Nov 30, 2009
Reasons for holding terrorist trial in secret continue to be debunked
It continues to amaze me that Republicans are making a political issue of holding the 9/11 terrorist attack trial in the federal justice system in New York City where the crime and the most loss of life occurred.
It simply makes no sense. The racist tea baggers are even getting involved. A couple of groups calling themselves the “Tea Party 365” and the “9/11 Never Forget Coalition” recently held a protest against it. The tea baggers are a group that hates and mistrusts the government, yet it wants the trial to be held behind closed doors and conducted by the government. That simply makes no sense.
One group that suffered a tremendous, personal loss in the 9/11 attacks wants the trial held in the U.S. courts because they want answers and want to attend the trial. The group is known as the “Jersey Girls,” a group of New Jersey widows who lost their husbands in 9/11. This group wants answers, and they want it held in open court. These women were instrumental in pushing for the creation of the September 11 commission, a bipartisan body that produced a comprehensive report on the attacks, their planning and geopolitical context. Former President Bush fought that tooth and nail.
Every issue raised by Republicans for not doing the right thing has been debunked, but they still cling to this issue. It makes you wonder what they are afraid of coming out. Perhaps they don’t want the extent that Bush authorized the torture of suspects to come out.
That simply will not happen. Of course some may come out from the suspects themselves, but the judge in the case, Judge Kaplan, issued an order that said information about "enhanced interrogation techniques that were applied" to Mr. Ghailani, "including descriptions of the techniques as applied, the duration, frequency, sequencing, and limitations of those techniques” would not he admissible.
In fact, he was very careful to ensure no classified material would be released. The Southern District of New York where the trial will be held has held such trials in the past, and officials know what they are doing.
The trial will be governed by the “Classified Information Procedures Act,” The 1980 law is simple and clear, and it not only permits, but requires, federal courts to undertake extreme measures to ensure the concealment of classified information, even including concealment from the defendant himself. Section 3 provides: "Upon motion of the United States, the court shall issue an order to protect against the disclosure of any classified information disclosed by the United States to any defendant in any criminal case in a district court of the United States." Section 9 required the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to consult with the Attorney General and Defense Secretary to develop rules to carry out the Act's requirements,
To meet that requirement, Judge Kaplan has imposed a protective order on all classified information, which may be reviewed by the defense lawyers only in a special "secure area," a room whose location has not been disclosed. It goes without saying that all attorneys in the case have security clearances.
One of the most important aspects is how the defendants in the trial are viewed. In a criminal trial they are treated like the common criminals they are, and they do not like that. In a military trial they can call themselves soldiers in a fight for freedom who were martyred.
In a trial in the U.S. system, they are given a fair trial in the most open society in the world that stand for justice and fairness, and when they are convicted, they will be treated like the convicted murders they are, not as military heroes or freedom fighters.