by Andrew Walden, November 18, 2009
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed spent most of 1994 plotting to blow up or hijack 12 airplanes carrying about 4,000 passengers bound for Honolulu and 11 other locations as part of Operation Bojinka, based in Manila, Philippines. He would later use operational experienced gained from his Bojinka failure to mastermind 9-11.
Now Hawaii's two Senators have voted to help spring Mohammed from detention at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba.
In a 57-43 US Senate roll call vote Tuesday afternoon, Senate Democrats, including Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, rejected an effort to eliminate funding for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees into the United States.
Sponsored by Sen James Inhofe (R-OK), and backed by Senate Republicans, two Democrats, and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), SA2774 would have amended the Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act "to prohibit the use of funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act to construct or modify a facility in the United States or its territories to permanently or temporarily hold any individual held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Cheered by the vote, detainee lawyer Christopher Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel claimed: "The Senate today rejected fear-mongering and political grandstanding, and recognized that justice can only be served in our tried and true courts. Congress is beginning to see that the right way to keep us safe is to uphold the rule of law and comply with the Constitution.”
Actually the Obama Administration's November 13 decision to try Mohammad and four other al Qaeda detainees in a civilian federal court in New York City--just blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center--further obliterates the line between civilian law and the Laws of War.
As a result, valuable intelligence will be compromised during the trial. US military personnel will be further hamstrung by the application of law enforcement rules in combat. There will be pressure on the civilian court system to weaken the legal protections of the accused in order to facilitate alQaeda trials--thus endangering the civil liberties of US civilian defendants whose trials have nothing to do with al Qaeda's illegal war on the United States.
The New York Times reports that when captured in Pakistan in March, 2003: "Khalid Shaikh Mohammed gave his captors two demands: He wanted a lawyer, and he wanted to be taken to New York." Now both of those demands are being granted.
Mohammed, on December 8, 2008, interrupted his military tribunal at Guantanamo, declared his guilt, and demanded execution. Instead the Obama administration--backed by Senate Democrats--has instead decided to grant this illegal enemy combatant all the rights and protections of a US civilian trial.
The granting of trials reinforces Osama bin-Laden's argument that Allah is now prepared to grant victory to Islamist fighters and has therefore made the infidels desire submission. And that is the most effective terrorist recruitment video of all.
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