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Obama Administration: KSM Will Be Killed After We Give Him A “Fair Trial”

Further evidence in support of the proposition that the Obama Administration’s proposed criminal trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a sham:

WASHINGTON – Accused Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is likely to be executed after being tried and convicted, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday.


As Cynthia Kouri notes at Firedoglake, there’s something about Gibbs’s statement that isn’t quite right:

In a real trial, the outcome is not known before the trial occurs. Further, much of the information in the hands of the government which will be used at trial against KSM should currently be Grand Jury Material, subject to secrecy under Rule 6e. Which means that you, Robert Gibbs, cannot legally know exactly what that evidence might be.  So, how could you possibly know if KSM is going to be convicted? How do you know that?

Perhaps he got the idea from President Obama, who already declared KSM guilty, or from Attorney General Holder, who said that Mohammed will not go free regardless of what happens at trial.

This trial is a sham, as Jonah Goldberg noted back in November:

Every day it appears more and more that the White House wants it both ways. They want to claim that this is a fair trial but also an act of venegeance. The terrorists will be treated as if they might be innocent — key to a fair trial — but at the end of the day they’ll get their comeuppance. If KSM & Co. get off on a technicality, don’t worry, they’ll still be locked up, but when they’re convicted the White House will claim it was always a fair process. They’ll get a fair trial from an impartial jury in New York, but it’s “fitting” and “poetic justice” that the jury will be drawn from the community that was viciously attacked on 9/11. Fair but vengeul, honest but foreordained, instructive to the world but really just about the law: The rhetoric from the White House and the Democrats isn’t persuasive to those who listen closely and certainly won’t be persuasive to foreigners Obama is determined to impress.

The point of all of this is to show that the rule of law is intact, but what the White House is doing is in fact undermining the legitimacy of the legal system by having it do something it shouldn’t. Obama, Pat Leahy, and the rest preen as if they are morally superior for preferring civilian courts, but what they are doing is undermining civilian courts, and it gets worse every time they open their mouths.

I’m at a loss to understand just what it is Obama and Holder think they are accomplishing here. They say we need to show the world that we are committed to due process even for mass murderers like KSM and, at every turn, they make it clear that the verdict against Mohammed is already pre-ordained. It’s a show trial, pure and simple.

7 Responses to “Obama Administration: KSM Will Be Killed After We Give Him A “Fair Trial””

  1. James Young says:

    Reminds me of something I once heard from a woman running for reelection as “Chief Justice” to what passed for the “Honor Court” at Emory Law School: “The court conducts a trial, and then determines punishment.” No qualification.

    Probably in President Barry’s Justice Department now….

  2. KipEsquire says:

    There are plenty of instances where the “key to a fair trial” is not at all the presumption of innocence (i.e., it is undisputed and indisputable that “he did it”).

    The issue to be decided may be, e.g., competence, greater or lesser offence (such as murder versus manslaughter), defense or justification for the act, jurisdiction to prosecute the act, etc.

    Not defending Obama & Co. Just saying…

  3. archer52 says:

    From my post I used your post as a reference.

    Mixing different stories to make one point- Feds, Obam , Mao, Blackwater, China, KSM and the rule of law.

    Posted February 3rd, 2010 by admin

    As you know I’m working through a book on Mao’s last Cultural Revolution. There are a number of stories in the book of how Mao and his supporters would target someone for punishment if they weren’t considered a proper revolutionary. To say this was a crazy time, almost as chaotic as the French Revolution, is an understatement. You could wake up one day Mao’s favorite and go to bed an enemy of the state (often Mao’s supporters went after people without Mao explicit orders, but were following his edicts). The communist revolutionaries used character posters, plays, false investigations, newspaper articles to turn the people (who were sheep in the extreme) against a leader.

    This is why the NEA incident is so troubling. The Chinese used posters and plays and movies to promote or destroy people.

    Remember in Mao’s China everything was controlled by the state, so if you lost face or status or your job it isn’t like you could go out and find another. There was no other job out there. Often the people, if not jailed or executed, were sent into the hinterlands for the rest of their lives. Done, out of here, see ya’!

    One such person was Liu Shaoqi. His crime was- well I’m not sure what exactly he did in reality. It could be the case that Mao was demanding someone be punished for being a counterrevolutionary and Liu got the short straw. Regardless, once the decision was made that Liu was a criminal, an investigation was undertaken to prove it. The “Central Case Examination Group (CCEG) assigned 400,000 people to pour over 4 million files covering the period since the Sino-Japanese War (the investigation started in 1968). In the end they could find only three “crimes” committed by this man in about forty years. Two of the three were pertaining to when he was around twelve years old. Nope, I’m not kidding- twelve.

    In the federal system, the presumption of innocence is a tad less important than in a state court. The handling of evidence, statements, witnesses is also different and less stringent than in state court. The old saying “a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich” plays better in the fed system than in state courts. It isn’t that all the lawyers/judges are corrupt, it is just the way the system is set up. It comes in handy when dealing with extremely difficult suspects like terrorists or organized crime figures where witnesses and evidence are harder to come by, but the system can be abused easily by prosecutors with a political bent.

    Liu was found to have “betrayed” the revolution on three occasions in the 1920’s (remember this is the late 1960’s) and was labeled by political leaders as a “traitor, renegade, and scab.” Two of the offensives he committed was he claimed he joined the Communist party when he was twelve and that he was in a training camp when he was actually at home sick. These are more resume builders than crimes. (Can you imagine a professional being jailed or executed because he inflated his resume?) Apparently, Liu was a good worker, a good leader, and a good communist. But that didn’t matter. Once proclaimed a criminal by the state, he was a criminal.

    Above is the link to an article about the Blackwater defendants. Here is the opening passage of the article-

    “On January 22, Vice President Joe Biden told the president of Iraq that the United States would appeal the dismissal of the case against the Blackwater guards. The VP also apologized personally for their misconduct:

    With Iraqi President Jalal Talabani at his side at a Baghdad news conference, Biden expressed “personal regret” for the violence in a Baghdad traffic circle where Blackwater guards were accused of opening fire on innocent civilians.

    “The United States is determined, determined to hold accountable anyone who commits crimes against the Iraqi people,” Biden said.

    “While we fully respect the independence and integrity of the U.S. judicial system, we were disappointed by the judge’s decision to dismiss the indictment, which was based on the way in which some evidence had been acquired,” Biden said.”

    The fact a judge not only threw out the charges but hammered the prosecution for misconduct seems lost on the political leader Joe Biden. As he promises the leader of another nation that the people, apparently already found guilty, will be punished.

    Liu was found guilty and was stripped of all his rank. He was hospitalized shortly thereafter for a number of ailments including diabetes and the shock caused by the accusations. He was refused treatment and ended up wasting away bedridden covered in bed sores and fed through a nasal tube. He died in 1969. His wife was found guilty and imprisoned for twelve years. (Again I’m not sure what she was guilty of, but does it really matter?)

    The trouble with universal single payer government run healthcare is you have only one LEGAL way to receive treatment. If the government deems you are not worthy, you are out of luck. I know people using Tri-care (the military version) who wait, in pain, weeks and months for tests and doctor visits. And that is the MILITARY version of single payer where I’m sure the military tries to do the right thing. Imagine a nationwide version. Who knows, someday in the future the government could use denial of services as a punishment or a death sentence.

    Another man found “guilty” was Deng Xiaoping who was stripped of rank and sent to a tractor repair shop in a remote part of China for several years until Mao recalled him in 1973. Deng’s crime was he was “the other biggest party-person in power taking the capitalist road.” I know, who the hell knows what that means, but by this time Communists were carving each other up in order to avoid being carved up.

    Last summer several major companies in the healthcare/Pharmaceutical industry strangely joined forces with the Obama administration to carve out new regulations bent on destroying their own market. At the time no one seemed to understand the move until one representative said (and I paraphrase), “It is either be at the dinner table or be on the dinner table.” Fear drove their decision.

    Mao’s China had no sense of rule of law beyond a law with rules that changed almost every day to suit the revolution. They also had no problem destroying people they felt were threats to the revolution. Publicly citing guilt was a typical technique employed by the leaders to poison the public and guarantee the outcome of any trial.

    Robert Gibbs, the President’s press secretary, openly states that KSM will have a fair trial and a beautiful hanging. That would be fine if we were in Mao’s China, but we aren’t. Is KSM guilty? Certainly, but the Obama administration has decided, against all common sense, to try the man and his associates in civilian court. A real Gump moment if you ask me (Stupid is as stupid does). The trouble with a civilian court, even the fed system, is that any man is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Apparently not in the mind of Gibbs and Obama.

    I’ve commented before on the massive procedural issues this creates. Finding a jury. Finding a venue. Finding untainted evidence. Even Habeas Corpus. Now in reality, they could put up a box of spaghetti noodles, claim it proved the case and KSM will still be convicted. But if we are the country where the “rule of law” trumps all other things as the left claims we have to be when dealing with torture, water boarding and other issues, then we have to maintain that principle at all costs, unless we are closer to Mao’s China than we want to think.

    So where does that leave us? With a government willing to detain, arrest and convict people they THINK deserve it? Or are we a nation where the rule of law controls our behavior along with a healthy dose of common sense, something severely lacking on the left in general and in this administration in particular? This issue has to be settled and settled now. Any government that no longer respects the rights of its citizens is a government destined to crush its citizens. Already, we see Obama and his supporters ignoring the will of the people concerning healthcare. He considers us too stupid to understand what is in our own best interest. We also have to fear a government willing to lie to us beyond what is necessary to protect national security issues. (Yes, I’m smart enough to know the government lies all the time. Sometime it is necessary. I’ve been there.) We aren’t stupid, nor are we children. We can handle far more than what the politicians think we can. Their fear is if they admit we are in trouble, we’ll start looking for people who are responsible for the trouble in the first place (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd anyone?? Anyone??)

    There are times in history where citizens can change the direction of their country. In my opinion, we are in one of those periods. Which path do we take, one where we accuse each other in hopes to avoid the government’s gallows ourselves? Or do we refuse the government’s will and stand firm. They have no power unless we give it to them. Resist, ignore, refuse. If they come, they come, but that can’t come for everybody as long as your neighbor stands with you and not against you and they know that. Already, some of the less committed ideologues on the left are speeding to the sink to wash their hands of Obama’s revolution. Greed and self-interest can be positive traits if exploited for the right reasons. The growing “Obama who?” wave is something to behold. I’m betting if we can continue to vote out bad guys and put in good guys, the old “bad guys” will have a Mao’s China moment and suddenly jump back across pointing back to the ones who didn’t jump as fast saying, “Hey it’s him, not me. I’ve ALWAYS been on your side!”

    If not, we may wake up one day with someone in the government accusing us of being traitors, followed by a knock on the door by agents intent on proving the case. Scary.

  4. [...] Honestly, I can’t see how military commissions would be any worse than what was clearly going to be a show trial. [...]

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  6. Colby Lies says:

    I’m sure I’m not in the minority by any means, but I do intend to improve. I suppose my main problem is that I find large numbers of comments overwhelming, I can honestly say that I’ve skipped reading entries at friends’ blogs, just because there’s already ninety comments on it, and I a) don’t want to get lost in the shuffle, or worse b) don’t want to be obligated to spew out forty comments of my own.

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