Report: Obama planned to try Bin Laden in federal court if he was captured

posted at 4:42 pm on October 3, 2012 by Allahpundit

Self-serving nonsense, presumably being pushed by O as a bit of election-season candy for the Gitmo critics in his base. See, he still believes in due process, the drone strikes and “kill list” and indefinite detentions notwithstanding.

In an adaptation from his new book, The Finish—first reported for Vanity Fair—magazine contributing editor Mark Bowden reveals that President Obama intended to put Osama bin Laden on trial in the federal court system if he had been captured, rather than killed, during the Abbottabad raid. Bowden had access to key players including C.I.A. deputy director Michael Morell and the president himself.

According to Bowden in the story—in November’s Vanity Fair—in the unlikely event that bin Laden surrendered, Obama saw an opportunity to resurrect the idea of a criminal trial, which Attorney General Eric Holder had planned for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. This time, the president tells Bowden, he was prepared to bring bin Laden back and put him on trial in a federal court. “We worked through the legal and political issues that would have been involved, and Congress and the desire to send him to Guantánamo, and to not try him, and Article III.” Obama continues: “I mean, we had worked through a whole bunch of those scenarios. But, frankly, my belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against al-Qaeda, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.”

This is a guy who’s spent four years firing missiles at suspected jihadis partly to spare himself the political headaches of how to interrogate and house them, but now he wants you to believe that he was A-OK with taking custody of the world’s most famous terrorist. For an inkling of what an unholy clusterfark that would have turned into, read Jeff Greenfield’s what-if about capturing Bin Laden written shortly after OBL was killed. There are at least three separate forms of stupidity and/or dishonesty in Obama’s claim. One: If there’s any compelling reason to think that trials in federal district court as opposed to in military tribunals are some powerful propaganda weapon against Al Qaeda, I’m unaware of it. The Great Satan’s justice is corrupt in any form, by definition. The blind sheikh was tried and convicted in federal court and that hasn’t stopped Islamist nuts from agitating, sometimes violently, for his release. If you support federal trials because you personally believe that’s the minimum process that’s due, that’s fine, but there’s no need to project your personal sense of legal ethics onto the sort of jihadist degenerates that are happy to amputate hands for theft, etc.

Two: It’s an open question whether the SEALs realistically could have taken Bin Laden alive. I remember writing about this after the Abbottabad raid, but here it is again: Put yourself in their shoes. You’re inside a compound which you suspect houses the leader of Al Qaeda. You have every reason to believe that he’s prepared defenses for just this sort of attack by the U.S. You’ve already been fired upon by one of his henchmen before entering the main building. Anything could happen; the whole structure could be wired somehow to explode as a last-ditch way for Bin Laden to escape the indignity of being captured by the infidel. He’s the leader of a death cult, after all. Suddenly, as you’re charging up the stairs, you see someone peering through a doorway. Is he aiming a machine gun? Is he arming a bomb? Plus, you know that, deep down, your C-in-C would much prefer for the target to be KIA than captured. Go figure, then, that the SEALs were inclined to shoot on sight. As a congressional aide who was briefed on the raid shortly after it happened said last year, “He would have had to have been naked for them to allow him to surrender.” Right — and Obama surely knows that. So much for the big federal trial.

Three: The big joke about Obama’s and the left’s insistence on a civilian trial is that they’d refuse to accept an adverse verdict. Imagine Bin Laden enduring a years-long trial in Manhattan and then being acquitted on a technicality or even on the merits, i.e. because the feds somehow couldn’t prove that he gave the order for 9/11. (Admittedly, the odds of convicting him on at least some lesser terror-related charges would have been very high.) Would the U.S. have flown him back to Abbottabad and dropped him off? Of course not; he would have been sent back to prison or to Gitmo while Obama figured out what to do with him and tried to manage the catastrophic political humiliation of failing to convict this guy for the worst act of terrorism in American history. Presumably they would have shipped him off to Britain or to the Hague or to Saudi Arabia or however many countries they needed to before he was convicted somewhere, but rest assured, in no way would acquittal have resulted in release — even if the only alternative was O ordering him detained indefinitely notwithstanding the jury’s verdict. The political reality of terror trials is that some of these defendants are too dangerous to let go irrespective of how their trials end. KSM will never leave U.S. custody no matter what happens in his military tribunal. The whole notion of “due process” in those circumstances, where incarceration is assured regardless of the outcome of the trial, is basically ridiculous, but O’s spin here is all about paying lip service to the concept for his base, not about really pursuing it. Mission accomplished, I guess.


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Laden would have got an ObamaPhone.

Electrongod on October 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM

FacePalm

SparkPlug on October 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Laden would have got an ObamaPhone.

Electrongod on October 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Lolz. He would have downloaded the Angry BirdsGoats app.

SparkPlug on October 3, 2012 at 4:45 PM

O must be further behind.. why else leak this to the press since it will only endear him to the lefties?

gatorboy on October 3, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Whatever happened to Noriega?

John the Libertarian on October 3, 2012 at 4:46 PM

SInce trying Bin Laden would have offended the Muzzies, what movie would they have blamed for any attack on NYC: “Harold and Kumar Go to Gitmo?”

Rixon on October 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Would that apply to all the Osamas if captured? Because there are a lot more of them now, judging by the rioters outside our embassies way down south in the Land of Jihad.

Obama
Obama
We all are
Osama

spiritof61 on October 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Meanwhile, SCOAMF just bought a prison in Illinois, putatively to try the remaining Gitmo detainees if (G-d forbid) he’s reelected.

With federal funds.

Illegally.

Rixon on October 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

PREEZY STEEZY STILL TRYIN’ TO EARN THAT NOBIL’ PEEZE PRIZE!

Marcola on October 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM

OH dear, now bho is cya on killing obl? bho wanted obl captured so he could go to trial here? Guess jarrett didn’t do good seeing to it bho finally gave the go ahead to go after obl?

Now one has to ask, will the upcoming movie on bho only thing he has done to kill obl see to it Mitt has a MAJOR crisis with the rop type?

This IS NOT passing the smell test, in fact a ton of year old fish smells better?
L

letget on October 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM

The whole notion of “due process” in those circumstances, where incarceration is assured regardless of the outcome of the trial, is basically ridiculous, but O’s spin here is all about paying lip service to the concept for his base, not about really pursuing it.

It’s also lip service to the Muslim Brotherhood.

JPeterman on October 3, 2012 at 4:50 PM

OT, this just unearthed 2002 Obama video is even much more disturbing than even last night’s video. It takes the cake for a violence encouraging radical Marxist, yes, Malcolm X maybe. See it: http://patterico.com/2012/10/03/newly-discoveredobama-video-rich-people-are-all-for-nonviolence-why-wouldnt-they-be-theyve-got-what-they-want/
A transcript, O’s words:

The philosophy of nonviolence only makes sense if the powerful can be made to recognize themselves in the powerless. It only makes sense if the powerless can be made to recognize themselves in the powerful. You know, the principle of empathy gives broader meaning, by the way, to Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but rich people are all for nonviolence. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve got what they want. They want to make sure people don’t take their stuff. But the principle of empathy recognizes that there are more subtle forms of violence to which we are answerable. The spirit of empathy condemns not only the use of firehoses and attack dogs to keep people down but also accountants and tax loopholes to keep people down. I’m not saying that what Enron executives did to their employees is the moral equivalent of what Bull Connor did to black folks, but I’ll tell you what, the employees at Enron feel violated. When a company town sees its plant closing because some distant executives made some decision despite the wage concessions, despite the tax breaks, and they see their entire economy collapsing, they feel violence . . .

anotherJoe on October 3, 2012 at 4:50 PM

That would have taken about 44 years to be presented to the OJ jury on oxygen.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM

No way. The Seal book says they had hardly any resistance and they shot Osama easily. I say they had the kill order…

sandee on October 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Yea, this line of BS is for the MoonBats! No Seal Team member would take that kind of risk, under those circumstances! The further reality of islamist attacks in attempts to free their leader would’ve been never ending and a stupid decision, even for Lib Intel people. A clown story to feed the trolls, is all this could be! For those following,How to take on the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 3, 2012 at 4:53 PM

sandee on October 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM

The AAR had large bold caps in it…;.OOOPS

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 4:53 PM

…in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.

This bottomless stupidity is dangerous. Does our President seriously believe that bin Ladins status as a matyr is dependent on US court procedure? He is a matyr for Muslims because he fought The Great Satan and not because we granted or witheld his Miranda Rights, for crying out loud. Does he really believe that muslims, of all people, give a shit about due process?

I dont possess enough arms, hands and foreheads to facepalm this properly…

Valkyriepundit on October 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

If there’s any compelling reason to think that trials in federal district court as opposed to in military tribunals are some powerful propaganda weapon against Al Qaeda, I’m unaware of it. The Great Satan’s justice is corrupt in any form, by definition.

This will be another weakness signal. What’s the next embassy to be attacked?

Whatever happened to Noriega?

John the Libertarian on October 3, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Noriega was convicted of drug trafficking, a regular crime. This is a war with a non-state actor. He was eventually sent to France upon being convicted of crimes there.

rbj on October 3, 2012 at 4:56 PM

If Osama had gone on trial, who would he have hired to defend him ?
Elena Kagan ? Eric Holder ? Mooch ?

burrata on October 3, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

If Osama had gone on trial, who would he have hired to defend him ?
Elena Kagan ? Eric Holder ? Mooch ?

burrata on October 3, 2012 at 4:56 PM

The dream team of Ramzey Clark and Zombie William Kuntsler (emphasis on the first syllable)

Rixon on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Oh geeze…

He probably would have pardoned him proactively…

ProfShadow on October 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

squirrel!!!!

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:06 PM

What a bunch of BS !!
After Holder and Obama botched the case of KSM in NYC there was no way Obama was going to allow the capture and trial of OBL.
Quite frankly, I agree with that. Over and done with.
They still have no idea what to do with KSM. Although, I do think he will be experiencing cooler winters in the near future.

This is just Obama waxing poetic for Vanity Fair. Worthless.

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

You never fail to show the level of delusion you live under.

Bitter Clinger on October 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

“We worked through the legal and political issues that would have been involved, and Congress and the desire to send him to Guantánamo, and to not try him, and Article III.” Obama continues: “I mean, we had worked through a whole bunch of those scenarios. But, frankly, my belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against al-Qaeda, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.”

Look folks, authentic Washington DC gibberish.

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Obama tried the due process route with KSM. Didn’t work out real well.
He was not going that path again.

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM

I don’t think the purpose of the raid was ever to capture Bin Laden.Who needs a live martyr that some twit like Madonna can ogle and rave about his “sexy eyes?”

MaiDee on October 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The rocks in my garden are laughing at your stupidity

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Of course, O wants the subject of the election to be Bin Laden’s capture, even if it comes with some caveats for him. Better that then the horrible economy, or better we talk about Bin Laden then Obamacare. Revive a thorough discussion of Obamacare! And do it in ads. People remain astoundingly upset about O-Care. It’s not just the huge expense, it’s that our medical care and future medical innovation is going to be seriously compromised.
But, that said, it figures that O would want to try Bin Laden in fed court. The people must also remember O’s crusade against the CIA, his protection of the voter intimidating Black Panthers, his support of the nutty Occupiers, his immigration fiat (esp in Iowa and Wisconsin where immigration is a big issue), his war on energy is KEY, and his gay marriage proclamation.
Oh, and don’t forget the stimulus, the economically useless (no, not useless, but because of the deficit, very destructive) STIMULUS that was nothing less than a trillion $ payout to O campaign donors and Democratic bigwigs. Insane.

anotherJoe on October 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Pre-debate hype.

Meanwhile it is 5-7 A’s now, bottom 4th. This is what sitting on your heels gets you MR WASHINGTON.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Bin Laden would have fit right into the Obama Regime as, say, a Safe Schools Czar.

Cicero43 on October 3, 2012 at 5:14 PM

O infidels! The world has seen your cowardice and you will soon be swept into hellfire like the pig ambassador Stevens. He surely deserved his wretched death. Do you still think Benghazi was because of a YouTube video? Do you still think your drones will help you? Afghanistan will be ours by 2014; our brave standard already waves over your embassies. The Zionist occupiers will soon be obliterated by a nuclear suitcase from Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. When we see your whining, yelping dog of a president we shout for joy. When we see that ugly woman in pants we are convulsed with laughter; her voice is like the screech of a chicken whose neck longs to be wrung.

O infidels! Accept that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger, or pay your jizyah and be subjugated. This is your final warning.

I’m Ayman al-Zawahiri, and I approve this message.

spiritof61 on October 3, 2012 at 5:15 PM

“We worked through the legal and political issues that would have been involved, and Congress and the desire to send him to Guantánamo, and to not try him, and Article III.” Obama continues: “I mean, we had worked through a whole bunch of those scenarios. But, frankly, my belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against al-Qaeda, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.”

Idiot. Those folks believe our legal system as much as they believe our view of free speech. Which, by the way, we’d have allowed him.
Nope. They’d have viewed him as a martyr.

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 5:16 PM

How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

And that fits the Preezy of the United Steezy Barack Hussein Obama’s personal ‘kill list’ and his drone assassinations of US Citizens on foreign soil to a tee.

What say you now, Sparky ?

FlatFoot on October 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Sen. Patty Murray approves this message

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:28 PM

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……….if the debates mimic baseball Mitt will be Dukakis.

Holland STILL in after blowing a 5-1 lead. Bot 5th A’s on the bases.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Bin Laden would have fit right into the Obama Regime as, say, a Safe Schools Czar.

Cicero43 on October 3, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Sen. Patty Murray approves this message

Ooops

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The US Constitution does not apply to non-US citizens. Period.

Washington Nearsider on October 3, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Lew Rockwell Junior on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Would you have advocated an OBL trial in Federal Court in Lower Manhattan? That’s the same place Holder wanted to try KSM.

And before you answer, remember that 2 separate Federal Judges serving in that very same court have ruled in 3 separate lawsuits brought by 9/11 family members that Iraq and Iran both had a hand in the 9/11 attacks.

Oh, I keep forgetting. “I Don’t Believe the Judges!”

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Titanic! Somebody throw me a dress!

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:32 PM

If a Republican President would have knocked of BinLaden the first questions the media would have asked were why wasn’t he captured, why wasn’t he put on trial, aren’t you afraid you made a martyr of binladen and this will cause revenge killings against Americans?

Never was Obama asked any of these questions.
And never once did Obama say he wished they would have captured Osama.
But now before the election it is time for Obama to pander to the far lefties….

And the far lefties will eat it all up and go for da man dat killed Osama!!!

albill on October 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……….if the debates mimic baseball Mitt will be Dukakis.

Holland STILL in after blowing a 5-1 lead. Bot 5th A’s on the bases.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:29 PM

not if one happens to be an A’s fan (I’m a Giant fan) but the grandsons are A’s boys

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

albill on October 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Woulda-coulda-shoulda. The MSM is in the record books on it.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Your Texas BBQ invite has been revoked!

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Report: Obama planned to try Bin Laden in federal court if he was captured

…going to give him swift justice?…soon after the Fort Hood guy?…in the year 2057 or something?

KOOLAID2 on October 3, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Your Texas BBQ invite has been revoked!

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM

C’mon Man!

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Self-serving nonsense

haha, says the guy who started and breathlessly updated an open thread for a 5-year old youtube video.

sesquipedalian on October 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Nah, like with Mitt I’ve been yelling go for the throat for a month. What we got, debate wise and baseball wise was a even split. I’ll stop short of revoking the ribs.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Womp Womp. Get ready for Obama to kick butt tonight.

Politricks on October 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Sorry, but as much as I despise The One and his brand of politics…there’s no way on God’s green Earth bin-Laden would have been tried in criminal court. Much less in Manhattan.

Obama would sooner be impeached, including by half the congressional Democrats, than having that happen…if he and his administration were to insist on that after bin-Laden’s capture.

JetBoy on October 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

OK, this is perhaps ridiculous, but now that you, I and all the tax paying citizens of the You-Ess-of Ay own us some prime real estate in close proximity to Chi-town…A mear coincidinx btw….has anyone thought that the current guests of the US Gub’ment in Sunny, south Cuba, might sue that the transfer to less-familiar climes might constitute “cruel and unusual punishment?”

I’ma just sayin! This scum has been pretty comfy in a climate not too far removed from what they’re used to. News flash: Illinois winters are a tad more frisky than those in the Caribbean!

Chewy the Lab on October 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Self-serving nonsense

haha, says the guy who started and breathlessly updated an open thread for a 5-year old youtube video.

sesquipedalian on October 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Shouldn’t you be studying your Jonathan Chait economics textbooks?

Did he win a Fake Nobel Prize for Economics like Krugman did?

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Womp Womp. Get ready for Obama to kick butt tonight.

Politricks on October 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Wrong Thread, Minerva.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Womp Womp. Get ready for Obama to kick butt tonight.

Politricks on October 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM

I didn’t know Michelle would be on stage.

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I dare say he would’ve bowed down to bin Laden, at least (ahem). I think that’s why he’s got that weird look on his face from the released photo of the cabal sitting around the table as he’s “watching” the screen as it happens–slumped over in his golfing outfit looking extremely distressed and out of place.

SouthernGent on October 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Which is exactly what should have been done if he had been captured. How dare we give someone due process!

Dante on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

More evidence that the left does not understand the enemy at all.

In case you didn’t catch it, the whole point of this story is the idea that Obama NEVER intended to capture him because the whole idea of a trial is ludicrous (see KSM). He floats a story out there to feed his lib base still mad he didn’t close GITMO. He knows damn well that GITMO can’t be closed, and he was an idiot to promise it would be.

It’s also an enormously hypocritical position to pontificate about due process for the enemy when you have a Kill List. He is either a liar or an idiot, you’re choice.

goflyers on October 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

NAVY SEALS had wounded Bin Laden on ground, according 2 eye witness each pumped multiple shots into Bin Laden, despite orders to capture if possible. Way 2 Go SEALS.

mathewsjw on October 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

He is either a liar or an idiot, you’re choice.

corrected – He is either a liar or an idiot, your choice.

goflyers on October 3, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Report: Obama planned to try Bin Laden in federal court if he was captured

I’m confused.

All I heard from the Left was that the goal of Obama’s first campaign was to try Bush and Cheney as was criminals.

Huh.

Who knew?

Bruno Strozek on October 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Holder was asked during a hearing and answered that the possibility of bin Laden being captured was a non-starter.

Buddahpundit on October 4, 2012 at 12:08 AM