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Holder Announces Trial in NYC for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

by JJFCPA (editor), McLean, Virginia, November 13, 2009

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Men to be tried as common criminals in civilian court in New York

Today in an announcement that will have significant implications across the spectrum, Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General, stated that the master mind and 4 other men tied to the September 11 attack on the U.S. will be tried in civilian court in New York City. This decision which many have expected for weeks confirms the fears of many Americans that Obama and key members of his administration view the horrific event as a criminal matter and not related to a war, and in particular, a war of terror. The Obama administration seems to be unable to define what a terrorist act is and to deal with it properly. This is in contrast to the majority of Americans who viewed the wanton destruction of innocent American lives in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania as clearly acts of a Jihad war against the U.S.

The alleged master mind of the attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has already testified at a hearing at the military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to his guilt in the deaths on nearly 3,000 Americans. During his testimony, he also proclaimed his desire to kill more Americans and justified his role in the attack. He will now have a pulpit and another opportunity to espouse his hate and to seek to expose his vile and distorted view of humanity, the importance of Jihad and the incontrovertible truths of Islam. His fellow defendants who will join him in a New York court room will have the same access to a justice system that has been, until this announcement, reserved for trying non-war related crimes and legal matters. One of the requirements will be empanelling an impartial jury. This will be an interesting process and fraught with prosecutorial risk as defense attorneys have the skill to use this area to have judgments overturned.

Holder indicated that his prosecutors have the prerogative to and expects them to seek the death penalty against the men. However, commentators and many Americans will quickly and rightfully question what is the benefit to be gained by the country by taking this trial out of military court and into the civilian court system. The decision effectively treats these men as common criminals entitled to Miranda and other rights. One answer may be Obama’s continued expressed interest in demonstrating his personal (and therefore the country as President) goodwill to Muslims. In a similar vein, the trial will have a political back drop as it will likely dissect former President Bush's policy on torture.

This decision presents many serious risks to the national security and for each of the participants in the trail. A civilian proceeding will give the defendants an opportunity to seek discovery of a broad range of pertinent and otherwise evidence. Most troubling is the possible disclosure of secrets and other information which could harm existing or future Intel operations that might prevent a future terrorist attack against the country. Americans will watch this legal process unfold and assess whether the Obama administration has made the proper decision which has profound implications on our national security policy. This decision is rendered at the same time that the Obama administration has proposed a massive and intrusive health care bill that will be the greatest governmental entitlement program, if enacted. The latter decision poses economic risk while Holder’s decision threatens our national security interest.

There has been a fast rising tide of deep concern by many Americans about the decisions and motives of President Obama as he deals on economic and national security matters. The defeats by two incumbent Democratic governors whom he personally endorsed and campaigned for in Virginia and New jersey by smashing margins is an obvious sign that he does not have the same support today that he had a year ago. Independents in particular who attach themselves to neither major political party have in these elections and recent polls clearly shifted their support away from Obama and his decisions.

All major decisions like Obama’s and Holder's on the trial venue involve an assessment of risk and benefit. There is no doubt that there are substantial risks in this proceeding and beyond this matter. However, the risks have to be measured against the benefit or upside in comparison to the risks assumed. The benefits have not been explained, and it is likely that Americans will question Obama’s judgment anew until they have been explained.



About the Writer

JJFCPA is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Holder Announces Trial in NYC for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

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By Charles Harmison on November 13, 2009 at 08:15 pm

There is so much wrong with this article i almost don't know where to begin. Clearly you are caught up in the purely politically motivated biases of your republican overlords and cannot see or do not care that these types of morally superior actions are what is responsible for the fact that America has gone from one of the most hated countries in the world to one of the most loved countries once again in less than a year. This is due to Obama following thru with his promise to return America to the days when morality in our foreign policy mattered more than greed, revenge and dick measuring.

What are you so afraid of? Without a doubt they are going to be found guilty. Your bloodlust will be satisfied and they will all be killed. Why must you have a draconian military commission to do this?  Now the people of New York will be the ones dispencing the justice they deserve. What could possibly be wrong with that? America will grow stronger by the trial and can only be made more rightous in the eyes of the world that we are willing to meet this high level of justice with a fair and balanced trial even for our worst enemies. 

The only true motivation that could be behind your's and other's criticism of this decision is either concern that the illegal torture carried out against these criminals will come to light to the world and those responsible will be called into question for those actions which they should, or a continued politically motivated attack against the guy that beat the pants off the repubs in the polls last november. Get over it you lost. The country wants our moral compass returned to north and this helps do that. We were wrong during the Bush years and now we are finally becoming right again. You need to realise that the moral high road is a path that is earned by holding oneself accountable for the same rules we hold the rest of the world to.

Yet you have a problem with that? Keep digging that grave for your politics and will never again be led by another greedy republican. 

 

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By Charles Harmison on November 14, 2009 at 04:07 pm

I agree with Dean about JJFCPA from what little i have seen of him.

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By Theresa H Hall on November 18, 2009 at 02:11 am

Trial by jury it the right thing to do. Not detaining men indefinitely, without charge, many of whom happened to look like the men who did do this, down to totally innocent men and boys kidnapped or captured and imprisoned for looking a particular way.

The former president lied to us, broke untold numbers of laws and allowed this Guantinmo holding hell to continue. The "war" our current President is trying to get us out of is doing the correct thing. Remember, he is an attorney. He respects the law and is trying to right a wrong. In fact, many of them. He inherited more then he was told there was.

Now, the men and mastermind (cowards) behind the 911 attack, should and will be tried, just as war criminals have been tried in the past. Plus, I have no doubt of the outcome.

As far as ratings go, I think ratings are overrated. Men need to get out of the high school mentality and the fraternity mindset. 

When I was growing up, I was told we were civilized. We all of us need to be mindful of what that really means. We need to not lean to the left, nor lean to the right. We need to stand together, united in all matters so an not to tip the boat. the world is watching.

Cal me idealistic, but I was promised a brighter future than what has come down the raod at us, like a bowling ball toward the ten pins. We need to come together and work toward the common good of all our citizens.

I am a Democrat, but I think I will just be a plain old American from now on. I'm gonna be on America's side.

Peace out.

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