Remember 2003? Remember when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured?
He’s the guy who apparently masterminded the hijack-crash attacks that took place on you-know-what date in 2001. He’s due to go on trial (with others) at Guantanamo soon.
Well, actually, it’s not going to be a trial — it’s going to be a tribunal. And that’s only one problem with it. Evidence to be used against him will include both hearsay claims, and confessions obtained under torture. (This according to CNN.)
Tribunals are actually not civil trials as we think we understand them in the US, and the Guantanamo approach has already been ruled unconstitutional by
activist duty-doing Supreme Court judges in 2006. In a military tribunal there is no jury, and in the Guantanamo setup there may not even be full disclosure of evidence, meaning the defense might be caught flatfooted.1
Complicating things is Mohammmed’s own statement that he wants to be killed, so he can be a “martyr” to his perverse cause.
On the one hand, I’m in favor of punishing the guilty; however, our national high ground has so steadily eroded in the last six years of Bush’s stupidity that we’re actually using levees to hold back the sea. And we know how well that strategy works.
Things are further complicated by the nearness of this particular tribunal to the Presidential elections. There’s denial in every official quarter, but you’d have to be a retard of W’s magnitude to not see the clear political pandering afoot. The timing is obviously coördinated to return a guilty verdict, followed by a quick federally-sanctioned killing, just before the first Tuesday in November.
That’s the part that I find most troubling. Mohammed wants to be a martyr, and we’re all too happy to give him what he wants. This will embolden his cronies and give them a rallying point. We’ll have accomplished this no-win by suspending our own national code of honor, which will mean that the killing of Mohammed, as with the killing of Saddam Hussein, will not redeem us internationally, and will strip away another layer of our honor domestically. And of course the cynical timing of the event will be celebrated by the most debased and worthless in our nation — with the mainstream media leading the way.
A show trial, based on suspect evidence, clearly staged for a crucial national election. We’re using human lives and international goodwill as toys in a six-year-old’s make-believe pageant. Look how far our “leaders” have brought us. We have the collective maturity of a first-grader.
I don’t see a positive resolution to this. The only way to turn it around is to shut down that god-beshitten offshore torture house, formally charge in civilian criminal court those who can be charged, and turn the others loose.
Yes, some guilty ones will escape. But then, so will what’s left of our dignity as a country.
As it is, we’re going the way of so-recently-reviled China.
Shame on America. Shame on all of us.
1. Many might say, “So what?” If we can’t convict an obviously guilty man on honest grounds, every conviction we ever make will be suspect. We can’t afford that. It’s one step away from star chambers. In fact, it is a fucking star chamber.
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