As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cheney's Attack On The Criminal Justice System

Yesterday a British court followed the rules of their country's legal system and convicted people for illegal acts. It's a novel idea, to be sure, and certainly more expensive than simply locking up anyone you suspect of a crime - just think of the court costs! - but hey, they're such cute kids in England, let them have their little idealist system.

After two trials and the largest counterterrorism investigation in Britain’s history, three men were found guilty on Monday of plotting to bomb at least seven trans-Atlantic airliners on a single day with liquid explosives smuggled aboard in soft-drink bottles and detonated by devices powered with AA batteries.

The convictions came three years after the global airline industry was thrown into chaos by the plot. The bombers’ plan to drain plastic soft-drink bottles with syringes and refill them with concentrated hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent also used as a propellant for rockets, led to new measures prohibiting passengers from carrying all but small quantities of liquids and creams onto flights.

With those measures still in force and causing backups at airport security checkpoints around the world, the police and intelligence agencies in Britain and the United States had waited anxiously for verdicts in the six-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court in London, where eight men were accused of conspiracy to stage the airliner bombings [...]

In Washington, the Obama administration praised the verdict on Monday.

“British authorities have worked diligently to investigate and prosecute those involved in the 2006 aviation plot,” Mike Hammer, a National Security Council spokesman, said via e-mail. “We congratulate them on those efforts and extend our thanks to the British government for seeing these efforts through to today’s conclusion.”

I also want to thank Dick Cheney for almost ruining the successful effort to bring these convicted terrorists to justice, because his political party needed a high-profile capture to help them in the 2006 midterm elections.

Dick Cheney, the former US Vice President, nearly destroyed Britain’s efforts to bring the airline bomb plotters to justice, police and intelligence experts said today.

By ordering the early arrest of Rashid Rauf, the bombers’ link man in Pakistan, Washington forced British police to detain the suspects in the UK before all the evidence had been gathered, it was claimed [...]

Although Britain was running the investigation, including a massive round-the-clock surveillance of 200 suspects, the UK was not warned that Rauf - the al-Qaeda facilitator who kept the English plotters in touch with bomb experts and terrorism trainers in Pakistan - was going to be arrested.

What the early arrest did was force an early arrest and trial, where a more deliberate course could have netted more people and broken up the entire cell.

Never let it be said that Dick Cheney doesn't hate the current criminal justice system. He obviously hates it so much that he overtly acted to thwart its success back in 2006.

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