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Debate: Trying 9/11 terror suspects in NYC courts

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Revision as of 16:14, 19 November 2009; Brooks Lindsay (Talk | contribs)
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Should 9/11 suspects be tried in New York, as ordered by US attorney general Eric Holder?

Background and context

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Pro

  • KSM will almost certainly be found guilty in NY civilian courts. 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."


Con

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Pro

Con


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Pro

Con

  • Wrong to give some terrorists civilian trials and not others. 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?"

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Pro

  • Trying 9/11 suspects in civilian courts will not reveal key intelligence. 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."


Con

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Propaganda:

Pro

  • There will be no TV cameras in trials of 9/11 suspects. 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."


Con

Pro/con sources

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