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More Steve Simon on Terror

Steve Simon now has an op-ed in the New York Times, following up on his op-ed in the Financial Times. He cranks out stuff for major papers faster than I can blog. Once again I basically agree with him that having the terror trials for Khalid Sheik Mohammad and others in New York is a good thing.

I am outraged that the Republicans are so opposed to these trials. Their opposition is based on fear, a poor starting point for a serious country. They have no confidence in the US military, the FBI, the CIA, and the New York police to protect the city during the trial. It’s true that Bush and the Republicans failed to protect New York on 9/11. I don’t think the Democrats will be as lazy as Bush and Cheney were pre-9/11.
Of course, the civil trials in New York are also a political rebuke to the Republicans, who wanted to hold some kind of kangaroo court in Cuba. The Republicans are now the leaders of what is basically a lynch mob, saying no trial, just shoot ’em. Of course, they’d say that the want military trials before they shoot ’em, but to the world those military trials would look a lot like kangaroo courts or Communist show trials.
So why are we still having military trials for some of the Guantanamo prisoners? I don’t really know, but I’m happy that some of them will get real, legal trials.
The old Bush approach to combating terrorism reminds me of Argentina’s way of handling its discontents, by “disappearing” them. The government picked them up and they were never seen again. KSM was snatched in Pakistan, and we’ve just had a number of CIA agents convicted of kidnapping a suspected terrorist in Milan. We grab ’em and stick ’em in Guantanamo or send them by extraordinary rendition some friendly country that will torture them for us. Not a very high class act! Thank goodness the Obama administration has more morals and character. The US should adhere to a higher standard than Argentina did.
Meanwhile the Republican Party displays absolute fear and panic. How can former Presidential candidate John McCain lead such a band of cowards?

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