Glenn Greenwald takes a whack at some of the most inane chatter in the first week of the new Obama administration -- the idea that the United States of America can't handle the incarceration of alleged anti-U.S. terrorists on our own soil.
National Review's Jim Geraghaty spent all day yesterday fantasizing about all the scary things that could happen if we have Al-Qaeda Terrorists in our communities (near nuclear facilities and airports!). Former Bush aide and chief speechwriter Marc Thiessen warned yesterday in The Washington Post that if there is a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Americans will blame Obama because he stopped torturing and closed Guantanamo, and Democrats will be "unelectable for a generation." Today, at National Review, Thiessen, citing yesterday's Executive Orders, declared Obama "to be the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office." And yesterday, of course, The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt echoed the standard claim that our regular federal courts were inadequate to try dangerous Terrorists.
All of this is pure fear-mongering -- the 2009 version of Condoleezza Rice's mushroom cloud and Jay Rockefeller's "we'll-lose-our-eavesdropping-capabilities" cries. Both before and after 9/11, the U.S. has repeatedly and successfully tried alleged high-level Al Qaeda operatives and other accused Islamic Terrorists in our normal federal courts -- in fact, the record is far more successful than the series of debacles that has taken place in the military commissions system at Guantanamo. Moreover, those convicted Terrorists have been housed in U.S. prisons, inside the U.S., for years without a hint of a problem. Here is but a partial list of the accused Muslim Terrorists who have been successfully tried and convicted in U.S. civilians courts and who remain imprisoned inside the U.S.:
Read the whole thing, and then explain to me -- because I don't get it -- what terrible thing happens if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a few of his ilk get placed in the super-max prison in Florence, Colorado (pictured at top) -- they call it super-max for a reason, you know? Should alleged terrorists be tried in the normal federal court system? -- that's a legitimate topic for debate, and longtime readers know where I stand. But the fear that we can't successful incarcerate these people here in America? Do you have that little faith in your country?