Khalid Shaikh Mohammed`s Trial Will Convict Us All

members of Congress and what masquerades as a
media are outraged that the Obama administration intends
to try in federal court Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the
alleged mastermind of 9/11, and four alleged

The Republican
and right-wing rant that a trial is too good for these
people proves what I have

written for a number of years
: Republicans and many
Americans who think of themselves as conservatives have
no regard for the US Constitution or for civil

They have no
appreciation for the point made by Thomas Paine in his

Dissertations on
First Principles of Government
"An avidity to
punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to
stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best
of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must
guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates
this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to

Republicans and
American conservatives regard civil liberties as
coddling devices for criminals and terrorists. They
assume that police and prosecutors are morally pure and,
in addition, never make mistakes. An accused person is
guilty or government wouldn`t have accused him. All of
my life I have heard self-described conservatives
disparage lawyers who defend criminals. Such
live in an ideal, not real, world. They desperately need
to read
The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Even some of
those, such as Stuart Taylor in the
National Journal,
who defend giving Mohammed a court trial do so on the
grounds that there are no risks as Mohammed is certain
to be convicted and that
"a civilian trial will show Americans and the rest of the world that our
government is sure it can prove the 9/11 defendants
guilty in the fairest of all courts."

No Need To Fear A
Manhattan Terrorist Trial
November 21, 2009]

Taylor agrees
that Mohammed deserves
but that it is a good Machiavellian ploy
to try Mohammed in civilian court, while dealing with
cases that have
"trickier evidentiary problems"
"more flexible
military commissions, away from the brightest

In other words,
Stuart Taylor and the
National Journal
endorse Mohammed`s trial as a show trial that will
prove both America`s honorable respect for fair trials
and Muslim guilt for 9/11.

If, as Taylor
writes, "the government`s evidence is so strong," why wasn`t Mohammed tried
years ago? Why was he held for years and
tortured—apparently water boarded 183 times—in violation
of US law and the Geneva Conventions? How can the US
government put a defendant on trial when its treatment
of him violates US statutory law, international law, and
every precept of the US legal code? Mohammed has been
treated as if he were a captive of Hitler`s Gestapo or
Stalin`s KGB. And now we are going to finish him off in
a show trial.

If the barbaric
treatment Mohammed has received during his captivity
hasn`t driven him insane, how do we know he hasn`t
decided to confess in order to obtain for himself for
evermore the glory of the deed? How many people can
claim to have outwitted the CIA, the National Security
Agency and all 16 US intelligence agencies, NORAD, the
Pentagon, the National Security Council, airport
security (four times on one morning), US air traffic
control, the US Air Force, the military Joint Chiefs of
Staff, all the

, Mossad, and even the formidable Dick

Considering that
some Muslims will blow themselves up in order to take
out a handful of Israelis or US and NATO occupation
troops, the payoff that Mohammed will get out of a
guilty verdict is enormous. Are we really sure we want
to create a Muslim Superhero of such stature?

according to the US government, Osama bin Laden was the
mastermind of 9/11. To get bin Laden is the excuse given
for the US invasion of Afghanistan, which set up the
invasion of Iraq. But after eight years of total failure
to catch Osama bin Laden, it became absolutely necessary
to convict some culprit, because the 9/11 Truth Movement
is becoming too strong.

If Mohammed is
really the mastermind who defeated the best that America
has to offer, including the thousands of intelligence
agents and strategic thinkers with the responsibility of
protecting our country, Mohammed is a first class

What a waste to
execute him! Shouldn`t we first try to turn him? If we
had a guy like Mohammed on our side running Homeland
Security, we would forever be safe.

Allegedly, Arabs
are corrupt and easily bribed. If we can pay the rulers
of Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan to operate in our
interest against their own kind, how do we know we can`t
sign up Mohammed? I can see this guy as a highly paid
consultant to Homeland Security. In addition to money,
we could make some other concessions, such as ceasing to
persecute Muslim charities and the innocent people who
contribute to them. Using Stuart Taylor`s reasoning,
this would be a good

there will be no such sensible outcome. David Feige has
told us what the outcome will be (The
Real Price of Trying KSM
Slate, November 19, 2009.) The prosecution doesn`t
need any evidence, because no judge and no jury is going
to let the demonized
"mastermind of
off. No judge or juror wants to be forever
damned by the brainwashed American public or
assassinated by right-wing crazies. Keep in mind that
the kid,
Walker Lindh,
"the American
by an ignorant and propagandistic US media,
was guilty of nothing except being in the wrong place at
the wrong time. Despite the complete trampling of his
every right, he got 20 years on a coerced plea bargain.

The price that
Mohammed will pay will be small compared to the price we
Americans will pay. The outcome of Mohammed`s trial will
complete the transformation of the US legal system from
a shield of the people into a weapon in the hands of the
state. Feige writes that Mohammed`s statements obtained
by torture will not be suppressed, that witnesses
against him will not be produced ("national security"), that documents that compromise the prosecution
will be redacted. At each stage of Mohammed`s appeals
process, higher counts will enshrine into legal
precedents the denial of the Constitutional right to a
speedy trial, thus enshrining indefinite detention, the
denial of the right against damning pretrial publicity,
thus allowing demonization prior to trial, and the
denial of the right to have witnesses and documents
produced, thus eviscerating a defendant`s rights to
exculpatory evidence and to confront adverse witnesses,
The twisted logic necessary to disentangle Mohammed`s
torture from his confession will also be upheld and will
"provide a
blueprint for the government, giving them the prize
they`ve been after all this time—a legal way both to
torture and to prosecute."

It took Hitler a
while to corrupt the German courts. Hitler first had to
create new courts, like President George W. Bush`s
military tribunals, that did not require evidence, using
in place of evidence hearsay, secret charges, and
self-incrimination obtained by torture.

Every American
should be concerned that the Obama administration has
decided to use Mohammed`s trial to complete the
corruption of the American court system.

When Mohammed`s
trial is over, an American Joe Stalin or Adolf Hitler
will be able to convict America`s Founding Fathers on
charges of treason and terrorism. No one will be safe.

Paul Craig Roberts [email
] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan`s
first term.  He was Associate Editor of the
Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic
appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair,
Center for Strategic and International Studies,
Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded
the Legion of Honor by French President Francois
Mitterrand. He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author
with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.