Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holder defends civilian trials for war criminals

Although Attorney General Holder has admitted that the "9/11 attacks were ... an act of war," he has still chosen to prosecute the terrorists in civilian court as if they were mere criminals. He has presented a defense of sorts of this decision. Holder claims for example:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will have no more of a platform to spew his hateful ideology in federal court than he would have in military commissions
Andrew C. McCarthy, whose experience includes the prosecution of the Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman among others for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, explains otherwise:
That's ridiculous. KSM was ready to plead guilty and be executed eleven months ago. Whatever soapbox he was going to have, he'd largely already had, and while we'd have had to let him speak before sentence was imposed, that would have been the end of it. Now, he's going to get a full-blown trial — after combing through the discovery for a couple of years and after putting the Bush administration under the spotlight.
The idea that President Obama is happy to have Al Qaeda terrorists and their sleazy lawyers spending years doing discovery on what we know about Al Qaeda is deeply disturbing.

Mr. McCarthy also takes on seven other points made by Holder. Read the whole thing.

"I believe this decision is dangerous. I believe it's misguided. I believe it is unnecessary" —Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
"We're making bad history here. The big problem I have is that you're criminalizing the war. ... I think you've made a fundamental mistake here." —Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

MORE: John Hinderaker's analysis of the insanity of fighting a war by civilian court standards is here.

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