Show Trial

I would rather not have a trial of KSM than have the show trial it is shaping up to be.  I didn't think anything could be more offensive to human rights than indefinite detention without due process but this may be worse.


  1. TomP:

    I remember how the show trials in the Soviet Union were used as an example of the lack of independence of their justice system - the degree to which Soviet justice was corrupted by State control and political expediency. It was one of the important differences between the US and the Soviet Union. Show trials were an example of tyranny.

  2. Mesa Econoguy:

    Regardless of your rights stance/inclinations, there are some tremendously large political stakes in play in the anti-terror arena right now, and it looks as though Obamalini may have just woken up to them.

    After the documented blunders with underpants bomber, AG Holder’s failure to consult/inform nearly all other required national security department heads, and this hyperunpopular show trial set for Manhattan, if a plane goes down or a bomb goes off on Obamalini’s watch, and that information was resident with this kid, his presidency is over. He is finished.

    The likely result is a military tribunal at Gitmo, which is where we started, I believe.

  3. me:

    Glenn Greenwald draws some interesting parallels by comparing national reactions to terror (the full article is worth reading - look here):

    "By contrast, look at what Libya is doing. The U.S. has, for decades, harshly criticized Libya as one of the most tyrannical and uncivilized regimes on the planet. In 2008, the State Department not only amazingly condemned that country for "torture" (which included such U.S.-embraced methods as "depriving detainees of sleep, food, and water; hanging by the wrists; suspending from a pole inserted between the knees and elbows . . . . threatening with dog attacks"), but also for indefinitely detaining people without trials ("The law stipulates that detainees can be held for investigation after being arrested up to eight days. In practice security services can hold detainees indefinitely. Although the law requires that detainees be informed of the charges against them, it was not enforced in practice. The law states that in order to renew a detention order detainees must be brought before a judicial authority at regular intervals of 30 days, but in practice security services detained persons for indefinite periods without a court order")."

    He also contrasts with the anti-terror policies of the Reagan adminstration:

    "Another important measure we have developed in our overall strategy is applying the rule of law to terrorists. Terrorists are criminals. They commit criminal actions like murder, kidnapping, and arson, and countries have laws to punish criminals. So a major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are -- criminals -- and to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law against them." (Bremer)

  4. Stan:

    The administration is against indefinite detention as well (at least rhetorically), but by overly politicizing this case they pretty much screwed themselves. It looks bad for us either way now.

  5. Ron H.:

    Do I understand this correctly? I believe I just heard Press Secretary Gibbs say:

    "If KSM can't be tried in New York, He just won't get a trial at all."

    How can he be tried after the White House proclaims that he will be executed?.....after he is tried and convicted, of course.
    Are there 12 jurors anywhere that won't have heard that statement by the time a trial might begin?

    "No, your honer, I haven't heard or read anything that might affect my ability to render a fair and impartial verdict in this case. I assume that Mr. KSM is innocent at this time, until he is proven guilty.

  6. eCurmudgeon:

    At this point, about the only option the Obama administration has, as unpopular and damaging as it may be, is to release the entire lot of them.

    This will, of course, end any chances Obama ever had of re-election, and guarantee that the military will make it a point to never take terrorist suspects alive, but again, it's still better than the alternatives...

  7. NJconservative:

    When the president's mouthpiece announces the outcome of the trial, can there be any other description other than "show trial?"

    But...we should have followed the Geneva Conventions and executed this monster on the battlefield, as is specifically allowed by the conventions. In fact, that's what we should do with all of these guys. No torture, no show trials, just a scrupulous adherence to the treaty that the left claims we ignore.

  8. Fred Z:

    Everyone's a juror! Get Simon Cowell to televise the trial and Guilt/Innocence and penalty if guilty decided by the call in audience. Cowell can be snarky and have a Paula Abdul lawyer and a gay muslim lawyer of some sort on the panel.

    Every witness gets rated and the boring ones get the hook.

    The Drama!

    The Entertainment!

    The Justice!

    The Money!

    Well, it's the best idea so far.

  9. Michael Miller:

    I have absolutely no problem with executing a war criminal after a swift but fair trial. But I do have to admit that the show trial aspect of this whole affair makes me want to throw up. But then again just about anything the left wants to do makes me feel that way.

  10. John Moore:

    The Bush Administration was well down the road to providing the due process these folks deserved: military commissions. First the Supreme Court intervened on dubious grounds. Then Congress set new rules as required by SCOTUS. Then Obama came along and blew up the whole thing.

    By this time, KSM would be a rotting corpse if the quite proper due process the Bush Administration planned had come to pass.

    BTW, it's hard to know what to do other than indefinite detention for dangerous combatants in a war still in progress (that is, combatants who don't deserve execution, which solves the problem).

    I do get tired of people believing that we have been some horrendous human rights abusers when I see what we have actually done, how humane GTMO is (compared to where Obama wants to move them), and how much care was taken, from the start, to stay within the law - itself an ever moving target.

  11. gaddabe:

    You can collect as much data as your pretty little heart desires, but have you ever lived the life of a teacher? Nope. Anyway, I don't know what goes on in California, but the average teacher in NEVADA makes about 15 per hour. Where are you getting your information? I would just like you to know that you've made a personal attack on teachers everywhere. They have been silent saints for a very long time. Not only do teachers make significantly less, but they get less respect for it. Teachers used to be able to beat kids' hands with a stick if they were bad. Now teachers are treated like insignificant garbage in classrooms by your spoiled children. It's not about the money. It never is about the money. It's about the corruption. That money is coming from the government and filtered through the administration, so don't you think they should be questioned? Did you know that teachers in Korea make relatively 2.4 million yen per month? That rounds to about 16,000 in American dollars. Don't you think that the education system is important enough that teachers should make a little bit more than the average garbage man? You are a single minded hypocrite. Thank you for making my English essay ten times more incisive because I am so fired up.

  12. BlogDog:

    Obama Through the Looking Glass
    "Verdict first. Then the trial."
    Off with his head!

    The only thing progressive about President Amateur is how he's progressively beclowning himself.

  13. Mark:

    Wow this post is an amazing change of heart.

  14. roger the shrubber:

    ah, gaddabe, what are we gonna do with you, ya knucklehead, ya?

    i try my best not to razz the really dumb people. it's mean, it's like poking the animals in the zoo with sticks, john wayne wouldn't do it. but, *dude*. leaving aside entirely the fact that this post and its comments are about national security and the upcoming KSM trial, (maybe you meant to post on another thread. the internet's tricky: maybe you just got confused?), i just GOTTA zoom in on your statement that "teachers in korea make 2.4 million yen per month", which equals "$16,000 yankee dollars", since i make my money in that area. *sigh*

    1) the national currency of korea is the *won*, not the yen. they use yen in *japan*. FAIL.
    2) even allowing for a stupid mistake such as confusing japan with korea, (bad idea to do that in korea: they *really* don't like the japanese, and have good reason not to), 2.4 million WON is in fact the korean equivalent of just a little over $2000. FAIL.
    3) OTOH, if you meant to write "japan" and wrote "korea" instead, (bad idea to do that in japan: they *really* don't think too highly of koreans), 2.4 million YEN is in fact the japanese equivalent of about $26,500. FAIL.

    in short, every single item you presented as fact was...uh...WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! (but hey! don't take MY word for it: google 'currency converter', and see for yourself.) don't you think the education system is important enough that you should get your shit together before you post a rambling, disjointed, utterly FAIL defense of it?!?

    ergo: either you're being "educated" in a union-run, public school, OR .... more likely... based on the pure epicness of your're a unionized *teacher* at a public school, engaging in a pathetic attempt at astroturfing. many thanks for the best laugh i've had in a week.

    PS - RUN, kids, RUN!!! *run away* as fast as you can from the odious idiot with the masters in education!!!

  15. IgotBupkis:

    > PS – RUN, kids, RUN!!! *run away* as fast as you can from the odious idiot with the masters in education!!!

    Roger: Nice. I suspect he got his "masters in education" from the lady who wears leather while entertaining men in vinyl down the street.

    You forgot to mention that
    a) That teacher pay isn't hourly, but YEARLY. So 15/hr is disingenuous even if true because it's probably calculated by dividing the yearly salary by a full-time year's hours, not by the NINE MONTHS a year that teachers actually work (yes, they can pick up extra work in the summer, either as a teacher or in some other profession, but that would distinctly enhance their salary).
    b) Since my best friend is a teacher, I kinda have an idea how much they actually work -- for the first year or two, they DO bust their asses more than a typical full-time worker... for that nine months (total hours STILL less than full-time for the year). BUT, after that, the only real bust-ass time is when they are preparing for a wholly new class (i.e., "job task") they've never done before (gee, THAT never happens out in the Real World, eh?). They can do the classes they've already done on auto-pilot, with only minor changes from year to year.
    c) He's a lying sack of fecal matter, anyway. I got curious about how little the lying sack said his salary was, it seemed kind of low. Look here. Las Vegas teacher, median BASE salary, is $53k/year. Add in the benefits value, and it's $75k/yr. Now, the last I checked, $15/hr for a FULL TIME job is only $30k/year. So our lying SoS is understating the typical teacher income by not less than 50% of what it actually is (remember, that's $53k for NINE MONTHS of work!). And from that site, Carson City and Reno both have salaries in the same arena -- from 50k/71k upwards. So LV is hardly atypical. How about other areas outside NV?? Utah: Median 48k/69k. Idaho: 47k/68k Cali(Fresno): 52k/73k. There's Lies, damn lies, statistics, and "then there's the sh** this PoS makes up..."

    So, as you can see from "c", ALWAYS FACT-CHECK LIBERALS. They will LIE LIKE HELL, all too often, on the presumption that no one will fisk them. It's best to get into the habit, even if you're inclined to believe something they claim. It's the Leninist/postmodernist influence: "Facts don't matter if you win with lies. All that matters is winning." They do not believe in "fair play", so you must always operate against the stinking sons-o'-b's constant efforts to cheat.

    The Bee, he is a busy soul
    He has no time for birth control
    And that is why, in times like these,
    There are so many sons-of-bees.

  16. Tom Nally:

    Theoretically, there are two clear ways in which KSM's detention could have been something other than "indefinite".

    Had he been a "lawful combatant", then we would only hold him until the cessation of hostilities, at which time he would be repatriated. When hostilities terminate is completely up to those who organize and participate in violent jihad against the West. They declared war on us. It is up to them to declare it "over". As long as their jihad is ongoing, we have a right to detain any legal combatants who would otherwise be participants in that jihad.

    A second way KSM's detention could have been something other than "indefinite" would be for him to be what we know as a "common criminal". But he is not. He is an executive in a long term war being waged from many countries against the US and other members of the West, an executive who was in the habit of planning and ordering illegal offensive operations.

    KSM's own decisions have put him in the position in which he currently finds himself. We shouldn't be wringing our hands over it.

    ---Tom Nally, New Orleans

  17. Evil Red Scandi:

    Here's the other problem: Where are they going to get a jury? With the current "standards" applied to jury selection, the only people who could possible qualify (especially in New York) would have to be legally brain dead. Hello OJ verdict?

  18. anon:

    roger & Igot,

    Gaddabe is a teacher. Those who can't do...teach. It isn't about the money, it is about the lack of other marketable skills.

    Sad but the public school system.

    Vouchers, please!

  19. astonerii:

    "I didn’t think anything could be more offensive to human rights than indefinite detention without due process but this may be worse."

    Your just not very creative at thinking.

    Lets see, gassing the Kurds is probably worse.
    Raping the families (including children) of dissidents is probably worse.
    Forcing hundreds of thousands of people to be test subjects for very evil medical studies that leave them dead in the end and tortured in the processing is probably worse.
    Putting a woman into prison and having her lashed because someone or a group of someones decided to rape her is probably worse.

    But hey, catching enemy combatants during wartime and keeping them off the battlefield is worse than all those things. How could anyone deny these people the opportunities to kill Americans en mass, as is their god given rights!? Obviously, it is our fault, as a nation, that we did not foresee the possibility that some group of people who are not connected to a government body that can be held accountable for their actions and thus easily be able to win a war against them, or lose if that be the case and have a time determinable detention policy and prisoner exchange possibilities, that we did not already have on the legal books a formal plan on how to give these evil people "due process".

    Maybe i just do not understand your position, but it seems pretty obvious to me that you think that these are really just criminals? Is that what it is?

  20. Dr. T:

    eCurmudgeon: "At this point, about the only option the Obama administration has, as unpopular and damaging as it may be, is to release the entire lot of them.

    This will, of course, end any chances Obama ever had of re-election, and guarantee that the military will make it a point to never take terrorist suspects alive, but again, it’s still better than the alternatives…"

    I just love it when people begin an argument by stating that there are no alternatives except the one they favor. There are many alternatives. Shoot all of them without trial. Conduct a military trial and imprison or shoot those found guilty of terrorist acts. Conduct a criminal trial in a different venue (such as Nome, Alaska). Bring the prisoners to the US in an autopiloted plane that 'accidentally' crashes over the Atlantic. Obama has plenty of choices.

  21. Esteban:

    ". . . and it looks as though Obamalini may have just woken up to them."

    Spot on, Mesa Enoguy. That's the Obama administration: Ready, Fire, Aim! They've bungled this from the start. AG Holder admitted during testimony to Congress that KSM is an enemy combatant. Yet they wanted to go ahead and show the world that we're a "nation of laws" and give him Constitutional rights and a civilian trial.

    Obama, on the campaign trail, praised the idea of giving Constitutional rights when the USSC gave GITMO detainees habeas corpus rights in the Boumediene decision.

    "I mean, you remember during the Nuremberg trials, part of what made us different was even after these Nazis had performed atrocities that no one had ever seen before, we still gave them a day in court and that taught the entire world about who we are but also the basic principles of rule of law. Now the Supreme Court upheld that principle yesterday."

    But then to even sell the idea of holding a trial in NYC they had to assure the public that even if KSM was acquitted he'd still be held indefinitely.

    The Obama administration isn't even rhetorically opposed to indefinite detention. They're fine with it at an unused Illinois prison; it'll bring jobs!

    They're just opposed to GITMO because, in their deluded minds, GITMO is the "recruiting tool."

    This is so insane, I don't know where to begin. So I'll start from the top. If AG Holder truly understands that KSM is an enemy combatant than we hold him under the laws of war. Not US law. We are just as much a nation of laws if we do so; we are signatories to the Hague and Geneva conventions.

    Barack "Constitutional Law Professor" Obama is an idiot if he believes that the Nuremburg trials were an example of us granting enemy combatants Constitutional rights. The Nuremburg trials was an international MILITARY TRIBUNAL that would not meet the standards of procedure the USSC requires for KSM and his minions. Procedures that Congress has produced, by the way, and are ready to go.

    Then to assure the public that it's ok to risk a civilian trial because we're not going to let him go anyway is the worst possible blend of civilian/military detention. All the administration has been doing since the start has been undermining their very own process.

    This is far more boneheaded than Bush's policy. Although most won't want to hear and acknowledge that.

    But frankly, the administration isn't the only population in America that hasn't thought this through. Everyone who has been seduced into the conceit that by granting these people Constitutional rights and giving them civil trials is somehow upholding an American value is either insane or uninformed.

    It doesn't make us "better than they are," it makes us suicidal.

    And frankly, it is this crowd that is gutting, not upholding the Hague and Geneva conventions. The Hague convention protects non-combatants. That is why it requires combatants to wear uniforms, not place weapons in hospitals or places of worship, not misuse the red cross/red crescent societies symbol to move/hide weapons or personnel, etc.

    The Geneva convention requires that those who follow the rules of war, for the protection of civilians, be treated well. The Geneva convention permits the summary execution of those who do not follow the rules of war and hazard the lives of non-combatants. That is, after determination by competent military tribunal.

    Which according to our military laws is a board of two officers.

    If I hear or read one more person say "we have to give these people the protection of the Geneva convention so our prisoners will be treated well" I'm going to vomit. That is terminal resistance-to-evidence.

    That is NOT the purpose of that convention; it is not a quid-pro-quo between the two warring parties so their respective prisoners will be treated well, atrocities against civilians be damned.

    And if you think it is, you don't know your elbow from a rock. That is the exact opposite of what it is.

    The people we are fighting study the Hague conventions. And not just us, but Israel. They study it becaue they think that everything the Hague convention disallows must be, ipso facto, a really effective tactic.

    So they hide weapons in mosques, and use minarets as sniper positions. They place mortar positions near hospitals, and in Lebanon artillery in apartment complexes. They use human shields, sometimes as has been the case in Iraq picking up toddlers to use as body armor.

    (Note to those who want to give these people Geneva convention or worse Constitional protections; that sentiment makes you just as lawless as the enemy. It doesn't make you better. That is just a conceit. It makes you just as bad, because what you are saying is you care as little for those lives as they do.)

    Do criminals study the Hague convention? Does the Mafia study the Hague convention. No. You wanna know who studies the Hague convention? ENEMY COMBATANTS! That's who.

    Once again, we wouldn't have to contemplate spending potentially $1Billion over the course of a single trial in lower Manhatten if we weren't dealing with a foreign enemy.

    The Obama administration is proving my point. There is no coherent reason to treat these people as anything but what they are; enemy combatants.

  22. Rathtyen:

    If you don’t mind me saying, this has been the weakness in your argument on this subject from the beginning: it was always going to be a show trial.

    It is possible that Holder and his team were motivated by visions of legal purity, but I think it was a little more politically motivated. That said, it is really hard to determine how much this administration is ideologically motivated, and how much is playing politics.

    My suggestion is go and watch some episodes of Hogan Heroes. Its old enough that the initial episodes were shot in black and white (ie its not modern propaganda for Gitmo). It highlights what happens to enemy combatants’ they are held for the duration of the conflict. America may not be involved in a traditional war, but it is at war.

    Jihad is war. Its not conventional, but it is real, and over the past 1500 years, it has been responsible for the conquest of (starting from the Arabian Peninsula), Persia and the Middle East, Northern Africa, Turkey, Russia to the Caucuses, Eastern Europe to the Danube (later reconquered), the Iberian Peninsula to the Pyrenees (with an excursion to Tours/Orleans in middle France), and east to China. A big chunk of the world.

    Today’s Jihadis won’t achieve that success militarily but those past conquests are their motivation. For them, it is the same war.

  23. Mark ii:

    Maybe off topic but addressing one of the posters:

    THe average annual salary for a teacher in Nevada is $43,394. On top of this salary the average additional compensation in other types of benefits is $13,235.

    Now, one of the calculations that teachers never mention is that they only work about 170 days per year (out of 260 "workdays"/year. So, to annualize this salary over twelve months we divide by .65 (170/260) which gives a "real" average annual salary of $65,975. This is an average "hourly" wage of more than $31/hour. Now, if you consider that teachers only work a 7 hour day, of that one is spent in "prep" and another in "lunch" teachers do not work a full 40 hour week making their "hourly" rate even higher. ANd, when the teacher tells you about all of their grading they do at home they seem to forget that the average professional worker not only works way more than 40 hours per week they also bring home more work that a teacher does.

    Teaching is a profession. BUt lets dispel the myth that they are so underpaid and overworked.