Argument: Fear of using civilian courts cowers to terrorists

Issue Report: Trying 9/11 terror suspects in NYC courts


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.”[1]

Josh Marshall. “Why is it a problem?” TPM. November 16, 2009: “On a more general level, however, since when is it something we advertise or say proudly that we’re going to change our behavior because we fear terrorists will attack us if we don’t? To be unPC about it, isn’t there some residual national machismo that keeps us from cowering even before trivially increased dangers? As much as I think the added dangers are basically nil, I’m surprised that people can stand up as say we should change what we do in response to some minuscule added danger and not be embarrassed.”

Clarence Page. “Civilian courts fight terrorists, too.” Detroit News. November 22, 2009: “Terrorists by definition try to frighten you into changing the way you do things. In the run-up to his trial as alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s success as a terrorist is showing in us. A lot of good patriotic law-‘n’-order Americans suddenly sound frightened by our own civilian judicial system.”

Margaret Carlson. “Big Apple Justice Fits Man Accused of 9/11.” Bloomberg. Nov 19, 2009: “Americans believe our legal system is the crown jewel of our democracy, at least until we come across a really despicable savage like Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Then we seek Wild West justice, the rougher the better. Hang the monster from the highest tree.”