MSNBC's Ronan Farrow Refers to Military Tribunals As ‘Kangaroo Courts’

MSNBC’s resident “boy genius” Ronan Farrow made a backhanded slap at our men and women in uniform by referring to the military commissions set up to try unlawful enemy combatants as “kangaroo courts.”

On Tuesday afternoon’s edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the host was joined by Maryland Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen to discuss Ahmed Abu Khattala capture and where the alleged mastermind behind the deadly September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi could possibly be tried. Van Hollen argued for having him tried in a civilian federal criminal court over a military tribunal. Farrow agreed with him because of the “perception” that our military courts have given the world.

Farrow alluded to the partisan political messing around that has followed Khattala's capture by stating that "once again this issue is falling way, way, way along extreme party lines." Van Hollen joined Farrow in lamenting the "silly conspiratorial talk primarily on the right."

Of course, military commissions were good enough for liberal hero FDR and for the current Democratic occupant of the Oval Office, but now it's simply a partisan matter.

What's more, to smear the military tribunal as a "kangaroo court" is an affront to the dedicated and professional attorneys in the military who do their best to do their duty in those commissions, whether it be as judge, prosecutor, or, yes, defense counsel.

The relevant portion is transcribed below:

MSNBC
Ronan Farrow Daily
June 18, 2014
1:04 p.m. Eastern

REP. VAN HOLLEN: No, we should try him in our federal criminal courts. Because we’ve had the best success rate at trying and convicting people fo racts of terror in that court system. The military court system, there are a couple of questions. One is the legality of that and if you went through that system, there's a much higher likelihood that he would actually be released on appeal. Number two, the track record in federal criminal courts has been much greater with repesct to people who have comitted these acts of terror. Why would we go the route that has the lower success rate than the federal criminal court?

RONAN FARROW: I mean look, Guantanamo detentions and the larger perception military kangaroo courts has really hurt the United States around the world in terms of how we’re perceived. I think this is a step towards the right kind of commitment to due process.
 

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.