Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why KSM Must Now Go Free

Attorney General Eric Holder has decided that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and several other terrorists captured by the United States, will now be tried in criminal court in New York City. This decision is appalling on many levels, but none more so than the fact that this will tear apart the very fabric of the United States criminal justice system. This trial will be little more than a farce, a show trial designed to have the appearance of justice but with the verdict signed, sealed, and delivered before the proceedings even begin. There is no way on this Earth that the Obama Administration would ever allow KSM or his co-defendants to go free, regardless of any criminal court giving them their freedom based on legal technicality or acquittal. As such, this trial will mean nothing, and true justice shall not be served, as the defendants never had a chance to go free.

Even if that were not the case, if they are tried in civilian court, it must respect all the rights and privileges that belong to any defendant enshrined in our Constitution, and all of which have been violated by our treatment of them. They have not been given due process. They have been held without trial for years. They have been "tortured" and interrogated with means that will easily violate every standard required of law enforcement. The chain of evidence against them will involve multiple countries and jurisdictions that can barely be trusted, some of which may even have been obtained illegally if one were to argue against the various methodologies conducted by the Bush Administration. Further, it will be nigh impossible to find a jury of their "peers" in New York City, or perhaps anywhere in the United States, that can render an unbiased verdict. They will not even be afforded the most basic right of every defendant in this country: presumption of innocence.

Any one of these would be sufficient to get a dismissal or mistrial, or raise reasonable doubt as to the guilt of these men, and thus any one of these would require any judge worth his robes to release these men. Any truly objective jury would have no choice but to render a verdict of "not guilty" based on the rampant prosecutorial misconduct.

If we try and convict these men in civilian court we will undermine every principle and value we hold dear, and we will destroy our justice system by setting a precedent wherein the US Government can try and convict anyone regardless of how badly it violates the defendant’s rights. How could any defendant following this "trial" expect to be fairly and justly judged after this travesty? What reason do they have to believe the government has not simply rigged the game? How long will it take well-meaning prosecutors to prove the system is rigged by using these precedents to wiggle out of Miranda violations and police brutalities and evidence custody violations?

This is the "justice" of Stalin and Mao and Hitler and every cutthroat, bloodthirsty dictatorship in the history of the human race that has sent men and women to the gallows, not because justice was done, but because they needed the propaganda for their own citizenry. If we convict these men in a civilian court, we will tear the blindfold from Justice's eyes and throw her scales in the Hudson to forever rot in its disgusting, polluted waters.

Thus, as much as I am loathe to write it, as much as it pains me to even consider it, the Obama Administration has forced me to say: KSM must go free. Mr. Holder has now put us all in an untenable position: Either KSM is acquitted and released, damaging our national security and the ability of our military and intelligence agencies to protect us, or he is convicted, damaging the very liberty they are protecting. Unless a judge rules that these men are not eligible to be tried in a civilian court because the proper venue is, as demanded by the Geneva Conventions, a military tribunal, or by some miracle Mr. Holder changes his mind, we must release one of the worst war criminals ever encountered by the United States because Mr. Holder has decided to treat him like a common serial killer.

This author implores those lawyers out there reading this to get started on amicus briefs to effect that change of venue immediately, and save our justice system from this no-win scenario.

Many thanks to The Monster from for his editorial assistance.