Khatallah has been identified by the State Department as a "senior leader" of Ansar al-Sharia, one of the al-Qaeda-tied franchises in Libya. Yet there is no mention of Ansar al-Sharia in the indictment, much less of al-Qaeda or the Islamic-supremacist ideology that ties jihadist affiliates together. In fact, the indictment does not even accuse Khatallah of being a terrorist.******************
Nothing about a long-running, ongoing jihadist war against the United States.
Instead, the indictment is written to portray a sudden, spontaneous eruption of violence, without much planning or warning, in which Khatallah -- who knows . . . perhaps inspired by a video -- abruptly joined a disgruntled group of protesters that turned out to include some shady terrorists motivated by . . . well, who can really say? All we know is the violence started without warning and, before you could scramble a fighter-jet or fuel up Air Force One for a Vegas campaign junket, it was all over.
There are a lot of downsides to giving enemy-combatant terrorists all the majesty of American due process. But at least it used to mean that, by the end, you'd have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Now, it's starting to look like what you get on the Sunday shows.
Recently in Terrorism Category
According to this report:
The Justice Department says its case against [Ahmed Abu Khattala], accused in the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is unusually complex and involves "novel questions of fact and law."
In a Washington, D.C., federal courtroom Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiLorenzo said the government had already begun sharing sensitive documents with defense attorneys. But many of the hundreds of people interviewed by the FBI remain overseas, and many documents are either top secret or in Arabic, or both. . . .
Fantastic! Lawyers live to try cases involving novel questions of fact and law, and judges live to try them. A good time will be had by all.
The terrorist defendant might even be convicted -- I assume he probably will be, complex though the case may be. At that point, the trial judge can lecture the defendant about the virtues of our system of justice and its ability to withstand terrorism. The defendant, and terrorists in general, will be unimpressed, but that's okay. The judge will get plenty of good press and liberals will feel good about themselves for a day.
Section 1035(d) provides--without exception--that the Secretary of Defense "shall notify the appropriate committees of Congress of a determination" to transfer or release an individual detained at Guantanamo "not later than 30 days before the transfer or release of the individual." The Secretary of Defense did not give advance notice in this case. And yet, rather than argue that Section 1035(d) is unconstitutional as applied to the Bergdahl matter, the Administration has (as I understand it) invoked the absurd-results canon and argued that Section 1035(d) "should be construed not to apply to this unique set of circumstances." We are asked to read the NDAA as if it exempts a sensitive prisoner swap from its congressional notification scheme, when the plain text of the statute does no such thing.
There are various frames through which this episode might be viewed: as a dispute about the President's power over prisoners of war, the winding down of Guantanamo, or the "unique set of circumstances" behind the Bergdahl exchange. I want to place the episode in a different and broader context, involving the Obama Administration's efforts to cope with congressional obstreperousness more generally. Across a range of areas, this Administration has responded to perceived legislative misconduct by interpreting away legal limits that might have seemed to stand in its way. Interpretation has been a tool of constitutional adaptation and retaliation.
Nearly all of the exceptional elements of Obamaism are present. The president appeases a deadly enemy (recall his statement that he hopes through the exchange to gain the trust of the Taliban); makes life more dangerous for an ally we are about to abandon (Afghanistan will bear the brunt of the terrorism unleashed by the five Taliban commanders); and disregards American law (which required him to consult with Congress). Moreover, he does all of this on behalf of an anti-American deserter and his jihadist-sympathizing father.
You couldn't make this up.
At the end of the piece, Paul quotes me asking what more Obama can do to damage the country. Of course I don't know exactly, but there are those thousands of heroin pushers yet to get their promised clemency....
I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation.
Sen. Rand Paul has warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he will place a hold on one of President Obama's appellate court nominees because of his role in crafting the legal basis for Obama's drone policy.
Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, has informed Reid he will object to David Barron's nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, unless the Justice Department makes public the memos he authored justifying the killing of an American citizen in Yemen.
Talk about a conundrum! On the face of it, Barron seems like a nominee it's worth pulling out all the stops to oppose. But with enemies like Patrick Leahy and the ACLU (see below), should we have second thoughts?
More pols are coming out in favor of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to seek the death penalty against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- breaking with many of the Bay State's hand-wringing Democrats as Congress prepares to release an exhaustive report on the Boston Marathon bombings.
"He should get the death penalty if found guilty," former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown told the Herald yesterday. Brown joins Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch and most of the voters in calling for Tsarnaev's life if he is convicted in the dual bloody bombings that killed three and injured hundreds, as well as the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer.
For Liz Norden, it's one small step forward.
Her sons, JP and Paul, each lost a leg in the bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 250 at the April 15 race.
"I just am relieved that it's going forward in the right direction, one step forward in the recovery process, just that the option is out there on the table for the jurors, if that's the way it goes," she told CNN's The Situation Room.* * *