How to defend Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Attorney Dan Miller takes up the question How Hard Will It Be to Convict Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? He points out that trying him in a civilian trial in New York City will involve prosecutors running a gauntlet of legalities, any one of which could lead to dismissing the case against the admitted mastermind of 9/11. His lawyers could claim that his right to a speedy trial has been violated, since he was arrested way back in 2003. Potential witnesses are dead or unavailable. His confessions were induced by torture. Other evidence would involve revealing classified sources. Getting an impartial jury would be impossible in the New York City he devastated, or anywhere, really. Miller says trial by a military tribunal is legal and would not be subject to a lot of these restrictions. But the guy could actually get off scott free.

9/11 planners to be tried in New York

The mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, as well as four of his other conspirators, will be tried in New York City. The Obama administration has decided to try them in criminal court rather than by a military tribunal in Guantanamo. Do you think this is a good idea?

Consider this:

Mohammed has made clear that he looks to spin an inspiring tale of martyrdom in the cause of God and a victory over a mighty infidel power. At a 2007 military tribunal hearing, he made a 31-point written statement affirming that he was “responsible for the Sept. 11 operation, from A to Z,” that he had “personally decapitated with my blessed right hand” Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and that he had planned future attacks with biological and radiological weapons on behalf of Muslims everywhere “oppressed by America.”

In counterpoint, Mohammed’s attorneys are likely to oppose their client’s guilty plea with evidence of his mistreatment during three years in CIA secret prisons. Interrogators subjected Mohammed 183 times to waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning that until then was universally described as torture by the U.S. and allied governments. Human rights lawyers have asserted that the abuse taints any subsequent confession.

Maj. Hasan’s jihadism was out in the open

So Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, M.D., who killed 13 human beings at Ft. Hood, carried on e-mail correspondence with radical jihadists, posted praise of suicide bombers and other radical Islamist sentiments on websites, gave lectures at Walter Reed on how Muslim soldiers should not fight fellow-Muslims, and in other ways was open about his radical jihadist beliefs. Not only that, officials knew he had done all these things! But they did nothing about it! Why not?

Massacre at Fort Hood

A gunman who was an army officer and a medical doctor opened fire at Ft. Hood in Texas, killing 12 and wounding 30, by last count. The killer was eventually shot to death.

NBC News’ Pete Williams reported that U.S. officials identified the gunman as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who had been promoted to major in May. A defense official told NBC News that Hasan arrived at Fort Hood in July for his first assignment after completing his psychiatry residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, followed by a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychiatry.

Hasan, who was 39 or 40, was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq on Nov. 28, officials said. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said military officials had told her that Hasan was “pretty upset” about his deployment orders.

First reports were that he had accomplices. Major Hasan’s Arabic name makes one think immediately of Islamic terrorism, though right now (Thursday night) there is no evidence to that effect. Still, army bases had been mentioned as possible targets by the jihadists. All of this is to say that America may have been attacked by terrorists.

UPDATE: The shooter is alive, but in a coma. Meanwhile another of his victims died, bringing the death toll to 13.

UPDATE: It turns out, as some of you have noted, that Major Dr. Hasan is a Muslim, a radical, and an apologist for suicide bombings. See this. So I think we can reasonably term this as an act of terrorism. As DonS says, the only question is whether it is an individual act of terrorism or if it was planned with a larger group.

Crucifixion today

This report reminds us that Saudi Arabia still crucifies people, though it’s not quite crucifixion as the Romans did it. From Saudi court upholds child rapist crucifixion ruling:

A Saudi court of cassation upheld a ruling to behead and crucify a 22-year-old man convicted of raping five children and leaving one of them to die in the desert, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

The convict was arrested earlier this year after a seven-year old boy helped police in their investigation. The child left in the desert after the rape was three years old, Okaz newspaper said. . . .

In Saudi Arabia, crucifixion means tying the body of the convict to wooden beams to be displayed to the public after beheading.

Unlike some human rights activists, I’m not quibbling with the punishment for this particularly horrible crime. I suspect that beheading the criminal before crucifying him was seen, historically, as a merciful gesture. But the shame of crucifixion–displaying the malefactor for all to see–is retained.

This latter-day version preserves at least part of the significance of what our Lord went through: How heinous it indeed was for Jesus to bear the sins of the whole world, including these child rapes. How repulsive the spectacle. How shameful, that He be lifted up.

God convicted and condemned. God humiliated. God killed.

Nietzsche and the death-of-God theologians, the new atheists who accuse God of immorality, those who mock and blaspheme God today, have nothing on what God already did of and to Himself.

To redeem us.

Muhammad: The Movie

In the “you don’t know what you are getting into” department, one of the producers of The Lord of the Rings movies is planning on making a movie about the prophet Muhammad:

Producer Barrie Osborne cast Keanu Reeves as the messiah in The Matrix and helped defeat the dark lord Sauron in his record-breaking Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now the Oscar-winning American film-maker is set to embark on his most perilous quest to date: making a big-screen biopic of the prophet Muhammad.

Budgeted at around $150m (£91.5m), the film will chart Muhammad's life and examine his teachings. Osborne told Reuters that he envisages it as "an international epic production aimed at bridging cultures. The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam".

Osborne's production will reportedly feature English-speaking Muslim actors. It is backed by the Qatar-based production company Alnoor Holdings, who have installed the Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to oversee all aspects of the shoot. In accordance with Islamic law, the prophet will not actually be depicted on screen. . . .

The as-yet-untitled picture is due to go before the cameras in 2011. It remains to be seen, however, whether it will be beaten to cinemas by another Muhammad-themed drama. Late last year, producer Oscar Zoghbi announced plans to remake The Message, his controversial 1976 drama that sparked a fatal siege by protesters in Washington DC. The new version, entitled The Messenger of Peace, is currently still in development.

A Hollywood non-Muslim is going to teach the world “the true meaning of Islam”? Either he will offend actual Muslims or he will present a white-washed version, one that possibly will inspire Westerners to embrace a new Westernized and sanitized form of the religion. (See what some Americans have done to Hinduism, Buddhism, and paganism [below–note the lack of sacrifices].)

The earlier movie “The Message” offended Muslims to the point of violence, but this remake looks like it will atone for that insensitivity by rendering the prophet as “The Messenger of Peace” for this religion of peace.

Shooting the movie without showing the main character, though, will be an interesting challenge. “Ben Hur” managed scenes with Jesus that never showed Him, but that was only for very short sequences. And the point of view shots that replaced the visual depictions of our Lord (which still bother some Christians to this day) show a degree of adoration that would probably also violate Islam.