Friday, January 29, 2010
New Legislation for a New Enemy
After nearly every terrorist attack by a radical Islamic extremist group, the cowards behind the attacks do their best to promote their deadly deeds by proudly taking credit for the death and destruction they have caused or attempted to cause.
Osama Bin Laden couldn’t refrain from going public after the attacks on the World Trade Center, just as he did this week in trying to claim responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day bombing of the KLM flight by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. While Bin Laden’s claim was widely described as a bit of nasty credit stealing, claiming responsibility, whether real or not, enables the group to instill fear into the minds and hearts of their enemy, which is a substantial part of what terrorism is all about.
The bigger the soap box terrorists can stand on to proclaim their message, the more effective they can be at instilling fear and furthering their agenda. This is one reason why the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the attacks on America on 9/11, should not be allowed to take place in New York City. The international press and media coverage would be every bit as intense as it was in the aftermath of the attacks on the Towers, and would be a inspiration to every maniac out there who thinks nothing of strapping on a bomb belt and blowing himself and as many innocents as possible into a thousand pieces, believing it’s the right thing to do.
The security concerns for a trial like this would come close to shutting down southern Manhattan, as we did in the aftermath of 9/11. Businesses, government agencies, and residents alike would suffer greatly, as caution dictates that abundant security elements would be needed to secure areas around the courthouse, detention center, FBI headquarters, other government buildings, and a myriad of soft targets.
The reality is that it would be in the best interest of New York City and the American people that this trial does not happen in New York City or, for that matter, in any other major city in our country.
If the reports that the venue for the terror trial has been changed from New York City are true, this should be broadened to “Any American city.” A trial in DC, for example, would provide a tremendous backdrop for pro-terrorist propaganda. Los Angeles would provide Hollywood contrasts. Kansas City would let them set their propaganda against the Heartland. All cities would suffer tremendous security costs and risk being targeted for revenge attacks.
Consideration should be given to situating all trials of suspected terrorists and enemy combatants against the U.S. on a secluded military installation that can provide the perimeter security required for such an event and that can accommodate the security requirements for detention and court proceedings. Indeed, it wouldn’t be foolish to keep the location secret for as long as possible.
I strongly believe that it’s time we change the way we are handling the enemy altogether. Forget what the Clinton or Bush Administrations have done in the past and who was tried when and where or how prior incidents were handled. Forget what Bush or Obama has or hasn’t done and just face the reality, that terrorism is here to stay, and here in a bigger way than ever before in our history.
We need to prepare now, for how we will handle terrorism and attacks against the United States by enemies foreign and domestic.
Does new legislation need to be drafted, to outline how suspected terrorists will be detained – where and by whom – and where and how they will be tried? If those detained are truly enemy combatants, as I believe they are, then are there laws on the books to provide the necessary funding, resources and tools we need to get us from point A – Z, once they are captured and taken into custody?
If there are grey areas in the law, now is the time to turn those areas into black and white, and get it over with. We can’t continue to play political hot potato every time one of these guys is taken into custody in the United States or abroad.
An enemy is at war with us in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Africa, and even right here, right in our own backyard. Just because they don’t wear the uniform of another country or follow the orders of its leader doesn’t mean a terrorist shouldn’t be considered an enemy of the state. That’s what the terrorists are and the tactics they employ, exploiting out society’s freedom of movement and protections of individual rights, are especially dangerous.
These people are malicious chameleons, that can’t be seen; they are especially deadly because they can’t be seen – something we may have to address with legislation as well. This is the terrible dilemma that we face:we have an enemy that exploits our freedoms and then turns them against us.
We must continue to defend our freedoms but we need to learn how to balance our right to privacy against the dangers we face and our God given right to live in a safe and secure environment.
If the Geneva Convention no longer fits the kind of warfare in which we are now engaged, then let’s amend it. If the United Nations is incapable of enforcing its own rules, then we must ignore it to save ourselves.
Let’s not worry about what other people around the world think because history has clearly demonstrated that, when it comes to our national security, we’re on our own.
We need to fix a system that’s obviously broken before it is too late.
This is a new enemy that we must learn how to deal with. It’s time to face the fact that we’re going to have to carve out a new path to victory over those who are attempting to use our own constitution and institutions to destroy us.
Posted by BERNARD B. KERIK at 11:59 AM