Thomas Anthony Casoria
In the Washington Post Anne Applebaum ends her Tuesday, March 20, 2007, column Tortured Credibility with an interesting point.
. . . Who could have imagined, in September 2001, that one of the deadliest terrorists in history would admit to the destruction of the World Trade Center--and that the world would shrug its shoulders?
She thinks it is due to the possibility that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was tortured.
Even if he was not tortured, he was held in secret, extralegal conditions, possible in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, certainly under nothing resembling what we in the United States normally consider the rule of law. The mystery surrounding his interrogation--when it was carried out, how and by whom--renders any confession he makes completely null, either in a court of law or in the court of international public opinion.
I don’t think it’s due to that at all.
Here’s a reality check. If the US captured Osama bin Laden tomorrow, do you think there would be joy in the international community? Hardly.
How about in the US? Despite the trumpeting of Democrats that the Bush administration lost focus on the war on terror by going into Iraq instead of going after bin Laden, if he were captured tomorrow, would Demos be partying? I think not. There would be one fairly gigantic yawn.
The problem is not torture. The problem is that no one cares about the victims anymore. It has been more than five years. The world’s attention span has long passed. The victims are gone and forgotten. Why should world opinion care about capture of someone responsible for killing almost 3,000 people on 9/11--be it Khalid Shaikh Mohammed or bin Laden?
Last year for the 5th anniversary of 9/11, a conservative blogger started a movement to honor each of the 9/11 victims. This blog honored the hero Thomas Anthony Casoria, a 29 year old fire fighter who died trying to save lives at the World Trade Center.
But thoughts of Casoria and the other 2,995 heros and victims don’t raise hackles or ring bells anymore. Even the New York Times, which did the wonderful individual tribute to each 9/11 victim in 2001, did not bother to reach in its archives and individually honor the victims on the 5th anniversary of their death--not even by listing their names. They’re old news, not interesting.
More than that, the world has come to believe that it is the right of terrorists to terrorize. Whatever grief there is for the victims is personal--from their family and friends.
The world’s opinion makers have lost their moral bearings. It’s not “possible” torture or less than pristine prison conditions that caused the world to “shrug its shoulders”. It’s self-centeredness and a willingness to excuse terrorism. One can see it even the holocaust. For decades Hitler’s killing of millions of people in concentration camps evoked anger and disgust. Not anymore.
Shame on world opinion makers for not caring about the victims--and on Anne Applebaum for excusing them.