Tag Archives: GITMO

911 attack Civilian Trials vs. Military Tribunals – What’s the Fuss?

So now we’ve got all manner of partisan hatchetmen coming after President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for deciding to try Khalid Shiekh Mohammad and the men charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks in a New York civilian courtroom.

Khalid Shiekh Mohammad
Khalid Shiekh Mohammad

Holder says he’s going after the death penalty, but that doesn’t seem to be good enough for the likes of Rudy Giuliani.

The so-called “hero of 9/11” took time out of his busy schedule this weekend to Fox News that the President “just doesn’t get it” when it comes to the war on terror. Rudy, of course, does get it.

He’s the guy whose recommendation for chief of homeland security will instead be going to jail after the holidays. But, no matter. He’s an expert at these things after all.

Am I the only person who gets the irony of a former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York saying the current US Attorney for the Southern District of New York can’t handle this trial? That Rudy Giuliani spews this crap on national TV is offensive.

Then there are those who whine about Khalid Shiekh Mohammad and his cronies having a platform to spout anti American rhetoric.

Whether their cases are held in civilian courts or military tribunals, they’ll do that. People may forget, but that’s just what they did at their arraignment, and virtually every appearance before a military tribunal to date. By the way, in case anyone’s forgotten, they have confessed, and say they want to be put to death. Just what else do the tribunal advocates want?

Fact is, none of these GITMO detainees have actually faced justice up to now. Trying them in New York does pose some legal obstacles, but the benefits of showing American justice in the light of day far exceeds them. I remain opposed to the death penalty for anyone, but if the nation’s bloodlust over 9/11 is to be sated, what difference does it make what type of court reaches that conclusion?

And then there is the record, which Rudy Giuliani and his ilk  avoid talking about at all costs. From a Huffington Post piece by Brian Levin from Cal State University.

“After 9/11 the government prevailed in civilian criminal courts in some high profile extremist cases like that of the “Lackawanna Six” (participation in al Qaeda terror training), attempted airline “shoebomber” Richard Reid, al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui, attempted terror camp organizer James Ujaama, New York City bridge bomb plotter Iyman Faris, Al Qaeda supporter Jose Padilla, and lesser figures like Jewish Defense League leader Irv Rubin, and white supremacist Matt Hale.”

However, justice isn’t on the agenda for Rudy and his fellow travelers, partisan attacks are. He tries to tie together President Obama’s deliberations on Afghanistan (“He has delayed inordinately in making this decision about the war strategy in Afghanistan,”), the Ft. Hood massacre (“He doesn’t get the fact that there is an Islamic war against us.”) along with the civilian trial decision to make Barack Obama look soft on national security.

What a joke, coming from this man.

Rudolph Giuliani
Rudolph Giuliani

In Rudy’s world, taking the five defendants and Major Hasan together and shooting them without trial, followed by nuking Afghanistan would solve all our problems.

Maybe keeping him off TV would work better. What do you think?

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Economy? Who cares…

You may have noticed, as I have, that our politicians seem to have stopped talking about the economy.

us-economy-2

Nope, what Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it…Dick Cheney’s trash talk…and whether US prisons can house terrorists …seems to have blown economic news right off the front pages.

The question is, did somebody fix things while the rest of us weren’t looking, or is our attention being diverted for a reason?

Cynic that I am, I choose the latter. Take a look around, America. While things may have bottomed out, they certainly haven’t gotten better. And here’s a telling statistic for you. Last year, there were about 1.7 applicants for every available job. Right now that number is 4.8 applicants. That means those who have been thrown out of work are facing daunting obstacles to finding a new job, even if they’re good at what they do.

Chances are, there are four other people just as good who have sent their resumes to that same HR department. And that’s a single stat. Expand that outward and what you see is a wholesale scramble to reinvent or reset job skills to fit a fast changing market.

But how much do we read or know about the struggles of the everyday working person, or person seeking work?

Hey, that’s not important, pal! Ridiculous arguments about who’s calling the CIA liars (which, by the way, GOP Pelosi stalker Pete Hoekstra actually did), now that’s important.

Barack Obama making the mistake of getting into a spitting match with Dick Cheney (Dick Cheney!!!) over national security is what we ought to spend our time contemplating this Memorial Day Weekend.

Oh, and by the way, our lawmakers don’t just take Monday off. They’re off the whole week! And the House calls it the Memorial Day District Work Period, and they do so with a straight face. The economy, health care, climate change, they’ll all keep until Congress returns. And when it does, we’ll hear more about Republicans wanting a full blown probe of Nancy Pelosi.

Houston, we have a problem. It’s called MISPLACED PRIORITIES. America has a long way to go before the major work that needs to be done to fix things is even halfway finished. When Congress returns, how about they grow a spine and tell Republicans we have a list of terrorists being held in US prisons as long as your arm already. They include everyone from shoe bomber Richard Reid to 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui to American Taliban John Walker Lindh.

Keeping GITMO open or jobs for the American unemployed, which is the Republican priority? Providing health care to those who don’t have it, or trying to gut Nancy Pelosi?

There are choices, aren’t there?

Which topic do you think should be headline news?

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Did Democrats Punk on GITMO?

The short answer to the above question? Yes, they did.

Yes, the people locked up at Guantanamo Bay may well be guilty of crimes against this country and its citizens. How guilty we don’t know in many cases. Some people have been locked up there for years without trial. Yet pandering members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, act like to bring them to justice on US soil is somehow a clear and present danger to the public.

guantanamo-bay-camp-delta

The Democrats involved in the shameful Senate decision to withhold funding for GITMO’s closure got punked by Republicans, pure and simple. How else to explain the lopsided 90-6 vote? How else to explain Harry Reid’s bizarre statement about the detainees, “We don’t want them around”? So what do you suggest, Senator? Shoot them all? Keep ’em locked up forever without giving many the benefit of a trial?

FBI boss Robert Mueller fed more red meat to opponents of closing GITMO by asserting detainees held or released in the US could pose a threat.

robert-mueller

A cursory reading of history would tell us the following: Several German saboteurs landed in the US, were captured, tried by military tribunal, and executed back in 1942. None were detained for a minute outside the US.

Also, in case people forgot, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were interred during the same wartime period, again inside the US. If Nazis and Japanese can be securely held inside this country, what in the world is Congress thinking by scaring the American people about GITMO detainees?

President Obama will address the nation on this issue by the time many of you read this. It really doesn’t matter what he says, given that he’s been sold out by his own party on this issue. Americans’ concerns about national security are legitimate ones. However, the idea that suspected terrorists can help fund terror operations from behind bars in ludicrous. That’s what Super Max prisons were made for.

supermaxprisoncell

And the fears about what happens if they’re released? Gee, it seems like the only way that would happen is if they’re found innocent. So is Congress trying to say that America’s courts would be suspect if one or two of these detainees are found not to have done what the government says they’ve done? They’ve already impugned the competence of virtually every corrections officer currently working in the US.

Instead of fighting the Republicans on this issue, the Democrats folded like a gambler with a bad hand at one of Harry Reid’s Vegas casinos. Not to mention they’ve spoon fed the GOP an issue that they’ll certainly use going forward in their war of “no” with the president.

And what’s their end game? Keeping GITMO, an international scar of shame, open and nothing less.

Is this really what the American people want? How about you? Do you want to keep Guantanamo Bay open?

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