In an interview with NBC News yesterday, President Barack Obama declared that accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be convicted and executed in the upcoming New York City trial.
Obama appeared to catch his sudden lapse into candor and quickly backtracked, declaring “I’m not going to be in that courtroom” and saying he didn’t mean to prejudge the case.
But the comments mirrored a controversial stage in Charles Manson’s 1970 “Helter Skelter” trial, in which then-President Richard Nixon declared Manson guilty before quickly retracting his comments. The comments were intended to be kept from the already sequestered jury, but Manson stood up in the middle of the trial and held up a copy of the LA Times with the headline “Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares,” bringing into question whether the president had inappropriately influenced the jury.
President Obama’s comments may be even more problematic, as they came before the jury has even been selected. It seems that during jury selection President Obama’s comments will almost certainly have to be a topic of questioning, and the issue of whether the president has prejudiced the jury pool against Mohammed will be a serious concern.
Officials produced a signed confession from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2007 in which he admitted to a myriad of attacks, including the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. The fact that these confessions came after he was waterboarded a record 183 times in 2003 will no doubt raise questions, and make for a potentially explosive trial.
5 thoughts on “Obama Takes a Page Out of Nixon’s Book in Declaring Suspect’s Guilt”
There's other similarities. Nixon was elected to end the Vietnam war. He did, eventually, but took his sweet time to do it. Sounds a bit like Iraq. Ironically, Americans used to vote for Republicans to end wars (Nixon with Vietnam, Eisenhower with Korea). Even Bush Jr. was elected on the idea of a "humble foreign policy" after the Republicans objected to US involvement in Yogoslavia. The wheel of time sure turns things around.
OMG, Obama was supposed to be a constitutional law professor, yet he has already pre-judged the case in the press, before the trail even begins! So what kind of kangaroo "justice" will the defendant get–a "victor's justice"??
So much for the idea that one is presumed innocent until found guilty based on the evidence. Even though the waterboarding and such comments as these should be enough to get the case thrown out no doubt the court will find a way around these embarassments.
The administration is looking forward and indeed expecting a good lynching of Mohammed to prove it's tough on terror credentials. Obama's "slip" seems to telegraph their enthusiasm.
It matters not whether the accused seem innocent or guilty, you are either going to put them in the hands of civil justice and back off from the process and let what happens happen , or you are going to have a show trial where the conviction(and sentence in this case) occurs before the trial and the whole thing is just for political purposes as Raimondo suggested in his latest column. Obama seems to be edging towards the latter.
I don't think any of these guys are guilty to start with, because i firmly believe that 911 was staged by our own government. I believe if anyone should be on trial it should be Rumsfeld and Chaney.
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