'Those Guys In That Prison Weren't Boy Scouts'

I wonder knowing what we know now of Mohamed Atta (search) whether we would have minded seeing him stripped in a prison or forced to wear a hood or humiliated in any other way?

I wonder if we secretly would have found ourselves hoping for far worse treatment. I wonder if anyone would blame us.

And not just Atta. What if we saw any of the other 18 Sept. 11 hijackers (search) similarly treated? Knowing what we do now, would we care now? Probably not. We'll never know.

But this much I do know.

I know what Atta and his gang did. I know they slit the throats of pilots and stewardesses and rammed planes into buildings — sounds a hell of a lot worse than putting women's clothing onto someone's head.

I know they didn't care much about our rights or how we looked or how we fared. They didn't give a second thought to any of those killed getting a second chance.

Oh, if only we could have nabbed these guys earlier. If we could have rounded them all up Sept. 10. How different would things be today?

You know, those guys in that prison weren't boy scouts. They were there for a reason. Who knew how many Mohamed Attas were there or are there? I'm just glad they are there. And I'm grateful for calamities we will never know because they are there.

And not, and I must stress, not here.

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