This morning, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of partially agreeing with a Charles Quackhammer column. Like the bad doctor, I am not opposed to the death penalty in all cases (such as in the McVeigh and Eichmann cases cited by Dr. Q). I agree Moussaui should not be executed because he had nothing to do with 9/11. (Although, no, I don't want to live in the universe, with or without capital punishment, where Krauthammer's "moral order" is acheieved.)
But then Quacky redeems himself by concluding with this mentally disturbed remark:
Civilian court -- with civilian procedures, civilian juries and civilian sensibilities -- is not the place for those who make war upon us.
Of course, if we determine whether someone is making war on us before assigning him or her to a court, then we've reached a verdict before (or by) selecting the court. How exactly would this work? Would McVeigh, who brought down a federal building (and who many nuts believe had some connection to terrorists) get a military trial? Would Hinckley, who shot a president, get one because his crime might be a terrorist act? Does Krauthammer have a more sophisticated test for venue selection than standing the accused next to a paint chart? Maybe we waterboard the defendant and if he survives we give him a military trial.
And, no, Quackhammer, you don't have to worry about a twinkie defense for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Thanks to your pals in the Bush Administration, his life has been spared.