Thursday, November 19, 2009

The absolute worst thing that could happen

to fear mongering, foaming-mouthed, 24 torture porn enthusiast Neocons is that Khalid Shaikh Mohamed could be tried in criminal court with all the due process given to ordinary defendants and be found guilty.

Yep, you read that right. They are afraid that the justice system will work for terrorists just like it's supposed to for everyone.*

If the normal, everyday, non-extraordinary tools we use for justice work just the same for people who commit acts of terror, then all the excuses for torture and extraordinary rendition and unlawful combatants and denial of the basic rights that have been part of this country's legal system since it's infancy go out the window.

If the normal, ordinary, everyday tools of justice work for the most heinous of crimes, then how will they scare us into giving up our liberty in exchange for safety? Can a threat that is stopped by a judge in black robes and a jury and a couple of lawyers and a mountain of paperwork really be as much of a big bad as they say?

No doubt, 911 was terrifying. The threat of more terrorism is terrifying (by design, it's not called happy fun time, after all). But are they so bad that we can justify becoming a society that is less free and has less justice?


(* Understanding that justice is far from perfect in this country. Yes, a brown man with a foreign name and a religion that isn't Christian accused of terrorism is not likely to get a impartial jury, but at least he gets a jury and a judge and legal representation, which is a far cry from a waterboard).

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