Friday, February 27, 2009

Next Step in the Criminalization of Terrorism

The Obama Administration has decided to try this fellow in the US criminal court system, signaling its inexorable move toward treating terrorism as a law and order problem rather than a war. Stand-by for another Zacharias Moussaoui-like kangaroo show-trial, full of defense motions to call senior administration officials to testify and problems with the disclosure of sensitive sources and methods of intelligence gathering. This is the shape of things to come, and I believe the President will come to find that he's gotten himself and the country into an even larger mess than it was in before--when these guys start to walk as a result of the protections afforded them by our civilian court system--not because they weren't guilty.


Mudge said...

Far be it for me to jump to Obama's, and especially Holder's, defense but I'm not sure I read the article quite the same. It appears that despite the thin veneer of "we're doing this in the public courts wherever possible", this administration (admittedly less so than the prior) believes they will lose the latitude they currently have to detain really bad guys indefinitely if this case goes before the Supreme Court. Now, not sure how this Supreme Court will rule, but those darned independent thinkers sometimes surprise us. I'm anxious about how they are going to shut down Gitmo but I agree it is a(n undeserved, but real) stain on the US. So getting rid of it, done properly, could be a good thing. Just not sure it will be done properly. Not even sure, short of releasing every one of those bastards in the woods over here during hunting season, I know what "done properly" is. Something with the outcome that they rot in some pit, dead or alive, without ever again having felt the tender, loving touch of their dearest goat or camel is fine with me. Sorry, I'm not very fond of these chia-faced international thugs and I don't put much energy into hiding it. More questions than answers here. But reading between the lines (as you must do with everything he says...and he certainly says a lot), I see Obama trying to preserve his flexibility to deal with these guys while placating the increasingly many critics of Gitmo. I await your instruction on where I am mistaken.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Good reading, though that's why I called it a "step" not a "leap". Indeed, strategic flexibility IS an issue here. But as we've seen with this President, he does what he says he was going to do. He said he was going to move this issue into the courts (closing down the military commissions) and that's what he's doing. Taking it out of tribunals appropriate to war and putting it into tribunals appropriate for peace. Simple as that. First step.

Mudge said...

Bush did what he said he was going to do. I think the court is out on how deeply rooted the integrity of this President's word is. For the things he is doing, yes, in the volumes and volumes of speeches he has given, you can find that he said he was going to do it. But there is a lot he said he was going to do, like cleaning up Washington business as usual, while he chooses cabinet picks who are anything but clean. I want to be able to believe everything he says, not just the ones that he actually does. That said, I can certainly make room for the possibility that, like so much else, my read on the article is founded on a mouthful of Obama bait (for you Arrested Development fans, I suspect you are thinking Tobias Funke right now) with a treble hook in the middle (hopefully that cleans it up a little). I hope my take proves to be more accurate than yours but I am also concerned that you are more in tune with reality here than I am.

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