Circus Circus

by digby

Republican strategis Cheri Jacobs said on MSNBC that the KSM trial will be a "referendum on torture." If only. Evidently, she was riffing on her piece this morning in The Hill in which she compared KSM to OJ Simpson and accused the Obama administration of having the trials in NYC in order to get a liberal jury to acquit Khalid Sheik Mohammed because they hate Bush and are trying to distract from their failed presidency:

Obama will retread his “blame Bush” message to shift attention from his own failures. We will be implored to feel sympathy for al Qaeda after dramatic testimony of terrorists undergoing enhanced interrogation techniques. What we won’t hear are the far more horrific details of the deaths of thousands of Americans killed on Sept. 11, 2001. And, sadly, an American defense attorney will object to descriptions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed putting his sword to the throat of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl, slicing open his neck and beheading him, leaving his pregnant wife widowed and his unborn son fatherless. An American judge may be compelled to sustain the objection.

War crimes are uniquely brutal. They require a unique form of justice. Obama and Holder have confidence in war commissions for some terrorists, but not for others. Why? Is Obama preparing to exploit the deaths of 3,000 Americans killed by an act of war in order to score politically with yet more “anti-Bush” campaign camouflage? For a juror, will a guilty vote on an al Qaeda terrorist who was waterboarded seem like support for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney — and a vote against Obama?

We are at war. Holder acknowledged that fact at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow enemy combatants are war criminals, yet Obama and Holder have decided these terrorists are more like O.J. than Osama. Remember what happened to justice by a jury of peers with O.J. Simpson.
I don't think Sarah Palin could have made a worse argument. But nevermind --- in the 24 -addled minds of wingnuts, their violent bloody fantasies are all fact and should be recognized in any court of law as a form of "truth" beyond a reasonable doubt. Pornographic violence shall set you free. OJ and Osama, a tainted jury of Obama worshippers. All we need is Oprah and the wingnuts would pass out from the biggest "O" of their lifetime.

I'm beginning to wonder if this was a good idea too but obviously not for those reasons. The problem is that everyone who's defending these trials is saying that there is no possible way that KSM and the others won't be put to death at the end, which basically translates into the idea that these are going to be kangaroo courts with a pre-determined outcome. That doesn't exactly promote the basic tenet of out justice system --- innocent until proven guilty. (Chris Matthews went crazy after Jerry Nadler used the words "alleged" to describe the prisoners.)

I get that Holder says they will receive the maximum punishment --- he's the prosecutor. That's what they say. But rather than saying something like "we have faith in the rule of law" or that "justice will prevail," everyone else is indicating that the trial is just a silly formality as well. A little bit of sober respect for the process would go a long way right now. Otherwise, you really can't blame even decent people of principle (as opposed to twisted political opportunists) for wondering if the "show" actually is worth doing.