or in order of discovery
The Architect Of 9/11
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (known colloquially as KSM), was the
military head of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. Mohammed
has been described by the the 9/11 Commission Report as a "terrorist
entrepreneur" who "followed a rather tortuous path to his eventual
membership in al Qaeda. Highly educated and equally comfortable in
a government office or a terrorist safe house, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
applied his imagination, technical aptitude, and managerial skills to
hatching and planning an extraordinary array of terrorist schemes.
These ideas included murder, beheading, conventional car bombing,
political assassination, aircraft bombing, hijacking, reservoir
poisoning, and, ultimately, the use of aircraft as missiles guided by
Obama Brings 9/11 Plotter To New York City
reporting that self-proclaimed Sept.
11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay
detainees will be sent to New York to face trial in a civilian federal
court, an Obama administration official said Friday.
said Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce the decision later
in the morning.
The official is not authorized to discuss the
decision before the announcement, so spoke on condition of anonymity.
Bringing such notorious suspects to U.S. soil to face trial is a key
step in Obama's plan to close the terror suspect detention center at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama initially planned to close the
detention center by Jan. 22, but he is no longer expected to meet that
It is also a major legal and political test of Obama's
overall approach to terrorism. If the case suffers legal setbacks,
the administration will face second-guessing from those who never wanted
it in a civilian courtroom. And if lawmakers get upset about
notorious terrorists being brought to their home regions, they may fight
back against other parts of Obama's agenda.
And Obama is bringing
four other terrorists with him.
Decision By A US President In History
believes the Obama administration has taken a giant step in its
march to throw in the towel in the war against radical Islam. On
FoxNews this morning, Peter King said of the decision to try the
soldiers of al-Qaeda -- who by their own account have no country but
their cause -- as civilians:
"may be the worst decision by a U.S.
president in history."
It certainly is. It sends a signal to terrorists everywhere to
The administration is justifying its decisions
on the grounds that because the 9/11 attackers targeted civilians they
should be tried as civilians. This makes no sense unless you are a
Democrat who believes that the "holy war" that Islamic jihadists have
formally declared on us is no different from the acts of isolated
individuals who have decided to break the law. This is the
approach to the war on terror that John Kerry championed in 2004.
Now that Americans have had the poor judgment -- the suicidally poor
judgment -- to make a leftist their president, this is the strategy our
nation is set to pursue.
The decision to try the jihadists in a
civilian court is also a decision which will divulge America’s security
secrets to the enemy since civilian courts afford defendants the right
of discovery. It is also a propaganda gift to Islamic murderers
who will turn the courtroom into a media circus to promote their hatred
against the Great Satan -- a hatred shared by their apologists at the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the pro-Castro Center for
Constitutional Rights who have pioneered the campaign against Guantanamo
and whose influence in the Obama Administration is pervasive.
(BTW, The newly appointed lawyer for the president is the
husband of Obama’s recently
departed Maoist communications director
this move continues and enlarges the refusal of the President and the
American Left to recognize that:
1. We are in a war that has been declared
on us -- in which we, in other words, are the victims.
That the war is conducted by religious armies whose war is inspired
by their reading of the Koran.
3. That the number of
Muslims who support their war plan is in the tens of millions
That they are aided and abetted by many Islamic governments and by
the international Left.
|Trial and Terror
|Andrew McCarthy says the decision to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
and four other top al-Qaeda terrorists to New York City for a civilian
trial is one of the most irresponsible ever made by a presidential
administration. That it is motivated by politics could not be more
obvious. That it spells unprecedented danger for our security will
soon become obvious.
The five 9/11 plotters were originally
charged in a military commission. Military commissions have been
approved by Congress and the courts. Eleven months ago, the
jihadists were prepared to end the military case by pleading guilty and
proceeding to execution. Plus, the Obama administration is
continuing the commission system for other enemy combatants accused of
war crimes. If we are going to have military commissions for any
war criminals, it is senseless not to have them for the worst war
criminals. In sum, there is no good legal or policy rationale for
transferring these barbarians to the civilian justice system.
Doing so will prompt a hugely costly three-ring circus of a trial,
provide a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s anti-American bile, and create a
public-safety nightmare for New York City.
There is, however, a
patent political rationale behind Obama’s decision.
terrorists are clearly committed members of the al-Qaeda conspiracy to
wage a terrorist war against the United States -- so much so that KSM
cannot help himself, bragging about his atrocities against our country,
including the 9/11 massacre of nearly 3,000 Americans. Further,
controversy surrounds the intelligence-collection measures used by the
Bush administration after 9/11 -- measures such as enhanced
interrogation that, though they saved countless lives, have been
stridently condemned by the antiwar Left. This antiwar Left,
Obama’s base, has demanded investigations and prosecutions against Bush
The Obama Justice Department teems with experienced
defense lawyers, many of whom (themselves personally or through their
firms) spent the last eight years volunteering their services to
America’s enemies in their lawsuits against the American people.
As experienced defense lawyers well know, when there is no mystery about
whether the defendants have committed the charged offenses, and when
there is controversy attendant to the government’s investigative
tactics, the standard defense strategy is to put the government on
That is, Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder,
experienced litigators, fully realize that in civilian court, the Qaeda
quintet can and will demand discovery of mountains of government
intelligence. They will demand disclosures about investigative
tactics; the methods and sources by which intelligence has been
obtained; the witnesses from the intelligence community, the military,
and law enforcement who interrogated witnesses, conducted searches,
secretly intercepted enemy communications, and employed other
investigative techniques. They will attempt to compel testimony
from officials who formulated U.S. counterterrorism strategy, in
addition to U.S. and foreign intelligence officers. As civilian
"defendants," these war criminals will put Bush-era counterterrorism
tactics under the brightest public spotlight in American legal history.
This is exactly what Obama and Holder know will happen. And
because it is unnecessary to have this civilian trial at all, one must
conclude that this is exactly what Obama and Holder want to see happen.
During the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama and his adviser, Holder,
rebuked the Bush counterterrorism policies and promised their base a
"reckoning." Since Obama took office, Holder has anxiously
shoveled into the public domain classified information relating to those
policies -- with the administration always at pains to claim that its
hand is being forced by court orders, even though Obama has had legal
grounds, which he has refrained from invoking, to decline to make those
disclosures. Moreover, during a trip to Germany in April, Holder
signaled his openness to turning over evidence that would assist
European investigations -- including one underway in Spain -- that seek
to charge Bush-administration officials with war crimes (which is the
transnational Left’s label for actions taken in defense of the United
Now, we see the reckoning: Obama’s gratuitous transfer
of alien war criminals from a military court, where they were on the
verge of ending the proceedings, to the civilian justice system, where
they will be given the same rights and privileges as the American
citizens they are pledged to kill. This will give the hard Left
its promised feast. Its shock troops, such as the Center for
Constitutional Rights, will gather up each new disclosure and add it to
the purported war-crimes case they are urging foreign courts to bring
against President Bush, his subordinates, and U.S. intelligence agents.
here . . .
|9/11 Terrorists Will Use Trial For Propaganda
reporting that the five Islamofascists facing trial in the
Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their
criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants
Scott Fenstermaker, the lawyer for accused
terrorist Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, said the men would not deny their role in
the 2001 attacks, but "would explain what happened and why they did it."
The U.S. Justice Department announced earlier this month that
Ali and four other men
who murdered nearly 3,000 people, including Muslims, in the
nation's deadliest terrorist attack will face a civilian federal trial
just blocks from the World Trade Center site.
Ali, also known as
Ammar al-Baluchi, is a nephew of professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, Ali and the others will explain "their
assessment of American foreign policy," Fenstermaker said.
"Their assessment is negative," he said.
Fenstermaker met with
Ali last week at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. He has not
spoken with the others but said the men have discussed the trial among
Critics of Barack Obama's decision
to try the men in a New York City civilian courthouse have warned that
the trial would provide the defendants with a propaganda platform.
|Obama's Due Process Doctrine
writes: Willing student or not, reality continues to give Barack
Obama a late education in how the world -- including the United States
-- actually works. Obama and his attorney general are giving the
rest of us an Ivy League tutorial in constitutional law.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. awarded the Islamic radicals the
opportunity to take their rhetorical carnival of murder and mayhem to
New York City for the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the
self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 assault on America, Mr. Holder
insisted that he was only acting in the American judicial tradition of
due process. A military tribunal is OK for a GI in Afghanistan but
not for a criminal the GI captures there. His prescription is
actually more in the tradition of "Rules for Radicals," the manual of
civic disorder and troublemaking written by Saul Alinsky, Mr. Obama's
revered mentor in all the things not in the province of the Rev.
Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers. Obama and the attorney general have
had interesting instructors.
Neither Obama, nor the attorney
general, were quite prepared for the overwhelming, bipartisan,
transracial outrage over their remarkable doctrine of "due process."
Obama, questioned by reporters in Asia, insisted that the noose was
ready for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (or KSM in the helpful shorthand
applied to unpronounceable names). The legal niceties were
necessary, but the wait for the hangman -- or the needler, or
electrician or whomever -- would make the anticipation all the merrier.
Obama said anyone offended by the unprecedented legal privileges
afforded KSM in a civilian trial, instead of submission to the usual
military tribunal for criminals captured on the battlefield, "won't find
it offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is
applied to him."
The attorney general, sharply questioned by
several senators at a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, said,
with more than a hint of prosecutorial smugness, that "failure is not an
option." Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican, agreed. "I
don't know how you could say failure is not an option. I'm a farmer, not
a lawyer, but it seems to me ludicrous."
It's not clear whether
this is constitutional law as taught at Harvard Law, but it sounds a lot
like law once taught in the court of the infamous Judge Roy Bean, "the
law west of the Pecos." Judge Bean held court in his saloon and,
like Messrs Obama and Holder, made up his precedents as he needed them.
Guaranteeing death for KSM, as much as the architect of 9/11 deserves
it, sounds a lot like the Old West idea of frontier justice, as
typically applied to a murderer or horse thief: "We're going to
give you a fair trial and then we're going to hang your ornery hide."
The judge usually put the carpenter at work on the gallows as part of
Obama, constitutional law instructor or not,
and his administration of eager amateurs continue to demonstrate that
they just don't understand the America that put them in office.
Mr. Grassley's remark, that he's just a farmer but that the attorney
general's guarantee of justice rigged sounds "ludicrous," shows just how
out of touch the attorney general is with the traditions of due process.
Holder's assurance that even if acquitted by a civilian jury KSM would
never be "released into our country" betrays his silly assurance that
"failure is not an option."
|Democrats Abandoning Obama
|Kasie Hunt is
reporting that New York politicians were able to kick the Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed trial out of Manhattan, but it’s becoming increasingly
clear that not a single member of Congress wants the trial held in their
home town either.
A growing coalition of lawmakers are saying
"not in my back yard" to the terrorism trial, as even the most loyal
Democrats are moving to block funding for any civilian trials. The
pushback may represent yet another congressional rebellion against a
high profile Obama White House terrorism decision, proving that even a
persuasive Obama can’t overcome the power of local politics.
"We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they don’t point at
western Pennsylvania as a possible venue," said Rep. Jason Altmire
(D-Pa.). "We are all united, going to voice our opinion, both at
the state level and at the congressional level."
are playing out in several regions around the country, from western
Pennsylvania to northern Virginia and other potential locations for a
9/11 trial. The National Republican Congressional Committee plans
to use the issue to target Democratic representatives Bill Foster and
Debbie Halvorson in Illinois, Scott Murphy and Michael McMahon in New
York, and Kathy Dahlkemper in Pennsylvania.
Virginia Sen. Jim
Webb is leading Democrats' charge against the trials in the Senate.
Webb favors military commissions, and he says Virginia lawmakers will be
opposed to having a civilian trial in Alexandria.
Governor Ed Rendell is not opposing the trials "out of hand," his
spokesman said, but "he would want an explanation as to why it’s any
safer in western Pennsylvania than it is in New York City."
Obama is also going to face louder calls to move the trials out of the
U.S. entirely. Democratic senators had an "intense discussion"
about the administration’s Guantanamo Bay policies during a policy lunch
Tuesday, one senator said.
Eighteen senators -- including two
Democrats -- have signed on to legislation backed by Sen. Lindsey Graham
(R-S.C.) to strip funding for civilian trials for the accused 9/11
conspirators. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) will introduce a companion
bill in the House.
"I believe these individuals are war
criminals and that their alleged evils against our country warrant their
trials in military courts," said Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who is
facing a tough reelection battle this year. "Trying these
conspirators in civilian court is giving them a public stage to advocate
Obama knows he has a problem, but still seems
committed to finding a location for a federal trial.
tried a lot of terrorists in our courts; we have them in our federal
prisons; they've never escaped. And these folks are no different.
It's been one of those things that's been subject to a lot of, in some
cases, pretty rank politics," Obama said in an interview Monday on
But the longer the local fights drag out, the more
problematic the issue will be for Democrats in November.
|Obama’s Revisionist History Of Terrorism
|Daniel Greenfield opines, that since taking office, Obama’s key
objective on terrorism has been to transform the public perception of it
from an international military conflict, to a limited domestic criminal
problem. Renaming terrorism to the bureaucratically euphonious
term, "Man Caused Disasters" was straight out of the first rule in the
textbook of organizational coverups, to phrase your sentences so that
the identity of the perpetrators of the crisis remain as vague as
possible. Focusing on everything but terrorism, while shutting
down Gitmo and dispatching top Al Qaeda terrorists like Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed to civilian trials, was meant to restore the illusion of
normalcy, while doing away with the terrorism focus of the Bush
There was a reason that once in office, Obama
showed a very limited interest in pushing for the prosecutions of Bush
Administration officials, as the left wing expected him to. Unlike
them, Obama understood that the best way to shift the conversation was
by avoiding the topic, not by confronting it head on… because while the
American people may have turned on the Republicans, they were more
likely to support a tough on terror approach, than not. Main
Street America was a long way from ACLU headquarters, and so Obama
decided that the best way to win the debate on terrorism… was not to
have it all.
Seeing how fast Cheney’s numbers shot up by simply
calling him out on terrorism, could have only stiffened Obama’s resolve
to avoid the issue. But the issue refused to avoid him, whether it
was demands that he come to a decision on Afghanistan, a renewed wave of
terrorist attacks on American soil or a growing backlash from New York
over holding the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trials in the city -- Islamic
"man caused disasters" just refused to go away.
By moving Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed into the civilian legal system, Obama and Holder were
undertaking to engineer a massive shift in how America dealt with
terrorism. It was a shift that everyone from lawyers to liberal
pundits to the nutroots had been pushing all along. It was the
message on the earliest posters tacked up by left wing activists on the
streets of Lower Manhattan, even as the ruins of the towers were still
smoldering. The shift would transform terrorism from a conflict
fought in defense of America, to an internal criminal matter for the
legal system to deal with. The difference between the two lies in
far more than just a matter of which judges get to sit on the bench and
where the trial takes place, it cuts right to the issue of what is
really happening here.
Treating Islamic terrorism as a criminal
problem transforms it from an international threat, into something
purely local, akin to an armed robbery or a murder or two. And as
liberal doctrine would have it, crime is not really preventable except
through social welfare policies. That is precisely the tack that
European governments have taken on terrorism, working with Muslim
communities to improve their economic and social status. That
would have been the next stage for the Obama Administration, if a
roadblock hadn’t risen up on the road to the New York trial.
Copyright Beckwith 2009
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