The right-wing blogosphere is damp this morning from the threat of accused 9/11 masterminds - gasp - holding forth on "why they did it" (Fox's headline) in open court here in New York.
Quakes a snide Jules Crittendon in not his most Churchillian moment: “Congress shall make no law abridging the right of jihadis to grandstand in front of juries.” Pam Geller, as unhinged as usual, smells some kind of White House plot to help the terrorists win: "And the clown in the White House will enjoy every disgusting minute of this obamanation. Jihad attacked America, jihad is winning."
At Gateway Pundit, the scorn for New York is obvious - and disgusting - in this little throwaway line: "The 9-11 terrorists are ready to rock New York City- again." Clever. Always nice to mix the living memories of fellow citizens jumping from 1,300 feet with a cheap political slogan.
My question for our right-wing brothers and sisters is this: Why so cowardly? Why is the usually "strict constructionist" crowd so afraid of public speech in an American courtroom? Do they think that New Yorkers will somehow come under the sway of those who plotted the murder of 2,700 of our neighbors? That we'll turn jihadi? That the words of those who would plan to fly planes full of human beings into buildings filled with other human beings will somehow become a public relations coup for Al Qaeda? And why do they lust so for a Chinese-style form of justice that favors a bullet in the head and a press release?
Why the fear?
New Yorkers strongly favor public trials for these defendants and I agree. I saw haul 'em into court, and let's hear what they have to say. Yeah, I'd like to know "why they did it," deranged as it may be. And frankly, some creepy Saddam-style hanging in Gitmo will hardly avenge the deaths of our fellow New Yorkers, or bring the illusory "closure" to this act of mass violence that so many demand.
You see, I know what the right fears and it's not jihadi propaganda or an unlikely terrorist strike at the Federal Courthouse in Foley Square. No, they fear the loss of faceless and fearful monsters locked away from public view; they fear that these "masterminds" may be revealed - like the Nazis at Nuremburg - as small men of limited intelligence whose humanity was stripped away by a code of blind hatred and bloodlust. Yes, they'll look small in court - and they'll sound hateful and stupid. And perhaps, a chapter in history will close - and with it, a useful political tool. The right wing has tried to make "the 9/12" world last as long as possible for a reason.
A judge and a New York jury in open court is the way to move us all forward, out of the shadows.