Obama, KSM Open Thread

Okay, you guys all seem to want to talk about it, and I am really tied up elsewhere, so I’ll do something I don’t think I’ve ever done and leave an open thread – you can yell and shout about this all you want, but I ask you simply keep to the basic comment guidelines.

A few links about this, if you haven’t seen them:

James Taranto: Obama’s Show Trials

The Boyz at HillBuzz who made an extraordinary apology to President Bush the other day, are rip-roaring mad about this, and are shouting “Justice for Jane!”, a friend of theirs who was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The guys say “Hillary would not have done this.”

I’d like to think that’s true -and one part of me thinks they’re right- but her husband did precisely this, in 1993, so…we really can’t know what Hillary would have done.

Rudy is expressing his anger here, with Cavuto, and notes all the ways a case could be thrown out or compromised.

I can only say I have some FDNY hero-friends (in the vein of this one) who would be glad to sit on that jury.

Ed Morrissey: What could possibly go wrong?

Yid With Lid says this is about trying Bush and Cheney.

Tom Maguire:
Now KSM is a “suspect”

Bookworm: The New American Godling

Melissa Clouthier: Dumb, dumb, dumb

American Enterprise: Why?

DJ Drummond: This needs Mil Justice

Kim Priestap: This has “terrible mistake” written all over it

Andy McCarthy: Sept 11? Worse than that!

Gabriel Malor: Bad Idea

Goldberg: The politics of Ft. Hood.

That reminds me, in flipping through the radio while I was driving I heard a news report (think it was ABC News) declaring that the low morale in Afghanistan is “complicated” by the Ft. Hood attacks. I’m not sure how. Sounds like ABC making more excuses for the president, to me.

Malkin: Kaboom!


Gateway: This will also make you sick

And: Iran’s Agent in the Obama Administration.

I’ll file this one under “Remaking America” I guess. You guys behave!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    If KSM walks, there is only one appropriate response –

    Remove Obama from office.

    And KSM walking is not a crazy proposition. He has at least five very good defenses –

    (1) Act of war — combatants committing an act of war enjoy a legal privilege to kill and destroy property. And 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. That is why soldiers of the United States are acting entirely lawfully when they shoot people and drop bombs on them. Even acts of war that constitute war crimes are just that — they are WAR crimes (cognizable in military courts), they are not civilian crimes.

    Because killing is a lawful privilege as an act of war, on a criminal charge in civilian court, there is only one proper verdict — Not Guilty.

    (2) The Geneva Convention — Article 84 of the Third Convention prohibits the trial of prisoners of war in civilian criminal courts. They are not POWs, of course, but that has not stopped them and the left from claiming POW status. The only way that they are not POWs is if they were “unlawful enemy combatants,” which Obama, Holder, and the left have already rejected. In either case, whether POWs or unlawful enemy combatants, civilian courts lack jurisdiction.

    (3) As noted in many other places, the evidentiary problems are mountainous. Who is there to testify, in order to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that KSM has done anything? And are the soldiers who captured him to be dragged into court? Then there is the intelligence that the defense will demand to see.

    (4) Inability to obtain an impartial jury — how many thousands of people would need to be in the jury pool to find even one person who has not been exposed to the facts?

    Besides, we are at war and it is NOT the job of everyday citizens, i.e. jurors, to fight our nation’s wars. We have the military to do that. Any jurors that might be seated would be immediately and substantially in danger and threat of harm.

    (5) Speedy trial. Notwithstanding Holder’s despicable slap at the Bush Administration, these guys have been in Obama’s custody for 10 months now. The speedy trial clock for federal courts ran out long ago, even if we start the clock on Jan. 20, 2009.


    This insane tactic of “war by lawyer” and “lawsuit against terror” is a societal suicide pact. 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 of war crimes is overwhelming and the proper verdict would be Guilty. And, like Saddam Hussein before them, these defendants might just be those rare cases under Catholic teaching where the imposition of death would be an appropriate disposition, given the extreme danger that they present merely by their continued existence.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    And then there is Defense No. 6 –

    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.

  • craig

    (6) Because KSM was waterboarded before confessing, and not read Miranda rights, given a free attorney, etc., etc., the confession itself is inadmissible, and any evidence obtained as a result of the information given in his confession is “fruit of the poisonous tree” and thus also inadmissible. Any good lawyer will try that tactic.

  • http://www.erud-awakening.blogspot.com Gina

    I think Bender said all that needed to be said about why this decision is a disaster.

    I didn’t think I could hold this administration in any greater contempt, but I was wrong. The voters are really the ones to blame, however.

  • DaveW

    I’m pretty speechless.

    I tend to try to figure out why people do things. The only thing I can come up with here for the Obamites is some really despicable politics. That’s the same conclusion I am coming to on the Afghanistan kabuki dance too – it has to be simple politics.

  • Peggy Coffey

    If they go through with this and something terrible happens in NY, or if KSM walks and people go crazy in NY and else where, will BHO use this as an opportunity to declare martial law? It would clearly go downhill from there. Put the Iran problem in the mix, what if Israel attacks during this time, and we have a bad situation to say the least.
    These are dangerous and difficult times for all of us

  • http://www.mendocinoarchitect.com Joe Odegaard

    It would be practical to leave the Gitmo detainees there for the duration of the conflict, which will be for a very very long time.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Charles Krauthammer had it right — this trial “is going to be the second half of the terror attack.”

    This is 9/11, Part Two. We are at war. Obama and Holder may not think so, but KSM knows we are. And he will continue his warfare against us in court. It will be one attack after another.

    And all with a big spotlight on him, courtesy of Barack Obama and Eric Holder, whose former law firm represented Gitmo terrorists.

  • von Mise

    I suggest as an aside that we refer to this as the Fort Hood Massacre, since it was just that. 13 dead, 14 if you count the pregnant soldiers child. Then another 30 some other people with wounds! That is a lot of lead flying where one doesn’t expect it!

  • Terrye

    This is a political game being played with the lives of the American people. I keep thinking that these idiots in the Obama administration can not get any more ridiculous, and then they go and do something like this.

  • Gina

    This is a political game being played with the lives of the American people.

    And dancing on the backs of the victims. That they want to hold this monstrous piece of political theater in the very shadow of the WTC- if it had a shadow… It is too disgusting to believe. Can they really be this craven? Or are they just blind, deaf and foolish, like with Scare Force One?

  • Greta

    Barry Obama is starting to get in trouble with his left wing nuts because according to them he is not radical enough. Of course karl marx would be to centric for this band of nuts. So he knows how they hate Bush and Chaney. But on a trial where they know the defense is going to make the trial about Bush and Cheney and might even force them to testify along with CIA and others who fought to keep us safe.

    All this is about is moving on to a stage where the old boogie man Cheney and Bush become a focus again and take heat off their total incompetence and socialist agenda.

  • Blackie

    This is mind-bendingly wrong. It is putting oil and water together, matter and anti-matter. The President is behaving like a foreign agent, bound to do whatever will destroy us. I cannot help but suspect he is doing this to distract attention from his attempt to remake our health care system; they’ll slip it through while everyone’s attention is distracted by the trials that never had to be.

  • dry valleys

    Is there a uniquely Catholic perspective on this, one that deviates from the standard right-wing line?

    I think we should be told.

  • dry valleys

    PS- I have a hard time believing Hillbuzz is a real site, not some kind of parody. Surely no true Hillary admirer (I am one, & would support her as Obama’s successor in 2016 if the world has withstood the Maoist onslaught that long) would then go on to endorse people whose policies are, erm, you know, like totally different to hers.

  • KJO

    This makes Barry a one-termer.

    Can’t wait for the next three years to pass…whomever follows will have a huge job to fix this mess.

    I blame the media for electing this idiot.

  • Dave

    It’s hard to believe…well…not really…that the right wingers are such bed wetters.

    We (and by we I mean my country, America) has tried and convicted terrorists before, we can do it again.

    Hey gops, get up from under your desks, change your sheets and start walking upright.

  • PatrickNM

    So much fear. KSM is not Lex Luthor. He does not have super powers. He will not walk. Take a deep breath. The sky is not falling. Imagine if they let him walk out the door. You don’t know New Yorkers. They are not afraid. Stop being afraid.

  • http://jmbalconi.stblogs.com MissJean

    Dry Valleys, look Hillary Clinton’s stand on issues as a senator and compare it to her left-leaning Republican colleagues. She wasn’t a radical. Plus, self-identified Democrats are so ticked off by the party that they are becoming more appreciative of ANY civil behavior in politics. If the DP hadn’t decided to invalidate the primaries in my state, she would have won the nomination. We’re not going to forget that, especially since New Hampshire didn’t get even a handslap for starting the mess with its December primaries bid.

    Or do you just expect that American voters belong to a party and that’s that? Several states (including my own) don’t require voters to register with a party, and historically there’s a resistance to being identified – hence the suspicion when the parties wanted lists of voters who voted in their primaries.

    The uniquely Catholic perspective? Oh, ha ha! Thanks for the levity in this moment. I suppose a uniquely American perspective would be a change of venue, for obvious reasons. Perhaps upstate New York.

  • http://jmbalconi.stblogs.com MissJean

    I should add that the suggestion of upstate New York was a joke. Having the trial so close to the WTC site… well, that reminds me of Scott Peck’s experience in “People of the Lie” in which his young patient had received a gift from his parents. The gift was the gun with which his older brother committed suicide. So that’s my feeling about the people who decided having the venue in the area in which the crime was committed was somehow appropriate.

  • tim maguire

    I think this is typical Obama acting to favor a part of his base without thinking through the consequences. I’m sure he’s betting KSM will be convicted and Obama won’t have to face the dilemma he’s created for himself. Of course KSM isn’t going free no matter what. Of course this will be a sham show trial undermining both military and civilian justice. But what do Obama and his “close Gitmo” faction care about any of that?

    They don’t. But KSM will almost certainly be convicted so the base truth of this maneuver need never see the light of day.

  • Allison

    How many death fatwas will come to all the witnesses, all of the CIA, FBI, and NSA folks who are forced into discovery, all of the prosecution team, all of the judiciary fellows, not to mention the jury and their families?

    All to appease the Left. Destroy America, destroy New York, destroy innocent lives to appease the Left. It is evil.

    Our president is evil.

  • http://bcscentral.info Gerry
  • JJM

    1. From a political standpoint, I’m just not sure what the Democrats think will be gained by the trial in New York. They can’t possibly improve their public support and can only lose more of it from their own base. Beats me.

    2. The key protocol question regarding the ” Obama bow” to the Emperor of Japan is this: would the Emperor bow to President Obama if he visited the White House?

  • Dave

    Bed wetter Allison, how many death fatwas will come to all the witnesses, all of the CIA, FBI, and NSA folks who are forced into discovery, all of the prosecution team, all of the judiciary fellows, not to mention the jury and their families came of all the other terrorist trials we have had here in America?

    Wipe yourself, it’s embarrassing.

  • Greg Bedell

    Tim touched on the most ironic and one of the saddest aspects of this ordeal: the Federal judge and the jury will be under enourmous pressure to convict. Bender brilliantly outlined above the defenses; and others added the evidentiary problems. Given these issues, and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, a truly fair trial, one that followed the law, could very well lead to acquital. If it does not, have we not committed the very sin -”abandoning our principles”- the Gitmo allegedly presented?

    Won’t we in fact have sacrificed the integrity of our system for some misguided notion of propriety? How will the world look on us (the Obama policy standard) if it concludes these were but show trials?

    2012 can’t come soon enough.

  • dymphna

    This is going to get people killed.

  • http://westernchauvinist.blogspot.com Western Chauvinist

    If you voted for change, did you think you were going to get bread (“free” health care) and circuses (KSM trial)? This is a distraction folks. He’s going to entertain us by dragging Bush and Cheney to the docket to defend torture…and then, to further prove his superiority and magnificence, he’ll execute KSM giving him the glory of martyrdom he wants and distracting us from the utter fecklessness of his government. All the unemployed will be able to spend hours a day in front of their TVs soaking up the drama while the economic collapse continues.

    I consider this the most opportune moment Hillary will ever have to gain the admiration of us right-wingers. If she, as former NY senator and patriotic American were to resign as SOS over this… I’d seriously consider voting for her in 2012. If nothing else, she would have my respect, which can’t be said of very many Democrats these days.

  • Robb76

    Thank you 53%

  • Andrew B

    I have long advocated a “third way” for terrorist detainees. We won’t line them up and shoot them (which is our right, and I believe in our national interest) and we can’t (effectively) try them in a court of law, which will be proven all too soon.

    The third way comes to us from the example of the British in India. They were confronted with a murderous sect, hellbent on slaughter for religious purposes, the cult of Thugee. The British waged a long, bloody campaign against the cult, killing some and imprisoning the others. The prisoners were felt to be too dangerous ever to release, and so penitentiary villages were built where the incarcerated Thugs could live out their lives without endangering the populace.

    I don’t mind kicking in a few extra tax dollars to keep KSM and his cronies in jail forever. Perhaps, like the Thugs, they could build little houses and raise vegetables, surrounded by endless belts of razor wire. It beats the ridiculous show that is sure to commence in NYC shortly.

  • Tim

    You would think all the Bush defenders would want to hang KSM at high noon on American soil, and while were at it, let’s hang him on the site of the World Trade Center and sell tickets. What happen to all of the “let’s smoke them out and bring them to justice b.s.” What a bunch of whimps you all are. Obama will be a hero when KSM hangs……So there….!!!!!

    ["You would think all the Bush defenders would want to hang KSM at high noon on American soil, and while were at it, let’s hang him on the site of the World Trade Center and sell tickets." -- I suppose you would think that...if all you knew of "Bush defenders" and conservatives were the stereotypes handed to you by the media. admin]

  • J.

    PatrickNM: I am not afraid for me….I am afraid for my family and my country.

    This trial if it happens will not be a walk in the park. And no Jihadist is going to think “kindly” of American justice. The “show” is for us–to say that our justice system and way of life hasn’t been changed by 9/11.

    Only problem is–it has.

  • Gina

    You would think all the Bush defenders would want to hang KSM at high noon on American soil, and while were at it, let’s hang him on the site of the World Trade Center and sell tickets. What happen to all of the “let’s smoke them out and bring them to justice b.s.” What a bunch of whimps you all are. Obama will be a hero when KSM hangs……So there….!!!!!

    And what will he be when these five men walk free on a technicality?

    Bush did smoke them out, remember? Justice could have and should have been served through a military tribunal and either execution or life behind bars in Guantanamo. Obama himself spoke in favor of a military tribunal. But he had run his mouth so much about closing Gitmo that this was no longer an option. Now, the rest of the country, and in particular the WTC victims and families, will have to suffer. All because of the left’s irrational hatred of Bush.

    What it shows us is what we really already knew: That the man currently holding the title of CiC neither understands the war we are fighting nor wants to understand. Doesn’t know, doesn’t want to know.

  • Jack

    Obama is so bad I can barely take it. A radical, self-absorbed, Harvard left-wing lib.

    Did we all see him bow again today?

    Americans don’t bow to foreign heads of state. If Obama had spent more time in this country when he was young he probably would have been taught that.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Quite disturbing, these folks who guarantee to us that KSM, et al. will be convicted.

    As a matter of law, KSM now enjoys the presumption of innocence. And the latest news is that, if he tries to plead guilty, as he did in his military commission trial, that the plea will be opposed and not accepted.

    If the case does go to trial, assuming that they can seat a jury, what chance is there that at least one juror will be a 9/11 Truther or an anti-Bushite or part of the “the Jews did it” crowd or simply an Islamist sympathizer? Seeing who ends up populating the juries of high-profile cases, I would say that the chances are pretty good.

    And with someone like that on the jury, the chance of a hung jury is almost assured. If not a hung jury, then their intransigence is likely to result in a compromise verdict — finding KSM guilty of a lesser charge and acquitting on the more major charges.

    Of course, the whole thing might go away if some guy in jail decides that he wants to be a “patriot” and do his “civic duty” by jamming a shank in KSM’s neck.

  • Allison

    –Bed wetter Allison, Wipe yourself, it’s embarrassing.

    Huh? Do you understand how many people get killed by these monsters? Theo Van Gogh is dead. Shall we talk about how Geert Wilders lives in a prison? How Rushdie can’t tell anyone where he lives, and has to move all of the time? How Iliano Pantano has to have bodyguards every single day to keep his family alive? How Westergaard is under police protection to keep him from being assassinated for DRAWING A CARTOON?

    You’re so big you don’t mind having scores of people want to assassinate you, that’s great. But innocent people are going to die because of this evil deed.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Allison, I’m afraid people like Dave are more concerned with trying to impress others with their assumed moral superiority, than they are with protecting innocents, or seeing justice done.

    The truth is, they’re the frightened ones—so scared of ending up like Van Gogh, or Rushdie, they can’t bear to look at what’s really happening.