Last night, along with a few billion other people, Joanna and I watched the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. While nothing can match the beauty and foreboding of the ceremonies which opened the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, for the most part the folks in Vancouver put on a lovely show.
Last night, the world was truly watching, a world which shared the pain of the Olympians from the Republic of Georgia, a world which oooh-ed and aaahhh-ed when the fancy LED floor surface transmogrified into a Pacific Ocean whale habitat. I remember seeing the teenage singer who performed the Canadian national anthem and saying to my wife, “if I knew I were performing before more than a billion people, I couldn’t get out a squeak.”
That girl, Nikki Yanofsky, had all the reason in the world to be worried about what the world would think of her performance. One person who should not be concerned at all about outward perception, however, is American Attorney General Eric Holder.
Apparently beginning to waver from his ideological ways with regard to bringing 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City for a criminal trial in federal court, Holder appeared yesterday to say that world opinion is more important than national security.
Here, in a Fox News story are the comments Holder gave to the Washington Post (emphasis mine):
Holder, meanwhile, appears open to seeing the suspects tried before a military tribunal after opposition from New York officials forced the Obama administration to reconsider plans to put Mohammed on trial in federal court in lower Manhattan, near where the World Trade Center was destroyed.
“At the end of the day, wherever this case is tried, in whatever forum, what we have to ensure is that it’s done as transparently as possible and with adherence to all the rules,” Holder told The Washington Post in an interview published in Friday’s editions. “If we do that, I’m not sure the location or even the forum is as important as what the world sees in that proceeding.”
First, if the world has been paying attention, everyone has already seen Holder and President Obama guarantee a conviction and even execution for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — so, at best, the world believes that our system is rigged, and at worst they’ve set things up for a mistrial.
Mohammed, when captured, told American officials that he would say nothing until he was taken to New York City and provided with an attorney. These terrorists know the deal. They know our crippling propensity toward political correctness. And when they see that, before the venue and jurisdiction for a trial in an Article III court has even been chosen, the president of the United States is guaranteeing a guilty verdict, they know that the trial is nothing but a show trial and a sham.
Second, at the cost of more than $200 million, should this trial go forward as the Ideologue in Chief and his Attorney General originally wanted, we are going to turn New York City into the epicenter of the half-hearted, pea-brained law enforcement operation formerly known as the Global War on Terror. We will be giving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts a very public platform for their jihadist venom, and maps of lower Manhattan will once again be hanging on the walls of caves and tents througout the Middle East.
As I’ve pointed out before, New York City is home to 1,600 public schools and 1.1 million schoolchildren. Each and every one will be a target. The whole area will be in danger, because a show trial brings with it a show target. And yet, to Eric Holder and to this president, it’s worth it. The cost, the danger, the risk to innocent life is all worth it, because to them what the rest of the world thinks about America is more important than America itself, or the American people themselves.
That’s why Barack Obama campaigned against what he called the “cowboy diplomacy” of George W. Bush. That’s why Barack Obama began his first–and hopefully only–term as president of the United States by traveling a world which is free because of the blood of Americans and apologized continuous and endlessly for what he perceived to be the ills of our nation. To him, and to Eric Holder, perception trumps reality.
They believe that the outward perception of fairness and equitability will somehow bring an end to radical Islamic jihad. That’s why they want to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to lower Manhattan. That’s why they want to shutter the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay. Yet, if this is a chicken-and-egg scenario, radical Islamic jihad is the egg.
The 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers attack, all of these and more came before ground was broken at Gitmo. Our nation’s treatment of terrorists is not the cause of terrorism — it is an effect, it is a necessary response.
By pursuing this trial, President Obama is looking to become the “man” in the next “man-caused disaster.” It makes our country less safe. It puts innocent people’s lives in danger. And for what? Assuming that the world looks at how we deal with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and cares more about that than they do the medal race for women’s figure skating in Vancouver, assuming that the world cares, someone needs to pipe up and ask the president and Eric Holder one simple question:
Which is more important — world opinion, or national security?