Mr. Holder’s Justice Department goes one for 285 in a major terrorism trial. Bush’s fault; enhanced interrogation methods. Dozens of commentaries warned of this outcome. Legal expertise not required, common sense and the ability to consider what could possibly go wrong was all that was required. It went wrong!
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey called the trial “a less-than-satisfactory outcome to what I think was a very unwise and dangerous gambit”. (PBS)
The current class of Justice Department lawyers worked hard to make enhanced interrogation an issue and kill the Military Commission process; these folks populate Holder’s Justice Department. Many worked for the 34 of Americas largest 50 law firms that blanketed Gitmo detainees to the point of gross overrepresentation according to 2nd Circuit, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs. They are significant in position and numbers, they guide policy, they determine legal strategy.
Prior to the 2008 election, the current class wanted Bush lawyers disbarred for their legal opinions on enhanced interrogation. One has to wonder; did they fight the good fight in this case or cave in to prove a point at the expense of national security, legal precedent and efficacy?
Mr. Holder has proven a number of points, unfortunately for him nearly none of what he intended. The civilian system failed, it only takes one juror. He has proven that there are serious flaws in holding what is inherently a war related situation to civilian standards. He has proven that he cannot handle the issue as evidenced by this trial. Ahmed Ghailani saw 284 charges associated with the East Africa bombings dismissed; despite prosecutions of his associates under the Bush Administration. Mr. Holder delivered a message here; the message being that if you observe the rules of war you will be treated less well than if you do not!
Trials of the three top detainees, led by KSM, in civilian courts will generate results or at least the jeopardy similar to the Ghailani trial; information provided under duress and the associated “fruit of the poison tree” evidence will be discarded. The detainees know it, we know it, the military knows it; the Obama administration does not know it, near as we can tell.
It appears Eric Holder’s Justice Department is short on adult supervision. Shall we, based on the record, trust Mr. Holder’s mission to “prove” the efficacy of the U.S. legal system to the international community, or rely on senior grade executives (Officers) from America’s most respected institution?
Mr. Holder is intent on using civil terror trials to “prove” to the world that American civil justice can handle the issue. According to Mr. McCarthy the case was cherry picked to make the point about the effectiveness of civilian trials. Among the consistent predictions of what could go wrong was the illogic of having to give up sensitive sources and methods to convict and then suffer the pains of an enemy, which we are trying to defeat, benefiting from the process of a civilian trial, therefore making it easier to kill Americans; Catch 22 anyone?