Justice in terror war must be swift

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2002

Virginia put to death a terrorist last night.

Aimal Khan Kasi, 38, a Pakistani who killed two CIA employees in a 1993 shooting rampage outside the agency’s headquarters was executed Thursday as the State Department warned of global retaliation against Americans.

Kasi died by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center at 9:07 p.m.

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Even to those who find capital punishment abhorrent, it’s clear that Kasi received a much gentler fate then he deserved and certainly one that was far better than his victims received.

The fact is that Virginia did not just execute a man last night, but a prisoner of a war that has been waged for decades, one from which Americans have be far removed until recently, but now know only to well that it’s real and it’s here.

Last week, the State Department warned that Kasi’s execution could lead to acts of vengeance against Americans everywhere. Two days after his conviction, assailants shot and killed four American oil company workers in Karachi, Pakistan.

If such turns out the case, justice must be meted out in a far swifter manner than it was for Kasi. People like Kasi and those responsible for the 9-11 attacks who are captured should not be considered prisoners of war, but war criminals and dealt with accordingly and much more swiftly than was Kasi.