I know it’s Erick Erickson, so I shouldn’t really expect much, but still, this causes tremors in my cerebellum:
Today Barack Obama is going to announce that the terrorist mastermind of September 11th, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be sent to New York City for a criminal trial in a civilian court.
In that trial, the terrorist will get all the rights afforded an American citizen in a criminal trial, including the right to a fair trial, the right to a taxpayer funded attorney, the right to review all the evidence against him, potentially including classified intelligence matters, the right to exclude evidence against him including, potentially, any confession obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques, etc.
At best, this will be a show trial fit not for the American Republic, but a third world kleptocratic totalitarian regime. At worse, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will gain access to classified material he can then leak to other terrorists while New York yet again becomes a target for terrorists.* We have already had occasions in this country where terrorists’ sympathetic lawyers have conveyed information, orders, and plans to other terrorists.
First of all, the actual best case scenario would be a fairish trial that leads to a conviction with a nice interminable sentence in the clinky. And it’s not beyond the bounds of imagination that we could get something close to that (with the glaring caveat being that whole prior torture thingy, which the court will kind of have to pretend never happened – bygones and all that).
That obvious point aside, I wanted to focus on the bizarre concern about the proceedings devolving into a show trial. The guy is ostensibly concerned that such a show trial would betray American ideals, besmirch our good image and put us in the company of “kleptocratic** totalitarian regimes.” But his solution is…indefinite detention without any form of trial, complete with as much torture as we’re inclined to dish out.
Which totally wouldn’t stain our image, trample on our supposed principles and cause us to resemble despotic regimes.
*What does he mean “again”? Was there some consensus amongst terrorists that New York had immunity after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks?
**Of what signficance is “kleptocratic” in that sentence. Are kleptocratic totalitarian regimes known for their penchant for show trials above other totalitarian regimes? Why?)