WASHINGTON – Accused Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is likely to be executed after being tried and convicted, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday.
Gibbs spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The Obama administration has begun looking for places other than the heart of New York City to prosecute Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in the face of fierce criticism tied to security and costs.
Here’s video of Gibbs’ remarks to a surprisingly and refreshingly aggressive John King on CNN:
Bbbbut what about the whole “fair trial” thing the administration has been pushing since the news that KSM will be tried on American soil first broke? I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I actually find myself (mostly) agreeing with something written at the ultra-liberal Firedoglake blog by Democrat attorney Cynthia Kouril:
More STUPID, STUPID, STUPID
White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs just said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) would likely be executed after trial and conviction. WTF?!?
Am I the only person left who still remembers a legal concept called presumption of innocence? Am I the only one who remembers that the whole point of a trial is that the outcome is not certain?
Listen Gibbs, do NOT insult the prosecutors who are about to work their asses off trying to put together a winning criminal case. Do NOT insult the hardworking defense counsel who are going to put thousands of hours into making sure that KSM gets due process. Do NOT insult the excellent federal judges of SDNY by suggesting that any one of them would preside over a kangaroo court. Do NOT insult our entire criminal justice system.
In a real trial, the outcome is not known before the trial occurs. Further, much of the information in the hands of the government which will be used at trial against KSM should currently be Grand Jury Material, subject to secrecy under Rule 6e. Which means that you, Robert Gibbs, cannot legally know exactly what that evidence might be. So, how could you possibly know if KSM is going to be convicted? How do you know that?
Then again, this isn’t and never was going to be a “real trial” to begin with: AG Eric Holder has already admitted, without even realizing it, that the “fair trial” angle was a complete farce.
Ms. Kouril likely wants KSM to get a true fair trial in a civilian court with due process and all that, while I think he should be tried in a military tribunal in Gitmo because he is not an American citizen who should be afforded any Constitutional “rights.” Not only that, but he’s a confessed terrorist who has already boastfully admitted his guilt. But even with those differences in her beliefs and mine, she’s dead on on one thing: No one in the administration should be pre-determining anyone’s guilt before a trial has been conducted, especially when they’re routinely preaching about the “fairness of the US justice system” and how the legal process must “run its course.”
When even liberals start to see through the joke that is the rationale for the Obama’s/Holder’s decision to try admitted terrorists in civilian court on US soil, you know the administration is in trouble. They’ve already backed down on having the trial in NYC, but will they back down, also, on trying KSM on American soil at all? Gibbs hedged when asked about that by John King, but I seriously doubt they will – in spite of rumors to the contrary. They’ve got too much already invested in trying to “show the world that the American justice system can be fair even to terrorists” to turn back now. Not only that, but there’s also the whole putting the Bush admin on trial by proxy thing, which they wouldn’t give up for anything – not even in the interests of our national security.
The only question is: When will the rest of the world start waking up, too, to see that the KSM trial will be nothing but a pathetic show trial that will aid Al Qaeda more than it will “repair” our standing with European elites? Or will they remain as clueless as this administration has been? Clueless and, I should add, dangerous.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.