The big news in the blogosphere is AG Eric Holder’s announcement that “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and four other men accused in the plot will be prosecuted in federal court in New York City.” Conservative bloggers are, to put it mildly, outraged. Erick Erickson warns that “bringing these high profile terrorist leaders to New York will just put a target on New York again.” Ed Morrissey complains: “Instead of giving these men the oblivion they deserve, we’re incentivizing further attacks on the US by giving them the biggest possible PR platform.” Michelle Malkin blasts “the reckless, security-undermining Obama 9/10 agenda.”
Meanwhile, the reaction in the lefty blogosphere is somewhat mixed. Steve Benen praises the Obama admin. for “do[ing] the right thing” even when they know “that intense far-right blowback is inevitable.” However, Glenn Greenwald is disappointed that the Obama admin. is creating “a multi-tiered justice system” in which certain detainees will be tried in a criminal court while others will be tried in a military commission.
What else is happening in the blogosphere?
“¢ Liberal bloggers (Lange, Benen, Orton, Black, Aravosis) are mocking the GOP following Politico’s report that the RNC’s health insurance plan has been covering elective abortions since ‘91. One conservative blogger calls the news “a needless political headache” and another declares: “Someone at the RNC must be fired over this.”
“¢ Most liberal bloggers (McCarter, Walker, Llorens) are pleased that Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “is considering a plan for higher payroll taxes on the upper-income earners to help finance health care legislation.” Ezra Klein hopes that Reid’s proposed surtax “[isn’t] replacing revenues lost by weakening the excise tax.”
“¢ Liberal bloggers (Waldman, Black, Benen) are criticizing Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) for warning pro-choice Dems that “there will be hell to pay” if they try to remove his anti-abortion amendment from the health care reform bill.
“¢ Conservative bloggers (Morrissey, Malkin, McLaughlin, Antle) are buzzing about the recent Quinnipiac Univ. poll showing Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) trailing ex-Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) by 11 pts.
KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED: Worst Idea Ever!
Conservative bloggers are furious about Holder’s announcement that five detainees accused of being 9/11 conspirators will be prosecuted in federal court:
“¢ Dan Riehl: “Thanks, Democrats, you dirtbags. Every last one of you should be forced to be in the courtroom for however many years this azzhole gets to thumb his nose at America. And when not there, we can find room for you adjacent to his cell. We’ll even give you hand holding time.”
“¢ RedState‘s Erickson: “This is insane. There have been reports in the past month about another potential terrorist attack disrupted in New York City. Bringing these high profile terrorist leaders to New York will just put a target on New York again. Even worse, the White House is going to subject these terrorists to criminal trials in civilian courts. They will get all the due process rights of citizens in court and potentially will be able to get access to material evidence in a civilian court that could reveal intelligence we’d prefer them not to have.”
“¢ Malkin: “If this White House thought Tea Party activists were an ‘angry mob,’ wait until they see the backlash from 9/11 family members and their supporters nationwide. We’re not going to sit down and shut up about the reckless, security-undermining Obama 9/10 agenda and conflict-of-interest-ridden AG Eric Holder.”
“¢ Hot Air‘s Morrissey: “These terrorists belong at a military tribunal, not the justice system employed for Americans to judge other Americans for civil criminal conduct. Instead of giving these men the oblivion they deserve, we’re incentivizing further attacks on the US by giving them the biggest possible PR platform. We may as well put them on TV and call it Dancing With the Terrorists, or So You Want To Be A Jihadist Martyr.”
“¢ Power Line‘s John Hinderaker: “The potential for these trials to turn into fiascoes is large; perhaps President Obama and his Attorney General have forgotten the ‘political’ trials of the 1960s and 70s. But they seem committed to returning to the pre-September 11 model of treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter, regardless of the consequences. Ask yourself this question: suppose that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial results in an acquittal or a hung jury. Would the Obama administration really let him go? If so, they are crazy. If not, why are they holding the trial?”
“¢ RedState‘s Dan McLaughlin: “I’m not seriously concerned that KSM stands any chance of being acquitted, but a hung jury? It only takes one person with extreme political or religious views, one juror who just can’t abide the death penalty (even assuming Obama’s DOJ pursues it). Just imagine the controversy, if there are Muslims in the jury pool, over what questions prosecutors are permitted to ask them and whether they can be challenged. And of course, it sends the message to our enemies that there’s nothing you can do to us that will get you sent through a process rougher than the one we used on Michael Vick or Martha Stewart.”
KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED II: Trusting Our Judicial System
Liberal bloggers are mocking their conservative counterparts for reacting so angrily to Holder’s announcement:
“¢ John Cole: “ZOMG! Terrorists On American Soil! […] The wingnut freakout over this will be predictable and amusing, because as we all know, real patriots have no faith in our judicial system and law enforcement officers.”
“¢ The Washington Monthly‘s Benen: “I’ve simply never understood the right’s weak-kneed panic over the U.S. justice system. From what I gather, the case against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed should be pretty easy to make in court, and securing a conviction is likely to be pretty easy. By giving this suspected monster a fair trial, we can prove to the world the strength of American values and the integrity of the American system. Shouldn’t [ex-VP Dick] Cheney, [ex-NYC Mayor Rudy] Giuliani, and the rest of the motley crew who’ll spend the day whining on Fox News want a trial for KSM?”
Meanwhile, Salon‘s Greenwald criticizes the Obama admin. for simultaneously nnouncing that other detainees — such as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a suspect in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole — will be tried in a military commission instead of a criminal court: “So what we have here is not an announcement that all terrorism suspects are entitled to real trials in a real American court. Instead, what we have is a multi-tiered justice system, where only certain individuals are entitled to real trials: namely, those whom the Government is convinced ahead of time it can convict. Others for whom conviction is less certain will be accorded lesser due process: put in military commissions, to which most leading Democrats vehemently objected when created under [George W.] Bush. […] A system of justice which accords you varying levels of due process based on the certainty that you’ll get just enough to be convicted isn’t a justice system at all. It’s a rigged game of show trials.”
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Time For Dems To Panic?
“My 30,000-foot view is that between the pressures of the jobs situation and the health care debate, the Democrats are in fairly bad shape. But, there’s a long way to go before next year, and their situation does not seem to be quite as bad as it was in August. Certainly, if I were the Democrats, I’d be adopting a fairly defensive posture, putting money into defending seats — especially those held by non-Blue Dog incumbents — rather than getting cute and trying to pick off more than a handful of potentially vulnerable Republican seats. I’d also be thinking about policies — like a jobs package and financial regulation — that tap a little bit into the populist spirit and might result in somewhat awkward Republican positioning.
So, should the Democrats be panicking? Yeah, maybe a little. But the fundamentals — particularly the poor labor situation and the Republican enthusiasm advantage — should be the reasons for their concern, rather than the results of any one particular poll.”
LEST WE FORGET: Let’s Cross That Bridge When We Come To It
From Overheard in New York:
Little boy, about little brother: Daddy, he says that when the blood on his knee dries, he’s gonna pick it off and throw it at me! Daddy, tell him not to do that!
Dad: That scrape is fresh. We have plenty of time before we need to worry about that.
To read the unabridged edition of the Blogometer, visit http://blogometer.nationaljournal.com. Questions, comments, reservations? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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