Thursday, February 04, 2010

Civilian Trials for Terrorists

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick wants to know why Republicans are so afraid of open trials for terrorists, especially wanna-be Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

It's the Abdulmutallab trial the confuses me. (Like spelling his name isn't confusing enough.) It's not like anyone has to worry about any super-secret intelligence and counter-terrorism techniques will be exposed if he's tried. A civilian airline passenger--a foreigner, no less--caught him red-handed. They have everything they need to convict him right there; it's a slam dunk. If they don't introduce evidence obtained in a secret manner--which they shouldn't need to--the defense can't ask for it, as it's not germane.

Really, what are they so afraid of, when our criminal justice system was just the ticket for Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid?


Charlieopera said...

I think it’s all they have to work with on this one—fear. It’s a no-lose game. Sooner or later some whackjob (whether home grown or from overseas) will slip the system and manage to kill innocent people. The Reps will demand a police state. Right now, they’re intent on obstructionist politics and won’t cede a thing to the Dems (in spite of the fact they used the same tactics on 300+ other terrorists). It’s the theatre of the absurd at its best. Unfortunately, many buy into it. I have my own reasons for seeing them make a decision one way or the other (either they’re criminals or terrorists), but it’s just business as usual no matter what any of us think.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get the hell out of both Iraq & Afghanistan, start applying all that wasted gelt to an economic recovery and focus on here and now?

Forgetaboutit … you won’t hear about that until right before 2012 … next Presidential election campaign … then we’ll be promised another set of changes we can believe in …

So it goes.

Dana King said...

What I'd like more than anything is for someone--anyone, but the Democrats are in the best position to do it--to show these arguments for the straw men they are. Republican policy is to deflect the argument; to them, politics is a shell game.

And the Democrats are the suckers.