Former Attorney General Ashcroft is coming out against the trial of 9/11 planners in NY City.
I believe that holding the trial in NY City is correct for several reasons.
First and foremost, holding the trial in a NY City federal courthouse, demonstrates the proper level of response to the accused. These are individual men, not a rogue nation.
Recall that the Bush/Cheney/neocon administration put forth the concept of a "war on terror" and then amplified this concept in the media. The reference to the "war on terror" was continuous and constant coming from the collective Bush administration's public remarks. This enabled the neocons to elevate al Qaeda to the level of super power, a super power with whom we are engaged in a war. According to the Bush/Cheney/neocon administration, this alleged super power has unreal force, they are amorphous, cunning, concealed, deadly brutal, they could be anywhere, be anyone. Al Qaeda is the perfect replacement for the previously feared communist.
The terrorists were alleged to be capable of using nuclear weapons. This amplification of a few thousand people into this super power, performed the greatest service for the neocons. It enabled the neocons to boost military spending, start the Iraq war, undermine democracy and dissent in the US, create Gitmo, regress to torture, and on and on and on, because now we had a real viable enemy. Also recall that in the salient Project For A New American Century AKA PNAC document, a new vicious enemy was viewed as the way to push forward the neocon agenda. Amplifying fear, and using the collective fear of Americans was the neocons' secret sauce.
And soon we were into the war in Iraq.
The point I am making is simple. The neocons needed a super enemy to justify their extremist militaristic agenda. Here Obama is stripping away that amplification and super enemy and having them tried in NY City.
Its a superlative move on Obama's part because it sends forth the plain old message that these people are not a rogue super power nation endowed with weapons that we have no answer for. These people are simply a handful of men who concocted and executed a fiendishly destructive plan using box cutters and an ideologically insane motivation.
I applaud Obama's move here. He is showing the world what these people really are, and he is deflating the neocon created mystique surrounding them.
Ashcroft and all hardline Republicans and neocons have to reject Obama's decision. If they supported the decision, they would be directly condemning their role in the dark period of the Bush administration.
Kansas City Star: Ashcroft criticizes plan to prosecute terrorists in federal court
“It also puts America at risk if it requires the revelation of information, which could be damaging to our intelligence-gathering and defense operations,” he added. “I think we are still in a very significant war on terror, and the administration doesn’t appear to believe it.”