9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad was recently arraigned in a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some analysts have described the proceedings as a modern day Nuremburg trial that will test the fairness of US military commissions.
While there is great focus on the military commissions, I think we have to ask ourselves an even more fundamental question of who are we seeking justice for?
Military justice implies that justice in this case is a military matter, despite the fact that 3,000 U.S. civilians were killed. Yet, it has been said that civilian courts don’t have the safety mechanisms in place to deal with this case.
How does one measure justice in the face of a crime so heinous? No verdict rendered by any court-civilian or military, can ever hope to gratify everyone.
It is my worry that no matter what’s decided in Guantanamo Bay, we’ll have effectively divided those persons directly effected by 9-11 into three camps: those who believe in Guantanamo Bay, those who wanted greater punishment, and those people who don’t believe that a military commission is the right way to deal with the terrorist problem.
Justice in the case of Khalid Sheik Mohammad is far from the black and white matter its’ presented as.