Torture Me, Br'er Judge, But Don't Fling Me in that Virgin Patch
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts are responsible for plotting the 9/11 mass murders. They are still greatly pleased with how that turned out. They will never be repentant. They are the picture of evil, and given the chance would do as much additional damage as they could. If convicted of their crimes, shouldn't they be put to death?
Think of it this way. In their belief system, as warriors for their evil cause there is no greater reward that to become a martyr. Giving them death penalty would be rewarding them for their actions. Not only that, we would be sending the message to potential recruits to their cause that even if they are captured they could become martyrs. What greater recruiting tool could there be?
So, if giving them the death penalty would reward them for their actions, would help recruit people to their cause, and would cause many people in the civilized world to feel more sympathetic towards them, what should we do to them instead if they are convicted?
Simple. Lock each one of them up in a small, dark room and don't let them out. Give them each a mattress to sleep on, a Koran, and a daily kosher meal. That's it. If there is particularly good news in the fight against their buddies, slip them a copy of the news, but nothing else. No other news would flow in or out. Make sure they get good health care, so they live long, unproductive lives. And give the Red Cross access to make sure they are not being tortured or otherwise mistreated. Let them fade away and out of everybody's mind. But make sure recent pictures are always available, so that the world knows what a man in permanent, earned solitary confinement looks like.
Speaking of torture, it's pretty clear that KSM and his gang were interrogated using "enhanced" techniques. What's up with that? Even if they got a confession (which they did), and even if it was legitimate, the judge (along with the rest of the world) is going to have to consider the validity of that confession, throwing the entire prosecution into question. What if we can't convict these evil people because their confessions were coerced illegally? Do we then let them go? Or continue to hold them without convicting them? This leads to some very bad options. Even if they are successfully convicted, many will not accept it because of the torture allegations. Why does our government insist on putting the punishment and imprisonment of these horrible people at risk? Why must they take a positive thing (capturing known terrorists) into a negative (we had to torture a so-called confession out of these people) with our own allies?
These actions are unconscionable and we should demand more responsible behavior from the people we trust to keep us safe.