November 13, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the alleged 9/11 mastermind... will go to trial in federal court in NYC.

The WSJ says that announcement, from Attorney General Eric Holder, will come today.
Mr. Mohammed has claimed authorship of the attacks, but he has also accused U.S. interrogators of torturing him. U.S. officials have acknowledged the use of harsh tactics, including water boarding, a technique intended to simulate drowning, which Mr. Obama and other government officials have called torture.
So he is the confessed mastermind of 9/11, but the court, bound by the usual precedents, may need to exclude the confession. If the Obama administration believes this was torture, then surely it was the sort of coercion that will require the exclusion of the confession. I assume the administration has worked out how to deal with this problem. But how? Imagine Mohammed acquitted!

President Obama said:
“I’m absolutely convinced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice... The American people insist on it and my administration insists on it.”
The most exacting demands of justice bind the government too. And I'm absolutely convinced that Professor Obama knows these 2 sides to that assertion of his. But do you think the American people insist that Mohammed's confession be excluded if after the same pressure to confess, a common criminal's confession would be excluded?
Documents have shown that the CIA used waterboarding — a controlled drowning technique — against Mr. Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. Mr. Nashiri is one of two other detainees known to have been waterboarded before the Bush administration shut down the program, which high-level officials had approved after the Justice Department wrote legal memorandums arguing that the president, as commander-in-chief, could authorize interrogators to bypass anti-torture laws.
And what of this trial in NYC? The federal courthouse is in lower Manhattan, not far from Ground Zero. Perhaps the citizens want the trial where they can see it, or do they fear the creation of an unnecessary terrorist target in their midst? The linked NYT article says NYC is different from those other places where people fretted about such things:
In March, for example, when the administration prepared to bring Ahmed Kahlfan Ghailani, a suspect in the 1998 bombings of United States embassies in Africa which killed 224 people, to face trial there, Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, reacted with equanimity, saying that the city was well-accustomed to handling high-profile terror suspects.

“Bottom line is we have had terrorists housed in New York before,” Mr. Schumer said at a March news conference at the Capitol with other Democratic leaders. “They’ve been housed safely.”

Mr. Schumer at the time pointed to the “blind sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as an example. “The main concern is bringing these terrorists to justice and making sure the public is safe,” Mr. Schumer said. “I have faith that the administration will do both.”
So if we believe the assertions of Chuck Schumer, then NY really is different. Meanwhile, there is the courtroom that the Bush administration built in Guantánamo, absolutely isolated from American citizens.

CORRECTION: The orignal title included an incorrect reference to "Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — the alleged planner of the USS Cole bombing." He will not be tried in NYC.

93 comments:

Crimso said...

Did the confession result from waterboarding? Or was that to gain useful intel? Does it matter?

LarsPorsena said...

"“I’m absolutely convinced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice... The American people insist on it and my administration insists on it.”"

I know that having BO and Eric Holder after him has KSM shaking in his boots.

Comrade X said...

Gitmo is right out because it was closed day, er, year one.

G Joubert said...

Elections have consequences, and it DOES matter who you vote for.

Arturius said...

I assume the administration has worked out how to deal with this problem. But how? Imagine Mohammed acquitted!

With this administration, it's not much of a stretch.

John Lynch said...

And we wonder why the Predators are so busy...

It's not worth capturing these people anymore. Prisoners have become a liability rather than an asset. That's stupid.

If we know where someone like KSM is now, he's more likely to be hit by a missile (along with whoever happens to be around) than captured.

That's the perverse incentive created by all the outrage over Gitmo and interrogation.

John Lynch said...

And another thing. Isn't there the possibility he'll get off because of mistreatment, eg waterboarding? If he's being tried in federal court, can't they let him off on a technicality? If not, then how is this a real trial? Why bother?

wv ashrat- what is left after a house gets hit by a Predator

edutcher said...

When the Kiowa chief, Satanta, who engineered the Jacksboro Massacre of a number of black teamsters, was released by the governor (carpetbag, of course) of Texas under political pressure similar to what we have today, William Tecumseh Sherman wished that, once Satanta was back on the Plains taking scalps, the first would hopefully be the Governor's.

I have no doubt Uncle Billy is thinking the same thing about Chuckie.

Darcy said...

Here we go. If KSM gets off because his confession is thrown out, watch how fast the Law & Order watching Americans scream. Oh noes! You mean it works that way for terrorists,too??

Should be a good study in how to handle enemy combatants. I really mean that. Hopefully, not one we bitterly regret.

Richard Dolan said...

"But do you think the American people insist that Mohammed's confession be excluded if after the same pressure to confess, a common criminal's confession would be excluded?"

As Ann says, the decision to try KSM in a civilian court treats him, by definition, as a common criminal. There are no special rules on the admissibility of confessions even when the common criminal is quite uncommon. (In contrast, there are some special rules governing classified information that will probably come into play.)

"Imagine Mohammed acquitted!" Yes, indeed. Everything will turn on the pre-trial rulings to exclude evidence (not just the confession but whatever may have been obtained by warrantless wiretaps or in other ways deemed unorthodox by current constitutional standards), and how the court deals with the defendant's right to 3500 and Brady material. Bear in mind that the SDNY has more than 40 district judges, and they come from the entire spectrum. The Administration has no idea who will get this case, or how the judge will look at those issues. They're running some real risks by taking this case out of the military commission context. And pity the judge who pulls this case.

The criminal justice system is not set up to deal with wars, either the old-fashioned kind like WW2 or the 'shadow' wars of today. Forcing it to do so will really test the notion that hard facts make bad law. Just picking a jury will pose a huge problem -- we're really in new territory here on the prejudicial pre-trial publicity already, which will just explode exponentially when the trial becomes imminent. The issue isn't whether "NY really is different." It's the square peg/round hole problem of trying quasi-war crimes in civilian courts according to civilian rules.

Dark Eden said...

The only thing I can hope is that when this proves to be a complete disaster, the administration wakes up and handles other terror cases like enemy combatants and not like criminals.

Darcy said...

And nice pic, Crimso.

Mark O said...

Any seasoned observer would see the risk in bringing this case in NYC in Federal Court. Issues of "state secrets," along with the other serious procedural matters could result in a dismissal. What then? Could a crafty Republican defense counsel use the case to highlight the failures of the Clinton Administration? Will the DOJ lawyers need to blame some jury or judge for failure to understand their wonderfully awful presentation? Can we get Marcia Clark?

Arturius said...

The only thing I can hope is that when this proves to be a complete disaster, the administration wakes up and handles other terror cases like enemy combatants and not like criminals.

That assumes the administration begins displaying something resembling competency and thus far, I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

In point of fact, if by some stroke of fate KSM is acquitted, I would bet the farm that President Obama will blame it on Bush. That seems to be his fall back position thus far.

traditionalguy said...

Another clever set up by the chief illusionist made to appear as a Trial at the heart of Media Central, but only serving the PR goals of Islamic public martyrdom and "accidentally" exposing the USA as torturers that need to be filled by the righteous suicidal servants of Allah in order to make the Islamic world safe again from American Cowboys that react by treating noble Islamic savage actors savagely. There can also be a heavy dose of Cherchez le Juis in the Manhatten courtroom as covered by Al jazeera.

Jason said...

Remember, he could be held as a combatant, even if acquitted of these specific charges.

A criminal proceeding of some sort, whether by tribunal or in a civilian court, is necessary if we wish to pursue punishments over and above detention as a combatant, to include execution.

If the confession is thrown out, the SecDef still has the constitutional authority to to designate him an illegal combatant, to be held until the designation of hostilities.

Where we run into trouble is idiot judges who want to cause a crisis by trying to nullify that long-established constitional perogative by going beyond the courts' authority and trying to order the government to release Mohammed.

At any rate, Mohammed confessed to so much, when he was NOT under any kind of duress, that I doubt this will be a serious problem.

Henry said...

Baseball Crank points out this show trial could well turn into the Khalid show, a stage for a madman to preach to our inane media. The trial will also tie up lower Manhattan for months with tight security.

John Lynch said...

If he can be held regardless of the results of the trial, what is the point of the trial?

t-man said...

I am far too cynical for my own good. But if KSM is tried like an ordinary criminal and gets off on a "technicality" (which is really another word for contitutional protection for U.S. citizens), I expect that Obama and Holder will use that as a pretext to attack those consitutional protections.

It's the Alinski method applied to due process, in place of Christianity.

Photog714 said...

Imagine Mohammed acquitted!

Imagine the GOP campaign ads in 2012!

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

Given the proximity of Ground Zero and the huge emotional impact on New Yorkers of the September 11 attacks, if regular criminal law is applied, it seems like KSM is a lock for a change of venue.

This whole thing seems terribly ill-advised.

LarsPorsena said...

MMMMMMMMMM!! I wonder what Nancy Grace's coverage will be like?

Alan said...

I voted for President Bush twice, voted against President Obama, support the Iraq War, and generally believe in military tribunals because of concerns about exposing means and methods of intelligence gathering in a civilian court (and for the other reasons that Richard Dolan goes into).

Having said that, as to Professor Althouse's post itself, I don't understand why we should be worried that Mohammed's confession might be excluded. Confessions obtained under coercion are by nature unreliable. As a result, such confessions are not very probative of guilt. I don't think confessions obtained under significant coercion (e.g., waterboarding) should be admissible in any forum, including military tribunals.

Balfegor said...

Given the proximity of Ground Zero and the huge emotional impact on New Yorkers of the September 11 attacks, if regular criminal law is applied, it seems like KSM is a lock for a change of venue.

Yes . . . from any US court. Honestly, it's lose lose. If he's acquitted, then it's egg on all our faces. And if he's convicted, it won't have any more "legitimacy" than a military tribunal -- the whole world knows the American public thinks he's guilty already, so if the "Arab Street" wants to get outraged about his conviction, it's not going to make a difference to them whether it was done by a military tribunal or in a civilian trial. Why would it? From an outsider's perspective, it's victor's justice, revenge, etc. all around.

Mattman26 said...

If you had told me last night that I would wake this morning to learn that this Administration had made by far its worst move to date, I would have found it hard to believe. What a disastrous decision, for so many reasons. I hope that Congress and the public will push back hard.

miller said...

Well, I thought Jimmy Carter was the Worst President Ever, but he took four years to get to that point.

The Man-child President has achieved that goal in just 10 months.

Republican said...

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0524072torture1.html

MAY 24--In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods like "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal."

Along with the images, which you'll find on the following pages, soldiers seized various torture implements, like meat cleavers, whips, and wire cutters. Photos of those items can be seen here...

Richard Dolan said...

"a lock for a change of venue."

I wouldn't bet on that, especially in the SDNY. I suspect that what will happen instead is that the usual legal analysis that, in an ordinary case, might have lead to a change of venue will be twisted into a pretzel.

In all events, do you really think you could find a venire in Kansas, say, that wouldn't be equally inundated with pre-trial publicity?

Freder Frederson said...

If the Obama administration believes this was torture, then surely it was the sort of coercion that will require the exclusion of the confession.

You still won't admit torture is torture, will you Ann.

And you seem to be saying that because the Bush administration tortured KSM, we shouldn't risk trying him in a U.S. court because the way the U.S. government treated him might result in his acquittal.

You are one hell of a constitutional law professor!

Nomilk said...

Obama has struck his false colors and has now run up his true colors: He wants to set KSM and the other terrorists free. Or, at the very least, by means of his totally reckless policy, he will possibly permit them to go free.

Freder Frederson said...

Along with the images, which you'll find on the following pages, soldiers seized various torture implements, like meat cleavers, whips, and wire cutters. Photos of those items can be seen here...

And your point is?

The CIA conveniently erased the tapes of the torture it conducted and the rest of the pictures from Abu Graib have been excepted from release under FOIA.

Republican said...

Eric Holder is on record stating that he believes waterboarding is torture.

Perhaps he's counting on the court to agree with him.

Freder Frederson said...

Eric Holder is on record stating that he believes waterboarding is torture.

I don't know how we got to the ridiculous position of arguing whether or not waterboarding is torture. It has been recognized as torture by civilized countries, including the U.S., for years.

traditionalguy said...

Freder...I admire you for being a noble and loving practitioner of non-violence to all. You may be a Catholic saint soon. However, the American Experience has always been to fight back with violent attacks upon the violent attackers.Guess which one works? We need both traditions, and yet you see no need for a defense style that is not a martyrdom style. There is something not right about that.

Pastafarian said...

Everyone here realizes, I hope, that the 183 figure for the number of times that this murderer was waterboarded is bogus.

That's the number of applications of water. He was subjected to just 5 sessions of waterboarding, each of which included about 35 drips of water.

Oh, the humanity. That poor, poor dear.

Republican said...

<< The CIA conveniently erased the tapes of the torture it conducted and the rest of the pictures from Abu Graib have been excepted from release under FOIA.>>

Oh. So your argument is on behalf of the persecuted terrorists who are being given an unfair deal because there's no proof they were "tortured".

Jim said...

This cannot end well.

Here's what your average American thinks is Justice:

"So, Mr. Mohammed, you were the mastermind behind 9/11?"

"Praise to Allah, I certainly was."

"Thanks."

{Puts gun to KSM's head and pulls trigger.]

PatCA said...

When KSM runs free, as bombs explode in NYC, Obama will say, phlegmatically, "I blame Bush."

I don't know whether to scream or cry.

edutcher said...

Since waterboarding is routinely applied to SEAL candidates, as well as other spec ops troops presumably, a lot of people are assuming out of hand that this will be ruled as torture.

Since the object of the exercise is not harmed or placed in any physical danger, merely frightened, the court may see it otherwise.

In sum, what if KSM's confession is admitted and the court, in effect, proclaims what most Americans already know - that the cries of "torture" had no substance whatsoever.

This is similar to the Demos' proclamation of A-stan as "the necessary war" - merely an exercise in sophistry for political gain.

Given Barry's dancing on A-stan, Richard B. Cheney may well be the next POTUS (without needing a TOTUS) simply because the American people will be so desperate for someone who knows what they're doing and has the will to do it when it comes to protecting the safety and interests of the country.

MadisonMan said...

If the only evidence to convict is derived from the torture of the subject, I think he should be acquitted. That said, I can't imagine the prosecutors would be dumb enough to rest their entire case on that.

I'm surprised they're trying in NYC though. The jury selection will be a bear.

Joe said...

I think KSM should simply be shot, but if you're going to have a show trial, it needs to be fair and placing it in New York City seems about as unfair as you can get.

I predict he walks.

Maguro said...

Well, we've finally come full circle back to 9/10/01, where terrorism is just another nuisance to be handled by the courts and the legal process trumps national security.

We've learned nothing. It's like the goddamn thing never happened at all.

Chase said...

Two questions that matter now:

If New York City is attacked - God forbid - because the suspects are now there and American's are wounded or killed:

Will Chuck Schumer resign?

If Mohammed is not convicted due to evidence being dismissed because of the disputed definition of "torture":

Will Eric Holder resign?

AllenS said...

I foresee Bush being drawn into this idiotic show trial.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder...I admire you for being a noble and loving practitioner of non-violence to all.

I don't know where you, and others, get the idea that I am an advocate of non-violence. My position has consistently been that we should follow the rules established by the U.S. military (according to the Army Field Manual for Interrogation) for the treatment of detainees.

Since waterboarding is routinely applied to SEAL candidates, as well as other spec ops troops presumably, a lot of people are assuming out of hand that this will be ruled as torture.

This argument is really bizarre. The entire purpose of SERE training is to prepare our elite troops for situations where, guess what, they might be tortured. It is like claiming that bullets can't hurt you because the military has live fire exercises.

Chase said...

If Mohammed escapes justice in these trials, then President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder and EVERY American who voted for Barack Obama owes a personal apology for that failure to each of the families of the 2,993 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Freder Frederson said...

Richard B. Cheney may well be the next POTUS (without needing a TOTUS) simply because the American people will be so desperate for someone who knows what they're doing and has the will to do it when it comes to protecting the safety and interests of the country.

Yeah, maybe Dick will finally find all of Saddam's chemical and nuclear weapons.

AllenS said...

It is like claiming that bullets can't hurt you because the military has live fire exercises.

What a stupid thing to say. SEALS do get waterboarded. Live fire exercises, people don't get shot.

quilbilly said...

Like the OJ trial had mostly black jurors so the obvious conviction would look fair and non-racial to blacks, the KSM trial should have mostly Muslim jurors. Just kidding.

Michael said...

Was he advised of his rights at the time of his arrest? Was he, in fact, arrested or was he merely taken by the authorities to Gitmo where he was tortured and held without bail? Some lucky lawyer is going to have an absolute ball with this case.

I predict he walks.

Remember that the jury pool, well conditioned by television, believes that a fair trial equals a 50/50 chance of getting off. Right? The whacko in Texas is the "alleged" shooter, not "the" shooter, because we have stood on our heads to make it possible for a jury to be convinced that we were seeing things. Plus, as I recall, KSM is a practitioner of Islam and we can't very well piss off the Muslim world, the Muslim street, can we.
Going forward our wars will be fought against non-uniform wearing enemies. It is going to be tough going if this is the new approach to prisoners of war.

John said...

KSM is not getting off. There would be a real no shit revolution if he did. The problem is that we will get all kinds of legal contortions to make sure he is convicted. And those contortions will become binding precident in other cases. As they say, bad cases make bad law.

What is going to happen is that the trial will be a complete circus. Huge amounts of classified intelligence will be revealed. Our enemies will have a soap box to preach their message and find out all sorts of usful information about how we once defended the country.

We will all be significantly less safe for this. And KSM will be convicted and spend the next 15 years or so preaching the jihad out in Colorado as a poster boy for AQ.

The only upshot of this is that one of two things will happen. Either we will be spared a terrorist attack despite Obama's best efforts otherwise or there will be one during or after this farce in which case the Democratic Party will cease to exist. I hope liberals understand the kind of fire they are playing with. If there is an attack under Obama's watch, they will forever be remembered as the friends of the jihad party.

Flexo said...

The attacks on 9/11 were ACTS OF WAR.

Acts of war are NOT violations of civilian criminal law. The killing of people and destruction of property is entirely LEGAL as act of war. Even acts of war that constitute war crimes are just that WAR crimes, they are not civilian crimes.

Put them on trial in civilian court and there is only one proper verdict -- Not Guilty.

These are war criminals. They should be tried before military tribunals, and they properly were being so tried before Eric Holder, counsel of record for these terrorists, stopped them. The proper forum is the military tribunal, where the evidence is overwhelming of war crimes and the proper verdict would be Guilty with a sentence of death.

AllenS said...

I'm tellin' ya. I see Bush being called into the court room. And both sides, the defense, and the prosecution will be going after him. KSM will walk.

John Lynch said...

The more I think about this, the more I think a civilian court would have to let him go. Otherwise, civilian justice would be perverted beyond recognition. This defendant was tortured, held without trial, and treated completely inappropriately for a criminal. They just can't treat this as a normal case. Anyone else who had the same experience would be freed. And if that's the case, why not KSM?

Why is this in the court system at all? This is a bad idea, because it corrupts the court system by creating special rules for certain defendants when there is a national security angle. That defeats the whole purpose of justice in the courts, it seems to me. Again, if KSM can be detained without trial, what's the point of a trial? It's just political window dressing, and is incredibly dishonest.

I think the Bush team had it right, and that having a separate system for dealing with terrorists captured on the battlefield was the right way to go. Unfortunately, that isn't possible anymore. Expect us to avoid capturing high value enemy leaders or to pass them off to our Muslim allies.

For people that want a clean system for terrorist prisoners, you've instead created a situation where they are killed by a drone (along with whoever is nearby) or imprisoned in far worse conditions. GG.

Flexo said...

Look -- it is NOT the job of everyday citizens, i.e. jurors, to fight our nation's wars. We have the military to do that.

This insane tactic of "war by lawyer" is a societal suicide pact.

chickenlittle said...

Seems like a ploy on the part of the Obama administration to put the Bush administration on trial, get decent people riled up by the threat of an OJ-style aquittal, and then save the day (and discredit Republicans) by actually convicting (but not executing) the bastard.

We'll see how this ploys out.

Jason said...

A trial is not necessary to detain him. A trial is, however, necessary to execute him.

The compromise of classified information, including informants, methods, signal information and means of tracking financial information to prove his guilt in open court, along with dragging CIA agent's names through the mud, is just a welcome byproduct to the pack of hyenas on the left and in the White House.

Flexo said...

Moreover, it is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention to try a POW in civilian criminal courts.

Michael said...

Once he is in New York and charged with a crime it would appear that he will have to be treated as a criminal. So, for starters what kind of childhood did he have and what kind of mental health help was available to him during his upbringing? KSM will walk. Confessed before he was under duress? He was held in a foreign country by a foreign power without being charged with a crime. Of course he confessed. To spare himself the hideous treatment being meted out to his fellow captives. Etc.

Execute him? In the improbable event he is convicted after which appeal would he be executed?

John Lynch said...

Flexo-

Article 84 of the Third Convention reads "A prisoner of war shall be tried only by a military court, unless the existing laws of
the Detaining Power expressly permit the civil courts to try a member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power in respect of
the particular offence alleged to have been committed by the prisoner of war."

I guess that's a question for lawyers. It might still be legal to try KSM while treating him as a POW.

Cedarford said...

Chase said...
If Mohammed escapes justice in these trials, then President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder and EVERY American who voted for Barack Obama owes a personal apology for that failure to each of the families of the 2,993 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Fuck any part of the "Victim Families" who demand it be All About Them, after 1 trillion was spent and 50,000 military casualties and 5,000 soldier deaths - 8 years on.

They and all their supposed champions who envoke their moral authority as the only thing that matters in all aspects the last 8 years - "Tell it to the Victim Families why you think TSA is pathetic!!". They all miss the bigger picture. It was an act of war, it was struck against all Americans, not just the "Poor Victims Families who - needed 3 million dollar payouts and justice and their political endorsees put into office to "achieve CLOSURE".

WWII was not called "The War for Healing the Grief of the Victim Families of Pearl Harbor And Helping Them Reach Closure."

Elinor said...

"...there is only one reason to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in a civilian court: To allow for the public examination of Bush-era anti-terrorism policies that Attorney General Eric Holder does not have the political courage, or permission, to publicize directly."

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2009/11/prosecuting-ksm-and-going-after-bushies.html

miller said...

Elinor, love this quote:
Just One Minute

"It's impossible, really, to caricature this White House; even Josiah Bartlett didn't run through this many liberal stereotypes in his first season. Obama needs new writers. Blow up the World Trade Center and kill 3,000 Americans? Jail! Don't buy health insurance? Jail! Win the Nobel Prize for doing jack squat. Travel to Copenhagen to beg and grovel unsuccessfully for the Olympics, and pledge to go visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but blow off traveling to Berlin to commemorate the victory of freedom over Communism (then give a tepid speech on the subject that refuses to acknowledge Ronald Reagan). Commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland by unilaterally abandoning missile defense installations in Poland. Insult and disdain one faithful ally after another - Britain, India, Israel, Poland, Colombia, you name it - and cozy up to our enemies, with nothing to show for it - nothing to show for anything he's done in foreign affairs."

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

Since waterboarding is routinely applied to SEAL candidates, as well as other spec ops troops presumably, a lot of people are assuming out of hand that this will be ruled as torture.

This argument is really bizarre. The entire purpose of SERE training is to prepare our elite troops for situations where, guess what, they might be tortured.


Far as I know, waterboarding is done mostly in BUDS; I'm guessing it's probably done at Key West. Never said anything about SERE because I doubt it's used there and I have no evidence it is.

Yeah, maybe Dick will finally find all of Saddam's chemical and nuclear weapons.

You mean the ones shown on satellite photos being trucked into Syria? The ones Willie and Tenet and Hillary and Bambi said he had?

Those weapons???

Cedarford said...

Baseball crank said (via Miller)

Insult and disdain one faithful ally after another - Britain, India, Israel, Poland, Colombia, you name it - and cozy up to our enemies, with nothing to show for it India is hardly a faithful ally. In the last 10 years it has gotten friendlier, mainly because we agree we must cooperate more because China is a Rising Threat and there is the matter of India itself being a Rising Nation far more like us than Pakistan..
But for 50 of its 60 years since Independence, India was either aligned with the Soviet UNion or was playing the ever-vocal lead critic of America in the "UNion of non-aligned nations".
As for Our Special Friend, as Zionists and Christian Zionists call it....Israel has never fought on our side, we have no defense treaty with it, it operates the 3rd largest industrial and military espionage ring in the USA after China and Russia and sells our secrets to the Chinese. Diplomatically, economically Israel is no ally, it is a liability. Our albatross.

miller said...

C4 - I so rarely read what you write - I have my killfile set to delete your stuff w/o reading it - but I do want to comment:

You do realize everyone sees you as an anti-semitic crank with an obsession about Jews and Israel, right?

OK.

Carry on.

JeanneB said...

<<< Mr. Schumer at the time pointed to the “blind sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as an example. >>>

Big honkin' difference: The blind sheikh LIVED IN NEW YORK~!

holdfast said...

This is idiotic. I fully support what was done to KSM, because it unarguably produced valuable intel about Al Qaeda that was unavailable through other means. Hell, once they broke him, he became a professor of terrorism, teaching seminars to the CIA. But that as after they broke him - because torture does work, so long as you are asking the right questions and are able to verify the answers given and impose consequences on lying.

All that said, any confession which was obtained under torture (or almost-torture - whatever) should not be admissible in a US court of law as evidence against the confessor. Not because KSM doesn't richly deserve it, but because we don't want or need precedents permitting coerced confessions in the domestic justice system, for reasons that should be obvious to all. It would be much better for the US justice system (and easier on the taxpayers) to just make him dig a hole in the ground at Gitmo and put a 9mm to his head.

LarsPorsena said...

The 2993 victims of 9-11 are just a statistic.

The prosecution should open with the video of Daniel Pearl's beheading.

KSM bragged about that caper.

Cedarford said...

Miller - I imagine it would be a big effort to look up from your ball-lapping the Neocon's favorite nations, but no, India and Israel are not faithful allies. One is a promising newcomer to good relations and mutual benefit for both nations.
And the other is an albatross around our neck.
But if you know any political, economic, or military secrets - rumor is they pay well. Good luck!

Peter Metcalfe said...

Which confession are we talking about? The details he provided under waterboarding or the statements he made to Al-Jazeera that were broadcast one year after the attacks?

Pierre deVincentis said...

If I were KSM's lawyer, I would consider arguing that a civilian trial is not appropriate. My client is a soldier in Allah's army. I would want him at Gitmo; cushy conditions, and the military hasn't executed anyone since the '60's, I think.

The Drill SGT said...

Since we're apparently going to go to a "catch and release" program for all terrorists, I suggest we just find and excuse to put KSM under for about 15 minutes, say for dental work. Put a chip somewhere, like a molar or under his skin. Release him, then give him 60 days and target him with a JDAM

John said...

You have to remember that both Holder and Obama are profoundly stupid boarding on retarded. They honestly believe that all of the horrible things we did to KSM are going to come out and the country will turn against such tactics and want to try Bush and company.

In reality, it will come out that KSM is a psychotic dirtbag who deserved more than he got and that his interrogation resulted in a mother load of intelligence that resulted in saving a bunch of lives. This is going to be a complete disaster for them.

Flexo said...

It hasn't happened to others, but it is not unheard of for folks in jail to feel an obligation to do "their civic duty."

I wouldn't expect it, but wouldn't be surprised if KSM gets a shank in the neck.

Fred4Pres said...

I want to go back to the good old days.

Originalism and all of that.

Fred4Pres said...

John McCain would not have done this.

Eric said...

I don't see how this ends well, either for the country as a whole or for the Obama administration in particular.

Flexo said...

It is well established that it is a violation of civil rights to simply shoot a criminal suspect, rather than arresting them and placing them on trial.

So, if KSM, et al., are now to be treated as criminal defendants, doesn't that mean that the Obama Administration is now subject to lawsuits with liability for civil rights violations?

Indeed, couldn't someone conceivably get an injunction against the Obama Administration and the military from shooting and dropping bombs on these criminal suspects on the battlefield?

Flexo said...

If KSM walks, there is only one appropriate response --

Remove Obama from office.

F15C said...

Obama is creating what he knows will be a circus-sideshow trial that is coldly designed to both mollify the rabid leftist base and provide a media distraction to help the Democrats in next year's elections.

Expect an absolute epic Bush/America-bash with an equally epic lefto-orgasmic ending: KSM found not guilty and Obama's "post-acquittal detention idea" riding to the rescue.

The upshot: Bush receives full blame for both KSM's 'torture' and his subsequent exoneration while Obama takes credit for 'cleaning up the mess' by ensuring KSM will not be a free man.

Florida said...

"If we know where someone like KSM is now, he's more likely to be hit by a missile (along with whoever happens to be around) than captured. That's the perverse incentive created by all the outrage over Gitmo and interrogation."

This is exactly why Barack Obama should be arrested, tried for war crimes, and hung by the neck until dead.

Barack Obama is a murderer. He is ordering the assassination of people who live in Pakistan ... a country we are not at war with.

That is illegal and it is an international war crime.

Arrest him.

Try him.

Then hang him.

Flexo said...

And then there is the matter of Double Jeopardy —

There are currently military commission trials pending against KSM and the others. They have been stayed, but the trials have already begun. Indeed, KSM offered a guilty plea. For the government to dismiss those cases mid-trial and try them instead in federal civilian court might well be held to be a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The trials have begun, pleas have been offered, such that jeopardy has attached. There is a very good argument that they cannot be now tried a second time.

Lem said...

By the time these people come to trial, it will not be in NYC and another 10 to 15 years will have passed waiting.

While the trial it self could take up to 6 months, very likely denying the immediate victims of these crimes a resolution within their lifetime..

I see that as in the very least a failure of choice and at worst crime in it self.

Flexo said...

By the time these people come to trial, it will not be in NYC and another 10 to 15 years will have passed waiting.

They have a little more than three years to get it done. If they are not tried in civilian court before January 20, 2013, they ain't going to be. After that, it is back to the military commissions.

JAL said...

"“I’m absolutely convinced..."

If you HEARD the speech you will remember that President Obama


hesitated.

Therfore undermining how absolutely convinced Obama is.

traditionalguy said...

MILLER...You have reached the highest level of C-4's reverse praise. You now have your first Ball Licker Star. With more diligent comments pushing back at his Jew Hating in the future you may achieve a Ball Licker Star with an oak leaf cluster of which I am the only recipient to date.

JAL said...

I cannot fathom how there can be any jury selected for this case.

I thought Holder and Obama were lawyers.

The only explanation is that they know this will drag on foeever.

Seriously.

If it does go to trial and he is convicted, the appeals will go on for another forever.

And in the meantime, it will be the ultimate distraction while they move to deconstruct America and redistribute the wealth.

While they think it smart politics, someone needs to tell them what an incredible, BAD idea this is.

And daily Americans are getting smarter.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

I basically think that this was a job stimulus program for the NYT and WaPo - the mainstream press is steadily declining and has been declining since the last 5 years - what better way to boost them than to have a civilian trial in lower Manhattan of the biggest terrorist attack on the homeland..

You need tons of reporters to cover this trial, right ?

The NYT and the rest of the horde should be mighty pleased at this "incredible jobs program"..

Allison said...

Only one of the commenters here seemed to correctly separate KSM's confessions and guilty pleas from the waterboarding.

KSM has bragged that he was the mastermind of Sept 11. KSM has bragged he beheaded Daniel Pearl.

He would not give up operational intelligence on other future attacks or who he was working with until being waterboarded.

But his confessions themselves were not Mirandized, so it seems quite likely that they will not be admitted into this court.

Then there's the jury selection. Pretend you could find an "unbiased juror" in NYC for this case. Who, exactly, would that be? Someone in a coma when it occurred, who woke up a few years later, and who had no friends or family affected by the attack?

What crazy person would agree to be on the jury? to be sequestered? To be on the jury without being afraid his/her identity would be leaked out? What happens to them, their families ? How many death threats do they get a day?

It's insane. The show trial will call up GWB and Cheney and the rest to eviscerate what's left of our intelligence gathering, and it will in the end acquit, or so deeply compromise the notion of a fair trial that trials themselves lose credibility.

Gary Rosen said...

"it operates the 3rd largest industrial and military espionage ring in the USA after China and Russia"

You mean the Chinese who you ball-lapped in a recent thread? Just checking. By the way, which chapter of Dale Carnegie did you get "ball-lapping" out of? That's OK, I know you're too chickenshit to answer me.

PatCA said...

I agree that in civilian court the defendants will look for the chimerical "impartial" jury and venue and that they will never find them. Obama will then leave Gitmo open and try them there.

Obama makes points with the left, then the right. It's all politics. It's not like it's life and death or anything!

dick said...

I am surprised that Schumer did not mention Lynne Stewart, the lawyer who took messages from Mohammed to his staff so they could kill people in Egypt. She didn't get totally freed in NYC - in fact she had a lot of people testifying for her. Think this sheikh will be any different?

Anyone who thought Zero and his staff were pragmatic and logical should finally have learned better and realized the mistake.