Is This Dangerous Precedent Intentional?

For more than 200 years we have enjoyed the presumption of innocence, double jeopardy protections, miranda rights, and American civil liberties.  It’s what separates us from foreign non-uniformed enemy combatants who violate the rules of war.  We are entitled to a trial with a jury of our peers.  We are entitled to protection against self incrimination.  There are laws and procedures that must be followed, warrants must be procured, and so on in order for the most obvious and damning evidence to be allowable.  Criminals go free sometimes, but because of that we have a legal system designed to protect the innocent above all.

In a move that can only be described as rash and perhaps emotionally driven, President Barack Obama decided to move Khalid Sheikh Mohamed’s trial to New York City and to make it a civilian trial.  In that one move, Obama granted constitutional rights to one of the most terrible terrorist masterminds of our time.  The only reason Khalid Sheikh Mohamed does not share the same infamy as Osama Bin Laden is that Bush caught Mohamed, but not Bin Laden.  In most cases, including 9/11, they stand accused of the same crimes.

What President Obama may or may not have realized is that the rights that we enjoy as American citizens under our constitution have been put all in for a game of chance played by twelve jurors and a judge.  Can a judge, under our constitution, allow evidence collected contrary to our laws?  Can a judge allow a non-mirandized, tortured convict to stand trial?  Can twelve impartial jurors be found in New York City where Mohamed murdered nearly three thousand Americans?

The answer is that Obama already knows the score.  In different statements made by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, KSM has already been declared guilty and given the death penalty.  Both have announced that he will be found guilty and executed, or he will be returned to a military prison and given a military trial.  For the first time, the presumption of innocence that Americans have enjoyed under our constitution has been made null and void by a sitting President who is charged with protecting and implementing our constitution.

You might be asking yourself, if the trial against KSM fails and he is sent back to a military prison to face a military trial, why didn’t we just do that in the first place?  Here is where my worst suspicions may be confirmed.

Rahm Emanuel once said that we shouldn’t waste a crisis.  It is an opportunity to fundamentally change our system, to do things we normally wouldn’t and destroy laws and traditions we have held dear for years.  Apparently the feeling in Washington is that we shouldn’t waste a tragedy either.  By putting this trial in a civilian court, we have the perfect bad guy that every American hates.  No American would cry if Khalid Sheikh Mohamed was denied certain rights such as the presumption of innocence.  No American in New York City is going to organize a “Free KSM” rally at the court house because he wasn’t read his rights or the evidence was collected as if it was some sort of military operation, not civilian police raid.

By making KSM public enemy number one and then giving him a constitutional civilian trial, Obama has created the perfect precedent to supersede the precedent of all of the constitutional rights previously mentioned.

We can only pray that this was nothing more than a bumbling act of complete incompetence.  But I would expect more from the former head of Harvard Law Review and constitutional scholar.


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