#KSM & #WH Hand-wringing

More White House hand-wringing over where to try KSM (Kahlid Sheik Mohammed). See this article at Politico and my response below.

With all due respect,I don’t understand why the President and the AG have to be in a ‘conundrum’. For such a great communicator, the WH has one terrible communications strategy. Why don’t they get out ahead of the partisan divide forcefully, saying exactly what their reasons are – and there are very good ones – for trying KSM and others in civilian courts? The least of those reasons are: we retain our American principles which garners enormous positive benefits diplomatically and politically and we will likely get a conviction (civilian terrorist trials have an extremely successful record, while military tribunals or commissions have only succeeded in three cases). The NY AGs and prosecutors are very experienced & knowledgeable about these cases.

Our principles and Constitution – over which some of us are shouting f**got, N**ger and so on at our representatives (ahem) – demand that we try terrorists in civilian courts. If, under the Bush/Cheney understanding of the Constitution, everyone can be classified as an ‘enemy combatant’ then how can we say that any of us deserve to be treated fairly, humanely and in accordance with our laws? And we can’t. Just get a look at the No-fly list.

Of course people will disagree. Hello? How we conduct ourselves on this issue is one of the defining issues of our time. The question is not how can we come to a consensus. Wrong issue, wrong strategy. No, the question is: how do we want to define ourselves?

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~ by Thom on March 28, 2010.

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