Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ordered Liberty

Earlier today, a jury in Manhattan federal court convicted Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, of al Qaeda’s conspiracy to mass-murder Americans, as well as providing material support to the terror network. I discussed the case here, and Ben Weiser’s report at the New York Times is here.

The result is cause for celebration, including for those of us who can separate public policy disputes from justice in individual cases. I have been arguing for many years that alien enemy combatants should not be given civilian trials, particularly while the war is still ongoing—and while the country certainly does not seem to be on a war footing, we are still have troops in harm’s way, we are still in armed combat against al Qaeda and its allies under a congressional authorization of force, and the Obama administration is still using lethal force against al Qaeda operatives under the laws of war. But regardless of whether I ever succeed in persuading the government on how enemy-combatant terrorists should be treated—the current administration is dead set against my position—I still want the United States to convict culpable terrorists, no matter where the trials happen, civilian or military court. The policy debate is by definition political (in the non-pejorative sense of “political”); but no one should want to see the trials themselves politicized.

Alas, Attorney General Holder cannot help himself. Here is part of the press release he put out after Abu Ghaith’s conviction:

I want to especially note that this verdict has proven that proceedings such as these can safely occur in the city I am proud to call home, as in other locations across our great nation. It was appropriate that this defendant, who publicly rejoiced over the attacks on the World Trade Center, faced trial in the shadow of where those buildings once stood.

We never doubted the ability of our Article III court system to administer justice swiftly in this case, as it has in hundreds of other cases involving terrorism defendants. It would be a good thing for the country if this case has the result of putting that political debate to rest. This outcome vindicates the government’s approach to securing convictions against not only this particular defendant, but also other senior leaders of al Qaeda.

This statement is by turns disingenuous, specious, and improper…which is what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Holder, throughout his Clinton and Obama stints at the Justice Department.

1. No one doubted that this terrorism trial in Manhattan, like the many before it dating back to 1993, would occur safely. The question was whether the heavy expense and burden involved in keeping it safe were worth bearing under circumstances where a perfectly safe trial facility is available at Guantanamo Bay. American taxpayers have spent untold millions to make Gitmo state-of-the-art, holding the trial there would have spared New York City lots of expense and anxiety, and we’d have had the added benefit of compliance with acts of Congress that endorse military commission trials.

2. How strange to point to “the shadow of where those [World Trade Center] buildings once stood”—a jolting reminder that they no longer stand because terrorists destroyed them about two months after the conclusion of another al Qaeda trial in Manhattan (involving four terrorists complicit in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa).

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Bravo Andrew! Keep popping and letting the air out of these trial balloons sent up by those who are dismantling our defenses against Islamist terrorism. Even though they claim to hold the 'high ground' on these issues, in fact, it is people like you who are the ones defending this nation. Keep fighting the good fight.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's afraid that he and his boss will end up in Gitmo if the American public finally catches up with them.

Why are they so supportive of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood, especially its founder Sayyid Qutb, inspired the likes of Osama Bin Laden. Remember the photo of Obama in the operation where Bin Laden was taken out - how pitiful he looked? And the respectful sea burial? Isn't his unwavering support for the Muslim Brotherhood grounds for impeachment + trial for treason?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eric Holder is a disgrace as is his boss BHO. Their approach to terrorism is "no lawyer and no terrorists left behind." This adminstration spent over $600 million and still could not get a standard website to work. I would like to know how much money we have spent on all these trials. Possibly a billion dollars or more into the hands of these attorneys and their legions of advisors and tying up the court sytsem so that US citizens cannot get a day in court. When history finally passes judgement on Obama and Holder, I predict that an honest analysis of the facts will show that this administration has been the most corrupt and sleazy group of leftists who have done much to destroy our valued institutions while at the same time promoting and going soft on our worst enemies. God save this country and pray for a grand awakening of the American citizen who need to see these corrupt fools for who they really are.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"Yechadim".......You got most everything....[ except for the probable "dozens" of items that King Obamuslim, is hiding. King Oba, hides that which does not further his cause of despotic communism! Just like "JFK", scandals, & the other Kennedy scandals, America, won't know the whole story about our Mulatto from Kenya, because he "hides" anything negative that is realted to him, & his Wifey.....[ that looks like Aunt Esther, from the Redd Foxx series, & sounds like her too]
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Erake Holder"......is just another sociopath/Radical Liberal, that cars not what the existing laws are. He will "make the laws" as he goes along! American Constitution? Who needs "that"? Holder, & King Obamuslim, will make & obey whatever laws they deem fit! America, dare not question these dicto-crats, or "OFF WITH YOUR HEADS"!......[ that's typical Muslim ideology! ]
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about Obama's plot to murder unborn babies, America's youth in never-ending wars, the elderly by Obamacare Death Panels, the American middle class, American sovereignty, the Constitution, the American economy, .....
did I leave anything out....... , and the DOI (Dept of Injustive) head Eric Holder running interference for him and fending off any attacks on him?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All this administration's moves are "under the radar" and corrupt as hell otherwise they'd never succeed. Amnesty is also a fact now because these traitors have effectively nullified federal immigration laws as well.
This is beyond the pale ... and we (as a country) voted for it; we wanted a king, and we got one. That's hurts.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rule of thumb: When you leave "National Security" to Leftists you will get neither security nor a sovereign nation.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bravo Andrew! Keep popping and letting the air out of these trial balloons sent up by those who are dismantling our defenses against Islamist terrorism. Even though they claim to hold the 'high ground' on these issues, in fact, it is people like you who are the ones defending this nation. Keep fighting the good fight.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's exactly what one would expect from a lawyer who did pro bono work for terrorists at Gitmo prior to getting the nod for AG from complicit republicans like Orrin Hatch.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eric Holder is a disgrace as is his boss BHO. Their approach to terrorism is "no lawyer and no terrorists left behind." This adminstration spent over $600 million and still could not get a standard website to work. I would like to know how much money we have spent on all these trials. Possibly a billion dollars or more into the hands of these attorneys and their legions of advisors and tying up the court sytsem so that US citizens cannot get a day in court. When history finally passes judgement on Obama and Holder, I predict that an honest analysis of the facts will show that this administration has been the most corrupt and sleazy group of leftists who have done much to destroy our valued institutions while at the same time promoting and going soft on our worst enemies. God save this country and pray for a grand awakening of the American citizen who need to see these corrupt fools for who they really are.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
where is the court of justice needed to try holder once his illegal forger and protector is removed from office? will the problem still be to find an honorable judge who doesn't fear having his phone hacked or his tax returns constantly audited. criminals sitting in judgment over criminals. oh how the mighty have fallen.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's afraid that he and his boss will end up in Gitmo if the American public finally catches up with them.

Why are they so supportive of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood, especially its founder Sayyid Qutb, inspired the likes of Osama Bin Laden. Remember the photo of Obama in the operation where Bin Laden was taken out - how pitiful he looked? And the respectful sea burial? Isn't his unwavering support for the Muslim Brotherhood grounds for impeachment + trial for treason?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Isn't his unwavering support for the Muslim Brotherhood grounds for impeachment + trial for treason?"
Of course it is, and everybody knows it. This can only continue at our great peril; the same thing is happening with Putin; who has formed an alliance with Iran and Syria and who is taunting us with his middle finger by revealing that he's better at spying than we are. Putin is a madman, hell bent on being king of the world; and his ambitions include attacking the U.S.A. and Israel with his rapidly forming alliance with countries and organisations that absolutely hate us ... like the MB and the U.N. for example.
Obama is aiding and abetting those that want to destroy us ... this is becoming clearer and clearer as days go by; only God Himself can help us now.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...That is, the national security concerns outweigh the benefit derived from the convictions—but no one doubts that prosecutors can get the convictions."

That's not legal reasoning. That's saying that "the needs of the State come first." The issue in deciding whether any accused should be tried in a civilian court or before a military one is whether the accused has been legitimately designated as an enemy combatant in time of war. The authority for that decision has traditionally rested with the military itself, which has only recently been challenged by anyone.

That's where our attention should lie, before we find American citizens apprehended on American soil given "drum-head courts-martial" without a speck of the due-process requirements imposed by an Article III court.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All