I can’t remember who it was I heard on the news the other day saying that KSM should be “tried and executed,” but it was a liberal Democrat I respect. If he had said KSM should be “tried, convicted, and executed” I don’t think it would have registered. I thought of the quote from the Red Queen, “Sentence first, verdict afterwards!” and I have noticed a number of others applying it to this situation. Feige may be right when he says, “Bringing KSM to trial in New York will still be far better than any of the available alternatives.” But the whole situation seems very grim to me.
So now KSM has been officially declared victims by Feige, with all the rights, privileges, and the weeping, sobbing Left to comfort them (him). Obama’s moronic and destructive decision (make no mistake, this was his decision) will create a sorry spectacle. KSM should have been taken out and summarily shot after saying he (they) wanted the death penalty. KSM is (are) lower than a spelunker’s left ankle, and I say to Hell with him (them).
KSM = Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and he’s singular.
I am wondering why these Islamic heretics, who worship the god of violent coercion, are being brought to trial when the war of terror continues? Why not wait until the war ends?
Nancy: the war on terror will never end. We have moved into a new era in which terrorism may strike within the US, and, to guard against that threat, we from now on have to relinquish control to our government in every way so that they can best protect us against that terrible danger!
I am also wondering what precedent they will use for discovery that could possibly protect us from that terrible danger you refer to. Someone should inquire about that, don’t you think?
Nancy, I actually don’t really think we should relinquish control to the government in *every* way – we would lose our rights, our freedom, and what could possibly be worse than that? So, since we can never be perfectly safe from the risk of terrorism, we have to learn to live with that threat.
I think the Fort Hood shootings have shown us, if we rally want to look, that the kind of political correctness that not only prevented the shooter from being declared a security risk, but allowed him to advance to the rank of colonel, is a form of collective insanity. And none of us, I include myself, is exempt from it’s insidious influence.
Claire, it is precisely because the nature of the war of terrorism consists of organized terrorism without borders, that we must consider every security risk involved in order to protect our Lives from those who wish to do us harm. The question is, what are the risks involved in Civil Trials for organized terrorists and do these risks in any way prevent the Government from securing our Nation?
You are fond of quoting the Founding Fathers. It seems to me one of the questions here is whether the rights in the Constitution regarding trials should be regarded as rights of American citizens or basic human rights. It is the intention of the government to execute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Should there be an open trial in federal court, a military tribunal in which he has almost no rights, or should the government just shoot him, as Bob Schwarts suggests?
My sense of the law (a thoroughly uneducated one) is that the rights granted by the Constitution are certainly not basic human rights (though we might wish they were so) or rights restricted to US citizens. Aren’t they designed to apply to all those facing trial in American courts, regardless of nationality? Surely a Belgian or a Dane or a Malaysian who, let’s say, murders someone in New York, and is arrested in NY to be tried there, is accorded the rights granted in the Constitution. But I don’t think we Americans can take it upon ourselves to say that the Constitution sets forth human rights that should be binding on all (unless we, of course, are willing to be bound by the human rights set forth by others.
Nor do I think that simply because KSM has asked to be executed (apparently), we are under any obligation to fall in with his wishes — especially for those of us who oppose capital punishment. Why not lock him up without chance of parole? What good will it do to execute him?
My question is not exactly whether the Constitution contains a listing of human rights applicable to all, as opposed to merely American rights or rights guaranteed to those within our borders, but whether the principles embodied in the Constitution that are pertinent in this case should apply universally. I think, for example, that I would consider the principle of not depriving someone of life, liberty, or property with due process a basic human right applying to everyone. I also think we would agree that no penalty imposed as the result of a trial should include cruel and unusual punishment. Also, I would hope the right not to be forced to be a witness against oneself (particularly through torture) would be universal.
As to the rights afforded criminal defendants by the U.S. Constitution, many of those same rights are codified in the so-called “Rome Statute,” which created a permanent international court with jurisdiction to try individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
Article 67 of the statute sets forth the rights of an accused:
“1. In the determination of any charge, the accused shall be entitled to a public hearing, having regard to the provisions of this Statute, to a fair hearing conducted impartially, and to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:
(a) To be informed promptly and in detail of the nature, cause and content of the charge, in a language which the accused fully understands and speaks;
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defence and to communicate freely with counsel of the accused’s choosing in confidence;
(c) To be tried without undue delay;
(d) Subject to article 63, paragraph 2, to be present at the trial, to conduct the defence in person or through legal assistance of the accused’s choosing, to be informed, if the accused does not have legal assistance, of this right and to have legal assistance assigned by the Court in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment if the accused lacks sufficient means to pay for it;
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him or her and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him or her. The accused shall also be entitled to raise defences and to present other evidence admissible under this Statute;
(f) To have, free of any cost, the assistance of a competent interpreter and such translations as are necessary to meet the requirements of fairness, if any of the proceedings of or documents presented to the Court are not in a language which the accused fully understands and speaks;
(g) Not to be compelled to testify or to confess guilt and to remain silent, without such silence being a consideration in the determination of guilt or innocence;
(h) To make an unsworn oral or written statement in his or her defence; and
(i) Not to have imposed on him or her any reversal of the burden of proof or any onus of rebuttal.
2. In addition to any other disclosure provided for in this Statute, the Prosecutor shall, as soon as practicable, disclose to the defence evidence in the Prosecutor’s possession or control which he or she believes shows or tends to show the innocence of the accused, or to mitigate the guilt of the accused, or which may affect the credibility of prosecution evidence. In case of doubt as to the application of this paragraph, the Court shall decide.”
The United States was originally a signatory to the Rome statute, but, sadly (at least to me), the U.S. repudiated the statute in 2002.
What good will it do to execute him?
I believe that a better and more relevant question would be, What good will it do to give the murdering bast**d free room, board, and medical care, payed for in part by the victims’ loved ones, for the rest of his life? I will repeat my uncouth, anti-liberal, and unashamedly vengeful To Hell with him.
I don’t think KSM should be tried in a civilian court. He planned the kind of violence normally carried out by trained military personnel on behalf of a nation state.
I also do not think KSM should be tried before an international tribunal. Unless I’m wrong, such tribunals have tried defendants AFTER cessation of hostilities between nation states.
So what to do?
Unless and until we have a genuine cessation of hostilities by rogue groups and individuals motivated by religion, socioeconomic reasons, etc., we should simply hold KSM for an indefinite period. We normally think of POWs as military personnel, but we need to expand this definition to include civilians who have perpetrated actions that are inherently military in nature.
Of course, if KSM were to attempt escape from confinement, I’d say “Blow him to smithereens!”
I was amazed last week when top Democrats were among other things, saying things like:
1 – A not guilty version is not an option
2 – Calling for KSM’s executution
Now, one can have an opinion on whether or not the man should be tried in NYC. I happen to think a military tribunal in Cuba is the better way, but that is not important. Our President, via his Attorney General, for whatever reason, has decided to try this accused terrorist in a civilian court, on American soil.
If we have the respect we claim to have for the rule of law, we should follow the law.
- What about venue? Can this man find a non-biased jury in NYC?
- What about being innocent until proven guilty? These top Democrats are calling KSM guilty and yelling for his head before the trial even begins?
Have these folks no respect for our legal process? Nobody wants a Soviet-style show trial; we are better than that. If we are certain the man is guilty, and if we do not want to observe the niceties, we should use the military tibunals and be done with the matter in military fashion.
However we have chosen to bring this matter into civilian courts, and we claim that we will accord this man (KSM) with all the rights of an American citizen. To be fair to him and to ourselves, we ought to make good on our word.
It is the height of cynicism to bring this into civilian court, and then call for the man’s head before the trial has even begun, or for our high government officials to be telling us in no uncertain terms what the outcome of the trial will be. That would be making a mockery of the very sort of thing we Americans claim to hold dear.
We are supposed to be a nation of law, not of men.
I really do not understand what is happening, but I find the cavalier manner in which this whole KSM thing is being handled, to be very worrisome to say the least.
The 3000 people from 9-11 have been gone for alomst 9 years, and blowing this one man to smithereens will not bring them back; vengence belongs to the Lord.
This is not a game. We ought to try to be honest with ourselves, and we ought to try to listen to the better part of our nature.