All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Exoneration of Terror

In your heart you would like to believe that Attorney General Eric Holder would want the best for our country even if you disagree with the way he is doing it. But if you look at his decision to try five Gitmo prisoners in New York it is pretty difficult not to think he is aiming for the exoneration of the terrorists and the indictment of the FBI, CIA and the Bush Administration. On Friday night, while the President was in Japan, he announced a plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others detained at Guantanamo Bay, in New York, just about a mile from Ground Zero. Is he kidding? I won’t argue the mitigating or aggravating aspects of his action (plenty of others are doing that) only that it will result in the exoneration of most of those defendants and could take 5 to 10 years to complete. Any good defense lawyer could get two years out of just seeking a change of venue and demanding sensitive material that could jeopardize national security, not to mention Miranda, torture, a previous lack rights, etc. You could spend the first five years on the preliminaries and never hear of single piece of evidence. And all this is not to mention “time served.” One of the defendants has been in military and federal custody for over a decade already. It is safe to say that most of these defendants will get minimal time and in some cases no jail due to time already served. And of course this will put them in a position to sue the United States on a variety of grievances. Holder is just giving happy talk when he says they will be convicted, and his confidence in the New York Federal Court is way overrated. A terrorist or spy has not been executed in New York since the Rosenberg’s. You also have to remember that Holder has been a friend of America’s enemies in the past. He fought hard for the freedom of the FALN terrorists and Mark Rich, a fugitive wanted by the U.S., all of whom were pardoned by Clinton. It should be noted that the law firm he worked for prior to becoming Attorney General was active in the defense of terrorists. From the moment he was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States he has tried to turn the Guantanamo Bay issue into an indictment of the Bush Administration and the CIA and has worked hard to poison the atmosphere by providing institutional support a for all lawyers making arguments against government conduct in the treatment of terrorists. His weak presentations against opponents of the U.S. and his failure to provide a strong defense on behalf of the government are a strong indicator of exactly where his sympathies are. There are those, like Holder himself, who says he believes that the courts can get convictions against these defendants, but the legal issues are myriad and surmountable for good defense attorneys. A good prosecutor, one that wants a conviction, would opt for a Military Tribunal.