“I have a lot more faith in the American criminal justice system than I do in Saudi Arabia’s “art therapy” program.”
-Charles Johnson.

I would add, sadly, “not by terribly much”.

12 comments to Quotable

  • RW

    I have more faith in the US military than I do either.

  • Obama’s assured us any terrorists facing our Criminal Justice system will face conviction. I’d say that makes a travesty of our Criminal Justice Systems. These guys are combatants, not Criminals, and belong in detention for the duration. Not Art Therapy programs in SA, or Criminal Courts in the US, but detained until Bin Laden issues the Fatwa of Surrender. Oddly, they may get sooner then if convicted in show trials and sent to super max.

  • RW, I have a certain amount of faith in the military to execute military operations. Running prisons & courts isn’t really their gig.

  • RW

    I trust a 19 year old Marine to ascertain what happened on the field of battle more than a lawyer or anything to do with Saudi Arabia. Of course, I trust someone on the street corner offering to sell their Rolex more than I trust a lawyer or Saudi Arabia, but….

  • Military Tribunals Smijer, to deterine if Enemy Combatants still belligerents; not criminal trials. The criminal trials will be shames. Obama and Holder have confirmed that by telling us these guys will be convicted; and if not convicted held anyways and not released. The Military Tribunal system was working, the court had approved it, and the only problem was it was releasing suspects who were still belligerents and went back to Yemen and trained others to attack us.

    What Obama and Holder are doing with the courts though is a mockery. It’s a far greater threat to our civil liberities than Military Tribunals because it makes the criminal justice systme do something it’s not supposed to do: detain combatants at war against the United States.

  • RW, there’s not much of anyone I trust to tell me “what happened” on a field of battle apart from who won and lost and how many casualties… I don’t know how much that matters, though… I doubt that the jokers in question here were picked up on a field of battle.

    And, of course, lawyers, judges & juries are not tasked with reporting what happened, but with taking those reports and deciding how he law applies to them.

    Bill – back when “enemy combatant” meant “enemy combatant”, and we had rules for dealing with them, and trying them or repatriating them upon the end of hostilities, I would have agreed with you.

    Now that it means “anyone held in a military prison for any reason”… and now that the automatic sentence is life in prison with possible torture or death at the hands of an interrogator, I no longer agree with you.

  • @Smijer

    “Enemy Combatant” a pretty new term. It defines combatants NOT covered by the Geneva Conventions…otherwise these guys would be POWs. They’re not held for any reason. All of the folks in Gitmo are held for a reason, and a good many of them are held for the reason their home country’s don’t want them, or would simply shot them, so we are stuck with them and have to balance releasing them vs the odds they will return to fight.

    The job of the Military Tribunals is to decide those risks. If there are war crimes, a Military Tribunal can adjudicate those… but these guys aren’t criminals and don’t belong in a criminal justice system.

  • I didn’t say no reason…. I said “any reason”. You are right that “enemy combatant” is a newly official designation. What I can’t figure is what a person can get caught doing, apart from engaging in combat or terrorism… which used to earn them a status of pow or criminal terrorist… That only qualifies them for the legal and human rights limbo of “enemy combatant”. That goes especially for those not taken in battle, and for whom insuffichient evidence can be corraled to accuse them of criminal acts of terrorism.

  • The shoe bomber is the reason we have to take off our shoes when we decide to take a commercial flight. What I worry most about now is what is going to happen now that one of the great threats to western civilization has managed to set his dick on fire while in a plane.

    And “enemy combatant” is a pretty all encompassing designation. It is safer to just join the military. At least then you have a uniform and Geneva Convention protections.

  • RW

    What I worry most about now is what is going to happen now that one of the great threats to western civilization has managed to set his dick on fire while in a plane.

    The incarnation of that and similar phrases (usually something like “okay, so someone set his underwear on fire”) sure is being used a lot in relation with – my opinion only – attempts to ‘oh pish-posh’ the situation and relegate it into something more similar to simple battery or tresspassing than a coordinated terrorist attack (which, thankfully, went awry). There have been too many instances for me to chalk it up as just a mere coincidence; is there really some effort underway to Obermann-ize this (“those wingnuts are just trying to use fear, SIR”)? When literally dozens of people start using the same sorts of phrases within a relatively short period of time, my spidey senses go off.

    It is safer to just join the military. At least then you have a uniform and Geneva Convention protections.

    Very true. But, if there was a country called Al Qaedia, we’d have bombed it to smithereens and the problem would no longer exist. The term enemy combatant has a definition. One may argue over its composition and scope, but it is definitive. They’re not being picked up off the streets of Bakersfield, so we’re not erring on the side of them being mere jaywalkers. I’ve had conversations with my nephew (two tours, escaped a suicide bomber’s attack by wearing a security jacked while on base, otherwise he’d be dead) and he noted repeatedly that he could walk down a street in Iraq wearing his uniform and KNOW which people (he didn’t use the term ‘people’, but I’ll keep the epithets down) were soon going to be the ones who aimed RPG’s in his direction in the future. I’d hope that we’d have ways to sort out those definitely picked up under false pretenses (80 year old women prolly aren’t involved, but another guess), but the best way to stay away from Gitmo is to NOT be a 22 year old muslim with ties to radical mosques and who gets caught in a known hideout for plotters & have a room of your hut filled with AK-47′s while you’re claiming that your an innocent & poverty stricken victim of US imperialism who just accidentally fell in line with some ‘other guys’ who were shooting at our soldiers. That would be a start & we can go forward from there.

    Hopefully, this new administration can chart a new way of weeding out the innocent (all 7 or 8 of them) from the bad. President Obama has nothing stopping him from redefining “Enemy combatant”. Then again, he has nothing stopping him from doing a darn thing, given his majorities in congress. Interesting….

    Side note: it is rather precious to see the folks (not here) who demanded that we shut down the torture chamber known as Gitmo & release the innocents now blaming Bush for doing EXACTLY what they demand he do, now that some of them have been caught going back to the ME and doing EXACTLY what some pro-Gitmo people predicted they’d do. Heads my side is wrong, tails my side is wrong. The expiration date for proclamations in certain quarters have once again run out.

  • RW

    Scouts honor, I’d written that comment before I clicked on the “This was brilliant” link in the eye boogers; yep, definite talking point.

  • [i]What I can’t figure is what a person can get caught doing, apart from engaging in combat or terrorism… which used to earn them a status of pow or criminal terrorist…[/i]

    Being OBL’s driver. Aiding and abetting enemy combatants. The programmers working on the Jihadi websites. Anyone supporting the Jihadi War effort and doing so outside the laws-of-war e.g. out-of-uniform is a combatant fighting outside the bounds. It’s the Military Tribunals job to sort out status as combatant or not. Mistakenly picked up or not… the whole reason the Geneva convention puts the requirement for uniformst is to strictly and obviously seperate combatants from non-combatants. Uniforms protect the non-combatants from mistakenly getting shot or detained. Without the uniforms, we either let combatant and non-combatant alike go… or have a Military Tribunal to sort out who is detained, and who is not. These aren’t decisions of crimes either; crimes the Prez and Attorney Gen say will be coviceted in courts or if found not-guilty, just arrested again and held. That’s a profound pervision of Justice. That’s war conducted by sham courts under perverted justice.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>