Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trials and machinations

This is a short post on a long winded topic: Where to try terrorists. This has become yet another political football to be kicked back and forth by the 2 parties. Cheney says all military tribunals. Biden says not so fast and so on.

Well, here is the real answer, based on that oft ignored document - the US Constitution and surrounding law and court decisions. It is a matter of where and by whom they are arrested.

1) If they were arrested on a battlefield by the military, then it is a military tribunal.

2) If they were arrested in the United States by civilian law enforcement, then they get a civilian trial.

In other words, KSM gets a military tribunal. Our military arrested him on the battlefield. He is indeed an enemy combatant.

On the other hand, the "underwear bomber" gets a civilian trial. He was arrested in Detroit (still part of the US last time I checked) by the FBI.

All of the noise and blather beyond that simple definition is just that - politicizing the courts and national security to score electoral points. Like it or not, that is how our Constitution works. Perhaps if Cheney, Biden, Holder and the rest of the clowns who pretend to be leaders took a minute to read the document they swore to uphold and defend, they would know this, too.

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