Wotka World Wide

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Charles Krauthammer: Travesty in New York. A devastating critique of trying the 9/11 mastermind in New York City.

[I]t will endanger U.S. security. Civilian courts with broad rights of cross-examination and discovery give terrorists access to crucial information about intelligence sources and methods.

That's precisely what happened during the civilian New York trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. The prosecution was forced to turn over to the defense a list of 200 unindicted co-conspirators, including the name Osama bin Laden. "Within 10 days, a copy of that list reached bin Laden in Khartoum," wrote former attorney general Michael Mukasey, the presiding judge at that trial, "letting him know that his connection to that case had been discovered."

Finally, there's the moral logic. It's not as if Holder opposes military commissions on principle. On the same day he sent KSM to a civilian trial in New York, Holder announcedhe was sending Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, (accused) mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole, to a military tribunal.

There really is no good rationale for proceeding in this fashion with such a trial. And the damage to our intelligence capabilities doesn't even seem to enter the Administration's calculus.

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