Right now, I am watching what may be my all-time favorite West Wing episode: Isaac and Ishmael. The story is simple: the White House is on lock-down and a group of high school students are taught about the origins of fundamental Islam by the various characters. The episode was made in response to anti-Muslim sentiments following 9/11.
One of the first stories I heard on the news this morning that Attorney General Holder is thinking of holding some of the Al Quaeda terrorists on trial in Brooklyn. The court house for United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York is mere blocks from my apartment. If you exited my building on the Cadman Plaza West side, crossed the street, and walked through Cadman Plaza Park (which is roughly the width of Eddie's) and you would be at the court house. Heck, I can see the court house from my bedroom (I would have a better view if the trees were chopped down, but whatever).
My mother works mere blocks from the Southern District court house, where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks- will be tried.
Protectors across the country are protesting these people being put on trial in American courts. One of their fears is that the people in the area will be put in harm's way. Guess what? Me and my family will be in harms way. And I have no problem with it. From the get-go, I have been for putting these terrorists on trial.
A few weeks ago, I asked my conservative Republican father what his thoughts were about the trials. He responded, "we are Americans. That's what we do." I tweeted this line and it was retweeted by the University of New Mexico's College Democrats chapter.
The night of the 9/11 Attacks, President Bush said "America was targeted for attack because we are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining." How can we keep that light aglow if we don't give even our enemies due process? Hell, we did so for the Nuremberg Trials.
What makes the Holocaust truly different from what happened on that summer day in September 2001? Both were systematic. The only difference were the races/religions of the majority of the victims and their nationality. Suddenly, are we saying "if you kill millions of Jews, you get a trial; but, if you kill thousands of our people, you get a military tribunal"?
What are these protectors truly protesting? I will be in harm's way, but I'm not complaining. There goes public safety. They don't deserve a trial? Denounce the Nuremberg Trials and then we'll talk. They could get off? A jury of New Yorkers, really?
I know this card has been played once too many, but I think it is just another reason to oppose the Obama Administration.
I want to leave you all with this: (warning: if you are not a Star Wars fan, just stop here) Negelecting any love stories, Anakin Skywalker learns that Emperor Palpatine is the Sith Lord. Anakin says that Palpatine deserves a trial for his betrayal of the Republic. Mace Windu says that Palpatine is too dangerous to be left alive. Would you kill Palpatine because he betrayed the public and openly admits it or would you let him stand trial?
Here's another one: from Thank You For Smoking
I have yet to have heard a philosophical argument about 9/11 (minus Acts of War versus Crimes), but I think this explains the true underlying argument within our hearts.