Author Topic: Legal Issues in the War w Islamic Fascism, Epidemic, Quarantine, and Doxxing  (Read 268853 times)

ccp

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all but on repub votes to limit Trump on war with ISIS
« Reply #500 on: July 03, 2017, 09:15:47 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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G M

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Re: Canada to pay Omar Khadr big bucks for ten years in Guantanamo
« Reply #502 on: July 04, 2017, 11:02:20 AM »
http://globalnews.ca/news/3573070/omar-khadr-apology/

If only there were a way to convince the Clintons that he was a witness to some of their crimes...

Crafty_Dog

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AQ suspect brought to US instead of Guantanamo
« Reply #503 on: July 22, 2017, 01:38:36 PM »


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/world/europe/al-qaeda-suspect-court-trump-sessions-guantanamo.html?emc=edit_na_20170721&nl=breaking-news&nlid=49641193&ref=cta

But note

"Mr. Damache, 52, was arrested in Ireland in 2010, but he was released after an Irish judge rejected a request from the United States to extradite him. He was arrested again in 2015 in Spain. Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department began seeking his extradition, and that effort continued under Mr. Trump"

In other words not only is this not a battlefield capture, we may well have had to agree to US federal courts instead of Gitmo in order to get the extradition.  Do I have this right?




Crafty_Dog

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War Powers Resolution
« Reply #507 on: December 16, 2018, 02:25:50 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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John Walker Lindh getting out.
« Reply #508 on: March 26, 2019, 04:58:09 PM »
John Walker Lindh Should Not Be Released Early
by Patrick Dunleavy
IPT News
March 26, 2019
https://www.investigativeproject.org/7869/john-walker-lindh-should-not-be-released-early




Crafty_Dog

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #512 on: April 26, 2019, 05:31:20 PM »
Ummm , , , because we hold ourselves to the core understandings of the Geneva Convention?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #513 on: April 26, 2019, 07:19:00 PM »
Ummm , , , because we hold ourselves to the core understandings of the Geneva Convention?

They are illegal combatants. They are outlaws. The fact that we even have to discuss this is why we are losing the war.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #514 on: April 26, 2019, 09:55:16 PM »
Sounds like you are advocating something that the Russian tried , , , Do I misunderstand?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #515 on: April 26, 2019, 10:21:59 PM »
Sounds like you are advocating something that the Russian tried , , , Do I misunderstand?

I advocate winning. Whatever it takes. Remember when we used to win wars? China laughs at our spinelessness.

Right now, those scumbags in Gitmo are getting better medical care than the average vet who lost limbs in Trashcanistan.

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #516 on: April 27, 2019, 10:52:38 AM »
And how would killing these prisoners help our cause?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #517 on: April 27, 2019, 11:44:04 AM »
And how would killing these prisoners help our cause?

It’s an old concept, but in war, you kill the enemy. Not adopt them as permanent dependent class.

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #518 on: April 27, 2019, 01:12:53 PM »
So, no more prisoners of war?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #519 on: April 27, 2019, 01:45:11 PM »
So, no more prisoners of war?

Not jihadists, fighting outside the laws of war. Treating them like legitimate soldiers of a nation-state is beyond stupid.



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Quarantine: NY vs RI
« Reply #524 on: March 30, 2020, 12:40:20 PM »
   

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS has begun to take on a predictable quality. President Trump on Sunday renewed the CDC’s social distancing guidelines through the end of April, papering over the cracks in his resolve that began to show last Sunday when he publicly questioned whether the coronavirus “cure” might be worse than the disease. But just as the administration seems to have cemented its approach, the states have begun to diverge in their responses to the crisis based on varying threat levels in their jurisdictions and the inclinations of their respective governors.
 
A nation that has been obsessed with the Washington show for the last three years is being reminded, seemingly overnight, that state laws matter and that state borders have consequences. In Rhode Island, governor Gina Raimondo has earned the respect of her year-round constituency by dealing harshly with New Yorkers who flock to the state’s coastal communities to spend their summers (and wait out international pandemics). On Friday, Raimondo signed an executive order establishing checkpoints along the state’s borders and instructing state troopers to pull over New York drivers to remind them of their duty to self-quarantine for 14 days. The troopers also ask the drivers for the address of their destination to ensure that they will comply with the order; those who are caught ignoring it can be fined up to $500 or sentenced to up to 90 days in jail. On top of the highway and public transit checkpoints, Raimondo dispatched state troopers and national guardsmen to go door-to-door in the state’s coastal communities looking for cars with New York plates. One woman who received such a visit told National Review the men who appeared on her door step on Saturday afternoon “couldn’t have been nicer” despite the menacing implication of armed men appearing on one’s door step. They did not ask her when she arrived in the state or whether she had left her home since; they simply asked her to stay inside save for visits to the local grocery store and pharmacy. But, since the grocery store and pharmacy are the only businesses open, what exactly necessitated a visit from agents of the state? Perhaps they serve as a warning to other New Yorkers considering making the drive to their vacation homes. If that was Raimondo’s motivation, anecdotal evidence suggests it may be working: one Westchester County, N.Y., resident told National Review she was planning to make the trip to her summer home but began to reconsider after hearing from friends and family that New Yorkers were receiving a less-than-neighborly reception from the locals. She finally decided against making the trip after learning that she might also receive a visit from uniformed men intent on keeping her and her children in their home under threat of a fine.
 
New York governor Andrew Cuomo initially called Raimondo’s executive order an “absurdity” — but struck a slightly more conciliatory tone on Sunday after speaking with Raimondo over the phone.  “I don’t think the order was called for, I don’t believe it was legal, I don’t believe it was neighborly,” Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing on Sunday. “I understand the point, but I thought there were different ways to do it, and the governor of Rhode Island was very receptive.” He was joined in criticizing the state government by the ACLU of Rhode Island, which objected to the decision to pull over New York drivers absent probable cause. “While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution," said Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island. “Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be,” he said.
 
Sending armed men door-to-door and pulling over cars simply because of the color of their license plates seems extreme — right now. But Raimondo’s lockdown approach may become commonplace in states that manage to keep their coronavirus numbers relatively low as their neighbors are overwhelmed. Already, Texas governor Greg Abbott has taken a similar approach, ordering police to collect the information of drivers entering the state from Louisiana and requiring all new arrivals from certain hot spots around the country to self-quarantine for 14 days. Before it is over, this crisis may test interstate solidarity and remind Americans that they live in a federal system as the nation becomes a patchwork of jurisdictions, some of which remain under quarantine as their hospitals are pushed to the limit and others that begin to return to relative normalcy.
 







Crafty_Dog

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FBI agent on the Blackwater Pardons
« Reply #527 on: December 27, 2020, 05:41:21 AM »
FBI team leader: How I know the Blackwater defendants didn't deserve a pardon from Trump
Opinion by Thomas O'Connor

Updated 2:16 PM ET, Thu December 24, 2020

An Iraqi looks 24 September 2007, at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards who were escorting US embassy officials opened fire in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Yarmukh,  a shootout which left, 16 September 2007,  nine civilians and a policeman dead. Iraq said today that it will await the outcome of an investigation into the killing of 10 people during the shootout before taking any action against the company. AFP PHOTO/ALI YUSSEF (Photo credit should read ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images)

An Iraqi looks 24 September 2007, at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards who were escorting US embassy officials opened fire in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Yarmukh,  a shootout which left, 16 September 2007,  nine civilians and a policeman dead. Iraq said today that it will await the outcome of an investigation into the killing of 10 people during the shootout before taking any action against the company. AFP PHOTO/ALI YUSSEF (Photo credit should read ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images)



Thomas O'Connor served for 23 years as an FBI special agent before retiring in 2019. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN.

(CNN)The President of the United States has the power to grant a pardon to anyone he believes deserves one. This is an incredible power when used for good. There are cases where the US justice system gets it wrong and cases where the defendants had served their time and were now doing good things. However, none of those fact patterns are present in President Donald Trump's pardon of four Blackwater security guards serving time for their involvement in the killing of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad on September 16, 2007.

I know that these men were undeserving of pardons because I was a member of The FBI Evidence Response Team that traveled to Iraq and investigated the site of these killings.
Thomas O'Connor
Thomas O'Connor

I am not a writer, an academic or one who has frequently spoken out publicly on political issues. I am a 35-year law enforcement professional. I retired on September 11, 2019, after 23 years as FBI special agent.

I was a team leader on the FBI's Washington Field Office, Evidence Response Team for more than 20 years. I have investigated many violent crimes and acts of terrorism around the world, including the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998, war crimes in Kosovo in 1999, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and the attack at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

The most important rule for me during these deployments to major crime scenes: Don't look at the crime and fit the forensic evidence to match a perceived narrative; instead, look at the forensic evidence that will show the story of the event. By letting the evidence lead the direction of the investigation, the FBI Evidence Response Teams and the FBI Laboratory have an important role of speaking for the victims who cannot tell their story.

On September 16, 2007, Baghdad, Iraq, was a dangerous place. No one will dispute that fact. On that day, a bombing took place a few miles from a busy traffic circle called Al Nisour Square, which is used by Iraqis to access major roadways across Baghdad.

A security detail from the private government contractor Blackwater was protecting a US official attending a meeting at a government building when the bomb was detonated. When bad things happen, it is the security team's job to get the protectee "off the X" and away from danger. The security detail called the command center in the US Green Zone and advised that they were leaving with the US official.

Survivors of Blackwater massacre in Iraq slam Trump's pardons for US guards behind killing
Survivors of Blackwater massacre in Iraq slam Trump's pardons for US guards behind killing
At a place called "Man Camp," Blackwater Team Raven 23 sounded the alarm that they might be needed to assist the exfiltration of the protectee from the scene and back into the US Green Zone.

The team leader of Raven 23 called the command center and requested permission to leave the protected US Green Zone and go to assist the incoming Blackwater team. This request was denied.

The team leader then chose to violate the orders and left the US Green Zone anyway. The four Blackwater armored trucks were captured on video leaving the green zone. They drove out to Nisour Square, turned left and entered the traffic circle, blocking the northbound traffic, the southbound traffic and the traffic entering the circle from the west.

Two Iraqi traffic officers stopped the traffic going toward the four armored vehicles. One of the first cars in that stopped traffic was a white KIA occupied by a woman and her son. The woman was a local doctor and the son, who was driving the car, was going to medical school to follow in his mother's footsteps.
What happened next began the Nisour Square shootings.

A sniper on the Raven 23 team placed his rifle out a porthole of the Bearcat armored vehicle and fired at the driver of the white KIA. The man was struck and killed by the bullet. The car began to roll forward slowly, bumping into a red vehicle. The two Iraqi traffic officers physically tried to stop the movement of the car.

The defendants said they feared the white KIA was a car bomb as it moved ahead. The car rolled forward after the sniper, a security guard, shot the driver and his foot came off the brake. This is why the sniper was charged with, and convicted of, first-degree murder.

At that point gunfire erupted from a small number of the Raven 23 Blackwater operators. The gunfire was directed into the white KIA, killing the women seated in the front passenger seat. These rounds were from a rifle and a large turret gun. A grenade was fired from the turret gunners' rifle mounted launcher. The grenade skipped off the ground under the driver's door exploding and causing the gas line to rupture and set the car ablaze.

Here are the high-profile pardons and commutations Trump has granted during his presidency
Here are the high-profile pardons and commutations Trump has granted during his presidency
How do I know this? During the forensic evidence recovery later conducted by the FBI team, the bumper of the white KIA was removed and paint transfer was matched to the red vehicle, which was also processed. The blast fragment under the door showed a pattern, which was determined by FBI explosives experts to be from an M203 grenade.

In examining the white KIA, I was able to count 38 bullet entry points, and that does not account for the numerous rounds that entered through the windshield that no longer existed. We recovered a black steel tip rifle round from the steering wheel of the white KIA. This type of ammunition is against the rules of engagement in a US sanctioned war zone and in violation of US Military and Blackwater regulations.
A few cars back in the traffic was a blue Suzuki Trooper and inside were two families. The driver was Mohammed and his 9-year-old son Ali sat in the rear seat behind his father. In the front passenger seat was Mohammed's sister. Ali's two young female cousins sat next to him in the back seat.

Gunfire erupted and everyone in the car laid down in his or her seats as bullets hit the front of the trooper. At a break in the gunfire, likely during reloading, one of the little girls in the back seat yelled that "Ali has no hair."

When the shooting stopped and the Blackwater team began to move, Mohammed exited the driver door and opened a rear passenger door. Ali, who had been slumped against the door, fell into his father's arms. Ali had been struck with a Blackwater round, which entered the rear driver side door and hit the boy in the head. As his father reached for his 9-year-old son, Ali's brains fell out onto the street and onto his father's feet.

How do I know this? I spoke with Mohammed while I was procuring his car from him for forensic evaluation. When a grieving father tells you the story of his son being shot, you don't forget. Mohammed asked me one thing, bring justice for his son, tell the story. I responded to him with "Inshallah" (God willing). While witnesses are not always 100% accurate, the bullet holes in the rear driver's door which entered into the seat where Ali sat don't lie. What was indisputable is the brain matter, which we had to clear to complete the trajectory analysis and recovery of fragmented rounds.


A white VW Caddy used to transport ice was also stopped in that traffic. Two men sat in the driver's area of the truck. When the shooting began numerous rounds entered the driver's compartment. The man in the driver's seat was struck by gunfire. He tried to crawl out the passenger's door to safety.

A grenade then struck the driver's door, blowing a 10-inch by 10-inch hole in the outer metal of the door and sending fragmentation into the vehicle. A second explosion hit the roof over the driver's compartment. The blast also sent fragmentation raining into the truck. These two victims were not terrorists; they were businessmen trying to sell ice in a place where electricity frequently went out. One man was killed, the other injured.

How do I know the grenade was the cause of that explosion? I processed this vehicle and took hundreds of photographs of the damage and the bloodstains left in the driver's compartment of the vehicle. FBI Explosives experts analyzed the damage and confirmed the M203 grenade fragmentation pattern.

While this shooting was taking place on the roadways of the traffic circle, a boy was seated on a bench on the other side of a wall at a nearby children's school next to a makeshift playground. A grenade fired from a Blackwater rifle came over the wall and landed next to the bench. The grenade exploded, injuring the boy. The fragmentation in the metal bench was documented photographically.

I could go on with each of the 17 victims killed and 20 seriously injured in this incident. Same story, sitting in traffic waiting to get somewhere, anywhere but Nisour Square. In each case the vehicles were processed methodically and forensic evidence was recovered.

The Blackwater Raven 23 defendants claimed that they responded to gunfire aimed at them while stopping traffic in Nisour Square that day. I believed this to be the case before we deployed to Iraq for this crime scene investigation. I had worked with Blackwater operators on previous deployments to Iraq and they were good people doing a difficult job in a dangerous environment. That said, I would let the evidence lead the investigation and assist the agents in finding the truth.

One of the first things we did once we were in Baghdad was to ask to see the Blackwater vehicles, which, we had been told, sustained firearms damage. This would be very important evidence of a reason for the shooting incident.


I know that as a career law enforcement professional, if I had been involved in a shooting, I would do everything in my power to protect the evidence of bullet impacts coming toward me and show that I was defending myself. If you know the FBI Evidence Response Team is on their way to review the vehicles in the shooting, lock them up, protect the evidence. It is not rocket science.

What happened next gave me more than pause. The four armored vehicles involved in the Nisour Square shooting were silver in color when they were observed on tape leaving the US Green zone against orders. The vehicles in front of us at the "Man Camp" were now desert sand color. The reported impact points -- we were told they the impacts were from bullet rounds -- on the side of the vehicle were no long there.
In their place were traces of a sanding wheel, which had been used to sand off any potential marks. In the up gun turret of the Bearcat was a rifle cartridge. Only half of the cartridge was spray-painted desert sand brown. The vehicles were painted so quickly that they did not even clean up the debris.

We had been told that the radiator of one of the Blackwater vehicles had been punctured from a bullet round coming in from the traffic at Nisour Square. During the review and documentation of the vehicle, we found that the damaged radiator had been repaired.

We were also told that the front driver's tire of the vehicle had been punctured, likely from a bullet. We then found the tire had been replaced and the damaged tire discarded. Luckily we located the discarded tire, which had been removed and placed in an adjacent room.

We took both the radiator and the tire back to the FBI Laboratory for expert forensic review. One of the top explosives examiners in the FBI X-rayed the tire. Inside the tire he located a metal fragment. The fragment was not a bullet; it was a starlet (a piece of fragmentation made to cause damage) from an M203 grenade fired by the Blackwater security guards, which likely ricocheted off the white KIA and struck the tire.

Now, when you paint a vehicle, you don't paint the undercarriage, right? Of course you don't. A review of the undercarriage near where the radiator was damaged showed a small impact point. A basic trajectory was taken from the impact point to the radiator damage. This showed it was possible for a bullet or fragment to travel from that impact point to the radiator.

Photographs and measurements were taken of the impact point. It was later displayed in court proceedings and was clear evidence that the same class of item, which caused the damage to the bench at the children's school, caused the damage to the undercarriage of the Bearcat. Another example of ricochet evidence from the M203 grenade fired at the white KIA.

The FBI team made four trips to Iraq to investigate this shooting. The agency spared no expense to gather as much evidence from the scene and the vehicles as possible. Countless interviews were conducted and over a thousand photographs were taken of the scene. The evidence was collected professionally, and the best examiners in the world did the analysis.

All of this evidence was introduced into several US court hearings. The prosecution team was fair, professional and extremely competent. The defendants in this case had some of the most knowledgeable and professional defense teams possible. The judge was one of the most fair and objective jurists on the bench.


A jury heard the evidence and found four Blackwater guards guilty of murder, manslaughter and weapons charges. The system worked and justice was brought to the deceased, the injured victims and their families.

The families of those killed and wounded at Nisour Square will now watch those responsible for this tragedy go free thanks to a pardon by the President of the United States. This simply makes me sad and angry. I spoke to Mohammed this morning. He told me he could no longer tell his family and the people of Baghdad that the system worked and justice was found for Ali. Mohammed asked me one more question. Could this pardon be changed? I told him "no." I could not say Inshallah. The purpose of my writing this piece is to introduce you to these victims.

There is no forensic evidence of anyone shooting at the Blackwater team. How do I know? The evidence told me that.

Crafty_Dog

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McCarthy: Kavanaugh on the end of the forever war and the AUMF
« Reply #530 on: October 08, 2021, 06:59:13 PM »
Biden Admits to Supreme Court: The ‘Forever War’ Is Not Over, After All
By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
October 8, 2021 11:16 AM


President Biden speaks in Elk Grove Village, Ill., October 7, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
It appears to have struck Justice Kavanaugh as strange that President Biden is claiming that the war is over while doing things that are legal only if the war is still going on.


To the extent President Biden’s pull-out from Afghanistan was not criminally negligent, it was pervasively mendacious.

There was the president’s lamebrained targeting of September 11 as the withdrawal deadline — a strategic and propaganda boon for the Taliban. There was the stunningly backward plan to draw down forces before evacuating civilians and diplomats, which led to the mind-blowing Bagram bug-out. Thus the domino effect of U.S. mistakes: our inability to evacuate from a fortified, well-equipped airport, instead shifting operations to the impractical Kabul airport; our removal of the technical support (especially air support) that the Afghan forces needed; the Taliban rout of remaining Afghan provinces; and the jihadists’ inheritance of tens of billions of dollars in American weaponry (which is now at the disposal of terrorists who have designs on attacking Americans). The Taliban took the capital without firing a shot, placing the Haqqani network — notorious jihadists formally designated by the U.S. as an al-Qaeda aligned terrorist organization — in charge of security in the city.

You know what happened next. With the environment converted into a jihadist’s dream, ISIS bombings killed 13 American military personnel (the most we’d lost in years). In the aftermath, Biden’s desperation to be seen as doing something about the lethal mess he’d made resulted in a rash “retaliation” strike that managed to slaughter not terrorists but ten civilians, including a mistakenly targeted humanitarian aid worker and seven children.

In the chaotic air lift, Biden tried to run up the numbers of Afghans evacuated in order to change the subject from the Americans and pro-American Afghans he has left behind. The result is that tens of thousands of insufficiently vetted denizens of an anti-Western, sharia-supremacist culture will be resettled in the United States (investigations are already under way for child-sex and spousal-abuse offenses by some of the “refugees,” as well as the sexual assault of a female U.S. soldier by a group of Afghan men at a military complex in New Mexico).

By contrast, and to our nation’s enduring shame (as Jim Geraghty steadfastly continues to report), Biden left to the tender mercies of the jihadists scores of American citizens, untold thousands of green-card holders, and tens of thousands of pro-American Afghans who actually qualified for resettlement in our country by assisting our forces at great peril — as reports increasingly indicate, mortal peril — to themselves.

And now the administration has quietly acknowledged that, in effect, all of the disgrace and dishonesty have been in the service of a big lie — namely, that Biden has ended the “forever war.” He hasn’t . . . though he’s hoping you won’t notice.


Ah, but Justice Brett Kavanaugh noticed.

Having tested positive for COVID (though he is vaccinated and symptom-free), Justice Kavanaugh was the only one of his colleagues to miss the resumption of in-person oral arguments as the Supreme Court opened its new term this week. But despite having to participate remotely by phone, Kavanaugh made a big impact, even if sparse press coverage failed to highlight it.


Turns out that, for the first time in years, the War on Terror — again, the so-called forever war — was back on the Court’s docket. The case involves 9/11 terrorist Abu Zubaydah, a top aide to Osama bin Laden, who is trying to force the U.S. government to reveal classified information to Polish prosecutors about a CIA “black site” at which he was subjected to waterboarding and other forms of enhanced interrogation. (I’ll discuss the case in a separate post in the coming days.)

Near the end of the session, it finally came Kavanaugh’s turn to pose questions. With the president telling the country that he and he alone had the courage no other president has had to end the forever war after 20 years, the justice decided to change the subject. By what authority, Kavanaugh wondered, was the Biden administration continuing to detain enemy combatants without trial?

It is not an idle question. Rich Lowry and I have been raising it on our NR podcast. Under the laws of war, captured enemy combatants may be held without trial until the conclusion of hostilities. The operating principle is that the detention is not meant to be punitive; it is intended to authorize depleting the resources of the warring parties, theoretically bringing the war to an end more rapidly. Once the war is over, though, the combatants may no longer be detained; they must be charged with crimes and put on trial, or else released.

In fact, the United States is still holding over two dozen terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay. There is no prospect of trying these jihadists in a military or civilian court. The evidence against them comes from top-secret intelligence that cannot be exposed in court without harming our national defense (and that might not be admissible anyway).

As a practical political matter, however, Biden cannot afford to release them. It has already blown up on him that Taliban detainees that the Obama-Biden administration released (in a swap for deserter Bowe Bergdahl) have ended up in high-level posts in the new Afghan regime that supplanted the government we’d spent years propping up. Moreover, it has emerged that, by ceding Kabul to the Taliban and allowing them to empty the prisons, the Biden pullout led to the release from detention at Bagram of the ISIS terrorist who then proceeded to carry out the suicide bombing that killed 13 of our service members. The remaining Gitmo detainees are still being held because it is a certainty that they would otherwise return to the very-much-not-over forever war and plot to mass-murder Americans. That is not a risk even the bungling Biden is willing to run at this moment, with his presidency reeling and his poll numbers tanking.

But of course, the administration would rather not say that out loud. The storyline for Biden officials is that, for all the downsides, what people will remember is that he ended an unpopular war.

Except he didn’t. And Kavanaugh forced the administration to say so.

At Tuesday’s Zubaydah argument, the justice put the question bluntly to Biden’s acting solicitor, Brian Fletcher: “Is the United States still engaged in hostilities for purposes of the AUMF against al-Qaeda and related terrorist organizations?” The AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) is the 2001 congressional resolution that served as the basis for the war in Afghanistan and for continuing U.S. military operations and detention of enemy combatants.

Yes, Fletcher conceded, “that is the government’s position.” And it is the position the Biden administration holds, he elaborated, “notwithstanding withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.” Whatever the White House may say about the end of the forever war, the Justice Department has represented to the Supreme Court that “we continue to be engaged in hostilities with al-Qaeda and therefore that detention under law of war remains proper.”

A couple of interesting points. In his prior life, the young Brett Kavanaugh, after clerking at the Supreme Court, was an associate White House counsel and, significantly, the staff secretary for President George W. Bush. He was enmeshed in the administration’s strategy as it shifted America’s national-security posture from treating terrorism as a law-enforcement matter in the Clinton era to addressing it under the laws of war — the corpus that allows indefinite detention of enemy combatants. It has no doubt struck Justice Kavanaugh as strange for President Biden to be claiming that the war is over while doing things that are legal only if the war is still going on.

Second, it was only a few weeks ago that Biden made Kavanaugh appear foolish for trusting the administration. The justice knew that the president’s eviction moratorium was lawless, but since it was set to expire in a few weeks, he agreed to look the other way — provided, Kavanaugh stressed, that the administration get a clear congressional authorization before any further extensions. Biden being Biden, he pocketed that indulgence and then unilaterally extended the moratorium without seeking the congressional green light he knew would be denied. Kavanaugh and the Court looked like saps, and the Court speedily invalidated Biden’s gambit.

Supreme Court justices do not like to look like saps.

So just to be clear, President Biden has not ended the war, nor could he have given that the jihadist enemy has not been defeated and continues to target the United States and American interests worldwide. What Biden has done is restore to our terrorist enemies what they needed to carry out the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans: an operational partnership with an anti-American sharia-supremacist regime in Afghanistan that gives them safe haven to recruit, train, and plan


Crafty_Dog

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Biden looking to close Guantanamo Prison
« Reply #532 on: September 17, 2022, 01:54:21 PM »
Biden Administration Quietly Steps Up Effort to Close Guantanamo
Special representative named to oversee efforts to transfer detainees out of military facility in Cuba

The U.S. has held alleged foreign terrorists at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba since 2002.
PHOTO: ALEX BRANDON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
By Jess BravinFollow
Sept. 17, 2022 7:00 am ET


WASHINGTON—The Biden administration is revamping its effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, for the first time appointing a senior diplomat to oversee detainee transfers and signaling it won’t interfere with plea negotiations that could resolve the long-stalled prosecution of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants.

After taking a low-profile approach to the matter for the first year of his term to avoid political controversy, President Biden is moving closer to fulfilling a campaign promise to shut the facility, people familiar with the matter said.

The facility at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba was set up in January 2002 to house alleged foreign terrorists captured overseas. Guantanamo has held nearly 800 men since then; only 36 detainees remain at the facility today, after hundreds were returned home or resettled in third countries by the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. The newest detainee arrived in 2008; some of the men have been held for two decades.

Nine of the remaining detainees are defendants in military commission proceedings, including five accused of conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft, and terrorism in the Sept. 11 case.



Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri has been charged with perfidy, murder in violation of the law of war, terrorism, conspiracy, and hazarding a vessel in planning attacks on three vessels, including the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.

Three other detainees have been convicted by military commissions, including two via plea bargains. One, Abd al-Hadi al Iraqi, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and violation of the law of war and is awaiting sentencing. A second, Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, is serving a life term for providing material support for terrorism, solicitation and conspiracy. A third, Majid Khan, made a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war and spying, and became a government cooperator and completed his sentence in March.

Four detainees are being held indefinitely without charge because authorities consider them a security risk. Twenty others have been cleared for transfer by a review board including defense, intelligence and law-enforcement officials, but moving the men out has proven harder than the Biden team expected, the people said.

Some critics of the Biden administration’s action on closing the prison, both within and outside the administration, say newer crises have been occupying the national security staff, and the potential for being branded soft-on-terrorism has slowed the administration’s efforts, they say.

The White House is seeking to avoid the kind of backlash that stymied Mr. Obama’s plans after his high-profile calls to shut the prison down. Congress responded to the Obama administration’s effort to close the prison in 2010 by passing a ban on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.

“The administration doesn’t want to look like it’s soft on terrorism and is awaiting a political consensus,” said Harvey Rishikof, a former head of the military-commissions apparatus who helped draft a recent report on closing the facility from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law.


Mr. Biden’s new special representative position, the critics also say, lacks the clout similar offices had under the Obama administration, where Guantanamo envoys had direct access to the secretary of state. The new special representative, Tina Kaidanow, a former ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism, has been placed further down in the State Department hierarchy, they say.

A State Department spokesman said Ms. Kaidanow was unavailable for comment.

The Defense Department is moving ahead with a Donald Trump-era project, building a third courtroom at Guantanamo Bay at a cost of $4 million, even though no additional trials are expected at the naval base.

A military commissions spokesman said “an extensive expansion” of Guantanamo’s trial facilities, including a new courtroom, would allow military judges to hold “simultaneous multi-defendant, lengthy trials.”


Twenty-one years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001—and a year after the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan—critics are pushing the administration to move faster in shutting down the offshore prison.

“Holding people without charge or trial for years on end cannot be reconciled with the values we espouse as a nation, and has deprived the victims of 9/11 and their families of any semblance of justice or closure,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D., Ill.).

Some Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, have opposed any actions that could lead to detainees leaving Guantanamo. “The Biden administration wants to free more terrorists, and we know, to an absolute, metaphysical certainty, the results of that will be more Americans murdered,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said in December at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Guantanamo.


The Penn research center released a 197-page report Monday providing a road map to closing the facility, while proposing alternate approaches to protect national security. Drafted by national-security experts, including former Guantanamo military prosecutors and defense lawyers, the report recommends abolishing the military commissions, created to try enemy prisoners without affording them constitutional rights, and resolving the 10 pending commission trials through plea bargains that could lead to life imprisonment for some defendants rather than execution.

It advocates a more robust campaign to repatriate or resettle abroad detainees and a repeal of congressional restrictions on transferring detainees who are serving sentences in Guantanamo to prisons in U.S. territory.

The facility in Cuba costs $540 million a year to operate, according to the Penn study, including about $100 million for military commissions. That comes to $15 million a detainee, compared with about $78,000 a year for an inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary at Florence, Colo., where terrorists and other high-security convicts are held.


The Bush administration transferred more than 500 detainees from Guantanamo before 2009; the Obama administration transferred nearly 200 more. Only one transfer, which had been negotiated during the Obama era, took place during the Trump administration. Forty detainees remained at Guantanamo when Mr. Biden took office.

Mr. Biden has long called for the facility to close, including during his 2020 presidential campaign. Still, Mr. Biden left in place Mr. Trump’s 2018 executive order revoking Mr. Obama’s 2009 directive to close the facility. The White House also initially didn’t re-establish the Guantanamo envoy position. When Mr. Durbin held a Judiciary Committee hearing on Guantanamo in December, the administration declined to send anyone to explain its position.

The Sept. 11 prosecution has been bogged down for years over the cruel methods Central Intelligence Agency interrogators used before defendants were charged. In 2017, Mr. Rishikof, then-commissions chief, began negotiations with the Sept. 11 defendants that could have led to guilty pleas if executions were off the table.

The Trump administration removed Mr. Rishikof from his post for what it said were unrelated reasons. Earlier this year, the Biden administration renewed those negotiations and the White House said it wouldn’t interfere.

“Obviously, if this were easy—four presidents, 20 years—we would have figured this out,” Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) said at the December hearing.

Write to Jess Bravin at jess.bravin+1@wsj.com

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AMcC: Time to end the debacle
« Reply #533 on: February 04, 2023, 12:18:13 PM »
Time to End the 9/11 Military-Commission Debacle
By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
February 4, 2023 6:30 AM

Ted Olson is right: A deal in which the remaining defendants plead guilty and agree to serve life in prison is best for all involved.
In rhetoric, there is no greater advantage than the perceived authority of the speaker — and it would be difficult to imagine a more authoritative voice on the legal response to the 9/11 atrocities than Ted Olson.

I could not admire Ted more. He is one of the great lawyers in the United States, and has been for decades. For much of his career, he was a pillar of the sort of Justice Department that now seems a distant memory: the sort that elevated the rule of law above partisan politics.

Olson was the solicitor general of the United States on September 11, 2001, when jihadist suicide-hijacking attacks killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Because of that position in the Justice Department’s upper echelon, and because he most deservedly had the trust of President George W. Bush, Olson was at the forefront of the government’s legal response to the most brutal act of war committed on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

Such responsibilities, daunting as they were, seem almost trivial in comparison to 9/11’s ramifications for Olson’s personal life. As he related in a moving op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, his wife, Barbara Olson, was among the passengers killed by the terrorists when they crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Reading it takes the breath away, even for those of us who were enmeshed in counterterrorism at the time, who had relationships stretching back years with the families of many of the fallen, and who like to think we understand the anguish, though we really can’t:

I remember exactly where I was standing on Sept. 11, 2001, when I heard my wife Barbara’s voice over the phone moments before her plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon. She told me that hijackers had taken over her flight from Washington to Los Angeles, where she was heading for a television appearance. She spent her last few minutes trying to figure out how to stop the unfolding tragedy. The weight of the disaster was overwhelming. It was personally devastating for me and for the thousands of others who lost family and friends that day, and it was devastating for our nation. I knew then that life would never be the same in this country.

He is right: It never has been the same. We are the worse for the events of that terrible day, and there is plenty of blame to go around for that on both sides of the intense debate over the proper role of the justice system in an asymmetrical war against a barbaric enemy. It is blame we share despite our good intentions, and perhaps because we’ve too often failed to credit the good intentions of those with whom we disagreed.

The focus of Olson’s piece is the conundrum we’ve previously discussed here: terrorists who should be put to death but can’t be tried. It should go without saying that he writes as someone who was both personally aggrieved by the attacks and professionally engaged in the government’s response to them. But ever the patriot, he also aims to help Joe Biden out of a bind that is not of Biden’s own making but that only Biden, as the president, can address.

As we’ve observed for months, the Biden administration is struggling to resolve an untenable, infuriating impasse: the inability over 22 years to try, convict, and execute jihadists we know orchestrated al-Qaeda’s 9/11 operation. The president clearly wants to end this debacle through a bargain in which the Justice Department takes the death penalty off the table and the terrorists admit guilt and accept life sentences.

Olson argues that such a deal is “the best the U.S. government can do at this point,” and he’s right.

The detainees were subjected to what the Bush administration euphemistically described as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and what progressive Democrats label “torture,” a conclusion on which they will brook no dissent (no matter that Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats were briefed on it in real time). Even if one does disagree with the torture accusation, two things must be stipulated. First, some of the methods used by American officials, and all of them in the aggregate, shock the conscience. Second, even those of us who were open to the argument that exerting extreme physical and psychological pressure on detainees could be justified in a ticking-bomb scenario — i.e., a dire situation in which thousands of people could be killed if a particular piece of intelligence weren’t obtained immediately — could never agree that statements adduced by such methods should be admissible evidence in a trial. Our very understanding of what a trial is would be corrupted beyond recognition by such a development.

Because the detainees were subjected to abusive interrogation techniques, military prosecutors in the commission system that has jurisdiction over the case may not have sufficient evidence to prove that they are guilty of the mass murder they are brazenly proud of orchestrating — and even if that hurdle could be overcome somehow, it is likely the commission would decline to impose the death penalty.

Then there is the “laws of war” problem, which I periodically and inconveniently note as commentators left and right decry the continuing operation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and “forever wars.” The laws of war permit detention of enemy combatants only until the conclusion of hostilities; once combat operations are over, detainees must be charged with war crimes or released. Many of the 34 detainees still held at Gitmo (and even more who have already been released) cannot be tried, not just because of the interrogation methods used on some of them but because the evidence against them can’t be exposed without compromising U.S. intelligence-gathering methods and sources. Yet if released, those detainees would likely return to anti-American jihadism.

Critics want the war to be over and Gitmo to be shuttered this instant. Naturally, though, they don’t want to be held responsible for the foreseeable outcome of that scenario: Terrorists who are released will kill more Americans and other innocent people. Still, the law is the law. Olson, again, is correct in saying that detainees who can’t and won’t be charged, and who have been cleared for release, should be transferred to countries willing to take them. If they’ve been cleared, that is a governmental judgment that they are no longer seen as combatants. And if they’re no longer seen as combatants, there is no legal authority to detain them, notwithstanding the risk that they could return to terrorist activities.

Biden has botched many things. He is to be blamed, however, for none of this. The job he has is the world’s toughest because it requires making gut-wrenching, politically fraught calls. If he is to be faulted, it is only for being too craven to take the heat for decisions that are certain to be unpopular with many, if not most, Americans. Thus has the White House tried to deflect responsibility for the entire mess, as if it were solely up to the Defense Department and the military commission to decide what to do — as if the armed forces were not subordinates of the commander in chief.

That is the breach into which Olson is stepping. Now, assuming there finally is a plea bargain to end the 9/11 case, Biden will be able to say that if this resolution is good enough for Ted Olson, it ought to be good enough for you.

And so it should.

Even we who supported the commissions must admit that they’ve been a disaster. Looking back, Olson now believes that they were doomed from the start. I’m less sure about that. I believed, and proposed, that Congress should devise a national-security court for alien enemy combatants — a tribunal that would combine the best aspects of the civilian justice system (in particular, independent Article III judges who had done a commendable job on terrorism cases in the years prior to 9/11) with aspects of the military justice system that made it easier to shield intelligence from our wartime enemies. But there was no appetite for such a court, and forced to choose between two poor fits, I believed the military-commission system, though experimental, would be better than the civilian justice system in which I’d prosecuted terrorists in the 1990s.

And it is here that, while agreeing with his bottom line, I part company with Olson’s critique.

According to Olson, “The established legal system of the U.S. would have been capable of rendering a verdict in these difficult cases, but we didn’t trust America’s tried-and-true courts.” Respectfully, trust in the capacity of our courts to render just, reliable verdicts was never the issue. The Obama administration and top Democrats repeated that talking point endlessly, but it was perfectly obvious that district judges, particularly in the Southern District of New York in the years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, did a stellar job presiding over terrorism trials. The outcomes of those cases were just, although I’d note that the bombers of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were not executed in their capital case, which under the circumstances they should have been.

The actual objection to the civilian justice system was the mismatch between, on the one hand, the presumptions and due-process requirements of the civilian judicial system, and on the other hand, the exigencies of a hot war against very capable jihadist organizations that were continuing to plot operations against U.S. civilian, political, and military targets.

As I can attest, having had to make discovery in terrorism prosecutions, compliance with due-process standards applicable to criminal trials required providing our enemies with valuable intelligence that made them more lethal. It was irresponsible to do this even back in 1993, when we didn’t have as much experience with such cases — just the one major attack against the World Trade Center in February of that year, followed immediately by an unsuccessful plot to bomb other New York City landmarks. There would be no excuse for continuing to do it once our government went to war against these enemies after 9/11, which itself happened only after a series of deadly jihadist operations: the so-called Bojinka plot to explode U.S. airliners in midflight in 1994 (one tourist killed by a test bomb); the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in June 1996 (19 members of the U.S. Air Force killed); the aforementioned bombing of embassies in eastern Africa in August 1998 (over 200 killed); the plot to bomb Western tourist sites in Jordan in late 1999 (a failed attack); the plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999 (a failed attack); the plot to bomb the U.S.S. The Sullivans in Yemen on January 3, 2000 (a failed attack); and the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in October 2000 (17 U.S. Navy personnel killed).

It is undoubtedly true that the civilian justice system would have done a better job than the military commissions. It is not at all certain that that would have resulted in convictions and executions for the 9/11 bombers. If the persistent problem with resolving the 9/11 case is the impact of forcible interrogations, it’s not a problem a civilian trial would have solved — it would have complicated both the liability phase, and then the death-penalty phase, for any defendants who’d been found guilty. Nevertheless, the objection to civilian trials was not about the system’s ability to produce trustworthy results; it was that the national interest in trustworthy results was not as high as the national interest in refraining from providing intelligence to enemies actively trying to kill Americans.

Ted Olson is right: It is time to close the book on the 9/11 litigation. The Biden administration should withdraw the government’s intention to seek the death penalty and allow a plea deal in which the 9/11 defendants are incarcerated for life. Otherwise, the stalemate could go on for many more years: There is no realistic prospect of a trial on the horizon, much less a trial in which the terrorists are convicted and executed.

Meantime, Congress needs to examine our Nuremberg-driven assumption that war criminals who commit mass murder must be given a proceeding approximating a criminal trial before they may be executed. It is simply a fact that we are never going to presume the innocence of such offenders or release them if they are somehow acquitted. So why pretend otherwise?

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Re: AMcC: Time to end the debacle
« Reply #534 on: February 04, 2023, 02:23:08 PM »
Just declare all AQ prisoners were J6 protesters and they can be deprived of all due process rights, imprisoned indefinitely and executed as needed without a bit of concern from the left.

I still haven’t found where DSA has covered Ray Epps and his mysterious lack of criminal charges.


Time to End the 9/11 Military-Commission Debacle
By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
February 4, 2023 6:30 AM

Ted Olson is right: A deal in which the remaining defendants plead guilty and agree to serve life in prison is best for all involved.
In rhetoric, there is no greater advantage than the perceived authority of the speaker — and it would be difficult to imagine a more authoritative voice on the legal response to the 9/11 atrocities than Ted Olson.

I could not admire Ted more. He is one of the great lawyers in the United States, and has been for decades. For much of his career, he was a pillar of the sort of Justice Department that now seems a distant memory: the sort that elevated the rule of law above partisan politics.

Olson was the solicitor general of the United States on September 11, 2001, when jihadist suicide-hijacking attacks killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Because of that position in the Justice Department’s upper echelon, and because he most deservedly had the trust of President George W. Bush, Olson was at the forefront of the government’s legal response to the most brutal act of war committed on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

Such responsibilities, daunting as they were, seem almost trivial in comparison to 9/11’s ramifications for Olson’s personal life. As he related in a moving op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, his wife, Barbara Olson, was among the passengers killed by the terrorists when they crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Reading it takes the breath away, even for those of us who were enmeshed in counterterrorism at the time, who had relationships stretching back years with the families of many of the fallen, and who like to think we understand the anguish, though we really can’t:

I remember exactly where I was standing on Sept. 11, 2001, when I heard my wife Barbara’s voice over the phone moments before her plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon. She told me that hijackers had taken over her flight from Washington to Los Angeles, where she was heading for a television appearance. She spent her last few minutes trying to figure out how to stop the unfolding tragedy. The weight of the disaster was overwhelming. It was personally devastating for me and for the thousands of others who lost family and friends that day, and it was devastating for our nation. I knew then that life would never be the same in this country.

He is right: It never has been the same. We are the worse for the events of that terrible day, and there is plenty of blame to go around for that on both sides of the intense debate over the proper role of the justice system in an asymmetrical war against a barbaric enemy. It is blame we share despite our good intentions, and perhaps because we’ve too often failed to credit the good intentions of those with whom we disagreed.

The focus of Olson’s piece is the conundrum we’ve previously discussed here: terrorists who should be put to death but can’t be tried. It should go without saying that he writes as someone who was both personally aggrieved by the attacks and professionally engaged in the government’s response to them. But ever the patriot, he also aims to help Joe Biden out of a bind that is not of Biden’s own making but that only Biden, as the president, can address.

As we’ve observed for months, the Biden administration is struggling to resolve an untenable, infuriating impasse: the inability over 22 years to try, convict, and execute jihadists we know orchestrated al-Qaeda’s 9/11 operation. The president clearly wants to end this debacle through a bargain in which the Justice Department takes the death penalty off the table and the terrorists admit guilt and accept life sentences.

Olson argues that such a deal is “the best the U.S. government can do at this point,” and he’s right.

The detainees were subjected to what the Bush administration euphemistically described as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and what progressive Democrats label “torture,” a conclusion on which they will brook no dissent (no matter that Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats were briefed on it in real time). Even if one does disagree with the torture accusation, two things must be stipulated. First, some of the methods used by American officials, and all of them in the aggregate, shock the conscience. Second, even those of us who were open to the argument that exerting extreme physical and psychological pressure on detainees could be justified in a ticking-bomb scenario — i.e., a dire situation in which thousands of people could be killed if a particular piece of intelligence weren’t obtained immediately — could never agree that statements adduced by such methods should be admissible evidence in a trial. Our very understanding of what a trial is would be corrupted beyond recognition by such a development.

Because the detainees were subjected to abusive interrogation techniques, military prosecutors in the commission system that has jurisdiction over the case may not have sufficient evidence to prove that they are guilty of the mass murder they are brazenly proud of orchestrating — and even if that hurdle could be overcome somehow, it is likely the commission would decline to impose the death penalty.

Then there is the “laws of war” problem, which I periodically and inconveniently note as commentators left and right decry the continuing operation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and “forever wars.” The laws of war permit detention of enemy combatants only until the conclusion of hostilities; once combat operations are over, detainees must be charged with war crimes or released. Many of the 34 detainees still held at Gitmo (and even more who have already been released) cannot be tried, not just because of the interrogation methods used on some of them but because the evidence against them can’t be exposed without compromising U.S. intelligence-gathering methods and sources. Yet if released, those detainees would likely return to anti-American jihadism.

Critics want the war to be over and Gitmo to be shuttered this instant. Naturally, though, they don’t want to be held responsible for the foreseeable outcome of that scenario: Terrorists who are released will kill more Americans and other innocent people. Still, the law is the law. Olson, again, is correct in saying that detainees who can’t and won’t be charged, and who have been cleared for release, should be transferred to countries willing to take them. If they’ve been cleared, that is a governmental judgment that they are no longer seen as combatants. And if they’re no longer seen as combatants, there is no legal authority to detain them, notwithstanding the risk that they could return to terrorist activities.

Biden has botched many things. He is to be blamed, however, for none of this. The job he has is the world’s toughest because it requires making gut-wrenching, politically fraught calls. If he is to be faulted, it is only for being too craven to take the heat for decisions that are certain to be unpopular with many, if not most, Americans. Thus has the White House tried to deflect responsibility for the entire mess, as if it were solely up to the Defense Department and the military commission to decide what to do — as if the armed forces were not subordinates of the commander in chief.

That is the breach into which Olson is stepping. Now, assuming there finally is a plea bargain to end the 9/11 case, Biden will be able to say that if this resolution is good enough for Ted Olson, it ought to be good enough for you.

And so it should.

Even we who supported the commissions must admit that they’ve been a disaster. Looking back, Olson now believes that they were doomed from the start. I’m less sure about that. I believed, and proposed, that Congress should devise a national-security court for alien enemy combatants — a tribunal that would combine the best aspects of the civilian justice system (in particular, independent Article III judges who had done a commendable job on terrorism cases in the years prior to 9/11) with aspects of the military justice system that made it easier to shield intelligence from our wartime enemies. But there was no appetite for such a court, and forced to choose between two poor fits, I believed the military-commission system, though experimental, would be better than the civilian justice system in which I’d prosecuted terrorists in the 1990s.

And it is here that, while agreeing with his bottom line, I part company with Olson’s critique.

According to Olson, “The established legal system of the U.S. would have been capable of rendering a verdict in these difficult cases, but we didn’t trust America’s tried-and-true courts.” Respectfully, trust in the capacity of our courts to render just, reliable verdicts was never the issue. The Obama administration and top Democrats repeated that talking point endlessly, but it was perfectly obvious that district judges, particularly in the Southern District of New York in the years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, did a stellar job presiding over terrorism trials. The outcomes of those cases were just, although I’d note that the bombers of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were not executed in their capital case, which under the circumstances they should have been.

The actual objection to the civilian justice system was the mismatch between, on the one hand, the presumptions and due-process requirements of the civilian judicial system, and on the other hand, the exigencies of a hot war against very capable jihadist organizations that were continuing to plot operations against U.S. civilian, political, and military targets.

As I can attest, having had to make discovery in terrorism prosecutions, compliance with due-process standards applicable to criminal trials required providing our enemies with valuable intelligence that made them more lethal. It was irresponsible to do this even back in 1993, when we didn’t have as much experience with such cases — just the one major attack against the World Trade Center in February of that year, followed immediately by an unsuccessful plot to bomb other New York City landmarks. There would be no excuse for continuing to do it once our government went to war against these enemies after 9/11, which itself happened only after a series of deadly jihadist operations: the so-called Bojinka plot to explode U.S. airliners in midflight in 1994 (one tourist killed by a test bomb); the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in June 1996 (19 members of the U.S. Air Force killed); the aforementioned bombing of embassies in eastern Africa in August 1998 (over 200 killed); the plot to bomb Western tourist sites in Jordan in late 1999 (a failed attack); the plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999 (a failed attack); the plot to bomb the U.S.S. The Sullivans in Yemen on January 3, 2000 (a failed attack); and the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in October 2000 (17 U.S. Navy personnel killed).

It is undoubtedly true that the civilian justice system would have done a better job than the military commissions. It is not at all certain that that would have resulted in convictions and executions for the 9/11 bombers. If the persistent problem with resolving the 9/11 case is the impact of forcible interrogations, it’s not a problem a civilian trial would have solved — it would have complicated both the liability phase, and then the death-penalty phase, for any defendants who’d been found guilty. Nevertheless, the objection to civilian trials was not about the system’s ability to produce trustworthy results; it was that the national interest in trustworthy results was not as high as the national interest in refraining from providing intelligence to enemies actively trying to kill Americans.

Ted Olson is right: It is time to close the book on the 9/11 litigation. The Biden administration should withdraw the government’s intention to seek the death penalty and allow a plea deal in which the 9/11 defendants are incarcerated for life. Otherwise, the stalemate could go on for many more years: There is no realistic prospect of a trial on the horizon, much less a trial in which the terrorists are convicted and executed.

Meantime, Congress needs to examine our Nuremberg-driven assumption that war criminals who commit mass murder must be given a proceeding approximating a criminal trial before they may be executed. It is simply a fact that we are never going to presume the innocence of such offenders or release them if they are somehow acquitted. So why pretend otherwise?


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Judge releases three Muslims, calls FBI informant a "villain"
« Reply #536 on: August 09, 2023, 06:09:20 AM »


Judge releases three Muslim men, calls informant a ‘villain’

Says FBI created false terrorist plot

BY MICHAEL HILL ASSOCIATED PRESS ALBANY, N.Y. | In a scathing ruling last month, a federal judge said the FBI had used a “villain” of an informant to manipulate a group of Muslim men into going along with a fictitious plot to destroy military planes and synagogues in New York City’s suburbs. She ordered three men released from prison, saying that “the real lead conspirator was the United States.”

Now, a man convicted in another sting carried out by the same FBI operative says he hopes the ruling will prompt prosecutors to review similar counterterrorism operations carried out in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

“Hopefully, this will be the first step for the Justice Department to review all those cases of conspiracy and entrapment,” said Yassin Aref, a former imam who spent 14 years in federal custody in a case involving a business loan made to an Albany pizza shop owner and a made-up story about a Stinger missile.

Aref and the shop owner were arrested in 2004 in one of several FBI stings carried out by a paid civilian operative named Shahed Hussain, whose work has been criticized for years by civil liberties groups.

Hussain entered the U.S. with his wife and two sons in the 1990s after he was accused of murder — falsely, he once testified — in his native Pakistan. He settled in the Albany area and was working as a translator when he got caught helping someone get their driver’s license illegally. In exchange for leniency, he started working for the FBI.

American law enforcement at the time was on a massive hunt for terrorist “sleeper cells” planning attacks on U.S. soil. Hussain worked with the FBI to approach people suspected of being sympathetic to Islamic militant groups and see if they could be talked into committing an illegal act.

One target was a group of four men from Newburgh, New York, who were arrested in 2009, convicted of plotting deadly antisemitic attacks and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Courts have upheld their convictions, finding they knowingly became eager participants in a plot to plant explosives at a Bronx synagogue.

But when three of the four applied for compassionate release, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon granted the request, saying the FBI had sent a master manipulator “to troll among the poorest and weakest of men for ‘terrorists’ who might prove susceptible to an offer of much-needed cash in exchange for committing a faux crime.”

In a ruling July 28, Judge Mc-Mahon called them “hapless, easily manipulated and penurious petty criminals” who had no connection to any terrorist group and had “never remotely contemplated” violent extremism before they met Hussain.

The ruling resonated with defendants and attorneys in a case Hussain helped build in 2004 against two men involved with an Albany mosque — Aref and former pizza shop owner Mohammed Hossain.

Posing as a successful businessman, Hussain befriended Hossain, eventually offering to lend him $50,000 for his struggling business. But he also told the pizza shop owner the money would come from the sale of a shoulder-fired missile, imported from China, to a group that wanted to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York City.

Hossain later said he thought the talk about an attack was a joke and that the missile he was shown was a plumbing supply. For religious reasons, he asked his imam, Aref, to witness the business transaction, much like a notary.

Aref and Hossain, now free after serving long prison terms for money laundering concealing material support for an attack with a weapon of mass destruction and giving material support to a terrorist organization, say they were innocent.

Defense lawyers said they were manipulated to take part in a deal they didn’t understand.

The FBI declined to comment. Emails seeking comment were sent to the Department of Justice and the regional U.S. attorney’s office.

Body-by-Guinness

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Doxxing: Is it Legal and Moral?
« Reply #537 on: October 16, 2023, 06:02:34 AM »
Perhaps misfiled, but in this current climate where nitwits are proudly standing with Hamas while others take their pictures, identify them, and then publish the results, this piece finds relevance, basically stating the 1st amendment protects that sort of speech, while any subsequent criminal act is the responsibility of the criminal actor:

https://reason.com/volokh/2023/10/16/the-cecil-the-lion-killing-dentist-civil-rights-boycott-noncompliers-and-hamas-supporters/

Crafty_Dog

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BBG:

Good call on using this thread-- I just added Doxxing to the name of the thread.

Body-by-Guinness

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More on Doxxing
« Reply #539 on: October 16, 2023, 07:00:02 AM »
This likely encompasses my view, though somewhat uncomfortably as I’ve been on the receiving end:

https://reason.com/volokh/2023/10/15/some-cancellations-are-justified/

Body-by-Guinness

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Bierce’s Cold Truth
« Reply #540 on: October 16, 2023, 07:50:28 AM »
I’m a fan of Ambrose Bierce, an American Civil War era author, cynic, and creator of the fabulous The Devil’s Dictionary, wherein he defined the term “noncombatant” as “A dead Quaker.”

That cynical view is apt now as Hamas embeds itself and its crew served and other weapons amid non-combatants, fire said weapons, and then have film crews standing by to document and indeed falsify the carnage as is the “Pallywood” standard. This piece was written a couple years ago and has been updated to address these ploys and the morality of Israel’s response:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2023/10/video-israel-complies-with-the-law-of-armed-conflict-when-defending-against-terrorists-hiding-among-civilians-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-israel-complies-with-the-law-of-armed-conflict-when-defending-against-terrorists-hiding-among-civilians-2
« Last Edit: October 16, 2023, 08:54:55 AM by Body-by-Guinness »

Body-by-Guinness

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Poor Babies….
« Reply #541 on: October 16, 2023, 08:50:56 AM »
« Last Edit: October 16, 2023, 08:54:04 AM by Body-by-Guinness »

Body-by-Guinness

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Higher Ed Sheds the High Moral Ground & any Appearance Thereof
« Reply #542 on: October 16, 2023, 09:00:25 AM »
3rd (actually 4th) post. Jewish students/Israeli sympathizers facing pushback and attacks on campus. The value of a higher ed degree has been shedding value of late, now the mask is being ripped off any pretense of deliberation and informed debate occurring at colleges, with the parents writing checks exposed to it all. Doesn’t bode well for the institutions I’d guess:

https://www.thecollegefix.com/violence-threats-tears-israeli-supporters-face-aggressive-pro-palestinian-campus-protests-nationwide/?fbclid=IwAR3Fgh8JakdzxcKQIHXiqTXWxXjw6A1ocEFWpf5jRRvuw2cG9WvJbDVJCZc

Crafty_Dog

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Good posts, but not really within the rubric of "legal issues".

One of the Education threads or the SJW thread might be better calls.

Crafty_Dog

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Bolton: The Terrorist Veto
« Reply #544 on: December 03, 2023, 07:07:06 AM »
Israel Faces Pressure to Yield to the ‘Terrorist Veto’
The strategic consequence of any pause, truce or cease-fire is to increase Hamas’s odds of survival.
By John Bolton
Dec. 1, 2023 5:59 pm ET

There is a tension between Israel’s two objectives of eliminating Hamas as a political and military force and recovering the innocent civilians kidnapped on Oct. 7. Weighing these competing priorities, Israel decided to pause its anti-Hamas military campaign in exchange for the return of some hostages. This policy’s wisdom is debatable.

A greater hazard, however, imperils Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense. I call it the “terrorist veto,” and with every passing day, Israel’s chances of escaping it diminish, notwithstanding Friday’s resumption of hostilities. For many people, the not-so-hidden goal of the hostage negotiations is to focus international attention—and emotions—on pausing hostilities indefinitely and tying Israel’s hands militarily. Whether labeled a pause, truce or cease-fire, the strategic consequences are objectively pro-Hamas. Using human bargaining chips and fellow Gazans as shields, Hamas seeks to prevent Israel from eliminating its terrorist threat.

Success for Hamas means merely surviving with a limited presence in Gaza, particularly a Gaza rebuilt as it was before Oct. 7. This result is a terrorist veto, even if military-pause supporters resist this painful but accurate term.

If the Hamas veto succeeds, other barbarians such as Hezbollah and Tehran’s mullahs (the ultimate enemy here) can insulate themselves from the consequences of their terrorism. Even worse, the terrorist veto can be copied by barbaric nation-states, with victims of aggression rendered unable to vindicate their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukraine and Taiwan come to mind as potential victims of this new paradigm.

President Biden and others deny trying to block further military action, but that is precisely the effect of their policies. On Wednesday CNN said Mr. Biden’s policy rests on three pillars: releasing the hostages, stepping up aid into Gaza, and figuring out what happens after the war. No mention of eliminating Hamas. Meantime, some Democratic senators are pressing for conditions on aid to Israel to restrict its military operations, to which Mr. Biden has alluded positively.

However the arguments for prolonging the initial or subsequent pauses are made, Israel will face three potentially debilitating consequences if it ceases or limits its military campaign. First, despite strong statements by many Israelis, in government and out, the country’s resolve is weakening. Right after Oct. 7, Jerusalem perhaps was prepared to hear U.S. military advisers caution that subduing resistance in Mosul and Fallujah took between nine months and a year. Then, Israelis might have been committed to a long struggle, but it seems unlikely they still are after this initial pause. Declining Israeli resolve guarantees that Hamas won’t be eliminated.

Cease-fire advocates argue that because Israel persuaded a million Gazans to move south before its initial campaign, Gazan “civilian” casualties in further operations in the south will dwarf previous casualties. Although Hamas and Iran initially placed Gazans in harm’s way, international recrimination will unfairly fall on Israelis, further sapping their resolve.

Second, because Hamas, Iran and their allies likely gain more militarily from the pause than Israel, the human costs to Israeli’s military will rise, as will domestic opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s objectives. It may be impossible to count incremental Israel Defense Forces casualties due to the pause, but the tally could exceed the number of hostages released.

Third, the greater the pauses or limitations, the more time Hamas’s surrogates worldwide have to increase anti-Israel pressure on their governments. In turn, many governments will lean on Israel to accept less, probably far less, than Mr. Netanyahu’s stated objectives.

The White House is urging, post-hostilities, turning over responsibility for Gaza to the Palestinian Authority. That utterly ignores its dismal performance in the West Bank, where the authority has been ineffective, corrupt and covertly supportive of terrorism. By some accounts Hamas is now more popular in the West Bank than Gaza. Extending Palestinian Authority control would put Israel back under the threat that surged on Oct. 7. The only long-term solution is to deny Hamas access to concentrated, hereditary refugee populations by resettling Gazans in places where they can enjoy normal lives.

Winston Churchill’s observation that “without victory, there is no survival” directly applies to Israel’s crisis. Victory for Israel means achieving its self-defense goal of eliminating Hamas. Anything less means continuing life under threat, with Tehran and its terrorist surrogates confident that when Westerners say “never again” they don’t really mean it.

Mr. Bolton is author of “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” He served as the president’s national security adviser, 2018-19, and ambassador to the United Nations, 2005-06

Body-by-Guinness

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LGBQTLMNOP groups keep mum on the matter ‘cause intersectionality or some such:

https://x.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1767944348375642444?s=20

Crafty_Dog

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Andy Ngo is fg fearless.

Body-by-Guinness

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Some Lawrfare Jits?
« Reply #547 on: May 01, 2024, 10:05:42 PM »

Body-by-Guinness

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Bankrupt the Bastards
« Reply #548 on: May 14, 2024, 09:01:19 AM »