Yesterday in a federal courthouse in Seattle, convicted would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the plot. U.S. District Judge John Coughenour took the occasion to comment on the success of the trial in proving violent extremists can successfully be processed through our normal, time-tested, humane legal system. Said Judge Coughenour:
"The tragedy of Sept. 11 shook our sense of security and made us realize that we, too, are vulnerable to acts of terrorism," he said in a voice edged with emotion. "Unfortunately, some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete. ... If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won."
He went on, noting that Ressam received a vigorous defense, and his guilt was determined "in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel."
I applaud his wise words, and hope there are more in power like him.
For the record, the good Judge was appointed by the late President Reagan......