November 21, 2006
Ban it, Janet!
Oh ho! Janet Reno -- you remember her? -- has gone to court, leading a bunch of lesser legal accolytes to make it look like a movement, to overturn the anti-terrorism Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA).
The MCA was passed by Congress at the end of September 2006; it created the military commissions... you recall, the law responding to the Hamdan decision by the Supreme Court. It passed in the House by 253 to 168 (with 34 Democrats supporting it), and in the Senate by 65 to 34 with 12 Democrats supporting. (In the House, 7 Republicans voted against the bill; in the Senate, the only Republican to vote against it was -- wait for it -- Lincoln Chafee. (Aren't you sad that he's gone?)
Anyway, Stretch Reno really, really dislikes the MCA, and she wants it gone. She and her seven new best pals insist that terrorists can easily be tried in the ordinary criminal-justice system, alongside carjackers and welfare defrauders:
"The existing criminal justice system is more than up to the task of prosecuting and bringing to justice those who plan or attempt terrorist acts within the United States -- without sacrificing any of the rights and protections that have been the hallmarks of the American legal system for more than 200 years," the attorneys wrote.
They are of course correct that terrorist suspects can easily be tried by the CJS; what they can't be is convicted, which is fine by Reno and the Seven Consiglieri.
The problem with the CJS is discovery, of course: any smart lawyer (probably supplied by al-Qaeda) will demand all sorts of highly classified documents, claiming they are all vital and essential to his client's defense. Since there is no way that the federal administration can release such mission-critical information to terrorists and their terrorist shysters (think Lynne Stewart), they will refuse... and that will immediately trigger many federal judges to dismiss all charges and order the terrorist freed. Simplicity itself!
Thus, if Janet Reno, the last Democratic Attorney General, has her way, the carefully crafted work of Congress over the past year plus will be thrown out the window; instead, terrorist suspect will be tried by ordinary civilian courts in a "catch and release" program that will take our breath away. Perhaps quite literally.
So the real question before the house is... will the incoming Democratic majority in Congress support this lawsuit filed by their top cop? Will they agree that terrorist suspect should only be tried by civilian courts, where the terrorists' rights can be fully protected (and to hell with the rest of us)?
Or will they diss Hillary Clinton's closest ally and confidant among President Clinton's cabinet and argue for some form of military commissions... even if they don't particularly like the law that was actually enacted?
Or the most likely, in my opinion: will Democrats duck this issue, focusing instead on such urgent national business as raising the minimum wage and getting Alcee Hastings situated as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence?
No predictions today -- "only time will tell!"
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 21, 2006, at the time of 7:09 AM
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The following hissed in response by: Rovin
Why can't Reno and her cronies just come out and say what they really want? -- A TERRORIST BILL OF RIGHTS.
Are they so afraid that some sympathizer/treasonous american may get caught up in a prosecution by the MCA, and therfore not be afforded the same rights as "The existing criminal justice system"?
If "another planet janet" can't see the difference in prosecuting terrorist, she needs to get her burka on and cover her face.
The above hissed in response by: Rovin at November 21, 2006 8:01 AM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Anyone think that Reno, given her history, is the right person to head up this charge? Go ahead, raise your hands. Yeah, that's what I thought too.
Start executing them on the battle field.
Actually I think that is what they are doing, given how few new recruits Gitmo has been receiving.
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
Didn't the Supreme Court suggest that the Congress come up with the legislation?
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at November 21, 2006 11:05 AM
The following hissed in response by: PC14
Perhaps Janet has long forgotten "The Wall" between the CIA and the FBI that stood way high during the Clinton administration. The same wall that cast a shadow on 9/11 conspirators, allowing them to go undected, because the CIA would not share intelligence from the USS Cole bombing, would once again stand solidly in place.
The CIA has a simple mantra: Once intelligence becomes evidence, it is no longer intelligence.
The following hissed in response by: nk
I wish Ms. Reno had granted Elian Gonzalez the same trial she wants to grant to terrorists. She certainly thought, in that case, that her administrative authority as Attorney General trumped Article III courts. Could it be that she is pining for past glories? That her complaint will lead to federal marshalls raiding Gitmo and liberating the terrorists at gunpoint? There is a Cuban connection (since Gitmo is in Cuba) and it would make Castro happy.
On the other hand, I do not want to be too hard on the lady who caused Al Gore to lose Florida in 2000.
The above hissed in response by: nk at November 21, 2006 5:00 PM
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