he chose a civilian New York trial as a more likely venue for securing a conviction. An absurdity: By the time Obama came to office, KSM was ready to go before a military commission, plead guilty and be executed. It's Obama who blocked a process that would have yielded the swiftest and most certain justice."
|- |-
-|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Con" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"|+|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Victims: Is allowing victims to see trials important? ===
-===Write Subquestion here...===+|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 + 
 +*'''[[Argument: Allowing 9/11 victims to see terrorists on trial helps justice| Allowing 9/11 victims to see terrorists on trial helps justice]]''' [http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw Margaret Carlson. "Big Apple Justice Fits Man Accused of 9/11." Bloomberg. Nov 19, 2009]: "As for emotional pain, one of the advances in the U.S. criminal justice system is giving victims a place at trial and a chance to be heard. The families wouldn’t get that in Guantanamo."
 + 
 +*'''[[Argument: Fitting to try 9/11 terrorists at site of attacks| Fitting to try 9/11 terrorists at site of attacks]]''' New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in November of 2009: "It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered."[http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GUANTANAMO_US_TRIAL?SITE=KFWB&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]
 + 
 + 
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 + 
 +*'''[[Argument: NYC civilian trial re-open wounds of 9/11 victims| NYC civilian trial re-opens wounds of 9/11 victims]]''' [http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/245276 "Don't 'trust' court to try terrorists." Lancaster Online. Nov 20, 2009]: "Instead of a straightforward finding of guilt and execution in a military court, Americans who suffered the loss of loved ones on 9/11 will have to suffer through a lengthy trial designed to show the world that Americans are fair to terrorists. [...] And they will have to suffer that trial within blocks of where two planes commandeered by fellow terrorists flew into and destroyed the Twin Trade Towers."
|- |-
-|WRITE SUBQUESTION BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Safety: Is trying terrorists in New York safe? ===
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
====Pro==== ====Pro====
-''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here'' 
 +*'''[[Argument: Terrorist trials won't make US greater target than already| Terrorists trials won't make US greater target than already]]''' [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111903470.html Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith. "Holder's reasonable decision." Washington Post. November 20th, 2009]: "it is unlikely to make New York a bigger target than it has been since February 1993, when Mohammed's nephew Ramzi Yousef attacked the World Trade Center. If al-Qaeda could carry out another attack in New York, it would -- a fact true a week ago and for a long time. Its inability to do so is a testament to our military, intelligence and law enforcement responses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."
 +*'''[[Argument: New York has been through terrorist trials before| New York has been through terrorist trials before]]''' [http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/11/20/joe-slakas-terror-trials-new-york-giuliani/ Joe Slakes. "We Shouldn't Fear Terror Trials In NYC." Fox News. November 20th, 2009]: "It is also an unfortunate truth that we have been through terrorist trials before in New York City. The prosecutors as well as the federal and city law enforcement officials are experienced and are prepared. There is probably no other location in the United States better prepared for this trial than New York. [...] Some argue that the trial puts New York at the center of the terrorist target. I would argue that we have always been there and we will not let fear rule the day."
 +*'''[[Argument: Fear of using civilian courts cowers to terrorists| Fear of using civilian courts cowers to terrorists]]''' Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee: "I don't think we should run and hide and cower. Let's use our system."[http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GUANTANAMO_US_TRIAL?SITE=KFWB&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]
 +*'''[[Argument: Terrorists should be met with the weapon of the law| Terrorists should be met with the weapon of the law]]''' New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised the trial of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, saying, "New Yorkers won’t meet violence with violence, but with a far greater weapon -- the law."[http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw]
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in NYC invites a terrorist attack| Trying terrorists in NYC invites a terrorist attack]]''' [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/20/travesty_in_new_york_99224.html Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20, 2009]: "Apart from the fact that any such trial will be a security nightmare and a terror threat to New York -- what better propaganda-by-deed than blowing up the entire courtroom, making KSM a martyr and making the judge, jury and spectators into fresh victims? -- it will endanger U.S. security."
-|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Pro" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em;"|+*'''[[Argument: Terrorist suspects are particularly dangerous to guards| Terrorist suspects are particularly dangerous to guards]]''' [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]: "The detainees, as they have shown in the past, are especially dangerous to guards, a problem that's more acute when in transit or in civilian prisons than in a facility like Guantanamo that's designed to house them."
-====Con==== +*'''[[Argument: Terrorist trials threaten safety of surrounding community| Terrorist trials threaten safety of surrounding community]]''' [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/05/AR2009110504331.html Michael Mukasey. "The right place to try terrorists." Washington Post. November 6, 2009]: "it is clear from existing jurisprudence that physical presence in the United States would be a significant, if not a decisive, factor. That presence would generate serious security concerns for any person or place associated with their prosecution or confinement."
-''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here''+
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +=== Intelligence: Can a civilian court adequately protect intelligence? ===
 +|-
 +|WRITE SUBQUESTION BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +*'''[[Argument: US courts have tried terrorists and protected intelligence| US courts have tried terrorists and protected intelligence|]]''' [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111903470.html Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith. "Holder's reasonable decision." Washington Post. November 20th, 2009]: "In terrorist trials over the past 15 years, federal prosecutors and judges have gained extensive experience protecting intelligence sources and methods, limiting a defendant's ability to raise irrelevant issues and tightly controlling the courtroom."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: 9/11 suspects can be convicted without classified evidence| 9/11 suspects can be convicted without classified evidence]]''' [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18simon.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Steven Simon. "Why We Should Put Jihad on Trial." New York Times. November 17th, 2009]: "John Yoo, a former Bush administration lawyer, argues that the trial would be an “intelligence bonanza” for our enemies. Also unlikely. Our prosecutors are certain that there is enough unclassified evidence to make their case. Moreover, the most prized intelligence is recent, specific and actionable. Al Qaeda today is most concerned with discovering when and where the next drone missile attack will take place in Pakistan, information not likely to be disclosed during a trial about a conspiracy hatched more than a decade ago."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Intelligence surrounding 9/11 terrorists no longer valuable| Intelligence surrounding 9/11 terrorists no longer valuable]]''' While there is a remote chance that civilian courts would expose some intelligence, it would only be exposing 8-year-old intelligence, which is very unlikely to be useful to terrorists.
 +
 +|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Pro" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists risks releasing intelligence, costing lives| Trying terrorists risks releasing intelligence, costing lives]]''' [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/20/travesty_in_new_york_99224.html Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20, 2009]: "Civilian courts with broad rights of cross-examination and discovery give terrorists access to crucial information about intelligence sources and methods. [...] That's precisely what happened during the civilian New York trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. The prosecution was forced to turn over to the defense a list of two hundred unindicted co-conspirators, including the name Osama bin Laden. 'Within ten days, a copy of that list reached bin Laden in Khartoum,' wrote former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the presiding judge at that trial, 'letting him know that his connection to that case had been discovered.'"
 +:[http://www.detnews.com/article/20091119/OPINION01/911190337/1008/Editorial--Trying-Sept.-11-mastermind-in-civilian-court-is-dangerous "Trying Sept. 11 mastermind in civilian court is dangerous." The Detroit News Editorial. November 19, 2009]: "Andrew McCarthy, the former assistant U.S. attorney who tried the "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, [...] told the Wall Street Journal that he supported the idea of trying Rahman in a civilian court at first, but discovered the problem of a criminal defendant's access to all kinds of government information. McCarthy has observed that intelligence information went from the World Trade Center defendants to Osama Bin Laden within days."
|- |-
|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Con" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"| |WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Con" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"|
-===Write Subquestion here...===+=== Grand-standing: Can trials avoid grand-standing by terrorists? ===
|- |-
-|WRITE SUBQUESTION BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"| +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +*'''[[Argument: Courtroom rants of terrorists only expose them as hateful fools| Courtroom rants of terrorists only expose them as hateful fools]]''' Attorney General Eric Holder said in Congressional hearings in November of 2009 on his decision to try 9/11 terrorists in New York civilian courts: "I’m not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial, and no one else needs to be afraid either.[...] I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is."[http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw]
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: No TV cameras allowed in trials of 9/11 suspects| No TV cameras allowed in trials of 9/11 suspects]]''' [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18simon.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Steven Simon. "Why We Should Put Jihad on Trial." New York Times. November 17th, 2009]: "Which brings us to the idea that allowing Mr. Mohammed to take the stand will give him a soapbox. The truth is, if the trial provides a propaganda platform for anybody, it will be for our side. [...] First, federal courts do not permit TV cameras in the courtroom, so the opportunity for “real time” jihadist propagandizing won’t exist."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Judges can quash irrelevant speeches from terrorists| Judges can squash irrelevant speeches from terrorists]]''' [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18simon.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Steven Simon. "Why We Should Put Jihad on Trial." New York Times. November 17th, 2009]: "while defendants and their lawyers can question witnesses, they cannot make speeches; judges are kings in this domain and can quash irrelevant oratory."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Past terrorist court speeches were not propaganda victories| Past terrorist court speeches were not propaganda victories]]''' [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18simon.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Steven Simon. "Why We Should Put Jihad on Trial." New York Times. November 17th, 2009]: "Some point out that in earlier terrorism trials, like those of the plotters of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, the defendants did ramble at length. True, but does anyone who fears a circus now remember a single word from those earlier trials?"
 +
 +
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in NYC offers stage for grand-standing| Trying terrorists in NYC offers stage for grand-standing]]''' [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/20/travesty_in_new_york_99224.html Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20th, 2009]: "For late-19th-century anarchists, terrorism was the "propaganda of the deed." And the most successful propaganda-by-deed in history was 9/11 -- not just the most destructive, but the most spectacular and telegenic. [...] And now its self-proclaimed architect, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, has been given by the Obama administration a civilian trial in New York. Just as the memory fades, 9/11 has been granted a second life -- and KSM, a second act: "9/11, The Director's Cut," narration by KSM. [...] September 11, 2001 had to speak for itself. A decade later, the deed will be given voice. KSM has gratuitously been presented with the greatest propaganda platform imaginable -- a civilian trial in the media capital of the world -- from which to proclaim the glory of jihad and the criminality of infidel America."
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Trials of 9/11 terrorists in NYC will become a circus| Trials of 9/11 terrorists in NYC will become a circus]]''' [http://www.kansas.com/opinion/story/1060410.html Cal Thomas. "Trying terrorists in New York is dangerous." The Wichita Eagle. November 18, 2009]: "Instead of a Manhattan courtroom less than a mile from the site of where the World Trade Center stood, the government should have chosen the Bronx Zoo, because a zoo is what will be created when this terrorist trial is held. [...] You don't need an imagination to predict that crazies will show up at this trial, including Islamic terrorists in training who want to emulate the acts of the defendants. Some might be 'inspired' to create another event at or near the courthouse. Cable TV will carry it all."
 +
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Propaganda: Is terrorists trials a propaganda win or loss? ===
 +
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
====Pro==== ====Pro====
-''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here''+*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists shows confidence in US system and ideals| Trying terrorists shows confidence in US system and ideals]]''' [http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20091121_1730.php Stuart Taylor. "No Need To Fear A Manhattan Terrorist Trial." National Journal. November 21, 2009]: "One advantage is that a civilian trial will show Americans and the rest of the world that our government is sure it can prove the 9/11 defendants guilty in the fairest of all courts; is confident that the hate-filled propaganda of the accused will appeal only to barbarians like themselves; and will not let fear of more terrorist attacks drive the trial away from the most logical venue, which is the federal courthouse near the scene of the most horrific crime."
 +*'''[[Argument: Military tribunals are a propaganda win for terrorists| Military tribunals are a propaganda win for terrorists]]''' [http://www.sacbee.com/847/story/2328746.html?mi_rss=Wire%20Lifestyle "Commentary: U.S. legal system is capable of trying 9-11 suspects." The Miami Herald. Nov. 16, 2009]: "The obligation to stand trial in an open court of law is a defeat for the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, who once expressed a desire to plead guilty in the military commission system established in Guantánamo. Because the trial venue has been discredited around the Islamic world -- and among U.S. allies -- fulfilling his wish would have solidified his status as martyr on behalf of a distorted version of Islam."
 +*'''[[Argument: Legitimate trials are harder for radicals to criticize| Legitimate trials are harder for radicals to criticize]]''' [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111903470.html Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith. "Holder's reasonable decision." Washington Post. November 20th, 2009]: "Some say it is wrong to give Mohammed trial rights ordinarily conferred on Americans, but a benefit of civilian trials over commissions is that they make it harder for defendants to complain about kangaroo courts or victor's justice."
 +*'''[[Argument: Civilian trials improve global opinion of US, fight on terrorism| Civilian trials improve global opinion of US, fight on terrorism]]''' [http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20091121_1730.php Stuart Taylor. "No Need To Fear A Manhattan Terrorist Trial." National Journal. November 21, 2009]: "American lives and America's fortunes depend as much on international opinion as on preventing leaks of classified information. [and] international opinion sees civilian trials as the only legitimate way to deal with those accused of terrorism."
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in NY courts will embolden US enemies| Trying terrorists in NY courts will embolden US enemies]]''' [http://www.kansas.com/opinion/story/1060410.html Cal Thomas. "Trying terrorists in New York is dangerous." The Wichita Eagle. November 18, 2009]: "This trial will be broadcast worldwide. It will show America's enemies not the "fairness" of our justice system, but a group of men who can stand up to the "great Satan" and shake their fists in our face.
-|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Pro" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em;"|+*'''[[Argument: Terrorist trial in NY gives appearance of US weakness| Terrorist trial in NY gives appearance of US weakness]]''' [http://www.kansas.com/opinion/story/1060410.html Cal Thomas. "Trying terrorists in New York is dangerous." The Wichita Eagle. November 18, 2009]: "It also will serve as a recruiting video for future terrorists, because it will demonstrate what, to them, is weakness. A strong nation would have tried these men in the military tribunals Congress authorized for that purpose. A weak nation imputes rights to noncitizens who want to do away with the very rights we are now going to afford them."
-====Con==== +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in NY will not achieve anything| Trying terrorists in NY will not achieve anything]]''' [http://www.kansas.com/opinion/story/1060410.html Cal Thomas. "Trying terrorists in New York is dangerous." The Wichita Eagle. November 18, 2009]: "What do we hope to accomplish by trying these mass murderers on U.S. soil? Will it produce more troops from our NATO allies to finish the job in Afghanistan? Not likely. When the world sees how good and fair we are, will it love America more and will terrorists decide to kill us less? Only in the world of make-believe inhabited by American Civil Liberties Union lawyers."
-''Click on the pencil icon and research and write arguments here''+
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Mixed approach: Is a mix of civilian trials and military tribunals justified? ===
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +*'''[[Argument: Terrorists should be tried in courts and tribunals case-by-case| Terrorists should be tried in courts and tribunals case-by-case]]''' [http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20091121_1730.php Stuart Taylor. "No Need To Fear A Manhattan Terrorist Trial." National Journal. November 21, 2009]: "Congress has given the government the options of trying such people in civilian federal courts or by military commissions, or detaining them without charge as enemy combatants. The circumstances dictate which approach makes the most sense in any specific case."
 +
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Wrong to give some terrorists civilian trials and not others| Wrong to give some terrorists civilian trials and not others]]''' [http://www.examiner.com/x-17336-Midland-County-Public-Policy-Examiner~y2009m11d16-The-hypocrisy-of-trying-terrorists-in-New-York Jarrett Skorup. "The hypocrisy of trying terrorists in New York." The Examiner. November 16, 2009]: "Detainees will get a 'fair trial' in civilian court only if their conviction is assured. By implication, that suggests that detainees who go before military commissions will get an unfair trial. Presumably the administration would deny this and say the commission trials will be fair too. But if so, why is such a trial not good enough for Khalid Sheikh Mohammad?"
 +
 +
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Economics: What are the economic pros and cons? ===
 +
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying and imprisoning terrorists can create US jobs| Trying and imprisoning terrorists can create US jobs]]''' [http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw Margaret Carlson. "Big Apple Justice Fits Man Accused of 9/11." Bloomberg. Nov 19, 2009]: "The politics of the trial stems from Obama’s decision to announce the closing of Guantanamo before he had lined up takers for its prisoners. Now with unemployment at 10.2 percent, he could hold an auction for the officials in Illinois, Montana, Michigan and Colorado clamoring for the detainees to fill their underused prisons. The politician who wins the detainees isn’t going to get booted from office. He’s going to get a parade."
 +
 +
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +
 +====Con====
 +
 +*'''[[Argument: Trying terrorists in NY requires costly security| Trying terrorists in NY requires costly security]]''' [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]: "The additional security required to guard against #3 will cost the federal and city governments a fortune, interfere with the administration of justice in a busy federal district and busy federal prison, add to the traffic and delays already extant in lower Manhattan, and place a great burden on the jurors, judge, and prosecutors."
 +
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +===Public opinion: Where does public opinion stand on this issue? ===
 +
 +|-
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Pro====
 +
 +*'''Public opinion irrelevant to merits of civilian trial of terrorists.''' Justice is justice, and judicial process is judicial process. This is the case no matter where public opinion stands on an issue. If it is right to try a terrorist in civilian courts, than this should be done, irrespective of what the public thinks.
 +
 +*'''Trying and imprisoning terrorists will be popular where it creates jobs.''' The jobs created to handle the trying and imprisoning of terrorists are an attractive component of bringing them to US territory, particularly during economic difficulties. This is demonstrate in Illinois, where Senator Dick Durbin (D) has been seeking the opportunity for precisely this reason - to create jobs and possibly even win greater voter support.[http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw]
 +
 +|width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +
 +*'''Majority of Americans are opposed to civilian trial of terrorists.''' A November 2009 CBS News Poll found that only 40 percent of Americans want Mohammed and his four minions to be tried in federal criminal court. [http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2009/51_oppose_decision_to_try_terrorists_in_new_york_city Rasmussenreports finds that "51% Oppose Decision To Try Terrorists in New York City"]
 +
 +
 +|-
 +|colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +=== Pro/con sources ===
 +
 +|-
 +|WRITE SUBQUESTION BETWEEN "=== ===" width="45%" bgcolor="#FFFAE0" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top:0.5em;"|
 +
 +====Pro====
 +
 +*[http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/11/20/joe-slakas-terror-trials-new-york-giuliani/ Joe Slakes. "We Shouldn't Fear Terror Trials In NYC." Fox News. November 20th, 2009]
 +*[http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/11/a_lot_of_people_--.php Josh Marshall. "Why is it a problem?" TPM. November 16, 2009]
 +*[http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/14/opinion/14sat1.html "A Return to American Justice." New York Times Editorial. November 13, 2009]
 +*[http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18simon.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Steven Simon. "Why We Should Put Jihad on Trial." New York Times. November 17th, 2009]
 +*[http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a16yZ6hAX1Vw Margaret Carlson. "Big Apple Justice Fits Man Accused of 9/11." Bloomberg. Nov 19, 2009]
 +*[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111903470.html Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith. "Holder's reasonable decision." Washington Post. November 20th, 2009]
 +*[http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20091121_1730.php Stuart Taylor. "No Need To Fear A Manhattan Terrorist Trial." National Journal. November 21, 2009]
 +*[http://www.sacbee.com/847/story/2328746.html?mi_rss=Wire%20Lifestyle "Commentary: U.S. legal system is capable of trying 9-11 suspects." The Miami Herald. Nov. 16, 2009]
 +*[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/21/civilian_trials_help_win_war_of_ideas.html Eugene Robinson. "Civilian trials help win war of Ideas." Real Clear Politics. November 21, 2009]
 +*[http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/15/leader-911-trial-sheikh-khalid "A trial that should restore faith in US justice." The Observer, Editorial. November 15, 2009]
 +*[http://www.slate.com/id/2235773/ Dahlia Lithwick. "The right's nonsensical arguments against trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York." Slate. November 16, 2009]
 +*[http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/leonard-pitts/story/1344557.html Leonard Pitts. "We can still aford to act like America." Miami Herald. November 21, 2009]
 +*[http://www.detnews.com/article/20091122/OPINION03/911220305/1298/OPINION0344/Civilian-courts-fight-terrorists--too Clarence Page. "Civilian courts fight terrorists, too." Detroit News. November 22, 2009]
 +
 +|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Pro" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE width="45%" bgcolor="#F2FAFB" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em;"|
 +====Con====
 +*[http://www.kansas.com/opinion/story/1060410.html Cal Thomas. "Trying terrorists in New York is dangerous." The Wichita Eagle. November 18, 2009]
 +*[http://www.examiner.com/x-17336-Midland-County-Public-Policy-Examiner~y2009m11d16-The-hypocrisy-of-trying-terrorists-in-New-York Jarrett Skorup. "The hypocrisy of trying terrorists in New York." The Examiner. November 16, 2009]
 +*[http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/18/opinion/main5697613.shtml Dan McLaughlin. "Why Terrorists Don't Deserve A Court Date." CBS. November 18, 2009]
 +*[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/05/AR2009110504331.html Michael Mukasey. "The right place to try terrorists." Washington Post. November 6, 2009]
 +*[http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/11/16/2009-11-16_evil_911_mastermind_.html Mike Lupica. "Evil 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed should not be given the stage he seeks." NY Daily News. November 15th 2009]
 +*[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/20/travesty_in_new_york_99224.html Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20, 2009]
 +*[http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/68849-the-absurdity-of-trying-911-terrorists-in-new-york-city- Armstrong Williams. "The absurdity of trying 9/11 terrorists in New York City." The Hill. November 20th, 2009]
 +*[http://www.detnews.com/article/20091119/OPINION01/911190337/1008/Editorial--Trying-Sept.-11-mastermind-in-civilian-court-is-dangerous "Trying Sept. 11 mastermind in civilian court is dangerous." The Detroit News Editorial. November 19, 2009]
 +*[http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/oped/eastman/01/tribunals.html John C. Eastman. "Military tribunals are perfectly constitutional." Ashbrook Center. November 2001]:
 +*[http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/11/22/2009-11-22_how_obama_is_courting_danger_civilian_trials_set_back_the_war_on_terror.html Andrew C. Mccarthy. "How Obama is courting danger: Civilian trials set back the war on terror." New York Daily News. November 22nd 2009]
 +*[http://www.newsmax.com/frank_gaffney/terrorists_trial_New_York/2009/11/16/286877.html Frank Gaffney. "Trying Terrorists in New York City Is Courting Disaster." Newsmax. November 16, 2009]
|- |-
|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Con" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"| |WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "Con" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"|
-==External links==+==See also==
 +*[[Debate: Military tribunals for suspected terrorists]]
 +==External links and resources==
 +*[http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/the-best-way-to-prosecute-terrorists/ A New York Times Debate: "The Best Way to Try Terrorists", November 2009]
|} |}
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[[Category:9/11]] [[Category:9/11]]
[[Category:Terrorism]] [[Category:Terrorism]]
 +[[Category:Justice]]
[[Category:Law]] [[Category:Law]]

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Should 9/11 suspects be tried in NY courts, as ordered by US AG Eric Holder?

Background and context

In November of 2009, US Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in a federal criminal court in Manhattan, New York. These civilian courts are an alternative choice to trying terror suspects in military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The decision sparked substantial debate in the United States and around the world. The main questions framing the debate include: Can the conviction of the 9/11 terrorists be ensured in civilian courts, where there exists a risk of acquittal? Do civilian courts better uphold the rule of law, or are military tribunals consistent with US Constitutional law, rights, and values? How do civilian courts compare to military tribunals in terms of efficacy and the rule of law? Have civilian courts been more or less succesful than military tribunals in trying and convicting terror suspects? Have they been faster? Is trying terrorists in NYC courts fair to the victims of the attack and the city's inhabitants? Is trying terror suspects in NYC safe? Will it incite attacks at or near the trial? Will it turn into a circus of protesters and radicals vying for attention? Will protests and counter-protests surround the trial? Will the trial jeaparize intelligence sources? Will the terror suspects use the trial as a platform to spread their ideologies? Will the trials be a propaganda win or loss in general for the US and West versus terrorists and their radical ideologies? Overall, was the decision to try the 9/11 terror suspects in NYC a good one?

Contents

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Conviction: Can civilian trials ensure conviction of the 9/11 terrorists?

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Pro


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Con

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Law: Is trying terrorists in courts consistent with the law?

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Pro

  • Terror suspects are due fair trials in civilian courts Rudy Giuliani told reporters about the 2006 civilian trial of "20th hijacker": "I was in awe of our system. It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial, that we are exactly what we say we are. We are a nation of law. ... I think he's going to be a symbol of American justice."[2]
  • Nothing mild about civilian court punishments for terrorists US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a November 2009 Congressional hearing defending his decision to try 9/11 terrorists in NYC: "There is nothing common about the treatment the alleged 9/11 conspirators will receive. In fact, I expect to direct prosecutors to seek the ultimate and most uncommon penalty for these heinous crimes."[3]


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Con

  • Terrorists should not be treated as common criminals. Terrorists are a certain kind of villan. They attempt to kill massive numbers of civilians in a war against civilization and society. They are not like common criminals, so should not be treated as such, with rights in a civilian trial.
  • Trying terrorists in NYC grants them their wish Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on ABC's This Week: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, when he was first arrested, asked to be brought to New York. I didn't think we were in the business of granting the requests of terrorists." [5]
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Vs. tribunals: Are courts better than tribunals for trying terrorists?

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Con

  • Tribunals for terrorists is consistent with US Constitution John C. Eastman. "Military tribunals are perfectly constitutional." Ashbrook Center. November 2001: "The Fifth Amendment requires indictment by a grand jury, but specifically excepted from that requirement are "cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger." In other words, the men and women serving in our own military forces are not entitled to the benefits of trial in civilian courts, nor are civilians serving in the militia when they have been called into service. It would be odd indeed to read the Fifth Amendment as affording greater access to civilian courts to non-uniformed soldiers of terrorism waging war on the United States than it provides to our own soldiers and civilians."
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Victims: Is allowing victims to see trials important?

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Safety: Is trying terrorists in New York safe?

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Intelligence: Can a civilian court adequately protect intelligence?

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Pro

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Con

  • Trying terrorists risks releasing intelligence, costing lives Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20, 2009: "Civilian courts with broad rights of cross-examination and discovery give terrorists access to crucial information about intelligence sources and methods. [...] That's precisely what happened during the civilian New York trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. The prosecution was forced to turn over to the defense a list of two hundred unindicted co-conspirators, including the name Osama bin Laden. 'Within ten days, a copy of that list reached bin Laden in Khartoum,' wrote former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the presiding judge at that trial, 'letting him know that his connection to that case had been discovered.'"
"Trying Sept. 11 mastermind in civilian court is dangerous." The Detroit News Editorial. November 19, 2009: "Andrew McCarthy, the former assistant U.S. attorney who tried the "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, [...] told the Wall Street Journal that he supported the idea of trying Rahman in a civilian court at first, but discovered the problem of a criminal defendant's access to all kinds of government information. McCarthy has observed that intelligence information went from the World Trade Center defendants to Osama Bin Laden within days."


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Grand-standing: Can trials avoid grand-standing by terrorists?

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Pro

  • Courtroom rants of terrorists only expose them as hateful fools Attorney General Eric Holder said in Congressional hearings in November of 2009 on his decision to try 9/11 terrorists in New York civilian courts: "I’m not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial, and no one else needs to be afraid either.[...] I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is."[9]


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Con

  • Trying terrorists in NYC offers stage for grand-standing Charles Krauthammer. "Travesty in New York." Real Clear Politics. November 20th, 2009: "For late-19th-century anarchists, terrorism was the "propaganda of the deed." And the most successful propaganda-by-deed in history was 9/11 -- not just the most destructive, but the most spectacular and telegenic. [...] And now its self-proclaimed architect, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, has been given by the Obama administration a civilian trial in New York. Just as the memory fades, 9/11 has been granted a second life -- and KSM, a second act: "9/11, The Director's Cut," narration by KSM. [...] September 11, 2001 had to speak for itself. A decade later, the deed will be given voice. KSM has gratuitously been presented with the greatest propaganda platform imaginable -- a civilian trial in the media capital of the world -- from which to proclaim the glory of jihad and the criminality of infidel America."
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Propaganda: Is terrorists trials a propaganda win or loss?

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Pro


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Mixed approach: Is a mix of civilian trials and military tribunals justified?

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Economics: What are the economic pros and cons?

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Public opinion: Where does public opinion stand on this issue?

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  • Public opinion irrelevant to merits of civilian trial of terrorists. Justice is justice, and judicial process is judicial process. This is the case no matter where public opinion stands on an issue. If it is right to try a terrorist in civilian courts, than this should be done, irrespective of what the public thinks.
  • Trying and imprisoning terrorists will be popular where it creates jobs. The jobs created to handle the trying and imprisoning of terrorists are an attractive component of bringing them to US territory, particularly during economic difficulties. This is demonstrate in Illinois, where Senator Dick Durbin (D) has been seeking the opportunity for precisely this reason - to create jobs and possibly even win greater voter support.[10]
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Pro/con sources

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See also

External links and resources

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