Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Big (Half) Step On The Long Road Back

The Obama administration is taking a big step away from the Dark Side in planning to prosecute the 9/11 mastermind and four other men in federal court in New York City.

While it is gratifying that
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (above) will be tried a few blocks from where the World Trade Center stood and 3,000 people died, there is another aspect of the Dark Side that could yet undermine a successful prosecution: KSM was waterboarded repeatedly and evidence used against them should be inadmissible.

Attorney General Holder has anticipated this wee potential snag and intimates that torture will not be relevant to the evidence presented.

Meanwhile, how to seat an impartial jury? That could be even tougher.

And will congressfolk have another Don't You Dare Close
Guantánamo bed wetting fit? Of course, and they already are. While conveniently ignoring that the U.S. is a nation of laws and it's nice that we're becoming reacquainted with some of the more important ones.

Still, the decision is not a clear rebuke of the Dark
Side because the Obama administration also announced that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (right), who is accused of planning the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and four other detainees will be tried before a military commission.

If the logic here is to try terrorists accused of hitting a civilian target in a civilian court and terrorists accused of hitting a military target in a military court, then the White House is undermining its position.

In any event, the most satisfying outcome of the KSM trial and the one feared most by Bush-Cheney sycophants would be convictions across the board based on evidence obtained legally and not through torture.

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