October 7, 2010

Glenn Greenwald thinks I "thundered."

Hmmm. Here's my post, in writing of course. No audio track from me. If Greenwald heard thunder, does that say more about me or about Greenwald? He writes:
All of this, needless to say, is being depicted from predictable corners as proof that Terrorists do not belong in real courts. National Review's Andy McCarthy complained that "civilian due-process standards are crippling the government’s case" and that "we are intentionally tying our hands behind our backs and running an unnecessarily high risk of acquittal in a case involving a war criminal." Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse thundered: "I want to hear President Obama explain his decision and the judge's decision to the American people." Politico announced that Judge Kaplan's ruling "could deal a major setback to those who favor civilian criminal trials for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, including those suspected in the September 11 attacks." McCarthy lamented: "the slam dunk has become a horse race, one the government could actually lose."
Greenwald must think that there isn't a satisfying explanation for the judge's decision that Obama — an experienced constitutional law teacher — could provide to Americans. Hearing "thunder" in my measured remark happened — it seems to me — because of a background belief that the law is indefensible. It's so interesting to me when someone lets that show. Fascinating!

143 comments:

deborah said...

It's fascinating that McCarthy explained, Politico announced, and Althouse thundered. Simmer down, Althouse. Greenwald doesn't like it when Mommy and Daddy fight.

deborah said...

Sorry, McCarthy complained.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Ann, maybe you could explain, given the fact that the witness would be an issue even in a military tribunal, why this judge's decision requires a special explanation from the president.

Why aren't you demanding an explanation for the occurrence of coercion? Is it because you tacitly endorse it?

HDHouse said...

thunderation.

I read the article and have no idea what the huff-puff is about other than when someone uses "may and inevitably" in the same sentence describing the same action he is not up for thunderous applause on the usage clap-o-meter.

HDHouse said...

good point MM.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Also, why is there no mention that even an acquittal in this case would not lead to the prisoner's release ? Is it because that would mean the whole thing is less frightening/ damning of the Obama admin.? Are you just posting something hoping that the impression will be left that "Obama is soft on terrorists?"

This is obviously a rhetorical question.

traditionalguy said...

Use your "inside voice", Professor. You scared them. Rational logic from known facts only seems like thunder to those who do not want to hear any directness cutting through carefully constructed confusion.

Moose said...

I was having a ball watching Sully squirm under Greenwald's assault on his rationale regarding targeted killings of US nationals abroad.

Greenwald is, if nothing else, consistent about his beleifs.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, it's really a compliment from a guy who didn't intend to toss one your way. "Thunder" suggests that the merest comment -- just one line -- by a certain lawprof in Madison is enough to shake the political landscape.

There's not much to complain about when someone suggests that you have the earth-shaking powers that Homer attributed to Zeus.

The Crack Emcee said...

I remember reading it, and kinda thinking "damn", but I wouldn't necessarily say you thundered.

Alex said...

Why am I not *shocked* that MM and HDHouse are engaged in a circle-jerk?

Crimso said...

"Is it because that would mean the whole thing is less frightening/ damning of the Obama admin.?"

You haven't been keeping up. On another thread this point has been raised repeatedly (though I don't know that Althouse herself has addressed it; but, hey, it's her blog, we're all just living in it), with the consensus (if I may be so bold) that it is more "frightening/damning" of Obama as it implies this is a show trial, among other things.

SMGalbraith said...

If one starts with the premise that the two most dangerous forces in the world are the Israeli and US governments (or vice-versa depending on the topic), then everything Greenwald says makes sense.

He's the quintessential "doughface" that Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. described during the beginning of the Cold War. That is, those progressives who feared America power in the world more than those opposed to American power.

It's a not entirely unjustified position; but like all positions carried to extreme becomes a caricature of itself.

SteveR said...

Also, why is there no mention that even an acquittal in this case would not lead to the prisoner's release ?

Seems obvious that the current scenario, even if found not guilty they won't be released, is just a way to ease the effect of a transition to actually only using the civilian court decisions for deciding detention or release.

Who's naive enough to believe that the ACLU, Holder, et al aren't intent on getting rid of the whole CIA/Military tribunal/Gitmo process? You know that whole ChimpyMcBushHilterBurton thing. Bad Bad

SMGalbraith said...

Let's substitute "indefensible" for "unjustified".

I'd make a lousy blogger.

rhhardin said...

He didn't see the lightning.

Montagne Montaigne said...

You know that whole ChimpyMcBushHilterBurton thing. Bad Bad

As opposed to the whole HusseinSocialistKenya Namby pamby liberal traitor thing, bad bad, eh?

The Bush administration military tribunals were so great, they were struck down by the supreme court. And the only recidivist terrorists released from Gitmo were released during the Bush administration's tenure, when the wonderful tribunals were in full effect. CLEARLY no alternative to the scintillating system set up by the Bush administration were needed. Obama and Holder just want to spit in Israel's eye and acquit terrorists so they can reconstitute the Black Panthers and terrorize tea party voters.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why aren't you demanding an explanation for the occurrence of coercion? Is it because you tacitly endorse it?"

The question is what evidence is admissible at trial now, after what happened in the past has already happened. Do we exclude the statements of the defendant AND the testimony of a witness who was discovered via those statements? Do you want all of that excluded? It could be admitted and the factfinder could decide what weight to give it, depending on all the circumstances, but the exclusionary rule is designed to work to deter the coercion of confessions prospectively. That's what I would like to hear Obama explain and defend. If it's good law, there should be a good explanation. If that should apply in the terrorism context, where coercion was used to try to gain intelligence about our enemy in a war, then explain that. If it shouldn't apply in the military context, then the decision to have a civilian trial was a bad one. Right? I'm not "thundering." I'm trying to have an intelligent, informed discussion of the problem.

former law student said...

Trying to calibrate Althouse's chosen verb to "thundering", I would say that "I want" is stronger than "I would like" but much much less strong than "I demand," which to me would meet the definition of thundering.

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, I don't know what coercive technique was used on this defendant, but the exclusion of confessions in ordinary criminal trials kicks in at a very low level and has nothing to do with the line that would define "torture."

tim maguire said...

Terrorists don't belong in real courts because the government isn't going to free them no matter what the judge and jury say. Obama wanted to get a conviction in civilian court to placate certain elements of his base, but what he's really doing is making a joke of our court system--because the verdict doesn't matter to the fate of the accused.

c3 said...

MM;
Also, why is there no mention that even an acquittal in this case would not lead to the prisoner's release ?

Please read yesterday's thread. That was a key discussion point....as in what's the point!

edutcher said...

The Lefties are really getting tiresome with the "If Chimpy did this, we're against it" routine.

PS He must have her confused with Chief Joseph (Thunder Rolling Over The Mountain).

Any Nez Perce ancestry, Ann?

Montagne Montaigne said...

The Lefties are really getting tiresome with the "If Chimpy did this, we're against it" routine.


This is what total lack of self-awareness looks like. Hey Ed, has Obama ever touched anything that you didn't then think was the devil?

Maguro said...

OK...so we'll demonstrate the majesty and fairness of our legal system by acquitting this guy because he was coerced, then throw his ass back in jail indefinitely because releasing him would be politically inconvenient for Obama.

Is that how Obama's going to recover our lost "moral authority"?

Trooper York said...

Doesn't he know that women blow and men thunder?

HDHouse said...

oh Alex you are such a nudge...what is your motto again? "if i've got nothing to say i say it"?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Glenn Greenwald thinks I "thundered."

He who smelt it dealt it.

chris said...

"By the way, I don't know what coercive technique was used on this defendant, but the exclusion of confessions in ordinary criminal trials kicks in at a very low level and has nothing to do with the line that would define "torture.""


You are trying everything you can not to admit you endorse torture. It's pathetic that fear has made otherwise intelligent persons come to this.

I actually pity you.

Montagne Montaigne said...

So the beef pretty much is that the Obama admin's solution to the impossible, kafkesque clusterfuck of justice left to us by the previous administration "just isn't that much better."

OK! Vote Republican! Accountability is for suckers!

traditionalguy said...

The application of laws against good laws always seems suspect. Juvenile Courts let criminals under 17 off for their crimes and gives them no record. That is law against other good laws. Bankruptcy law lets debtors off and enjoins collection efforts.That is law against other good laws. Exclusionary rules of perfectly valid evidence in the prosecution of criminals is a law that against other good laws. In each case the "Public Policy' found a good reason to make these new laws against good laws. But how far does Public Policy extend the law against winning wars since "Everybody deserves protections". Well, the enemies at war with us are getting a good laugh out of this exercise in confusion. The Professor's shinning a light of rational thought on the situation sounds like Thunder from a lightning bolt of truth. And she is only a woman.

HDHouse said...

Ann Althouse said...
".. the exclusionary rule is designed to work to deter the coercion of confessions prospectively..."

then we are to assume that Bush and company never had any thought whatsoever that this would land in criminal court? if that is the case then didn't they plant a knowingly poison seed when they permitted torture - forcing any and all who followed them to rely on the special courts they created?

Is that the (your} point?

chris said...

I notice that. You'd figure anybody with any respect for the law would blame the people who tortured this guy in the first place, poisoning any charges against him.

Ann supports torture. She doesn't have the stones to say it.

Lucien said...

Does anyone know:
a) whether the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine would apply to exclude the testimony in question in a military tribunal; or

2) how much other evidence the government has tying the defendant to the crime?

DaveW said...

Ann supports torture. She doesn't have the stones to say it.

Really? She does?

Damn I've been reading this blog I don't know how many years and I never picked that up. Althouse has a sadomasochistic side, and she's a coward too! Thanks Chris!

I never do these, but wv: scrotork: what Althouse wants to do to terrorists with her vise-grips.

AZDCbadger said...

Isn't this a straightforward application of Garrity, which prohibits use or derivative use of coerced statements? The gov't would not have known about Abebe were it not for the coerced statements made by Ghailani.

madawaskan said...

Speaking of stones....

there's a strip show called-

Thunder from Down Under-

Dudes from Aussie in their tights.

Maybe Greenwald and his sock would like it.

[sorry, I can't sort through Greenwald.]

madawaskan said...

scrotork: what Althouse wants to do to terrorists with her vise-grips.

Ha!

deborah said...

Oh, chris, you big-balled bastard, go on and make your profile available...inquiring minds want to know.

Quayle said...

So let me see if I get the logic of the American left straight:

It is OK to cruise missile a suspected terrorist in Afghanistan, and to bomb one with a drone in Pakistan,

but it isn't OK for the federal government to listen to their phone calls,

but it is OK to arrest them and bring them to Manhattan,

but it isn't OK to arrest them and bring them to Cuba,

But it is OK to kill them with sniper fire,

but it isn't OK to water-board them,

but it is OK to try them in US criminal court while guaranteeing that they won't ever be released,

but it isn't OK to try them in a military tribunal or to admit tainted-fruit evidence into a US criminal court,

but it is OK to project massive force into Afghanistan to hinder the bad guys along the border with Pakistan,

but it isn't OK for a state to beef up law enforcement to get some control over the border with Mexico.

Isn't that basically what we're being told?

deborah said...

DaveW:
"I never do these, but wv: scrotork: what Althouse wants to do to terrorists with her vise-grips."

LOL

We need to start a 'best of' list.

HDHouse said...

@quayle

naw...you got it mostly wrong. it is ok. we on the left forgive you for you know not what you do or say.

chris said...

"Oh, chris, you big-balled bastard, go on and make your profile available...inquiring minds want to know."

Didn't know it was hidden. Email and stuff not available? I'll gladly open it up if you tell me.


"Damn I've been reading this blog I don't know how many years and I never picked that up. Althouse has a sadomasochistic side, and she's a coward too! Thanks Chris!"

It is implicit in her views. Was she blogging about how we shouldn't be torturing men years ago because it would pollute their trials? No, she blogs now that the torture shouldn't matter.

Quayle:

Man, you're scared. But just because you're scared, doesn't mean we give up the law.


Again, I pity some of you folks.

Robert Cook said...

@Quayle.

I see HDHouse beat me to the punch. You're confused.

Quayle said...

"Man, you're scared. But just because you're scared, doesn't mean we give up the law"

I'm not scared.

I'm laughing - laughing at the supposed rational, enlightened, superior left.

LarsPorsena said...

@Quayle: Your 12:02 says it all

chris said...

"I'm laughing - laughing at the supposed rational, enlightened, superior left."

Dude, anybody who understands the basics of the law, Constitution, or America is your superior.

Your past was just sad.

Widmerpool said...

HDHouse said...
Ann Althouse said...
".. the exclusionary rule is designed to work to deter the coercion of confessions prospectively..."

then we are to assume that Bush and company never had any thought whatsoever that this would land in criminal court? if that is the case then didn't they plant a knowingly poison seed when they permitted torture - forcing any and all who followed them to rely on the special courts they created?

Is that the (your} point?


HD,

Of course our proprietress can speak for herself, but I think the point (at least for me) is that if alot of the useful information gained by coercive interrogation (which is not obtained by "torture" under any reasonable definition) is not admissible in criminal trials (which these guys are not constitutionally entitled to), then perhaps the decision to proceed in this fashion is a bad one. Eric or Barry needs to to 'splain.

good said...

It's not polite to frighten the sock puppet like that.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

Ann, maybe you could explain, given the fact that the witness would be an issue even in a military tribunal,...

Actually, no. Military Tribunals can hear many things that are inadmissible in a civilian court. It is up to their discretion as to whether to use it.

Quayle said...

"Dude, anybody who understands the basics of the law, Constitution, or America is your superior."

I'll readily stipulate that you and all your co-hearts are superior.

And as my superior, you should be able to easily answer this one question:

Does the authorization to wage war ever trump the U.S. Constitution, and if so when and how, and if not, why not?

Should be easy for someone as brilliant as you seem to be, to answer that for a humble idiot like myself.

former law student said...

The gov't would not have known about Abebe were it not for the coerced statements made by Ghailani.


The problem is that Abebe is not a bag of heroin in a closet, not an coerced admission of guilt, but a living human being, whose own testimony is uncoerced. In fact, his testimony is if anything the opposite of coerced because he must fear retaliation from Ghailani's associates.

edutcher said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

The Lefties are really getting tiresome with the "If Chimpy did this, we're against it" routine.

This is what total lack of self-awareness looks like. Hey Ed, has Obama ever touched anything that you didn't then think was the devil?


The Zero is a small c communist and the vainest human being on the planet. He has shown himself to be an incredible incompetent at running a government.

But, no, he is not the devil, nor is Willie. They just try to implement all the bad ideas the Left has been pushing for a century and have been proven wrong. You denounce them that way, not in the shreikingly ludicrous childishness found on Kos or Puffington ("I want to tie thermite grenades to him and watch as I pull the pins...")

LarsPorsena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Ghost said...

the ignorance on display in some of the comments is truely breathtaking ...

the guy DID NOT CONFESS his crimes to the CIA during enhanced interrogation ...

see how that works ... get the facts first then argue your point ...

DaveW said...

It is implicit in her views.

Oh. You mean like I think lower taxes are better and therefore I think people should be allowed to starve in the streets?

Or like I think Zerocare was an enormous mistake and therefore I must think little poor kids should go without vaccinations?

Implicit like that?

Quaestor said...

Tim Maguire nailed it.

former law student said...

Ghost:

the living human witness is being denied the right to testify under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.

"Names, give me names!"

- "Abebe"

SBVOR said...

Aw shucks, Ann...
You're just a mild mannered reporter in the age of the blogosphere.

Hey, wait...
Wasn't Superman's alter ego described the same way?

Keep on thundering SuperWoman!

You can quote me on that.

craig said...

This is not intrinsically a torture question, despite the usual suspects' bleats about Chimpy, etc.

The question is how to define the boundary, and how to handle cases that sit on the boundary, between gathering actionable intelligence information (military) and gathering forensic evidence for prosecution (civilian). Whenever a faction chooses to wage war directly against civilian population through perfidious means (i.e., refusing to abide by the Geneva requirements to distinguish oneself from the civilian population), we cannot expect a clean separation of civilian and military law.

Regardless of what practices could render a confession excluded in civilian court (whether torture or absence of Miranda warnings), in such a scenario it will frequently be more important to get the information and forgo the prosecution. That is what the left fails to understand, and why they subject us to the idiocy of civilian trials for terrorists captured in a war zone.

former law student said...

Terrorists don't belong in real courts

That's odd -- US District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum had no trouble sentencing terrorist Faisal Shahzad to life in prison on Tuesday.

SMGalbraith said...

US District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum had no trouble sentencing terrorist Faisal Shahzad to life in prison on Tuesday.

After he plead guilty.

chris said...

"Does the authorization to wage war ever trump the U.S. Constitution, and if so when and how, and if not, why not?"

If you have law, nothing trumps it, or you don't have law.

former law student said...

the idiocy of civilian trials for terrorists captured in a war zone.


Normally I would agree but nothing that the Bush administration did was normal. Remember they defined the entire planet as the war zone (see GWOT). Further, they defined a bunch of thugs as an army, but wouldn't treat them as an army because they didn't wear uniforms. Carving out a Yoonique exception, they declared the soldiers/not soldiers of the army/not army beyond the reach of public humanitarian law. Finally they tried to put their captives out of reach of US law by putting them in a place controlled by the US military yet subject to Cuban sovereignty. Only Kafka could have imagined such a twisted state of affairs.

chris said...

"the guy DID NOT CONFESS his crimes to the CIA during enhanced interrogation ...

see how that works ... get the facts first then argue your point ...
"


Yes, understand the law and then argue yours. It's settled law. You're ignorant of it, obviously.

chris said...

"That is what the left fails to understand, and why they subject us to the idiocy of civilian trials for terrorists captured in a war zone."

And what you fail to understand is that Bush and now Obama view the entire world as a "war zone".

Quayle said...

"If you have law, nothing trumps it, or you don't have law."

Then why aren't we giving Miranda warnings to people the soldiers arrest in Afghanistan?

According to your answer, we should be.

former law student said...

After he plead guilty.


Gee, I wonder why he did that? Remorse?

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TRO said...

"Ann supports torture. She doesn't have the stones to say it."

I don't know if she does or not, but the prospect of her supporting it makes her all the more attractive to me.

Todd said...

As is typical of the left (HDHouse, chris and others) they are arguing the wrong point (and I suspect that they know it). These persons that Obama wants to try in civilian court have not been poisoned by Bush authorized practices because … wait for it … they never (NEVER) had the right to a trial in a civilian court in the first place. As is the case with most things progressive, this “right” to a civilian trail was yet another so called right that they pulled out of their bag of tricks like magicians pull out rabbits. Those poor souls in Gitmo are enemy combatants that are [if you take them at their own words] at war (WAR) with America. Civilian court is typically reserved for... wait for it... civilians! To a non-lawyer, non-legal eagle like me, that just seems fairly clear. I guess that you have had to have graduated from one of those very “special” law schools to be able to see nuance in the law where there is none.

Fen said...

Why aren't you demanding an explanation for the occurrence of coercion? Is it because you tacitly endorse it?

Because Althouse has a different standard if the perp isn't black.

AZDCbadger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AZDCbadger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chris said...

"Then why aren't we giving Miranda warnings to people the soldiers arrest in Afghanistan?

According to your answer, we should be."

No, again, you really, REALLY don't understand the law, the constitution, or anything, apparently.

Nowhere is ti required to give miranda warnings to foreigners outside the country.

Look dude, you've embarrassed yourself. Let it go.


" These persons that Obama wants to try in civilian court have not been poisoned by Bush authorized practices because … wait for it … they never (NEVER) had the right to a trial in a civilian court in the first place."

The torturing of defendants poisons a military trial also, you fool.

" To a non-lawyer, non-legal eagle like me, that just seems fairly clear. I guess that you have had to have graduated from one of those very “special” law schools to be able to see nuance in the law where there is none."

Right, how could somebody with a law degree possibly be smarted on the law?

Rod said...

::tunes up::
"thundering, thundering, louder than before!

chris said...

"I don't know if she does or not, but the prospect of her supporting it makes her all the more attractive to me."

What a terrible American, so fearful and lost.

LarsPorsena said...

"What a terrible American, so fearful and lost."

Not as long as you're here to protect and guide us.

chris said...

"Not as long as you're here to protect and guide us."

Don't worry, torture and disregard for the rule of law will alleviate your fears.

Squid said...

The bottom line is that all this uncertainty about legal status and proper procedure leads to more summary executions on the battlefield. To the extent that this leads to fewer bad guys, this is great. To the extent that it leads to more innocents dying, this is bad. To the extent that shooting bad guys is safer than taking them into custody, this is good for our troops. To the extent that it keeps us from gathering intel through interrogation, it's bad.

I think that in their quest to preserve the rights of the people trying to kill their countrymen, our resident leftists have made it much more likely that such people will simply be killed themselves.

Still blind to unintended consequences. I suspect they always will be.

Todd said...

"The torturing of defendants poisons a military trial also, you fool."

I did not call it torture, you did. I also seem to recall that there were specific legal rulings and/or advisories stating that the methods employed for use against detained enemy combatants did not constitute torture.

To progressives, no cable TV is torture…

By the by, I was being civil. Is name calling the best you can do as to a reasoned rebuttal?

Fen said...

The torturing of defendants poisons a military trial also, you fool.

Do you understand that waterboarding is used to gather actionable intelligence to prevent the mass murder of americans?

These perps shouldn't even be on trial. They should be held as POWs until the war against radical islam is over.

You and your kind are going to get the rest of us killed.

AZDCbadger said...

The problem is that Abebe is not a bag of heroin in a closet, not an coerced admission of guilt, but a living human being, whose own testimony is uncoerced. In fact, his testimony is if anything the opposite of coerced because he must fear retaliation from Ghailani's associates.

I think you misunderstand Garrity, former law student. Whether Abebe's testimony is coerced is irrelevant. The issue is whether the gov't discovered Abebe through Ghailani's coerced statements; the gov't can't use the statements or anything derived from them. A Kastigar hearing would be necessary if the gov't had another source of the tainted info

LarsPorsena said...

Some men sleep safely in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

I, on the other hand, am snug and warm because of Glen Greenwald's blog.

former law student said...

Sorry former law student, but Garrity doesn't work that way. The Blackwater/Nisur Square prosecution had the same problem.

For Garrity to be at all applicable, Ghailani's coerced testimony would have to have influenced what Abebe would say. But the judge could have a separate hearing to determine that.

craig said...

FLS, I agree with many of your criticisms of the Bush administration's legal stratagems in the "war on terror". But I would advocate a different remedy.

The problem is that terrorism as a war strategy is much older than the laws of war or the Westphalian framework of national sovereignty. The proper response to this kind of enemy is to use the older methods of legally declaring such entities as hostis humani generis, empowering anyone to act against them, and issuing letters of marque and reprisal.

The Congress should have declared war on the entity known as al-Qaida specifically so that any civilian (i.e., other than those captured in arms) consorting with al-Qaida should be hanged for treason. This, to me, is the only practical difference between a "declaration of war" and an "authorization of military force": the latter seems to restrict the state of enmity to military actors and not to all citizens.

The barbarians are not more powerful than the civilized, they simply are more willing to use the powers they have.

Freder Frederson said...

If it's good law, there should be a good explanation. If that should apply in the terrorism context, where coercion was used to try to gain intelligence about our enemy in a war, then explain that. If it shouldn't apply in the military context,

Gee Ann, read the International Convention Against Torture and explain to us why it shouldn't apply to this defendant.

Then we can start discussing the particulars of this case.

Bruce Hayden said...

Nowhere is ti required to give Miranda warnings to foreigners outside the country.

Is that the case? If so, please provide case citations for that proposition. Or, is it that Miranda is irrelevant unless someone is tried in a U.S. criminal court?

The worry is not trying the perps in a military tribunal, but rather, the decision to try them in federal district court. And, if the Court here is going to exclude testimony based on alleged "torture", then why not do so on other grounds commonly recognized by our criminal court system, such as failure to provide Miranda rights?

Let me suggest though that the problem goes much deeper here. The logistics to properly prepare for trial here of someone captured on a battlefield on the opposite side of the world is monumental. And, then throw in security and classified information issues. How do you get all the witnesses in one place, here, esp. when they may be foreigners themselves, may no longer be in the military or CIA, etc. I would suggest that the right to confront witnesses is even more basic than the tortured confession or Miranda issues to our American concept of justice.

SMGalbraith said...

Gee, I wonder why he did that? Remorse?

Shazad openly confessed. Ghailani won't.

Ghailani's laywers will try anything to get their client off. And because the standards for civilian trials are higher, it's easier to do so.

We simply can't expect the military to abide by the standards - chain of custody, Miranda warnings et cetera - that we demand of the law enforcement.

That's the problem.

Bruce Hayden said...

Gee Ann, read the International Convention Against Torture and explain to us why it shouldn't apply to this defendant.

Gee Freder, maybe you should read the U.S. reservations to the treaty first, and then explain how this qualifies under II.(1), and, in particular, (1)(a).

Freder Frederson said...

Damn I've been reading this blog I don't know how many years and I never picked that up. Althouse has a sadomasochistic side, and she's a coward too! Thanks Chris!

She is. She absolutely refuses to explicitly state whether she thinks it is okay to torture people under some circumstances, even though she has gone to ridiculous lengths to defend the torture policies of the Bush administration.

Who can forget the "he could shoot laser beams out of his eyes" defense for the sensory deprivation of Jose Padilla as he was marched down an empty hall to a dentist.

Fen said...

Libtard: defend the torture policies of the Bush administration.

These are the "torture" policies of the Obama administration. If you had any integrity...

Freder Frederson said...

Gee Freder, maybe you should read the U.S. reservations to the treaty first, and then explain how this qualifies under II.(1), and, in particular, (1)(a).

So? That is the U.S. statutory definition of torture. It is not significantly different from the definition in the Convention other than explicitly allowing the death penalty.

Lincolntf said...

Fred-
A hefty rinsing is not torture, no matter what the silly UN pamphlets say. Stupid people playing word games in an effort to aid our enemy are the only people who call waterboarding torture. And callow politicians, of course.
The Left used to call drone strikes "war crimes" remember? Yet no call for a modern day Nuremberg trial for Obama since he's ramped that strategy up. Odd that.
I know you support Obama. So is it fair to ask why you support War Crimes? Why did you vote for a War Criminal? Does Obama's expansion of the war into Yemen (and his expansion of the Patriot Act) make you feel a bit like a dupe? And is that why you want everyone else to admit to endorsing something "evil"?

Robert Cook said...

Craig said:

"The Congress should have declared war on the entity known as al-Qaida specifically so that any civilian (i.e., other than those captured in arms) consorting with al-Qaida should be hanged for treason."

How does one know that a person accused of "consorting with al-Qaida" is actually guilty of the allegation? After all, most of those "worst of the worst" (Rumsfeld's term) who were imprisoned at Quantanamo have been released, most of them innocent of any connections to terrorists or terrorism, (many of them, in fact, simply kidnap victims, sold for bounty by Afghanistan warlords or others hungry for American green).

Bruce Hayden said:

"The logistics to properly prepare for trial here of someone captured on a battlefield on the opposite side of the world is monumental."

Not least among the difficulties in properly preparing the logistics in such cases is: what defines "the battlefield?" Is is anywhere in the world? Is it anywhere we deem it to be? Is it anywhere outside our borders? Within our borders?

In truth, there is no battlefield, except where we have created these areas by our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, (and spreading, more recently, into Pakistan). How do we know which of those we have captured in those places are terrorists or merely hapless citizens caught out in the wrong places at the wrong times, or wrongly accused by those with personal grudges against them or who will otherwise benefit by providing us with targets for capture?

Fen said...

Yet no call for a modern day Nuremberg trial for Obama since he's ramped that strategy up. Odd that.

"The Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture us about."

Fen said...

Libtard: After all, most of those "worst of the worst" (Rumsfeld's term) who were imprisoned at Quantanamo have been released -

- have gone back to the battlefield to commit more war crimes. But you''re cool with that because they aren't the GOP you're looking for. Idiot.

Robert Cook said...

Lincolntf:

Waterboarding, of course, is torture, and Obama, of course, is a war criminal who belongs in shackles in a courtroom alongside his fellow torturers and mass murderers Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.

LarsPorsena said...

"Libtard: After all, most of those "worst of the worst" (Rumsfeld's term) who were imprisoned at Quantanamo have been released -

- have gone back to the battlefield to commit more war crimes. But you''re cool with that because they aren't the GOP you're looking for. Idiot."

..have gone back to the battlefield to commit more war crimes..
74 and counting (poor little innocent shepherd boys)

Robert Cook said...

"...have gone back to the battlefield to commit more war crimes."

Often--and easily--alleged, not proven.

Alex said...

Cook - you're a loon.

traditionalguy said...

Are we now to believe that Althouse has become a pro-torture Momma Badger just because Obam's pro-Muslim Combatants shell game has been exposed? And what about criticising a black man...that must be worth some points against her? At this rate we won't need Palin to kick around any more.

Alex said...

Cook - how much does Al Queda pay you?

Fen said...

what about criticising a black man...that must be worth some points against her?

Sssssh! Ann has a double standard re black people. Pointing that out will get you screened and deleted.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ok, what was done to this guy, by whom, when and where, and how is that considered "torture"?

The NYT article mentions coercive techniques, but that is far short fo asserting what is defined to be "torture" under either U.S. law or our reservations under the torture treaty.

I think that most here would question admitting testimony acquired through some of the techniques that have been used over the centuries to extract such, such as pulling out finger nails, stretching on the rack, breaking bones, etc., but so far, I have seen no evidence that anything beyond, say, parading him around nude, or maybe forcing him to wear women's underwear, happened to him.

If you have documented evidence of actions by U.S. government employees that would constitute "torture" under either U.S. law or our reservations to the torture treaty, please provide such to us so that we can make up our own minds.

Todd said...

"...have gone back to the battlefield to commit more war crimes."

Often--and easily--alleged, not proven.

Well the New York Post found at least 10, does that counter your "Often--and easily--alleged, not proven."?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52670-2004Oct21.html

Fen said...

Libtard: Often--and easily--alleged, not proven.

Wrong again, idiot.

Take a guess at what percentage of the "innocents" released from Gitmo have gone back to blowing up infidels.

I only wish we could put you on the FEBA, so you could experience the consequence of your folly yourself.

One day, if the wall come down, you'll get your turn.

Bruce Hayden said...

In truth, there is no battlefield, except where we have created these areas by our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, (and spreading, more recently, into Pakistan). How do we know which of those we have captured in those places are terrorists or merely hapless citizens caught out in the wrong places at the wrong times, or wrongly accused by those with personal grudges against them or who will otherwise benefit by providing us with targets for capture?

So, your contention is that this guy is a hapless farmer who just happened to be accidentally picked up by the CIA, or someone and turned over to the CIA?

wv: facker - seems somehow appropriate here.

Bailey Alexander said...

Greenwald isn't nearly as consistent, lucid and comprehensive as Gore Vidal. Vidal's been prescient for 7 decades, at the crucible, he has lived within history. His grandfather helped create US aviation, brought the Okie's into the Union, the Kennedy's, his own historical run, etc, etc, etc.

But GG is pretty steady and passionate about our 'core principles' even as Althouse and the rest tend to like the authoritarian route, a bit narrow, a bit pinching, like wearing their little Mary Janes past their by sell point.

Sullivan flirts with ideas, changes with his age, his mood, just as Althouse flirts with those Mary Janes...

LarsPorsena said...

Yes, Vidal has been consistent with his loathing of the US. At least he had the decency to move to Italy.

former law student said...

Well the New York Post found at least 10, does that counter your "Often--and easily--alleged, not proven."?


The only returned prisoners the Pentagon named in 2004 were Taliban, captured during fighting in Afghanistan, who, once returned, continued to fight with the Taliban. Probably not a good move to release Taliban as long as we were still fighting them.

Robert Cook said...

"Well the New York Post found at least 10, does that counter your "Often--and easily--alleged, not proven."?

How do we know the Post is accurate? Even if it is...10 out of the hundreds who have been held and released is not only not enough to justify our presumptions of guilt against all, but supports the reality that most of them were hapless innocents.

And even of those few who have returned home and engaged in fighting against us, how do we know they were not motivated to join the fight against us by our having taken them captive and imprisoned them? How do we know if they were or were not previously engaged in fighting against us? And does fighting against us--in itself--prove these persons are terrorists? Perhaps they are simply citizens of a sovereign nation fighting against foreign armies invading their land.

Fen said...

Robert Cook: Obama, of course, is a war criminal who belongs in shackles in a courtroom alongside his fellow torturers and mass murderers Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.

Oh bullshit. If you REALLY believed that, you wouldn't keep referring to it as the Bush policy.

You're no better than the weasels who claimed AfPak was a just war to provide cover for their anti-war stance re Iraq.

And note the last segment of your sentence, you tepidly include Obama only as an excuse to bash Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al

You're such a hypocrite.

Bruce Hayden said...

Waterboarding, of course, is torture, and Obama, of course, is a war criminal who belongs in shackles in a courtroom alongside his fellow torturers and mass murderers Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.

So, are you claiming that the U.S. military routinely tortures its most elite troops and fliers by waterboarding them?

There is no "of course" here. Maybe in the fetid swamps of liberal echo chambers, it is "of course" torture.

This is the same sort of argument that you see when someone uses "obviously" - the argument is suspect ab initio based on the use of conclusory language. Invariably, when you see this sort of thing, your first thought is (or at least should be) that if it actually were so obvious, then why isn't that argument being made? And, that makes you think that the author knows that his argument is weak, and is trying to gloss over the weaknesses thereof by using conclusory language.

Which reminds me of last weekend. My kid is taking a bunch of math and physics classes in college. My discussed proofs, and my suggestion of what to do when getting into trouble with a proof on a test or homework was to just stop and write Q.E.D.

Fen said...

But Glen Grenwald is pretty steady and passionate about our 'core principles'

No he isn't. Glenn Greenwald, the Master of Sock Puppets, is only passionate about the topic when it doesn't affect him.

I promise you, when its his life at risk, his family, his city about to suffer a WMD attack ... Glenn Greenwald will be begging people like me to torture the perp to find out how to prevent it.

He's only embraced the anti-"torture" movement to score Indulgence points to offset his selfish parasitic lifestyle.

madawaskan said...

Dear Bailey-

What the flying- Westboro- Baptist is your point?

former law student said...

So, are you claiming that the U.S. military routinely tortures its most elite troops and fliers by waterboarding them?


The US military waterboards its most elite troops and fliers to give them the confidence that they can stand up to torture.

Only the cruelest of godless foes --- like the North Koreans or the Chicoms -- would waterboard their captives.

Todd said...

Robert Cook said...
"Well the New York Post found at least 10, does that counter your "Often--and easily--alleged, not proven."?

How do we know the Post is accurate? Even if it is...10 out of the hundreds who have been held and released is not only not enough to justify our presumptions of guilt against all, but supports the reality that most of them were hapless innocents.


Never said that was all, just that was all I found after just 1 Google search and a couple of minutes scanning. Funny how “not proven” turns to “not proven enough”. Typical progressive move that. Draw a line in the sand and as soon as it is crossed, move it and pretend the first line was not ever there. Don’t forget, these people were RECAPTURED in a combat zone, not in a McDs having a Quarter Pounder. I strongly suspect that they were up to no good.

And even of those few who have returned home and engaged in fighting against us, how do we know they were not motivated to join the fight against us by our having taken them captive and imprisoned them? How do we know if they were or were not previously engaged in fighting against us? And does fighting against us--in itself--prove these persons are terrorists? Perhaps they are simply citizens of a sovereign nation fighting against foreign armies invading their land.

And how do we know that they all are not eagerly waiting the day that they are released so that they can rejoin their religious fight against the infidels? See, I can play the “what if” game too. Only when you play it, there is a good chance that more non-terrorists will die (as at least 10 of the released were recaptured) whereas when I play it, everyone is safer, some locked up and most of us free to live our lives. I prefer my “what if” to yours, less blood that way.

Nate Whilk said...

Some nice, lively music to celebrate Althouse's new attribute: "Thunder and Lightning Polka" by Johann Strauss II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hASDPhh43xE

Quayle said...

"Nowhere is ti required to give miranda warnings to foreigners outside the country.

Look dude, you've embarrassed yourself. Let it go."

[Chris, you're new here, so you don't know that I don't have an ego to pin me against. Say what you want, and I'll keep driving to my point.]

So, there are geographic limits to the constitution? Then why do the protections of the Constitution need to be extended to military prisoners in Cuba?

And where is the Constitution does it say that military prisoners should be tried in a national criminal court?

former law student said...

Nate: good idea, but the prof just recently professed her preference for Sousa.

I give you Sousa's Althouse march:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nJPUD57L7c

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

"...Only the cruelest of godless foes --- like the North Koreans or the Chicoms -- would waterboard their captives."

Careful you don't fall off your self constructed pedestal there.

Rocketeer67 said...

Gee, I wonder why he did that? Remorse?

Well, if his own words are to be believed, pride in the attempt.

Synova said...

Did I ever mention the time I wrote a news-letter article and the journalism degree editor changed a bunch of my verbs?

I sat in my chair... she changed it to squirmed. Presumably because that's a stronger, more active, verb.

It could be that "thundered" was nothing more than a journalism school hic-up.

Rocketeer67 said...

"...Only the cruelest of godless foes --- like the North Koreans or the Chicoms -- would waterboard their captives."

I can't speak to captives, but my 5-year-old son waterboards himself in the shower all the time, on purpose.

He just laughs, and laughs. Apparently it's really funny.


I just love how the pristine-interrogation fetishists accuse us of cowering in fear at the prospect of terrorists, but soil their shorts at the mere though of a wet washcloth over the face.

Synova said...

"Also, why is there no mention that even an acquittal in this case would not lead to the prisoner's release ?"

If it doesn't, then what is the point? Doesn't it totally invalidate the entire judicial process or even our court system itself to subject that institution to *show trials*?

I find that far more horrible than letting some guy go so he can make his way to Pakistan, rally his troops with fiery rhetoric about our impotency. Are we going to keep him forever? At least in Pakistan we can bomb the SOB to atoms.

deborah said...

lol fls...perfect.

deborah said...

I love Sousa marches.

Synova said...

"The US military waterboards its most elite troops and fliers to give them the confidence that they can stand up to torture."

I had always thought that the US military waterboards it's most elite troops and pilots to make it very clear that they can not stand up to torture. I could be misremembering of course. I'm willing to be wrong. But I really did think that the success rate at withstanding waterboarding in training was at something near 0%.

garage mahal said...

I can't speak to captives, but my 5-year-old son waterboards himself in the shower all the time, on purpose.

Makes you wonder why this vital yet completely harmless tool isn't used domestically by law enforcement in interrogations.

Alex said...

The thing is our enemies(god-full and god-less) don't waterboard. They cut off fingers, tongues, gouge out eyes, shock the genitals, cut off genitals and then the coup de grace - the live beheading.

But WATERBOARDING is the worst ever!

Alex said...

Makes you wonder why this vital yet completely harmless tool isn't used domestically by law enforcement in interrogations.

yes, breaking of knuckles too would be good.

Synova said...

Also... do I have to bring up again that "torture" or many things less than torture are guaranteed to result in confessions...

But that there is a very important difference between a person confessing to raping and killing a little girl (for example) and telling police where to find the body.

Our harsh interrogations, or *any* of our interrogations that I've ever heard about have NOT been about confessions. Even tips, the sort that we absolutely understand might be lies to get back at someone, are followed and validated only by proving out. The body of the little girl is where the guy said it was... the gun cache is where the guy said it was...

If there isn't something that proves out the guy could sit there and confess until next Tuesday and it would be worthless.

And I'm entirely unmoved by whining about how locking some guy up for a decade instead of disemboweling him and feeding him his genitals before cutting his head off is going to turn a peaceful man into an enemy.

Oh, dear dog. Please grow up.

Synova said...

I'd heard that something like 99% of arrests in Japan lead to confessions. That should worry people.

Our judicial system also operates on confessions. The whole system is geared to let a person confess to a crime and then treat that confession as proof.

The military doesn't care about confessions. Confessions are pointless. The military cares about intel that they can use.

And really, garage... maybe if someone made an exception to the confession thing and required the governor to sign off on it every single time, there are cases where our law enforcement could and should use waterboarding, the good old ticking time bomb or save-a-life thing. Make the "confession" inadmissible but allow the physical proof. At the moment we seem convinced that a few dead people are worth "not going there." Maybe they are.

It's hardly something so obvious that it can't be discussed.

Synova said...

"We simply can't expect the military to abide by the standards - chain of custody, Miranda warnings et cetera - that we demand of the law enforcement."

We could... but they wouldn't "capture" very many people that weren't dead.

Cedarford said...

Chris - "You'd figure anybody with any respect for the law would blame the people who tortured this guy in the first place, poisoning any charges against him.

Ann supports torture. She doesn't have the stones to say it."

=================

War is uglier than liberals imagine. Many weapons in every military are designed not to kill, primarily, but to wound or maim the majority impacted by the ordnance.
Since the Islamoid's adherence to Geneva and their own standards of caring for captives is well known, we legally could say that Islamoids are in breach of Geneva despite not being a nation - therefore we have no obligation whatsoever to captured unlawful combatants and will only spare those who talk.

Another liberal party line is that anything that discomforts an enemy must be called "TORTURE". No exceptions.

We treat Al Qaeda Islamoids better than any nation has treated it's captured enemy. And better than Washington, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and LBJ orders to their military command treated enemy prisoners in past wars.

Cedarford said...

chris said...
"Does the authorization to wage war ever trump the U.S. Constitution, and if so when and how, and if not, why not?"
If you have law, nothing trumps it, or you don't have law.

===============
Jefferson wrote that blind, ignorant worship of law was dangerous. That the collective public safety and emergency situations obligated the abandonment of the "tyranny of law", even parts of the Constitution..in the gravest events.

Lincoln among others, took Jeffersons advice.

In war and in major natural disasters, the State Governor or President may discard laws that hamper the ability to safeguard the People. They can shut down all civilian courts, end habeas corpus (the President for the Last).
In natural disasters, more easily comprehended by liberals than attempting to understand war despite their avoidance of military service...laws are broken left and right by executive order or by delegation of law-breaking power to the designated emergency response commander. All traffic laws gone if need be, half the city evacuating the "wrong way" on a highway, flouting a dozen "sacred" laws. People handing out food not asked for their food prep licenses. Environmental impact statements and permits suspended if bridges need quick rebuilding, asbestos-containing debris moved because people are trapped underneath it. Commandeering of private property.

And that is just some picayune flood, hurricane, earthquake - nothing like the ability to limit applicability of civilian law meant to be applied in normal peacetime when faced with warfare..

Synova said...

Cedarford is right.

The most amazing thing to me though is that those who seem so completely clueless about war (a lack of imagination, I'm sure) consistently and constantly project this ignorance on everyone else.

How hard is it *really* to understand what an Army is supposed to do and why? It's about breaking things and killing people (hopefully mostly the right people) and generally creating enough hell that the other side gives up. Historically its devising the best way to kill and maim and tie up enemy forces or dishearten and intimidate them. It's really bad stuff.

And as ugly as that all is, how is it possible to see glimpses of that and become appalled and horrified at our actions while utterly and completely ignoring everything else?

How hard is it *really* to know what the enemy does to prisoners compared to what we do now, or even what we did Historically? It's not hard at all, just undesirable in some quarters, or so a person has to assume. Either people just don't want to know... or they refuse to grant personhood or humanity to the enemy, and with it moral accountability.

How hard is it *really* to understand that the Geneva Conventions depend on reciprocity... we agree not to bomb Red Cross trucks and YOU agree not to use them for war? Yet we're supposed to believe that we're responsible, not just for our incredible *restraint*, but for the lack of restraint and the horrors committed by the enemy... somehow... because we made them do it.

So we end up with people who seem to seriously suggest miranda rights on the battle field and in a war situation. Who are appalled that those of us who are "hawkish" seem so ignorant of the horror of making some guy's primal-brain believe he is drowning... and I'm just thinking... is that the worst you can imagine? Are rape-rooms and human abattoirs and chaining up a woman aid worker and disemboweling her and strapping a retarded kid to a bomb and waiting until the American's are surrounded by children of your own country to blow them up and what actually happens to *any* American captured... that just... is too much? Doesn't matter? What?

What I'm waiting for is for ONE person to have the moral and intellectual integrity to ask when THEY are going to start working to win OUR hearts and minds.

Or maybe just admit that the sub-humans can't be expected to understand what us more evolved humans understand and thus can't be held to the same standards.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Well said Synova.


WV: manic, no lie...

Fen said...

Libtard: anybody with any respect for the law would blame the people who tortured this guy in the first place, poisoning any charges against him.

Hey dumbass, when are you going to recognize that we were trying to gain actionable intelligence to prevent another 9-11, not gain evidence for a trial.

And, for all your "fierce moral outrage", its a SHOW trial at that. The perp will not be released regardless of the verdict.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Fen said:
"The perp will not be released regardless of the verdict."

That fact right there exposes the left for what they really are.

furious_a said...

These perps shouldn't even be on trial

Indeed. Under the Geneva Convention
they're entitled to a blindfold and
a cigarette, is about all.

furious_a said...

synova@10/7/10 5:51 PM
is that the worst you can imagine?

Well, yes, when MSM witholds the footage of people trapped in the Towers leaping to their deaths rather than wait for the flames, then bombard us for months and column inches with photographs of Abu Ghraib (Michael Moore's "
Minutemen, Reuters' "Freedom Fighters", and so on).

Or, well, yes, when they're rooting for the other side. I'll trade being poorly held in World Opinion vs. losing a school full of children (Beslan) or a city