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The Trial

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer discusses Attorney General Eric Holder and the battle over the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Her article "The Trial" appeared in the February 15 & 22 issue of The New Yorker.

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Comments [14]

jawbone from Parsippany

I think we should give the NY politicians who want to bar the trial of KSM on state soil, even US soil, the Blue Bunny* Medal of "Bravery."

*Usually Blue Bunnies are Dems who run at the slightest hint of any criticism or attack from the right, Repubs, MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) and drop principles along their flight from such attacks. They can be regular Dems, Blue Dog Dems, but usually are not Dems from Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

Blue Bunny Dems do not stand their ground (see health care, climate change, taxation, union rights, etc., etc., etc.)

The Democratic Wing seems, alas, to be getting smaller by the day, which may be why the party as a whole is floundering.

Repubs are attacking regular justice system trials simply to make political points.

Why do the Blue Bunny Dems quail so at their attacks?

Feb. 23 2010 01:54 PM
Shawn C Paul from Brooklyn

I was curious how the United States has been successful at producing inventors rather than theoretical scientists- and how Josiah Willard Gibbs, America's most influential theoretical physicist, has been systematically ignored and almost forgotten. Is there a connection between practical affairs and egalitarianism that predisposes against theory in the American experiment?

Feb. 23 2010 01:41 PM
Alicia from Roosevelt Island

My questions were answered vaguely, by saying that military tribunals would be open to the press like in criminal trials, and that torture evidence would be presented at military trial and thus made public, but this fails to address why certain members of the government are pushing for a military trial. If the torture evidence would leak either way then this argument pro or con is debunked. There must be some reason, some distinction, between the two types of trials that lend support for one or the other. Jane said that publicity and torture evidence would find the same result in either setting, and I believe this is inaccurate. Plus, a lot of the evidence that we have on these terrorists is hearsay and as I understand, although military trials abide by the Federal Rules of Evidence,they allow for more flexibility with respect to hearsay. Clarification on these legal issues would have been helpful in the interview.

Feb. 23 2010 12:48 PM
Firenze from Brooklyn

For goodness' sake, Leonard... I wish I could listen to your show and once, just ONCE have you not interrupt the interviewee (the one we have tuned in to hear) multiple times because you want to show that you know better. You get such wonderful guests - would you please try harder not to interrupt them simply for the purposes of your own ego?

Feb. 23 2010 12:38 PM
Nancy Sabato from South Orange NJ

What about the torture the people who died on 9/11 felt?? I think they could easily remind people of that every time KSM talks about how he was waterboarded. It's hard, I don't believe he should have been tortured, but I don't care so much that he was, compared to my feelings for all the people who died in terrible ways on 9/11.

Feb. 23 2010 12:36 PM
Amy from Manhattan

A lot of people I've heard seem to think that disallowing testimony obtained by torture means the suspect can't be tried at all. Doesn't it need to be clarified that other evidence can still be used in the trial? Shouldn't the gov't. be making a point of telling people this?

Feb. 23 2010 12:35 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Isn't this a FEDERAL trial and not a New York State trial making New York State laws moot when it comes to the death penalty? He's being tried in the 2nd District by the government of the United States of America, not by David Patterson. Fact check.

Feb. 23 2010 12:31 PM
Lynn Ledda from los altos, ca

It seems it would have been easy for all media outlets to add the fact that the Xmas day bomber was being treated the same as similar criminals in the Bush admin. Then there would be no way to continue the rhetoric. These people are criminals and the Bush admin has elevated them to more to our great detriment.

Feb. 23 2010 12:29 PM
Rob from the Bronx from Bronx, NY

A very good reason to use the criminal justice system to try terror suspects is that it is open. If tried and convicted in a military tribunal, we give the terrorist a PR victory, they will proclaim that the US is afraid to give the suspects their day in open court, the country has something to hide etc. This will help get the US back to being the moral leader of the world and put this torture sessions behind us and maybe finally dispel the notion that torture works.

Feb. 23 2010 12:28 PM
Alicia from Roosevelt Island

One obvious reason for supporting military tribunals is the "need" to submit untraditional evidence such as hearsay, and to allow torture evidence - which may otherwise throw out the case in a criminal trial. Another reason put forth is the sensitive nature of the testimony and information which would be public in a criminal hearing, whereas in a military tribunal is behind closed doors.

Could the speaker comment on this?

Feb. 23 2010 12:18 PM
Cory from Planet Earth

This is truly bizarre. She is not a lawyer and is totally confused on what the law is, which is much more complicated and subtle. This is like having a person with no sense of taste or smell talking about cooking and dining. Ask her about the Supreme Court case In re Querin from WWII.

Feb. 23 2010 12:17 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

If a foreign army invades the U.S., are its soldiers entitled to Miranda rights and criminal trial? Or, can the U.S. be at war with a non-state army that declares war against us? When is the difference between an officially state-sponsored soldier and a non-state-sponsored soldier?

Feb. 23 2010 12:16 PM
bruce

"what ever happen to that nothing to fear but fear itself nation"
Long gone........

Hey,Canadian born,Likudnick Mort Zuckerman is running for NY senate.If New York gets this guy,him and the Senator form Tel Aviv,Joe Liberman,then the Israel model should be complete:

-Arrest without trial.
-state legalised torture
-extra judicial asassinations...

Feb. 23 2010 11:18 AM
hjs from 11211

what ever happen to that "nothing to fear but fear itself" nation?

Feb. 23 2010 09:44 AM

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