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Gaffney, McCarthy Team Up to Bring the Stupid

Frank Gaffney and Andrew McCarthy are two of the loudest and dumbest voices on the right. They have literally never seen an authoritarian anti-Islamic policy they didn’t endorse. Gaffney has argued that we should end Muslim immigration and not allow any mosques to be built. Now they’re teaming up to say dumb things about a civilian trial for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, the investigation into its perpetrators has been marred by a series of bizarre and even alarming actions by President Obama and his administration. Unfortunately, these increasingly suggest a pattern that is at odds with our national and homeland security. The question must be occurring to many Americans: Whose side is he on?

Consider just a few of the recent examples suggesting the ominous answer is “not ours”:

Team Obama decided precipitously to charge the surviving alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in civilian court. This action resulted in his being read Miranda rights and obtaining a lawyer, prompting him to refuse to answer more questions from investigators. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observed, “Obama was determined to end the public debate over whether the jihadist is a wartime enemy combatant or a mere criminal defendant.”

Mr. McCarthy theorizes on what is going on here: “[We] are being softened up. Steered by its Gitmo bar veterans and lawyer left compass, the Obama administration is executing a massive national-security fraud: the farce that the jihad against America can be judicialized, that civilian-court processes are a better answer to enemy warfare than are combat protocols.”

For fuck’s sake, McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor. There is no debate over whether Tsarnaev could be charged in any venue other than a civilian court. He can’t. Period. The courts already ruled on this. He’s an American citizen who committed a crime on American soil. That is the end of the argument for any sane person.

Comments

  1. ragingapathy says

    But…but…but…. Our LAWZ aren’t strong enough to handle the TERRZZZ!!!11!!

  2. ArtK says

    He’s an American citizen who committed a crime on American soil.

    Well there’s your problem. You see, dem Mooslims can’t be real American citizens. Their loyalty is to some evil religion, not the US and the Constitution. Since he’s not a real citizen, we can go Gitmo on his ass.

    </sarcasm>

  3. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    That is the end of the argument for any sane person.

    Well, there’s your problem.

  4. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    Seriously, though, attitudes like this are disturbing to me because I think they point to a loss of acceptance that our court system can come to a just conclusion. This is partly due to real problems, but also due to the constant drumbeat that we have a broken justice system. We hear this particularly from a lot of conservatives, but also from the news media and entertainment media.

  5. Matrim says

    You’ve gotta love racist xenophobes. So, were these guys raising a stink about Tim McVeigh having a civilian trial? I don’t seem to remember anyone making the claim that Ted Kaczynski should be tried in military tribunal.

  6. D. C. Sessions says

    Kaczynski is a commie an SHOULD have been summarily shot when captured.
    McVeigh was a True American Patriot who – should have been given a medal.His persecution and murder was a national disgrace.

  7. brucegee1962 says

    I’m not clear on what they’re actually proposing. It sounds like they want there to be two parallel court systems. So if two people both commit the same crime, we decide which court system to put them into based on our assessment of their motive — if they’re upset about abortion, or crazy, or evil, we put them in the civil system but if they’re MOOSLIMS we put them in a separate system. And you’re saying this is something that’s vaguely constitutional exactly how???

  8. dan4 says

    @&7 (Chants over and over) Please tell me that’s sarcasm…Please tell me that’s sarcasm…Please tell me….

  9. D. C. Sessions says

    dan4, thank you for participating in our ongoing tests of Poe’s Law.

  10. matty1 says

    I have a question regarding this Miranda rights business. Aren’t the rights themselves separate to whether a prisoner has been informed of them? So suppose he was never told he had the right to an attorney but asked for one anyway what would be the legal position? Would the police be able to say “We haven’t read you that right so you don’t have it” or (which seems more likely) would they have to accept that he has that right?

  11. briandavis says

    Seriously, though, attitudes like this are disturbing to me because I think they point to a loss of acceptance that our court system can come to a just conclusion.

    Their problem with civilian courts is that those courts are concerned with reaching a just conclusion rather than the predetermined conclusion they desire.

  12. psweet says

    matty1 — as far as I know, except for questions such as “How do we defuse that bomb?”, any information solicited by police prior to the Miranda rights being read is not admissible in court. It is possible to elicit that information again later, but only if you can show that the initial disclosure didn’t influence your later actions.

  13. says

    If I’m not mistaken, “enemy combatant” was originally a category invented by the Bush Administration to get around various rules regarding prisoners of war, right? But neocons act like it’s something the Founding Fathers named. The brilliant thing about it, of course, is now anyone who doesn’t go with the bogus label can be painted as soft on terrorism. It’s the overton window in action. If they started saying Tsarnaev should be lynched, then people who argue for his being tried without Constitutional rights would be made to look like the “wimps” here.

  14. Stacy says

    Would the police be able to say “We haven’t read you that right so you don’t have it” or (which seems more likely) would they have to accept that he has that right?

    Yes, a detainee has those rights whether or not the police inform hir of them. Of course, many people don’t realize they have those rights, which is why the police are required to let them know.

  15. Randomfactor says

    Hey, McCarthy, I’M not on your side either. I’m over here with sane Americans.

  16. says

    What you people don’t understand is that the Constitution contains a double secret clause that says the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply it the accused is a really, really bad person.

    Honest

    It comes right after the clause that says all of this was quote verbatim from the Babble.

  17. dan4 says

    “…the ominous answer is “not ours”….

    Oh, for pete’s sake, you miserable idiot, if you’re going that route, then why would Obama have Tsarnaev charged AT ALL?

  18. says

    @matty1 #11 – My understanding is that the rights exist, period, whether or not the accused has been formally informed of them. However, information provided before the accused has been properly informed of these rights can be withdrawn; I believe that court rulings make it automatic, which is why such information cannot be used in court unless the accused gives it afterwards as well.

    The question about whether to Mirandize Tsarnaev came down to whether or not he would be tried in a civil court (where it would matter a great deal) or in a Star Chamber proceeding, where it wouldn’t matter at all.

  19. timberwoof says

    The evidence against Tsarnaev is fairly conclusive: I think he did it and should be locked away for the rest of his life. That said, he must be given a fair trial so that the evidence can be presented, reviewed, and challenged methodically and the conclusion be drawn rationally. We must try the evidence fairly so that decades from now no one can claim that Tsarnaev was railroaded. If the US throws away any of its principles in handling this case, then it will be disgraced; it will have to give up that business about being a shining beacon of hope and an example of justice for the rest of the world.

  20. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton,

    “That is the end of the argument for any sane person”

    Unfortunately, these two really don’t fall into that category.

  21. Childermass says

    He’s an American citizen and civilian who committed a crime on American soil outside of military jurisdiction.

    Now there is no room for rational person to dispute the use of civilian courts.

  22. says

    “we decide which court system to put them into based on our assessment of their motive —”

    or, like, the color of their skin, an unMurKKKan accent or the their worship of a silly, made-up, bloodthirsty god?

    “If they started saying Tsarnaev should be lynched,”

    Well, not in PUBLIC, ‘cept mebbe on one of Mr. Bek’s show, but he’s just an entertainer.

  23. gingerbaker says

    He’s an American citizen and civilian who committed a crime on American soil outside of military jurisdiction.

    Now there is no room for rational person to dispute the use of civilian courts.

    Being Devil’s advocate here, but the guy didn’t just jaywalk across the street, he used a weapon of mass destruction for the express purpose of terrorism. And it is possible he did this in service to jihad, as part of a greater company of religious (bad) actors dedicated to a common cause. Which might arguably make this crime eligible as a Crime against Humanity.

    Can a free state, which cherishes civil liberties as well as the rule of law, establish a legal and just reform which treats acts of terrorism differently than other crimes? Which shunts them to military tribunals, which certainly have very different standards of guilt, legal representation, etc than civil courts?

    We currently have a civil justice system which does something similar, I’m talking about things like mandatory sentencing for certain crimes, as well as Three Strikes laws. Here we see a circumnavigation of the normal judicial process where the defendant loses certain rights because he has committed a certain crime. This, evidently, passes Constitutional muster.

    So, why should we not, as a society, say that an act of terrorism crosses a line, and the commission of such an act means you will lose certain rights as a defendant.

    If it is constitutional for a two-time con to be sent to prison forever because he committed a third felony by stealing a loaf of bread, then why would we shrink from trying a terrorist, who used a weapon of mass destruction, in a military tribunal?

    A judicial process, btw, that we find jim dandy for trying the guilt of our soldiers.

  24. mikeymeitbual says

    gingerbaker:
    If the facts as we know them are true, Tsarnaev committed a violent, targeted attack against hundreds of citizens. I don’t see how this is any different than Columbine or any of the other various acts of domestic terrorism in recent history. It was an act of a citizen against another group of citizens.

    We use the military tribunal system to try our own soldiers because they should know better. We’ve trained them and they know the repercussions of their acts. Nearest we can tell, Tsarnaev was not an agent of any government or other entity – he acted of his own free will.

    Am I missing something here?

  25. says

    I am continually boggled by the recurring meme that “treating somebody as a criminal,” trying them in criminal court, and sending them to prison now means that we’re being nice to them.

    I’d like to see Gaffney and McCarthy handle one day in a maximum-security prison. (I simply cannot wish any more than that on them, no matter how horrible human beings they are.) Prisons are not fucking resort hotels.

  26. gingerbaker says

    Am I missing something here?

    Well, your definition seems to define terrorism out of existence.

    While a nutcase going on a shooting rampage is horrible, it is an act that is not using a weapon of mass destruction, not performed for a religious/political end, and is an act not to instill terror in the populace, but simply for its own demented end.

    Tsarnaev was not an agent of any government or other entity – he acted of his own free will.

    I don’t think it is so cut and dried. He was acting, I think, on behalf of Islam, for a perceived brotherhood of aggrieved fellow Muslims on the other side of the world, in countries to which he had no other affinity. As such, he was an agent of an entity – radical jihadist Islam, and ultimately, at the bequest of the Imams calling for terrorist response.

    I wonder whether RICO laws might be extended to these situations so that these Imams would be deemed criminally culpable in a conspiracy, and extradited for prosecution.

  27. kermit. says

    gingerbaker – surely the more certain we are ahead of a a trial (because of persuasive evidence such as video tapes, etc.) then the less need we have to skip the ordinary judicial processes. We have sent folks to life without parole or to be executed for killing one person – no reason we can’t do it for domestic terrorism.
    .
    About half the folks sent to Guantanamo were innocent, and I cannot trust the government on the others. These people were chosen in mostly one of two ways:
    1. Caught in the act, in which case there should be American witnesses, or
    2. Brought in by Afghan warlords for a bounty. Like that’s a trustworthy charge.
    .
    Most claims of “national security requires secrecy” is an excuse to avoid work or embarrassment, or perhaps a simple vendetta against the accused. Seems to me we should have some federal judges with security clearances who can determine whether this extraordinary claim is bogus or not.
    .
    Surely you’re not worried about Tsarnaev getting anything but a conviction in a trial, are you, given the evidence we have?

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