September 12, 2010

The Art Of Self Contradiction

What do you call it when a politician speaks and manages to contradict himself in the span of just a few sentences?

You can call it politics as usual.

You call it outright stupidity.

You can call it The One at his rhetorical best. It sounds good, but means absolutely nothing.

I've also said that there are going to be circumstances where a military tribunal may be appropriate. And the reason for that is--and I'll just give a specific example. There may be situations in which somebody was captured in theater, is now in Guantanamo. It's very hard to piece together a chain of evidence that would meet some of the evidentiary standards that would be required in an Article III [civilian] court. But we know that this person is guilty. There is sufficient evidence to bring about a conviction.

So what I have said is, you know, the military commission system that we set up, where appropriate for certain individuals, that would make it--it would be difficult to try in Article III courts, for a range of reasons, we can reform that system so that it meets the highest standards of due process and prosecute them there.

Can you spot the contradiction?

He starts by saying that there are circumstances in which the evidentiary and due process standards of an Article III court cannot be met. In those cases he wants to use a court system with a lesser standard - because we know the guy is guilty anyway.

Then he says he wants to reform this lesser system so that it meets the "highest standards of due process."


Didn't he just say that in these cases we can't meet the highest standards of due process?

For the record, I think The Ones suggestion of trying any terrorists in civilian courts is pure political theatre. It scores him a lot of points with the anti-Bush crowd but it's never going to happen.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:42 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

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