Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obama's 9/10 Mentality

President Obama's decision to try the mastermind of 9/11 in civilian court would look naive if the reasons weren't so transparent, as Andrew McCarthy notes.

Today's announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets.

Let's take stock of where we are at this point. KSM and his confederates wanted to plead guilty and have their martyrs' execution last December, when they were being handled by military commission. As I said at the time, we could and should have accommodated them. The Obama administration could still accommodate them. After all, the president has not pulled the plug on all military commissions: Holder is going to announce at least one commission trial (for Nashiri, the Cole bomber) today.

Moreover, KSM has no defense. He was under American indictment for terrorism for years before there ever was a 9/11, and he can't help himself but brag about the atrocities he and his fellow barbarians have carried out.

So: We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda's case against America. Since that will be their "defense," the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America's defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.

Indeed, the idiotic left is delighted at the idea of giving terrorists access to American courts, never thinking about what exposing our intelligence officers and mechanisms will mean for American safety (it basically makes them less effective).

The idea of giving terrorists the rights of American citizens to the American legal system is nonsense, as FDR knew. But for liberals like the Obama administration and the luny left, the idea is to try, not the terrorists, but our own intelligence agencies for being mean to the terrorists when we interrogated them. Because, you know, getting information that saves American lives and helps our country is much less important than arguing about the definition of torture.

One final point here: Allahpundit points out that there's no way Khalid Sheik Mohammed will get out of jail, regardless of the trashing his attorneys try to do to the U.S. intelligence community. How is it due process if he will not be released regardless of the trial's outcome?