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KSM and the Boys are Criminals, Not Combatants

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This is really very simple and I'm not going to explain it more than once.

Despite our desire for revenge and justice and despite all the arguments of both the Bush and Obama administrations, there is only one way to look at the cases of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his confederates who are on their way to New York to face trial.

Despite all the whining and posturing from international do-gooder organizations, it is indisputable fact that non-uniformed irregular combatants and terrorists and terrorist conspirators and organizers are absolutely not regular soldiers and are by no means protected by the Geneva Convention. Despite the attempts to shoehorn them into a new category of "illegal enemy combatants," they should not be tried in military tribunals, a form of trial normally reserved only for internal military discipline, though it was used for war crimes and for spies in World War II.

The truth is that once you accept that they are not soldiers under the Geneva Convention, to try them under a military tribunal is to assign them a status which they have not earned and do not deserve. You effectively elevate them and their cause to a level of legitimacy reserved for agents of a sovereign state. Since they clearly did not act on behalf of such a state it makes no sense to give them that status.

Historically, groups who declared ideological war on the United States and carried out acts of terror, but did not do it on behalf of any foreign nation, like the Symbionese Liberation Army, have been treated as criminal conspiracies under the law. That is the precedent which ought to apply here. Patty Hearst, H. Rap Brown, Tim McVeigh, and President Obama's friends Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn didn't face military tribunals and didn't get sent to GITMO. They went to a regular court and a regular jail after being tried for their crimes as common criminals.

Before anyone complains that this is different because these attackers came from outside the United States, the truth is that we routinely prosecute criminals who are not United States citizens, including the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who committed crimes and are now in our jails, and high-profile mass murderers like the late and unlamented serial killer Angel Maturino Reséndiz, who was executed in Texas despite the efforts of the Mexican government to have him repatriated.

The reality is that there's very little reason not to try terrorists in regular United States courts, beyond the convenience of the prosecutors, concern for public sentiment, and a belief that military trials will be quicker and more likely to convict on weak evidence. Other arguments of convenience are also questionable. The ideology of the criminal, his violent inclinations, what role he may play in inspiring others, or the possibility of reprisals all have no standing at all in the legal process. None of these is a legitimate reason to override the basic right to a trial by jury to which criminals are entitled under our constitution, under common law, and as a matter of basic human rights.

Sentiment and the desire for revenge should never be allowed to override fact when it comes to the law. The fact that these terrorists were not soldiers, did not act on behalf of any nation, and are functionally no different from any other common murderer or group of murderous conspirators is undeniable. Since they are criminals they should be tried as criminals in both the state and federal courts and be punished under the laws of those jurisdictions. In this case, that would mean a trip to Indiana where federal executions are carried out by lethal injection.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Damn it Dave, I can’t believe how much I agree with you about this. There are other reasons to oppose the cowardly Congressmen who don’t want these bastards sent to New York, but yours are plenty.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Like Jon, I find myself agreeing with Dave on this one [with the exception of the gratuitous digs at NGOs, etc.]. Since this particular confluence of opinion is pretty rare, I thought I’d acknowledge it.

    The ostrich brigade quaking in fear about the potential of a trial on US soil are just ridiculous, even though most of their dumb rhetoric, Republicans and Democrats alike, is just posturing demagoguery.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Dave, I agree that KSM et al are not properly covered by the Geneva Convention. However, under the 1966 Military Commissions Act, military commissions are not reserved for those covered by the convention nor are they “a form of trial normally reserved only for internal military discipline.” Indeed, members of the U.S. military are not covered by it and are subject to courts martial, a very different thing.

    I have problems with trial of KSM et al by either a civilian court or a military commission, and argue here that the best course would have been to have left them in detainee status indefinitely. There was no legal requirement that they be tried in either venue, the practical and legal difficulties will be substantial in either event, and the political decision to bring them to trial seems unwise.

    Dan(Miller)

  • The Obnoxious American

    Dave,

    I don’t disagree with the points you’ve made as they are all fact based. But I totally disagree with the conclusion.

    First, I’d argue that all crimes are crimes. War crimes are crimes like rape and murder are crimes. What seperates terror attacks like 9/11 from common crimes aren’t the uniforms or the organizations that back terrorists or anything that is described by the Geneva conventions.

    What seperates these terror attacks is motive. And the motive of terror attacks is not to hurt individual Americans, not to hurt even individual buildings, but rather to hurt the nation as a whole.

    How many regular crimes, murder, theft, etc, would it take to derail a nation? Well we have millions in jail for crimes committed so more than that at least right? And the motive behind each crime was personal, to satisfy a need or as a result of emotion.

    By contrast, how many terror attacks to derail a nation? We’ve suffered less than a handful on our shores and look how much it’s twisted us and our own institutions in knots.

    The motive behind Al Qaeda is to take down America, and that is what makes 9/11 an act of war and thus a war crime suitable for prosecution in a military tribunal. Geneva conventions drafted before we could envision such things may not address it but that fact doesn’t change what it is.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Handyguy,

    It’s not fear at all and if you bothered to even hear the opposing arguments you’d know that. But please continue your tin eared strawmanning of your opponents (very Obama of you) and we can chat in late November 2010 to see how that worked out for you.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    After a long and blessed silence, I see you are back and determined to live up to your name, oh obnoxious one. My criticism was aimed at cowardly congressmen primarily; they stoke people’s fears. If you have other reasons, fine and dandy — but it’s fear that the demagogues are feeding.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Lolll I come around when there is something to say that isn’t being said everywhere else. This is a topic that in my view has not gotten enough discussion in the MSM hence my appearance.

    You say it’s fear. I could point to just as many if not more of the same fear tactics employed by the left’s demagoguery. Let’s face it, politics of fear are practiced by all politicians. I’m only concerned with what is best for the country and I feel strongly (as do 2/3rds of Americans as per CNN) that this isn’t.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dan, indefinite detention is unjustifiable under any law domestic or international. Even terrorists have some basic rights, and those identified in our bill of rights are theoretically universal.

    And ObAm, did you see the examples I gave in the article? How much more does KSM hate America than the other past terrorists I listed? The fact is that these terrorists are no more dangerous than any other criminals, and if some of them aren’t executed and end up in the general prison population I wouldn’t expect them to live very long, especially if they share the disdain for black muslims held by most middle eastern muslims.

    Dave

  • The Obnoxious American

    Dave,

    Let me start by saying I wasn’t really cognizant during those days so my knowledge of Ayers, Hearst, Dorn et all is limited to the historical coverage.

    That said I think there is a distinct difference here. With the exception of McVeigh, these terrorists are much more in the veign of the typical counter culter teenager rebellion phenomenom that occurs in every generation than hard core terrorism. This doesn’t make their crimes any less evil but they certainly were less dangerous than KSM in any analysis.

    In each case their crimes were amateurish, with no real support network, no militia to back them, no real movement to take down this country. Can you really compare the Weather Underground to Al Qaeda?

    And some (i.e. Ayers) have gone on to live their lives rather peacefully. While they may hate America’s capitalism or what it stands for (which is the right of every American individual) they don’t necessarily hate every American. Al Qaeda hates America the country and America the people (at least those who aren’t Muslim). I’d have no concern being locked in a room with Ayers (I’d be disgusted with the guy but there’d be no threat to my life). Same can’t be said for being locked in a room with KSM who hates me for who I am as much as the country I live in. That said, I’d welcome anyone to lock me in a room with either for 15 minutes – that’s all the time I’d need :>

    I do think McVeigh should have been tried in a tribunal. We shouldn’t make the mistake twice.

  • doug m

    Motive matters, ObAm? So then you must be pro hate crime legislation and more liberal then you let on.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doug,

    Lollll Interesting point. Motive does matter though, as does state of mind and there are many precedents in our legal system for that. People who murder because they are insane are treated much differently than those who murder out of emotion, or self defense (though I’d argue that self defense is “killing” and not actual murder per se). Serial killers get much more extreme punishments than a guy who shoots another guy for banging his wife and rightly so.

    I do not support hate crimes legislation however. Most crimes are committed with hate. Is someone more evil because they hate another for his skin color or because he was screwing their wife? I can’t make that call and the courts shouldn’t either. Otherwise we have unequal protection (for the citizenry, not the accused) under the law. You could argue that treating terror differently than regular crime is akin to a hate crime, but the difference in my view is as above, that you’re attacking the country, which is at best treason, but the way it was carried out by Al Qaeda is quite clearly a coordinated act of war for a foreign entity, led by KSM and his ilk.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think Doug M has the winning point there.

    Dave

  • Mark

    Doug’s vorpal blade went snicker-snack.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Of all your writings, I think this is the first one with which I’m in complete agreement with you…except for one little reference you made – Bill Ayers.

    You never replied to my proof that the Bill Ayers that was once part of the Weather Underground has NOT visited the White House twice, as you claimed. You never replied to the fact that Bill Ayers is a shining example of how a criminal can overcome the evil he has done, put it behind him, become rehabilitated, and actually become a real success in life. It’s sad that you just can’t seem to let go of Bill Ayers…but you’ve said absolutely squat against Bush’s friendship with the bin Laden family.

    Now that that particular rant is done, the other 99% of your article is absolutely right and well said, and I think you deserve kudos for it!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Gentlemen,

    My proposal to settle this KSM’s hash is cheap, simple and fast. A bullet to the head. The bullet costs 40 cents, it takes 10 seconds to blow his brains out, and three minutes to rinse him in pig fat and hand him the nearest available kadi for burial.

    Screw the trial. Let the “civil rights” mongers howl and jump like the chimps they are.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So perhaps OA doesn’t quite know his own mind.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bit narcissistic are we, Glenn?

    I hadn’t read that thread since I made the comment and when I did I made a comment and it got eaten by the internet.

    I leave you to imagine what I said in response to the claim that Ayers (and as it turns out almost every famous name on that short list) was not the famous Ayers.

    Instead I’ll just point out that at the time I wrote about it the WH had not chosen to divulge that fact and it was a reasonable conclusion based on Ayers’ past association with the president.

    Dave

  • The Obnoxious American

    Loll I can tell you guys are enjoying this immensely. Let’s try this a different way:

    Punishing a hate crime literally means that those with status as per the legislation are somehow more protected than the rest of us. Kill whitey, you get 10 years, but kill a gay guy and you get 20? That’s not equal justice under the law.

    Does it matter if someone killed me because they hated the fact that I was a jew (i.e. a hate crime), versus hating the neighborhood I lived in (i.e. gangs)? Versus hating my driving skills (i.e. road rage)? It’s all hate, it’s all the murder of a person, and it should be treated the same way.

    And if you’re going to add on “hating me for being American (i.e. terrorist)” – if we are talking about the murder of one person, I’d agree. But KSM isn’t and shouldn’t merely be charged with murder X 3000. He literally attacked our country which resulted in the death of thousands, but the deaths were a symptom, a by-product of the actual crime, which was to hurt this nation. This makes it a war crime.

    This idea isn’t as easy to convey as a cutesy one line jab, but to suggest I am completely off the mark is ignoring reality.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Instead I’ll just point out that at the time I wrote about it the WH had not chosen to divulge that fact and it was a reasonable conclusion based on Ayers’ past association with the president.

    Um, Dave – you wrote that comment yesterday, but the matter on who that ‘Bill Ayers’ was, was settled on October 30th. That’s more than two weeks before you wrote that comment.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    So…there’s no such thing as genocide? The Nazis should have been tried for simple murder times 6M, and the Hutus should have been tried for murder times 800K?

    I’m not trying to be silly here, but that’s the logical extension of your premise concerning hate crimes.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    If KSM pleads guilty, as he has already indicated he wants to do, won’t all this heavy breathing be moot?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    I don’t agree that this is a logical extension at all. The Nazi’s didn’t just commit murder times 12 million (not just 6 million btw), though that certainly was among a number of crimes that they committed that together constituted genocide.

    A more apt comparison would be if one person killed 12 million people. In that case then yes, even if he was motivated by a desire to ethnically cleans, it would just be murder x 12m.

    (It’s worth noting of course, that scale of crime, as opposed to which kind of hatred motivated a crime, does matter. Just like stealing a candy bar gets treated differently than stealing 50 billion from pension fund, so does the treatment of a murderer of 1 person or of 3000, or 12 million.)

    Let’s talk Ft. Hood then, which is arguably a lone wolf (we don’t use the term gunman because guns didn’t kill these fellow Americans – this terrorist did) you could say that by my logic he should not be tried in a military court as it is but murder x 13 (let’s put aside that he killed people working at a military installation).

    While I obviously don’t have all the evidence, if it could be proven that he was killing as part of an ideology that we are at war with (and the “war on terror” IS a war on an ideology) then the terrorist act is part of that war and should be treated as a murder x 13. It becomes an attack on the country.

    Obviously, we no longer are fighting a war on terror :> And we are determined to see this through a lens of correctness. So we will inevitably try the crimes as murders unconnected to a larger war on the nation.

    Sounds good on some level, but doesn’t really deal with the underlying problem that allowed for Ft. Hood to happen in the first place. And I’m not talking politically correct blindness now, but rather the denial that we are actually at war with an ideology. To be fair, really recognizing that leads to some pretty unAmerican alternatives if you’re trying to address this via the civil legal system. Another good reason it doesn’t belong there.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Handy,

    Doubt it. I suspect these terrorists will follow the so called Manchester document. And if they do, I see no way the case doesn’t get dismissed pretty quickly, but not before they’ve strutted for the media and made total fools of us. But it’s a nice thought that now KSM can decide how painful this situation is for us.

  • Lumpy

    KSM did confess and I think that’s the key thing here. With the confession should there even be a trial or just a sentencing?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Lumpy,

    How unamerican. Where is your notion of rule of law? Can’t you see that this was a coerced confession from an alledged suspect who not only was:

    – (by some definitions) tortured
    – not read his rights
    – not provided counsel
    – not given a speedy trial
    – humiliated by his captors, the American government
    – treated unhumanely under the tutelage of George Bush and Dick Cheney

    And this is where all this is heading – to let the courts divulge all of Bush’s laundry (which incidentally kept us safe) so Obama doesn’t have to get his own hands dirty getting his “reckoning” of Bush at the nearest International Criminal Court. To the delight of fools playing politics everywhere.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    Just like stealing a candy bar gets treated differently than stealing 50 billion from pension fund, so does the treatment of a murderer of 1 person or of 3000, or 12 million.

    While I agree that they must get treated different for the scale of the crime, the intent of the crime matters as well – for the guy who killed one Jew just because the victim was a Jew killed for the same reason the Nazis did.

    Don’t get me wrong – I do understand your reasoning. However, when it comes to murder, the motive does matter and does have an impact on the outcome, whether that motive be revenge, a crime of passion, self-defense, a random act of violence, or ethnic hatred.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And OA –

    When it comes to torture, it’s just like I’ve already said. Give me an hour to torture you and I will get you to gladly sign a confession that you planned, supported, and participated in 9/11…all of which would be totally false, of course.

    Torture produces useless intel. That, sir, is why the WWII interrogators came out against the Bush administration, and that’s why CIA interrogators (even an interrogator supervisor) came out against the torture tactics which not only produced useless intel but also provided a WONDERFUL recruiting tool for more terrorists.

    That’s also why torture is a war crime, and is a stain upon our national honor – and YES, our national honor means something to this retired sailor!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/heloise Heloise

    Cogent article Dave. And I noticed you made your argument about them without calling them terrorists, but criminals first and foremost. Of course terror is a criminal act. But the Hannitys and the Levins of the world hollar “terrorist” “torture” and “Gitmo” and that’s all they know.

    Levin claims to have a legal background but a bash democrats foreground thus his judgment is cloudy.

    The 911 plotters are murderers first, aliens second, terrorists third but not soldiers and Osama bin Laden is not a country.

    Rush Radio was hot on the case. Because one of the gang has already pleaded guilty and wants to be executed. Thus trying them is a moot point. Rush, Hannity and Levin have come up with every reason under the sun why the trial should not be held in NYC.

    What are the alternatives? Hold them until they rot in their cells at Gitmo? I don’t get it. Hold an army tribunal?

    Anyway the AG is doing the right thing. I don’t particularly like the new AG but at least he has balls.

    So, I actually agree with you Dave. This must be the conservative side of Dave Nalle.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Heloise –

    This must be the conservative side of Dave Nalle.

    So far, all the liberals on this topic have agreed with Dave, but not all the conservatives have agreed with him.

    But you do realize of course why Rush Radio and all the other conservative pundits are howling mad about the terror trials taking place in NYC – it doesn’t have a thing to do with justice or additional danger…but it has everything to do with opposing every little doggone thing that the Obama administration tries to do.

    Can you think of anything that Obama or his administration has done or tried to do that the conservatives have supported? Neither can I.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave has often followed that same blind reflex — opposing the administration whatever the issue — especially if Eric Holder is involved.

    I’m glad he resisted this time, whatever his reason.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “That’s more than two weeks before you wrote that comment.”

    Glad to see your bullshit detector went off also.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Don’t jump the gun, Heloise and Handy. Keep an eye out for my next article. In it I address the problem that is Eric Holder in this context more specifically.

    Can you think of anything that Obama or his administration has done or tried to do that the conservatives have supported? Neither can I.

    Can you think of anything conservative leaders have done which the left has supported?

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn and EB. Once I wrote my article on the white house guest list I entirely stopped following the relatively trivial issue, so the first I heard that there was a problem with the names was when I saw Glenn had mentioned it today. And I still think having all those prominent names on there looks fishy.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Can you think of anything conservative leaders have done which the left has supported?

    Um, how about the invasion of Afghanistan? And TARP? And “No Child Left Behind” – which was “shepherded through the Senate by Senator Ted Kennedy“? Or the Patriot Act? Or FISA? Or the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005?

    And THEN there’s this from 2008: “Less than 24 hours after introducing a controversial measure to expand President Bush’s authority to spy on Americans, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Friday voted to approve the administration- and Republican-supported bill, sending it to the Senate where it will likely be adopted.

    Senator Barack Obama defended the new bill as a ‘compromise’ from last year’s Protect America Act.”

    So do you get it yet, Dave? Who’s been the ‘just say no’ party? The Democrats DID work with the Republicans…before AND after control of Congress changed in 2006. But what are the Republicans doing now? “Just say no”…no matter what the Democrats want to do, “Just say no”.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “…Give me an hour to torture you and I will get you to gladly sign a confession that you planned, supported, and participated in 9/11…all of which would be totally false, of course.

    Torture produces useless intel….”

    Leaving aside that I don’t beleive what we did to KSM rises to the level of actual torture (and we can debate that all day), I absolutely disagree with this comment and in fact events have proven this to be false.

    We DID gain much useful intel from KSM in our “sessions” with him. Is it admissable in a court of law? No. Is it actionable by people fighting the war on terror? Yes. The whole argument is a ruse. Even with what we did to KSM, we still have the moral high ground (that we didn’t behead the guy on youtube, that you and I are actually debating this, etc) and anyone who claims otherwise is in anti American fantasy land.

    “That’s also why torture is a war crime, and is a stain upon our national honor – and YES, our national honor means something to this retired sailor!”

    Well first off thank you for your service which allowed me to grow up and live in a land that is free.

    That said, I don’t buy this national stain and honor stuff. You have honor yes, lots of it. But as a nation, we’ve done what we needed to to win wars. WWII: Japs in internment camps, dropping nukes, even torture. There just wasn’t a liberal media with a 24/7 cycle exposing outrage at every turn.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Who’s been the ‘just say no’ party? The Democrats DID work with the Republicans…before AND after control of Congress changed in 2006. But what are the Republicans doing now? “Just say no”…no matter what the Democrats want to do, “Just say no”.”

    So one sided and unfair. Stupid discussion. Both sides are incredibly partisan, hard for anyone of us to say which one more so.

    BUT

    Obama ran as a candidate who would unify us, be post partisan and change the poisonous ways of Washington. This is how he billed himself, and that means he set the expectation that he would do this. Blaming the other party for being “the party of no” isn’t post partisan and Obama has completely failed in this regard.

    Worth also mentioning that the GOP has not been the party of no. They have plenty of alternatives if the congressional majority leadership were willing to give it some consideration. Thus far, in terms of just about every bill passed since Obama came into office, the Dems have not been willing. This is an easily observable, easily verifiable fact.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    I provided SEVERAL examples of how the Democrats (including Obama) worked WITH the Republicans during the Bush administration. The Democrats even allowed ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-ONE amendments by Republicans to the House health-care reform bill…and got a whopping ONE vote from the Republicans.

    When it comes to the Republicans’ ‘alternatives’, do you really know what they offered? Their proposal on health care would have allowed the HMO’s to continue denying coverage due to ‘preexisting conditions’, and would have cost the American taxpayers MORE, according to the non-partisan CBO. Sorta reminds us of the Republicans’ proposal for the budget this last Spring…you remember it, don’t you, OA? The budget proposal that included NO NUMBERS?

    You gave me claims and rhetoric, OA…but rhetoric without verifiable fact to back it up is EMPTY rhetoric.

    I gave you VERIFIABLE FACTS. Give me verifiable facts and I’ll pay attention. If you don’t, then you’re simply posting empty rhetoric.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    You’re doing the same. Look at this sentence:

    “Their proposal on health care would have allowed the HMO’s to continue denying coverage due to ‘preexisting conditions’, ”

    Insurance is otherwise known as risk management. When you say to insurers that they must provide uniform coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, it is no longer based on a risk calculation, and thus is no longer “insurance.” It becomes a benefit. Add in a public option and now these “insurers” who can’t use risk based calculations to determine price and forced to provide a standard set of services are competing with government who can undercut private insurance price as they have unlimited income in terms of taxes, can put off costs as debt, and have no need to turn a profit. Why would insurers or anyone who favors a private sector approach agree to this?

    We can debate the merits of insurance vs government mandated benefits. But the fact that you failed to represent this important part of the discussion and dismissed those opposed as just being the party of no shows your own empty rhetoric, and this is the same approach taken by our president who was supposed to be different.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Don’t get me wrong – I do understand your reasoning. However, when it comes to murder, the motive does matter and does have an impact on the outcome, whether that motive be revenge, a crime of passion, self-defense, a random act of violence, or ethnic hatred.”

    I wanted to respond to this. I guess what offends me about the shepard bill is that we’re treating different kinds of hate as if one were worse than the other. This was my underlying point, but not sure I communicated it correctly. Hate is hate, whether it’s because of my skin, religion or due to my cutting someone off on the highway. The punishment for crimes committed as a result, assuming the crime is equal, should be the same.

    So if I nailed a black guy to a cross and lit him on fire then I should get a much harsher punishment than if I happened to use the N word while killing him. Agreed on that. But I shouldn’t get less of a punishment for nailing a white guy to a cross and lighitng him up than a black guy. Unfortunately, this is the flaw with hate crimes bills and why I am against.

    And as an aside I’ve heard that Sheppard wasn’t even killed for being gay that there were drugs involved, etc. All of which makes the bill even more silly in my view. You break the law, then you should be punished for it and one victim shouldn’t expect the state to prosecute more becase he or she happens to be a minority.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    And as an aside I’ve heard that Sheppard wasn’t even killed for being gay that there were drugs involved, etc.

    “I’ve heard”. Yeah, why believe facts and sworn testimony when you’ve got RUMOR!

    But – just on the off chance that you’re that rare conservative who thinks that facts should determine belief, rather than demanding that belief should determine facts – here’s the SWORN TESTIMONY of the killers’ GIRLFRIENDS.

    During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the pair’s then-girlfriends) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely (media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull), and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney’s truck. Shepard begged for his life. Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson was under the influence of drugs at the time. The beating was so severe that the only areas on Shepard’s face that were not covered in blood were those where his tears had washed the blood stains away.

    Base your opinions on FACT, OA – not rumor…but FACT.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    And as an aside I’ve heard that Sheppard wasn’t even killed for being gay that there were drugs involved, etc.

    “I’ve heard”. Yeah, why believe facts and sworn testimony when you’ve got RUMOR!

    But – just on the off chance that you’re that rare conservative who thinks that facts should determine belief, rather than demanding that belief should determine facts – here’s the SWORN TESTIMONY of the killers’ GIRLFRIENDS.

    During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the pair’s then-girlfriends) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely (media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull), and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney’s truck. Shepard begged for his life. Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson was under the influence of drugs at the time. The beating was so severe that the only areas on Shepard’s face that were not covered in blood were those where his tears had washed the blood stains away.

    Base your opinions on FACT, OA – not rumor…but FACT.

  • Cannonshop

    Wow, topic drift…

    Okay, My .02 theoretical devalued dollar…

    Dave’s right. Elevating Khalid Sheik Muhammed to the level of legitimacy accorded by treatment as a Combatant is indeeed, the wrong thing to do.

    Unfortunately, IIRC, New York State doesn’t (and won’t) execute his excreble ass.

    On the topic-drift now…

    Does it matter WHY they murdered Matthew Shepard? I think it’s enough that they beat, tortured, and murdered him, their bigotry just goes to proving motive, you don’t punish for motive, you punish for ACTIONS in a Free Society. when you worry more about a perpetrator’s motives and mindset, than you do about their actions (I’m speaking purely in the ‘we caught the son of a bitch’ sense now) you’re edging onto the slippery slope of Thought Crimes.

    They murdered him, while committing other felonies. ‘Why’ has little to no bearing on that after-the-fact. Worry about ‘why’ when devising ways to PREVENT a repeat of the event by someone else.

    As for Professor William Ayers, he’s managed to walk thanks to his daddy’s money, begin-middle-end. He himself stated “Guilty as hell, Free as a bird” after the case was thrown out because the Effa-Bee-Eye stepped on their dicks with how they built the case.

    As for “Liberals” and I use the word loosely, approving of a “Conservative” (yeah, right) policy?

    Under Nixon:
    EPA (The Act, and the agency thus spawned)

    Jerry Ford:
    55mph National Speed Limit.

    Bush 1 (1988 to 1992)
    “assault weapons ban”. (Import ban)
    S&L Bailout.

    Bush 2 (Not really a Conservative, just a christian)

    Glenn,you can’t reasonably claim Af’stan as being approved by the Left-the protestors were OUT as soon as the boots were aboard the transports. They only “approved” after they had Iraq to whine about. (Funny enough, going back through history, the Left opposed american involvement in WW2 up to about the point where Hitler invaded the Soviet Union-then they suddenly decided National Socialism was worthy of opposition.)
    TARP.

  • Timothy birdnow

    This is myopic and ignorant of history on a collosal scale. I had to rebut it at my own website to fit.