15 April 2010

AG speaks

Better than nothing?

Still another couple weeks to figure out where to set a trial for KSM. Politics is a head scratcher. If I were in NYC, I'd be itching to be first in line at the damn trial. Instead there's a bunch of political figures who seem terrified of what he might say (or somehow, do) and throwing out outrageous figures of what we supposedly would need to "keep Americans safe", figures topping out at close a billion dollars. I'm confused. What exactly do they think he can do? Or his buddies overseas? Anything costing over a couple million dollars to run the trial, provide evidence and counsel, and (presumably) obtain a legal conviction seems like posturing. It isn't like we have witnesses to relocate or some such here and the guy, so far as we know, intends to plead guilty anyway. Just get that over with already.

The bigger question still on the table is what happens to the folks they're intending to keep in a legal limbo as "dangerous terrorists", or so we're told. Perhaps they are exactly as we are told and, very likely, we did things to them or to others to obtain this information that isn't admissible in courts (ie, torture). It isn't a question of whether these are lovable characters who are somehow innocent when the government claims their guilt. I think we can accept that most if not all who are left are guilty of something heinous or dangerous. The question is the precedent they set as being detained without trial or charge indefinitely. That does not seem like a healthy power to provide authorities with, with no check upon it such that accused persons might challenge their status or even view evidence of their supposed crimes. America has a history with this sort of thing. It usually ends rather poorly for the people who seek to obtain these powers, which is to our credit.

But it doesn't speak well of us that it keeps coming back up.
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