Sunday, November 15, 2009

Speaking of Trials..

Andrew Cohen has a piece in the Sunday WaPo wherein he tries to destroy six myths about bringing KSM to the Big Apple for a show trial. Here's some feedback:

1. .. The fact that the feds are bringing him to New York to stand trial indicates that they have plenty of other evidence that they can use to get their conviction.

Yes, and most of it occurred before Bushitler took office. Does Holder really want to go back to the salad days of the 90s and explain why the Clinton folks--including him--never told us anything about KSM even though he was under indictment for the precursor 9/11 plot?

2. ..Media saturation has made jury selection in America a perversion of what it once was. Judges and lawyers no longer even pretend that they are seating jurors who don't have preconceived notions about a case.

Yes, but lawyers try to stack juries all the time. If the Plame trial was big, this will be even bigger with more scrutiny on the chosen. And surely the defense will stall with change of venue requests, hypothetically speaking.

3. ..No one can determine how big that increased risk would be. But New York has long been able to safely host trials of terrorism suspects -- including the trial that followed the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center -- and its security systems are among the world's finest.

Well yes, except for the Yousef "Roma Corp" debacle (where he was actually communicating with KSM from jail) and Lynne Stewart. Otherwise no, NYC is always under a heightened threat from all kinds of things, including flocks of geese. By the way, Obama needs to make damn sure Air Force One is all done with the photo-ops.

4. ..Fact: The Bush administration tried to prosecute these people in military tribunals but wasn't able to come up with a set of rules that were deemed constitutional. As a result, six years after Mohammed was apprehended, he still hasn't been convicted.

So Obama's continued prosecution of Nashiri via tribunal is unconstitutional? That sounds rather silly. As to six years being a long time, it took four years to try Moussaoui. And what happened to the sentencing of this guy? How many years did he get? Where is he?

5. ,,And even if Mohammed is somehow acquitted, which isn't going to happen, the feds will then immediately pick him up and put him back in the military brig.

In other words, guilty (9/11 commission) until proven guilty in a court of law (New York) and if not, sent back to a GITMO? Is this what he calls 'upholding our values?"

6. ..Mohammed will turn his trial into political theater. Fact: Yes, he will try. But he will mostly fail.

It's not KSM who will succeed in turning the trial into a circus, it's Cohen's colleagues in the mainstream media who'll try to use it as a political instrument to weekly hammer the Bush administration's legacy and by extension all Republicans, which could end up being convenient for the Democrats in many ways.

Now, number six is highly dependent on the evidence used and how deep the media wnats to dig into terrorism in the 90s. In a way Obama is giving the folks who begged him for a new 9/11 Commission investigation exactly what they wanted, becuase this will likely open all the cans left on the table if the media can find their journalism degrees and their can openers.

Finally, LA County Assistant DA Patterico has some interesting points. One, KSM may try to represent himself, at least long enough to make an opening statement declaring jihad, etc, (possible version at link) and Two, the jury and court staff will be afforded tight security. New Yorkers are a tough lot and hard to intimidate, but this is likely to be a very long trial.

MORE 11/15/09

I think conservatives need to at least consider Mike Potemra's "Corner" column on the coming KSM trial:
Wouldn’t having a bunch of coldblooded murderers of 3,000 innocents proclaiming live on TV how proud they are of what they have done, and asserting that what God wants most is for them to get out of prison and murder even more thousands of innocents, be a very effective way of teaching America — and the world — about the true character of our enemies?
That would indeed be a benefit, IF their comments are allowed out of the courtroom (will it be televised?).

But KSM's nephew was once afforded a similar opportunity and it did nothing to stop 9/11. Perhaps times are different now after 9/11, and perhaps the people would be reminded of the dangers again, but again, the megaphone here will not only be the jihadists but the mainstream news media who have their own agendas in regards to why they hate us.

Looking at this move from a strategic view I think it's an effort to shift the paradigm of the GWoT back to what Kerry called a 'nuisance' during the 2004 campaign. In other words, the Obama White House are trying to shift the solution from military back to law enforcement, which probably says something about Obama's coming decision on Afghanistan.

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