Patterico's Pontifications

11/14/2009

Accepted Wisdom™ on Trying KSM in Federal Court: Glenn Greenwald Edition

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:47 am



When are attacks on military targets “terrorism”? For Glenn Greenwald, the answer is: “only when it benefits my argument.”

Glenn Greenwald suggested the other day that those who attack purely military targets should not be considered terrorists. Greenwald called Joe Lieberman “incomparably pernicious” after Lieberman claimed that Hasan was a terrorist. Greenwald argued that Hasan’s attack “was carried out on a military base, with his clear target being American soldiers, not civilians.” Greenwald argued that, if one calls Hasan’s attack terrorism, then the United States also engages in terrorism with its drone attacks on terrorists in Pakistan.

Greenwald’s logic obviously applies to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole — which was, after all, a purely military target attacked in a surprising and unconventional manner. Greenwald seems to be arguing that the right slaps the label of terrorism on purely military attacks (like the attack on the U.S.S. Cole) when it suits the right’s purposes.

Oddly enough, however, Greenwald does exactly the same thing.

In his post on Eric Holder’s announcement that KSM will be tried in federal court, Greenwald savages Holder for also announcing that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole attack, will be tried before a military tribunal. Greenwald scoffs: “So what we have here is not an announcement that all terrorism suspects are entitled to real trials in a real American court.”

“Terrorism suspects”? Hold up. Since when is Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri a terrorist in Glenn Greenwald’s mind?

Answer: when it suits Glenn Greenwald’s argument. That’s when.

If a conservative were to cite the Cole attack as an example of terrorism, Greenwald would rush off to find a dozen allegedly similar atrocities perpetrated by the U.S., in a desperate bid to establish moral equivalence. Greenwald would ridicule the notion that the Cole attack is “terrorism” deserving of opprobrium. Why, it’s just warfare!

But note what happens the second you tell him: fine, it’s warfare. So we’ll try the combatant in military court. Before you can say “Thomas Ellers is a hypocrite,” the argument gets revised right before your very eyes. All of a sudden, the Cole attack becomes “terrorism,” and the “suspects” need to be tried in federal court.

Greenwald loves to pretend that he’s all about consistency. To that contention, let me furrow my brow seriously and respond: Hahahahahaha! Dude, you’re all about advancing leftist arguments, period.

Quit trying to pretend you’re some high-minded great man, Greenwald. Leave that to your sock puppets.

25 Responses to “Accepted Wisdom™ on Trying KSM in Federal Court: Glenn Greenwald Edition”

  1. I am shocked at the decision to try KSM as a civilian.

    I am disgusted and appalled at the decision to try him in NYC, blocks away from Ground Zero.

    The media frenzy will be insane, and after Ft. Hood, how many copycat freelance terrorists will be that much more emboldened?

    All of NYC will become a terrorist target.

    Our lives will be made hell by Holder and Obama.

    Despicable.

    sophia (cb19a0)

  2. I just read the Greenwald article that Patterico linked to:

    “I expect to have an interview later today with one of those family members — and holding the trial in New York, the place where 3,000 Americans died, provides particularly compelling symbolism.”

    Get me the barf bag. Symbolism indeed. But not the symbolism Greenasshole thinks. The Muslim world will see this as hanging justice, a show trial. And they will react accordingly.

    You have to be a brain dead leftist to write like that.

    sophia (cb19a0)

  3. Three more years to put up with this BS.

    Hondo (eb6164)

  4. Does anyone know what the difference is between “hate crime” and “Terrorism”?

    cisco (59de67)

  5. Does anyone know what the difference is between “hate crime” and “Terrorism”?

    Depends on whether or not the target is a large contributor to Left/Liberal/Democrat causes.

    AD - RtR/OS! (32db6a)

  6. Who is Glenn Greenwald and why does anyone care what he writes, says, or opines?

    mhr (63b069)

  7. cisco, there’s a good discussion of what defines terrorism taking place at Patterico’s flipside, The Jury. It’s worth checking out.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  8. mhr @ #6: Aren’t you aware that Mr. Greenwald has written three books and is listened-to by many important people? He is also very good looking.

    Bleen Bleenwaldo (166f79)

  9. So to you it’s all the same #5?

    cisco (59de67)

  10. Once it was decided it was going to be a criminal trial, there was no real choice other than in New York. It’s a constitutional requirement to hold criminal trials in the district in which the defendant resides or the crime occurred. And there is no realistic cause for change of venue because New York really is the forum conveniens where all the evidence and witnesses are. Another reason why Article III trials are the wrong way to go.

    nk (df76d4)

  11. While your prior criticism of Greenwald’s arguments concerning mass-murder Malik Hasan were disingenuous, you certainly caught him out here.

    It’s perfectly appropriate to use different venues and courts for addressing (a) an act of terrorism committed against US civilians, versus (b) an attack on US sailors in a foreign port. Greenwald’s argument that this shows some kind of bad faith by the Obama Administration is preposterous. Military-related criminal acts merit military-style justice. As long as the procedures have the same kind of due process features that every service man receives, a military tribunal is perfectly appropriate.

    As one of the commentators pointed out in another thread, at various times justices of SCOTUS have hightlight that the military justice system utilized in court-martials is a tested and constitutionally validated method for dealing with military-related wrongs. The Bush Administration’s huge failing was trying to create a jerry-rigged system rather than employing either of the two models that have been refined over two centuries.

    One of the greatest examples of the integrity of the military system and the individuals who perform as JAGs has been the superb defense lawyering conducted by the military officers assigned to defend detainees. They destroyed the initial Gitmo prosecutions with brilliant constitutional lawyering. Now that the Bush Administration fiasco has been cleared away, legitimate trials–either under the civilian criminal or military court-martial regimes–should be implemented to establish guilt and impose appropriate punishment.

    Cyrus Sanai (3b1f29)

  12. Couldn’t KSM be tried in the “rocket docket” for the Pentagon Attack?
    Or in a military trial for, again, the Pentagon attack?

    MayBee (f18f3a)

  13. Does anyone know what the difference is between “hate crime” and “Terrorism”?

    Comment by cisco — 11/14/2009 @ 12:06 pm

    All acts of terrorism are by nature “hate crimes”. But not all hate crimes are called terrorism.

    The Emperor (82e13a)

  14. Comment by MayBee — 11/14/2009 @ 12:49 pm

    There is no requirement that the attack had been against a military target for someone to be court-martialled as an unlawful combatant. As a matter of fact, that is one definition of unlawful combat — a civilian target.

    nk (df76d4)

  15. BTW, I disagree with each and every law protecting combatants, “lawful” or “unlawful”. I think that any war except in self-defense or in defense of an innocent third party is a crime punishable by death.

    nk (df76d4)

  16. Isn’t there a law against Cyrus using the term “disingenuous” about anyone else’s arguments?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Patterico could have attacked right-wing commentator Jonah Golberg of the National Review, who shares the same view as Greenwald saying about the Fort Hood attack, “But it seems to me a case could be made that this was, variously, an act of war, an act of treason, or a war crime, but not an act of terrorism.

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YTRjMWY5MGNiMzQyNzM3Zjg0ZmJjYzA4NTMxYjEzYjg=

    Dwight Laprairie (4fca9e)

  18. Dwight,

    Did Jonah “Golberg” argue in a subsequent post that the mastermind of the Cole attack should be tried in federal court because he is a “terrorist”?

    Patterico (64318f)

  19. While your prior criticism of Greenwald’s arguments concerning mass-murder Malik Hasan were disingenuous . . . — Cyrus Sanai

    Freudian verb tense there? I think Cyrus knows my criticism “was” not disingenuous, but Greenwald’s arguments “were.”

    Patterico (64318f)

  20. And now Greenwald says the right is cowardly for opposing a trial of KSM in NYC.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  21. Bradley – Greenwald keeps failing to mention to his readers that trial under either a criminal justice system or a military justice system fulfills our obligations under the Geneva Conventions. The JAG lawyer he quited extensively in the piece Patterico linked in this post also makes the point, which Greenwald omitted from his quote lifting, that the fallback from the trial process or an adverse verdict was to detain the people indefinitely until hostilities cease, which is the custom under the laws of war. Greenwald will never admit to that historical custom because he sees this as a criminal matter.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  22. ‘Greenwald called Joe Lieberman “incomparably pernicious”’

    That’s because Lieberman put his country ahead of his party and ahead of his own personal political fortunes…and that don’t fly in liberal-land.

    Dave Surls (fa9788)

  23. “One of the greatest examples of the integrity of the military system and the individuals who perform as JAGs has been the superb defense lawyering conducted by the military officers assigned to defend detainees. They destroyed the initial Gitmo prosecutions with brilliant constitutional lawyering. Now that the Bush Administration fiasco has been cleared away, legitimate trials–either under the civilian criminal or military court-martial regimes–should be implemented to establish guilt and impose appropriate punishment.”

    Sure, bud.

    Same thing they did at Nuremburg.

    Not.

    Funny how they can bypass both the United States civil courts AND the military court system when that’s what liberals want, ain’t it?

    Dave Surls (fa9788)

  24. If Hasan isn’t a terrorist, then… let’s see…

    he’s an enemy soldier
    he’s wearing a US uniform

    result: summary execution.

    tehag (ff1eec)

  25. No one was better at shining the douche light on poor widdle Gleen than John. Man I miss Wuzzadem

    D-lo (8c474e)


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