Greenwald makes a pretty convincing case that Bush/Obama’s “justice system” for accused terrorists is merely for display purposes only.
If you’re accused of being a Terrorist, there’s not one set procedure used to determine your guilt; instead, the Government has a roving bazaar of various processes which it, in its sole discretion, picks for you based on ensuring that it will win. Even worse, Holder repeatedly assured Senators that the administration would continue to imprison 9/11 defendants even in the very unlikely case that they were acquitted, citing what they previously suggested was their Orwellian authority of so-called “post-acquittal detention powers.” Is there any better definition of a “show trial” than one in which the defendant has no chance of ever being released even if acquitted, because the Government will simply thereafter assert the power to hold him indefinitely without charges?
9/11 didn’t “change everything”; we let the Bush administration do that. Al-Qaeda had no ability to rewrite the rules of what happens to an arbitrary individual pulled off the street by the U.S. government. They couldn’t force us to torture captives, or to view detainment as its own justification or proof of wrongdoing. We tore down our own principles of justice and due process.
The cost of rebuilding them is to take the (real) risk of acquitting some individuals truly guilty of horrible crimes. While we won’t get that from Obama or any politician facing reelection, here’s to the hope that America’s willingness to sacrifice principles for revenge will die with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.