Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hamdan Madness

Fire of Liberty

It's really funny when you look over the various reports in the MSM on the trial and subsequent conviction of Salim Hamdan, personal driver of Osama bin Laden, and discover that these reporters are presenting this dangerous man as a loosely connected, simple minded, family guy who was "in the wrong place at the wrong time". Now while this presentation is something one should expect from a media who is centered on being sensational as well as a cheerleader for the critics of the administration's effort to exert justice to these deadly individuals captured on the battlefield, it's always refreshing to find members of the media who take a sober look at the proceedings at Gitmo and realize the seriousness of the events. One media outlet that has taken this sober approach on the Hamdan trial and presents the recent events as a lesson is the editorial board of the NY Sun which presented such ideas in today's paper. I think they put it best when they noted the following:

The fact that providing minor assistance to our enemies does not excuse the crime was underscored the first time the Supreme Court actually sustained a conviction of treason, we are reminded by the exegesis in the Corwin edition of the Constitution. The case involved a German immigrant named Hans Haupt, who was brought up on a charge of treason for giving shelter and lending a car to his son Herbert, a German spy. Though Haupt's was a minor part, the court, in an opinion by Justice Jackson, gave him no quarter. It may be that Hamdan came to realize the ghastly implications of his minor deeds; it was reported that as the verdict was brought in, he wept.

Our own eyes are dry. What happens now to Hamdan — where and in what prison he is held — will be of little importance. What is important is where our leadership stands. Senators McCain and Obama are already reported to be differing in their reactions, with the Republican backing up our military in its handling of Hamdan and the Democrat praising the members of the military commission while carping about how the fact that the Hamdan trial "took several years of legal challenges ... underscores the dangerous flaws in the Administration's legal framework."

Mr. Obama, a constitutional scholar, was among the 35 Democrats who voted against the Military Commissions Act that set up the framework that the Supreme Court had asked the Congress to set up to try the detainees in the current conflict. And the Supreme Court did turn around declare the Congress's first effort unsatisfactory. But we, for one, find it odd that Mr. Obama chides the current administration for having failed to apprehend Mr. bin Laden, while siding against it in its claim to authority in meting out justice to those we are currently holding. This is going to put him in a pickle if he manages to become president himself.

I just hope that this nation continues to stick to these military commissions and shy away from allowing these individuals to enter our domestic court system. Only time will tell.

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