Karl Rove's Misguided Argument Against Federal Trials for 9/11 Defendants
Karl Rove has an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal taking issue with President Obama's view that one of the reasons Guantanamo should be closed is that it serves as a training ground for terrorists. Rove argues that al Qaeda doesn't view Guantanamo as a significant issue, and that trying detainees in federal court will play into al Qaeda's hands by making them martyrs.
It's the second point, the "martyr" issue, where Rove's argument falls far short of the mark and also weakens his first point.
New York juries in the past have beaten al Qaeda at the martyr game, by rejecting the death penalty and returning verdicts of life in prison. Once the terror defendants are whisked away to Supermax for life, we rarely hear from them again. No martyrdom, just decades of isolation. What have you heard from Zacarias Moussaoui or Richard Reid since they began serving their life sentences? Zip. They have been silenced, except for their occasional pro se court pleadings, which get little if any coverage. Any chance for martyrdom has been effectively eliminated. [More...]
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