Krauthammer nails Holder

Charles Krauthammer explains in no uncertain terms why Eric Holder is basically lying (or purposely redefining what trials are in Obamaland) when he calls the KSM Showtrial in NYC a real trial.

So why is Attorney General Eric Holder doing this? Ostensibly, to demonstrate to the world the superiority of our system where the rule of law and the fair trial reign.

Really? What happens if KSM (and his co-defendants) “do not get convicted,” asked Senate Judiciary Committee member Herb Kohl. “Failure is not an option,” replied Holder. Not an option? Doesn’t the presumption of innocence, er, presume that prosecutorial failure — acquittal, hung jury — is an option? By undermining that presumption, Holder is undermining the fairness of the trial, the demonstration of which is the alleged rationale for putting on this show in the first place.

Moreover, everyone knows that whatever the outcome of the trial, KSM will never walk free. He will spend the rest of his natural life in U.S. custody. Which makes the proceedings a farcical show trial from the very beginning.

Holder tried to make the case that he chose a civilian New York trial as a more likely venue for securing a conviction. An absurdity: By the time Obama came to office, KSM was ready to go before a military commission, plead guilty and be executed. It’s Obama who blocked a process that would have yielded the swiftest and most certain justice.

I am rendered very nervous when I hear our Attorney General and our President talk about trials with pre-determined outcomes. Aside from the showtrial that is meant to once-and-for-all defeat Bush and Cheney (and that will backfire on Obama and Holder) or the propaganda and security measures, this mindset -if it is allowed to proceed- will create a very unhealthy precedent in the minds of many who will be “just glad to see KSM” dealt with, and unconcerned about methods. No one should be “glad” about a president and AG -an entire DOJ- willing to tell you what is going to happen in the case of a now presumed innocent defendant, regardless of verdict.

It’s so very, very…statist of them. And I suppose, it’s part of “remaking” America.

And good heavens, Sen. Patrick Leahy -D, VT- doesn’t even see why some people would need to be interrogated.

What a scary, scary bunch is in power.

Also, sooner or later, Obama and Holder are going to have to answer for why they dropped a clear case of voter intimidation against Black Panthers. Sooner or later.

Slightly O/T: Neo-neocon remembers the released terrorist who didn’t die Good for her for not losing track of him; there is so much noise and news coming at us, so quickly, I know I had.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender

    Given that Obama and Holder have made these guarantees of conviction, it is also highly likely that whichever judge handles the cases is going to give a little more weight to that legal “presumption of innocence” and require a little more exacting burden of proof from the prosecution.

    Judges are fiercely independent; they do not like being told what they are going to do before they do it. And although Obama and Holder believe that they can simply blow off Congress and the American people, the lowest of the lowest judge or even magistrate has more power than either of them (if these cases are ever actually brought in civilian court) because such judicial officer has the power to order the release of KSM, et al. And then, Obama and Holder can decide to comply with the order or ignore it, be held in contempt, and create a constitutional crisis (although, we are already in a constitutional crisis).

  • sandpapers

    I completely agree with you and find the KSM trial plans very scary. It seems that the administration puts its own agenda front and center, and everything else is swatted away as inconsequential or put on the back burner. Justice doesn’t matter?

    Senator Schumer called for a military trial in 2001, yet now he thinks this fiasco-in-the-making NYC trial is ok. Why?

    Krauthammer’s articles have been spot-on, he is so incisive and level-headed. I liked the National Review cover with Krauthammer on it too. It was entitled, “For the Opposition” and he was depicted as a founding father in colonial garb. Very apt.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    KSM should be handled by a military trial, in a military court.

    Giving him a civilian trial is ridiculous.

  • American Phoenix

    The only pre-determined outcome that is being considered is an acquittal. There will be three reasons for the acquittal: 1) A fair trial cannot be had in New York – they will not be able to find an impartial jury pool, and 2) the use of waterboarding on KSM will be considered “torture”, evidence will therefore be excluded at trial because it is “fruit of the poisonous tree”, and 3) evidence of a sensitive nature which cannot be made public at trial or even revealed in camera, will not be able to be presented (lest foreign intelligence gathering methods be compromised in the process). KSM will then go free. Punishing KSM is not the primary consideration here and he is not really the subject of the “show”. Causing a worldwide embarrassment of our CIA and consequent neutering of it is the fundamental consideration and the real “target” of the show. Our justice system will then be lauded at the same time it is stripping us of our right to justice. Of course, all of this will then be blamed on President Bush.

  • Terrye

    I heard someone use the phrase “post acquittal detention” and thought to myself…and these people called Bush a fascist.

  • Bender

    Punishing KSM is not the primary consideration here and he is not really the subject of the “show”. Causing a worldwide embarrassment of our CIA and consequent neutering of it is the fundamental consideration and the real “target” of the show.

    I think there is also another consideration, one which is another major miscalculation. I think Obama and Holder both thought that they would be applauded and cheered for “being tough” on the terrorists. In their deluded September 10 mindset, they actually believe to some degree that terrorism is a law enforcement issue and that, by guaranteeing a conviction (and a death sentence!), they will look tough and strong. Again, that was a major miscalculation: nearly everyone (except the sycophants) sees them for what they are — weak, ineffectual, and clueless.

    And regarding that non-impartial jury — not everyone in the jury pool has already come to a conclusion that they are guilty. Some in the jury pool are 9/11 Truthers, some are anti-Bush, America deserved it types. Even if they were able to sit a jury, the chances for a hung jury are high.

  • Tom the Redhunter

    American Phoenix, a complete acquittal is virtually impossible, for several reasons:

    One, the government will charge them with multiple counts of everything they can think of. This is a common, if sometimes regrettable tactic, the point of which is to ensure that at least some of the charges stick. If you charge someone with 50 or 100 counts (and in this case they will), and you spend months trying to prove each one, it’s just about impossible for the whole case to get tossed or the defendants to be found not guilty.

    Second, let’s be honest; no judge is going to throw out the whole case. Ditto for appeals courts. They may throw out individual charges, or bits of evidence, but that’s about it.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I think that giving KSM and his fellow terrorists a trial in civilian court is just about the worst thing Obama and Holder have done.

  • Pingback: The Unfit President v32.5.78.03 « Obi’s Sister

  • Bender

    let’s be honest; no judge is going to throw out the whole case. Ditto for appeals courts. They may throw out individual charges, or bits of evidence, but that’s about it.

    Tom — don’t forget, several judges have already ordered the release of several Gitmo detainees in habeas corpus proceedings. So, it is not beyond belief that they could do the equivilent thing in criminal proceedings and dismiss the charges.

    Notwithstanding my low opinion of today’s judiciary, but let’s not accuse every judge of being ready to toss due process and the rule of law out the window, as have Obama and Holder with their statements.

    In civilian criminal proceedings, as in the military commissions, the judges will be guided by the rule of law and, under that rule of law, the defendants have some very — VERY — good legitimate defenses, not the least of which is the constitutional right to a speedy trial, which Holder has already implied, by his bashing of Bush for “delay,” was violated in these cases. And then there is the defense on the merits of the combatant’s privilege, where it is lawful under the laws of war to kill people and destroy property (which is our own military’s legal justification for killing the enemy and destroying property without fear of being criminally charged for it).

    If the facts, as applied to the law, says that the cases should be dismissed, then the judges WILL dismiss the cases and order that the defendants be discharged, i.e. released. And they will not themselves feel responsible for it one bit. They will rightly say that it is Obama’s and Holder’s own fault for bringing cases in a forum where they do not belong.

    You want to hold these guys indefinitely because of the danger they pose and do so permissibly under the law? Fine, then don’t charge them in civilian criminal court. Period. They are enemy combatants in a time of war. That in and of itself justifies their detention for the duration of hostilities. Their unlawful combatant status justifies going beyond detention to punishment in military proceedings.

    But once you go to civilian court, you play by the civilian court’s rules.

  • Bender

    I am a criminal defense attorney. Most people I represent are guilty. No doubt about it. Not everyone, but most.

    But if any of the guilty get off, if the guilty gets their case thrown out or a jury acquits, it is not my fault. I, as a member of society in addition to being defense counsel, am not responsible for the guilty going free to pray upon society again.

    If a guilty person walks — and they do occasionally — it is the government’s fault. If a guilty person walks, even though the judge knows 100 percent that the defendant is guilty — and they do occasionally — it is the government’s fault. It is not the judge’s fault, it is not defense counsel’s fault that the guilty are free, it is the government’s fault.

    It is the fault of the police and/or prosecutor. They should have done their job. They should have done a better job. They should have made out a stronger case.

    The job of a defense attorney is to demand and make sure that the government does its job properly. If defense counsel gains a dismissal or acquittal for someone who is factually guilty, he will not feel responsible for it one bit — it’s all on the government. The prosecutor and/or police should have done a better job preserving the evidence, they should have done a better job presenting the evidence, they should have done a better job arguing the facts and the law. (That said, while a defense attorney won’t feel responsible for a guilty person walking, he may very well be angry, as a member of society, that the government blew the case.)

    Despite appearances to the contrary, the number one question at trial is not whether the defendant is guilty or not. At trial, facts, per se, are irrelevant. The only thing relevant at trial is the evidence (which is different from “facts”) and the law. The Constitution and our system of law guarantees that, sometimes, the guilty will rightly and properly be set free.

    For example, it is no answer to a Speedy Trial Clause violation that the defendant is guilty. It does not matter if he is a mass murderer, if the Constitutional guarantees are violated, the case will be thrown out. And rightly so. Don’t blame the judge, don’t blame the jury, don’t blame the defense attorney, don’t blame the law — blame the government, who in this case, are Barack Obama and Eric Holder.

    A judge will have NO compunction whatsoever to dismiss these charges if that is where the facts and the law take him. If KSM walks, it won’t be on the judge — it will be on Obama and Holder.

  • J

    Mr Holder ALREADY has a reputation for setting terrorists free….check out the pardons he obtained while serving clinton of the FALN and some others….people who KILLED on our soil….let free because of Holder. These people have done unimaginable damage to the image of our justice system…..and they have years more in power to achieve the total destruction of it.

  • Brett_McS

    Bender describes the least toxic outcome, now that civilian trials have been chosen; that the terrorists are set free by a judge upholding the standards of civilian trials. The more dangerous outcome is that civilian courts are turned into tribunals.

  • OR Mom

    Bender said:
    I, as a member of society in addition to being defense counsel, am not responsible for the guilty going free to pray upon society again.

    You are right if the defense is a purely legal one based on evidence (and this comment in no way implies that you practice law any other way).

    However, I think it is often the case that defense attorneys will try and introduce all kinds of bogus theories in order to create reasonable doubt. Making up scenarios goes way beyond defending against police or prosecutorial errors/omissions.

  • ahem

    A trial with a predetermined outcome? Why, you’d almost think these people were unethical.