Monday, November 23, 2009

We can still afford to act like America

We can still afford to act like America - Leonard Pitts Jr. -
``We [should] wrap him in bacon and deep fry him at a state fair while Lee Greenwood stabs him in the face.'' -- Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed

And seriously now, who doesn't agree?

You'd have to be defective in your humanity not to. Mohammed plotted the greatest act of mass murder in American history. Who among us wouldn't like a piece of this guy?

Indeed, if critics of Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try him and his terrorist confederates in a New York City courtroom would be honest with themselves, they'd admit that this is what drives their condemnation, not questions of security, fears of acquittal or other obfuscatory concerns they've raised.

No, the baseline here is the understandable belief that these thugs, these gangsters of Islam, have no right to a trial, that the American legal system, with all its protections for the accused, all its rights and procedures and niceties, is more than they deserve.

Americans have always been ambivalent about the ability of our justice system to give bad people what they've got coming. That's why the action movie almost always ends with the bad guy shot, impaled or fed into a wood chipper: seeing him led away in handcuffs simply doesn't impart the same visceral sense of just deserts.

But you have to wonder: Are our emotional needs the most important consideration here?.....

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