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Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Many Contradictions of the KSM Trial

As the policy that will have KSM and four of his cohorts unfolds, it becomes nothing more than a series of contradictions. I pointed out one yesterday. Attorney General Eric Holder said that he is well aware that we are at war. Then, Lindsey Graham asked him how many enemy combatants we had tried in civilian court.

This of course has become a viral video, but it points out a very important dichotomy of the policy. If these are enemy combatants in war, they must be tried by the military. If they are criminals, they must be tried in criminal courts. Eric Holder calls them enemies in war but wants them tried in civilian court. That's a contradiction he's yet to explain.

At the same time, the administration says that they want to try them in our justice system because they want to show the world that we can give our enemy a free, open, and fair trial. Yet, both Holder and President Obama have guaranteed not only convictions but that KSM will face the death penalty. Now, does it sound as though the administration is trying to give KSM a free, open, and fair trial? When then Governor Rod Blagojevich was first indicted, some folks criticized Pat Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, for being too bold in supporting the evidence against Blagojevich. The statements that Fitzgerald made were miniscule compared to having the President of the United States declare a man guilty and guarantee that said man WILL, not may or might, face the death penalty.

Such statements are obscenely prejudicial. How would we get a jury in New York City to be unbiased when the President of the United States declares the defendant guilty? Given that, the President clearly doesn't want a fair, free, and open trial but a show trial. He's already pre determined the outcome. In fact, under the right, or wrong, judge, those statements could be usedto throw the entire case out of court. The rules are very strict about the sorts of statements that the prosecution can make in lieu of a trial. Keep in mind, every defendant is given the presumption of innocence. So, KSM should be presumed innocent. Does it sound as though the administration is treating him as though he's innocent?

Finally, what if KSM were found not guilty? Does anyone believe we'd allow them to roam free in New York City? Of course not. In fact, the administration is hinting that he would be treated as enemy combatant during war even if he were found not guilty. So, what's the point of having the trial? Either way, he has no chance of being let free. Does that sound as though we're being free, fair, and open? Of course, not. Once again, that's a show trial. The outcome has been predetermined. Even if his outcome is somehow different, he's still not going to be let free. That's not showcasing our criminal justice system, it's perverting it.


Jason Gillman said...

You had me at your last paragraph.. only because I read from the bottom.

the "preordained" outcome makes this a joke... and a bad one at that. How completely cruel this administration is, to torture unnecessarily those who lost family and friends in the attacks. How incredibly callous.

Perversion is a good word.

mike volpe said...

I appreciate the compliment and even more the sly Jerry MaGuire reference.