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I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well beyond satire

Michelle Malkin is extremely upset because three convicted Christian terrorists in Indonesia are going to be executed despite -- in Michelle's words -- "grave doubts raised over the fairness of the trial." The title of her post is "Muslims will execute Christians" -- by which she means that the Government of a predominantly Muslim country will execute three defendants who happen to be Christian, because they also happen to have been convicted in a trial in an Indonesian court of law "of masterminding a massacre of 200 Muslims in Poso."

Michelle favorably links to this article from Asia News which reports -- and I'm not making this up -- that the lawyers for the three convicted Terrorists:

will take their case before the International Criminal Court in Geneva, as per a human rights convention ratified by Jakarta, to safeguard the three men’s right to life and to denounce irregularities of Indonesian trials.

Michelle, and an equally outraged Gateway Pundit (to whom she links), both provide contact information to protest on behalf of the Terrorists and to help those organizations trying to secure them a stay of execution and a new trial.

According to the article to which Michelle linked, the complaint is that the Terrorists "were convicted by a trial riddled with illegalities, like witnesses who were not listened to and evidence that was rejected by the court." Wow -- a trial where the witnesses are not listened to and improper evidence was used. What kind of country would convict someone of terrorism using procedures like that? And what kind of disgusting barbarians would be opposed to having "the International Criminal Court in Geneva," pursuant to an international "human rights convention," demand greater legal protections for terrorists?

This post writes itself. For instance, I thought (from having read Michelle's blog) that people who were concerned about due process for Terrorists are themselves pro-terrorists. I wonder what it is about this case that makes Michelle and Gateway Pundit so concerned for the Rights of Terrorists when normally they mock those who express such concern? What's different here? Do Malkin and her comrades want to protect terrorists more than innocent people? Sure seems that way. And just look at how brutal and inhumane Muslims are -- convicting people of terrorism despite evidentiary irregularities in their trial. That is the Evil we are battling in our War of Civilizations.

Maybe the U.S. Government could intervene on behalf of the convicted Terrorists and insist that even accused terrorists have the right to a fair trial and due process, and that it is inhumane and barbaric to impose the death penalty after convicting them of terrorism without first giving them a trial free of any irregularities. A fair trial prior to execution is, after all, a universal value -- even for Terrorists.

We have great moral authority in the world to make that point and I'm sure our protest would go over really well and Indonesia would do what it could to ensure that it was meeting our high standards of justice before proceeding with the execution of these Terrorists. Or maybe we could use our influence with the International Criminal Court in Geneva to advocate for greater protections and a fair trial for these convicted Terrorists.

UPDATE: Of course, if Indonesia would only do what the Bush administration does -- which is imprison people without giving them any trial or process at all, as Michelle gleefully celebrates -- then they wouldn't have to worry about all this hand-wringing from the terrorist rights crowd over "trial irregularities."

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