Isn't Execution without Trial Worse than Waterboarding?

Monte Kuligowski
Upon assuming office, President Obama turned U.S. anti-terrorism policy upside down. First, Obama ended the "torture" techniques the Bush administration; once used to pry information from select enemy combatant detainees. Then Obama began providing "Miranda rights" to terrorists captured on the battlefields as a precursor to the administration's goals of having civilian trials in the United States for some of the most culpable 9-11 Gitmo detainees.

The term "war on terror" was changed to the more benign sounding "overseas contingency operation." Acts of terrorism became "manmade disasters."

Mr. Obama was going to show the world that, under his watch, the United States is fair to even captured terrorists; by affording them the protections of our Constitution. And, even though Obama and Holder assured Americans by telegraphing that  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be found guilty and executed, Mohammed would somehow still get a fair trial in civilian court.

As the terrorists were treated fairly under Obama the world would regain its respect for America; terrorism would subside as Obama fulfilled his self-appointed "responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

Well, the New York City show trial didn't quite work out. Once the public got wind of what Obama was up to dissention broke out immediately and the entire subject vanished from the radar screen for over a year. Meanwhile, Mohammed lingers in Gitmo.

Recently, Eric Holder announced that maybe constitutional trial rights for murdering, non-uniformed terrorists who don't even qualify for Geneva Convention protections isn't such a good idea after all -- except he didn't put it quite that way

In contrast to the "lawlessness" of the Bush administration, Obama announced that he would uphold the "rule of law." Mr. Obama ordered the closing of Gitmo within one year of Jan. 22, 2009; to regain the "moral high ground." Those held without formal charges were to be indicted and in the interest of justice they were to be adjudicated swiftly.

Well, that all sounded good to his political base, but instead of closing Gitmo, Obama grabbed more power than Bush ever wielded. Even Rachel Maddow couldn't help but notice the hypocrisy of the Obama "prolonged detention" policy. On one hand Obama condemned the "lawlessness" of the last administration as he simultaneously announced a "radical new claim of presidential power that is not afforded by the Constitution and that has never been attempted in American history." That power? To keep detainees locked up indefinitely even when no evidence of "past crimes" is available, but when they nonetheless pose a risk of future crimes.

And, now with the killing of Osama Obama makes the logic of his terrorism policy indiscernible once again
Upon assuming office, President Obama turned U.S. anti-terrorism policy upside down. First, Obama ended the "torture" techniques the Bush administration; once used to pry information from select enemy combatant detainees. Then Obama began providing "Miranda rights" to terrorists captured on the battlefields as a precursor to the administration's goals of having civilian trials in the United States for some of the most culpable 9-11 Gitmo detainees.

The term "war on terror" was changed to the more benign sounding "overseas contingency operation." Acts of terrorism became "manmade disasters."

Mr. Obama was going to show the world that, under his watch, the United States is fair to even captured terrorists; by affording them the protections of our Constitution. And, even though Obama and Holder assured Americans by telegraphing that  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be found guilty and executed, Mohammed would somehow still get a fair trial in civilian court.

As the terrorists were treated fairly under Obama the world would regain its respect for America; terrorism would subside as Obama fulfilled his self-appointed "responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

Well, the New York City show trial didn't quite work out. Once the public got wind of what Obama was up to dissention broke out immediately and the entire subject vanished from the radar screen for over a year. Meanwhile, Mohammed lingers in Gitmo.

Recently, Eric Holder announced that maybe constitutional trial rights for murdering, non-uniformed terrorists who don't even qualify for Geneva Convention protections isn't such a good idea after all -- except he didn't put it quite that way

In contrast to the "lawlessness" of the Bush administration, Obama announced that he would uphold the "rule of law." Mr. Obama ordered the closing of Gitmo within one year of Jan. 22, 2009; to regain the "moral high ground." Those held without formal charges were to be indicted and in the interest of justice they were to be adjudicated swiftly.

Well, that all sounded good to his political base, but instead of closing Gitmo, Obama grabbed more power than Bush ever wielded. Even Rachel Maddow couldn't help but notice the hypocrisy of the Obama "prolonged detention" policy. On one hand Obama condemned the "lawlessness" of the last administration as he simultaneously announced a "radical new claim of presidential power that is not afforded by the Constitution and that has never been attempted in American history." That power? To keep detainees locked up indefinitely even when no evidence of "past crimes" is available, but when they nonetheless pose a risk of future crimes.

And, now with the killing of Osama Obama makes the logic of his terrorism policy indiscernible once again