Posts Tagged ‘Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’
December 2nd, 2009 at 10:40 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Eric Holder, A Competent Attorney General?

Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website.

November 30th, 2009 at 4:36 pm
ABA Endorses NY Gitmo Trials
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In the “not a big surprise” news category, the ABA announced that it “supports” Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try some Gitmo detainees in New York federal court.

Carolyn Lamm, President of the ABA (American Bar Association) and occasional lobbyist for Uzbekistan, wrote General Holder arguing that “[t]he transfer of these high-profile cases to federal court affirms this nation’s adherence to due process and the rule of law, and clearly establishes that these men are being tried as criminals, not as soldiers in armed conflict.”

CFIF has opined on these trials here and here, and while the Gitmo detainees are clearly being treated as criminals now, are we not now in an “armed conflict?”  How many Americans have died in Afghanistan because 9/11 conspirators like Khalid Shiekh Mohammed decided to turn passenger jets into missiles?   Would American conspirators in foreign countries be tried in civilian courts for engaging in acts of war?

The ABA seeks “competent assistance of counsel … due process … and [the right] to be treated as innocent until proven guilty” for the Gitmo detainees.  Let’s hope they receive those rights without jeopardizing national security or turning a real trial into a spectacle that puts American foreign policy on the witness stand.

November 23rd, 2009 at 2:21 am
Mr. Pitts, Call Your Editor
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Sometimes I think the best way for conservatives to dominate public opinion would be to just get out of the way and let liberals do all the talking.

A good example of this principle can be found in the new column by the Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts. In a defense of Attorney General Holder’s decision to bring Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other Al Qaeda terrorists to trial in civilian courts, Pitts claims that the primary motivation of those opposed to the move is a visceral need for vengeance:

Pitts’ response:

But you have to wonder: Are our emotional needs the most important consideration here?

It’s worth remembering that even the architects of the greatest barbarism in history had their day in court. After burning away 11 million lives, the leaders of the Nazi regime found themselves facing not summary execution, but a trial before a military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

As prosecutor Robert Jackson put it: “That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that power has ever paid to reason.”

One little problem. The enlightened example cited by Mr. Pitts was a military tribunal — exactly what KSM and company would have had if the Attorney General hadn’t booked their Manhattan vacation.  Never mind that Nuremberg only took place after World War II had ended …

November 14th, 2009 at 6:59 pm
Moral Confusion on the Potomac
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In the aftermath of the Obama Justice Department’s (and, let’s be clear, the President’s) decision to bring a group of terrorist figures — including professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — to trial in American courtrooms, liberals in Congress are bending over backwards to tout the administration’s moral superiority.

What’s notable about their talking points is how thin the gruel they’re serving up is.  Consider this gem from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan):

The argument by some that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be treated as a warrior and not as a common criminal misses the point. He wants us to treat him as a warrior. But he should, and will, be treated as the common terrorist criminal that he is.

As Charles Krauthammer noted on last night’s “Special Report,” the phrase “terrorist criminal” is, in and of itself, an oxymoron. But there’s also a bit of a stolen base in Levin’s argument.  Because KSM wants to be treated as a warrior, he shouldn’t be? How about a justice system that operates according to the facts rather than the feelings of those involved? Sure, KSM might want the glories of martyrdom — give it to him.  For every died in the wool jihadi who bids him well as he’s ferried across the River Styx to the land of subjugated virgins, they’ll be another potential Al-Qaeda recruit who learns that terrorism is a short road that ends in the embrace of an American noose.

Also weighing in was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont):

By trying them in our federal courts, we demonstrate to the world that the most powerful nation on earth also trusts its judicial system — a system respected around the world.

That Leahy seems to think that whether or not America has any faith in the judicial process hinges on whether or not we empty out the population of Guantanamo Bay into New York City courtrooms doesn’t speak well of his standing as judiciary chairman.  But are the military tribunals that these men would have otherwise faced not part of our judicial system? Or does he not remember being on the losing end of the vote on the Military Commissions Act of 2006?

Politics is supposed to stop at the water’s edge. Unfortunately, these days that water is in the Potomac River.