Don't Let Congress Block Trials for the 9/11 Accused
President Obama made the right decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 conspirators in U.S. federal courts rather than "kangaroo courts" known as military commissions. While military commissions have only dealt with 3 cases involving terrorism since the September 11th attacks, U.S. federal courts are responsible for successfully convicting at least 195 cases involving terrorism during the same time.
But now members of Congress are attacking the President's decision and threatening to block funding for the trial. Senator Lindsey Graham called federal trials a "dumb idea" and wants to use the military commissions that he and other politicians cooked up at Guantanamo to ensure convictions and cover up evidence of torture.
According to military and intelligence experts, the Guantanamo show trials have not only failed to hold the alleged 9/11 plotters accountable, but have also tarnished America's reputation for justice and served as recruiting propaganda for al Qaeda.
Tell Congress not to block fair federal trials. It's time for justice for 9/11, and real justice requires a real court.
I am deeply concerned by recent reports that a number of members of Congress are planning to block President Obama's decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused 9/11 co-conspirators in U.S. federal court.
I support fair and legitimate trials in U.S. federal courts for the alleged 9/11 conspirators and other Guantanamo detainees accused of crimes, and urge you-as my elected official-to do the same.
Federal courts have a proven track record of success: 195 accused terrorists have been convicted in U.S. federal courts since September 2001, and those convicted criminals have been safely held in U.S. federal prisons.
The Guantanamo military commissions, on the other hand, have been delayed for years by Supreme Court challenges and resulted in only 3 convictions-of low level personnel, two of whom are now free after serving their sentence.
At the same time, the deceptively named military commissions-they were created by politicians, not the military, to ensure convictions and hide evidence that the Executive branch authorized torture-have tarnished America's reputation as a nation of law and, according to military and intelligence experts, served as recruiting propaganda for al Qaeda.
The idea that fair federal trials are too expensive or inconvenient misses the bigger reality: the Guantanamo experiment has cost hundreds of millions of dollars and America's moral authority. And it has failed to hold those responsible for 9/11 to account. There is a reliable alternative: fair trials in U.S. federal courts.
It's time for justice for 9/11, and real justice requires a real court.
I look forward to your reply.
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