At the signing ceremony for the Freedom of Press Act, Obama — who studiously avoided any mention of “jihadists” or any term that might give onlookers a clue as to who killed Daniel Pearl and why — used Pearl’s eight-year-old son and his father, Judea, as props to adorn the Oval Office. They were not afforded the chance to speak. But now Judea gives an interview and expresses his views on Miranda rights and the KSM trial, among other issues. The interview is worth reading in full, and it’s clear why he was a silent participant in Obama’s stage show.
After Judea poignantly describes the task of explaining his son’s murder to his grandson — who was born after his father, Daniel, was killed — he turns to the KSM trial. Would he favor a federal-court trial?
I think it should be held behind closed doors. That’s based upon a very simple realization there is nothing more enticing for would-be terrorists than the idea they will get a stage in a New York court. It’s more enticing, I believe, than 72 virgins.
And what about Mirandizing terrorists?
Throughout history society has found new legal instruments to deal with new threats. Terrorism is a new threat; it needs to be dealt with newly invented legal instruments. And it’s a job of the attorney general to invent new legal regimes to deal with that problem. Terrorists should not be tried as soldiers nor as criminals. There should be a new category to deal with this particular threat. That’s my opinion.
You can see why Obama didn’t want to give him a speaking role.
There is one more interesting note: Judea has set up a foundation to fund “mid-career journalists from Muslim-dominated countries to come to the U.S. and work for six months at a major newspaper and go back to their countries and tell the readers what they have learned about the U.S. and the Jewish community in the U.S. They also work at least one week at a Jewish publication.” They’ve had 14 — at some risk to themselves — participate and return to their own countries to explain what freedom of the press is all about. Alas, not a single Palestinian journalist has participated. No, I’m not surprised either.