Shorter Bush: I Have No Faith That My Prosecutors Can Convict The Three Worst Terrorists

Rather than coming up with an effective plan for decreasing terrorism, President Bush has once again chosen to play political football with the issue. Yesterday’s speech contained a number of noteworthy issues.

Many have focused on the confession that the CIA was, in fact, running secret prisons and how righties were, once again, so wrong in labeling this as a liberal smear.

Others have dissected the semantic spin in which supposed straight-talker Bush has engaged in when admitting to “alternative interrogation techniques” while denying that “torture” occurred. The former phrase reeks of dishonesty as much as the previous gag phrase “Weapons of Mass Destruction Relateed Program Activities.” The later term – “torture” – has been rendered meaningless by this administration.

But Bush’s main PR point, and the one that headlined most MSM websites, was the transfer of the 3 worst terrorists in American custody – Khalid Sheik Muhammad, Ramzi Binalshib and Ab Zubayda – to Guantanamo to face trial. Bush is obviously making this move for pure political reasons. He wants to force a divisive vote on his kangaroo court proposal in the hopes of turning the anti-Republican tide swelling for the upcoming mid-term elections.

But with the publicly available evidence (just look at the 9/11 Commission Report), there really is no need to resort to Bush’s kangaroo court to obtain convictions of these individuals. We didn’t need to gut civil liberties to convict Timothy McVeigh or John Muhammad or Zacarias Moussaoui nor do we need to sacrifice the important principle of due process to bring these three terrorists to justice. The symbolism of acting as a civilized society, even with regard to the worst individuals, is a powerful weapon in the war on terror that the Bushies have repeatedly tossed aside for demagogic, short-term, domestic political gain. Moreover, the principles applied to the worst will also be applied to the lowly shepard swept-up by greedy and zealous bounty hunters … and while that issue may not be big news in America, the rest of the world – and especially the Arab world – is following how we treat the innocent as well as the profane.

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