Quantcast

«

»

Feb 23 2012

Civilian Courts Handle Terrorism Case. Again.

In yet another case showing the utter lunacy of right wing positions on how to handle terror cases, a civilian court had no difficulty convicting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airplane with explosives hidden in his underwear. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. TPM has a roundup of some of the statements from the wingnuts about the case before it happened:

Still it’s worth revisiting just what critics of the civilian court system predicted. Some examples:

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell said in early 2010 that the Obama administration treated Abdulmutallab “as if he had robbed a convenience store” and joked that CNN’s Larry King “has interrogated people longer and better” than the FBI. TPM asked his spokesman if the successful prosecution of Abdulmatallab had changed his views, but his office did not respond.
  • Here’s Sen. Kit Bond from January 2010: “We have learned the hard way that trying terrorists in federal court comes at a high price, from losing out on potentially life-saving intelligence to compromising our sources and methods. We must treat these terrorists as what they are—not common criminals, but enemy combatants in a war.”
  • Reps. Peter King, Buck McKeon, Jerry Lewis, Peter Hoekstra and Lamar Smith “sent a letter to Obama shortly after the attempted attack… demanding that Abdulmutallab be tried in a military court instead.”
  • Michele Bachmann late last year: “He was not an American citizen. We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don’t read them their rights. They don’t have any.”
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins also in January, 2010: “We write to urge the administration to immediately transfer Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a foreign terrorist, to the Department of Defense to be held as an unprivileged enemy belligerent (UEB) and questioned and charged accordingly.” Lieberman’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Civilian courts have a far better track record than the military tribunals at Gitmo in convicting terrorists.

7 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Anthony K

    Civilian courts have a far better track record than the military tribunals at Gitmo in convicting terrorists.

    But, but, they don’t deserve trials and convictions. They deserve to pay the price demanded by our collective anger!

    Shirley Jackson explains it all.

  2. 2
    davidct

    I think they are upset that the death penalty is not consistently available. what they really want is revenge but don’t want to say so. If the person is guilty so much he better but if they were suspected that is good enough. This is America where rights should be arbitrary for some accusations.

  3. 3
    Chiroptera

    Civilian courts have a far better track record than the military tribunals at Gitmo in convicting terrorists.

    I’ve always wondered why that’s the case.

    Do the military tribunal have a more difficult standard of “reasonable doubt” to be met?

    Or are they more cognizant of the public perception that they may be inherently unfair?

    Or something else?

  4. 4
    Deen

    Bachmann:

    “We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don’t read them their rights. They don’t have any.”

    Human rights? What human rights?
    @Ed Brayton:

    Civilian courts have a far better track record than the military tribunals at Gitmo in convicting terrorists.

    Then again, Gitmo doesn’t need to convict anyone. They just need to keep them locked up.

  5. 5
    cafeeineaddicted

    “unprivileged enemy belligerent”
    So has ‘enemy combatant’ been humanized enough that they needed to change it again?

  6. 6
    Bronze Dog

    I won’t be surprised if we end up hearing nutbar (wingnut or even Democrat) rhetoric against the very idea of trials, whether civilian courts or military tribunals. Such rhetoric will probably involve acting appalled that we don’t simply assume being in Gitmo is absolute proof of guilt.

    Of course, there’s the torture issue. Interrogators use unethical and unreliable methods for obtaining information and confessions, intentionally tainting their evidence in doing so, and yet somehow it’ll be the judge’s or tribunal’s fault if a case gets dismissed on such grounds.

  7. 7
    dan4

    Bachmann: “He was not an American citizen. We don’t give Miranda warnings to terrorists, and we don’t read them their rights.”

    Holy crap, she basically implied that “American citizen” and “terrorist” are always and forever mutually exclusive categories. That’s taking the notion of “American exceptionalism” to an almost comically offensive extreme.

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site