The Prosecution of KSM: Unintended Consequences

The stench of hypocrisy rising from the gut of conservatives over the weekend is overwhelming. You see, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM for short) and four other 9/11 terrorists would be tried in the Southern District of New York Federal court. Now we know the GOP is all for good old-fashioned American justice. Perhaps if a Republican administration had made this decision, we’d be hearing about what a proud moment it will be when these thugs get their just deserts in the city they tried to bring down. But alas, the Attorney General in a Democratic administration made the decision and now it is damn near treason!

The folks who want to impeach Obama just for breathing, list a bunch of imaginary horribles for why a federal trial is a bad idea. It makes New York vulnerable. That’s the claim of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (“America’s Mayor”, cough, cough). Of course he didn’t feel that way when the original World Trade Center bombers were brought to justice in New York. Giuliani was all for it then. Rudy also conveniently ignores that Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th 9/11 hijacker was tried and convicted in Virginia and Virginia still stands today, never remotely in danger of any terrorist strike.

Conservatives who are the first to scream and shout about the beauty of our constitution and criminal justice system seem to have suddenly lost all faith in it. What if KSM gets off on a technicality? Well let’s face a practical reality here folks. KSM has so many pending charges against him that if he beats the first charge (not likely), he’ll go right back into custody awaiting trial on the next charge. You won’t see KSM enjoying soul food at Sylvia’s any time in the near future.

So what is really bothering our conservative brothers? What is the “technicality” that really has them apoplectic? Well you see, our country which prides itself on the rule of law, shouted most loudly from the rooftops by chest beating right-wingers, was a baaaaaaad boy over the past eight years. We did nasty things to our prisoners during that time. Some call it torture but just about everyone can agree it was nasty. Now under the rule of law any evidence obtained from a prisoner who suffered under your watch, usually gets tossed out during a trial. As luck would have it, these fanatical thugs left an evidence trail so long and so obvious that convictions will be easy even with the smell of torture in the air. But nevertheless, just the thought that our behavior may be on trial has conservatives in an uproar.

The truth is any public scrutiny of what we did to these defendants while in custody will be an unintended but completely deserved consequence of a federal trial. Dick Cheney and his band of 24 devotees acted with such blatant disregard for international law, that their supporters are now crapping in their pants at the thought that we may have rendered KSM and other Gitmo detainees un-prosecutable. I believe Eric Holder has found a path toward conviction that detours around Cheney’s shenanigans.

There is satisfaction and dare I say justice in watching conservatives squirm right now. What they have claimed was perfectly legal treatment of detainees suddenly has them worried about how legal it will appear in a real court. Richard Nixon once told David Frost (I paraphrase here) that nothing the President does can be illegal. That was the arrogance that informed the Bush administration. Over the next couple of years of prosecutions, we liberals will show the world how our criminal justice system is supposed to work and in so doing, we will atone for the sins of the past eight years.

We will walk it like conservatives talk it. That is poetic justice indeed!

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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88 thoughts on “The Prosecution of KSM: Unintended Consequences

  1. Contrary to what the leftists would have the world believe, conservatives are not disillusioned with the capabilities of the criminal justice system. But let us examine what is happening here, in the leftists own words- the Prosecution of KSM in our criminal justice system.

    This administration has done what many of us feared; it has retroceded back to a pre-9/11 mindset of treating terrorism as a criminal matter. The first signs came on day one, when Obama- without a care or a plan- announced the closure of GITMO, for no other reason than perception. Then there was the announcement that the term “Global War on Terror” would no longer be used. Next came the announcement that the White House was going to take over high value prisoner interrogations and its subsequent placement of a FBI man in charge, followed closely by the administration’s witch hunt against the CIA. Finally came the announcement by AG “free the black panthers” Holder that only some of the GITMO detainees would be tried in New York in federal court.

    We are at war, we’ve been at war for several years now beginning, contrary to popular belief, not at 9/11 but many years before as early as ’93 in the initial World Trade Center bombing. Because we were slow to accept that we were at war does not change the fact that they believe they are at war, and are acting accordingly. Consider how long it took for this nation to come to the realization of this simple fact: World Trade Center bombing 1, the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings, the USS Cole, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the Foley assassination in Jordan and finally WTC 2 on 9/11. How many attacks should it have taken?

    Interrogations are not investigations- this is a fundamental flaw in understanding on the part of the left and this administration. KSM was not questioned so that we could build a legal case for prosecution, he was questioned so we could gather intelligence to fight a war, intelligence that was extremely valuable in understanding and stopping future terrorist attacks.

    There are different rules of engagement for fighting a war than there are for prosecuting crime. They have different intended outcomes, they have different intended motivators. The premise that somehow, criminal prosecutions will validate or repudiate the tactics used to gather intelligence is nonsensical- these are truly apples and oranges.

    But what is readily apparent from this administration is that they would be willing to undermine this nation’s ability to combat groups like al Qaeda to prove a partisan ideological point. And make no bones about it, that is exactly what comes from this. Interrogation techniques are classified for a reason. If the techniques are known, then individuals can train to counter those techniques. We’ve seen it happen many, many times before, and it will happen again. The mindset of this administration vis a vis terrorism is dangerous. I’m not hoping for another attack on this nation, but as a professional counterterrorism expert, I find it difficult to see how the major muscle movements of this administration are anything but counter productive to how we combat al Qaeda and other transnational terrorist groups.

  2. And while we’re on this topic R, explain this to me. Enhanced interrogation techniques like water boarding were developed because there was a significant dearth of information on al Qaeda following the 9/11 attacks. Why? Why was there a dearth of information on a group that had repeatedly attacked us in major attack after major attack since at least 1993?

    Could it possibly be related to the fact the last Dem administration- Clinton- treated terrorism the exact same way, as a criminal issue?

  3. To prove a previous point, this is the al Qaeda manual, which was captured, leaked and posted for general consumption. Look at the manual R, see how they prepare and train themselves and then tell me how anything that comes from this circus will not hurt us?

    Better yet, tell me what the benefit is from trying these guys in New York versus the Military Tribunals that will be used for the other detainees?

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/jihadmanual.html

  4. Holder’s al Qaeda Incentive Plan
    The worse the terrorist, the more rights he has?

    When it comes to terrorists, you would think that an al Qaeda operative who targets an American mom sitting in her office or a child on a flight back home is many degrees worse than a Taliban soldier picked up after a firefight with U.S. Army troops.

    Your instinct would be correct, because at the heart of terrorism is the monstrous idea that the former is as legitimate a target as the latter. Unfortunately, by dispatching Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda leaders to federal criminal court for trial, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be undermining this distinction. And the perverse message that decision will send to terrorists all over this dangerous world is this: If you kill civilians on American soil you will have greater protections than if you attack our military overseas.

    “A fundamental purpose of rules such as the Geneva Conventions is to give those at war an incentive for more civilized behavior—and not targeting civilians is arguably the most sacred of these principles,” says William Burck, a former federal prosecutor and Bush White House lawyer who dealt with national security issues. “It demolishes this principle to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed even more legal protections than the Geneva Conventions provide a uniformed soldier fighting in a recognized war zone.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704431804574539792069224238.html

  5. completely agree with shoutabyss. For a party that loves America and touts the constitution they are sure willing to abandon it out of fear. After 9/11 this country and the Bush administration did everything related to fear in my opinion. Once we started doing that we abandoned our principals.

    Now because the obama administration is showing clear, concise, leadership on this issue, they are seeing their party for what it was. A bunch of republicans acting out of fear trampling on the constitution.

  6. I never thought I would get to this point of disgust, but I now find myself hoping this does turn into a circus with chants of Allahu Akbar, dragging America’s name thru the mud, inflaming the Muslim world, fatwas on the jurors, endangering anybody that travels globally with jihad. I hope it blows up in our face as Obama is trying to salvage his miserable Presidency and is pulling out all the stops. Nothing he has done has worked.

    I think I’m going to join Rabbit and take a hiatus from this place. The hypocrite calling people a hypocrite is getting to be a little too much. Fuck the smoke screen about Geneva Convention, the waterboarding argument about complete and utter legalese bullshit detracting from the real purpose of trying to appease the KKKos crowd. Remember, this is a man and his accomplices that terrorized a city and killed 3,000+ people in cold blood and even that can’t get the left away from politics.

    Rabbit was right about you Rutherford. You’re not interested in real debate. You are a rank propagandist that can’t even admit you were wrong about Obama and this incredibly foolish proposition. The racism charges didn’t stick when confronted with the truth so all you’re left with is to go back to OMG waterboarding and the like. The BushCheney bashing is not working anymore.

    I explained very clearly to you that there was absolutely nothing to be gained from this. These men will never be acquitted and you know it, they will never be executed even if they receive the death penalty, and this will truly give people opportunity to inflame the Muslim world. This is to appease a base of people like you that know hate and criticism, but know little else.

    Your bogus charges will not work this time I predict. There will be no sympathy for the terrorists as you’re trying to invoke to damage Cheney & Co under the guise of “law”. And if there is justice, we will once again have a 9/11. May it happen in Middlebury, CT, this time.

  7. Sensico, this is certainly one of your most intellectually vacant comments ever.

    Who’s abandoning the Constitution? For someone who hasn’t read the document, I find it more than just a little disingenuous to suddenly reference it. But here is an interesting question- how does the Constitution apply to KSM? Really, explain this to us all.

    Right after you do that, why don’t you explain why it is OK to try some of the detainees via military tribunal, but some must be tried in federal court? While your tiny brain ponders this, also try to come up with a viable reason to do this in the first place.

    You can’t, and the negatives associated with this far exceed any symbolic value that may or may not come from it.

    And since you have absolutely ZERO experience in dealing with these matters, no knowledge of the problem set in general, and a complete lack of systemic understanding of what this could potentially do to the fight against terror, I must admit that I’m not surprised that you extricate your head from your ass just long enough to make a complete fool of yourself.

    Please reinsert said head up said ass and just shut up. I’d tell you to get smart on the issue, but I’ve lost hope in your ability to self educate…

  8. Gorilla, I’ll address the substance of your comments later but for now, please don’t pull rank on Sensico. I don’t care how much of a counter-terrorism expert you are. As I’ve said in the past, I respect your service and I value your opinions based on your experience but there are folks with your training and experience who disagree with you. I’m more than willing to engage in honest debate here but the “I’m right because I’ve served” approach is not going to fly.

  9. I think I’m going to join Rabbit and take a hiatus from this place.

    Sadly, you and Rabbit will take your hiatus because the trap has been set and you are caged. Your hypocritical wanton abuse of this country has finally come back to haunt you in the most terrible way imaginable. Your own conduct could, according to your worst fears, allow a savage terrorist to go free.

    I don’t believe that will happen but as I’ve said before, if it does happen because of the torture program, you and your Cheney fan club can deal with the fallout.

    You hide behind your patriotic bluster, call folks haters and traitors when in fact you could care less about human rights as a principle. Your “reality” trumps principle. You are now staring at the true consequence of misconduct. One of our other readers, Ben, said in a prior thread that we must do “everything” to protect America. When I asked him if that was a slippery slope, he seemed to think not. You’re in his league. You’d burn the whole country down “to save it.”

    What has you and Rabbit so burned up Tex is that you are caught between the rock and the hard place. Your total justification for past misconduct (a love for our freedoms and justice) has been totally undermined by your refusal to let our justice system do its job. You’re caged and you’re incredibly pissed about it.

  10. And it does seem to appear you pushed at least one guy’s button.

    LOL thanks for the props, Shout. You need to visit more often. You will see that I push buttons on a regular basis. 🙂

  11. R, please. If you want debate, then tell her to debate. Her comments, as usual, are intellectually vacant as usual.

    It would be pointless for me to point out how many times she been asked, yet failed, to intellectually defend her crap. Typically what happens is that she, or you, cry foul that folks are picking on the pore little dimwit and that we shoudl lighten up.

    I’ll look forward to your substantive comments. As for other CT folks who disagree with me on this, I also welcome your identifying them for general consumption in this debate.

  12. I’ll say it again, the premise that somehow, criminal prosecutions will validate or repudiate the tactics used to gather intelligence is nonsensical- these are truly apples and oranges.\

    No one is trapped here.

  13. Well there was a time, back in the day on R’s blog or elsewhere when I had time to sit here and find articles blah, blah, blah to prove my point. Fortunately, I have better things to do and I have proven through my blog over the year(s) that I am quite sufficient at supporting my statements. I come here, give my opinion and you either disagree or you don’t, then I pretty much move on to the next topic.

    Tex and DR are taking a break from this blog because they don’t want to address the issue. They usually feel they have to come here and defend the Bush administration and blast the Obama administration. If they didn’t leave after R’s constant blog posts obsessing over teabagger signs and Sarah Palin, then that’s the only conclusion I can reach when this and the last post was very substantive.

  14. And I rest my case. She comes in, spouts off crap out of her ass, and then runs away when she is called on it. She doesn’t debate here because she can’t block anyone and there isn’t any semblance of opposition at the propaganda rag she calls home.

    Again, I rest my case…

  15. Gorilla,

    I think better defined as sista slug, not even worthy of rebuke. Ignore her, as she is not worth anything but cleaning your latrine. Even then, she may be too stupid to complete the task.
    ———————————————————–

    Rutherford

    Your hypocritical wanton abuse of this country has finally come back to haunt you in the most terrible way imaginable. Your own conduct could, according to your worst fears, allow a savage terrorist to go free.

    What a joke. 😆 You and your worthless ilk have no power, nor do you have control like you think. You can’t even handle the criticism of the tea parties and FOX News. What are you going to do when a million good men decide to cut you loose for a real coward?

    There will be no terrorist going free, but I sure wish it would happen. Let them go right in the heart of Manhattan, courtesy of racist O.J. court rubes.

    Nothing but a dog and pony show of desperate men, inherently weak but still evil. That would include you. All that will transpire is a stage set for Khalid and those “tortured” souls to make a spectacle for months on end. Guaranteed to make a mockery of real justice and nothing more than a three-ring circus. Your Minister of Propaganda and Clown Holder with the help of the ACLU and Soros will watch this blow up in their face – too bad it can’t be literally.

    My only concern is that it so raises the ire of our nation, that we take the ball of Obama’s continual dismal economic and war strategy selling out the country while doing so. With the attention span of a two year old, Americans are much too slow to catch on and lose focus of the bigger “progressive” plan at hand.

    No Rutherford, my attitude has nothing to do with feeling trapped. But it is the final straw…And I think deep down, you know that. That’s why you wrote this piece of trash – because you’re pissed that you are fighting a losing battle in the only place where you have won before – the court of public opinion; once misled from your monopoly on information being disseminated.

    Like a citizen once said to the corrupted leader: “The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end [Rutherford].”

  16. Let them go right in the heart of Manhattan, courtesy of racist O.J. court rubes.

    Now this is a curious statement. Are you suggesting that a jury will set KSM free because he is a “minority”? That’s the only thing I can infer from a reference to the OJ court.

    P.S. Gorilla, I’m not ignoring you … just going after the low hanging fruit first.

  17. the premise that somehow, criminal prosecutions will validate or repudiate the tactics used to gather intelligence is nonsensical- these are truly apples and oranges

    G, not apples and oranges at all. I see this as a failure on your part to connect the dots.

    You’ve correctly drawn a distinction between interrogation designed at finding guilt and interrogation designed to prevent further terrorism. The problem is by allowing an anything goes approach to the latter you endanger the efficacy of the former. If the interrogation tactics used on KSM compromise a civilian trial of him, as many of your conservative friends fear, then the connection between the tactics used and subsequent prosecution is obvious, hardly apples and oranges.

    One thing I’ve been hoping you would discuss are the rules of evidence in a military trial. There seem to be folks on this blog and elsewhere who think KSM would have no constitutional protections in a military trial My instincts tell me this is false. Could you elaborate?

    If it is as I suspect, a military trial should be equally offensive to the folks who want KSM to have no rights. So then, what is the solution? Let him rot in Gitmo without any formal conviction and punishment? Does that honor the victims of 9/11?

    I’ll answer your other comments later.

  18. And the perverse message that decision will send to terrorists all over this dangerous world is this: If you kill civilians on American soil you will have greater protections than if you attack our military overseas.

    I will have to edit these comments later with citations but for now, I heard someone say that the justice received in civilian court will be much swifter than in a military tribunal. The truth is if we want a reliable proven method to prosecute and punish, we have one and it’s our civilian judicial system.

  19. I’m saying you pack enough Densico and Rutherford rubes on the court, and there is no telling what happens. You get a hung jury, waste millions of dollars, and back they go to GITMO they go with nothing accomplished. Standard fare for President POS.

    Speaking of low hanging fruit, why don’t you try to answer some of those hundreds of slow, fat rabbits ones I gave you over the last months that you conveniently ignored. Cat got your cliched tongue? Or is it being a minority, you’re not empowered to answer? You’ve got more frickin’ excuses than McDonald’s has fries.

    As usual, there was no answer. In that regard, you’re getting as worthless as inane Sensico and General Chen. Congratulations, company with a flunky and used car salesman. But heaven forbid that Elric didn’t answer one of yours.

    Coward…and gutless traitor.

  20. You’ve correctly drawn a distinction between interrogation designed at finding guilt and interrogation designed to prevent further terrorism. The problem is by allowing an anything goes approach to the latter you endanger the efficacy of the former. If the interrogation tactics used on KSM compromise a civilian trial of him, as many of your conservative friends fear, then the connection between the tactics used and subsequent prosecution is obvious, hardly apples and oranges.” — R

    No, it only shows that war and our federal criminal justice systems have incompatabilities. R, you are fundamentally not understanding this- war is not a crime.

    We interrogated KSM not to prosecute him. We interrogated him to gather intelligence to further engage in combat operations against an enemy. If you want to argue any semblance of legalese vis a vis KSM, then argue the applicability of the Geneva conventions, but even then, we are not obligated to try prisoners of war in our judicial system, so again I ask you, why are we prosecuting KSM in the federal system?

    Your arguement is a house of cards, if you can’t apply the Geneva conventions- and there is serious debate on its applicability- then how can you apply Constitutional protections? Even if we were to assume Genva convention apply, again, why are we conferring Constitutional protections? You can’t argue this logically, which is why you’ve resorted to name calling.

    Tell me, should the Nazi’s have been sent to New York for federal prosecution? Or maybe a better example, should the Japenese have been sent for prosecution? Your answer to this will be the fundamental premise behind everything we discuss on this topic further.

  21. Like a moth to a flame…
    I so don’t want to feed your delusion of conservatives here Rutherford but your post is so outrageous I can’t help myself. It’s like being in a waiting room somewhere with a soap on the tv. You try not to look but creeaaakkkk you’re head turns to it.
    First and foremost you’re crazy if you think a military trial of any type is less efficient than a civilian based process. You are delusional to think foreign nationals, that are sworn enemies of the USA,should be afforded full Constitutional rights. You show an incredibly pompous side when you call out conservative outrage at this. It is totally consistent with conservative thought. Think immigration….its not the immigrant part its the illegal part. But just like that issue you libs just fail to see reason.
    Rutherford you’ve actually written some good stuff,this isn’t it. Sure you’ve fired up your opposition but that doesn’t make your point right.

  22. Perhaps if a Republican administration had made this decision, we’d be hearing about what a proud moment it will be when these thugs get their just deserts in the city they tried to bring down.

    Seriously, I almost vomited when I read this.NO REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION WOULD’VE MADE THIS DECISION.
    And it’s not about xenophobia,racism or ignorance to the rule of law. It’s common sense,consistency with the military action we’re involved in, and love of country.

  23. Didn’t KSM sing the praises of his glorious achievement before he ever went surfing with the CIA.

    Yes, I believe he did … one of the reasons his subsequent torture will not likely derail the prosecution.

  24. The actual prosecution of a blatantly guilty person is a forgone conclusion. the damage,and its damage that will fail to provide ANY HEALING ANYWHERE is the discovery phase and ensuing circus. Even if the judge squelches some of it (yeah right) get your Al Qaeda recruiting poster templates out cuz theys gonna be due for some updating.

  25. Alfie,

    There will be absolutely nothing positive accomplished at the courtroom carnival as I’m sure you are aware. Rutherford and his flock of lost sheep only want this because Obama has become a joke, the One’s policies are failing like the proverbial dog they are, and now the moonbats panicked, revert back to their true self. We’ve come a long way baby in ten months from the Hope & Change tour. 😆

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the left’s wish for justice, as they are incapable of recognizing justice; that is unless you think that like they do that Dick Cheney, the military, the CIA the unholy trinity. They don’t know what else to do with themselves now that they’ve been exposed. They have to find something to divert attention.

    The collective cabal fellatio has come due from George Soros and the ACLU. Rutherford’s mouth is gaped and ready as indicated by this piece of crap he penned. Densico volunteered as subject matter expert with a mouth big enough for all, but was summarily rejected due the forked tongue.

  26. NO REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION WOULD’VE MADE THIS DECISION.

    Excuse me? Who was running the White House when Zacharias Moussaoui was prosecuted in Virginia? What was your opinion of that decision?

  27. Tell me, should the Nazi’s have been sent to New York for federal prosecution? Or maybe a better example, should the Japenese have been sent for prosecution?

    I’m glad you said “better example” because the Germans and the Japanese are indeed “apples and oranges”. The Germans never attacked us domestically or one of our territories. So there would be no US jurisdiction in which to try them.

    As for the Japanese, we declared war on the Japanese and hence were at “war” with them. I’d say rounding up a bunch of Japanese-Americans and putting them in camps amounted to persecution if not outright prosecution. But I digress. We were at war with Japan.

    This is where I believe you have built a house of cards (and Alfie too, who I can tell buys into this). Al Qaeda is not a country. It is a politically/religiously motivated criminal enterprise. Our “war on terror” falls into the same category as the war on drugs and the war on illiteracy. It is playing with language to stir up the necessary patriotic fervor to send thousands of our men and women into foreign countries, some never to return. I for one am delighted to see the Obama administration framing this differently.

    The other day on “Meet the Press”, Hillary Clinton used the phrase “syndicate of terror”. I thought this was sensational because it properly captures the nature of our enemy.

    There are all sorts of problems involved in using standard “war” conventions in the current conflict. From what I have read, POW’s and enemy combatants can be held until the end of the conflict. There will never be an end to this conflict. Terrorists will always exist. So do we let every enemy combatant die of old age in our custody? There must come a time when we render some judgment on them. There are two choices. Military commission/tribunal or civilian court. Again, from what I have read, our current military commission process in in flux. As a result, enemy combatants will not receive swift justice. In the meantime, we have a civilian legal system, time tested, and reasonably effective.

    The Council on Foreign Relations published a debate back in 2007 that makes it clear that right minded people can disagree on this topic:

    http://www.cfr.org/publication/12555/are_civilian_courts_appropriate_for_prosecuting_individuals_classified_as_enemy_combatants.html

  28. Could it possibly be related to the fact the last Dem administration- Clinton- treated terrorism the exact same way, as a criminal issue?

    I would submit it was not treated adequately even as a criminal issue. You imply that military pursuit of an enemy is ipso facto more effective than criminal pursuit of an enemy. That theory has been disproved by our failure to capture Osama bin Laden and our failure in Afghanistan after eight years of military exercises.

    Since 9/11, virtually every terrorist plot we have thwarted on our shores involved Intelligence and law enforcement. We don’t have soldiers smoking out terror cells in Detroit.

    On the topic of this trial being a huge al Qaeda propaganda machine, do you really think it is any worse than our “occupation” of Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s all these terrorists need to recruit believers. They don’t need our civilian trials. As Karen Greenberg stated in the article I cited earlier, the more we depart from our constitutional principles, the more al Qaeda wins. Their goal is to disrupt our society, not only via violence but by changing the very fabric of who we are. Again, this civilian trial will be a bright light shining for all our enemies to see. “You will not bring us down to your level. We will beat you using our rule book, not yours.”

    I find it so hard to fathom why patriotic conservatives are so willing to spit in the face of righteousness.

  29. damage that will fail to provide ANY HEALING ANYWHERE

    Alfie, I’ve seen interviews of 9/11 families and my estimate is about 50/50 on support of this trial. There are some who feel that the trial will bring them closure. And they get an extra kick out of the thugs having justice meted out to them in the city they tried to destroy.

    There are others, for whom this is too painful. I understand that also.

    There is a third type that just wants the prisoners killed without any adjudication. I understand that too. But that’s not the America we live in. I’d hope you’d agree.

  30. I would submit it was not treated adequately even as a criminal issue. You imply that military pursuit of an enemy is ipso facto more effective than criminal pursuit of an enemy. That theory has been disproved by our failure to capture Osama bin Laden and our failure in Afghanistan after eight years of military exercises. ” – R

    Imply, it is a fact of reason! Again, you have a fundamental misunderstanging on this.

    Consider that our fundamental premise in our criminal justice system is justice and innocence until proven guilty. The system is inherently setup to be unfair and prejudicial against the prosecution with the premise that it is better to let a guilty man free than too wrongly convict and innocent man.

    This is not how we fight war. We’re not interested in fairness or justice in war. We execute operations with extreme prejudice and through overwhelming force until the enemy submits to our political will.

    Again, you have no logical position to stand on here. Your claim and call to righteousness in this is ludicrous.

    Since 9/11, virtually every terrorist plot we have thwarted on our shores involved Intelligence and law enforcement. We don’t have soldiers smoking out terror cells in Detroit. ” – R

    No, we don’t. Instead, they are smoking out cells overseas which are providing actionable intelligence applicable to Detroit.

    On the topic of this trial being a huge al Qaeda propaganda machine, do you really think it is any worse than our “occupation” of Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s all these terrorists need to recruit believers. They don’t need our civilian trials. As Karen Greenberg stated in the article I cited earlier, the more we depart from our constitutional principles, the more al Qaeda wins. Their goal is to disrupt our society, not only via violence but by changing the very fabric of who we are. Again, this civilian trial will be a bright light shining for all our enemies to see. “You will not bring us down to your level. We will beat you using our rule book, not yours.” – R

    Do you have any idea how much al Qaeda is reeling from Iraq? They have taken enormous popular hits for their actions in Iraq, and it is questionable as to whether they can recover from that. You have cells and groups who now refuse to publically align with AQ because of the huge hit they have on their credibility. So really, be careful not to use examples you know little about.

    This trial will be a witch hunt. It isn’t one that will be used to focus on the prosecution of KSM, it’ll be the side trial used by the left playing off of the KSM defense to publically try the Bush administration. You know it, and I know it. KSM will bemoan something and the ACLU and other leftist groups will then send out their talking heads excoriating the previous administration in agreement, but with the shallow veil of KSM criticism.

    You still have not answered several critical questions I’ve posed. Really, you think time is the critical issue here? What gives and who cares how long it takes?

    Do the Geneva conventions apply?

  31. This is where I believe you have built a house of cards (and Alfie too, who I can tell buys into this). Al Qaeda is not a country. It is a politically/religiously motivated criminal enterprise. Our “war on terror” falls into the same category as the war on drugs and the war on illiteracy. It is playing with language to stir up the necessary patriotic fervor to send thousands of our men and women into foreign countries, some never to return. I for one am delighted to see the Obama administration framing this differently.” – R

    This says it all. I happen to believe that the Obama administration agrees with you on this, which finally says that yes, they- and you- are firmly ensconced in a pre-9/11 mindset.

    We are clearly in what is called 4th generational warfare, which is the decentralization and decline of state monopoly on warfare. So no, the War on Terror is not the same as the War on Drug or the War on Poverty. Again, you are showing your lack of depth on a key element of your argument.

  32. Was watching the seante hearing with AG Holder and holder called the 9/11 attacks an “act of war”. So tell me, still think it is on par with drugs, poverty or illiteracy?

  33. Rutherford #31
    Read how he had to be banned from the trial. How he made a mockery of the trial,called for AQ members to testify.
    Then realize that he was actually captured by US LAW ENFORCEMENT in the UNITED STATES and placed into CIVILIAN custody.
    Now KSM on the other hand. Never arrested or apparently detained on US soil.
    Call it splitting hairs if you like but there is an unfortunate difference. I personally would’ve taken either up very high in a chopper and sent them out the side door.
    **btw my capitalization isn’t me shouting at you just making a point without code

  34. Do you have any idea how much al Qaeda is reeling from Iraq? They have taken enormous popular hits for their actions in Iraq, and it is questionable as to whether they can recover from that. You have cells and groups who now refuse to publically align with AQ because of the huge hit they have on their credibility.

    So, are you now saying al Qaeda is no longer the threat and we are now chasing unaffiliated terrorist cells?

    If this is true, and I have no problem accepting your premise, then that makes this “war” all the more amorphous in that we now have no stated enemy to combat. The enemy now becomes anyone who might launch an attack. This further makes the “war” unwinnable and infinite in length.

    You said you don’t care about time. So, you really see no problem with holding enemy combatants indefinitely?

    I don’t deny that this trial will be politicized and a “shadow” trial will take place in which Bush/Cheney are the defendants. I may be naive but I do believe that is a by-product of the prosecution and not the primary motive of the AG’s office.

    I’ll go back and review where I’ve not answered your questions. Some of what you ask requires research quite frankly as I’ve never claimed to be an expert on treaties or military law. For example, I have a high level understanding that the Bush administration did their damnedest to make the war on terror “special” and not subject to the Geneva conventions. I also know I read that the United Nations, late in the Bush admin objected to that administration’s conduct, specifically if I recall correctly in the area of military commissions.

    More later.

  35. We are clearly in what is called 4th generational warfare, which is the decentralization and decline of state monopoly on warfare.

    I like that. Seriously. I can very easily accept the premise of a 4th generational warfare (in the same way I can accept Web 2.0).

    So if we accept that war is no longer what it once was, no longer state-centric, then my next question to you is do we make things up as we go along? Or do we work with the United Nations and other international bodies to codify rules of conduct in this new age? I know that the current administration is struggling to make military commissions fall in line with our constitutional principles. Do you think that a bad idea? Do you see any value in the civilized countries of the world agreeing on new rules of engagement in this new evolution of warfare?

  36. Flashback To 2006: Obama Says KSM Will Get ‘Full Military Trial’ While Debating Military Commissions Act of 2006

    G, here is the problem with quoting from our friend’s favorite web site. The video is of Obama debating an amendment about military commissions and his entire statement about KSM receiving a military trial is HYPOTHETICAL arguing for the amendment. He did not say KSM will get a full military trial. The context clearly shows this is a hypothetical discussion.

    Gorilla, WZ does this all the time. They use a wiz-bang headline to sucker the reader in but upon further examination the headline proves false. Now I kinda suspect you posted this just to zing me on Elric’s behalf. That’s fine. But really, if you want to be taken seriously, stay away from WZ as a source.

    P.S. If I’m not mistaken you quote quite often from IBD and while I obviously don’t like their political bent, I consider them a highly reputable source.

  37. Was watching the seante hearing with AG Holder and holder called the 9/11 attacks an “act of war”.

    Don’t know what hearing you’re talking about but sounds like Eric is trying to have it both ways.

  38. So, are you now saying al Qaeda is no longer the threat and we are now chasing unaffiliated terrorist cells?” – R

    Wow, is hyperbole really all you’ve got? This is your serious attempt to discuss this? Did I say al Qaeda was not a threat? No, I said al Qaeda has a PR problem now because of Iraq and it is impacting their relations with other groups as well as with the Islamic community writ large.

    If this is true, and I have no problem accepting your premise, then that makes this “war” all the more amorphous in that we now have no stated enemy to combat. The enemy now becomes anyone who might launch an attack. This further makes the “war” unwinnable and infinite in length.” – R

    No, it just makes your arguments all that more infantile.

    You said you don’t care about time. So, you really see no problem with holding enemy combatants indefinitely?” – R

    Nope, no problem at all. And if you did your research, you’d know that is the standard within the Geneva conventions. But again I ask you, does this apply to them? Do you consider terrorists captured on the battlefield to be legal or illegal combatants? This is important.

    I don’t deny that this trial will be politicized and a “shadow” trial will take place in which Bush/Cheney are the defendants. I may be naive but I do believe that is a by-product of the prosecution and not the primary motive of the AG’s office.” – R

    Holder said that he believes that justice is better served by trying these folks in the federal system versus military tribunal, but also states that military tribunals are completely and fully functional alternatives. He never articulates what it is specifically that we get from a federal trial that we do not get via military tribunal. Maybe you can clarify that for us- what justice comes from federal court that is not attainable in the military tribunal system?

    And yes, you are naïve…

    I’ll go back and review where I’ve not answered your questions. Some of what you ask requires research quite frankly as I’ve never claimed to be an expert on treaties or military law. For example, I have a high level understanding that the Bush administration did their damnedest to make the war on terror “special” and not subject to the Geneva conventions. I also know I read that the United Nations, late in the Bush admin objected to that administration’s conduct, specifically if I recall correctly in the area of military commissions.” – R

    They didn’t try to make it special, they recognized that the conventions were developed for conventional warfare and fail to address the issues of 4th generational, asymmetric warfare. When you look at the definition of a combatant, there are requirements. Armies are protected by the conventions when they follow the rules of the conventions, but if/when the break the convention rules, they are no longer covered. Al Qaeda is not a legal combatant, therefore the conventions do not apply to them, yet they are an enemy we are at war with. Even if they were legal combatant- again, which they are not- we have never tried enemy combatants in our federal judicial system. They have always been tried and punished via military tribunal.

    Again, why are we conferring Constitutional protections to KSM who was not captured on US soil and is not a US citizen?

  39. “Don’t know what hearing you’re talking about but sounds like Eric is trying to have it both ways.”

    He’s liberal, we expect this…

  40. I find it very hard to believe that someone as reputable as Pat Buchanan writes for WND, which is on a par with WZ IMHO. Be that as it may, Buchanan does not address the trial of Zacharias Moussaoui. As far as I’m concerned much of his article falls in the category of fear-mongering, much along the lines of those who oppose moving Gitmo stateside … lots of doomsday scenarios that really don’t withstand scrutiny.

    Most egregious however is the following comment which I am 99% sure is incorrect:

    “Under the Geneva Conventions, soldiers who commit atrocities are shot when caught.”

    If that is true, then when are war criminals brought before the International Criminal Court in the Hague? He overstates his case here.

  41. Read how he had to be banned from the trial. How he made a mockery of the trial,called for AQ members to testify.

    I’m pretty sure Charlie Manson made a mockery of his trial also. That alone does not disqaulify someone from civilian trial.

    As for your other distinctions (captured on US soil by law enforcement), I will grant you those. That is one of the things that makes the AG’s decision worth debating.

  42. I like that. Seriously. I can very easily accept the premise of a 4th generational warfare (in the same way I can accept Web 2.0).” – R

    Really, do you want to get into military strategic theory with me?

    So if we accept that war is no longer what it once was, no longer state-centric, then my next question to you is do we make things up as we go along? Or do we work with the United Nations and other international bodies to codify rules of conduct in this new age? I know that the current administration is struggling to make military commissions fall in line with our constitutional principles. Do you think that a bad idea? Do you see any value in the civilized countries of the world agreeing on new rules of engagement in this new evolution of warfare?” – R

    Sometimes. If there is no rule, then what do you do? We apply the rules as far as we can, but when they clearly have no bearing, then you have to move on.

    The UN can’t even define terrorism, do you truly expect an honest attempt to address the terrorism writ large, to include defining the rules of engagement? Have you ever listened to the folks who talk at the General Assembly?

    In a word, no. The Constitution applies to how the government engages with us, as citizens, to include how international agreements are formed and applied. It has no bearing on how we conduct war, that is the purview of international law, and when there is nothing in international law that applies, then the state has the say. Civilized states have agreed to how war is fought, it is the uncivilized terrorists groups that have not, therefore no, I have little sympathy for then as we engage them on the battle field, to include forced head showers.

  43. Really, do you want to get into military strategic theory with me?

    Damn G, you took that as sarcastic and I was not being sarcastic. I was simply saying that the notion of certain constructs (like how we build web sites) changes over time and warfare should be no different. That’s why I said “seriously”.

  44. Do you consider terrorists captured on the battlefield to be legal or illegal combatants?

    What I “consider” is totally irrelevant. There are definitions to guide us and from my understanding legal combatants have sworn allegiance to a sovereign state and are identifiable by uniform. By that definition, terrorists are illegal combatants.

  45. The Constitution applies to how the government engages with us, as citizens, to include how international agreements are formed and applied. It has no bearing on how we conduct war,

    Be that as it may, the Constitution sets forth principles of conduct. To say that our wartime behavior should fly in the face of these principles is to say that America should be a nation of hypocrites.

  46. One of the key ideas expressed by Cohen in one of his articles is how we actually deflate jihad by treating this man like a common criminal thug. You can scream about 75 virgins till the cows come home, as far as we’re concerned you’re a common thug and your religious ravings will simply go down as the words of a mad man. (Again, much like Charlie Manson.)

  47. i think the magic number is 72 virgins ,but hey who cares?. I have to say that jihad is like beauty-it’s all in the eye of the beholder. We can treat jihadists like thugs,terrorists,dogs,VIP’s it doesn’t matter. They are always gonna come out on top in their minds.
    We put him on civil trial they make recruiting videos highlighting our weakness,our softness.
    We shoot him in the head on primetime at ground zero or the pentagon or the field in PA and we’re cast as barbarians. We deflate nothing because it’s not in our control.
    We will never ever agree on this that’s for sure. Giving the foreign nationals Constitutional rights is wrong wrong wrong.

  48. Rutherford 51. it strikes me that you seem to have bought in fully to the term terrorist. i see now yet another reason we’re never gonna agree on this topics many points.
    Using the term terrorist for these guys drastically cheapens what they’re about. No matter to them since they don’t care but seriously it doesn’t help us.
    I’m thinking you really want to roll over and pull the blankets up nice and snugly and think you’re living in a time that you are not. The genie is out of the bottle folks and I can’t see how anyone can think there is a “going back” moment in this.

  49. The problem with your last statement is that it doesn’t matter so much what we say. If the Islamic community views and treats these folks as loons, then yes, that would have tremendous effect. Unfortunately, that doesn’t/isn’t happening. Our not taking it seriously results in wonderful events like 9/11, etc, etc, etc.

    Ideology versus Geo-Politics…
    The defeat of terrorism in general, is going to have to happen in the ideological front. The use of kinetic force can eliminate tangible aspects of terrorist groups, but it cannot destroy the founding motivations that fostered the movement in the first place. The problem is that the West does not think per se in an ideological manner, rather, the West’s approach is more geo-political. This is a fundamental difference in the Western culture versus that of the Middle East.

    In the West, the traits revolve around individualism, the ability to adapt, ingenuity, certain inalienable freedoms and a sense of justice. Westerners feel that they are the masters of their own destinies. In the Middle East, it is much different. There, the focus is on collectivism, honor, generosity, hospitality and eloquence. They are fatalistic and associate both good and bad with the will of god. These traits are not necessarily mutually exclusive; however, they do not translate directly together. So the statements and actions of one are rarely placed in the proper context by the other.

    This is extended in the way both cultures address problems. In the West, rationality is the paradigm used; what is the problem, what are the elements of the problem, and how can it be solved, thus eliminating the problem. This is not how the Middle East deals with adversity; there it is emotionally based. How does this problem make you feel, how can you address this to make you feel better, what is the action you can take to eliminate the bad feelings.

    Thus, in the West, a solution may be generated for a problem that is unpopular, but it is the only way to properly address the issue, so it is implemented. This does not happen in the Middle East. If the solution appears worse than the problem, even if the negative aspects are short term, then the solution will not be accepted and another solution that is not as difficult to accept will be generated.

    Enter the conflict of Iraq, which is considered wise or foolish dependent on the paradigm used to address problems. An argument can be made by those that focus on a strategy of ideology that the conflict in Iraq is providing, to use a borrowed term, political oxygen to the radical ideological movement. Many from this side of the argument vehemently contend that Iraq has exponentially complicated the situation and has sown the seeds of the next generation of jihadi fighters.

    Iraq also did not address the ideology of radical Islamic extremism. There is little argument on the evils of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and he was more or less an accepted, if contained, malevolent force by the surrounding Arab states. So on a political level, Saddam was not loved by anyone, rather quite the opposite, and even on a religious level, he was considered by most in the Islamic community to be a poor Muslim, even an apostate in certain fundamentalist circles. So why is there such a huge backlash against the U.S. for removing Saddam from power?

    This goes back to how the West deals with problems and how the Middle East deals with problems. In the Middle East, a problem will be allowed to smolder until it either literally dies or an appropriate solution can be developed. Ideological confrontations are dealt with through ideological means. This is not to say that ideological conflicts are only a war of ideas, since they sometimes use their ideology as a justification of violence, which is then applied through their ideological doctrine- a might makes right mentality. But the emotional aspects of a problem will be at center stage, to include the periphery elements associated with certain solution sets. In essence, the Middle East will allow a long term solution to gradually present itself, inshallah[1].

    The West on the other hand, is much more proactive in their focus on addressing problems. They are typically not as long term and they will tackle a situation in the most rationally effective and efficient manner possible, which means that an ideological problem may not have an ideological solution.

    For example, when examined from the geo-political side, Iraq was a key cog in the global war on terror. Its ability, as a pro-Western democracy, to influence Iran- the number one sponsor of global terror- cannot be ignored. Consider this, 65% of Iran’s population is 25 years old or younger. They do not identify with the 1979 revolution and are increasingly dissatisfied with the current system of government in Iran, to include a desire for an improvement in relations with- not interference from- the U.S. There is increasing signs that another revolution will occur in Iran within the next five to ten years, and Iraq will only expedite this.

    A pro-Western democracy in Iraq will have an enormous impact on Syria- the number one sponsor of terror in the region. Bashar Assad already holds tenuously his grip on power in Syria. He does not have the power nor the charisma of his father, Hafez, or the grooming for power that his late brother Basil received. Ethnically, he comes from an estranged sect of Islam- the Alawites- which isn’t universally recognized by the Shi’ah community let alone the 74% majority of Sunni’s within the republic. The effects of Iraq are already apparent in Syria’s forced withdrawal from its 30 year occupation in Lebanon.

    Finally, a pro-Western democracy in Iraq impacts Saudi Arabia- the number one private financier of global terrorism. While the U.S. did not invade Iraq for oil, its oil capacity, which is arguably as much as Saudi Arabia, allows it to present itself as a relief valve to pressure on the Saudi regime. The U.S. gets roughly 13% of its oil from the Middle East, where as Europe and Asia get 75% and 60% respectively. U.S. support of Saudi Arabia has been in effort to support the global economy, because if the oil market is destabilized, it could potentially collapse the European and Asian economies, both of which the U.S. is heavily interwoven with. But a pro-Western democracy in Iraq allows a gradual increase of pressure on the al-Saud regime to crack down on the financial contributors as well as address the radical ideology that comes from the religious segment of the society.

    So in a geo-political sense, the conflict in Iraq was infinitely wiser as it allows one conflict to address three threats- and prevents three conflicts. The problem with Iraq is that it was a politically offensive operation geared towards state sponsorship of terrorism. It was a geo-political solution rather than an ideological one and the West has failed to translate this into the proper context understood by the Middle East. The missing key to the Iraq conflict is the Western information campaign focused on engaging the Middle East directly through their media so as to counter misinterpretations and disinformation promulgated throughout the Arab world. This has become the center of gravity for Western success in the global war on terrorism.”

  50. That is one of the things that makes the AG’s decision worth debating.

    That’s from R in #48
    So can we debate that the US will spend a min of 75 million on the trial (I’ve seen that as allotted for security alone) and that Holder has said that due to recent law changes if the prosecution failed the suspects being unable to be released onto US soil would be….wait for it……detained by the military.
    Are you freaking kidding me???????

  51. Hey Rutherford,

    I’ve got a great job application for you – one right up your uninformed alley. You need to apply to be the religious correspondent for the Washington Post.

    I witnessed Sally Quinn, one of those “supposed” lefty geniuses you’re always bragging about, appear so clueless on the O’Reilly factor that I thought immediately of you. This lady was so stupid to be comical. O’Reilly, no genius himself, literally had her twisted in knots with the most simple of questions. A parrot could have done better.

    Rutherford, you fricking shallow, ignorant leftists are dumber than dirt about anything other than political propaganda. I mean, you’re pathetically helpless. No wonder you side with Muslims and the U.N. over your supposed fellow countrymen and political opponent. You clowns operate with the same efficiency. 😆

  52. Anybody see Lindsey Graham’s questions to that idiot Attorney General and Obama rube today in the Senate hearings? GREAT THEATER!!! 😆
    ——————————————————–
    SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-S.C): Can you give me a case in United States history where a enemy combatant caught on a battlefield was tried in civilian court?

    ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don’t know. I’d have to look at that. I think that, you know, the determination I’ve made —

    GRAHAM: We’re making history here, Mr. Attorney General. I’ll answer it for you. The answer is no.

    HOLDER: Well, I think —

    GRAHAM: The Ghailani case — he was indicted for the Cole bombing before 9/11. And I didn’t object to it going into federal court. But I’m telling you right now. We’re making history and we’re making bad history. And let me tell you why.

    Now, the real focus of this NPR piece was Graham’s subsequent question concerning whether or not U.S. officials would have to Mirandize Osama bin Laden if he was captured:

    GRAHAM: If bin Laden were caught tomorrow, would it be the position of this administration that he would be brought to justice?

    HOLDER: He would certainly be brought to justice, absolutely.

    GRAHAM: Where would you try him?

    HOLDER: Well, we’d go through our protocol. And we’d make the determination about where he should appropriately be tried. […]

    GRAHAM: If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?

    HOLDER: Again I’m not — that all depends. I mean, the notion that we —

    GRAHAM: Well, it does not depend. If you’re going to prosecute anybody in civilian court, our law is clear that the moment custodial interrogation occurs the defendant, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a lawyer and to be informed of their right to remain silent.

    The big problem I have is that you’re criminalizing the war, that if we caught bin Laden tomorrow, we’d have mixed theories and we couldn’t turn him over — to the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence — for an interrogation on the battlefield, because now we’re saying that he is subject to criminal court in the United States. And you’re confusing the people fighting this war.
    —————————————————–

    If there is any doubt about how inept Obama’s appointments are, this ought to just about convince anyone but Fidel and leftists like Rutherford.

    Holder is completely incapable – a genuine, grade A boner; a national disgrace.

  53. We deflate nothing because it’s not in our control.

    I didn’t make myself clear. I wasn’t suggesting we would change the minds of Jihadists. I was thinking more about the message we send to everyone else that we’re not giving jihadism (if that’s a word) any legitimacy. We ignore it, and we prosecute like any other loony tune.

  54. you seem to have bought in fully to the term terrorist.

    If they are not terrorists than what are they? Their goal goes beyond killing. Their goal is to strike fear into the survivors. That’s terrorism. Does the religious ingredient mean it’s not terrorism? I don’t see how.

  55. “Does the religious ingredient mean it’s not terrorism? I don’t see how.”

    Why cant you say “islamic ingredient”? Is their another religion terrorizing around the world in the name of their religion?

  56. Gorilla,

    Guess Dodger wanted the traffic. I posted 64 thinking it would go into moderation. Or maybe its a glitch. Its pretty sad when even the majority of Dems thinks this KSM circus is a bad bad idea.

  57. Elric, glad you enjoyed your brief opportunity to say hello. I won’t tell you what your glitch was, but I’ve fixed it.

    No Sensico, no flip flop, just a stupid techie move on my part.

    Oh Elric, since you think I never answer your comments … I didn’t see any problem with saying “religious ingredient” since everyone knows in this case the religion is Islam.

    Here’s an idea Elric:

    1) Start your own damn blog
    2) Then I can come there and ignore you and I’ll restore you here and you can continue to ignore me
    3) OR you can ban me there. That way order is restored to the Universe. 😀

    P.S. Good to see you making such productive use of Twitter! By the way, did you know you share your “real” name with an anthropologist and a playwright?

    P.P.S. I’d advise against Gorilla starting the “catch-all” topic you requested. Better to make you have a little friggin discipline in your comments. Of course, it’s G’s blog so he can do whatever pleases him. 😉

  58. Rutherford,

    You don’t understand why you have started such a controversy with your baseless post, can you? You think our criticisms are unfair and judgmental, don’t you? You really are a true believer…

    See, we know your motives aren’t pure. You are not interested in justice or in Khalid – you’re interested in scoring political points because things are not going your way in the political arena.

    Your arguments are at best completely plastic. What Obama is now receiving is what George Bush got every day but a few after 9/11 for eight years. Stolen elections, chicken hawk, neocon, dishonesty, even continual taunts of Hitler and fascism.

    Obama is proving to be the disaster that you accused George Bush of being. And it troubles you because you feel part of the Obama team, so you now last out.

    Perhaps you can understand why I think your charges so hypocritical.

  59. You think our criticisms are unfair and judgmental, don’t you?

    Well it’s funny, I am tempted to do an experiment where I restore the very tasteless article I wrote about Sarah Palin over a year ago and then do a competition of sorts for you guys to vote on which article, that one or this one, offends you most. 🙂 Alas, I deleted the Palin post off WP altogether and I’m not sure I have a backup of it anywhere.

    I don’t find your criticisms unfair. I said pretty early in this thread that right-minded people can disagree on this one. I kinda liked MSNBC legal reporter Dan Abrams assessment that this is a close call, not a slam dunk for either side.

    The most compelling argument against Holder’s decision is I think the blurring of the lines between what we do with civilians and what we do with legal and illegal combatants. Any purist would want that line to be drawn pretty starkly. But I submit from a practical point of view, the bottom line is to punish the guy after some semblance of a fair hearing.

    My article really was not meant to debate the merits of the decision but to shine a light on the source of the opposition to it. And I stick to my guns that all you apple-pie-and-Chevrolet conservatives didn’t say a peep about Zacarias M and the other more than 100 civilian terrorist prosecutions that went on during the Bush admin but suddenly KSM gets in your craw. Alfie makes the distinction that KSM was not captured stateside. Fine. That’s not what the GOP is screaming about. They’re screaming about Bloomberg’s daughter getting kidnapped during the trial. Puhleeeeze.

    Actually Tex, I thought I threw Gorilla one helluva bone on the whole 4th generational warfare issue. He seems to only begrudgingly agree that standards for this new kind of warfare need to be established. It’s easier for him to say, in the meantime, anything goes.

    As for Elric’s claim that the majority of Dem’s oppose this. If you call the Governor of New York, the majority of Dem’s then I guess he’s right. BTW, there are some pundits who believe Patterson’s take on this is payback to Obama for not backing him in his run for a second term.

  60. Who develops those standards? There is no international body that can/will do it and in the Westphalian system we live in, the state rules the day. So yes, anything goes…

  61. You’ve misunderstood much of the argument Rutherford. The real argument is that we believe one Mr. Eric Holder, a liar from the get go (anyone remember Marc Rich?) isn’t doing this for justice. He’s doing to score points with the only support Obama has left – the left.

    There is absolutely nothing that will be gained from this. But there is a great deal of downside. I’m not worried about acquittal, or Bloomberg’s daughter. It concerns me that this is $100MM of monies thrown down the toilet for security – another waste of money from the government you wish to bestow in every aspect of our lives.

    But more than that, it is another indicator that the left which includes you isn’t concerned about security or 9/11. You’re not concerned about real justice. What you are doing is falling back to the old, worn out bash Bush and Cheney routine. It’s not working anymore Rutherford.

    You would give a stage to our enemy to spout nonsense for months on end. You will inflame the Muslim kooks this time for sure. You want to damage Cheney as payback for the insults he has fairly cast at Obama. You might endanger innocent Americans. You insult the military and possibly endanger those who protect you like our interrogators. Whether you recognize it or not, you insult our military’s integrity. And for what?

    The bottom line is your hatred of middle America far exceeds your concern of country. I do think Obama and Holder evil and no good. I think they are completely incompetent. I think this proves it. It’s no wash – an overwhelming majority of Americans are against this. This is the left’s last bastion of glory. Enjoy it.

    Because this one is going to blow up in your face…

  62. R, I’m basically done with this thread unless you provide some substantion explanation to the myriad of questions and positions put forward thus far.

    Frankly, the bulk of your comments thus far have been pretty shallow and not all that well thought out.

    Before you can justify trying the Bush administration’s tactics, you’ve got to defend the premise of doing this in the first place. Until then, the only thing transparent in this is the witch hunt that will proceed and the inevitable harm that will come. You can’t even legally justify this thing…

    Until then…

  63. I pretty much agree with Gorilla Rutherford. You have provided little if any substantiation for your charges or your reasoning, have skipped questions when asked which you banned for this week, and your post now reads like a temper tantrum. The burden of proof is on you.

    Either start answering our questions and give us justification, or admit you are angry and recognize that this isn’t playing out in the court of public opinion like you thought. If so, I would appreciate you being man enough to admit Eric Holder did this out of malice.

  64. G, here are your answers to questions I may not have addressed. At the end of the day, we will agree to disagree.

    Comment 2: We resorted to torture as the easy way out for solving this “dearth of information” that you cite. A country that followed its principles would never have done so.

    Comment 3: When it comes to al Qaeda preparing itself for our interrogations I claim you are the naive one. Do you really think there are any secrets regarding how we treat prisoners? Do you really think these folks don’t have people planted feeding them info all the time? A public trial of KSM won’t tell al Qaeda anything they didn’t already know. BTW, “secrets” that were leaked in prior prosecutions were leaked because the information was not properly classified in the first place.

    Comment 5: I believe I have asked this of you before and you haven’t replied. Please compare for me the protections afforded by civilian court vs military tribunal. As I stated already in this thread, our commissions/tribunals have run into Supreme Court challenges. When this all gets resolved, one can assume KSM would still get a “fair hearing” in a military tribunal. I contend that you do not want these men to get a fair hearing. You would prefer they be detained until they die, or better yet that we just summarily kill them.

    As for the rest of the thread, I think I have engaged with you pretty fully and as I stated before, this is one where we will agree to disagree.

    BUT, I’ll give you an alternative solution that would please me just as much. Let’s remove the subterfuge that you accuse Holder of and let’s give KSM a military trial AND indict Dick Cheney for war crimes. How’s that solution? At least then there won’t be any perceived hidden agendas. 😉

  65. have skipped questions when asked which you banned for this week

    Tex, if I am not mistaken one of the hallmarks of LGF is lots of turf wars and meta-discussions about banned readers. I recall General Chen pulling some prank on a site from which he was banned. I do not want this forum to devolve into a discussion about who stays and who goes. As blog owner, I exercise my prerogative.

    BUT, I wanted to address what I believe is a misconception on your part. The person who will not be named was not banned from this site for not answering questions (sorry for the double negative). Hell, the hallmark of this person is that he demands answers from others but evades questions at every turn. His nickname for me, “Dodger” is ironic to say the least. If I wanted to ban him for not answering questions, I would have done so months ago.

    I banned him (and I have stated this before) because I perceived a level of disrespect from him that I have not encountered from anyone else on the blog. I don’t mind being called names, or being told my arguments are shallow and empty. I DO mind someone consistently addressing other readers of this blog by name AND then ignoring any comments that the blog owner makes directly at him. It is like my inviting you to my home and you walk past me at the front door, sit down, pop open a beer and talk to every other guest in my home while ignoring me, the host. Then when you leave, you think I should welcome you back.

    He was using this tactic deliberately and when I called him on it he as much as admitted so. I gave him warning and ample opportunity to answer two simple questions I had posted … not because I really wanted him to answer the questions but because I wanted him to break out of this mind-f*ck game he was in and address me directly. He got a deadline, he missed it and he’s gone.

    If he gives me some indication either by comment (yes he’s still commenting), direct mail or Twitter (yes he’s calling me a moron on Twitter) that he will show me a minimum of respect in my own home, I will restore him. NOT because I need the traffic … a bunch of hits from one person is not traffic .. but because I don’t like banning people. I like free expression of ideas, even stupid ones.

    I’m only going into this with you Tex because you should know me better than to think I would ban anyone arbitrarily. The fact that you and DR survive is a testament to my commitment to the first amendment. 😉

  66. If by recent news you mean that the 9/11 defendants plan to plead not guilty so they can use the court as a forum for their propaganda, then no, I need not reevaluate my comments. I never said they would plead guilty nor did I ever say they wouldn’t try to turn the event into a circus.

    I will say this though, lots of people across the political spectrum have opined that Holder/Obama have bought themselves a headache they didn’t need to buy. I don’t argue with that assessment. The easiest, perhaps simplest thing to do was keep them detained until a proper tribunal could be conducted. Easy and politically expedient is not always good.

    Who knows? Holder may change his mind … he still has the option to do so. If he changes his mind, you’ll get no argument from me. All I’ve ever said here is that it is a close call and that many of the arguments posed by Conservatives have been rank hypocrisy fueled by Obama-hate.

  67. Obama-hate?

    THERE IS NO LEGAL JUSTIFICATION OR PRECEDENT FOR THIS DECISION.

    I hope this finally sinks in. Federal court will NOT be faster than a military tribunal, contrary to what you claim.

    Federal court is NOT the most efficient or effective means of prosecution, contrary to what you claim.

    The results of this trial, whether a conviction or aquital, will NOT refute or validate the interrogation techniques applied to the detainees, contrary to what you claim.

    The Moussaoui trial took some three years, was a complete joke and circus, and cost millions. Do you mean to tell us that the $200 million price tag for this thing will be cheaper than a military tribunal?

    Finally, no, you have never once responded to how they justify Constitutional protections. BiW happens to be floating around, I’d love to have his thoughts on this…

    Your position has been, basically, since Obama supports it, then it must be righteous and good- to hell with facts and logic.

    No wonder you so sparringly attended to this post…

  68. G, yikes.

    Since we don’t have working Supreme Court accepted tribunals yet, the fed case against KSM may very well go faster. The numbers are not on your side here. Some 180 terrorist convictions in civilian court and ….. wait for it ….

    3

    convictions in the military tribunal in the same time period.

    As for the $200 million price tag …. justice is priceless. 🙂

    Offering KSM constitutional protections is just a matter of degree. Any legit tribunal will offer him protections that are constitutionally based, The only thing here that is troubling and I fully admit it, is that KSM was never given his Miranda rights. I’m not quite sure how they get past that. I wonder if BiW can answer this question in a non-partisan way.

    And by the way, I consider this Holder’s baby not Obama’s. I will not go so far as some on the left and say Obama was surprised by Holder’s decision … that’s BS. But I think we are seeing Holder’s vision of justice … and yes, it coincides with Obama’s.

  69. If you think for a second that Obama had no input in this decision, you’re more naieve than I thought.

    Here’s the irony, if/when this stretches into 2010 and invariably 2012, and the circus ensues, Obama will be hammered with it. This could be the most damaging thing agains the admionistration in its reelection bid.

    Justice is priceless, but apparently victory is not. Oh, I’m sorry, Obama is uncomfortable with the term victory. Funny how a budget guy wasn’t around when they wrote the healthcare bill, nor was ther a discussion for a healthcare surtax, but in Obama’s glacial decision on Afghanistan, suddenly dollars matter.

    Again, don’t you find it odd that Obama has had no care for cost on anything else but suddenly expenses matter?

    Please…

  70. Again, don’t you find it odd that Obama has had no care for cost on anything else but suddenly expenses matter?

    Not quite sure where you got that one. CBO scored the Senate bill as saving money in the long run. But beyond that, Obama has clearly articulated that he will not sign a bill that adds to the deficit so how can you say he has no budget cares where HCR is concerned?

    As for Afghanistan, again where do you get the idea that budget is the primary motivator for delay in the decision? How ’bout not killing people until we know why we’re killing them? As it stands now, Obama is about to lose his base following your wishes. Some 35K boys and girls look like they’re gonna get deployed. Now let’s just hope Obama can spell out why they’re going and what they’ll be doing.

  71. R, pull your head out. When the bill is evaluated against ten years of income against ten years of expenses (instead of the farse you’re purporting of immediate taxation for ten years but only 6 years of expenses (really, for such an emergency, you’d think the’d want to start things off before 2013…)) it costs $2.5 TRILLION.

    Here is some basic reality:
    ~~ We are now at the greatest gap in 50 years between federal income and federal spending

    ~~ This year we had a $1.4 Trillion deficit

    ~~ When Obama took office, the national deficit was $10.63 Trillion but the current deficit stands at $12.01 Trillion.

    ~~ The national deficit now stands at 25% of the GDP

    ~~ The federal deficit has grow by 13% since Obama took office.

    Also, just for refference, Obama said this would be the most transparent administration ever and that he would have no lobbiests in his adminstration. Considering the political capital expended on this bill, that this is his signature domestic issue, that this will be the only time during his administration that he will be able to do this, can you honestly tell me that he will veto anything vis a vis healthcare? Not a chance. He will sign ANYTHING that comes accross his desk, no matter what it says, and claim success in doing so.

    As for Afghanistan, Peter Orzog is now attending the planning meetings. Never before has he attended them. The administration themselves have plainly stated that costs are a major consideration in the future Afghan strategy. Its not my idea, it is Obama’s.

    As for why we’re there, tell me, what was the premise behind his March strategy then? Did this come into play when he sent 17,000 troops in February (I think)?

    Consistency please…

  72. Well, G, let’s talk next Tuesday. I’ll be very curious to see your take on Obama’s Afghanistan plans. If I were a betting man, I’d wager you’ll find something about them to object to. 😉

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