A New York Times editorial yesterday reminds us of something we're doing wrong. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 terrorists were going to be tried in a New York City courtroom; that is, of course, the city where they committed their crimes. Attorney General Eric Holder now says no, they'll be tried by a military commission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In a foreign country? Why on earth do that?
Well, a lot off scare talk, for one thing. Would other terrorists attack and try to free the prisoners. Would New York be safe during the trial? Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office said at one point security might cost a billion (yes, that's a "b") bucks. Almost certainly a gross exaggeration. And then Congress voted against spending any money to move the prisoners from Guantanamo, where they are being held, to anyplace else.
Bummer. America always looks its best, I think, when we do the right thing out in public for all the world to see. The trial should be in New York, with twelve New Yorkers deciding the prisoners' guilt or innocence. The city's police, with Army help if it's needed, couldn't protect the courtroom? You're kidding me.
Open justice, openly arrived at. Come on, government--rethink this one. Please.