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The Trials of Homeland Security

November 20, 2009
at 10:20 am PST

It’s probably safe to say that any American not born this decade can recall where they were at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. At this time that a passenger plane collided with the north tower of the World Trade Center. Some 15 minutes later, another plane would strike the south tower. Two additional planes would later fall from the sky, one collided with the Pentagon and the other crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

Sept. 11, 2001, remains one of the largest tragedies and deadliest terrorist attacks in American history. And now, more than eight years later, the alleged mastermind behind the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other alleged terrorists are set to face charges in federal court in New York.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to put these individuals on trial for federal charges has been a topic of contention for multiple reasons. Some Americans feel they should face trial via military commission. Still others are concerned about the consequences of bringing alleged terrorists into the country, especially into a city that has been the target of multiple terrorist attacks and remains in a state of constant vigilance.

Although, much like Attorney General Holder, we believe in the abilities of New York’s police department and those of the country’s multiple agencies who protect the American people by identifying and neutralizing threats before they occur, we feel that transporting these criminals into the country and trying them in New York City is a very large risk.

Just as previous terrorist attacks, including the recent tragic incident in Fort Hood, Texas, have taught us, the actions of a single individual or small group of terrorists can be difficult, if not impossible, to foresee. The Attorney General himself said in a prepared statement, “Future dangerousness is notoriously difficult to predict.” If that’s the case, why can’t we find a way to bring these individuals to trial without increasing the risk of this kind of attack?

In recent posts on the TANDBERG Public Sector blog we’ve discussed how video teleconferencing (VTC) systems have made prisons and criminal justice systems operate more efficiently and effectively by reducing the need to physically transport criminals to court. Couldn’t this same concept be implemented to conduct the criminal trial of these suspected terrorists?

By moving these individuals from their current location in Guantanamo Bay into a city already considered a top terrorist target, we are increasing the chance of an attack and putting American citizens in danger. Conducting the trial via VTC alleviates the need to bring the accused into the country and could significantly reduce this risk.

In fact, we believe so strongly that VTC is a better, safer and more effective solution that we’re willing to do more than just talk about it.

If Attorney General Holder and the United States Government are willing to try these individuals via VTC, TANDBERG will not only applaud their decision, but supply the products and services needed to make it happen. That’s right, for the length of the trial, TANDBERG will deliver the hardware and services needed to ensure that the terror suspects never have to step foot in New York City free of charge. Why? Because when it comes to the safety of American citizens, even the smallest chance of attack is too large.

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