Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Terrorists" are CRIMINALS

and should be treated as such.

There is no factual or legal distinction that can be cogently drawn between KSM and Tim McVeigh. Both engaged in criminal plotting and actions to destroy a building/buildings and kill people. I have heard it suggested that somehow 9/11 is beyond the reach or scope of ordinary criminal prosecutions.

Hogwash. This is a garden variety crime, a crime that differs from a street shooting only in the number of victims, not in intent or conduct.

I have heard it suggested that this is an "act of war." Double hogwash. Under no recognized construct of international law is this an act of war. The concept of "war" has a definition by consensus. Not every element of the paradigm need be present, as wars can involve asymmetrical conflicts and sub-state units. However, every element of the paradigm CANNOT BE ABSENT as it is in this instance.

We know why they don't want a public trial. First of all, Republicans thrive on fear. If they can't frighten, they can't win. The loathsome John Yoo, who should be in prison, and the cretinous Andrew McCarthy (who wrote that the Iraqis were not sufficiently "grateful" argued that a trial would afford the "terrorists" a treasure trove of intelligence.

First of all, a competent prosecutor and a capable federal judge under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure can adequately limit discovery (note to Mr. McCarthy, I said "competent.") And of course, the important question isn't what the government knows that it will tell. It is what the defendant knows and will tell that the bleating sheep don't want to see the light of day.

1 comment:

JimboW8 said...

I'll be so bold as to disagree somewhat. Terrorism isn't "garden variety crime." Terrorism is more like a hate crime, or more specifically hate crime is like terrorism. It is designed not only to directly affect the immediate victims but to strike fear in the entire community. That being said, it still deserves to be treated and prosecuted as a crime (not a war).

I believe the Republicans are being somewhat truthful in their desire not to let underlying facts come out in trial. They say that they don't want "national security secrets" to come out for the "terrorists" might gain some dangerous knowledge. But what they are really afraid of is secrets come to light about the actions and motives of the government that the American populace will find disgraceful and illegal, such as torture, wiretapping, illegal searches, illegal killings, etc.