Peter Lemiska
Obama's gift to Osama
By Peter Lemiska
November 16, 2009

Whoever suggested that Barack Obama is not a Christian? Obama's decision to try those GITMO prisoners in New York is the perfect gift for Osama bin Laden and just in time for Christmas. We can only imagine those non-alcoholic champagne corks popping in some remote cave in Afghanistan.

While al Qaeda and the far left celebrate the Obama-Holder decision, it has shocked and outraged most Americans. They are outraged because these men were captured in a war on terror, and should be treated as enemy combatants. And because prosecuting them in a civilian court rather than by military tribunal will undoubtedly reveal classified information and investigative techniques that will help our enemies, and because it will require extraordinary security measures at an astronomical cost to taxpayers, and because it will likely increase the risk of another terrorist attack in New York. They also know that, due to the magnitude of these cases, witnesses and the jury pool could become targets of intimidation or worse, and that the defendants will do their best during the trial to create a circus atmosphere and exploit their public platform for propaganda purposes.

But the left refuses to consider any of that, arguing that our justice system is the best in the world, and will certainly prevail against these common thugs. Their newfound respect for anything American is refreshing, given their propensity to condemn this country. They call us arrogant and imperialistic, and compare our soldiers to Nazis. They denounce our capitalist economy and our health care system, pointing with envy to socialist Europe. Obama, himself, spent the first six months of his presidency apologizing for the country he was elected to lead, and his own wife admitted during his campaign that she had never before been proud of America.

So now they've found something they like about America, proclaiming their utmost confidence in our system of justice. But are they really confident that it will convict these terrorists or that it will expose some mistreatment of callous killers by the previous administration?

In fact, our justice system is the best in the world, but it is far from perfect. It is designed to afford the accused with every far-reaching benefit that liberal judges can divine from our Constitution. There is the Miranda admonishment, the right to a speedy trial, the various exclusionary rules that often bar damning evidence. Convictions require the unanimous decision of 12 jurors, and because of their daunting task, prosecutors often accept plea bargains to reduced charges.

How many hardened criminals are walking the streets today because a prosecutor or police officer neglected to cross a "T" or dot an "I," or because a single, wide-eyed juror was taken in by the slick patter of a high-priced defense attorney? And these particular defendants will have the best attorneys money can buy.

The problem is compounded by Obama's decision to change horses in the middle of the stream. Even those who reject the concept of a war on terrorism must surely understand that re-designating enemy combatants as criminal defendants has made the prosecutor's job almost insurmountable. Were they read their Miranda Rights? What about their speedy trial? Were they subjected to mistreatment? These issues and others will certainly be vigorously attacked by the defense attorneys.

No one, not even the 9-11 survivors, wants to see an innocent man convicted of a crime, and even though Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his confederates have admitted their roles in the terrorist attacks, they are entitled to a fair and impartial hearing. The military tribunal that was to have taken place would have accomplished that without the problems associated with a public trial.

Eric Holder has stated that he is confident these men will be convicted and face the "ultimate punishment." Those who watched the O.J. Simpson trial are not so sure. Government prosecutors have become so encumbered with liberal court decisions benefitting the accused, that even solid cases can be difficult to prove. Our criminal justice system is a good one, but it is flawed and not intended for international terrorists. It is founded on the principle that it is "better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer."

What if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of those ten?

© Peter Lemiska


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Peter Lemiska

Peter Lemiska served in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Secret Service. Following his retirement from the Secret Service, he spent several years as a volunteer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Like most of his contemporaries, he's always loved his country, and is deeply dismayed by the new and insidious anti-American sentiment threatening to destroy it. He's a life-long conservative, and his opinion pieces have been published in various print media and on numerous internet sites.


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