Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Lunacy of Trying KSM in New York

One of the worst outrages of the Obama Administration - and one that may be the last straw that will sink it - was the decision to try the planner of the 9/11 attacks in the USA. The decision is so illogical and damaging to US interests as to be indefensible - as so many of the administration's apologists are finding out. We have little use for Lindsey Graham, but occasionally he gets something right, as our friends at PowerLine point out in excellent fashion:

Reading Bin Laden His Rights

November 18, 2009

Lindsey Graham frequently drives us crazy, but it can't be denied that he has his moments. In today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he took Eric Holder to the woodshed:

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Graham is right, of course. Under the Obama administration's policies, if we capture Osama bin Laden tomorrow, the first thing we will have to do is read him his rights, and the second is get him a lawyer at taxpayer expense. The argument that Holder tries to interpose--maybe we won't have to Mirandize bin Laden because the evidence of his guilt is "overwhelming"--is pathetic. Can you imagine trying to explain to a federal judge that a criminal defendant had a constitutional right to have his rights read to him, but you skipped that step because the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming? The fact that the Obama administration needs to resort to such silly evasions demonstrates that its policy is indefensible.

To the extent that the Obama administration tries to justify its criminalization of the war against terror, its excuse is that doing so "vindicates the rule of law."

But, as Holder's exchange with Graham showed, the administration is happy to abandon the "rule of law" as soon as it becomes inconvenient. In that regard, one basic question has always been, what happens if we prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his confederates and the result is an acquittal or a hung jury? Senator Kohl asked Eric Holder that question today:

KOHL: Mr. Holder, last week you announced that the department will bring to Guantanamo detainees accused of planning the 9/11 attacks to trial in federal court in New York, as we've talked about this morning. On Friday you said that you'd not have authorized prosecution if you were not confident that the outcome would be successful. However, many critics have offered their own predictions about how such a trial might well play out.

One concern we have heard from critics of your decision is that the defendants could get off on legal technicalities, in which case these terrorists would walk free.

Does this scenario have any merit? If not, why? And in the worst case scenario that the trial does not result in a conviction, what would be your next steps?

HOLDER: Many of those who have criticized the decision -- and not all -- but many of those who have criticized the decision have done so, I think, from a position of ignorance. They have not had access to the materials that I have had access to.

They've not had a chance to look at the facts, look at the applicable laws and make the determination as to what our chances of success are. I would not have put these cases in Article III courts if I did not think our chances of success were not good -- in fact, if I didn't think our chances of success were enhanced by bringing the cases there. My expectation is that these capable prosecutors from the Justice Department will be successful in the prosecution of these cases.

KOHL: But taking into account that you never know what happens when you walk into a court of law, in the event that for whatever reason they do not get convicted, what would be your next step? I'm sure you must have talked about it.

HOLDER: What I told the prosecutors and what I will tell you and what I spoke to them about is that failure is not an option. Failure is not an option. This -- these are cases that have to be won. I don't expect that we will have a contrary result.

Failure is not an option! Let's hope that's true, in the sense that if a jury acquits KSM or fails to reach a verdict, he would be kept in custody anyway. But, that being the case, isn't the criminal prosecution fundamentally fraudulent? Barack Obama, like Eric Holder, has assured the American people that KSM will be convicted:

In one of a series of TV interviews during his trip to Asia, Obama said those offended by the legal privileges given to Muhammed by virtue of getting a civilian trial rather than a military tribunal won't find it "offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him."

Obama quickly added that he did not mean to suggest he was prejudging the outcome of Mohammed's trial. "I'm not going to be in that courtroom," he said. "That's the job of the prosecutors, the judge and the jury."

Can you imagine any other context in which the President of the United States would assure the public that a criminal defendant is guilty; that he will be convicted by a jury; and that he will be executed? Such comments make a mockery of the "rule of law" as normally understood.

It's true, of course, that Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are obviously guilty of the terrorist attacks of which they proudly boast. We don't need a judge and jury to tell us this. In my view, we would be amply justified in simply shooting them.

But if only one jury verdict is acceptable; if the President is willing to assure the American people of conviction; if acquittal or a hung jury is "not an option;" if, assuming such a result, the defendant would be returned to prison anyway--then it is ridiculous to say that we are going through this charade in order to "vindicate the rule of law."
Leahy Lunacy

November 19, 2009

We noted last night that under the Obama administration's law-enforcement approach to terrorism, if we capture Osama bin Laden the first things we'll have to do are read him his rights and get him a free lawyer. When Lindsay Graham pointed this out to Eric Holder in yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Holder feebly responded that maybe we wouldn't have to Mirandize bin Laden because the evidence against him is "overwhelming."

This answer was essentially nonsensical, but Pat Leahy amplified it this morning, in a further effort at spin control:

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of that committee, said that arguments raised by Republican senators about whether bin Laden would be afforded Miranda rights if he were captured was a "red herring."

"The red herring that my friend [Sen.] Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was covering is not realistic," Leahy said during an appearance on "Washington Journal" on C-SPAN.

"For one thing, capturing Osama bin Laden -- we've had enough on him, we don't need to interrogate him," Leahy added.

There you have it: under the Obama administration's approach we won't be able to interrogate bin Laden, but that's OK--we don't need to! Do you think bin Laden might know a thing or two about al Qaeda's plans, operations, personnel and methods that it might be useful for us to find out? Leahy's claim is beyond stupid, but this is what happens when the administration embarks on a policy that simply cannot be defended.


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At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason Holden and Obama wants to try the terrorist in New York is to give them a platform to curse America, how unjust its foreign policy is and to try to blame everything in the world on Bush. By doing so they hope to divert the publics attention away from how badly they are handling the country. They are still fighting Bush but it also shows how much they themselves hate America. The shame of it all is that the American people are too stupid too realize this.

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric holder truly embodies the imcopetence of the Obama administration. we needed a change but not like this.

in his Osama bin Laden scenario about him being guilty beyond doubt can't the same be said of KSM.

What the last three administrations have failed to realize is that the law and the constitution protect the rights of American citizens. not illegals and certainly not terrorists. the direction this country is heading is not good. we can thank the liberals for this!


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