EDITOR OF REDSTATE
The Left’s ‘Fair’ Trial
I’ve seen a lot from the left in the last twenty-four hours that I, and conservatives in general, do not want to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a fair trail and that I, and the right in general, do not believe in our system of due process.
Let me be crystal clear: it is precisely because I believe in our system of due process in a civil setting that I do not want Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in such a setting. The left ignores this at its peril.
I have full faith in our system of justice. Criminal defendants are given every advantage and resource to ensure they do not get convicted of a crime they did not commit. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get most of those advantages and resources. But that is all a distraction from one central fact — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a criminal. He is a soldier in a war captured on a battlefield. That is not something our criminal justice system was designed to handle and should not handle.
I think Eric Holder is flat out lying when he said this past Sunday that Barack Obama had no knowledge whatsoever of the KSM decision until he was headed off to China. But, to be charitable, even were that true, it ignores the fact that Eric Holder, the Attorney General, should not have been the one to make the decision. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was picked up on a battlefield, not an American street.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a gang member. Al Qaeda is not a gang. 9/11 was not a drive by shooting or even a gang land massacre. 9/11 was an act of war. Al Qaeda is the enemy. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a soldier in a war. Our system of justice is not set up to try soldiers captured on a battlefield.
It is willfully naive and damnably indifferent to civilian American lives and our system of civilian justice to think otherwise.
I also do not think Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get a ‘fair’ trial. Neither Eric Holder nor Barack Obama are dumb enough to risk Obama’s Presidency on a not guilty verdict. Like with the GM bankruptcy that sailed through bankruptcy in record time getting everything Obama wanted, the government will grease the wheels of justice to ensure a desirable outcome. It will be a show trial fit for a totalitarian regime. It will teach no one nor convince anyone that we are fair, impartial, or capable of handling soldiers in a civil justice setting. Only fools on the left will be deluded into thinking otherwise.
Along the way, however, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get all the parts of discovery that make it look like he is getting his day in court. He will get access to discovery material. He will get his opening statement. He will get a taxpayer provided lawyer. He has nothing to lose and will make a show of it — an intelligence gathering expedition courtesy of Barack Obama and Eric Holder.
It is an undisputed fact that when the Clinton administration tried, in civilian court, the World Trade Center bombers of 1993, the prosecution was compelled to turn over classified documents to the defense team, under seal, for their eyes only. In 2005, copies of those documents were found in Afghanistan.
I do not think there will be great acts of violence in New York. I am mindful of and remember Chenya and the schoolhouse hostages as terrorists sought the release of one of their own. But I think our security forces will keep New York safe. I also think, however, that inordinate amounts of money will be spent and resources consumed to do so. Along the way, we will loosen our grip elsewhere and the longterm consequences will be very bad.
Louis Pepe was a security guard at New York’s super max prison, the same one Attorney General Eric Holder intends to send KSM to. Ten months before 9/11, an Al Qaeda mastermind and his lieutenant housed together in that supermax prison plunged a sharpened comb through Mr. Pepe’s left eye, into his brain, causing Mr. Pepe serious injuries. They then attempted to commandeer Mr. Pepe’s cell phone and keys to unlock other cells. Unable to navigate the supermax internally, the terrorists returned to savagely beat and rape Mr. Pepe. It took an hour for other officers to make it through to Mr. Pepe and rescue him.
Lastly, let’s not forget New York attorney Lynn Stewart. She was convicted of helping Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind muslim cleric, pass secret messages to his supporters that urged the supporters to commit terrorist acts against the United States. Do we really want to put terrorists in a civilian courtroom?
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a criminal. He is a solider in a war captured on a battlefield. That is not something our criminal justice system was designed to handle and should not handle.
UPDATE: One more point: Holder’s policy seems clear — if you attack military targets overseas, you go to a military tribunal. If you attack civilian targets here, we put you in a civilian court with a microphone and give you classified intelligence documents. What do you think the terrorists are going to choose?