Monday, August 09, 2004

Try Osama bin Laden In U.S. Court?

It is a sad but conspicuous index of the shallowness of many Americans that we continue to assume everyone else in the world will automatically hold sacred the concepts that we hold dear this week. Even some presidential candidates innocently maintain that the best thing to do about Osama bin Laden and his followers is to bring them back to stand trial in a United States court.

Not surprisingly, the people who say this are usually the same people who champion the sovereign rights of Iraq we smashed in our attack in 2003. If you regard the United Nations as an authority on these matters, take a few minutes to actually READ United Nations Security Council resolution 1441. Here are some helpful URLs:

Advocates for a law-enforcement response to terrorism never seem to consider that the United States DOMESTIC LAW has no jurisdiction over the activities of Osama bin Laden outside U.S. territories, nor do they consider that his planning of the attack while in Afghanistan was likely well within rules laid down by the terrorist Taliban government. So we could NEVER have expected Taliban cooperation in locating, arresting, trying, or extraditing him.

It has always been a violation of another nation's sovereignty for U.S. law enforcement officers to barge in uninvited and arrest an alleged terrorist, regardless of whatever evidence we might have. Consider the kidnapping in Argentina of Adolph Eichmann by Israeli agents in 1960 and the international uproar it occasioned. Consider how many times accused murderers have been protected from extradition to America by FRIENDLY countries simply because of their opposition to the possibility that the killers might face the death penalty for their hideous crime sprees.

Mr. William Jefferson Clinton, when he was not preoccupied with his pecker, made it U.S. policy to treat the worldwide terrorist movement as a legal/criminal issue, to be resolved by extradition of terrorists captured by occasionally cooperative foreign governments, tried in U.S. courts, under U.S. domestic laws, punishable by imprisonment in U.S. correctional facilities.

This was a miserable failure, people.

It's like the oysters clamoring for another law against chowders.

Even when the Sudanese government were willing in 1996 to surrender Osama bin Laden, the Clinton administration turned down the offer, PRECISELY because they couldn't avoid violating the delicate legalisms required by a strategy founded on the modality of law-enforcement. (For background read this article published 03 October 2001 under the byline of Washington Post Staff Writer Barton Gellman, available from their online archives:

Clinton's FAILED policy on terrorism was no more than a prolonged FLINCH. Occasionally accompanied by spasms of promiscuous and ineffectual missile lobbing, it confirmed for the terrorists that they had no reason whatsoever to refrain from their excesses.

After our government politely turned down the offer from Sudan's government to hand over Osama bin Laden, he consolidated new quarters in Afghanistan, from which his plans to bomb two United States embassies came to fruition, followed by the Cole attack, and 9/11. Complications of diplomatic niceties and legal hurdles were consistently allowed to paralyze any effective response to terrorists. Clinton placed a higher priority on posturing than on achievement of goals.

Defenders of Clinton can argue that the long dance of American acquiescence to terrorism extends back as far as the national demoralization of the VietNam war, Watergate, and the gutting of our intelligence community under the leadership of the rabid Senator Frank Church. Even the conservatives' cherished Ronald Reagan could not resist the pressure to withdraw from Beirut after the bombing of the Marine barracks 23 October 1983.

None of those excuse Clinton or his advisers; they had two decades of further lessons from which to learn. They learned nothing.

WJC might convincingly plead that he was distracted from petty annoyances like the threat of terrorism by the famously irresistible promptings of his willful willie.

What is Kerry's excuse?


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