Thursday, August 07, 2008


Prepackaged Slander

The Editors at the NY Times have long proved themselves overwhelmingly biased and nakedly partisan, throughout 8 years of relentless attacks against any move the Bush Administration has taken to fight terrorism or our terrorist enemies. They make no pretense of logic, consistency, or even sanity, as long as all slurs and insults point Bush-ward. They have no need of facts, let alone opposing viewpoints, especially not those heretical ones that refute the received wisdom of the Times.

They assume venality in every case, cause, and controversy, and have championed the alternate universe inhabited by most of the Left, whereby their political opponents are evil, every intention is ulterior and sinister, and every partisan (on the other side) is less than human. The NY Times doesn’t just drink the Kool-Aid, they concoct huge batches of it for public consumption.

But they’ve outdone themselves today, in offensiveness, insult, even slander, asserting that the US Military has aided and abetted in orchestrating a Kangaroo Court conviction of an admitted terrorist, under orders from the White House and Congress.

From the Editors of the Times comes this:

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 military commission of six senior officers (whose names have not been made public) found Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who worked as one of Osama bin Laden’s drivers until 2001, guilty of one count of providing material support for terrorism.

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.

The Times refuses to employ real legal scholars, or any modicum of fact checking to refute your average terrorist defense attorney’s talking points, apparently preferring to rely on columnists like “economist” Paul Krugman for legal commentary. Thus, they can allege that the trial outcome was ordered, or that the military tribunal process is “so stacked against defendants,” while in the very same editorial admit that Hamdan was found innocent of a questionable charge, and found guilty of one he admitted.

This despite the views of actual legal scholars, who note that the current military tribunal process as established by the “worst bits of lawmaking in American history,” the Military Commissions Act of 2006, insisted upon by the Supreme Court and enacted by Congress on a second attempt, is actually more protective of defendant rights as anything guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions, or even that afforded US soldiers under Military Justice.

If I were one of the 6 officers who sat in that jury, I’d file a defamation or libel suit against the Times. I’d also make it big, public, and embarrassing for the Times Editors.

The Times has played anything but the role of impartial observer, negligently perpetrating untruths and fallacies about military law, and repeated Bush Administration efforts to create a legal framework for individuals who are at war with us, but act as proxies for State sponsors of terror, or other organized terror and criminal gangs.

The Times misreports on the Geneva Conventions and the Laws of War, military justice, military affairs, and often, constitutional law and jurisprudence. They insist on remaining ignorant, and perpetuating the prolonged ignorance of their readers. They sabotage Government and Military counterterrorism programs, aid and abet the disclosure of classified intelligence and programs, and they self-righteously cloak themselves in a ludicrous mantel of public service, in doing as much harm as possible to any effort taken to combat terror.

If there existed any actual, impartial credentialing authority for Journalists, their bona fides would have been yanked some time ago.

I for one have concluded that we should have identified any terrorists, saboteurs, irregular militias, fighters (in or out of uniform) captured on foreign battlefields or outside the US as Prisoners of War, rather than unlawful combatants. With an oppositional and power-hungry Supreme Court, an obstructionist opposition Party who places partisan gain above National Security, there has been and will be no hope we will ever convince the naysayers that terrorists are a threat and terror organizations are real and must be combated aggressively.

Here’s the thing. With POWs, in wartime, military authorities get to identify those who engaged in terror, committing acts of violence in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and Laws of War. Sure, go ahead and exempt American terrorists, and shuttle them off to the civilian legal system.

The US can then implement military proceedings on foreign combatants, and conduct summary executions of individuals deemed guilty of war crimes, terror, espionage or sabotage, on the spot. They can keep the rest confined until such time as a credible terror organization steps forward to surrender on their behalf. Which means, we can leave them to rot for the rest of their lives in prison camps.

An actual real world prosecutor, with real life experience in prosecuting terror cases, Andy McCarthy, reacts with similar if more composed outrage over at The Corner.

Naturally, I would never suggest that the New York Times stoops to a predetermined editorial narrative with which it proceeds, and toward which it slants news coverage, without a care in the world about what facts actually happen. But today's "Guilty as Ordered" rant about the Hamdan military commission trial has to take the cake. The first paragraph is so shamefully dishonest and misrepresentative of reality as to defy one's necessarily low expectations of the Gray Lady.


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?

Bill West, writing at the Counterterrorism Blog, comments on the Times’ malicious slander of the military officers sitting on the Hamdan jury:

The results of this trial demonstrate that American military officers truly are the independent minded, moral self-thinkers we expect them to be. Sure, members of the military must "take and follow orders." But they must also be able to think for themselves and act in a moral way. This is especially true for the Officer Corps...the leadership of the US military. We expect military officers to act with honor and sound judgement. Contrary to what some on the far left (very many of whom never served in the military) may believe, when one becomes a US military officer, one does not morph into a mindless automaton.

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 judgment 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.

(Links via Memeorandum)

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