US Says Killing Osama Bin Laden Was Lawful

This aspect of the killing of Osama bin Laden is fascinating.  Makes one want to have a specialized lawyer steeped in international law as an in-law and have them over for coffee and conversation.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has said that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was a lawful military target.

He told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Bin Laden had made no attempt to surrender, and his killing was “an act of national self-defence”.

The US has acknowledged that Bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead in Monday’s raid by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Critics have raised concerns about the legality of the operation.

“If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate,” said Mr Holder, reports Reuters news agency.

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin Asks U.S. Attorney General To Investigate Supreme Court Election

The mess in Wisconsin resulting from the sloppy (or worse) undertaking of  Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus in relation to this past week’s Supreme Court race will require federal investigation.   I have thought this was the route needed, and folks I have talked with over the last 48 hours think the same.  It is vital that the integrity of the voting process not be allowed to be sullied by anyone in Wisconsin. 

That David Prosser is opposed to having the U.S. Attorney General investigate is troubling.  I would think that everyone would want to get to the bottom of this matter.

Right?

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a federal investigation into the handling of vote records in Waukesha County in the wake of Tuesday’s election for the state Supreme Court.

Baldwin’s office said she sent the letter Friday night.

Baldwin wrote Holder: “Following this week’s election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, numerous constituents have contacted me expressing serious doubt that this election was a free and fair one. They fear, as I do, that political interests are manipulating the results.”

Baldwin asked Holder to assign the Justice Department Public Integrity Section, which oversees the federal prosecution of election crimes, to investigate.

In Waukesha County, thousands of votes from the City of Brookfield that were not reported by the county clerk on election night were discovered the day after. Justice David Prosser’s margin of victory in Brookfield helped push him ahead of challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.

“We, the people, must be assured that our votes are fairly counted and reported and our democracy remains intact and untainted,” Baldwin wrote.

Guantanamo Must Close, Military Tribunals Offensive To American Ideals

There is no way that anyone in America, be they Democrat or Republican, can feel any sense of pride about the news concerning the decision to try Sheikh Mohammed in front of a military tribunal as opposed to a civilian court.

No one can be proud that many Democrats grew timid in the face of attempts by Republicans to willfully mislead the nation over the civilian court route for terror suspects.  At the end of the day I am as dismayed with the Democrats for not standing on fact and principle, as I am over the short-sighted shenanigans from the Republicans.

One of the challenges that faced President Obama at the outset of his administration was how to close Guantanamo and stop the military trials that tipped the democratic ideals of justice on its head.

I have no doubt that history will correctly judge President Bush who created the legal and international fiasco that is Guantanamo with the harshness that he so richly deserves.  But now there must be those Democrats in Congress who allowed themselves to be used by the GOP who also need to face the pages of history.

Military commissions that hand out justice is a wretched way to conduct business and it richly deserve the wrath of the international community.  Meanwhile federal courts have sentenced hundreds of terrorists in an effective and legal fashion that does not undermine our ideals.

The facts speak to that very clearly.

Since 9/11 there have been 6 convictions in military tribunals, while over 400 hundred convictions have occurred for terrorist suspects in civilian courts.  Did America implode from the hundreds that were tried and convicted and I just missed the headlines?  Or are Republicans doing what they do best?

Which is annoy the hell out of reason, and work overtime to twist and distort the facts.

The larger  ideals upon which our nation was formed seems to mean less and less as time goes by.  To a frightening degree this is happening more and more among conservatives who one would think might better understand the reason legal process matters in a democracy.  The problem is that too many red-meat Republicans control the party and thoughtful, educated discourse is often never engaged in anymore.

Conservatives have thrown up false notions about how anti-terrorism goals would be undermined if Guantanamo were to be closed, or how all would be in peril if civilian courts were allowed to render justice.  That just distorts the truth, and allows for terrorist elements to use Guantanamo against America.

I am embarrassed by Guantanamo, and also by the military tribunals that continue to occur there.

Caffeinated Politics supported the idea of the federal government buying a prison in Illinois for the express purpose of housing the remaining detainees at Guantanamo.  It made sense in 2009, when the idea was much in discussion, and holds even more merit now.

All that is required now are the intelligent and forward thinking members of Congress to separate themselves from the rest and make it happen.

President Obama is ready to sign such a bill.

The world community is ready to make it happen.

History will judge it a brighter moment for American foreign policy.