ACLU Wants Terrorists to Beat the Rap


ACRU Staff


November 16, 2009

The ACLU has applauded the decision of President Obama to move the planners of the 9/11 attacks from military tribunals into ordinary criminal court in New York City. One of the many bad consequences of this decision is that the defendants’ confessions will never be heard by the jury. The ACLU has helped organize the lawyers who are trying to get the defendants off in any way possible, including on a technicality.

Some of he facts for this article, and some of the legal conclusions, come from an article on 13 November, 2009, on Frontpage,com by David Horowitz, entitled “The Worst Decision by a US President in History.” The title alone makes clear that Mr. Horowitz sharply opposes President Obama’s decision to have alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad and his confederates tried in federal court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal.

The ACLU, and its ally, the pro-Castro, Center for Constitutional Rights, have praised Obama’s decision as “presenting American justice to the world.” Since the ACLU is sponsoring the lawyers who are seeking to get the Gitmo prisoners off without a guilty finding by any means possible, this praise may be considered hypocritical.

Mr. Horowitz’ article has a plethora of hyperlinks to additional information, but since some readers might consider him a biased source, we will take this one small step at a time. Any lawyer who is a member of the bar, and has an admissions certificate on which the ink is dry, would know or be able to look up with a few computer clicks, the following points:

First: the constitutional guarantee of “a speedy trial” applies in ordinary criminal court; it does not apply in a military tribunal, Under existing Supreme Court cases, a delay of five years from the arrest of the defendant to the bringing of charges, is clearly excessive. There is already another trial in which the terrorist/defendant has filed a motion to dismiss all charges on this ground, as soon as he got into a standard criminal court. If the minor defendant beats the rap on this technicality in the other case, it would probably mean that all charges would be dismissed against Khalid Sheik Mohammad and his cohorts on the same technicality.

Second: In criminal court, but not in a tribunal, the defense can force the government either to reveal the methods of intelligence gathering, or drop the charges. There are already several instances of people charged with espionage, caught red-handed with secret documents, who walked out of court free as a bird because the government wanted to protect its intelligence efforts in time of war. The same may happen, here.

Third: All the defendants have confessed. But the jury will never hear those confessions because of how those confessions were obtained. In a military tribunal, those confessions would be admissible. Worse than that, in the military tribunal at Gitmo, all the defendants announced their intention to plead guilty, in return for the opportunity to make statements about justified jihad in court. Obama stopped that process in its tracks by presidential order.

Fourth: Criminal defendants are entitled to a “jury of their peers.” Anyone want to bet that ACLU-supported lawyers won’t claim that such a jury must include some Muslims on the jury? And if so, what are the odds that at least one juror will hold out for “not guilty,” or at least for “no death penalty” if there is a conviction? Neither of those would apply in a tribunal, where the judge and the jury is a panel of nine US military officers.

Fifth: There is a unanimous Supreme Court decision, Ex Parte Quiirin, from 1942 which held that it was constitutional to try Nazi bombers who entered the US from submarines, before a military tribunal, not a criminal court trial under the constraints of the Bill of Rights. This is a short decision, written in plain English, that even laymen can read and understand. And it has been affirmed in recent years as good law, by the current Supreme Court.

Somewhere in the bowels of the “Justice” Department there is a memo written by career lawyers, reciting all of these points. But the business of Attorney General Holder is to do what the boss commands, no matter of whether that outcome is moral, legal, or constitutional.

All that this decision demonstrates is that the US can display itself as both cowardly and stupid to its enemies. And that display WILL cause additional deaths of American soldiers, and civilians. The only way this dead wrong and deadly decision by Obama can be stopped is if Congress votes to defund it. Otherwise, this will occur and there is a significant chance that the defendants who have already confessed in detail, will walk free out of a courtroom just blocks from the scene of the mass murder.

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