August 27th, 2010

Your Justice Department, working for you: the Cole prosecution

The administration has announced the suspension of the trial of the accused USS Cole bomber, just in time for the tenth anniversary of that terrorist attack, on October 12th.

I’ve read the entire article, and it’s not exactly clear what’s going on here:

Nashiri was scheduled to be arraigned in February 2009 but the new administration instructed military prosecutors to suspend legal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay. The charges against Nashiri were withdrawn.

In November 2009, however, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. appeared to revive the case when he announced that the military would prosecute Nashiri, one of at least 36 detainees who could be tired in federal court or a military commission.

“With regard to the Cole bombing, that was an attack on a United States warship, and that, I think, is appropriately placed into the military commission setting,” Holder said.

But critics of military commissions say the Nashiri case exemplifies the system’s flaws, particularly the ability to introduce certain evidence such as hearsay statements that probably would not be admitted in federal court. The prosecution is expected to rely heavily on statements made to the FBI by two Yemenis who allegedly implicated Nashiri. Neither witness is expected at trial, but the FBI agents who interviewed them will testify, said Nashiri’s military attorney, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen C. Reyes. “Unlike in federal court, you don’t have the right to confront the witnesses against you,” he said.

But I’ll hazard a couple of guesses as to what’s behind this decision:

(1) The administration doesn’t want to offend its left flank any more than it already has by using the military system of justice, even though it is eminently applicable to this case.

(2) The case is weak and the administration wants to strengthen it before going to trial (this naively assumes a good faith on their part that has not been justified by their actions so far in any of these proceedings).

The Cole families are livid. But who cares about them? Certainly not the Obama administration.

Ah, but maybe he’ll have another meeting with them. That’ll do the trick.

18 Responses to “Your Justice Department, working for you: the Cole prosecution”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    Focusing all the legal firepower on fighting Arizona, where his enemies are. No time to waste on pretending to prosecute fellow travelers, who were just doing the Lord’s Allah’s work, killing Americans. No votes there, and no golf either, just dead Americans (Indonesians and Kenyans are all fine), and so a low priority.

  2. Occam's Beard Says:

    Now if Nashiri were connected with the Tea Party, he’d be on Death Row right now.

    Btw, I’m still holding (sorry) out hope for my bet on Holder in the dead pool. He’s kept a low profile recently, shaving the odds on my bet, but I’m gratified by his recent effort to shoot himself in the foot. Maybe….maybe….you go, Eric! Speak your mind in a public venue! (crossing fingers)

  3. Tom Says:

    “It’s politics at this point,” said one military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy. He said he thinks the administration does not want to proceed against a high-value detainee without some prospect of civilian trials for other major figures at Guantanamo Bay.

    My suspicion is that sums it up.

    Military trials, being military, are perhaps seen by the Ummah as being under the aegis of the Commander In Chief, Hussein by name in this case. Civilian trials, although prosecuted by Feds, are heard by judge and jury that do not report up the chain of command to Hussein, so the Ummah can despise America for the guilty verdict, but Hussein, uninvolved, can evoid that.

  4. Tom Says:

    Sorry, my 1st para, from the WAPO story, should’ve been italicized.

  5. rickl Says:

    (3) Obama is a Muslim.

  6. rickl Says:

    Inga Barks, substituting tonight for Mark Levin, was just discussing a magazine article (from Newsweek, I think) about how ignorant and uninformed Americans are. One case in point was that about 20% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim.

    Now where would they get a screwy idea like that?

  7. Occam's Beard Says:

    about 20% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim.

    The rest thinking he’s a Red, presumably.

  8. Bob From Virginia Says:

    The Obami are amazing; they do something offensive and follow it up by doing something more offensive. I knew Obmessiah would be the worst president in modern US history, but I had no idea he would be so obvious, it’s almost like he wants to be hated by the majority of Americans and then prove his superioty by having the gullible hick majority turn around and support him.

  9. Bob From Virginia Says:

    that should be “superiority”

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    I knew Obmessiah would be the worst president in modern US history


    I have to rein in my rage at the idiots who saddled us with this cretin. Who could be so effing stupid as to think this Indonesian imbecile would make even a passable President? My golden retriever could do a better job. At least he’s lovable. And has better breath. And knows who his daddy is. And, last but not least, has papers proving he was born in America.

  11. rickl Says:

    Occam’s Beard Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    My golden retriever could do a better job. At least he’s lovable. And has better breath. And knows who his daddy is. And, last but not least, has papers proving he was born in America.

    That settles it then. We need a Constitutional amendment declaring that the President must be born in the United States (and have papers to prove it), but need not necessarily be a Homo sapiens. I don’t see how we could go too far wrong.

  12. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    The old rule of thumb was – if you are innocent, you’d prefer a trial in military court. If you are guilty, you prefer the civilian court system. I don’t know if that’s still true.

  13. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Occam I wrote worse president in modern US history because Buchanan was the undisputed winner in that category before Obambi provided serious competition. Currently they appear to be neck to neck. If Iran gets the bomb because Ob is too understanding of their fear of US-Israeli imperialism then by all means he gains the all time championship in the who ‘s the most disastrous leader category. Note now he is going for the world title, not merely the US title. Since he has over two years to go he may earn that prize even if they don’t get the bomb.

    The voting age definitely has too be raised to over 21. Electing him was an immature act by an immature people, and 45% have not figured it out.

    A slight digression; Pres. Bush felt that all men are entitled to freedom, as though it were a natural state. The last election seemed to indicate a more natural state is a desire for subservience to a Santa Claus, some protector that will keep us safe and provide us with toys and candy and tuck us in at night. It takes training to want to be free and face the responsibilities inherent it in. Obama offered and continues to offer polite forms of slavery (the core of Obamish socialism), believe and I will provide variety.

    I do not know how it will end but I never thought I would see it attempted it in this country.

  14. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I’ve said before that motivation is the easiest thing to lie about and the most difficult thing to prove, absent some correspondence not meant for general knowledge.
    But, from time to time, the accumulation of bad effects overwhelms the pious protestations that the actor is doing good or trying to do good.
    At some point, we have to conclude that the actor wills the actual result, claims to the contrary notwithstanding.
    Or, at least, is not interested in the calamitous results on his way to something else, something equally unlikely to have been disclosed in the beginning.

  15. Oblio Says:

    OB, I’m glad you remember our bet about Holder and the dead pool. I think my 20 bucks is in the bag. I’ll use it to buy you a drink.

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    Oblio, you bet (?) I remember. I’m still good for it. My man Holder has just been pacing himself. All I need now is for a member of the White House steno pool press corps (corpse?) to ask him one question in an unguarded moment, and he’ll win a cardboard box as a prize. /g

  17. will Says:

    As these outrages continue to grow in scope and severity, one wonders, how bad will it get, what desperate act will follow? Initially, I thought some of his detractors were over the top, that he would not try some of the stunts we’ve already been subjected to. Now, of course, I’m sorry I doubted them. It is that bad. If ever a President deserved censure/impeachment/removal it’s this guy.

  18. Cheater Says:

    AssistantVillageIdiot is right about that adage. In a military court, particularly setup like these are, the officers will just look at the truth and render a verdict. They are all highly educated, knowledgeable about the terrain and not given to emotional considerations. The civilian court system, however, will put your fate in the hands of 12 people of varying degrees of education, generally illiterate of the issues involved and very prone to emotional or self motivated judgements.

    If the military had a green light on the process, most of the docket would probably be cleared by now, and the really innocent ones who just got caught up in the tribal wars would be home.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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