My commentary appears in the New York Daily News this morning. Here it is; please take a few minutes to read it, join us if you can Saturday 12/5 at noon in Foley Square, and co-sign our letter to President Obama:
My brother was Charles (Chic) Burlingame, captain of American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Now I am one of the organizers of a rally being held at noon this Saturday in Foley Square to stop President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and members of Congress from bringing sworn enemies of the United States into this country – from bringing war criminals captured on the battlefield, lawfully held as war detainees, into civilian court.
It doesn’t have to happen. We who are opposed to the decision must make ourselves perfectly clear to the powers that be that we will not tolerate this decision.
Two weeks ago, 300 family members of 9/11 victims sent a letter to the President telling him we adamantly oppose this dangerous and unnecessary act. The letter was never acknowledged. Then, one hour after the attorney general made his stunning announcement that unlawful foreign combatants would be tried as civilians, the number of signers to that letter jumped to 45,000. By the end of the day the number was 100,000. Our Internet server couldn’t handle the volume of Americans who had somehow found out about this letter and wished to stand with us.
The attorney general has suggested that those who oppose prosecuting these men here in New York City are afraid – that we somehow don’t have the courage to face Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in court.
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.