No more jury trials for terrorists
10/24/2001 12:00:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
When American pacifists talk about seeking "justice" for terrorists, here is what they mean:
More than $7 million in U.S. taxpayer funds went to lawyers who defended Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh and Wadih El-Hage. Translation services alone totaled $1.4 million, according to a New York Times report earlier this summer. The paper found that our money even went to reimburse El-Hage's lawyers for the cost of dry cleaning his "thobe, a traditional Arab garment that their client wore in court, and other clothes. The bill ran to $108."
Who are these people our money defended? They are the four murderous thugs who helped orchestrate and carry out the terrorist attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. They killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. They had been obeying Osama bin Laden's "fatwa" to slaughter American soldiers and civilians around the world.
To the delight of American doves, then-President Clinton didn't respond by declaring war on terrorism. He had other things on his scandal-addled mind. Instead of turning to Delta Force to defeat the enemies, Clinton took bin Laden's bombers to federal court in Manhattan. And that's where they were last week, a stone's throw from the rubble of the Twin Towers toppled by their buddies -- whom they reportedly cheered as they listened to radio news broadcasts of the 9-11 attacks from their jail cells.
All of the terrorists received life sentences. Two had faced the death penalty, but were spared by a minority-dominated jury that swallowed the race-baiting of traitorous defense witness Ramsey Clark (the former U.S. attorney general under Lyndon Johnson). Clark testified that no member of a racial minority -- African-American, Arab or other -- could expect a fair trial in the U.S. He also blamed the Gulf War and U.S. sanctions on Iraq for creating the psychological "suffering" that led to the embassy attacks.
It's sickening to know that these four terrorist killers -- aided in their publicly-funded defense by blame-America-firsters and race-card opportunists -- are alive and well on our soil. It's an outrage to imagine them enjoying three square meals a day. Reading. Relaxing. Praying. Rejoicing for their conspirators around the world. Cursing our country with every unencumbered breath they draw.
This is the kind of "justice" the American apologists for terrorism seek. They believe all will be right with the world when Osama bin Laden is whistling behind bars, growing his beard to the floor, writing his memoirs, and breaking bread with kindred congressional visitors like Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney and Jim McDermott.
It doesn't have to be this way. Nearly six decades ago, America discovered terrorist schemers in the nation's midst and swiftly paid them in kind. In June 1942, two teams of Nazi German terrorists (analogous to bin Laden's "cells") hopped aboard submarines and landed on the shores of Amagansett Beach, Long Island, N.Y., and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Like bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, these Germans were highly trained, loaded with cash, and bent on hijacking the American way of life. They planned to inflict mass terror by bombing railroads, hydroelectric plants, factories and department stores across the country.
One of the eight plotters got cold feet and exposed the Nazi plans. President Roosevelt refused to grant civilian jury trials to the belligerent saboteurs. Instead, he immediately appointed a secret military commission to try the cases. All eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. Six were executed on Aug. 8, 1942, in Washington, D.C. (The remaining two, both turncoats, won commutations and received life sentences.)
In dealing with terrorist masterminds, President Bush must follow the Roosevelt precedent -- not the intolerable Clinton cop-out. As the Supreme Court ruled unanimously when it upheld the secret military tribunals for the Nazi terrorists, an enemy "who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property" is an "unlawful combatant" who is not entitled to access our jury system.
The Founding Fathers' constitutional pledge to "provide for the common defense" was meant to protect liberty-loving Americans -- not evil terrorists looking for victims to pay their legal expenses and clean their filthy, blood-stained robes.