Yes, I’ve fallen into the trap. Twitter has joined WordPress and Facebook to become my newest internet soapbox!
A lot of opinion-sharing is going around, particularly on the impending trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Here’s the ongoing conversation I’m having with Joe Nosef, a private practice lawyer who’s worked for Governor Haley Barbour.
Joe: “@koko_mo: the last thing he needs is a forum to turn himself into a victim & perhaps a martyr. [14:25] from UberTwitter in reply to koko_mo”
Joe: “@koko_mo: KSM personally decapitated D Pearl on camera & is reason those poor people had to jump to their deaths on 9/11. He needs to die. [14:25] from UberTwitter in reply to koko_mo”
Me: “@joenosef I saw the video of Pearl and am with you that he should die. Anywhere he’s tried, he’ll get attn & a forum. But not fed crt. [16 minutes ago] from web in reply to joenosef”
Me: “@joenosef Would fed laws apply to him anyway? Wouldn’t he get a more severe punishment at the ICJ? Plus the admin hardly needs more critics”
And it’s true. I’m not clear on whether or not the rules that apply in US Federal Courts will apply to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed once he’s put on trial there. Supposing they are, is this really the pathway we want to take? He has been accused of (and confessed to, in some shape or form) crimes related to 9/11 and the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal’s former South Asia Bureau chief.
These crimes are so serious and damaging that they should be dealt with at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Lawyers and judges there are more experienced in international law and crime, and the trial will be much fairer. It’s also safe to assume that any punishments dealt out by the ICJ far outrank those that the Federal Court in New York City could manage.
If this trial proceeds in NYC, the face of international law will no longer be that of Lady Justice with her scales but that of a clown. Saddam Hussein was guilty on so many counts of murder and war crimes – yet was not tried by an international court. When the catastrophe is global, retribution should also be so.
We were lucky in that the outcome of Hussein’s trial is what the majority of the world hoped for. We may not be so fortunate this time around. The outcome of this trial could change everything – relations between the Middle East and the West; global perceptions of terrorism; international justice; and would finally prove to such terrorists that while it may take us several years, we will one day hunt down those who destroy lives callously, and will seek to bring them to justice.
This cannot be achieved by conducting a trial of such grand proportions in New York.