If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is tried in a civilian criminal court, he must be granted all the protections an accused citizen is provided under our Constitution. If we are to hold ourselves to this standard, then based on the very essence of his apprehension and detention, Mohammed must be released. The damage to our civil liberties and the very fabric of American jurisprudence would be devastating should we decide to overrule these rights to rig a verdict against one man, no matter how evil. Since our courts are ruled by tradition and procedure, doing so would set a dangerous precedent that puts every American's equal protection under the law at risk. We cannot allow martial law to enter our civil courtrooms.
KSM was not read his Miranda rights. He was not protected from testifying against himself. In fact, we gained key knowledge about Al Qaeda's operations by subjecting him to enhanced interrogation techniques including waterboarding. KSM has never had access to all the evidence gathered against him since much of it is classified. Given these circumstances, were he not mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack but instead a common purse snatcher, we would have no choice but to set him free. There would be outrage over his treatment and the law enforcement responsible for his capture would be chastised. But KSM wasn't captured by law enforcement. He was captured by the US military. He isn't a common purse snatcher. He is responsible for the deadliest act of war on US soil. Given these simple facts, facts that cannot be denied or disputed by even the most radical leftist, the only place KSM can receive a fair and just trial is a military tribunal. In fact, the Constitution allows for just such military tribunals in order to protect civilians.
Instead, Holder and Obama have decided to bring martial law into our civil courtrooms. This is a huge mistake, not because we should fear that KSM or other enemy combatants tried in civil criminal courts might be found innocent, but because it's likely the deck will be stacked against them so that there's no way they can be found not guilty. The president has even suggested that KSM will not be released no matter the outcome of the trial. Is this not double jeopardy? Rather than demonstrate to the rest of the world how fair and transparent our system, this kind of tinkering with the judiciary does the exact opposite. Those who view our country unfavorably will not be persuaded that KSM was given a fair trial, and even those who believe we have every right to take the life of this madman, trial or not, will wonder why we turned our justice system upside down to do so.
What we are seeing put into action is a show trial. We have seen how these show trials work in third world countries and Communist states. That the Obama administration would bring Stalin-esque show trials to America reveals the president's continued contempt for the Constitution and our Founders, not to mention the dangers that a large, federal government with unlimited powers (one that takes over private institutions, disregards private property, and changes the rule of law to achieve their desired outcome) poses to the Republic.
President Obama's decision has put more than our nation's security at risk. It has put our liberties at risk, all of which could have been avoided by keeping this affair in a military court. Compounding this mistake is the fact that other enemy combatants will be tried in front of military tribunals, making the decision to grant some of them civil trials seem arbitrary at best and sinister at worst.