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Criminal Trials for Terrorists

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Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby ewlewis » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:30 pm

If you have opened this and ahve paid attention to American news lately,then you already know where this thread is going. I am just curious of everyone's thoughts on the criminal trials of those involved with 9/11.

First I will state that I understand the reasoning of wanting to present a fair trial to these criminals, but under which set of laws. The current proposal by the Attorny General is to afford them rights as if they were citizens, this to me does not make sense. Why are they due the rights our country fought for? If they cared to have our freedom's they could have become citizens and productive members of our culture. Instead they chose to hate the liberties of this nation and attack them, thus starting a war.

I for one am against them recieving an American trial, a war tribunal fits this situation much better. Now there is a lot of talk about the enemy finding out how we do things and this being devastation to our country. I don't buy that, they already know how we do things so nothing new in that respect will be learned. However, they may not know of who is exactly involved for intelligence operations and this trial may compromise that information and for that part we have a second reason as to why we should leave it as a war tribunal.

Lastly, why New York? Yes, NY woudl have jursidiction over the Trade Centers involvement, but what about DC's Pentagon strike or the PA crash. Why does DC get to hold jurisdiction over those cases, or are we going to have a trial in each respective jursidiciton. If that is the case then how much money are wasting and how much time?

So what are your thoughts?
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby Hermit » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:36 pm

For many reasons, this move is farm animal stupid.
They are foreign terrorists apprehended on foreign soil.
They committed an act of war, not a common crime.
They are illegal combatants; they have no rights.
This “Show Trial” gives these scumbags the World stage.
The Judge, his family, the jurors, their families, anyone living anywhere near the trial,
everyone living anywhere near the prison and anyone having anything to do with this fiasco will live in danger.

Oh sure, we tried the first WTC bombers, didn’t we?
KSM said he learned a wealth of valuable information from that trial to plan 9/11.
These killers are entitled to defend themselves, question witnesses and have full access to discovery.
They were not read their rights and they were (according to WPE) tortured.

The principle: "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer,"
was never meant to apply to terrorists and/or illegal combatants.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby ewlewis » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:20 pm

Well said Hermit.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby jms » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:09 pm

Hermit wrote:This “Show Trial” gives these scumbags the World stage.



That hits the nail on the head.. In fact, I heard that they were considering illegal immigrants as the panel of judges. Even Americans will be able to text in there vote.

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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:25 am

I think it's OK. Firstly they're going to need a ton of guards. To keep the HIM safe from the New Yorkers :P Secondly it makes us look bigger. I think the torture issue is going to come out heavily but I don't think he's going to get off because of it. There's enough without the testimony coerced from torture to nail him though the testimony under torture may be rejected, which would make us look good on a global scale - sort of a way of refuting the policy without having to tear apart our government and go back to try to prosecute members of the previous administration solely to make a point (because that's all it would be, no way would anyone actually go to jail).

"The principle: "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer,"
was never meant to apply to terrorists and/or illegal combatants."

I think this is a dangerous road to tread because any group could get mad enough at another to claim this. I really think the possibility of the guy getting off is pretty remote, and again, I would love to see him walk out, a free man, onto the streets of New York, where everyone from the lowest bum to the loftiest millionaire wants to do things to him. Seriously, that would be a harsher punishment than jail or execution. People would fly in from across the country to chill outside the courthouse and wait.

I think mainly this makes us look very good. Also, I'm not too sure in this era where "state secrets" are closely guarded even for minimal amounts of information that even in discovery they're going to get a ton. I think at best he may be able to view some of the more touchy evidence outside of the public eye. The '93 WTC trial issue isn't so lofty now, because a) they clearly already did it and b) everything has changed security-wise since then.

The dude is going down. Period. Either by law or by a mob of pissed of New Yorkers. But honestly... in the very extreme, if he gets off due to having been found tortured... well... that's kind of why we don't torture. Because it's illegal, and that's part of what happens when you act in an illegal fashion. It isn't going to happen, but in the hypothetical where it did, it would really suck, but every anti-torture person in the country will be shrieking "THIS IS WHY WE WERE SAYING WHAT WE WERE SAYING".

We aren't some backward-ass primitive tribal group. We're better than that and we don't need to stoop to their level of torture, we don't even need to step back from our own system to a military tribunal. We can give him the most American trial known to man and he will either be executed or rot in prison.

With a bunch of pissed off New Yorkers. A bunch of pissed off, heavily incarcerated New Yorkers.

I do however think this is a show trial. Even a military tribunal would be a show trial in this instance. But, it's a show trial that might raise our esteem around the globe, and I really do think that's important. By making it public we may be able to gain a lot of ground in the moral authority arena, which would strengthen our global power.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:31 am

Just another thought - this sort of embodies the beauty of our system for those who support it. We don't need to circumvent it, we don't need to make different rules, regardless of the situation. The court system in place in our country, used on our own citizens (who, if guilty, should be held to the same level of guilt as a foreigner really, I mean guilty is guilty, there is no more guilty than guilty for any given crime of the same shade), works in such a way that we don't need to circumvent it and in fact circumventing it for anyone indicates a sort of failure in the system.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby ewlewis » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:53 am

Gnossis: i understand your points and while I do not agree, I can see yoru logic,mostly. Neart he end of your argument you place alot on not wanting to circumvent a good system. Well, the very act of doing something other than a military tribunal in this situation is circumventing the situation. Our traditional method for handling prisoners of war would be the tribunal process, a process that has already been approved on the global scale. It is not like the tribunal is some stone age method, there are formalities that assure rights are protected. However, in a tibunal the govt. would not have to present names and locations of intelligence officers and other information that could compromise current operations. NOw that is important. lets put it this way. If you wre the officer that reported the information the caught this man would you want you name mentioned in a public trial where other members of Al Qaeda would have access. I for one would not.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:54 am

I for one think that our system, if implemented, is beast. We need no considerations or apologies.

War criminals way back in the WWII day were tried by an international panel. We don't have that now, so I think holding them to national law is the closest thing. I have a lot to say on the issue but Mr. Beam requires my silence.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby DerikC » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:05 am

"there are formalities that assure rights are protected"

Does the tribunal only protect lesser rights? If so do you agree that even those responsible for the attacks deserve some rights?

I think Gnossos and I agree on this one. I feel like the torture thing (not to mention the last decade) has really hurt our image in the world, and to get anything done we're going to have to take responsibility, or fix it by letting our system do the work its capable of. Setting up some special system of dealing with terrorists will only send the message that we can't already deal with terrorists.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:23 am

simply put, we are not beasts.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby Patrick » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:00 am

If this were done by military tribunal, the prosecuted would have no chance to defend themselves and to discuss the water boarding that happened to them, the whole thing would be much more brutal. Giving them a fair chance in our own courts and treating them in a civil manner could open the way for further peaceful negotiation and help the United State's image on the world stage. It is unlikely, but it could be a step on the road to peace, which is the ultimate goal. Always take the more peaceful option.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby Hermit » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:42 am

'This is a dangerous world, and this cat isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you.'"
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby jms » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:48 pm

Fair! Where in the warbooks does it talk about fair. Other than what the rules are for the Geneva Convention, giving the enemy the upper hand is not such a great idea.

He can't have a military tribunal. Al Qaeda is not recognized as a faction and therefore, the older laws of the geneva convention do not give any direction whatsoever on how to handle men wearing street clothes.

He is going to get a fair trial under our advanced system where 3rd time offenders can still be arrested. Imagine if this is thrown out because he was not read his miranda rights, or it was determined that he was tortured even if a confession was given. What kind of signal does that send? What implications can this have for our system. Think about this for a minute.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby CPWSolf » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:21 pm

I would like to point out that classing 9/11 as an act of war would be foolish. It would afford them the rights of serving soldiers, those that are fighting hard for liberty. 9/11 was an act of terrorism and thus I would want them to be tried in the country they committed the crimes, under the laws of that country as terrorist.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:50 pm

jms wrote:Imagine if this is thrown out because he was not read his miranda rights, or it was determined that he was tortured even if a confession was given. What kind of signal does that send? What implications can this have for our system. Think about this for a minute.


Do you seriously think this will happen? Hermit was right, this is going to be a show trial.

In any case if it gets thrown out because he was tortured - this is why we should not torture. It is illegal and utilizing illegal tactics can lead to bad people being let go. That's on us.

I really do not foresee him getting off though.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby jms » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:09 pm

Lets see here:

Foreign terrorist is apprehended and tortured by our military (remember this is not an act of war) and is going to be treated as an American to a fair trial (federal) in NY to the tune of millions of dollars payable by the local taxpayers.

Yet we cannot even bring indictments to the financial fraudsters in this country who are still committing acts of terror against the American people.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby ewlewis » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:32 pm

I have so much difficulty in understanding how a group of people who have built an entire force with the sole purpose of destroying us and what we stand for can recieve so much sympathy. My God, they plotted and executed a plan that had them take control of airliners and flying them into the side of buildings, killing thousands. And they will do it again. They care not for our civilized ways, only that they want to destroy them. SO yes, lets try to make a nice gesture for peace, and then they will gladly bomb us again. What a joke.
As far as our image to the world, whatever. We will never have a good image until we bend to their standards. But why should we bend to their standard, we are our own country and we were the ones attacked, not them. So we will deal with how we see fit, and if these other countries do not like it, that is fine, don't like it. Now I know someone is thinking that this is some uncivilized mindset, but is it really. I mean since when does civilized and being liked or apologetic ever mean the same thing.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:08 pm

It isn't sympathy at all. It's refusing to throw American (and international in the realm of torture) ideology to the wind just because we're scared and paranoid. We're supposed to be brave America and part of that bravery is sticking to our ideals even when boogeymen come haunting us. This is more a show of strength to me than a show of weakness or sympathy. Trust me, I do worry about future attacks. But I can't give in to that paranoia and OK some of the actions that have taken place. I mean, really? Terror's goal is exactly what has been going down. A single act that causes a nation to change its policies or its ideals. The attack, though painful, is ancillary to the goals of terrorism. Terrorism's goal is what happens after the attack.

"Yet we cannot even bring indictments to the financial fraudsters in this country who are still committing acts of terror against the American people."

I don't think I could call their actions acts of terror, but I do agree heads should roll on this issue.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby ewlewis » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:35 pm

I guess that is my other issue. It keeps being said that we are chaning our policy by holding a tribunal when in fact we are just following protocol when we do. It is the act of giving this non citizen a citizen's trial that is changing anything. I also understand about paranoia an reacting to it. But there is a difference between acting on paranoia and acting on the fact that it will happen again. Besides, any process that threatens to release any confidential information is nonsense. At what point do we protect the lives of Americans over the lives of foreigners.
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Re: Criminal Trials for Terrorists

Postby gnossos » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:46 am

ewlewis wrote:I guess that is my other issue. It keeps being said that we are chaning our policy by holding a tribunal when in fact we are just following protocol when we do. It is the act of giving this non citizen a citizen's trial that is changing anything. I also understand about paranoia an reacting to it. But there is a difference between acting on paranoia and acting on the fact that it will happen again. Besides, any process that threatens to release any confidential information is nonsense. At what point do we protect the lives of Americans over the lives of foreigners.


I can definitely understand that angle. (btw didn't that Massousi-whatsit guy get a trial in Virginia a few years ago? I can't remember... anyways...)

I think people might not really know how to handle these guys since they aren't a government-based army, I don't know. The more I think about it the more it does seem to be mainly to set an example and a precedent. I don't think we're going to need to release too too much that's sensitive, but we will probably be talking about the torture issue and it may just be a way to repudiate it in court, sort of.

This may not be the best or even most sensible way to go about it in the grand scheme of things... I just know I'm a LOT more comfortable with this route than black sites like the one recently found in Lithuania http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cia-secre ... 978&page=1 or disappearing folks to Guantanamo without ever even seeing charges. I feel like that sets a scary precedent and we already tortured a Canadian who was later found innocent. When stuff like this is done under the table style I don't worry so much about the bad guys, I worry about innocents getting caught up in it and never having a chance.

But, I do think you make some good and coherent points from the other side.
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