By Patrick Appel
A reader writes:
I think everyone misses an obvious point, one underscored by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's opposition to Obama's request for a suspension of the military tribunals. As long as Guantanamo remains open and as long as the terror suspects are treated as more than common thugs, they gain a larger-than-life reputation on the streets in the Arab world. The apparent fear of U.S. citizens to bring them to justice through our penal system plays into the hands of the terrorists. When the public outcry is "We can't bring those Al Qaeda supermen here!", we give Osama bin Laden a gift: the gift of validating his narrative.
If we bring these men into the justice system and treat them as the common criminals they are, we reduce their standing in the eyes of their peers, in the eyes of the international community -- and in the eyes of America. As far as I'm concerned, the sooner, the better. And if they want to house them in Brushy Mountain State Prison near my hometown, all the better. We need to say by our actions that we will not be cowed by the myth that they are somehow extraordinary.