When, as Glenn Greenwald brilliantly explains, the opposite is true:
[T]he Right's reaction to yesterday's announcement -- we're too afraid to allow trials and due process in our country -- is the textbook definition of "surrendering to terrorists." [emphasis added] It's the same fear they've been spewing for years. As always, the Right's tough-guy leaders wallow in a combination of pitiful fear and cynical manipulation of the fear of their followers. Indeed, it's hard to find any group of people on the globe who exude this sort of weakness and fear more than the American Right.
People in capitals all over the world have hosted trials of high-level terrorist suspects using their normal justice system. They didn't allow fear to drive them to build island-prisons or create special commissions to depart from their rules of justice. Spain held an open trial in Madrid for the individuals accused of that country's 2004 train bombings. The British put those accused of perpetrating the London subway bombings on trial right in their normal courthouse in London. Indonesia gave public trials using standard court procedures to the individuals who bombed a nightclub in Bali. India used a Mumbai courtroom to try the sole surviving terrorist who participated in the 2008 massacre of hundreds of residents. In Argentina, the Israelis captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious Nazi war criminals, and brought him to Jerusalem to stand trial for his crimes.
It's only America's Right that is too scared of the Terrorists -- or which exploits the fears of their followers -- to insist that no regular trials can be held and that "the safety and security of the American people" mean that we cannot even have them in our country to give them trials. As usual, it's the weakest and most frightened among us who rely on the most flamboyant, theatrical displays of "strength" and "courage" to hide what they really are. Then again, this is the same political movement whose "leaders" -- people like John Cornyn and Pat Roberts -- cowardly insisted that we must ignore the Constitution in order to stay alive: the exact antithesis of the core value on which the nation was founded. Given that, it's hardly surprising that they exude a level of fear of Terrorists that is unmatched virtually anywhere in the world. It is, however, noteworthy that the position they advocate -- it's too scary to have normal trials in our country of Terrorists -- is as pure a surrender to the Terrorists as it gets.
The Right has been the biggest bedwetters of all when it comes to terrorism—and terrorists themselves, in particular. This particular flavor of fear-pandering has been used for years to justify a whole host of the Bush Administrations illegal and extra-legal behavior, but has found new popularity as a tool to oppose any decision by Obama to change that Unconstitutional status quo.
Whether that's habeas corpus, closing Gitmo, or trials for the accused. They act as if KSM is the equivalent of Magneto, and bringing him to U.S. soil will allow him to summon his mutant powers and escape from any prison man could possibly build [video here] and wreak havoc on the country—as if such a being couldn't do the exact same thing from Guantanamo.
At this point I'm not even sure if this is actual genuine fright on the part of the right, thinly veiled fear-mongering of their even more pathetic and Pavlovian base, or simply an involuntary partisan reaction. But i t doesn't matter. The only thing more pathetic than this display is the fact that it works on a sizable portion of the population.