Thursday, November 18, 2010

Civilian Trials (once again)

Ahmed Ghailani, one of the men supposedly involved in the embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya (that occurred, um, twelve years ago) was brought to trial Wednesday- or at least, that was when he was acquitted of all but one out of 280 charges.

Yessir. Those poor prosecutors were unable to use statements he made under duress (the outrage!), and unfortunately their trail had gone cold since, apparently, terrorists are unlike regular people, and we can't bring them to justice immediately. Oh no. We have to wait twelve years. Actually, only six, since he was captured in 2004. And then sent to Guantanamo.


Despite the acquittals, Ghailani is still looking at anything from twenty years to life in prison. Go us. We now know that if you conspire to mess up a pretty government building, you can get life in prison.

Right. Okay.

In any case, the response to this is pretty typical. In fact, it's laughably familiar. Didn't we already go through this? The Republicans are mad because they only had circumstantial evidence to throw at him, and hence he's not...uh...going to go to jail for a long time. Guys, let me acquaint you with one of the beauties of the American justice system:

You can't send somebody to jail if you don't have proof. It doesn't work. No matter how much you absolutely know, deep down in your little heart, that Ahmed Ghailani committed grievous crimes against us, without proof, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. That's a good thing. It keeps innocent people from going to jail.

This does not prove that civilian trials won't work for terror detainees. It just means that we have a cultural block, and we need to get over it and realize that these people are just that- people, who deserve just as much courtesy and justice as any other human being. We afford the worst kind of people civilian trials.

And on that note, I'd also like to, once again, challenge that little thing. "They're not civilians!" people cry. "We can't try them in civilian courts!"

But... "They're not a military! We can't afford them the protections of the Geneva Conventions!"


This proves it. I know what these men are.

They're figments of our imagination. *nods seriously* This has all been a big trick played by our minds. 9/11 didn't happen. Guantanamo doesn't exist. Because there is not a netherworld between military and civilian, and hence these men must not exist.

In any case, and all joking aside, I have decided that most of these trials are merely a sham, in any case, as this quote from the NYTimes aptly illustrates:

"Had he been cleared of all charges, the administration would probably have been forced to take Ghailani back into military custody rather than see him released."

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. It just flat doesn't matter. Nothing matters in this crazy country we're living in now. According to the government (not only this administration's, but past ones as well), convictions, or non-convictions, by a jury duly appointed can be turned over at the whim of said government.

People ask how they can see us naked and pat us down in incredibly invasive ways for the mere crime of *gathp* wanting to travel?

That's how. Welcome to America.

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