His conclusions sound accurate enough:
As Morris Davis, a retired military prosecutor, argued the other day in The Wall Street Journal, under the administration's plan, "the standard of justice for each detainee will depend in large part upon the government's assessment of how high the prosecution's evidence can jump and which evidentiary bar it can clear." Detainees will get a "fair trial" in civilian court only if their conviction is assured. By implication, that suggests that detainees who go before military commissions will get an unfair trial. Presumably the administration would deny this and say the commission trials will be fair too. But if so, why is such a trial not good enough for Khalid Sheikh Mohammad?In other words, this is President Obama playing at being Candidate Obama and trying to be all things to all men so that they vote for him. We see a similar pattern in what is becoming an almost pathological inability to make up his mind about what he shoudl do in Afghanistan. Hamlet is not a good role model for the President of the United States and its Commander-in-Chief. The man spent two years campaigning when he should have been taking part in debates in the Senate; he spent more money than all other candidates, his Democrat rivals as well as the Republicans, put together. What did he think the Presidency entailed?
The answer seems to be that the administration is conducting a limited number of civilian trials of high-profile terrorists for show, so as to win "credibility" with the international left. These trials will differ from an ordinary show trial in that the process will be fair even though the verdict is predetermined. But people who wrongly think that either military commissions or detention without trial are unjust will not be satisfied with some detainees getting civilian trials--unless, of course, they are simply eager to be impressed by Barack Obama.
This is a serious worry and a problem for all of us in the West as the United States is still the strongest country and its leader, the leader of the free world (somewhat less free than it used to be but not as bad as it was in the seventies). It would be nice to have something better than the protagonist in Roger McGough's poem:
I wanna be the leaderNever mind Bush, I might start missing Clinton. Well, maybe not. But more and more do I agree with Glenn Reynolds that another Carter presidency is becoming the best case scenario.
I wanna be the leader
Can I be the leader?
Can I? I can?
Yippee I'm the leader
I'm the leader
OK what shall we do?