Another Terrorist Turns Out Not To Have Superpowers

Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

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In federal court in Manhattan Tuesday morning, Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison. Like every other one of the over 350 terrorists in US prisons, Shahzad, in the end, turned out not to have superpowers. Like Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who went on trial in New York this week, he had neither super-strength nor X-ray vision. The federal prison system was completely capable of holding him. The FBI was completely capable of interrogating him without turning to waterboarding or stress positions or beating the crap out of him. He sang like a bird. And the federal court system was completely capable of sending his sorry ass to prison, where he belongs. 

Meanwhile, as Ghailani, who’s supposedly a big scary terrorist, is being tried in federal court near (gasp!) Ground Zero (and the “Ground Zero mosque”), people seem to be carrying on about their business:

Look: these terrorists are morons. Murderous, cowardly morons, but morons nonetheless. They are not going to achieve their agenda by slaughtering people. Just as Terry Nichols was not going to bring down the US government by murdering a bunch of children in Oklahoma City, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed didn’t magically re-establish the Caliphate by murdering 3,000 Americans in lower Manhattan. If we can put Nichols on trial, if we can put Ghailani on trial, if we can put the blind sheikh and Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid and the Unabomber and the DC sniper and the brain-eater guy on trial and lock them up in Florence for the rest of their lives, we can do the same thing to KSM and his buddies. These guys are not friggin Magneto!

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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