Thursday, May 10, 2012
Ain’t They Cute?
Each outburst or defiance of the military tribunal is described as “defiant,” as if they were legitimately protesting a kangaroo court. In fact, The New York Times described the defendants who have committed mass murder as “defiant, but mostly quiet.” If you behaved “mostly quietly” like these defendants, you would be hauled out of the courtroom and charged with contempt even in the most liberal mainland civilian courts. The MSM should be reporting on the admirable restraint shown by the military authorities.
But as usual, the mainstream press has its blinders on. To start with, one of the female defense attorneys showed up in full hijab, then demanded that the female members of the prosecution show respect for the religion of the defendants by adopting the same outfits. No thought whatsoever for respect for the court, which is an American tribunal with Western values. And it’s not as if the female prosecutors showed up in string bikinis. They were dressed appropriately, the defense attorney was not. This isn’t a trial being conducted in Iran by the woman-hating mullahs.
The press has been reporting the behavior of the defendants in the nicest of terms. The best they can come up with is “frequent outbursts.” Along with those frequent outbursts, the defendants have tried to jump over counsel table, threatened the court and the court officers, and disrupted every single move which is expected in a civilized trial. One of the defendants showed up, hands and legs bound, in a wheelchair. The Times and The Washington Post reported that, and added “for no apparent reason.” Well, here’s the reason: The defendant refused to leave his cell to attend the trial, and it was the only way they could get him into the courtroom.
The defense complained that the defendants had been denied a speedy trial. They made no mention of the fact that all the delays have been the result of defense stalling tactics. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had already pled guilty to the charges, then spent two years trying to undo his own plea. American justice leans over backwards to give the defendants as many chances as possible, and that includes military tribunals. So after much wrangling, the plea was withdrawn, followed by mountains of legal paperwork and years of defense motions attempting to thwart any trial at all.
The press mentions the motions by the defense regarding torture. Waterboarding (arguably not torture) was only one of the tall tales being told. No evidence of torture could be produced, and waterboarding was only mentioned in passing. One defendant lifted his shirt to show the scars he got from the torture at Guantanamo, but nobody could see any scars. And of course the mainstream ignores the many al Qaeda manuals the defendants possessed which tell the terrorists to claim they were tortured. All the involved American authorities denied the charges. But how can those denials have any meaning as against the sad stories the MSM are telling about the defendants’ families?
The rules of court require that the defendants hear and understand the charges and evidence against them. Therefore, the court has provided each defendant (and defense counsel) with earphones giving simultaneous translation in Arabic. So naturally, the defendants have been taking the earphones off, occasionally attempting to break them. In response, the court has taken to doing the translations over loudspeakers in the courtoom. The Times gave few of those details, and merely reported the activities as “the defendants repeatedly and persistently disrupting the courtroom.” It’s a great deal more than that. It’s an attempt to nullify the proceedings entirely.
Defense counsel actually had the nerve to ask the court to consider the suffering KSM has gone through as an explanation for his violent and disrespectful behavior. This is the defendant who has the same respect for human life as Adolf Hitler. Nobody, including the Times mentioned the suffering of the 3,000 families that lost loved ones on 9-11. And as for the “disruptions,” how’s this for a disruption—“The defendants shouted I spit on their graves?” Then they knocked chairs out of the way, and made obscene gestures at the court and the members of the 9-11 families attending the proceedings.
Back to the Chicago Seven. The judge in that trial finally did what may have to be done in Guantanamo. When the defendants continued to disrupt the proceedings, they were either bound to their chairs and gagged, or removed entirely from the courtroom to watch and listen to the proceedings in a separate room away from TV and newspaper reporters. But somewhere along the line, and soon, the court is going to have to reach its ultimate level of tolerance and quash this disruption of the most significant trial of the early 21st Century.