Tom Von Essen served as Commissioner of the FDNY on September 11, 2001 and later served as Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here he responds to reports that the Biden administration may offer plea deals to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks that would take the death penalty off the table:
How do you even react to the possibility of giving these downright badass imbeciles the opportunity to strike a plea deal?
These are no ordinary criminals. It’s savages who have destroyed nearly 3,000 lives of innocent men and women who just went to work and first responders who have given their all for strangers.
They ruined the lives of the families and loved ones of those killed. They have ruined the lives of countless men and women who have died since 9/11 from related diseases caused by inhaling toxic fumes from the Twin Towers crash.
failure of leadership
Add to this debacle the incompetence of our government in not knowing what to do with these animals for 22 years – so I think the choice now is to do nothing. What a great tour!
Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates said that Joe Biden was never right when it came to foreign policy, and here’s another good example.
Let’s not blame the Saudis for this – let the Saudis buy their reputation by handing out obscene wealth to people who hit golf balls or do some other really unimportant job.
When do we make a conscious effort to lead the world with respectful, ethical action?
Let’s try to put aside our corruption, greed and incompetence for a little while.
These criminals should never be used as trading bait for other hostages. These criminals should be brought to justice and if convicted, executed.
The very timing of this ill-conceived idea is painful for the families and for me personally. It will soon be the 22nd anniversary of that terrible day in September.
We all get invitations to commemorations, fairs and so many commemorations. We think constantly of the men and women we have lost, but even more so as 9/11 approaches.
Families participate or not. Some just can’t take it anymore and stay home with their loved ones and remember in their own way.
I personally have to attend the ceremony. I have to do this out of respect for men who would risk their lives not only for their loved ones but also for total strangers. It takes a special man or woman to do that.
Don’t make it worse
Our first responders, our military, our nurses and doctors—these are the people we should save the word hero for. I once again witnessed it spearhead FEMA’s response to COVID-19 in New York City.
I have never seen the level of dedication shown by the doctors and nurses in the ER and EMS. Every day I have to watch as hundreds, then thousands, of sick people die without their families being able to comfort them.
We cannot prevent innocent people from dying of disease.
We will never be able to stop terrible bad men from taking the lives of innocent good people.
But we have a duty to take care of their loved ones when they are gone.
Our leaders also have a duty to make every effort to find and punish those responsible.
It’s pretty obvious that we’ve done a poor job of this responsibility from the start. We shouldn’t make it worse by negotiating concessions with these subhuman individuals.