Unanswered Questions


By: Elizabeth Marion

Obama’s decision to try several terrorists in civilian courts has caused a lot of controversy and raised a lot of questions about the President’s ability and willingness to fight terrorism. We have heard the President, and many others, defend giving civilian trials to terrorists. It is the same weak rhetoric that will never be a deterrent to any terrorist and will not help us in the fight against terrorism. We have been told that trying terrorists in civilian courtrooms will show the world that it can be done and that justice can prevail, even over our most evil and determined enemies. The problem with this discussion, and this argument, is that many of those who are saying this seem oblivious to what they are not saying but still implying with their words.

In terms of trying these terrorists there are two options-civilian trials and military tribunals. By saying that civilian trials are the only way to ensure justice, the implication is that military tribunals are somehow unfair or unjust. What’s even worse is that the argument also implies that terrorists, enemies of this country, deserve better treatment than our troops. A military tribunal is good enough for the troops who are fighting to protect us, but it’s not good enough for the enemies of this country. No, they deserve better. What will it take for more Americans, and far more importantly the Obama administration, to show some respect for our troops and stop treating them like second class citizens? Why are the terrorists being given more consideration by this administration than our own troops?

We have heard the reasons the administration has for trying terrorists in civilian trials, but there are still so many unanswered questions. What exactly is wrong with trying the enemies of this country in a military tribunal? Why would such a trial be unjust? Why is a military tribunal not a good enough solution? Why is the justice system for our troops not good enough for enemy combatants? Why were none of the people who would be responsible for security if the trials do take place in New York consulted before this decision was made and announced? Was the price tag for a New York civilian trial or the issue even considered before a decision was made? Why is the administration guaranteeing a conviction when that could easily be used to get the case thrown out? Will these terrorists still go to jail if they are not convicted? And who originally came up with the idea of trying terrorists in civilian court rooms?

Whether these trials are held in New York or elsewhere our questions concerning this issue will most likely go unanswered. The elitists in Washington have already convinced themselves that they know best, even as they continue to make ludicrous decisions that simply do not make sense and are making our monstrous problems even worse. This poor decision, that was also very poorly defended, is just more evidence that this President does not understand the threat of terrorism, nor does he take it as seriously as he should.

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