A Step Toward Justice? Or a Step Toward Tsarism?

AshcroftThe one thing I take away from all of this is that the justice department is staffed by a bunch of idiots, who’ll gladly cut off their noses to spite their faces. Okay, that’s an awkward construction; sue me.

Judge Leonie Brinkema has just ruled not only that Zacarias Moussaoui cannot face the death penalty, but that prosecutors will not be permitted to present any evidence that he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Oh, they can still try to say that he was part of a larger, vaguer al Qaeda “conspiracy,” but nothing directly associated with September 11 can be introduced. Nothing. No cockpit recordings, no video, nothing.

Brinkema’s decision, though not what either side was expecting, is of course completely consistent with the Constitutional guarantees granted to defendants. If anything, they give a hell of a lot of leeway to the prosecution — after all, she didn’t throw out the case altogether. But here we have the only surviving person (allegedly) connected to the September 11 attacks, and they’re basically going to let him go because they don’t want to allow him to present a defense! They’d rather lose entirely than allow him to present his side of the story, with witnesses, as guaranteed by law!

Of course, they’re rattling their sabers, saying they’ll move the entire case into a “military tribunal,” but I hate to see what precedent that would set. Actually, I know exactly what precedent that would set. It would mean we had officially become a police state, and the Constitution had been thrown out the window altogether.

I wonder, from a strictly legal standpoint, should the Bush regime decide to take that step, would they still be considered the legitimate government of the country? Or would George Bush be just another despotic warlord?

Kind of like that guy we just kicked out of power in Iraq, no?


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