November 18, 2009

Another occasion for the "Obama is like Nixon" tag.

Politico reports:
“I don't think it will be offensive at all when [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is] convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

When Todd asked Obama if he was interfering in the trial process by declaring that Mohammed will be executed, Obama, a former constitutional law professor, insisted that he wasn’t trying to dictate the result.

“What I said was, people will not be offended if that's the outcome. I'm not pre-judging, I'm not going to be in that courtroom, that's the job of prosecutors, the judge and the jury,” Obama said. “What I'm absolutely clear about is that I have complete confidence in the American people and our legal traditions and the prosecutors, the tough prosecutors from New York who specialize in terrorism."
Journey back to 1970:
Nixon Calls Manson Guilty, Later Withdraws Remark; Refers to Coast Murder Trial in Talk in Denver, Then Says in Washington He Didn't Mean to Prejudge Case
...

President Nixon asserted today that Charles Manson, a hippie cultist now on trial in California, "was guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason."

But, faced with criticism that he had prejudged the outcome of the Manson trial, Mr. Nixon issued a statement ... saying that "the last thing I would do is prejudice the legal rights of any person, in any circumstances."
***

Googling, I saw that this isn't the first time someone has compared something Obama did to the old Nixon/Manson screwup. Back in July, the comparison was made after Obama said the "police acted stupidly" in arresting Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

From that July article:
Robert Dallek, a presidential historian, said in an interview that Nixon’s comments, while seemingly a gaffe, reinforced his stance in the prevailing cultural wars and seemed calculated. “He was playing to the whole idea that conservatives stand for law and order and Democrats were permissive and indulgent toward criminals,” Mr. Dallek said.
So, what do you think?

When Obama said KSM will be convicted and executed, what was he doing?

Making a gaffe.

Trying to send the message that he's tough on terrorism.




  

pollcode.com free polls

74 comments:

PatCA said...

Maybe O will shoot KSM himself. That would really convince us how tough he is.

Der Hahn said...

Those answers aren't mutually exclusive.

Triangle Man said...

Why can't it be both, just like Nixon?

holdfast said...

Can't you add more options:

"being an ass, as always"

"Unable to think things through without the TOTUS"

"Too inexperienced to be president"

Pastafarian said...

I assume that some hold has been put on what could have been an immediate, summary execution of an illegal combatant captured out of uniform, with no trial; and that, had Obama actually wanted KSM to be executed, he could have accomplished this by merely removing this hold.

Am I wrong?

m00se said...

Could you please remember to include an option for "He's a moron"?

Floydster said...

What lame choices in your "poll."

You should add:

c) Stating the obvious. (Just in case you have readers beyond the ring-wing fringe.)

d) Ruining the world and disgracing America. (The obvious choice for your "community" of commenters)

Meade said...

Oba-malicious

Gerda said...

Gaffe, as in boner. Obama may be hoping it's seen as the other kind, however

ricpic said...

I'm confident that Obama is with his people, the Mus...er, American people.

bwebster said...

Can't I vote both?

1jpb said...

"Can't you add more options: "

Yes, I strongly believe that all blog polls should have a 'pie' entry.

Myself, I like this option as a way of indicating that the poll's author is being dopey, because the question or allowed answers are inadequate, poorly considered, or dumb. That is, I think of 'pie' as a protest vote.

Of course others may consider that 'pie' means something else. Perhaps they think of it as a friendly vote for non of the above.

The important thing is that 'pie' should be included as an blog-poll option, imho.

LarsPorsena said...

Can I vote "Present"?

Henry said...

Off-topic for KSM but on-topic for Nixon, I have a question.

Why does Obama always look like a tourist in the foreign affairs pictures?

He's wandering about China in his leather jacket like he's on study abroad. Get a suit on, Mr. President.

This is for the "Obama is not like Nixon" tag.

former law student said...

Because saying this would have made him sound like a moronic pussy:

“I don't think it will be offensive at all if [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is] convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Obama's confident that Holder has enough admissible evidence to prove the case, resulting in the frying of KSM

1jpb said...

"Obama's confident that Holder has enough admissible evidence to prove the case, resulting in the frying of KSM"

NO, what you don't understand is that the conservative Althouse folks know more about this than BHO or Holder. Duh.

They must sleep in a Holiday Inn Express every night.

traditionalguy said...

As usual Obama is trying to look like a President with good ideas, while under the table he is setting up another lingering crisis for no reason except to Alinsky the entire American system one more time. Bush carefully avoided this trap that Obama and his America haters want to see us thrown back into so that we suffer attempting to do the impossible: to fight a war against dedicated Moslem Armies of suicide bombers/pilots while we must pretend that we are required by our system to solve criminal cases in a civilian courts. Remember Obama is also still telling us to pretend that Major Hasan was a victim of hearing war stories; and that Major Hasan therefore has a good mental illness defense in a civilian court. When Obama has a choice of doing a good thing to help America win this war, then he will chose to have us do the the bad choice that best impales us upon our own high ideals. Then media Political analysts quickly tell us that "His left wing base made him do it". That is more BS. Obama IS his left wing base.

AllenS said...

“I don't think it will be offensive at all if [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is] convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

In other words, there's a possibility he won't be convicted, and therefore, doesn't have to be executed.

Bissage said...

Every young assistant District Attorney, fresh out of law school, has felt the heady rush of cockiness that comes while trying your first big case.

Maybe President Obama is just in the steep part of the learning curve.

Maybe all he needs is some time to get used to it all.

David said...

I would have voted "both."

Want more proof that Obama is one strange dude?

The President and Mrs. Obama met this week with his half brother and his wife in Beijing.

Length of meeting? Five minutes!

I know it's a busy trip, but doesn't Obama have more curiosity than this? Isn't he interested enough in someone who is his brother to spend more than five minutes? Doesn't he think he might learn something about China from a blood relative who lives there and his Chinese wife?

Next up for Obama: a guest spot on "V." Is he or is he not a lizard?

c3 said...

Should I expect better from a "constitutional law professor"?

edutcher said...

Where's the Wishful Thinking selection?

Consider all the left-wing judges on the Federal bench, also consider all the hot-shot lefties who want to defend this animal (Dream Team?). How could this possibly end up in anything but a guilty verdict with a death sentence?

The only way to be sure KSM's found guilty is to have SEIU and ANSWER lean on judge, jury, and attorneys

AllenS said...

When I think about Obama and Holder, I can't help but hope that KSM gets off, and then walks out into the streets of NYC, a free man, and is then beaten to death by common citizens.

Cedarford said...

Generally, any comparison of Obama to Nixon is an insult of Nixon.

***Nixon, if you look, didn't bow to Mao. What he did was face the translator, and nod deeply to acknowledge a compliment Mao made to Nixon or America or "World Peace" as it was translated.

The whole China visit was choreographed, and Nixon was working off a list and a timeline of things he wanted to get checked off each day. Not a flunky. He is also seen checking his watch at media events staged for the press, like the obligatory Great Wall visit and the then de rigeur attendence of foreign dignitaries to the People's Liberation Army opera.

Some fascinating histories have been written on the China visit. What really went on behind the scenes. Not just what NIxon and Kissinger said but all the people that had prepped the stage. The Chinese players, even the Soviets who were then shitting bricks over Nixon's Great Triangulation Strategy.****
=====================
Maggie - Nixon deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts

I don't think anyone, even Obama himself, would argue that Obama deserved the award more than the Prize Nixon never got.

Visit to China
Detente with Russia
Unilateral end of Germ Warfare and start of the NPT being enacted globally.
Same with Nixon's unilateral ban on nerve gas and other chemical warfare.
Creation of the all-volunteer professional military, which lessened likelihood of war.
Forced peace in the ME. No wars of "all Arabs" against Israel for 36 years after 4 general wars in 25 years from 1948-73.
Forced Peace on the Vietnam conflict and got the POWs home by bombing the snot out of the N Vietnamese who later admitted they were hopefully planning on stalling another 5 years - but for the B-52s.
Detente and human rights forced the Soviets to play a game where the Red Army and missiles were not as important as competing economically. And that was a game Nixon knew they would eventually lose.
1st SALT. (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) Nixon completed what Dems started.
Domestically, stabilized America after the race riots and implimented 90% of school desegregation.

--------------
Nixon know that the EuroLeft and the progressive Jews and Old Fellow travellers in US media and academia would never, ever let the McCarthyite bastard who persecuted noble Alger Hiss and 8 innocent Jews get any award for Peace.

He wrote in his later books that WWII had forced him to confront his Quaker pacifism and seek it's greater goals through NECESSARY confrontation of "evil" with force as a precondition for true peace. Which required rejecting pure pacifism to squarely confront threats to America and "western civilization". Even if that meant bombing, even if that meant supporting an anti-communist despot..who was going to serve overall global strategy better by contronting the greater evil (communism) than just cede the ground to the communists because the despot was not "morally pure enough" to work with.
Nixon, in his books, as well as his "Tanya" speech to the Soviet People...said he worked tirelessly for a better, safer world, and knew Russians and others in the Empire wanted the same things for theselves and their kids. Nixon thought of himself as a Peacemaker. That was his role, that is what he thought his destiny was as a Quaker....who also had many flaws that obscured what he was really trying to do. And demonized him.

He left it to history to judge.

Besides his books and deeds, he also left in his Will that his grave epitaph serve as a little reminder - that did not celebrate his accomplishments directly or note his shaming and his defeats - but posed a question for others to decide, as time goes by, about what he hoped would be his true legacy:

"The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker."

former law student said...

Isn't he interested enough in someone who is his brother to spend more than five minutes?

If you didn't grow up with him, he's not really your brother. Besides, Obama brothers have been popping out of the woodwork. Either Pop Obama was the Wilt Chamberlain of Kenya, or some of these claims of kinship are meritless.

former law student said...

In other words, there's a possibility he won't be convicted, and therefore, doesn't have to be executed.

Right. Rather than open that can of worms, Obama decided to show confidence by saying "when." Which apparently opens a different can of worms, hopefully with fewer worms wriggling out.

AllenS said...

"Which apparently opens a different can of worms, hopefully with fewer worms wriggling out."

Hopefully and change. Ya, you betcha!

Adele Mundy said...

I think you need an "Obama is like Charles Manson" tag.

Adele Mundy said...

He is in charge of a cult. And he will be responsible for a lot of people getting killed.

Big Mike said...

Other choices that should have been included in the poll:

(c) Both of the above

(d) Nonwithstanding his position as a law professor, he doesn't "get" how the American legal system works.

(e) All of the above

Hoosier Daddy said...

When I think about Obama and Holder, I can't help but hope that KSM gets off, and then walks out into the streets of NYC, a free man, and is then beaten to death by common citizens

Fletcher: Damn you, Senator. You promised me those men would be decently treated.

Senator Lane: They were decently treated. They were decently fed and then they were decently shot.

The Outlaw Josey Wales, 1976

k*thy said...

Doh! Walked right into the the classic MSM presidential trial gotcha: damned for being soft on crime if you don't prejudge the outcome, damned for prejudging the outcome if you do.

Synova said...

I pick the third option.

It was not a gaffe.

It was not trying to send a message he was tough on terrorism.

What it *was* was Obama's attempt to pretend that neither the trial nor a conviction NOR an execution will make New York City a target for retaliation.

Obama is taking some heat for the stupid and, according to such people as Giuliani, an outright dangerous risk with the safety of New York.

edutcher said...

Cedarford said...

Generally, any comparison of Obama to Nixon is an insult of Nixon.

Excellent point. Say what you will about his flaws, even the Demos had to admit he was the only one who could have gone to China and made it stick. He was the best foreign policy guy of his time.

Mimi said...

Re: The brother

(paraphrasing someone else):

Like any good narcissist, Obama approximates what he thinks are normal (or praisworthy) human emotions to meet the given situation.

He usually gets it almost right. Which makes him the closest thing to a human.

Btw, on second thought, this applies to the KSM declaration as well - its a 'close to human' approximation of what someone might say (like Bush's 'dead or alive', the difference being that Obama is approximating humanity, where Bush was just being (fallibly) human.

Oh, yes - while you are busy approximating what you think human emotions should be, the other half of your brain still has space to work out all of the calculating agendas - they exist simultaneously.

.

Henry said...

Rev. Mr. LaSalle: Just how do you intend to dispense this law?
Judge Roy Bean: With this
[gun]
Judge Roy Bean: and a rope.


* * *

Lily Langtry: [Lily notices her portrait behind the bar] Is that a bullet hole through my heart?
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: Yes it is, ma'am. They was wild men in those days.
Lily Langtry: Who did it?
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: Snake River Rufus Krile did that, I believe.
Lily Langtry: What became of him?
Tector Crites (Jackson gang: Judge shot him. Dead. Dead, dead. Then he fined him for some other crimes. And then later we hanged him.
Lily Langtry: Most appropriate.

* * *

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

Meade said...

edutcher said...
Cedarford said...

Generally, any comparison of Obama to Nixon is an insult of Nixon.

Excellent point. Say what you will about his flaws, even the Demos had to admit he was the only one who could have gone to China and made it stick. He was the best foreign policy guy of his time.


That really is an excellent point. And it would behoove Obama to learn from Nixon. Nixon did not dither over the war he inherited from the malicious incompetent LBJ. Even before getting elected, Nixon came up with a plan that ended up working.

Until he watergated himself in the foot.

Erich said...

This poll question is beyond my pay grade.

VegasGuy said...

Obama was not a constitutional law "professor". To the extent that he taught law classes, they were all slanted toward race. To the extent that he practiced law, his limited experience involved racial issues. He is entirely capable of extemporaneously placing large foot in mouth when it comes to criminal law.

miller said...

The funny thing here (in a Schadenfreude kind of way) is that MC President has no options.

If he continues with this idiocy of an open trial of enemy combatants, he loses the 2012 election because he tainted the entire jury pool with his "they're guilty & will be executed" remark.

If he reverses himself and puts them back at Guiltmo, then he shows the world he is a wuss & he loses the 2012 election.

Bottom line for America: not good.

ic said...

3rd choice:
Overcompensating with bravado to ungaffe his KSM gaffe.

4th:
Showing fear of the possibility that KSM will be found not guilty.

David Pinto said...

During the 2004 presidential campaign, NPR played a representative stump speech from each of the various candidates. I remembering listening to Kerry's and being upset that he said that if he were president, all the Enron defendants would be in jail by now. I thought to myself at that time, "Do I want a president who doesn't believe in innocent until proven guilty?" As a former prosecutor, Kerry should have known that complicated cases like that can take time.

1jpb said...

Hoosier,

You have something in common w/ Jeremy--assuming you liked that movie. I noticed that it was listed in Jeremy's profile as one of his favorites.

Kansas City said...

What has always bothered me about Obama is the ease with which he lies about what he previously said. Here, he obviously knew he did not say "if" in his statement 30 seconds ago, yet he blithely claims that is what he said. Most politicians would say something like, "what I meant to say," but Obama never bothers to say that - he just lies about what he previously said.

It is hard to understand. I think it might reflect the fact that he has been treated with kid gloves his whole life and feels he can get away with it. He obviously has concluded that he can get away with it.

I think we are seeing a president slowly unravel in front of our eyes, because at some point, the media will no longer be able to successfully cover up for him.

victoria said...

Maybe i am crazy but i still, after listening to a whole lot of blah blah blah, don' understand why it is a bad idea to try KSM in American courts in NYC. It's not like he is going to escape and end up on the street or he is going to mesmerize all of us and we will just release him. It is good for the world to see that we are not barbarians and that justice will be done. Game, set, match.


You people are nuts if you think these people (the inhabitants of Gitmo) are any worse than the criminal population in the prisons now, filled with the muslim radicals and drug dealers. I'd rather have them on my soil where I can watch them than elsewhere. Keep you friends close and enemies even closer. Duh.

Closing GITMO is a good thing, couldn't come soon enough for my taste. Then get out of Iraq and Afghanistan pronto.


Cut Obama some slack, the way you talk about him he is the reincarnation of the devil. Rather have him than idiot Bush and the devil himself Cheney in the White House. What are your alternatives? Palin, Gingrich, Romney? Please, incompetents all. Palin couldn't govern her way out of a paper bag having governed a state with less than 1 million people. What do we call that in California, 1/10 of Los Angeles county. Quitter. Gingrich, philanderer and loser, Romney: when he ran for the Republican nomination the longer he ran, the fewer votes he got. Basically an unlikeable, insincere, liar. A man of the people? Please, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and is about as elitist as they come, in thought and action. Get better candidates and you MAY have a chance.

Don't count on Obama self destructing, if that is your home you are delusional.

Idiots.


Vicki from Pasadena

victoria said...

oh and BTW, this kerfuffle over the bowing is just bull. Plenty of Presidents have bowed before leaders, are we to give no respect to anyone except Americans? Dudes, find something more substantive.


Vicki from Pasadena

Skookum John said...

@fls: "If you didn't grow up with him, he's not really your brother. "

Say what you will, but if I found out I had a half brother in another country and happened to be visiting there, I would at the very least invite him for dinner.

Five minutes? The guy is an honest to God weirdo sociopath.

Synova said...

"oh and BTW, this kerfuffle over the bowing is just bull."

I'm not comfortable hearing it either. It's just embarrassing in that classical "ugly American" rube on vacation sort of way.

"Plenty of Presidents have bowed before leaders,"

Who? Clinton dipped and got soundly criticized for the slight incline. Nixon nodded agreement to something or other. One of the Bushes got a ribbon put around his neck. People have been scouring the internet for clips of US Presidents bowing. Obama has done so twice, and doubled down on the second time.

Michelle was closer to correct when she embraced the Queen.

"are we to give no respect to anyone except Americans?"

Hunching over and looking at your shoes is respectful? Blatantly misunderstanding a foreign culture is respecting it?

"Dudes, find something more substantive."

Honduras.
Iran.
Afghanistan.
Government Motors.
Honduras.
Poland.
Russia.
Cap-n-Trade.
Health Reform power grab.
Honduras.
Job creation, or lack of.
An ever worse economy.
Honduras.

Plus he bowed to the Emperor of Japan like a bent and crippled servant forbidden from looking at his master's face.

Synova said...

Oh, and looks like we're subsidizing the drilling for oil off the coast of Brazil and *still* preventing exploration and drilling in our own waters and our own territories.

In all likelihood we'll create more real jobs in Brazil than in the United States where we're hearing reports that the real jobs created by the stimulus is pretty much zero.

And I'm not counting jobs in Brazil created by Rio winning the Olympics.

Synova said...

"Maybe i am crazy but i still, after listening to a whole lot of blah blah blah, don' understand why it is a bad idea to try KSM in American courts in NYC."

One of the tools taught to improve listening skills is to reiterate the position of those you are listening to.

Blah, blah, blah?

Can you articulate the opposing opinion? What are the objections to trying KSM in a civilian courtroom as opposed to a military or war tribunal? You don't have to agree with them, simply state them. What are the objections to trying KSM in New York?

If you've been listening, you should know.

Personally... I think a fair trial is impossible and his lawyers are going to get him off... probably *should* get him off.

Or is a "fixed" trial with the proper trappings and noises all it takes to fend of accusations of barbarism?

Almost Ali said...

Too obvious: Obama announced that [the] conviction is a forgone conclusion.

Which means he's either a genuine prophet, or that he's ready and able to subvert the law, first by nullifying due process.

MrBuddwing said...

One detail about the Nixon-Manson imbroglio that seems to have gotten lost here: Manson, in the courtroom, held up a newspaper with the headline "Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares." A bailiff grabbed the paper, but not before the jury got a chance to see it. The judge, Charles Older, ended up ruling that the jury's impartiality had not been compromised, and refused to declare a mistrial.

Paddy O. said...

"Couldn't govern her way out of a paper bag... What do we call that in California?"

Our state legislature?

JAL said...

Interesting Nixon post C4.

Thanks.

wv pingwgze
On the Asiana Buffet line
Really.

JAL said...

@ David:
The President and Mrs. Obama met this week with his half brother and his wife in Beijing.

Length of meeting? Five minutes!

I know it's a busy trip, but doesn't Obama have more curiosity than this? Isn't he interested enough in someone who is his brother to spend more than five minutes? Doesn't he think he might learn something about China from a blood relative who lives there and his Chinese wife?


When you know everything, the local color isn't important.

Besides, brother David and his wife are HUGE fans and are ecstatic that they met. For five minutes. Actually, David has met BHO twice before -- he came to the inauguration and they met in Texas once.

Next up for Obama: a guest spot on "V." Is he or is he not a lizard?

Heh.

JAL said...

lizard

PatCA said...

"Maybe all he needs is some time to get used to it all."

Let's hope he does get used to it, bissage. This is his first job with any leadership responsibility, after all. No more voting "present."

David said...

former law student said...

"If you didn't grow up with him, he's not really your brother."

Of course he's Obama's brother. Obama invited the guy to his inauguration, where he did not talk to him either. If he's not Obama's brother, why did he get 5 minutes? Win a lottery?

It's great that you defend Obama, FLS. I do sometimes too. But why make yourself sound like a moronic putz in doing so?

victoria said...

Well, Synova, as far as I am concerned the reasons given by the righties for not having the trials in NYC are blah, blah blah. We will be no less safe, the moslems will not have a stranglehold on us and convert all the New Yorkers to do a jihad on NYC and they are not going to get free of their captors and take over the Chrysler Building. I believe the Chinese government has already done that during the Bush Administration. Its silly to think any bad can come of this. Only in your demented, right wing minds.


i guess the handholding that Bushie did doesn't count. Bowing worse than hand holding. Good to know. Have seen pictures of Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford bowing to leaders. Reagan never did because it was not in his script to do so. And, if it wasn't in his script, he didn't do it.



Vicki from Pasadena

victoria said...

and BTW, all the places and things that you mentioned were screw-ups perpetrated by the Bush Administration that we have had to try to dig our way out of.

Vicki from Pas.

Dewave said...

Victoria, did you just unironically deploy the "Everything that's wrong is the fault of Bush and we're just trying SO HARD to clean up his mess!" canard?

You know the shelf life on that particular excuse ran out months ago, right?

I can see it now, it's going to be 2011, Obama's policies will have wrought ever increasing harm to our economy, and made an every more glorious shambles of our diplomatic efforts, and he'll still be blaming everything on Bush.

Democrats will have controlled congress by half a decade, at that point.

former law student said...

But why make yourself sound like a moronic putz in doing so?

Why should anyone fawn over a distant relative? Happening to share a father who fucked around a lot does not make a lifelong bond. Imagine, for the sake of argument, if one of your dad's bastard children called you up and proceeded to act all buddy-buddy. "Hi, you don't know me, but your dad used to screw my mom. Wanna hang out?" How would you respond?

for me, I would say, palinesquely, "Thanks but no thanks."

Kev said...

He is in charge of a cult. And he will be responsible for a lot of people getting killed.

So this needs an "Obama is like Jim Jones" tag, then?

The Drill SGT said...

LOL,

And you leftists make fun of Military Justice.

You would not find the dumbest GCM Convening Authoriity stupid enough to prejudice the Court, or indicate that they were not able of confirming the verdict without bias, but the "smartest President evah", a Constitutional Scholar is caught saying, `No, no!' said the Queen. `Sentence first--verdict afterwards.'

Richard Fagin said...

When President Obama orders B-52s to firebomb Tehran non-stop during Ramadan, and keep up the bombing until the mullahs come begging to the bargaining table, THEN I'll believe he's really like Nixon. Otherwise he's just another creep with an enemies list.

omnivorous monkey said...

The truly disturbing aspect of holding this trial in a civil criminal court is one I saw mentioned by Shannon Love. We know one thing for certain: he will not be acquitted and set free, no way.

That leaves two possibilities. Either he is acquitted and and we gin up some reason to retry him or simply hold him without further court proceedings. Or, he is convicted on the basis of evidence which has never before been accepted in a US civilian criminal court.

Either way if/when the conviction or subsequent retrial / indefinite detention are upheld on appeal (as they almost certainly will be), we will have created a strong legal precedent for such heretofore unconstitutional powers to be used in all criminal prosecutions. This change won't just go away on it's own. I dread to see the US civilian legal system accept forced confessions and illegally obtained evidence. Hello police state, so long rule of law.

This can all be avoided by using a military tribunal where he can be convicted and shot like a dog. All the while we can retain traditional safeguards to our civil liberties (such as they are today) intact in our domestic criminal law.

I have to wonder if this scenario is considered a bug or a feature by the administration. They may be an arrogant bunch of pricks, but let's be honest. You don't get to set up shop in the white house by being stupid.

Almost Ali said...

You have the right to remain silent:

The following exchange started with Graham stumping Holder with a question one would have thought the attorney general would have been prepared for:

GRAHAM: Can you give me a case in United States history where a (sic) enemy combatant caught on a battlefield was tried in civilian court?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: I don't know. I'd have to look at that. I think that, you know, the determination I've made --

SEN. GRAHAM: We're making history here, Mr. Attorney General. I'll answer it for you. The answer is no.

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, I think --

SEN. GRAHAM: The Ghailani case -- he was indicted for the Cole bombing before 9/11. And I didn't object to it going into federal court. But I'm telling you right now. We're making history and we're making bad history. And let me tell you why.

If bin Laden were caught tomorrow, would it be the position of this administration that he would be brought to justice?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: He would certainly be brought to justice, absolutely.

SEN. GRAHAM: Where would you try him?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, we'd go through our protocol. And we'd make the determination about where he should appropriately be tried.

SEN. GRAHAM: Would you try him -- why would you take him someplace different than KSM?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, that might be the case. I don't know. I'm not --

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, let --

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: I'd have to look at all of the evidence, all of the --

SEN. GRAHAM: Well --

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: He's been indicted. He's been indicted already. (Off mike.)

SEN. GRAHAM: Does it matter if you -- if you use the law enforcement theory or the enemy combatant theory, in terms of how the case would be handled?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, I mean, bin Laden is an interesting case in that he's already been indicted in federal court.

SEN. GRAHAM: Right.

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: We have cases against him. (Off mike.)

SEN. GRAHAM: Right, well, where would -- where would you put him?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: It would depend on how -- a variety of factors.

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, let me ask you this. Okay, let me ask you this. Let's say we capture him tomorrow. When does custodial interrogation begin in his case?

If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Again I'm not -- that all depends. I mean, the notion that we --

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, it does not depend. If you're going to prosecute anybody in civilian court, our law is clear that the moment custodial interrogation occurs the defendant, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a lawyer and to be informed of their right to remain silent.

Gary Rosen said...

It's not surprising you are a "former" law student. According to you it's not prejudicing the jury for the fucking *POTUS* to declare the outcome of the trial before it even starts.

Maggie said...

Obama will never be remembered in the same way as Nixon will be in the future. It has taken a lot of time to be able to look back and discover Nixon's achievements. Perhaps I had forgotten all of the good things that he did. Someone made a great list of his real achievements. The fact is that these world tours for Obama have achieved nothing, except make him a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Now, I do not know if I ever heard about the remark concerning the Manson trial. A statement like that can prejudice the outcome and Nixon got caught making a remark that could have turned that case into a mistrial.

It is a very stupid error.

Now, I do wish that people would stop calling a mere part-time law lecturer, who taught on community organizing a law professor. He did not hold a tenured position. He was never a professor.... sigh....

Maggie said...

BTW, I did see a post today from someone who pointed out a real case from the 1930s regarding some Nazis who were sent to the USA to sabotage the railway lines etc. One of them was an American. He was tried in a military court. I think the name was something like Haupt? So there is a precedent and it goes against Holder.

My interest in this is due to the fact that several Australians were killed in the WTC and also on the flights that were commandeered by the terrorists.

former law student said...

According to you it's not prejudicing the jury for the fucking *POTUS* to declare the outcome of the trial before it even starts.

Obama predicted the outcome, he did not ordain the outcome.

Again, Nixon said Manson was guilty -- that was prejudicial because it stated an opinion regarding Manson's guilt or innocence. Obama said KSM [will be] convicted (actually x will not happen when KSM is convicted) -- that was making a prediction about the outcome of the trial. Chuck Todd should have asked how much Obama was willing to bet.

But Obama backpedaled and made his statement seem conditional. And perhaps it could be. "When our ship comes in, we're going to Paris." "When we hit the Superlotto, we'll buy a bigger house."

former law student said...

So there is a precedent and it goes against Holder.

Quirin says we may try saboteurs (members of a force belonging to a country with which we are at war, who are not wearing uniforms) in a military tribunal, not that we must.

miller said...

"But Obama backpedaled and made his statement seem conditional. And perhaps it could be. "

Well, yeah, that will work for the prosecution when they explain that the headline "Obama declares KSM guilty" didn't really mean that - he meant it more in a conditional, it-might-be-true-if-the-jury-decides kind of way.

Yeah. That won't be grounds for dismissal or appeal.

You have MC President and his aide-de-camp Holder declaring that the results are foreordained and that KSM won't be released -- and this end-run around what people think of as a "trial" doesn't seem to be a problem.

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