This is a very important point — Dahlia Lithwick points out how well the justice system worked by handling terror as a criminal act rather than an act of war!
“Before we decide that the only way to fight terror is through war, it’s worth recalling that the criminal prosecutions for each of the above acts of terror were not only successful; they were also constitutional, frequently transparent, and overwhelmingly legal and fair. What happened on Sept. 11 to discredit the criminal law system? What failures in this system drove the administration to call immediately for secret roundups of”material witnesses,” military tribunals, and secret deportation hearings? Did something go so badly in the first WTC prosecution that led to the decision to detain “enemy combatants” without trial forever? How did we lose faith in a system that worked so well?”