No Faith in America
November 15th, 2009
It's amazing that those on the right, who claim to have a deep love for America and its Constitution, so readily and even eagerly abandon both at the drop of a hat. A Democrat elected president? Let's throw a four- to eight-year shit-fit and threaten to secede. Terrorism threatens? Shred the Bill of Rights and welcome a police state. Now that the Obama administration has brought the 9/11 suspects to trial, right-wingers are gnashing their teeth, overwrought that the Constitutional criminal justice system won't work. They are frantic about the possibility that the bad guys might all get set free on a technicality, and are fully opposed to open trials in the court system. I suppose it stems from their self-fulfilling sense of government fallibility, or their long-held belief that a pansy liberal justice system is incapable of actually punishing criminals (bitterly ironic in a country with a sky-high incarceration rate). It's hard to figure out if conservatives are either just simply fundamentally unpatriotic, or are sniveling cowards with an infantile mentality, or both. The truth is, the defendants will all be found guilty, and punished to the greatest extent of the law. I don't know if the conservatives have noticed or not, but in high-profile cases like this, defendants rarely, if ever, get off on technicalities. (And no, O.J. wasn't at this level, despite the media attention.) Though I can see why the right-wingers might think this--look at Oliver North and Scooter Libby. Conservative criminals have been getting off scot-free on technicalities and government corruption for years. That might be why they have so little faith that the system will convict people. But the 9/11 criminals don't have a deal with Congress for immunity, or a sympathetic president in their corner to grant them clemency. And there is no possibility that a judge will be weak on this one, or that a jury will nullify anything. If there is anything that could get them off, it's the fact that the Bush administration, and conservatives in general, while in control, did their damnedest to break every law, betray every principle, and violate every ethic they could find when it came to national security. And that, I think, is at the heart of it all: they expect that their crimes will come back to haunt them, that what they know they did wrong will work against the interests of the American people, and they want to make sure that if that happens, the liberals are blamed for it. But frankly, I don't think that even that will get the criminals off this time. No judge will dare let them free, no jury will dare find them innocent. When it comes to something like this, justice has a firm thumb on the scales.