Double Must Read

November 19, 2009 7:28 pm

Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith defend Holder’s decision to have KSM & Co. tried in civilian courts in New York City — make many of the now standard arguments and make factual points about the overselling of military commissions/tribunals that a lot of people are ignoring.

Some key points — the Bush administration used civilian courts to secure numerous convictions of al Qaeda terrorists since 2001 and the record of military commissions has actually been rather poor, not simply on constitutional or civil liberties grounds, but by the concrete measure of actually convicting people and securing long sentences. What’s difficult to question is that convictions in civilian courts would be vastly more durable and secure against second-guessing than any from military commissions, given how uncertain their status is in US and international law.

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