A risky setting for NYC trial of 9/11 suspectsWell, at least it didn't say "anything short of slam-dunk convictions will empower the terrorists"!
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer
Sat Nov 14, 2009
WASHINGTON – In a move both politically and legally risky, the Obama administration plans to put on trial the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and four alleged accomplices in a lower Manhattan courthouse.
Trying the men in civilian court will bar evidence obtained under duress and complicate a case where anything short of slam-dunk convictions will empower President Barack Obama's critics.
Why is the setting "risky" - the very first word in the attention-grabbing headline?
Well, Mr. Barrett does try to make a case for the adjective:
"The venue for the biggest trial in the age of terrorism means prosecutors must balance difficult issues such as rough treatment of detainees and sensitive intelligence-gathering with the Justice Department's desire to prove that the federal courts are able to handle terrorism cases."Okay - prosecutors have to overcome W's insistence on so-called "harsh interrogation" (aka, "torture"). Well, yeah - that might be tricky. But ANY legitimate legal proceeding - no matter where - would be faced with the same dilemma. Even SCOTUS has been skeptical regarding the legitimacy of the military tribunal system.
Just a question: what's a "slam-dunk" conviction, and how can it be distinguished from a regular, run-of-the-mill conviction?
The descriptor is meaningless, but suggests - with no supporting argument - that prosecutors will be under extra pressure... you know, beyond just prosecuting the terrorists allegedly responsible for 9/11.
But, seriously: the opinion that anything short of "slam-dunk convictions" will empower Obama's critics is just that - an opinion... held primarily by GOPers!
(If the author is suggesting that his opinion is a fact, it'd be nice if he could provide, you know, evidence... or at least a supporting argument - not simply make the assertion and walk away.)
And just how does trying the men in civilian court "complicate" the cases???
If anything, it should simplify them: well-established procedures in place, no questionable ad hoc procedural rulings, well-understood law... all these argue in favor of civilian courts and against the cobbled-together military tribunals.
Ah, yes: this is the Associate Press! - handmaiden of the GOP.