McCain/Lieberman Submit Legislation to Legalize POLICE STATE in America

Editorial:  The K.S.M. Files
Published: April 14, 2010

McCain/Lieberman Submit Legislation to Legalize POLICE STATE in America.

Watching Attorney General Eric Holder struggle on Wednesday to answer senators’ questions about the detention and trial of terrorism suspects made us nostalgic for the old days — back in 2009 — when the United States was making progress toward cleaning up the mess President George W. Bush made with his detention policies.

The Pentagon was working on closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The flawed military tribunals were improved, at least a little. And the Justice Department announced that the accused mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, would be tried in federal court.

All of that has stopped — because of Republican fear-mongering, administration blundering and Democratic not-in-my-backyardism. And unless President Obama grabs hold, things could get far worse.

Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman have a bill that would require the military detention and trial of anyone accused of any terrorism-related crime, including American citizens. That is the stuff of police states.

So the White House has been talking to Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former military prosecutor and a rare sensible voice on that side of the aisle. He supports closing Guantánamo and moving the prisoners to a federal prison. He wants to preserve the role of federal courts — specifically for cases like the would-be Christmas Day bomber, who was arrested for trying to attack civilians; for American citizens; and for foreigners charged with supporting terrorist groups financially.

In return, he wants Mr. Obama to try Mr. Mohammed in a military court and back his proposal to create a new court system for suspected terrorists. It would permanently embed in law detention powers that a president properly has only in time of war.

Even if the White House loses on the Mohammed trial because of its poisonous politics, President Obama has to insist on maintaining the long proven system of trying terrorism cases in federal court. People captured in battle may, of course, be held as military prisoners.

There are close to 200 Guantánamo inmates. Some should be released, and some should be tried in federal or military courts. The administration says 48 are a danger but cannot be tried because the evidence is too thin or fatally tainted by abuse and torture.

Mr. Bush created that problem, and it needs to be fixed. But the bigger question is how this nation will deal with terrorism suspects in the future.

The Justice and Defense Departments properly declared last year that the presumption will be that suspected terrorists will be tried in federal courts, which have handled hundreds of these cases. Mr. Holder then announced the Mohammed trial would be in New York.

Unfortunately, Mr. Holder failed to lock in the support of New York’s mayor or police chief or its Congressional delegation. Mayor Michael Bloomberg protested about security and inconvenience, and Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Jerrold Nadler jumped on board.

While Mr. Holder blew the politics, he was right about the policy. Apart from the principle, the military tribunals don’t have the experience, rules or qualified lawyers for such a case. Although Mr. Holder said on Wednesday that a federal trial for Mr. Mohammed is still possible, the poisonous politics, on display at the hearing, make that a remote possibility. If the administration insists on it, Republican lawmakers will seek to bar the use of federal funds for terrorism trials and timorous Democrats will go along.

Trying Mr. Mohammed in a military court is at least explainable by the attack on the Pentagon. But Mr. Obama should not “reconsider” the prosecutorial code and remove the presumption of federal jurisdiction over acts of terrorism. That would continue the unjust system that has made other countries reluctant to turn prisoners over to the United States, elevates criminals to the status of warrior and serves as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda.

He's innocent and Obama knows it

They can't try him in a federal court because he is innocent and they are all perfectly well aware of this. He therefore stands a pretty good chance of getting off the charges. This would be a disaster for Obama, because KSM is scapegoat patsy number one for 911 and setting him free could cause all sorts of problems. He must be found guilty and this requires a phony court like a military tribunal in which everything can be nicely rigged in the government's favour.

All talk of how a "Federal court trial" is what Obama really wants for KSM is pure smokescreen. Obama does not give two hoots about KSM so long as he is found guilty by whatever means possible. He might even pretend he wants a fair trial for KSM and then "give in" at the last minute - surprise, surprise - and allow him to go to a military tribunal, but the entire thing is pretence from start to finish.

This whole thing is not, and never has been, about justice. It is about having a good show so everyone can pat themselves on the back for catching and punishing the nasty terrorist, and then go back to the next episode of their favourite TV program so the nice government can carry on with implementing its fascist agenda.

Legal vs Lawful

They can 'legalize' anything but that does not make it lawful. My suggestion is that everyone learn the difference. They can make the first amendment illegal, but they can not make it unlawful. It is self-evident, inherent, unalienable... Learn the difference folks. This is required learning; otherwise, you will continue to be slaves to the system that has been built around you. The courts are not there for your protection. Attorneys and lawyers work for the private club called The Bar, then their next loyalty is to the courts. The job of attorneys and lawyers is to turn you over to the mercy of the courts.

You must learn that you have standing where the courts do not.

With you in the struggle,