Saturday

Obama and his "bait and switch" administration.


One day I will learn to stay off of MSN. Every time I open the page something I read causes me to reach for the Rolaids and subsequently my keyboard. Today’s gastric torment de jour is an article titled: “Obama set to revive military commissions
Officials: Changes would boost rights of terror suspects detained at Gitmo” written by Peter Finn.

I can’t help but think this is another slight of hand designed to draw attention from a more pressing issue or just another trial balloon. It seems that controversy is the medium in which the liberal agenda grows best and this administration a master of the medium. It brings to mind the age old "bait and switch" routine so fancied by slick tongued salesmen.

None the less I find myself compelled to meander helplessly into the trap like one of countless rats mesmerized by the sweet music of the fife wielded by the master piper Obama.

The article began (article excerpts in bold):

The Obama administration is preparing to revive the system of military commissions established at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under new rules that would offer terrorism suspects greater legal protections, government officials said.

The rules would block the use of evidence obtained from coercive interrogations, tighten the admissibility of hearsay testimony and allow detainees greater freedom to choose their attorneys, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Why have we even allowed ourselves to be drawn into this argument? These are not two bit shoplifters arrested from the corner drug store. These hardened Islamic extremists will flourish in a judicial system ill equipped to handle them. Our justice system has been gutted and emasculated by liberal activist judges for so long it is ill equipped to deal with the two bit shoplifters, let alone the likes of the dregs housed in Guantanamo.

We are effectively releasing the wolves into a field of fattened, slothful sheep and giving them the sheep’s clothing to boot.

The military commissions have allowed the trial of terrorism suspects in a setting that favors the government and protects classified information, but they were sharply criticized during the administration of President George W. Bush. "By any measure, our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure," then-candidate Barack Obama said in June 2008.

Okay, two things about this bother me; one what is wrong with a system that protects classified information (why are we so prone to giving out our secrets?) and two I do not accept the premise that this system is a failure. As long as these radicals are locked down they are not committing terrorist acts or recruiting others to do the same.

In one of its first acts, the Obama administration obtained a 120-day suspension of the military commissions; that will expire May 20. Human rights groups had interpreted the suspension as the death knell for military commissions and expected the transfer of cases to military courts martial or federal courts.

'Extraordinary development'
Officials said yesterday that the Obama administration will seek a 90-day extension of the suspension as early as next week. It would subsequently restart the commissions on American soil, probably at military bases, according to a lawyer briefed on the plan.

"This is an extraordinary development, and it's going to tarnish the image of American justice again," said Tom Parker, a counterterrorism specialist at Amnesty International.
A White House official said no final decision has been made, and one source involved in the discussions said the plan awaits Obama's approval.

Here is the problem, I don’t think there is any controversy here other than one contrived to placate the conservatives who adamantly oppose this course. Obama is smart enough to understand that if there are those on his side who “disagree” it has the effect of making the change more palatable to the other side. Not so fast. We have seen this sort of contrived and feigned outrage before and it doesn’t usually end well for the American people.

I do not believe for one second that the left is disappointed with the diluted and ineffective farce of a prosecutorial sham this represents. They simply want to lull the conservatives in this country into a false sense of security. They think we are dimwitted enough to swallow this load of dung hook line and sinker.

"We'll litigate this before they can proceed, absolutely," said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Any effort to tinker with military commissions would be an enormous mistake. There is no way to fix a flawed process that has not rendered justice."

Of course not, we should just release the detainees so they can get back to selling flowers and preaching love from the mountain tops or blowing themselves up in crowded cafes, which ever it was they were doing when we found them.

Under the administration's rule changes, hearsay evidence would be admissible if a judge determines it is reliable, officials said. That provision would allow the government to introduce some intelligence material that would ordinarily be barred in federal court or military courts martial, the officials said. There is precedent for admitting hearsay evidence in international courts, including at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Romero said allowing hearsay in any U.S. courtroom is a "greater travesty than Bush administration justice."

Really, that bad, I was under the impression that these types of combatants were generally summarily executed during times of war. I guess subjecting them to a trial involving hearsay is tantamount to torture. No, wait, that was the head slap and water boarding, hearsay has not yet been included in the definition of torture but I think it is on the short list along with Al Gore speeches.

It is unclear whether some cases would still go to federal court or perhaps other military proceedings for trial.

During the presidential campaign, Obama criticized the commissions as failing to provide "swift and sure justice" for terrorism suspects, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, who was captured in March 2003. Since the opening of the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay in January 2002, three detainees out of the 779 who have been held there have been convicted of terrorism offenses. The system has been subject to repeated legal challenges
.

Aha, the smoking gun. Maybe the repeated legal challenges and the constant intervention by ignorant politicians explain such a dismal prosecutorial record. I’m just saying.

An administration official said yesterday that Obama, while a senator, had agreed that military courts with sufficient safeguards were an appropriate venue for cases against detainees but thought that the 2006 Military Commissions Act was "sloppy" and rushed for political purposes.

I can’t even read that last sentence without wanting to simultaneously vomit and wet myself laughing. This coming from the guy who shoved the stimulus plan so far down our throats that it now hurts to sit. That was the very definition of “sloppy” and rushed for political purposes. At least I can understand the impetus behind trying to detain and prosecute those who would kill us, I am not so sure about the stimulus however.

The administration's decision to close the Guantanamo Bay prison has been the focus of intensifying criticism from Republicans and some Democrats who say they fear that holding and trying detainees in the United States poses security risks.

Expectations that the administration will soon allow a handful of Chinese Muslims who were captured in Afghanistan and who are detained at Guantanamo to live in the United States has caused concern among some legislators and military groups. A U.S. district court judge ordered them freed.

European and U.S. officials say the resettlement of a token group of detainees is essential to convince European governments to accept other Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for release. The decision to maintain military commissions might assuage some of the administration's domestic opponents, but it could also provoke criticism from allies who expected a complete break with the past.

They expected us to tow the UN line, and rightly so given Obama’s campaign rhetoric, but in the end I doubt they will be disappointed. This is nothing more than a smoke screen in any case.

Obama and his sycophants are no more serious about the war on terror than they are about solving our economic problems. This is about what they can do to further their agenda and indulge in self aggrandizing politics and damn the consequences. Create a crisis and then ride in on a white horse bearing the solution, it’s worked so far.

Messianic leader and white horse not withstanding expect this to end badly for those who have had no voice thus far, the American people.

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