I am not bothered by our moving the trial of the 9/11 plotters out of Manhattan. The city is already jammed with traffic and such a well publicized trial could offer the temptation to set off a bomb in the area — not hard to do with all the delivery trucks cruising — or on a subway! All of us who live in NYC are familiar with days when some major event blocks our moving about. Imagine many months of such in an already busy part of our city. And many of us still cringe at the sound of a low flying plane!

However, I am glad that we are turning away from the violations of law and morality introduced by the Bush administration’s invention of a new category of criminal and treatment of same — neither a conventional criminal, nor a war enemy. We have held many an innocent individual for indefinite periods at Guantanamo and elsewhere on the basis of bounties offered to people to turn in a ‘terrorist’. Obviously many used this device to get rid of personal enemies or settle grudges having nothing to do with terror — or simply to pull in big bucks.

One of our cities 60 miles up the Hudson — Newburgh — is already offering itself for the trial — new court house, federal prison and airport nearby per its mayor. Or a military base could be used.

The main point here is that we must stop acting like a small dictatorship imprisoning its enemies, real or imagined, without due process. We want others to see us as a model for democracies everywhere. We had better be that!

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U.S. Drops Plan for a 9/11 Trial in New York City
By SCOTT SHANE and BENJAMIN WEISER
The Obama administration bowed to almost unanimous pressure from officials and business leaders to move the trial of
the Sept. 11 plotters from Lower Manhattan.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/nyregion/30trial.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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