In children’s literature, the wolf is portrayed as the ruffian, the evil-doer. He went after grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood, he huffed and puffed in The Three Little Pigs, and of course there’s Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
Back in the adult world, I say three cheers for the wolf Frank Wolf, that is. The Virginia Congressman (R-10) sponsored legislation this week, that in reality, had the president and the Justice Department had any common sense, would never have been necessary in the first place.
The Wolf bill seeks to prohibit the use of Justice Department funds for the purpose of civilian trials for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators for perpetrating the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Mohammed is also responsible for the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.
Both President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have been the driving forces behind holding these trials in Manhattan practically a stone’s throw from Ground Zero in an attempt to demonstrate to the world that the murderous fiends who cavalierly took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people would be treated fairly in the open light of day.
Mohammed, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the Christmas Day Fruit-of-Ka-Boom passenger) along with the bevy of other enemy combatants and terrorists waiting to be paraded before Judge Judy for their dog and pony show should be tried at Guantanamo Bay. Not in Manhattan, where its residents have already endured more than their fair share of misery, nor here in Alexandria, as has been suggested in recent days as a substitute for the Big Apple. At a potential cost of roughly $250 millionper year, for trials that could last several years, not to mention the physical inconveniences placed on local residents, not only is GITMO the right place, but military tribunals are the right methods.
Quite frankly, I don’t care if the trials cost $250 million or two cents. Attorney General Holder is playing politics, has made numerous wrong calls since taking the position and should resign. So misguided is a decision to hold trials in Manhattan that stalwart liberal senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have expressed their objections as has New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I).
The countless millions saved can best be used elsewhere. These enemies of the United States are neither civilians nor Americans, thus eliminating any reason for civilian trials, or Miranda rights for that matter. National security is being undermined and intelligence compromised, while scourges like Mohammed and the BVD-bomber are being treated more humanely than the average American passenger catching a flight out of Reagan National.
This administration endorses transparency, about which, truth be told, they have been rather opaque. However, in the interest of transparency, send Court TV down to GITMO to shine a camera light for the entire world to see first-hand.
GITMO has served its purpose admirably since its inception as a detention center coming on the heels of the advent of the War on Terror, words not spoken by Obama. Enemy combatants should not be brought to the United States as they are a security risk. GITMO is where everything should occur.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria.