Note: This is the conclusion of a 3 part series on the 9/11 terrorist trials in NYC. I have posed questions the last 2 days about the risks of trying the case in a civilian court and the possible rationales behind the decision.
We have talked here and at other blogs about the upcoming 9/11 terrorists trials in NYC. The question today is how will this effect the Obama Presidency?
I think we can dispense with any pretense that Obama did this for the noble goal of seeking justice. The men have already admitted their guilt, a military tribunal would have been the logical choice. So there is political calculation here, Obama sees himself gaining something from this. Will he?
The obvious first determinant is whether the men are convicted.
If the men are convicted, Obama may get a little credit for this. I say a little not out of spite but in recognition of the fact that the men have already said they committed the crimes. While a conviction may bring some relief to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, as far as suspense goes it will be anti-climactic.
If they are not convicted there could be Hell to pay for Obama for the very same reason, they have said they committed the crimes.
The worse case scenario here is that they are acquitted and a judge orders their release.
As I said yesterday there is strong speculation that if the men are acquitted the government will detain them immediately and hold them indefinitely as enemy combatants and I believe they will do this.
As I posted Monday though, a lot of this depends on the judge that hears the case. What if we get an activist judge who decides to take a stand against the US national security policies of the past and order the men released?
Obama's support would be down to the few far, far left radicals that think the US is an evil empire.
In a best case scenario of acquittal, the men will be taken into custody and Obama will come out of it looking like a complete and total fool, allowing guilty men game the US justice system and beat it. His support will not be much more than the above case because he will look like the inept man he is.
This brings us to a conviction. This is till a trap for Obama in my mind.
The most likely outcome here is that the terrorists, through their attorney, will be given a platform to attack the US war on terror, the arrogance of the US, and the brave struggle of the freedom fighters against the tyranny of an evil empire.
I have heard the comment on Fox News that the judge will likely keep a tight rein on the terrorists during the trial and there will not be cameras in the courtroom for them to perform to. This very well may be true but the real drama will be outside the courtroom.
We will have the defense attorney putting the US policy of combating terrorism on trial. He will discuss waterboarding, the fact that his clients were not afforded rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the fact that they have been detained in supposed horrid conditions at Gitmo.
None of these items are even remotely factual but when has a defense attorney been bound by the facts?
So again Obama has egg on his face because he is letting men who are known to be guilty game the US justice system for their propaganda.
So, how does Obama do after all of this? What are your thoughts?