Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Circus, Day 1

I've previously shown that trying in Federal Court non-citizen detainees captured abroad isn't legally required. I predicted that such proceedings will become a zoo, as lawyered-up Al Qaeda defendants try to put the government, not terrorists, on trial. Turns out I was overly optimistic.

This week, a Manhattan Federal District Court began the trial of Aafia Siddiqui, formerly the most wanted women in the war on terrorism. Time magazine summarizes:
Siddiqui, 37, an MIT-educated neuroscientist and suspected al-Qaeda operative, is charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at a group of U.S. soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan. The incident occurred in the city of Ghazni in July 2008, after she was detained by local police near one of the city's mosques on suspicion that she was a suicide bomber. At the time of her arrest, she allegedly had with her a flash drive with references to specific "cells" and "enemies" and various chemicals in cold-cream jars, including a quantity of sodium cyanide. Prosecutors say that the following day, as a contingent of U.S. soldiers and FBI agents prepared to question her at a nearby police station, Siddiqui grabbed an unsecured M-4 automatic rifle from one of the soldiers and opened fire. She hit no one but was herself shot twice in the abdomen by a U.S. warrant officer.
On the trial's first day, she was ejected from the court for interrupting the first witness and challenging the legitimacy of the proceedings. Which is what I expected.

The surprise: not content with attacking the government, Siddiqui's blaming the Jews:
A Pakistani scientist who is the only woman accused of working with the al-Qaeda leadership has demanded that Jews should be excluded from the jury at her trial in New York.

Aafia Siddiqui called for jurors to undergo genetic testing in an outburst in federal court in Manhattan yesterday.

"If they have a Zionist or Israeli background . . . they are all mad at me," Ms Siddiqui, an American-educated neuroscientist, said. "I have a feeling everyone here is them [sic] -- subject to genetic testing. They should be excluded if you want to be fair," she told the judge.
as [Judge] Berman quizzed the jury pool on whether their 9/11 experiences would influence their deliberations, Siddiqui piped up from the defense table.

"The next question will be on anti-Semitism, Israel was behind 9/11. That's not anti-Semitic," she said before being escorted out.
Which kinda makes sense, at least to those believing Jews had advance warning of the 9/11 attacks, and so are over-represented in a New York City jury pool.

By the way, good luck trying to establish motive: "Prosecutors also are barred from bringing up Siddiqui's alleged ties or sympathies with Al Qaeda because they would create a bias." Meaning that, under the Obama Administration, the only violence not treated as a hate crime is a terrorist's attempt to murder.

The KSM trial will be worse.

(via Berman Post)

No comments: