Media Predictably Condemn Hamdan Terrorism Conviction
Update: After all the MSM ranting of an unfair trial, Hamdan gets 66 months including five years and a month time already served.
As soon as Salim Ahmed Hamdan was convicted Wednesday, July 6, there were several things expected
- The ACLU and other leftist organizations would pitch hissy fits. Mission accomplished
- Many liberals/progressives would tell us the decision was bad and would take the opportunity to rail at Bush. Mission accomplished
- The Credentialed Media would release editorials against the decision. Mission accomplished!
Starting with CBS News, who had theirs out late Wednesday
So the tiny little fish in the barrel was indeed shot. In the least surprising verdict of this or any other year, a panel of U.S. soldiers Wednesday convicted former Osama bin Laden chauffeur Salim Hamdan of supporting al Qaeda operations before and shortly after the terror attacks on America. (snip)
And so a trial that changed the face of American constitutional law (and may yet do so again) ends precisely as it was designed to end by the people in power who designed the legal war on terror. With a conviction. With the White House and Pentagon boasting of the efficacy of the process. And with a model now set for the much more important trials of Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, two truly bad guys. This round goes to the government in a fight that was rigged from the beginning. What happens in the next few rounds is anyone’s guess.
And the article got across exactly the tone the Progressives wanted, inciting exactly the type of comments one would expect, such as:
when we subvert the law to protect the likes of bush,
we become the terrorists,
all americans should be ashamed after this sham trial
At least the article at CBS was by an individual. The one at the New York Times represents the position of the New York Times: Guilty As Ordered
Now that was a real nail-biter. The court designed by the White House and its Congressional enablers to guarantee convictions of high-profile detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — using evidence obtained by torture and secret evidence as desired — has held its first trial. It produced … a guilty verdict.
The rules of justice on Guantánamo are so stacked against defendants that the only surprise was that Mr. Hamdan was actually acquitted on the more serious count of conspiring (it was unclear with whom) to kill Americans during the invasion of Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001.
We are not arguing that the United States should condone terrorism or those who support it, or that the guilty should not be punished severely. But in a democracy, trials must be governed by fair rules, and judges must be guided by the law and the evidence, not pressure from the government. The military commission system, which falls far short of these standards, is a stain on the United States.
In other words, give terrorist, people who are NOT American citizens and/or not applying for US citizenship, the full rights of American citizens. Funny how the sympathy on the Left goes to the Islamists, wrapped up in fake caring about Constitutional Rights.
The headline, tone, and writing of the editorial also seems to be taking shots at the military folks who served during this trial, apparently calling them mindless automatons.
Quite frankly, the Bush Administration did mess up, as they should have named the Islamists who were caught as POW’s, as distasteful as that is, so that they could have held them until the end of the War on Terrorism, without any trials, per the Geneva Convention.
The above portion of this article was written by William Teach of Pirate's Cove and reprinted with permission. However, I want to add a little more.
Andy McCarthy goes after the NY Times on the same article:
Of course, the trial also produced a not-guilty verdict. Was that "as ordered" too? If the system was "designed ... to guarantee convictions" how did that happen?
As our take at NRO this morning points out, the trial appears to have been exceedingly fair. Not only was there no "evidence obtained by torture" etc., there was actually suppression of interrogation proof derived from coercive questioning that did not come close to torture. There were also jury instructions that were very favorable to the defendant, and the introduction of exculpatory evidence. In combination, that probably led to that inconvenient acquittal the Times would prefer not to talk about.
The tiresome Times bombast, altogether emblematic of what passes for discourse on the Left regarding the serious questions about how combatants should be tried, underscores the best result of the Hamdan commission trial. As we argue today:
Such caterwauling, however, will no longer fill a void in the public mind. We now have a concrete record of a completed trial that seems to have been scrupulously deferential to Hamdan’s right to a fair proceeding.
And if it wasn’t, we’ll know that soon enough, too. In drafting and enacting the 2006 Military Commissions Act under which this trial was conducted, the Bush administration and Congress provided for multiple levels of appeal, first in the military system, then in the civilian federal courts — the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and, ultimately, the Supreme Court. In these tribunals, we will no longer be talking hypotheticals and hyperbole. We’ll be talking about an actual case — the things military justice did do, not scurrilous predictions of what it might do.
Bill West at the Counterterrorism Blog sums it up nicely:
The officers who served on this jury had a duty to independently weigh the evidence presented to them within the rules of the Commission and to render a decision based on their own judgement of that evidence...not based on any external orders. The conduct of the proceedings and the verdict demonstrate those officers did just that. They not only vindicated the Commission...the "system"...but they brought great credit upon themselves and the Officer Corps. They upheld that code of honor We the People expect of them.
The NY Times, in its derogatory editorial, not only ignores that fact but does a backhanded insult to those officers who served on the jury.
The cherry on top of it all is that after all this ranting and raving from the MSM and the ACLU, the final sentence was a slap on the wrist.