Friday, November 13, 2009

Holder, Gitmo Detainees, The DOJ, and the Conflicts of Interest



The news broke today that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and three others will be transfered to American soil to stand trial in downtown Manhattan.  Only a few short blocks from ground zero. 

I am believer in our justice system, even though it is not perfect.  What I am not a believer in, is treating terrorists like they are common criminals.  What these men did was an act of war.  The fears that many had of the pre 9/11 mindset has come to pass with this decision. 

One of the most distrubing and rarely spoken about issues in this case is the fact that 5 of out the top 10 people at The Department of Justice have ethical and legal problems making these decisions.  Including Attorney General Holder himself.  The law firm Covington & Burling handled cases of 17 detainees. the sole purpose of the law firm's involvement was to get them out of Gitmo. This is where Holder worked.  Holder brought in people from his firm after taking over the justice department.  The rules governing how lawyers must behave are very clear.  Holder cannot be involved in these cases.  He has an obvious conflict of interest.  Another person, Jennifer Daskal, formerly worked at Human Rights Watch.  An organization that was working hard at freeing the men being held at Gitmo. 

So the question becomes who is making these decisions?  That is a question that must be answered by the justice department and the president. The families of the victims of 9/11 have the right to know.  

11 comments:

Opus #6 said...

Excellent point. They should excuse themselves from these proceedings. I sure wish the dems didn't have super majorities. I am so sick of them being answerable to no one.

brando said...

What you are not a believer in, is treating terrorists like they are common criminals? So, conservative girl, what would you have done with Timothy McVeigh?

Albeit McVeigh was a homegrown terrorist, but a terrorist nonetheless, don't you think? And of course he wasn’t a radical Islamisist, but he did have a comparable radical ideology, a militant right wing anti-governmental one.

So what would you suggest? And why is that our criminal justice system, while it seemed be up to the job of handling McVeigh, can’t handle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his entourage?

Just a conservative girl said...

Brando:
It is you that doesn't think. Comparing McVeigh and KSM is simply stupid. McVeigh was not picked up in foreign country. Putting McVeigh on trial had zero chance of putting our intelligence sources in jeopardy. The OKC bombing was a handful of people. KSM is part of an entire movement that is hell bent on killing Americans and consider themselves at war with us.

On top of the fact you are missing the entire point of the post. This post is about the attorney general and half of his top staff being exempt from these decisions. Who is it that are making these choices? We have the right to know.

9/11 was an act of war. A military tribunal is where this belongs. It would be handled with the discretion that is necessary to protect the sources that will keep this country safe from another attack.

Rational Nation USA said...

I, for one, am getting a headache. Having been in management most of my life, and many of those years in executive management, it is clear, at least to this mind, that the President and CEO of the United States of America is the responsible party.

Now for some wine and cheese.

brando said...

I was not suggesting that you don't think, just that your thinking is unthought-out. A quality, I might add, which was the hallmark of the W years and the rank incompetence that governed so many things, but especially of foreign policy and strategies toward fighting terrorism. A quality indicative of a politics that declared anybody who questioned the wisdom of, for example, invading Iraq as unpatriotic.

As for your belief that KSM el al should have been handled by military tribunals, GW Bush thought this too. But perhaps you recall Hamdan v. Rumsfeld? This was where the Supreme Court ruled that the administration's military commissions at Guantanamo Bay were not “competent tribunals” as constituted and thus illegal. Get that: not competent. As in not too clearly thought out.

That’s what I’m getting at. Fighting a “war on terrorism” is a slogan, not a real strategy for fighting terrorism. I wish conservatives would smarten up about these sorts of things. As for our criminal justice system, I have full faith that it can handle the likes of KSM and his cronies, just like it did with McVeigh, a domestic terrorist.

Just a conservative girl said...

I wish people like you would get it through your head that KSM doesn't deserve constitutional rights. That is something liberals obviously don't get if you are comparing KSM to McVeigh. McVeigh was an American citizen. It was his birth right to avail himself to the constitution and all the rights that entails. KSM has no such rights, until he is brought to American soil. He is a war criminal. As far as the Hamdan case goes the congress made the necessary changes to fulfill the requirements that SCOTUS said were necessary. The problem then became people like Holder and his law firm that stopped the tribunales. Had it not been for that firm, this would more than likely be done already.

You continue to blame Bush for everything that has gone wrong. Sooner or later you are going to have to admit a few things. One being that Obama is keeping many of the policies in place. Maybe that is because it isn't black and white. Now that he is President and has access to all the information he has changed course on some of his campaign rhetoric. Obama pounded the fact that Gitmo needed to be closed during the campaign. He signed something within days of taking office. It won't be closed in January. It is more complicated.

Let me guess, you are one of the people that think we can just all get together and be like the coke commercial and teach the world to sing. They are not interested. They just want us dead.

Opus #6 said...

JACG, great responses to comments. I have been educated by you again. Lovely is your purity of thought.

brando said...

Yeah, that's right, i'm a hippie. How many hippies do you know that sell defense equipment to Brazil, Pakistan, Canada, Turkey and South Korea?

My essential point is that your willingness to take a dump on the Rule of Law under the moniker of the "War on Terrorism" basically undermines our efforts to fight terrorism. That is the stench of the turd that GW Bush left for us. You seem to think that stench smells like flowers. I think it smells like crap.

Anonymous said...

JACG,
Your comments are straight on. This issue is a no brainer. The pentagon, which is a military installation, was attacked. Therefore, those men should be tried by the military. Thanks for the information about the, now, Department of "Un"Justice. Not surprised.

Fredd said...

Everyone in this current administration, AG Holder included, has a different mindset about good and evil. Conservatives believe in both, draw distinct lines between them and define each using moral standards.

Liberals believe that there is room for middle ground here. They don't believe in moral standards, because someone has to establish them, and that someone would be God. Since liberals do not believe in God, there goes all standards. Evil to them is a matter of opinion, and that opinion can be valid because nothing to them is either black or white, right or wrong, good or evil.

Considering Khalid Sheik Mohammed himself wants to be considered a soldier (SoA), and accordingly wants execution, it is indeed strange that this administration is discarding his wishes and statements, and instead acting in his 'best interests' and putting him into our civilian system. Holder and the gang insist that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Even though they insist they are guilty. Yes, I am getting awfully tired of these guys, too, JACG. Treating enemy soldiers like U.S. citizens and common criminals makes no sense.

brando said...

Fredd, your thinking here leaves much to be desired. First of all, just because someone has a liberal political view doesn't necessarily mean they don't believe in god. Some do and some don't.

Same goes for conservatives. Some believe in god, some don't. Have you ever heard of Ayn Rand? She was a prominent conservative who was also an avowed atheist. So your point really unravels from the get-go.

And just because someone believes in "god", how exactly does that provide a firm ground for understanding the difference between Good and Evil? All kinds of evil things have been done in the name of God including, for example, the 9/11 attacks, and Slavery, and the Inquisition etc.

There is a good reason why our legal system is not based on your view or anyone else’s view of Good and Evil. And for why our constitution establishes a separation between Church and State.

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