Perhaps Rep. Bob Goodlatte (Roanoke County) is right, perhaps trying a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, in civilian court with all of the rights afforded a U.S. citizen is a missed “opportunity to obtain about a dozen years’ worth of intelligence from Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law to gain valuable information about other potential attacks against Americans.”
This is what Goodlatte said in his statement regarding Sulaiman Abu Ghaith’s trial in a federal court in New York:
“The capture of Abu Ghaith is another example of our intelligence community’s unwavering commitment to find and capture foreign enemies of the United States. But the Obama administration should not rush to try al-Qaeda’s former spokesman in a civilian court where he is afforded the full rights of a U.S. citizen.”
But maybe the U.S. should reevaluate its policy of throwing suspected and convicted terrorists into the dark hole known as Guantanamo Bay where much of the world can only guess what actually goes on inside.
Maybe, just maybe, it is powerfully negative U.S. symbols like Guantanamo Bay which fuel the anger, the hate, and the outrage of terrorists and would be terrorists across the globe.
Some will argue, like Goodlatte argues, that places like Guantanamo Bay save American lives. But how many lives does it cost by its mere presence? How many individuals become terrorists and kill Americans due to the very existence of Guantanamo Bay?
Furthermore, is this the kind of justice that America wishes to convey to the rest of the world and is it a form of strength or a sign of weakness? How many Guantanamo Bay’s could exist in the future for American citizens, not just foreign enemies of the U.S.? As with any weapon, it could eventually be used against its owner in highly unanticipated ways. Especially when one considers the fear of government that certain members of congress continually espouse, it is surprising that they would trust the government with such a nefarious and nontransparent institution.
The bottom line is that through fear and a shedding of the principles and values which make our country so great, those who have fought and/or died for these principles and these values will have died in vain. That is, terrorists against the U.S. will have truly won.