So AG Holder is Backing Away from Civilian Trials for Terrorists?

Seven paragraphs into this New York Times article about US Attorney General Eric Holder once again finding his political voice (and, as someone who very much wants a change of administration in three years, I say, let the man speak) comes this.

“I have to do a better job in explaining the decisions that I have made,” Mr. Holder also said, adding, “I have to be more forceful in advocating for why I believe these are trials that should be held on the civilian side.”
But now Mr. Holder is in the awkward position of pushing for an approach that he acknowledges he would accept defeat on. The administration hopes to announce a new venue for the Sept. 11 trial within three weeks, he said last Tuesday. But Congress could pass legislation requiring that Mr. Mohammed be tried by a military commission, or Mr. Obama himself could change direction.
“You always have to be flexible,” Mr. Holder said, allowing that justice could be served in a commission trial, too, and praising generals who “adapt their game plans” as the situation changes.

True, justice could be served in a military commission, as well. It’s just that this is quite a volte face in only three months, Mr. Attorney General.
Interesting, by the way, that this dramatic shift is mentioned as a minor, unrelated aside well into an article about political tactics. Doesn’t this revelation merit its own story and properly descriptive headline?

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Tim
Tim
11 years ago

Holder and Obama are so genuinely out of touch they could not see the obvious outrage and unnecessary stress/cost to NYC that trial would have caused. They wanted a show trial. The public pushback (and Congress threatening to withhold funds) brought about their rethink on the matter.
It’s appalling how clueless Obama and his cronies are.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

They are starting to even get pushback from liberal Democrats.When you take a theorist academic type like Obama and a very suspect character like Holder(suspect for his past kindness and assistance to terrorists)the results don’t work out too well in the real world.
I can’t believe Jones,Gates,and Panetta could have been comfortable with this ill-advised strategy.
Maybe Obama is beginning to appreciate the gravity of the threat he’s dealing with.About f**kin’ time!!The Predator strike tactics are one thing he’s done that I can support 100%.
The ACLU will have this country disappear as a sovereign nation if they have their way.They are as much an enemy as Al Qaeda.Worse,actually,because traitors are always worse than enemies.

steadman
steadman
11 years ago

My base problem with this issue is I do not have the legal knowledge and experience to justify my opinion on where such trials should be held. I’ve been disgusted with the political use of the trial, given most people use it as a way to dig into the President. My gut feeling is, that as a terrorist, we should not give them justification in a military trial. People like the crotchbomber, ksm, etc are terrorists. They are not soldiers in a grand army fighting for a cause, they are not men doing their job. These men are criminals, they attempt to kill and hurt the innocent. They are not men who deserve a military trial. Now, due to the Bush Adm. creation/use of the term “enemy combatant”, im not sure if my idea still holds up. I haven’t been able to really read any information on this matter, most stories cater to the political nature of the trial and are highly spun. Sometimes it would be easier to digest issues like this is actual law experts discussed the matter, however most coverage and articles are done by journalists or people with an agenda either way.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Steadman-Actually the legal precedent dates to WW2 when German infiltrators where landed by U Boat on Long island to commit sabotage in civilian clothes.They were taken before a US military commission and tried and executed.One of them was actually a US citizen.The Supreme Court upheld the procedure 9-0.
Steven Brown of the ACLU has stated that was a bad decision.Steven Brown is a traitor.He should be before a tribunal along with the terrorists he loves so much.
I am not a lawyer either.Neither is Steven Brown.We’re all on even ground here.We can live through some things without f**kin’ lawyers!!

steadman
steadman
11 years ago

Joe Bernstein- My problem exactly is the example you bring up. The germans were soldiers. They represented a nation we were at war with and attempted to attack non-civilian targets (on long island, power plants, in other missions railroads,canals). We are dealing with terrorists attempting/launching attacks on innocent civilians/targets. I’m not saying we should send them to military trials or criminal trials, I’m actually not clear on which one is in fact the right one. I don’t think that terrorists should be given the right to be put in a military commission/trial, they are not military/combat troops. These men are filthy murderers, without ANY justification for killing innocent lives. I’ve had a tough time thinking all this through in the last few months. It would have been better had the US dealt with many of these terrorists in the same way that Israel dealt with the munich massacre of the ’72 games.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Steadman-your concerns are very legitimate.I also find some things confusing-it’s normal.
I think that nowadays an enemy army doesn’t have to “belong” to a particular country.It can be part of an international movement,which,in this specific case(AQ)has in fact declared war on the USA.
The German saboteurs were not considered soldiers under the rules of war.Had they been uniformed paratroopers they would have been simply POW’s entitled to decent treatment and no form of prosecution at all.
Iraqi army POW’s were never treated as terrorist outlaws.
Admittedly,it’s a tough question,and I’ve been at odds with close friends over this issue.

Jeff
Jeff
11 years ago

“Steven Brown is a traitor.He should be before a tribunal along with the terrorists he loves so much”
What a STUPID COMMENT !
Steve Brown is a traitor!
Steve Brown loves terrorists!
And Joe Bernstein can NOT comment without insulting someone.

steadman
steadman
11 years ago

Joe Bernstein- I never thought about the uniformed/un-uniformed distinction. I guess that happens when issues like this are politicized to the nth degree.
Jeff- Why try to simple pick an argument? You ignored the majority of Joe’s comment. I noticed this happened in a previous thread. You’ll make a comment against Joe, Joe will respond, you’ll avoid.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

jeff-I wasn’t insulting Steven Brown-that is my dead serious opinion.I have debated him on radio a few times.
Mr.Brown has done hisbest to help pedophiles evade restrictions.maybe you think tha is a good thing.I hope not though.
He also lies with relation to immigration issues.
He has a perverse admiration for those who would destroy this country.
And when,precisely, have I insulted you?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Steadman-jere’s an example of what I’m talking about-during Tet in 1968 an NVA Major wearing civilian clothes was apprehended after carrying out the murders of an ARVN officer and his family.Although he was a regualr soldier,his act of infiltrating in civvies exempted him from the right to be treated as a POW.General Loan,commander of the Vietnamese National Police executed the man on the spot.It was caught in a famous photo.General Loan was acting within the rules of war.These “rules” are derived from the Hague and Geneva Conventions.
The US Army summarily executed numerous German infiltrators during the Battle of the Bulge because they were dressed in civilian clothes or American uniforms.This was the correct action.It would have been a war crime to do the same to ordinary uniformed troops captured in battle.
The distinction isn’t mickey mouse.When one wears a uniform,he is a declared combatant,and therefore entitled to humane treatment if captured.I wish some of these ACLU turds were captured by terrorists.They’d quickly find out who they’d been carrying water for.
Hey Jeff-be sure to cherrypick which line of this comment you wish to rant about.

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