How dare this man, who didn't have the decency to notify victims' families of his decision to bring these monsters here, imply that we lack courage. Courage is carrying on after watching your loved ones die, in real time, knowing that they burned to death, were crushed to death, or jumped from 100 flights high. Courage is carrying on, even as we waited, in some cases years, for something of our loved ones to bury. More than 1,100 families still wait.
How dare the attorney general suggest that the firefighters who oppose this trial need to "man up" and let this avowed enemy of America mock their brother firefighters in the country's most magisterial setting, a federal court.
Let me refresh the attorney general on the meaning of courage. Courage was going into those buildings that day, knowing they might not come out alive. Courage was digging for nine months on hands and knees, breathing in toxic smoke, to find the ravaged remains of brother firefighters, police officers, citizen responders and office workers. This courage was not summoned from false bravado; it sprang from an abiding love of their fellow human beings and a sense of obligation to them, their families and their beloved country.
The attorney general has glibly, and most insensitively, called the perverse spectacle he wants to invite on this city and this nation, the "trial of the century." Well, Mr. Attorney General, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has put you on notice. He's going to give it to you. His trial will be lawyer-assisted jihad in the courtroom.
We understand that to the terrorists, jihad is more than spilling American blood, it is forcing us to change our lives, divert our limited resources. When we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on rooftop snipers, kevlar vests and armored vehicles, that's jihad. When we barricade our buildings, lock down our streets, and close our transportation systems, that's jihad. When we grant a confessed war criminal access to platinum due process, so that he can use it to rally his fellow terrorists to kill more of our citizens and target our military, that's jihad.
Disagree with Debra Burlingame if you must, but acknowledge at least that here is a woman who is still in touch with her moral principles and her common sense.