By Mr. Quarter
Try as I might, I cannot understand the logic or rationale of the Obama Department of Justice in bringing Khaled Sheikh Mohammad (KSM for short) and four of his Al Qaida cohorts to New York City for a civil criminal trial. These persons are enemy combatants, and under laws passed by the United States Congress and vetted by the U.S. Supreme Court, should rightfully be tried by military tribunals.
I have listened to the arguments both for and against. So far, the sole argument in favor of this decision seems to be that, unlike many of the criminals incarcerated at Gitmo, since KSM was actually apprehended off of the battle field in Pakistan, he is not an enemy combatant. However that would appear to be offset by the fact that he committed an act of war. Were not Japanese and German officers and civil authorities apprehended after WWII off of the field of battle? Were they not then tried by military tribunals?
The arguments against this decision are manifold and I will not repeat them here. They are so obvious as to beg the question, “What were they thinking?” The benefits? To redeem our stature as a nation before the European media? I think the strategy, and there is a strategy, is much more than merely a show for the world.
No, I think this was strictly a political decision by Obama. Perhaps it is a clever one, but maybe not. These trials will not begin until well into 2010 if not 2011, and by all accounts will likely last for several years. In other words, they will begin around the same time as the campaigns for the 2012 presidential elections launch. All through the campaign season, the American people will be bombarded through the media and distracted on a daily basis with the details of the trials. And what will these details be? That America itself, the Bush Administration, and CIA in particular are actually the entities on trial. The modus operandi of Obama is, has been, and will continue to be "We're not responsible, we're just cleaning up the mess." So, the campaign message continues: “BLAME BUSH.”
This strategy serves a number of objectives. It feeds Obama’s ultra liberal base a continuous bone for over 2 years preceding the elections, diminishing America and its methods for fighting against Islamic terrorists. It keeps the “BLAME BUSH” theme in front of the electorate for the entire election cycle. The Obama Administration will need the voters distracted and focused away from what is shaping up as the likely key issue of that election - the economy. Yes, most forecasts project unemployment over 10% and bad economic performance well into 2011, if not beyond. Best of all, it allows Obama to appear above it all and lets him continue to deny responsibility for the conduct of his own administration. Very clever.
Maybe Obama is too clever by half. Maybe the American electorate isn’t as stupid as he thinks. Maybe they will get pissed off that these terrorists are getting the forum that they wanted and turning a serious and solemn proceeding into a circus. Maybe Americans will die because jihadi terrorists will attack NYC to try and disrupt or even free KSM and his cohorts. Maybe KSM and his buddies will get lawyered up with the ACLU and the rest of the America haters, and start looking like they might be acquitted on some legal technicality. How do you think the voters will react to that, Mr. Obama?