New Yorker article by Jane Mayer concerning the arrest of the so-called Christmas "Underwear Bomber" and the administration's plans to prosecute him in a civilian court. In fact, the Bush Administration had done the very same thing in the past, and not one of the hypocrites now criticizing the Obama Administration said anything against what the previous administration did. Read the facts:
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER:
“What we did is totally consistent with what has happened in every similar case” since 9/11, he said. “There’s a desire to ignore the facts to try to score political points. It’s a little shocking.” Without exception, he noted, every previous terrorist suspect apprehended inside the country had been handled as a civilian criminal. Even so, critics such as Krauthammer were denouncing Holder for failing to send Abdulmutallab directly to Guantánamo. As a senior national-security official in the White House put it, “It’s a fantasy! Under what alternative legal system can Special Operations Forces fly into Detroit, and take someone away without court oversight?”
According to Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, in Washington, the military can’t simply grab suspects inside the U.S. and hold them without charge or a hearing. “It violates the Constitution, which extends to everyone inside the U.S.,” she said. “You can’t be seized without probable cause. You have the right to due process, and to a trial by a jury of your peers—which a military commission is not.”
Confusion on this point may derive from the Bush Administration’s controversial handling of two suspected terrorists, José Padilla and Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. Both men were arrested in the U.S. by law-enforcement officials, and indicted on criminal charges.
But Bush declared Padilla and Marri to be “enemy combatants,” which, he argued, meant that they could be transferred to military custody, for interrogation and detention without trial. (Neither suspect provided useful intelligence.)
The cases provoked legal challenges, and in both instances appeals courts ruled that Bush had overstepped his power. The Administration, not willing to risk a Supreme Court defeat, returned the suspects to the civilian system.
For all the tough rhetoric of the Bush Administration, it prosecuted many more terror suspects as criminals than as enemy combatants. According to statistics compiled by New York University’s Center on Law and Security, since 2001 the criminal courts have convicted some hundred and fifty suspects on terrorism charges. Only three detainees—all of whom were apprehended abroad—were convicted in military commissions at Guantánamo. The makeshift military-commission system set up by Bush to handle terrorism cases has never tried a murder case, let alone one as complex, or notorious, as that of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who will face the death penalty for the murder of nearly three thousand people.
The Bush Administration obtained life sentences in the criminal courts for two terror suspects arrested inside the U.S.: Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, and Zacarias Moussaoui, who was planning a second wave of plane attacks. (Reid was read his Miranda rights four times.)
When the Bush Justice Department obtained these convictions, the process was celebrated by some of the same people now criticizing Holder. Giuliani, after the Moussaoui trial, said, “I was in awe of our system. It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial.”
Holder told me that he was “distressed” that people “who know better” were claiming that the courts were not up to the job of trying terrorists. He added that he found it “exceedingly strange” to hear this argument from Giuliani, who had been a zealous prosecutor. “If Giuliani was still the U.S. Attorney in New York, my guess is that, by now, I would already have gotten ten phone calls from him telling me why these cases needed to be tried not only in civilian court but at Foley Square,” Holder said.
There is no evidence suggesting that military commissions would be tougher on suspected terrorists than criminal courts would. Of the three cases adjudicated at Guantánamo, one defendant received a life sentence after boycotting his own trial; another served only six months, in addition to the time he had already served at the detention camp; the third struck a plea bargain and received just nine months. The latter two defendants—Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni who worked as Osama bin Laden’s driver, and David Hicks, an Australian who attended an Al Qaeda training camp—are now at liberty in their home countries, having been released while Bush was still in office."
Meanwhile, Gingrich keeps digging himself deeper into his own hypocritical hole (do these people have any memory left or are they merely bald-faced liars?):
"In a post on his Twitter page, Gingrich explained that when he made the Reid comment to the "Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart his reference was actually to Jose Padilla. Reid, after all, is a British citizen -- Padilla is American.
But Gingrich wasn't done there. In a dig at the Obama White House, he added to the tail end of his tweet: "Treating terrorists like criminals wrong no matter who is Pres."
That's a standard GOP talking point, and yet when President Bush moved the Padilla case from a military setting to the criminal system, it was Gingrich who came to his defense despite conservative howls of protest, a Democratic source points out.
Appearing on Fox News in November 2005, the former speaker said the following when asked whether it was "a loss" for the Bush White House to have tried Padilla in civilian courts after holding him for three-and-a-half years as an enemy combatant:
"Well, I think if they believe they have enough evidence to convict him, going through the process of convicting him and holding him, I suspect, maybe for the rest of his life without parole would not be -- would hardly be seen as a loss," Gingrich said."