The Obama justice department has made a very poor decision: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 planners are to be tried by the civilian criminal justice system in New York. They will be detained in federal prison in New York starting in a few weeks.
Speaking from Japan, Obama says Mohammed “will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice.” But that’s exactly the problem.
President Obama is referring to the criminal justice system in this country, which affords defendants all the protections that US civilian citizens enjoy. But if we’ve learned one thing from the errors of the pre-9/11 mindset, it is that the criminal justice system in the US is wholly inadequate to try conspiratorial terrorists of the Islamicist variety, and that’s exactly who the current crop being transferred to NY are.
If anyone is an illegal enemy combatant, it would be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and he should not be afforded the benefit of liberal rules of discovery designed to protect civilian defendants but which allow other al Qaeda terrorists to obtain valuable information about our methods of intelligence gathering: what we know, how we learned it, and about whom we know it. This decision also puts the entire city of New York at risk again by forcing it to house these terrorists and making their trial the proverbial three-ring circus, as well as giving them a bully pulpit for more attention.
I can hardly imagine a worse decision by the Obama Justice Department on these issues, except to let the terrorists go free and set them up in penthouses on the upper East Side.
This is not about protecting us. Nor is it about protecting the city of New York. This is about pleasing Obama’s Leftist base, and fulfilling his campaign promises to them. It is one of the worst decisions of his presidency, and that’s saying quite a bit.
[NOTE: The article also mentions that, “Five other detainees held at the prison, including Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, alleged to have planned the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, will be tried in revamped military commissions, the Justice Department announced.” It didn’t say why these five were considered suitable for military commissions whereas the 9/11 planners’ trials were not (nor does the NY Times article on the subject go into it). But I will speculate for now that the difference may be due to whether the attacks occurred on American soil or not, although this should be irrelevant. It also may be due to the fact that Mohammed is the main Guantanamo detainee who was subjected to waterboarding, so that trying him in civilian courts will afford Obama (and defense attorneys) the opportunity to rake the Bush administration over the coals, always a tremendous temptation and an opportunity not to be missed.]
We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America. Since that will be their “defense,” the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America’s defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.
Obama and Holder are despicable. There is no possible rationale for this move other than these destructive impulses. And believe me, they know precisely what they’re doing—they are both lawyers.]