…No, I’m perfectly serious. We have had to deal with two [expletive deleted] years of this administration’s clueless posturing on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: more, if you count the clueless posturing that took place before the election. And after those two-plus years we are now being told that the plan for KSM is that he… be detained indefinitely. No civilian trial. No military commission. Just keep him imprisoned until he drops dead of old age, apparently.
Gee, kids: are we finding out that national security is HARD?
Now, I don’t have a problem with indefinitely detaining the terrorist who murdered Daniel Pearl. But the White House doesn’t get off of the hook for this one. If they don’t have a clue – which they clearly don’t – and so need to crib off of the Bush years to get a GWOT* strategy up and running, then they should call in Liz Cheney for NSA. She’s got the right background; the right connections to all those grown-ups that this administration has been slandering, libeling, and generally maligning over the years; and, most importantly, putting her in the job will be a tacit admission of past error on the Democrats’ part. I don’t ever expect an open admission of past error; the Establishment Left is notably ungracious about being wrong, and I don’t have the energy to collectively beat into their heads the sense of propriety that they should have learned from their parents.
“Obama and the Department of Justice need to get out there and push back very clearly with the public…Frankly, I thought New Yorkers were made of sterner stuff than this—traffic is going to be disrupted?” said Ken Gude of the liberal Center for American Progress.
(H/T: @andylevy) Amazing what one Senatorial election can do. Like, say, make a Presidential administration pay attention to local political concerns for a change.
The Obama administration has abandoned its plan to put Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, on trial in Lower Manhattan, according to administration officials.
The reversal marks the latest setback for an administration that has been buffeted at every turn as it seeks to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And without the backdrop of Ground Zero for a trial, the administration will also lose some of the rich symbolism associated with its attempt to forge a new approach to handling high-value al-Qaeda detainees.
“New York is out,” said an administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been officially announced. “We’re considering other options.”
Try Gitmo. The unilateralist, simplisme cowboy put them there in the first place for a reason, you know. In fact, he actually had a reason for pretty much everything he did…
So what happens if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 masterminds, whose trials Attorney General Eric Holder has decided will take place in the criminal justice system in New York, get off on a technicality or are somehow O.J.-Simpsoned by a jury? Can we still hold them? If not, where do they go?
At its simplest, one of two things will happen:
They get let go. That means that the guy who planned the 1993 WTC attack and the murder of Daniel Pearl (to give just two examples) walks out onto an American street, free and happy.
They stay locked up, and to the Devil with the court system. No, I don’t [expletive deleted] know why captured terrorists were given legal rights and a trial if an unfavorable result was going to be ignored anyway, either.
Those are the options: media circus, or show trials. The administration had better well hope they do a better job at handling this than they have at… well, everything… so far.
Everybody’s overthinking Chuck Schumer’s (D, NY) flip-flop from his 2001 stance on military tribunals:
…those who commit acts of war against the United States, particularly those who have no color of citizenship, don’t deserve the same panoply of due process rights that American citizens receive. Should Osama bin Laden be captured alive—and I imagine most Americans hope he won’t be captured alive. But if he is, it is ludicrous to suggest he should be tried in a Federal court on Center Street in Lower Manhattan.
…when asked by the reporter why Schumer now backs criminal trials over military tribunals, Schumer says he wants to see them executed.
You see, in 2001 there was a Republican running the government, and that Republican was taking the attitude that we were going to treat the 9/11 attacks as attacks. So Schumer went along with that. But now it’s 2009, and there’s a Democrat running the government, and that Democrat is taking the attitude that we are going to treat things like 9/11 as crimes. So Schumer is going to go along with that.
I know that Senator Lindsey Graham (R, SC) is not on a lot of people’s Christmas card lists, but this exchange between him and Attorney General Eric Holder was four minutes, forty seconds’ worth of pure schooling:
Not filmed was the bit in the end where Holder was on the floor, looking for his teeth. You do not walk into a situation like that without an elementary knowledge of the relevant historical record*. You do not come completely unprepared for a obviously-telegraphed question like “So. What are you going to do with a captured bin Laden?” And you do not assume that Senators like being given the mushroom treatment. Because if you do any of that, you can be assured that some Senator, somewhere, will take the opportunity to introduce you to pain.