I suppose I'm not talking about the mighty New York Yankees, whose game 4 starter in a "must win" situation (the Yankees now trail the upstart Texas Rangers 2-1 in the American League championship series)... the incomparably awful A.J. Burnett, has decided to do early Halloween shopping this year.
No... I'm going to talk about the verdict in the case of the would-be Riverdale synagogue bombing jihadists case, to wit, guilty on 30 out of 32 counts. And there you have it. Regardless of the asserted entrapment defense and the other flaws in the government's case, it seems that courts-- with actual lawyers, judges and juries-- seem to have no trouble finding ways to convict accused terrorists, usually of whatever the government wants them convicted of. Regular readers know my general skepticism of the American court system, largely based on what's now nearly a quarter century of working in it for a living... but that said, if one has the staying power to take their case to a high enough court, much of the time, one can achieve a result at least approaching "fair" if not necessarily "just" (whatever that means anyway). And the fact is, in these alleged terrorism cases, and in some of the more spectacular plots (the shoe-bomber, the Times Square bomber, etc.) at that, we've seen prompt confessions and/or guilty pleas, followed by convictions and life sentences, or even in guilty-after-trial situations, like "20th highjacker" Zaccarias Moussaoui (remember him?)... the same thing.
And hence, the question of just wtf the government is afraid of by insisting that it can't have "almost-guaranteed-to-result-in-conviction-and-long-sentence trials" for suspected terrorists in some contexts remains... interesting. The answer, of course, remains "structural": your government wants the option of not having to bother even to pretend to afford due process when it feels like it... the entire Bill of Rights, you see (except for the Second Amendment, and that in "Red States" only), is "optional"... a matter of expedience for the Government, no matter what you may have thought.
And this is bipartisan folks... to the extent there is "a difference" between the Bush-Cheney ad hoc approach and Constitutional Law
professor senior lecturer poseur Barack Obama approach, it is that the latter is attempting to permanently institutionalize the worst aspects of totalitarianism of his predecessors (and hence, ends up being a greater threat to us all.) Did I say that out loud?
Because that's the point. Yes, to be sure, Mr. Holder has to sometimes go on t.v. and justify to blowhard
Fascist Republican Party Senators why he is "reading rights" to terrorist suspects, but the fact is, his response is little more than "that's our system"... one wonders if his heart is really in it. With few exceptions (and none I can think of), those poor bastards the Government has accused of terrorism and brought to civilian trials... tend to get convicted, followed by lengthy, if not life-long, prison sentences. (And yet, notwithstanding this... we still can't bring ourselves to have a trial of KSM and the other alleged 9-11 plotters in downtown Manhattan (or anywhere else in the United States) because... well.... it would be inconveeeeeeeeeenient.)
Trials, you see, are only for bit players who are almost certain to be convicted anyway. Hmmm... short of pointing out that "only the fool is authorized to speak the truth"... I got nothin'. This has been... "Bronx tale."