Is America a Serious Nation?

Are we at war—or not?

For if we are at war, why is Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed headed for trial in federal court in the
District of New York?
Why is he entitled to a
presumption of innocence and all of the constitutional
protections of a U.S. citizen?

Is it possible we have done an
injustice to this man by keeping him locked up all these
years without trial? For that is what this trial
implies—that he may not be guilty.

And if we must prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that KSM was complicit in mass murder,
by what right do we send

Special Forces
to kill his al-Qaida comrades
wherever we find them? For none of them has been granted
a fair trial.

When the Justice Department sets up
a task force to wage war on a crime organization like
the Mafia or MS-13, no U.S. official has a right to
shoot Mafia or gang members on sight. No one has a right
to bomb their homes. No one has a right to regard the
possible death of their wives and children in an attack
as acceptable collateral damage.

Yet that is what we do to al-Qaida,
to which KSM belongs.

We conduct those strikes in good
conscience because we believe we are at war. But if we
are at war, what is KSM doing in a U.S. court?

Minoru Genda
, who planned the
attack on Pearl Harbor,
a naval base on U.S. soil,
when America was at peace, and killed as many Americans
as the

Sept. 11 hijackers
, was not brought here for trial.
He was an enemy combatant under the Geneva Conventions
and treated as such.


Maj. Andre,
the British spy and collaborator of
Benedict Arnold, was captured, he got a

military tribunal,
after which he was hanged. When
Gen. Andrew Jackson captured
two British subjects

Spanish Florida
aiding renegade Indians, Jackson had
both tried and hanged on the spot.

Enemy soldiers who commit
atrocities are not sent to the United States for trial.
Under the Geneva Conventions, soldiers who commit
atrocities are shot when caught.

When and where did Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed acquire his right to a trial by a jury of his
peers in a U.S. court?

When John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham
Lincoln, alleged collaborators like
were tried before a military tribunal and
hanged at Ft. McNair. When

eight German saboteurs
were caught in 1942 after
being put ashore by U-boat, they were tried in secret
before a military commission and executed, with the
approval of the Supreme Court. What makes KSM special?

Is the Obama administration aware
of what it is risking by not turning KSM over to a
military tribunal in Guantanamo?

How does Justice handle a defense
demand for a change of venue, far from lower Manhattan,
where the jury pool was most deeply traumatized by Sept.
11? Would not KSM and his co-defendants, if a change of
venue is denied, have a powerful argument for
overturning any conviction on appeal?

Were not KSM`s Miranda rights
impinged when he was not only not told he could have a
lawyer on capture, but that his family would be killed
and he would be water-boarded if he refused to talk?

And if all the evidence against the
five defendants comes from other than their own
testimony under duress, do not their lawyers have a
right to know when, where, how and from whom Justice got
the evidence to prosecute them? Does KSM have the right
to confront all witnesses against him, even if they are
al-Qaida turncoats or U.S. spies still transmitting
information to U.S. intelligence?

There have been reports that in the
trials of those convicted in the first World Trade
Center bombing, sources and methods were compromised,
weakening our security for the second attack on Sept.

If the trial is held in lower
Manhattan, how much security will be needed to protect
against a car bomber who wants the world to see a mighty
blow struck against the Great Satan? And if, as some
suggest, the trial should be held on Governor`s Island,
would that not make the United States look like a nation
under siege?

What do we do if the case against
KSM is thrown out because the government refuses to
reveal sources or methods, or if he gets a hung jury, or
is acquitted, or has his conviction overturned?

In America, trials often become
games, where the prosecution, though it has truth on its
side, loses because it inadvertently breaks one of the

The Obamaites had best pray that does not happen, for
they may be betting his presidency on the outcome of the
game about to begin.



Patrick J. Buchanan


no introduction
to VDARE.COM readers;
his book
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from His latest book
is Churchill,
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,



Paul Craig Roberts.