Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on November 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

You knew we would come back to this one, right? Be sure to read Allahpundit’s takedown from Wednesday, but Barack Obama’s effort to sell federal-court trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his closest friends as both fair and convictions a foregone conclusion had even NBC scratching its head:

NBC: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — can you understand why it is offensive to some for this terrorist to get all the legal privileges of any American citizen?

Obama: I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.

NBC: But having that kind of confidence of a conviction — I mean one of the purposes of doing — going to the Justice Department and not military court is to show of the the world our fairness in our court system.

Obama: Well —

NBC: But you also just said that he was going to be convicted and given the death penalty.

Obama: Look — what I said was people will not be offended if that’s the outcome. I’m not pre-judging, I’m not going to be in that courtroom, that’s the job of prosecutors, the judge and the jury.

If convictions in the federal courts are going to be an inevitable result, then how does that show the world the fairness of our court system?  Obama seems blissfully oblivious to that contradiction until NBC points it out.  But even apart from that, Obama — and for that matter Eric Holder — never explain why it’s such a high priority to turn KSM’s adjudication into a multiyear advertisement for how groovy the American court system can be.

Nor, for that matter, does Obama satisfactorily explain in that context why KSM and the other four 9/11 plotters get a federal trial, but al-Nashiri and dozens of other Gitmo detainees will get the military tribunals that Congress wanted for all of them, KSM included.  Obama implies that the rest of the detainees will get something other than “fairness in our court system” because the others attacked military targets rather than civilian, which means that if terrorists really want the fairest treatment from the US, they should always attack civilians rather than our military.

Curious incentive system Obama has set up.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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