Praise Obama Administration for Prosecuting Terrorist Suspect in Federal Court

Target: President Obama and his administration

Goal: To commend the Obama administration for choosing to prosecute a major terrorist suspect in a federal court rather than having him face a Guantanamo military commission

The Obama administration has made a fair share of decisions that seem contrary to a democratic nation that calls for inter-branch oversight and public visibility. But, in respect to the prosecution of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama Bin Laden and a terrorist suspect, President Obama and his administration got one right. Rather than leaving Abu Ghaith to be prosecuted by the corrupted Guantanamo military commission, the Obama administration has decided to bring his case to a federal court.

Laura Pitter, a counterterrorism expert for Human Rights Watch, remarked that “Some people may feel on a gut level that terrorism suspects should be treated differently somehow, but it’s long been clear that federal courts are the best and fairest places to try them. The military commissions in Guantanamo have been proven unable to deliver real justice.”

Many people may believe terrorists should be treated differently. Our vindictive emotions lead us towards the feeling that these fundamentalists shouldn’t be allowed their due process, but if we hope to foster a true democratic society, our practices must be universally applied—there cannot be exceptions. As a democratic society, we must have faith in our justice system.

Availability of information is one of the most important assets of democracy. The use of detainment centers, like Guantanamo Bay, lend themselves to secrecy. Their operations are shielded from the view of the public. The citizenry are kept largely unaware of the activities, and atrocities, committed in these detention centers. This is truly problematic for a democratic nation where knowledge and transparency is key. If we are to maintain our perspective, we must make it known that everyone, even foreign suspects, deserve due process.

Sign below to let the Obama administration know that we thank them for choosing to prosecute Sulaiman Abu Ghaith in a federal court.


Dear President Obama and White House Administrators,

We want to thank you for choosing to prosecute Sulaiman Abu Ghaith in a federal court. This gives us hope that some day soon the President will follow through on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

This is not a question of safety for us, as we will not let fear dictate our decisions. It is a question of maintaining democracy. The availability of information is one of the most important tenets in fostering a free society. People must be well informed for a democracy to function correctly.

If justice is to be done, let it be done in clear sight.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Levi via Flickr

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42 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Ellen McCann
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
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