This is a category where you don’t really want to be determined to be best, but the decision by the Obama administration to prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York City and four others, really deserves the recognition.  The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and four other men accused in the plot will be prosecuted in federal court in New York City, the United States attorney general announced Friday.

But the administration will prosecute another set of high-profile detainees now being held at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of planning the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole in Yemen, and four other detainees — before a military commission.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said he would seek the death penalty against the five defendants if they are found guilty in federal court.

Some questions I have about this decision:

  • Why New York, and don’t you care about the families of the victims wishes that it not be held in New York (or to have them brought on U.S. soil)?  You could have this trial anywhere.
  • Is the Obama Administration not concerned about classified material that it will likely have to give to the defense counsels of these terrorists?  Likely anyone who defends these terrorists will have a political agenda, and I can see anything and everything being leaked.  I figure President Obama likely doesn’t care.  I know Eric Holder doesn’t.
  • Wouldn’t this decision also place New York at higher risk of a terrorist attack?
  • If a military commission is good enough for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and four others why isn’t it good enough for all of them?
  • Also aren’t they concerned that Mohammed could have evidence found inadmissible by some activist judge due to the fact he was waterboarded?
  • Are they not concerned about the circus that the defendants will turn this trial into?  Likely not.

President Obama has opposition from within his own party as Senator James Webb (D-VA) weighs in on this matter in a statement today.  NRO’s Andy McCarthy points out that this decision really reveals Eric Holder’s true agenda.  Then the Obama administration will also release 26 of the Gitmo detainees to Yemen.  Hey that sounds like a great idea, let’s release terrorists to a country where terrorists pretty much run free.

Brilliant!  I wish this were a joke, but alas it’s not.  I agree with Sarah Palin, this decision is atrocious.

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  1. Why New York? Shane, really, come on. You’re smart enough to understand concepts like jurisdiction. The crime took place, among other places, in New York City. A few victims families may have opinions, but these are irrelevant. Victims families never get to decide jurisdictional issues. They don’t even play a factor, nor should they. Your complete disregard for rule of law is shocking.
    .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..Either Those Preconceptions Go, or I Do =-.

  2. Didn’t Obama and his cabinet take an oath to PROTECT the American people? He and his cabinet seem to want to do nothing of the sort! Palin is right. This is treasonous if you ask me.
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Recount in NY! =-.

    1. @Dominique, when you say treasonous, I think a better word might be Constitutional. The Sixth Amendment reads:
      “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

      Please note that this doesn’t apply to American citizens only but to all “accused.” Since when is upholding the Bill of Rights treasonous? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
      .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..Either Those Preconceptions Go, or I Do =-.

      1. @Guy Incognito, BTW, innocent until proven guilty. He confessed and bragged about it! Hello! Not only that, he is a war criminal. He should be tried under military law, period. The damage that could result for the release of classified information alone is not cool.
        .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Recount in NY! =-.

      2. @Dominique, innocent until proven guilty applies even if there is a full confession. A confession is not the end of the story, there are procedures that must be followed. A plea must be entered on the part of the defendant, either guilty or not guilty, and even a full confession is not the same a guilty please (although a confession is pretty damning evidence at trial). Think about it another way, suppose somebody confesses to a crime that they didn’t commit, maybe to cover for somebody or just because they are crazy. I’m not saying that this is what happened here, but do you honestly want a system where confessions of all criminals are accepted unquestioningly without a full hearing?

        Moreover, be careful when you say he is a “war criminal,” that’s probably not something you want to invoke. It would actually entitle him to more rights than a common criminal, as it would imply that he is a uniformed soldier acting in that capacity, and thus entitled to expanded rights under the Geneva convention. I’m perplexed about what point you are trying to make.
        .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..Either Those Preconceptions Go, or I Do =-.

  3. @Guy Incognito, No, but like I mentioned in my post – a military commission seems to be just fine in the case of some, but not these guys?

    I didn’t recall Palin saying – “we need to string them up.”

    By the way there is bipartisan outrage on this one.

    1. @Shane Vander Hart, check out Sarah Palin’s facebook, IIRC you linked to it, where she says we ought to “hang ’em high.”

      Honestly, I don’t care which party outraged, or even if both of them are. The law is the law and it’s about political factionalism, at least it ought to be.

      A few more points. First, a criminal tribunal actually wasn’t good enough for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, all charges in that case were dropped (and surprisingly enough, somehow, he isn’t out wandering the streets of NYC). Also, there are serious legal questions still being worked out with respect to the legitimacy of military tribunals for terrorists and enemey combatants. If he is going to get off on a technicality, a military tribunal is the most likely one, frankly.

      Moreover, the idea that he could possibly get off on a technicality and somehow walk away scot free is absurd. He’s not going to be indicted for every crime, including a couple thousand murders all at once, but rather a few at a time, a trick prosecutors use to make sure if there is a technical mistake the defendant doesn’t walk. Not that there is going to be any technical mistakes, since it’s a safe bet that the prosecutors are going to be handling this case like a Fabrege egg. We all know he’s guilty, he even admitted it, apparently. What’s to fear about having a fair trial, in the proper jurisdiction? Have you such little faith in the system?

      Lastly, you said, “Likely anyone who defends these terrorists will have a political agenda, and I can see anything and everything being leaked.” Accusing an officer of the court of being party to treason is serious business. We have a Bar hold attorneys to a standard of ethical behavior. Not to mention sensitive material will be redacted for the purposes of court records.
      .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..Either Those Preconceptions Go, or I Do =-.

  4. A few more thoughts I just had. I completely understand your concerns that sensitive information might be leaked, but my point is that the are countermeasures in place for that already. They don’t just let anybody come in off the street and practice criminal defense, they have to go through rigorous screening and background checks first.

    But even considering the small possibility that one of his defense lawyers would leak sensitive information to terrorists (and the same possibility exists for the prosecutors, the judge, the file clerks, etc.) there are precautions that can be taken to redact this stuff.

    You have to balance rights against security concerns, and I am sure that that is being done. A military tribunal, might be a bit safer, but only minimally so, and not worth the precedent of running roughshod over someone’s rights, even the rights of a terrible person such as this.

    He still has a right to a public trial. Public doesn’t mean he has the right to have the trial broadcast and to make the rounds of Good Morning America and The View, it means that the trial is public record (with the exception of classified info) and thus anybody can see it and see if anything illegal was done. The problem with military tribunals is precisely the same as their selling point, they are secret.

    Secret trials are very scary things, Shane, even scarier than terrorists. That’s why the founding fathers gave us the Sixth Amendment in the first place, and I thank God for that.
    .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..Either Those Preconceptions Go, or I Do =-.

      1. @Dominique, I’d be happy to explain, thanks for asking:) You see, the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution entitles everybody who is accused of a crime to rights to a speedy and public trial by jury, not just American citizens. Moreover, I think you are right that he an enemy combatant (more correctly, an unlawful combatant), as opposed to a uniformed soldier entitled to protections of the Geneva convention. But unlawful combatants are considered criminals, and thus prosecuted under domestic law. Unlawful combatants still have rights.

  5. Dominique: How is it possible that the other “unlawful combatants” that “still have rights” were forwards toward the military for a military tribunal? If your logic is correct (and you obviously are intelligent and thoughtful), then how is this even remotely possible. How about deciding to give them a trial in New York? How is it possible they can receive a fair trial in that venue? This was a diversion, was a slap in the face to the “Bush/Cheney” Administration, and will be used to put waterboarding on trial. It’s a disgrace. What about Holder’s comments that he reviewed the cases, made a decision that they would be found guilty, and would seek the death penalty? That doesn’t sound like they’re innocent until proven guilty does it. What if he reviewed the case of an “unlawful combatant” whose case wasn’t so good and he was unsure as to the outcome? Either they ALL qualify, or NONE of them qualify. I’m in law enforcement and it is EXACTLY those cases that are questionable that should go forward to determine guilt or innocence. No, this is something different and it’s a disgrace.

  6. Go to or to see Senator Obama saying that Kalid should get a full military trial!!!!

    1. @M. Hovda,

      M. Hova: I’m convinced that Obama and his associates and operatives have lived lives where “appearance” is all that matters. The actual truth or what is right does not enter into the equation. They seem to think they can “calculate” what they say. How would you like to live life like that? I can’t imagine what life would be like if I believed in nothing but myself, had to be a chameleon in order to deceive others that I think something I don’t, and make a life of talking in political “say nothing” vocabulary. No wonder Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann scare the “BE-JESUS” out of them.

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