Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Politics — Rick Moran @ 9:38 am

My latest is up at FrontPage.com where I examine the decision yesterday by the Justice Department to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed via a military tribunal rather than a civilian trial.

A sample:

This latest flip-flop by the Obama administration highlights the chasm between what presidential candidate Obama said about the detainee policies of George W. Bush in 2008, and the actions Obama has been forced to take when confronted with the same realities his predecessor faced. On every significant issue dealing with detainees and where they will be housed, the President has been forced by massive political opposition - at times, from his own party - to reverse himself and follow the same policies and procedures laid down by President Bush.

Former Vice President Cheney predicted as much when he said in 2009, “I think the president will find, upon reflection, that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come.”

In this case, it was Congress that put its foot down and prevented Eric Holder from going forward with his disastrous plan to bring Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed and the other conspirators to New York City and try them in the criminal justice system. At Monday’s press conference announcing his decision, Holder alluded to a rider attached to last year’s Defense Authorization Act that prevented any monies from being spent for a federal trial on US soil as the cause for his “reluctant” decision.

“Those unwise and unwarranted restrictions undermine our counterterrorism efforts and could undermine our national security,” said Holder. The Attorney General failed to elaborate on how keeping dangerous terrorists off American soil could “undermine” our national security. He also did not specifically address how a trial for Mohammed by military tribunal could adversely affect our counterterrorism efforts.

Holder was careful not to mention past administration reversals, including the president’s efforts to close Guantanamo, expand detainee rights, do away with “indefinite detention,” and stop military trials altogether. In each and every case, Congress - both Democrats and Republicans - have stymied this massively flawed ideology regarding the treatment and disposition of detainees.

The White House had little to say about Holder’s announcement. Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “I think that the president’s primary concern is that the perpetrators - the accused perpetrators - of that terrible attack on the American people be brought to justice as swiftly as possible and as fairly as possible.” He added that “congressional opposition has created obstacles that’s (sic) been very hard to overcome.”

It’s amazing to listen to Holder’s bitter tirade against Congress when it is his own blindness to circumstances that is at fault. KSM is not “just another terrorist.” When Holder defends the DoJ by saying they were perfectly capable of trying terrorists in a civilian court, I have little doubt that he is correct - in many cases. Whether most terrorists should be tried in civilian courts is another issue, but no one is deriding the competence of the Justice Department to carry out trials for small fry.

But is Holder stupid or is it that he just doesn’t recognize the fact that a KSM trial would be radically different than trying some al-Qaeda foot soldier? This is a guy whose picture is hanging on the walls of mud huts and hovels from the Red Sea to the Hindu-Kush. He is a hero to millions of Muslims around the world who sympathize with the terrorists. To imagine the security nightmare of a trial likely to take up to two years is only part of it. No doubt KSM would be represented by the most histrionic of lawyers who, like O.J. Simpson’s “dream team,” could very well turn such an extraordinarily complex trial into a muddled circus.

If that would be the case - a distinct possibility - all bets would be off and despite Holder’s confident assertions of conviction, we may very well be confronted with the nightmare of KSM or one or more of his confederates being acquitted. What then, Mr. General?

I understand the worry that the tribunals won’t pass muster on appeal. Fine. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. First things first - try KSM and his cronies in a secret military tribunal, convict the bastard, and execute him. He has received far more consideration by opponents of tribunals and others than he deserves.

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