18 thoughts on “Random Mormon Poll #15: Criminal trial or military tribunal?

  1. I oppose his decision, only because if it a “war on Terror” then let it be so. Otherwise I am just glad the terror suspects are being tried.

  2. Obama’s administration does not use the phrase “war on terror” when speaking about Afghanistan or terrorism. That was from the Bush administration. I am not sure what they are calling the so-called war on terror now.

  3. How can you turn these terrorists over to a civilian court? No Miranda rights were given. They were “tortured” and not allowed to see an attorney. They cannot be allowed to see their accusers face to face, as many of them will be American spies, or Muslim informants that may now be in the witness protection program.

    These things are not required in a military tribunal. Military tribunals can keep things secret/private, and over-rule issues dealing with war and sensitive information. There are limited appeals. And they don’t hold court in New York City, where these guys cannot get a decent hearing; and where we are turning Ground Zero into Ground Zero for another attack. Since the Pentagon was bombed and they declared war on us (and we on them), this is clearly a military action.

    Looks to me like this will be the perfect way to get them off on technicalities. If the court chooses to ignore Miranda rights and other issues, then there will be grounds for appeal, all the way up to the Supreme Court. And it only takes one court to throw out the charges on technicalities for it to be totally over with.

  4. The real reason for this: Obama’s chance to put the Bush Admin, the CIA and the War on Terror on trial.

    Again, elections and choices have consequences….

  5. I think it’s a huge mistake to try these people in a criminal court.
    –It potentially gives Al Qaeda information that should be kept secret.
    –This country has a long history, going back to Benedict Arnold, of trying combatants and spies in a military court.
    –What if the defendants get off on technicalities (don’t say it won’t happen — people said the same thing about OJ).
    –I can’t imagine the security lock-down coming to NY for this trial.

    I see we have many people who voted who feel differently. I would honestly like to hear some opposing views because I simply don’t understand what good is done with this decision.

  6. Rameumptom,

    I share your concerns about utilizing the current criminal justice system to process alleged terrorists captured during military engagements.

    Someone told me that the NYPD and FDNY unions also oppose the criminal trials, but I am unable to find anything on the internet to substantiate the claim. It would not surprise me if there were at least members of those unions who find it offensive to bring these men so close to Ground Zero and give them a platform for their maniacal and cowardly acts.

  7. Of course it isn’t the whole group, but the NYFD guy I saw on the news this morning was ecstatic because he said it would let New Yorker’s participate in the process and put the scumbag away.

  8. I am opposed for the following reasons

    1. I do not trust Manhattan juries in Death Penalty cases. Virginia is better
    2. national security. There will be all kinds of intelligence available to AQ as a result of a public trial
    3. I think that FDR had is right when military tribunals convicted and then the military executed some of the German agents who came into the US via submarine in WW2.

  9. According to the Constitution, we are not legally at war. War has not been declared. According to the Lord, the Constitution was “established…for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles” (D&C 101). Did you see that? All Flesh. Just and holy principles.

    I don’t have a problem making the government back up the allegations they’ve made. Considering that the DHS report on “Rightwing Extremism”, and the MIAC report both list me a potential domestic terrorist, I don’t have a problem with the precedent this sets. Maybe I’ll get a trial too.

    Besides, it’s fun to watch the neo-cons squirm.

  10. When and where did he acquire his right to a trial by a jury of his peers in a U.S. court? We are at war. This man is a prisoner of war and is not entitled to a presumption of innocence and the constitutional protections of a U.S. citizen. At its core, this trial implies that he may be innocent.

    Look at some of the implications of this. The U.S. Court system recognizes requests for a change of venue. This is clearly going to happen since the jury will be riddled with eye-witnesses to the 9/11 attacks. Where would the venue be changed to? And if the request is denied by the Court, the defense lawyers have a slam dunk argument for overturning any conviction on appeal.

    And what if the the government refuses to reveal sources or methods of discovery? Is the case thrown out? What if there is a hung jury or he is miraculously acquitted of the charges?

    Joyce is right, at its roots, this is yet another shot at GWB and his policies. Sadly, this grade school rivalry may end up setting crazy court precedent that will eventually come back and bite us.

  11. I’m mostly undecided, but a reason I would support the decision is that I feel the military recently lost much of its credibility, in terms of giving people a fair trial, with abuses such as torture, Abu Ghraib, etc. A guilty verdict would just look like a meaningless rubber stamp.

  12. BrianJ,

    I think that some of the concerns you shared is likely what motivates the Obama administration to hold criminal trials in NYC.

    A few questions, though. What if there is a guilty verdict and the world still views the trial as a meaningless rubber stamp? Is it possible to conduct voir dire in NYC and impanel an impartial jury? Should we try them using a panel of judges and forget the jury?

    Sorry with the deluge of questions. I am one who voted undecided and I am curious to see how the logistics, security and actual trial will play out. I just hope Obama and Holder have a good plan for this.

  13. I think a guilty verdict from NYC is much less likely to be viewed as a rubber stamp than from a closed military tribunal. For starters, the military has already been treating a lot of these guys like they’re guilty. Obviously some people in the world will reject any guilty verdict.

    I had to look up “voir dire” and “impanel.” I don’t know if that’s possible in NYC. I believe that I could be impartial on this jury, so I suspect others could too.

    I don’t have any opinion—well, really no knowledge and therefore I refrain from forming an opinion—on trial by jury versus trial by judge.

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