Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It’s amateur hour again and “failure IS an option”....

Eric Holder, the Attorney General is not doing the right thing.

Obama and his administration are making another historically bad mistake.

What have they done now?

The administration has elected to move the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed to New York Federal District Court. This is a huge mistake on so many levels that it defies logic or prudence.

Civil courts are designed to discharge justice on criminal and civil matters involving citizens and aliens that have been in the custody of civilian authority. This is not the case of K.S. Mohammad. He has been in the custody of military authority at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since he was captured. As the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington D.C., he committed acts of war against the United States. War is a military act and thus a military tribunal is more appropriate a venue for seeking redress against this man.

There are many issues that need to be considered, and Mr. Holder has not done so to any objective standard that can be judged reasonable. In fact, there is no known legal process in place to deal with this sort of situation.

First, as this will be a civil trial, how will the issues of military pretrial confinement (Guantanamo Bay), detention and treatment at the hands of CIA and military interrogators (the water boarding sessions) and lack of Miranda Rights (he was captured on the battlefield, not “arrested’ by cops on the street) be addressed? If he prosecuted in a civil court, aren’t the issues involving the lack of correct civilian treatment and observation of customary civil procedure and defendant rights going to be an issue? After all, any criminal is entitled to those protections and since he didn’t get them, doesn’t it logically follow that the possibility exists that there could be a mistrial or outright acquittal on the grounds that the defendant didn’t get due process protections and was denied his “civil rights”? On this, Mr. Holder is silent.

Secondly, there is the issue of his confession. He confessed his role in 9/11 and was later water boarded in order to extract additional information. It might be argued by the defense that his confession was coerced as well and that since he was “tortured”, he should be released. The “cruel and unusual punishment” issue will come up at some point too.

Thirdly, what about the defense for the accused? In a civil trial there is a discovery process. In this process, the prosecution must surrender all its information used to formulate its case and release a list of witnesses. That information will now be in the hands of people who are under no obligation to the nation to ensure that confidential elements don’t leak out. That means that potential witnesses on that list will now be known and at possible risk of retribution. National security data used in the arrest, and the content and scope of information extracted from the defendant during interrogation will most certainly make its way into the public domain, potentially destroying its value to those who are charged with the defense of the realm. This process will allow our adversaries worldwide information useful to them in countering our intelligence gathering efforts against them or allow them to gauge the knowledge of what we know from interrogations that were conducted in the past.

That begs the questions: What will be admissible? What will not?

Many of these issues make it possible that this process could go badly for the government, and in fact, could have many unforeseen consequences. There is the nightmare scenario of the defendant being found not guilty or this proceeding being declared a mistrial, or the judge could simply order him released on some technicality.

When asked what would happen if the defendant were found not guilty or the case thrown out; Attorney General Holder said “Failure is not an option”.

What is that supposed to mean? Does that mean that the fix is in on the terrorist trial?
Does that mean this is all just one, big kangaroo court...all for show, just like the old Soviet show trials that we saw in the bad old days of the Cold War?

There is also the issue of security.

Would you want to sit on a jury in this trial and risk becoming a target of jihadist cells here if you found him guilty or the target of ire and/or violent revenge from your fellow Americans if you found him innocent? Would you want to risk your families?

Would you want to be a judge in this trial for the same reasons?

What about the fact that now New York is now back in the spot light again? The terrorist element has a new reason to target New York and vicinity, as if they needed another reason to do something to that city and its people...

What about trial security? These folks love car and truck bombs and other such things. This makes a rational person wonder if anyone with intelligence and forethought considered any of these possibilities.

What about a possible escalation of terrorist activity to our nation or to our interests abroad? As Islamo-fascists worldwide see this legal evolution, it may become an impetus to act against us more than they have already.

The questions and issues abound. Attorney General Holder has no answers, just platitudes, assurances and no game plan that is discernible. He claims all is well and that the system will work as promised.
Are the people of this country ready to take the word of a man who helped get FALM terrorist released? How about trusting the motivations of a man who lets the likes of the New Black Panther Party get away with intimidating voters with clubs outside voting stations in California during the last general election? Do we trust the words and judgments of this man or his boss, Barrack Obama, to make this work?

In my mind, the jury is still out on that trust.

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