In KSM Trial, Politics—Not Precedent—Rules
by Guy Rodgers, Executive Director
Criticism and outrage continues to grow over Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) in a criminal court in New York. Joining the chorus of criticism is the former Chairman of the 9/11 Commission (see story below).
Last week, a “teachable moment” (to quote President Obama) occurred when Mr. Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator Lindsey Graham asked Mr. Holder if he could cite one prior case where an enemy combatant the likes of KSM had been tried in a criminal court.
Watch Mr. Holder’s response:
You would think he would have researched this prior to making his decision. You would think there was some precedent to justify this outrageous decision. You would think he would have been prepared to answer such an obvious question.
Instead, Holder stammered, hemmed and hawed. This was the proverbial “deer caught in the headlights” moment. Holder could only muster a tepid response that he would “have to look at that.” (In other words, he hadn’t!)
Senator Graham stepped in and informed Mr. Holder that there is not a single case precedent for the decision to try Mohammed in a criminal court.
What’s more, Sen. Graham proceeded to ask Holder if he would try Osama bin Laden in a criminal court. Holder’s response was to evade and dodge giving a definitive answer.
There is no legal or logical justification for Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in criminal court. So what is driving it?
The only answer I can conclude is the Obama administration’s political agenda. They want to “show the world” that we can conduct this case in a criminal court (a sentiment echoed by many Democrats on the Judiciary Committee during Holder’s appearance).
This begs the question: Why are we putting what the world thinks ahead of what’s in our national interest?
They are also playing to the politically correct, blame-America-first crowd that is quick to find fault with anything America does while excusing and rationalizing the cruelty and brutality of our enemies.
In other words, Holder’s decision was not based on legal precedent, sound legal reasoning, good policy, or what’s good for the country.
It was based on politics.