Home > Republican Stupidity, Security > No Faith in America

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.

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  1. Leszek Cyfer
    November 15th, 2009 at 09:31 | #1

    Even if they were innocent no judge would dare to set them free…

  2. Luis
    November 15th, 2009 at 10:45 | #2

    Well, not exactly the sequence of words I was after. The idea was, no judge would dare set them free on a technicality. As for a jury, I seriously doubt that you could find an impartial one, so it would take a hell of a lot for a jury to find them innocent–the defendants would really have to have been railroaded for that to happen. This is not a judgment of the defendants or even really the justice system in general–just an observation that a defendant in so extreme a case doesn’t stand much of a chance, in any justice system, really.

  3. stevetv
    November 17th, 2009 at 10:52 | #3

    I don’t disagree with trying them before a criminal court, but if it’s a given that the defendents will be found guilty and don’t stand a chance in any justice system and we can’t find an impartial jury anway, then why not try them before a military tribunal and be done with it? Yeah, yeah, I know, “preserve the sanctity of the system”, and “maintain appearances to the rest of the world”, and they’re correct reasons. But if the outcome isn’t at all in doubt, then what difference does it make what system they’re tried under – the unethical military tribune, or the symbolic show trial? At least call the criminal justice system for what it is: a routine procedure to delay the inevitable guilty verdict.

  4. Mark
    November 26th, 2009 at 15:01 | #4

    It seems to me, as a conservative, that AG Holder’s arguments for trying an act of war (attack on economy (Wall Street), military (Pentagon), and possibly government (Capital perhaps Flight 93), in civil court, is, non-nonsensical and inane. I’m confident that military tribunals can provide the rule of law and sufficient protections to the accused. Holder made tribunals sound like a free for all.

    I have real problems with the President and AG saying the defendants will be certainly found guilty. If so, then take them out and shoot them tomorrow–we need the money for Obamacare. What idiocy from a couple of lawyers. Whatever happened to innocent before proven guilty?

    KSM and crew are part of a war against the US. A military tribunal is an appropriate forum to try their case, since it’s not a criminal act. US soldiers are not trained, nor should they be, to arrest people and collect evidence for a trial. In a criminal trial the military’s legitimate actions can lead to acquittal under civil law. The prosecution will be trying to play rugby under basketball foul rules.

    I can’t think of a time in this country’s history when a President and his staff chose to give someone plotting the US’s demise a microphone and pulpit.

    Sure, they’ll likely be found guilty, but at what cost? Obama’s reelection to a shell of a nation?

    Finally, what’s all this nonsense about what the rest of the world thinks? I don’t think China’s too worried about human rights.

    If I take an unpopular stand because of my convictions, and my “high school” peers don’t like it, shouldn’t I take the higher ground and stay the course because I’m confident that I’ve chosen correctly.

    I quit worrying about being popular in 10th grade of high school and decided to start doing what was right. Shouldn’t the left stop worrying about being prom queen and start doing what’s right?

  5. Luis
    November 26th, 2009 at 18:07 | #5

    We should understand here that there is a difference between (1) announcing a verdict before the trial begins, and (2) asserting confidence that the case against the defendants is solid. Just because Obama asserted confidence in their case the government has does *not* mean that it’s an unfair show trial.

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