On a day when prominent Republicans are piling on, this one obviously carries a little extra weight. It’s 13 minutes long and the best part is at the end of clip two, so skip ahead if you’re pressed for time. Although if you do, you’ll miss his pointed assertion early on that the last terrorist attack on America happened just a week ago.
A few random thoughts to supplement the previous post. One: Unlike Rudy, I’m not worried about the terror threat to NYC from holding the trial here. The NYPD’s been building counterterror resources for eight years; we’re probably better equipped than any other city to deal with it. Two: I haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere today, but note the perverse incentive this creates. In a sane world, a jihadist who limited his attacks to military targets that are capable of defending themselves would receive more legal protection than one who targeted civilians. In our world, the guy who ordered jumbo jets flown into skyscrapers gets the full complement of constitutional rights in federal district court. Simply put, a terrorist looking to run up a body count is better off going to the mall than to a military base, where the UCMJ might come into play. (Hasan is an obvious example, although his case is unusual because he’s a military man himself.)
Three: Obama and Holder surely realize that the defense is going to try to put Bush on trial by focusing on waterboarding, torture, etc. Is that a feature for them rather than a bug? Nothing would make the left happier than to see Dubya himself in the dock; this is the next best thing, and provides some political cover in case the verdict turns out the wrong way. It’s all Bush’s fault! And four: As you hear the solemn rhetoric pour forth about how this is a glorious victory for due process and the Bill of Rights, bear in mind my point from the Mukasey post. There’s no way they’re letting KSM go. It doesn’t matter what the verdict is or what the judge decides; for reasons of pure national and political survival, Obama and Holder will find a way to reimprison this scum if the trial somehow ends up in acquittal. Which means this is actually the opposite of due process. It’s a stacked deck, right from the get go. So why even bother playing cards?