My initial reaction to moving the KSM trial to NYC was a good healthy knee-jerk one. A closer look only validates the knee-jerk: BHO placating the strident Left with the reckoning it demands – since he will fail at so much else they expect and desire.
(For those who would like to invoke the Nuremberg Trials as precedent, remember they were (a) military tribunals and (b) after the war was over. )
The Corner explains why even those strident lefties ought to oppose this:
How KSM Trial Will Undermine the Law [Jonah Goldberg]
The ACLU loves that we’re bringing these guys to civilian courts. They should be careful what they wish for. From an e-friend and lawyer with very relevant government experience.
It is a really bad idea to have a trial where the accused is so vile and dangerous no jury or judge would ever let them off. The saying “bad cases make bad law” is a cliché for a reason. The judge in the KSM case will bend over backwards to make sure KSM is convicted. The appellate courts will do the same. No one wants to be the guy who let him off. The problem with that is that they will make all kinds of screwy and destructive rulings justifying the use of government power that will then be precedence for other criminal cases. Some day when a guy gets convicted on a two bit federal charge thanks to the KSM rules that will no doubt result from this trial, we will have Eric Holder and his liberal and libertarian enablers to thank. KSM and his case is like a virus that should be isolated from the civilian justice system.
More Obamateur Hour [Andy McCarthy]
In a meeting with the press in China, President Obama said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be “convicted” and had “the death penalty applied to him” . . . and then said he wasn’t “pre-judging” the case. He made the second statement after it was pointed out to him — by NBC’s Chuck Todd — that the first statement would be taken as the president’s interfering in the trial process. Obama said that wasn’t his intention. I’m sure it wasn’t — he’s trying to contain the political damage caused by his decision — but that won’t matter. He has given the defense its first motion that the executive branch, indeed the president himself, is tainting the jury pool. Nice work.
Re: More Obamateur Hour [Jonah Goldberg]
I’m with Andy. Every day it appears more and more that the White House wants it both ways. They want to claim that this is a fair trial but also an act of venegeance. The terrorists will be treated as if they might be innocent — key to a fair trial — but at the end of the day they’ll get their comeuppance. If KSM & Co. get off on a technicality, don’t worry, they’ll still be locked up, but when they’re convicted the White House will claim it was always a fair process. They’ll get a fair trial from an impartial jury in New York, but it’s “fitting” and “poetic justice” that the jury will be drawn from the community that was viciously attacked on 9/11. Fair but vengeul, honest but foreordained, instructive to the world but really just about the law: the rhetoric from the White House and the Democrats isn’t persuasive to those who listen closely and certainly won’t be persuasive to foreigners Obama is determined to impress.
The point of all of this is to show that the rule of law is intact, but what the White House is doing is in fact undermining the legitimacy of the legal system by having it do something it shouldn’t. Obama, Pat Leahy and the rest preen as if they are morally superior for preferring civilian courts, but what they are doing is undermining civilian courts, and it gets worse every time they open their mouths.
For those interested, my column on the subject is up on NRO.