Friday, March 5, 2010

Hold the champagne on military tribunals...It's a head fake

The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama will reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in federal court:

President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.

The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some terrorism suspects in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States.

If Obama accepts the likely recommendation of his advisers, the White House may be able to secure from Congress the funding and legal authority it needs to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and replace it with a facility within the United States. The administration has failed to meet a self-imposed one-year deadline to close Guantanamo.
Andy McCarthy warns us not to celebrate the move, calling it a head fake:
The Washington Post article that Dan posted about last night is a head fake. President Obama is not caving on military commissions. He has already caved on them: He failed (thankfully) to abolish them, Congress enacted legislation endorsing them again in 2009, and the administration has already directed a commission trial for the Cole bombers.

The real agenda here is to close Gitmo. That’s the ball to keep your eye on. The Post is trying to soften the opposition to shuttering the detention camp by portraying beleaguered, reasonable Obama as making a great compromise that will exasperate the Left. The idea is to strengthen Sen. Lindsey Graham’s hand in seeking reciprocal compromise from our side.

This, however, is a matter of national security, not horse-trading over a highway bill. You don’t agree to do a stupid thing that endangers the country just because your opposition has magnanimously come off its insistence that you do two stupid things that endanger the country.

If a deal to grant military commissions in exchange for closing Gitmo happens, it is a major win for the Obama Left and an enormous loss for public safety.
McCarthy's insights are spot on.  Read the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. I hate head fakes! All kinds of fakes!

    ReplyDelete