Wednesday, November 18, 2009
How Obama Is Bringing Martial Law To America
Chicago Boyz catalogues the horrors of Obama's decision to try KSM in a civilian trial mere blocks from the site of his terrorist crimes.
For over two hundred years we were careful to keep a firewall between civil and martial law. We did so because civil and martial law are polar opposites. Civil law is focused on protecting the rights of the accused against the overwhelming power of the state. When there is doubt, the accused walks free. Martial law is focused on imposing a minimal order on bloody chaos. It was focused on allowing the military to complete its mission and win wars. When there is doubt, the accused is presumed guilty.Question for idiots: How's that fight against shredding the Constitution goin' for ya?
Now, Obama wants to bring martial law into a civil court room in Manhattan. In order to let a civil conviction of KSM stand, the higher courts will have to overturn almost all the current constitutional protections of the accused.
They will have to overturn the requirement for Miranda warnings. They will have to overturn the Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination. They will have to overturn the right to face one’s accusers and to examine all evidence and evidence gathering methods.
Even if the courts throw out his conviction, the government will never allow him to go free, so we will toss out protection against double jeopardy if they try to convict with a military tribunal, and toss out the right of no imprisonment without trial if they don’t.
Our system of justice relies on precedent and equality of procedure. The same rules apply to every civil trail. We can’t say that it’s okay to deny the right against self-incrimination in one person’s trial while saying it’s okay in another. If the courts overturn the rights of one individual accused, it must overturn the rights of all of them.
Nothing good will come of this trial.
If it is conducted outside the bounds of normal civil law, it will be nothing but a corrupt show trial whose outcome was preordained by politicians. Instead of showing the world that America is a land of laws in which even our enemies receive fair treatment, it will show the world the opposite.
If it is conducted within the bounds of normal civil law, then it will force the courts to choose between letting a mass murdering terrorist walk free and setting dangerous legal precedents that will undermine the basic civil rights of all Americans.
Obama has unleashed something in America far, far more dangerous than any excesses Bush might have committed. He has taken all the horrible compromises we must make in war and driven them into the heart of the civil legal system. If the courts do not set Khalid Sheikh Mohammed free, the cancer of martial law will metastasize into the entire justice system.
We may eventually wish we had never caught the bastard at all.