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Ordered Liberty

KSM’s Prison Communiqués: Enemy Combatants Back to Being Criminal Defendants

January 16th, 2014 - 10:05 am

Moreover, even when enemy combatants have committed provable war crimes that qualify for trial by military commission, the priority in wartime remains victory for the nation. As long as the war ensues, due process for the war criminal is never the priority because prosecuting war crimes, even when the accused is a high-ranking enemy operative, is far less important than victory in the war. Due process rules governing discovery and testimony can result in the public revelation of our intelligence about the enemy, and in the use of the trial process by the enemy for propaganda purposes. Thus, war crimes trials rarely happen until after the war is over, and when they do happen during the war, great care must be taken to guard against unnecessary disclosures.

Of course, fundamental fairness requires permitting an accused war criminal enough access to counsel to prepare for trial. This, however, does not imply that the accused has constitutional rights. Most commentators get this point wrong. We permit an alien enemy combatant meaningful access to counsel because by accusing him of war crimes we have chosen to put him on trial. A trial would not meet the Anglo-American standards for a trial if the accused were not permitted a meaningful opportunity to mount whatever defense he may have. That is, our concern is with the integrity of the trial process, not with the purported “rights” of wartime enemies who have committed atrocities against Americans.

Obviously, then, an alien enemy combatant accused of war crimes is not entitled to the extensive contact with counsel afforded in the civilian justice system to Americans who are fully vested with Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. And even less is an alien enemy combatant entitled to other, more general contact with the outside world.

Unlike meeting with defense counsel — again, an unavoidable consequence once the decision is made to charge war crimes — there is no reason to permit an alien enemy combatant detainee, particularly one of very high rank in the enemy forces, to communicate with people outside the prison. We owe only humane treatment (even though it would be preposterous to expect al Qaeda to reciprocate on that score). While the war continues, we do not owe an imprisoned alien enemy combatant the opportunity to correspond and otherwise get messages to friends, acquaintances, confederates, activists, and the media.

After news broke of KSM’s dissemination of an Islamic manifesto and correspondence with a pen-pal in England, the Obama Defense Department responded to criticism by claiming it had an adequate procedure to vet the combatants’ communications prior to allowing their mailing or publication. That is absurd. For starters, it is not a question of adequate vetting; alien enemy combatants should not be permitted to communicate with the outside world during wartime, period. The burden is not on us to scrub messages — or, at least, it should not be. Furthermore, because our government, very much including the military, is willfully clueless regarding Islamic supremacist ideology, there is no way it could competently vet combatant communications even if such a system were required.

As the last quarter-century has taught us (even if the government remains mulishly deaf to the lesson), captured and imprisoned jihadists are lionized worldwide by Muslims adherent to Islamic supremacism — which, unfortunately, is a mainstream interpretation of Islam in the Middle East and has followers throughout the West. We have a long history of arrested jihadists using their elevated stature as heroes imprisoned by the infidel enemy to promote jihadist recruiting and fundraising, and to inspire acts of terrorism.

To take just a few examples, after killing JDL founder Meir Kahane in 1990, Sayyid Nosair became a hero to jihadists. From Attica prison, he met with other jihadists, encouraged them to carry out mass-murder attacks and political assassinations, and helped plot the 1993 WTC bombing. He also made inspirational recordings that were played in radical mosques to promote recruiting and training. He made a habit of calling for more terrorism (“I did my part, why aren’t you doing your part?” was a refrain), but even when he did not expressly stoke the jihad, his ostensibly benign discussions of Islam were used by his confederates as a recruiting tool and a propaganda device — propagating the enemy theme that America was at war with Islam, with all Muslims.

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36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who OK'd this pig's letter being mailed out? Who is responsible for this? Whoever it is ...they are the real enemy of the USA.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Treating Islamic terrorism like crime will have predictable results. He saw it before in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 2001.

That period includes the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (6 dead, 1,042 injured), the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (223 dead, 4,085 injured), and the October 22, 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen (17 dead, 39 injured), all of which were attacked by Islamic terrorists and are considered under international law to be "US ground sovereign soil." Although not considered "US ground sovereign soil," the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers housing American military personnel in Saudi Arabia (20 dead, 372 injured), also occurred during the Clintons occupation of the White House. Absolutely nothing was done about any of those attacks. The result? 09/11/2001

The entire function of Obama's attempt to treat the Islamic terrorism as a crime is to create the perception of American weakness. In the Islamic mindset weakness is not simply something to be taken advantage of but something that must be utterly destroyed to improve humanity. By projecting weakness Obama is actually instigating more attacks. He was raised in muslim schools. He knows this.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spying on Americans before 9/11: NSA Built Back Door In All Windows Software by 1999 Government and Microsoft Inc Global Research, June 27, 2013


http://www.globalresearch.ca/spying-on-americans-before-911-nsa-built-back-door-in-all-windows-software-by-1999/5338215
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
When all U.S. forces are out of both Iraq and Afghanistan both of those countries will have to stand up on their own and IMO are not ready to or capable of doing so. That, in turn, creates a power vacuum which the Jihadists, regardless of their brand, will be more then happy to fill. So it's back to square one only with many thousands of Americans killed and many more thousands wounded. 0bama and his acolytes will call it a victory and so the war on terrorism will continue
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's the problem? Obama doesn't even let people be taken prisoner any more. He's killed far more people with drones than Bush ever did; their families too. There's well over 2,000 people Obama's murdered who wish they'd been taken to Gitmo - even 7 yr. old terrorists. Like "Ender's Game," some day someone will tell Obama it's not a video game.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand you, Fail Burton. Sometimes you almost seem to have cogent thoughts.

Assuming most of the "2,000 people Obama's murdered" aren't 7 year old children, how are you in a position to determine murder? You aren't.

If it's war, it's "killing the enemy", which is distinctly different from murder.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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