Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2010

WaPo: Obama Advisers Will Recommend Military Commission, Not Federal Criminal Trial, for KSM

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:20 pm

The Washington Post reports:

President Obama’s advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.

The president’s advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some alleged terrorists in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States.

I’m happy to see that they’re going to do the right thing, but distressed that they consider this a political decision rather than a decision based on what is legal and appropriate.

50 Responses to “WaPo: Obama Advisers Will Recommend Military Commission, Not Federal Criminal Trial, for KSM”

  1. Tone deaf arrogant jerks step on political land mines and wonder why there’s shrapnel all around them. I thought that these were the brightest guys evah–full of nuanced and sensitive diplomacy; uniters not dividers. Who knew that when they walked across the water, ship and career killing mines lay just below the surface.?

    Mike Myers (3c9845)

  2. So, General Eric, how does crow taste?

    Oh, but that’s probably racist, right? Still, I’m sure that this nation of cowards (or whatever he called us) won’t draw that inference.

    Let’s hope this isn’t the last issue on which Obama buckles.

    Alan (07ccb5)

  3. The Cheap Empty Suit(tm) at action again.

    We see that all of their claims about how different a Democrat would prosecute the war on terrorism and America’s image abroad turns out – when they are confronted with actually having to be responsible for reality – to be utter BS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. To these people, everything is political. There is no strategy, no history, no right and wrong. Everything is tactics. There is no future beyond the next election.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  5. Of all the things to not have principles on!

    National security and civil rights. Either way you see this issue, it’s not something you stick a wet finger in the air over. But thank goodness cooler heads have prevailed.

    It’s election tactics and it’s weakness, and I still thank Obama sincerely for doing the right thing, no matter how the hell he got there.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. Obama can’t decide on what type of cereal to eat in the morning without first checking the political winds. Now would be a good time to refresh peoples’ memories on how FDR treated the German saboteurs during WWII. Hint: they didn’t get a fancy show trial in Manhattan.

    stout77 (b76cc4)

  7. Well, if AG Holder and some of this deputies have any shred of dignity left, they will immediately tender their resignations in protest of this decision. Having keyed their entire life’s ambition to wielding the levers of power, however, I suppose they will stay on. Besides, if these clowns leave who will be left to keep the Black Panthers and ACORN/SEIU out of trouble?

    Boy, when people start leaving the Obama Administration we should be prepared for some really scathing memoirs.

    JVW (fd30ab)

  8. It’s election tactics and it’s weakness, and I still thank Obama sincerely for doing the right thing, no matter how the hell he got there.

    don’t get ahead of yourself: there’s still plenty of time for him to still change what passes for his mind several times…..

    that’s one thing that has been painfully proven since the campaign: this fool is *never* done with his waffle. it’s all he does.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  9. JVW hits on a point that I first thought when I saw this WaPo report:

    If it’s true, how can Holder remain AG? I don’t mean that the President will fire him. I mean how can he remain AG and still be credible as an independent voice for justice a man?

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  10. I don’t think credibility has played much of a factor in decision-making for this bunch. Credulity, on the other hand, has.

    John Hitchcock (e4c80d)

  11. I mean how can he remain AG and still be credible as an independent voice for justice a man?

    Maybe Obama knows that it’s too soon for Holder to leave right now, given that Holder hasn’t been in the job for a long time and doesn’t have any accomplishments under his belt. Why would Holder quit when he has nothing interesting to put in his future memoirs? If Holder quits any time soon, then he can’t pretend that he’s done anything in the job to make a difference. He’ll go down in history as a totally inconsequential attorney general. So (I speculate) while Obama knows Holder is pretty much stuck where he is for the time being, Obama might be sending Holder the message that for the rest of his time as A.G., Holder had better not embarrass Obama (even if Obama agreed with Holder on this issue, which I’m sure he did), because Obama can humiliate Holder by effectively overruling him, without incurring anywhere near as much political damage as Obama would suffer if he fired Holder (which Obama wouldn’t do because it would look so much worse for Obama than a simple U-turn, given the general sense that the attorney general should be independent of the president’s wishes and not fired for displeasing his boss). But that’s just a guess on my part.

    Alan (07ccb5)

  12. “The president’s advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. ”

    Appeasement doesn’t work.

    imdw (490521)

  13. Appeasement doesn’t work.

    I didn’t realize you were Reaganite. Good to know.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  14. Obama might be sending Holder the message that for the rest of his time as A.G., Holder had better not embarrass Obama (even if Obama agreed with Holder on this issue, which I’m sure he did), because Obama can humiliate Holder by effectively overruling him, without incurring anywhere near as much political damage as Obama would suffer if he fired Holder

    Remember all the Dems bloviating about how we would now “finally have an Attorney General whose loyalty was to the law, not to the whims of the White House”? Wonder how that’s working out for them.

    You know who looks better and better with each passing year? John Ashcroft. Remember how the left completely vilified him as some inbred evangelical nutcase who was trying to force a theocracy down the throats of our good secular people? Turns out he was a very accomplished, intelligent, and effective AG, at least in comparison to his successors at the post.

    JVW (fd30ab)

  15. Appeasement doesn’t work.
    Comment by imdw — 3/4/2010 @ 10:06 pm

    neither does your brain, but it can be most amusing on occasion to read the results of you trying to be witty

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  16. Holder’s resignation will be announced late Friday, following Thanksgiving (after the election).
    Until then, he will be on an inspection tour of all of the undisclosed locations Dick Cheney stayed at.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f85527)

  17. …But, this brings the question:
    When will they transfer the Fruit-of-the-Loon Bomber to military custody?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f85527)

  18. …But, this brings the question:
    When will they transfer the Fruit-of-the-Loon Bomber to military custody?

    they can’t: its one thing to have gays in the military under DADT, but DOD has no mechanism for dealing with eunuchs. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  19. Funny redc, real f…ing funny!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f85527)

  20. > but distressed that they consider this a political decision rather than a decision based on what is legal and appropriate.

    For The Big O, everything is a political decision.

    “I think I should take a dump. What do you guys think…?”

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  21. > that’s one thing that has been painfully proven since the campaign: this fool is *never* done with his waffle. it’s all he does.

    Not at all. It’s just that it usually winds up under the bus when he’s done with it. Who wants it then?

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  22. >>>>> Appeasement doesn’t work. — Comment by imdw — 3/4/2010 @ 10:06 pm
    > neither does your brain, but it can be most amusing on occasion to read the results of you trying to be witty

    Awww, come on. It’s not his fault he consistently overestimates his wit by a factor of two…

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  23. Comment by IgotBupkis — 3/5/2010 @ 12:24 am

    “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

    AD - RtR/OS! (f85527)

  24. DRJ wrote, “I’m happy to see that they’re going to do the right thing, but distressed that they consider this a political decision rather than a decision based on what is legal and appropriate.”

    I agree with that entirely. I’d merely point out that Obama and his goons are incapable of making any decision based on what is legal and appropriate; they instead see every decision as a political one. Their sole, overriding, abiding principle is to grasp and wield political power to advance a far-left agenda, and they will only deviate from that agenda on some of the very rare occasions — like this one — in which public sentiment across the board, in both parties and across all political stripes, is so dramatically against what they’re proposing that they feel their grasp on political power to be threatened.

    At first I thought Obama would become like a mid-1990s Clinton, a triangulator, who’d tack and alter course whenever it would result in a net gain of political power. But Obama is not nearly that sensitive to public opinion, and as arrogant as the Clintonistas were, the Obamites exceed them in arrogance by at least a factor of two or three. Bubba wanted to earn everyone’s love; but Obama already feels entitled to be worshiped.

    Their antithesis, of course, remains George W. Bush, whose administration certainly contained some people with excellent political instincts (most notably Rove, of course), but who for the most part refused to be driven by weekly polls. Not everyone agreed with his principles, but few could deny that he made — and stuck to — his decisions based upon them.

    Beldar (de998a)

  25. I remember seeing Holder comment how the trial of KSM would be “the defining point of his term as attorney general” or somesuch. I thought that was pretty telling on what he was about.

    Then again, he may have been right, though not as he intended. He just may be remembered as an over-reaching political operative who wanted to use the AG’s office to further an agenda and foolishly overplayed his hand.

    MD in Philly (70a1ba)

  26. “I didn’t realize you were Reaganite. Good to know.”

    If I were a reaganite i’d be negotiating with our nuclear enemies and selling missiles to our islamic ones.

    imdw (8f8ead)

  27. The level of incompetence, ignorance, wishful thinking, short sightedness, arrogance, and sheer petulance displayed by this administration over this issue is truly amazing. They try to govern as political hacks because that’s obviously all they know.

    It took them this long to engage the issue, to get over their straw man arguments and understand what the opposition’s point was.

    This exposes just how full of themselves they were, just how ignorant their attacks on Bush were. Unfortunately, it also exposes how poorly the previous administration communicated the reason for their actions, which they ought to have done in spite of the media’s irresponsible partisan opposition.

    Speaking of which – there should be plenty of opportunities to expose specific media outlets/personalities and their ignorance, hypocrisy, misleading reporting – their attribution of bad motives to the previous administration, their failure to grapple with any serious solution to the problem, their deliberate misinformation dished out for short-term political advantage. They must be held to account. Let the counterattack begin and do not stop until they are all among the unemployed.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  28. Amphipolis – Their venality and mendacity on these types of issues is remarkable.

    JD (3ee991)

  29. I want to know how much money was spent to reach the same conclusions the previous administration did and how many terrorists are back on the streets as a result of Holder’s misplaced sympathies.

    They remind me of Conrad’s portrayal of women in Heart of Darkness:

    It’s queer how out of touch with truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there had never been anything like it and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Some confounded fact we men have been living with consistently every since the day of creation would start up and knock the first thing over.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  30. punt, flub, flop, flop, plop.

    And why not do the study before making the pronouncements?

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  31. Think of the money a civilian trial could have saved–both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney could have come from the Holder “Justice” department.

    Rich (edf80b)

  32. “Think of the money a civilian trial could have saved–both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney could have come from the Holder “Justice” department.”

    Isn’t there a federal defender service?

    imdw (0172f3)

  33. imdw – What’s the economic multiplier of renewing the Patriot Act? Why didn’t the Dems squawk about it this time around the way they did under Bush?

    daleyrocks (5710d7)

  34. 33, that is what Holder is changing the DOJ into, a public paid defender service to all who would attack the US or US Voters.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  35. The AJ’s office must have seen the ‘handwriting on the wall’, ‘had a teachable moment’, etc.

    Twits.

    Andy (b63f79)

  36. “33, that is what Holder is changing the DOJ into, a public paid defender service to all who would attack the US or US Voters.”

    Is that why they’re prosecuting people?

    “imdw – What’s the economic multiplier of renewing the Patriot Act? Why didn’t the Dems squawk about it this time around the way they did under Bush?”

    Because it is not just wingnuts that have this fantasy that Obama is some friend of civil liberties.

    imdw (f41ee5)

  37. imdw, your trollery is becoming more and more incoherent as the struggle for you to ignore the simple reality. The reality that the Democratic attacks on Bush had no principled basis and were just partisan attacks that weakened our nation.

    The clear proof being that Obama has been continuing almost all of Bush’s policies with nothing but the occasional change of label.

    Frankly, I only find it difficult to understand how someone can continue to abandon all integrity in comments as you have.

    SPQR (8475fc)

  38. “The clear proof being that Obama has been continuing almost all of Bush’s policies with nothing but the occasional change of label.”

    That was clear during the election on many ways — What did you make of his FISA vote?

    imdw (de7003)

  39. squirrel

    Corwin (ea9428)

  40. I’m happy to see that they’re going to do the right thing, but distressed that they consider this a political decision rather than a decision based on what is legal

    They have discretion to try him in either venue, so it’s inevitably going to be a political decision. It couldn’t be otherwise.

    jpe (08c1dd)

  41. jpe, I’m not sure about you, but I don’t believe capturing German infiltrators in the early 1940s and trying them in civilian courts would be considered proper use of discretion.

    John Hitchcock (8f46db)

  42. Holder had better stand well clear of any approaching buses.

    And the Amateur Operation – known as the Obama/Biden administration – continues…

    GeneralMalaise (2e0f70)

  43. “They have discretion to try him in either venue, so it’s inevitably going to be a political decision. It couldn’t be otherwise.”

    So they politically decided to try him in a civilian court, then politically decided to try him in a military court. What politically motivated decision will they make next?

    Corwin (ea9428)

  44. […] reading: Patterico’s Pontifications: WaPo: Obama Advisers Will Recommend Military Commission, Not Federal Criminal Trial, for KSM Penraker: KSM Trial to Have a Military Trial Gateway Pundit: Sarah Palin Calls for Eric Holder […]

    Bad Day for Terrorist-Lovin’ Liberals: Military Tribunal, Not Civilian Trial in NYC, May Now Be in Store for Self-Proclaimed 9/11 Terrorists « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  45. “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

    You can’t try the guy under those rules, because he didn’t commit any crime in the United States. You can’t empanel a jury from the state or district where the crime was committed…because none of his alleged crimes took place in America (as far as I know, anyway).

    Like it or not, our Constitution doesn’t cover acts carried out by foreign nationals in foreign nations. If you want to try the guy, it has to be under rules covered by treaty.

    Their proposal to try the guy in an American criminal court is unconstitutional. They aren’t following the rule of law…they’re just making it up as they go along to satisfy their demented liberal “ideals”.

    At least that’s how it looks to me.

    Dave Surls (d6f329)

  46. Jpe might have had a point had the Dems not spent the last 7 years gnashing their teeth and rending their garments at the outrage and the shredding of our Constitution. You see, putting him in criminal court was supposed to be their “principled” position.

    JD (b3f947)

  47. “they can’t: its one thing to have gays in the military under DADT, but DOD has no mechanism for dealing with eunuchs. %-)”

    on the contrary… DoD has JDATTS policy under development… Just Don’t Ask Them To Sing

    GeneralMalaise (04e9c2)

  48. Hey, somebody has to sing; they’re too drunk to drive.

    AD - RtR/OS! (abf357)

  49. […] Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document Patterico’s Pontifications: WaPo: Obama Advisers Will Recommend Military Commission, Not Federal Criminal Trial, for KSM Maggie’s Farm: Obama’s Secret Plan For Middle East? Gathering of Eagles: NY: Barack Obama: […]

    And So It Continues… Obama Now Bans “Islam,” “Islamic Extremism,” “Jihad” From National Security Strategy Documents « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)


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