Friday, November 13, 2009

Misguided Justice

So the Obama Justice Department has decided to bring five high-profile detainees from Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray to New York City to "stand trial" for their complicity in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Such folly can never withstand the scrutiny of history, for there can be no rainbow at the end of this endeavor. While I am forced to question a naive innocence on the part of the president, considering his alleged acumen in all things legal, I further lay the blame for what is to come squarely at the feet of a fawning media and an unwitting and adoring populace.

How could a president who attended Harvard Law School be stupid enough to attempt a trial of terrorists in an American civilian court? How could the same president - who as a student and president of the Harvard Law Review at that academic institution - not see the obvious pitfalls in attempting to build a winning case against Khalid Sheik Mohammed, or any of the other defendants currently making their way to New York City?

The administration is portraying this move as an exercise in poetic justice, trying these bastards for their heinous crimes against New York in the shadow of the buildings they did not manage to destroy. Those who choose to applaud this president without the slightest shred of intellectual curiosity drink up such drivel as gospel. The exercise, however, is a lose-lose-lose proposition.

If I were the attorney for KSM, I would move to have the charges immediately dismissed based on the fact that the defendant was detained without being Mirandized and was denied legal counsel. I would cite the absence of due process and the right to speedy trial by a jury of his peers. To make the sudden, lurching transition from enemy combatant to criminal defendant begs that these motions be addressed. While common sense would dictate that this line of defense would crash and burn, American courts rely more on statutes and precedents and less on emotion. Therein lies the problem.

Democratic allies of the president have hailed this move as evidence of the majesty of American juris prudence, with Patrick Leahy declaring that our fairness would be a beacon of good will toward the world. His claim that our bestowing basic rights on a deadly enemy will somehow portray us as civilized to the Nth degree is flawed, however.

These are rights reserved for American citizens and have no place in an American civilian court for illegal combatants captured in the process of fighting our troops in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Rather than standing in awe of our magnanimous judicial system, as Senator Leahy suggests, the terrorists will sneer at our hypocrisy should we try this cretin in our courts without those basic legal protections. That is the first loss.

Clearly, the only way to even have a chance at convictions will be to skirt those protections in a wave of exceptions. The appearance of fairness thus evaporates as fast as dry spit on a summer Texas sidewalk. A conviction under these conditions will bring wails of outrage from Muslims and liberals alike, which - considering the temperament of each - usually involves burning buildings, overturned vehicles and bloody citizens. Loss number two.

Once this charade begins, with the spectre of either of the previous scenarios already known to be completely unacceptable, it remains that the only other possible outcome would be for these killers to be acquitted and set free, thus completing the loss trifecta. Considering that the American Civil Liberties Union has already heralded this move, it only stands to reason that they will bring to bear the full weight of their influence to protect the "rights" of the newly declared "innocent".

A president so well versed in the law should be painfully aware of the myriad cases in our courts where the obviously guilty are set free due to simple procedural errors. This trial will begin as one big error, and even the most hardcore of patriotic judges will have little leeway for discretion.

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Edisto Joe said...

How can a President who can't make a decision on a troop level request by his chosen general end up making such a terrible decision such as this? God help our men and women in Afghanistan if this is any indication of Obama's careful consideration of the facts. I have come to the conclusion that Obama is nothing more than a pitch man for the liberal left. He is certainly not a President.

Woody said...

I hear you, EJ. And we still have a year to go before this neophyte can be effectively neutered.

Hopefully the lame ducks in Congress won't begin to behave like college kids in Fort Lauderdale on Spring Break, partying hard while leaving a disgraceful mess for the hotel staff to clean up.

Golden Arple said...

I'm sorry guys, but you need to read up more on United States history before you throw out words like Geneva Convention. US have broken those laws more than any other country in the world. Listen to Chomsky, just to expose yourself. We have been at war for over 8 years. That needs to stop.

Woody said...

Sorry Goldie, but Noam Chomsky is the last well of information that I would drink from because he is diametrically opposed to the very fabric of freedom.

You have no examples of the U.S. violations of the G.C. beyond the scurrilous ravings of a few New York Times bloggers.

But the likes of KSM and his Club Gitmo pals were fighting with no uniforms, no flag and no nation to back them, all the while hiding among civilians to escape harm. Those are clear violations of the G.C. which is why they are not protected under those rules.

Golden Arple said...

I'll just ask you this. Have you ever wondered why there isn't peace between Israel and Palestine?

Have you ever wondered how United States fits into that conflict?

The truth is pretty disturbing.