Once again I have chosen the importance of knowing the enemy for the topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday because we are engaged in a great world-wide war between good and evil. There are people inside our nation and across the world who have declared their goal to be destruction of the United States. It is important that all of us understand that we are at war!
I recommend that you take a look at a book that I recently read; it is Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad by Andrew C. McCarthy. McCarthy was a top federal prosecutor who investigated "some of the most significant cases in recent history. In 1995, he led the seditious conspiracy prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven other jihadists for conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States - a war that included the bombing of the World Trade Center and an even more ambitious plot to strike several New York City landmarks" (back cover fly). He and his team were successful in the trial to put a dozen enemies of the United States behind bars, but there are many other terrorists that are still free to continue their jihad.
McCarthy's book is about the investigation and the importance of following the rule of law - even against defendants who are abusing our freedoms. He gives a good description of why we are foolish to try terrorists in the criminal justice system of the United States. There is a lot of legal language, which I personally found not that interesting. I did however find it very interesting to learn more about the way that our government operates and the many ways that it fails to operate correctly. McCarthy gives good reason why our government needs to be smaller! The information in this book reveals that there are thousands, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands, of jihadists living inside our nation, inserting themselves into our military and government groups, taking advantage of our freedoms and biding their time until an opportunity arises to commit murder and destruction. It also shows why it is important that our nation needs to tighten the regulations and requirements for who can come into our nation and/or become legal residents. This is a book that is far from fun to read but very informative!
The following quote reveals some very good reasons why terrorists should be tried by military tribunals as enemy combatants instead of in our criminal justice system.
"Finally, there is a profound but often undetected corrosion of our justice system when we force the square peg of terrorism into its round hole. My belief that we oughtn't treat terrorists as criminals … reflects instead an abiding reverence for our system's majesty. Treating jihadists as if they were U.S. citizens accused of crimes and presumed innocent reduces the quality of justice Americans receive from their courts.
"Islamic militants are significantly different both in make-up and goals from run-of-the-mill citizens and immigrants accused of crimes. They are not in it for the money. They desire neither to beat nor cheat the system, but rather to subvert and overthrow it. They are not just about getting an edge in the here and now - their aspirations, however grandiose they may seem to us, are universalist and eternal, such that pursuit of those ends is, for most jihadists, more vital than living to see them attained. They are a formidable foe, and … the national security imperatives they present are simply absent from the overwhelming run of criminal cases.
"As a result, when we bring them into our criminal justice system, we have to cut corners - and hope that no one … will discern that along with the corners we are cutting important principles. Innocence is not so readily presumed when juries, often having been screened for their attitudes about the death penalty, see intense courtroom security around palpably incarcerated defendants and other endangered trial participants. The legally required showing of probable cause for a search warrant is apt to be loosely construed when agents, prosecutors, and judges know denial of the warrant may mean a massive bombing plot is allowed to proceed. Sensitive intelligence that is relevant and potentially helpful to the defense - the kind of probative information that would unquestionably be disclosed in a normal criminal case - may be redacted, diluted, or outright denied to a terrorist's counsel, for to disseminate it, especially in wartime, is to educate the enemy at the cost of civilian and military lives.
"Since we obdurately declare we are according alleged terrorists the same quality of justice that we would give to the alleged tax cheat, we necessarily cannot carry all of this off without ratcheting down justice for the tax cheat - and everyone else accused of crime. Civilian justice is a zero-sum arrangement. Principles and precedents we create in terrorism cases generally get applied across the board. This, ineluctably, effects a diminution in the rights and remedies of the vast majority of defendants - for the most part. American citizens who, in our system, are liberally afforded those benefits precisely because we presume them innocent. It sounds ennobling to say we treat terrorists just like we treat everyone else, but if we really are doing that, everyone else is necessarily being treated worse. That is not the system we aspire to.
"Worse still, this state of affairs incongruously redounds to the benefit of the terrorist. Initially, this is because his central aim is to undermine our system, so in a very concrete way he succeeds whenever justice is diminished….
"In sum, trials in the criminal justice system don't work for terrorism. They work for terrorists." (See pp. 313-314.)
Americans must simply stop trying to be politically correct and open their eyes to the real dangers presented by enemies of our nation. Islamic terrorists are doing their best to destroy our nation. They are our enemy!
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