KSM

Disingenuous Durbin; AG Eric Holder helps Senator mislead about KSM death penalty

When Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow 9/11 conspirators attempted to plead guilty, Army Colonel Steve Henley, the judge presiding over the pretrial hearing, canadian generic pharmacy was not sure if the Military Commissions Act allowed him to impose the death penalty. That was the reason KSM withdrew his offer. Henley asked for legal briefs from the parties yet the military commissions were shut down before he could rule and the resulting appeals to the D.C. Circuit could take place. Facts be damned, this has become a Democrat talking point.

During last Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, there was this exchange:

SENATOR RICHARD DURBIN: I want to make it clear that I am not creating or trying to cast any kind of negative impression about military commissions … Is it not true though that under the procedural rules of military commissions there are some limitations compared to Article III courts, for example, when it comes to capital offenses?

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Yes. In an Article III court, a person can plead guilty to a capital offense; that is not allowed in a military commission.

DURBIN: There would have to be, in fact, canadian pharmacies not requiring prescription some trial even if they wanted to plead guilty under those circumstances. [slide video to 1 hour 14 minutes]

Beyond disingenuous, former White House Counsel Greg Craig is quoted in the Harvard Law Review from an April 6 interview:

[Craig] also noted that support for military commissions is particularly surprising in light of the fact that they are not allowed to sentence detainees to capital punishment. “ over the counter sildenafil citrate If you care about capital punishment for KSM and these individuals, then you would support what Eric Holder recommended.”

The MCA authorizes the death penalty.

As Debra Burlingame points out, Congress could clear up any ambiguity by amending the statute. She adds:

“Why would anyone who supports an Article III capital plea vote against it? The defendant wants to plead guilty. Also, the plea allocution in military court is way, way more extensive than in civilian court. Remember Richard Reid’s famous plea allocution (where the judge famously said, “you’re no warrior”), that took less than an hour. Military court takes days. They get every little last detail on the record. The judge will ask KSM all the kinds of questions that would have formulated the evidence in a full prosecution at trial.”

The Obama administration unsuccessfully tried running this sham past her last year:

“When I was at the DOJ meeting with families last June, [a senior official on the DOJ’s Guantanamo Task Force] tried to tell families that KSM could not be executed with an MCA guilty plea and I called him on that misstatement. I said, wait a minute, that it was an ambiguous statute, the judge asked for briefs, and the case was suspended without an answer, but that Congress could cure the problem. [The senior official] was red-faced, and admitted I was right.”

The MCA says a judge in an military commission can make a finding of guilty without the panel voting:

“Sec. 949i. Pleas of the accused

“(a) Entry of Plea of Not Guilty.–If an accused in a military commission under this chapter after a plea of guilty sets up matter inconsistent with the plea, or if it appears that the accused has entered the plea of guilty through lack of understanding of its meaning and effect, or if the accused fails or refuses to plead, a plea of not guilty shall be entered in the record, and the military commission shall proceed as though the accused had pleaded not guilty.
“(b) Finding of Guilt After Guilty Plea.–With respect to any charge or specification to which a plea of guilty has been made by the accused in a military commission under this chapter and accepted by the military judge, a finding of guilty of the charge or specification may be entered immediately without a vote. The finding shall constitute the finding of the commission unless the plea of guilty is withdrawn prior to announcement of the sentence, in which event the proceedings shall continue as though the accused had pleaded not guilty.
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“Sec. 949m. Number of votes required

“(a) Conviction.–No person may be convicted by a military commission under this chapter of any offense, except as provided in section 949i(b) of this title or by concurrence of two-thirds of the members present at the time the vote is taken.
“(b) Sentences.–
(1) No person may be sentenced by a military commission to suffer death, except insofar as–
“(A) the penalty of death is expressly authorized under this chapter or the law of war for an offense of which the accused has been found guilty;
“(B) trial counsel expressly sought the penalty of death by filing an appropriate notice in advance of trial;
“(C) the accused is convicted of the offense by the concurrence of all the members present at the time the vote is taken; and
“(D) all the members present at the time the vote is taken concur in the sentence of death.

The MCA also says:

“No person may be sentenced to life imprisonment, or to confinement for more than 10 years, by a military commission under this chapter except by the concurrence of three-fourths of the members present at the time the vote is taken.”

It is reasonable to suggest that a judge can accept a guilty plea and impose those sentences without the concurrence by three-fourths of the panel.

It follows that a judge could also impose the death penalty for capital offenses subsequent to a guilty plea; there has been no ruling to the contrary and Holder and Durbin both know it. With no law on the books against their casting “negative impression[s] about military commissions,” they will go on misinforming until the American people vote them out of office (and off C-SPAN). It is punishment enough that Craig has been reduced to misinforming President Obama’s old newspaper.

AG Eric Holder inflated terror case convictions

One difference between the man now heading the Justice Department and most of those he touted as “hundreds of successful prosecutions for terrorism” is at least the latter paid some price for deceiving or endangering the American people. Friday’s document dump (first leaked to friendly media by the DOJ) is further evidence of what Attorney General Eric Holder previously withheld that refutes his public statements and prior testimony before Congress. Senator Jeff Sessions and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy summarize it correctly:

“The contention that the civilian criminal justice system is always an effective tool against terrorism, though wrong, is not a frivolous argument. But it is diminished when posited by unserious people — and the people running this Justice Department are embarrassing themselves. Finally today, after months of delay, DOJ officials released what they claim is the back-up for Attorney General Holder’s oft-repeated and outlandish claim that there are “hundreds” of convicted “terrorists” incarcerated in federal prisons, which “fact” supposedly shows that civilian justice processes are our best method of trying, convicting and securely detaining terrorists. buy generic cialis The Friday data dump is a joke. No wonder they waited til everyone was headed out of town to dump it.” — Andrew McCarthy

And:

“The information provided today confirms what Republicans have been saying all along — and removes perhaps the last remaining pillar underneath the Attorney General’s collapsing argument for the civilian trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. It is clear why the Attorney General was so reluctant to provide it. The Attorney General assured senators that KSM’s trial in New York City was ‘in the best interests of the American people in terms of safety.’ He justified that assertion by claiming that 300 terrorists were already safely convicted and in prison. In other words, the Attorney General was saying we’ve done this 300 times before and we can do it again. But we now know this is simply not true. The great majority of the terrorism cases cited by the Attorney General are in no way comparable to KSM’s case. Most of the convictions in this list are for far lesser offenses, such as document fraud and immigration violations, while only a small handful concern conduct even remotely similar to a mass-casualty terrorist attack. And none are on the level of KSM, who masterminded 9/11.” — Senator Jeff Sessions

Eric Holder claimed during his January 15, 2009 confirmation hearing to have learned while the DAG from his mistakes in the handling of the FALN and Marc Rich pardons. Obviously, he mostly learned he could make them with impunity and even bigger ones in furtherance of the political objectives of President Obama as the Attorney General of the United States.

Obama stuck with terror-stupid; including Biden saying waterboarding ‘didn’t work’

President Barack Obama has yet to make a “right decision” in the handling and prosecution of the deadliest Islamic radical terrorists captured on his and previous watches.

Obama says he has not made a final decision to move the 9/11 trial out of New York City but he indicates the trial and security costing a mere billion dollars from “his stash,” i.e. taxpayer dollars, will not be the deciding factor. Wherever it is held, Attorney General Eric Holder wants transparency. Apparently, Obama has finally found something he is willing to see C-SPAN conduct non-stop coverage of: the 9/11 trial. Do they still prefer a federal show trial? You betcha!

Meanwhile, Obama’s “intelligence” choir is singing the praises about a Bush 43 intelligence failure: Richard Reid being allowed to remain silent. They skip the verse about only the interrogations of other detainees led to Saajid Badat, his still shoe-bomb armed accomplice in England, ten months after Reid was sentenced. Nor do you hear that in response to Reid suing for his Special Administrative Measures (SAMS) to be lifted, Holder directed a filing be made that they would be allowed to expire on the same day he was touting them against Reid on the DOJ’s web site, June 9, 2009. [Editor — An emailer asked, “Is it possible the SAMS against Reid were lifted that day without his knowledge?” No. The Public Law requires the Attorney General’s approval of all SAMS actions.]

That is not the worst of it.

On November 18, 2009, Holder testified before the Senate that KSM and his co-conspirators would be held in New York City using those same SAMS and did not mention what was “coincidentally” happening in Denver. That same day, an Assistant U.S. Attorney entered Denver’s federal courthouse to tell a judge Reid’s SAMS had ended; Reid could talk to the press, was in general population, and is now communally praying 5-times a day with fellow jihadists in Supermax.

Obama got caught without a HIG-leaf when the Flight 253 bomber’s pants came down. We’ve since learned the decision-paper for creating High-Value Interrogation Groups was at the bottom of the administration’s in-boxes. Instead of ordering the aggressive interrogation of Abdulmuttalab, he was read his rights. Holder is negotiating with a terrorist, and with his lawyer present; Richard Reid is doing what Umar will not do — life.

“The HIG is up!” and running, we are now told. Yet the smart money says Eric Holder has directed they first offer those we have enough to bring to federal trial a sweetheart deal in return for their accomplices, followed by Miranda warnings, their mommies, and negotiations. No, McGruff the Crime Dog licking the faces of cooperating jihadists will not be on the table as that would be “torture.”

John Brennan told a Muslim group yesterday that a 20% recidivism rate among the Gitmo detainees Bush 43 released, “Isn’t bad.” When the choir sang harmony this morning — “Bush did it. Bush did it. Bush did it.” — they forget to chime in with Obama’s first release, Jose Padilla’s accomplice, the also dirty-bomb trained Binyam Mohamed. The two were arrested en route to opening up the gas mains beneath any suitable, fully occupied apartment building they could find in the U.S. They were to ignite an explosion that was to cause the building to collapse. It was to be like the World Trade Center towers, only without the planes.

This morning on Face the Nation Vice President Biden was asked if the administration could ever envision using enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically waterboarding as was used on KSM. Biden flatly replied, “No.” He paused and then added, “Because it didn’t work.”

Oh, no, Joe — it worked on the three of them. In fact, it worked the best when it was used the most; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gave up to interrogators “50 percent of what we know about al Qaeda” and “conducted graduate level seminars” on their methods and operations only after he was waterboarded 183 times.

President Obama is stuck with the terror-stupid.

Reporter-at-large Jane Mayer conducted a series of recent interviews of Eric Holder for a lengthy piece just published in the New Yorker magazine. Near the end, she reports this:

“Late last month, at home, in Northwest Washington, Holder addressed those who have suggested that he and Obama are too weak to take on terrorism. “This macho bravado—that’s the kind of thing that leads you into wars that should not be fought, that history is not kind to,” he said. “The quest for justice, despite what your contemporaries might think, that’s toughness. The ability to subject yourself to the kind of criticism I’m getting now, for something I think is right? That’s tough.””

Tough? Perhaps. But is criminalizing the war the smartest way to protect the American people?