Monday, November 16, 2009

News Talk Online November 16, 2009: Playing Politics With Gitmo Trials

By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network

Just who is playing politics with the decision to try five Guantanamo Bay detainees - including the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks - in federal court in New York City?

Let me give you multiple choices.

a. The Democrats

b. The Republicans

c. The jihadists

d. All of the above

If you selected d, then give yourself a gold star.

President Obama had said during the debates that there was a place for military tribunals for Guantanamo Bay detainees. Then why is his administration now trying them in a civilian criminal court?

It is true that justice - not just for those detained but for the 9/11 families as well - has been excruciatingly slow - one might say non-existent - over the past eight years. There's some value to jump-starting the process. But couldn't the commander-in-chief just as easily ordered trials to begin forthwith before a military tribunal?

His detractors suggest that Obama is going to use these trials as an opportunity to further expose the George W. Bush administration for its alleged human rights transgressions towards the prisoners. If that criticism is true, then he risks making a political statement at the expense of national security.

The Republicans are making political hay of this as well. Chief cheerleader is former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani - who strikes fear in the hearts of some New Yorkers by saying the decision makes his city less safe - that it returns the nation to a pre-9/11 mentality.

But White House adviser David Axelrod was also correct when he took to the Sunday TV talk show circuit to note that Giuliani testified at the trial in federal court of 9/11 bomber Zacarias Moussaoui - and then "heralded the outcome." Seems that, to Giuliani, when a Republican administration is in office then trying suspected terrorists in federal court is a good thing. When a Democrat occupies the White House it's putting the nation in danger. Like the Democrats, Giuliani and others in the GOP are guilty of politicizing the decision.

Worst of all, the jihadists get to politicize all that comes out in open court to foster additional anti-American sentiment.





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