The Corner

Re: Mukasey in the Crosshairs

The security problems Jonah and JPod allude to are very real and much overlooked.  Those who’ve participated in the process do not like to talk about them and are appropriately discouraged from doing so — the goal of terrorism being to terrorize, it is a satisfaction that we should not give the enemy.  I discuss this and other practical problems, in this paper (on why we need a National Security Court), including the following observation (footnote 9 beginning on p. 6) about the terror trials of the 1990s, which netted less than three dozen terrorists in eight years: 

Most of the trials … took many months to complete (e.g., the blind sheik case took nine months, the embassy bombing and the first WTC trial took seven months), often at the conclusion of, literally, years of pretrial discovery and court proceedings. Typically, the appeals also take years to complete. (E.g., the embassy bombing trial, completed over six years ago, is still on direct appeal, no doubt with years of habeas challenges ahead assuming the convictions are upheld.) Moreover, even assuming arguendo, and against all indications, that there were appreciably more than three dozen terrorists (a) who could practically have been captured and rendered to the U.S. for trial; (b) as to whom evidence existed that could have been used without irresponsibly compromising national security; and (c) as to whom such evidence would have been sufficient to satisfy the demanding proof hurdles for prosecution; there would of course remain the problem of securing courthouses, jail facilities, and trial participants throughout the United States.

By the way, I am more confident than ever in the need for a National Security Court to deal with terrorism cases:  a truly awful New York Times editorial about Judge Mukasey today refers to it as a “truly awful idea.”

Most Popular


In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More

Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More
National Security & Defense

In Defense of the Iraq War

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict -- countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and ... Read More

Beto-mania and Our Cult of Personality Politics

Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s biggest fans and supporters insist he is a forward-thinking, future-oriented visionary, but no contender for the Democratic nomination feels more familiar than the former three-term congressman from El Paso. That’s because he has the highest combined score in both déjà vu ... Read More