Tea Party Nation – A Gated Intellectual Community

Posted: November 20, 2010 in Culture and movies, Iraq War, Obama, Power, Tea Party, U.S. Politics, Uncategorized

Last week, Ahmed Ghailani was convicted in federal court to 20 years to life for the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.  He was acquitted of 280 other charges that included one murder count for each of the 224 people who died.  Republicans and Tea Partiers were quick to pounce on this outcome as a sign that President Obama is dangerously coddling terrorists by trying them in civilian courts.  That uproar was predictable and ridiculous.  Take a look at House Speaker-designate John Boehner‘s (R-OH) statement in response to Ahmed Ghailani’s acquittal on all but one chargeThe decision by this Administration to try terrorists in civilian court was the wrong one from day one, and yesterday’s acquittal on 284 of 285 charges against Ghailani is further proof it has no overarching strategy to prosecute the War on Terror and keep America safe.  It’s time for the Administration to reverse course, and commit to keeping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Gitmo detainees outside the United States and to try them in military courts.Lost in all of this chatter is the fact that Ghailani was convicted.

Lost in all of this chatter was the fact that Ghailani was convicted, probably for life.  The extremist and absurd reaction to a CONVICTION can make anyone wonder why so many people seem to have stepped into the deep end.  If there’s a reason, I think it may be that many people in this country, but especially those on the right like the Tea Party movement, have decided to close their ears, eyes, and minds.  Most people in this country get most of their “information” from biased single sources that are more concerned with keeping an audience at the expense of truth and fairness.  Fox News, in particular, seems to resort to amping up the anger in their audience than with delivering news.  Plenty of studies prove this to be true.  But I have one very special study – my own experiences with the Tea Party.
Below is an entry in one Tea Party site from October 6, 2010 predicting problems with Ghailani’s trial in federal court.  Whether you agree with the commentator or not, I was shocked by the responses from other Tea Party members and in particular to fellow commentator Jeff Gossett.  Tea Party member Gossett argued that a civilian trial was part of what it meant to be an American and, presumably, to increase the believe in the rule of law.  The responses, however, were either dismissive (liberal troll) or insulting to Gossett’s motives (traitor). The irony is that all the data shows that federal, civilian courts have a much better track record of convicting terrorists than do military tribunals. But just as I was banned from Tea Party Nation for offering facts and a different interpretation of current events, poor Jeff Gossett was attacked and probably soon banned too for trying to engage in a real dialogue and debate.

What could go wrong?

For years, the Bush administration opposed trying terrorists in civilian courts.   They said that liberal judges could create havoc with these trials and turn them into farces.

The left said, the terrorists could be tried in civilian courts.  What could go wrong?

Well, today, we just found out.

The government was ready to try terrorist Ahmed Ghallani for his role in the 1998 African Embassy bombings.   Suddenly, on the morning the trial was supposed to begin, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that the government could not use its star witness against Ghallani.

Ghallani was on the receiving end of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”  In other words, he was water boarded.  Good for him.  I doubt the 224 people killed in those attack or their families would really care whether this terrorist received “enhanced interrogation.”

Judge Kaplan is… wait for it.  Drum roll please.   Judge Kaplan is a Clinton appointee.  I know that comes as a shock to everyone that a liberal president would appoint a liberal judge.  And when a liberal judge has the chance to hurt America, guess what.  He does not hesitate.

The dumbest lawyer in America, Attorney General Eric Holder said he remains confident terrorists can be prosecuted in civilian courts.  As Dr. Phil would say, how’s that working out for you?

Since the first terrorists were captured after 9/11 and put in Guantanamo, liberal lawyers have lined up to help the terrorists.  Their help has not simply been limited to trying to make sure they got a “fair trial,” but to help them identify (and endanger) CIA operatives, expose classified information that helps the enemy and generally give aid and comfort to those who want to attack America.

Ghallani is not an American citizen.  He does not deserve the protections of the United States Constitution.   He deserves to rot in a cell some where for the rest of his miserable life.  But, if the liberals have their way that will never happen.

The media reported that when Judge Kaplan announced his decision, Ghallani smiled.

I bet he did.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Bruce O’H. 1 hour ago
I’ve long ago stopped being shocked by the traitors. Let’s just get them out of power.
Permalink Reply by Philip Moore 26 minutes ago
Every Democrat now sitting in Congress should be removed – through election or impeachment . They are the party of the STATE – to be achieved through taxes, spending on institutions of control over peoples’ lives, and finally the destruction of the constitution. Any like minded individual should never be voted into office. Phil Moore

Permalink Reply by Michael Ison 16 minutes ago
Ditto Ditto Ditto. Could not have said it better myself.
Permalink Reply by Jeff Gossett 52 minutes ago
The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, said that even if he is found not guilty he will likely remain in detention. “His status as an ‘enemy combatant’ probably would permit his detention as something akin to a prisoner of war until hostilities between the United States and al-Qaeda and the Taliban end even if he were found not guilty in this case,” he wrote in his decision.

All accused have a right to a fair trial. Its Un American to suggest otherwise.

Permalink Reply by Judson Phillips 45 minutes ago
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Another liberal troll visiting us. He is not an american citizen. He should be tried in a military tribunal, not in a civilian court. And of course, you are unamerican for calling someone unamerican for expressing an opinion.
Permalink Reply by Jeff Gossett 38 minutes ago
Everyone has a right to face his accusers, any country, any where. Its a human right. It s inhumane to suggest otherwise.
I prefer to treat these prisoners as criminals.
Permalink Reply by Judson Phillips 35 minutes ago
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Terrorists are not criminals. They are also not American citizens. At least this one is not. Give him his tribunal, then shoot him.
Permalink Reply by Jeff Gossett 12 minutes ago
Fighting in a war for your country is a legitimate action, but acts of terrorism are crimes. Dont legitimize these islamic nuts as warriors for a cause. Modern warfare is conducted against the armed forces of nations not the citizen population.
They killed innocent civilians.
They are criminals.
Permalink Reply by Judson Phillips 9 minutes ago
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Jeff, this is a conservative site… what are you doing here?
Permalink Reply by Nora’s Tea Party 16 minutes ago
The accusers in this case are our military establishment, whom they shall face in a military tribunal. Civil courts understand civil issues. Military courts are the appropriate venue for the trial they are entitled to.
These military courts are the same ones all American military personal go before. The rules of order and evidence are different but the presumption of innocence is the same. The military is ALLOWED to spy on enemy combatants, civil authorities are not without a second level of permission. (warrant)
If the military court system is good enough for our sons and daughters in uniform, then it is DARN sure good enough for suspected terrorists.
As for water boarding. If you are in some units in the military, water boarding to LEARN to resist interrogation tactics of the enemy are part of the course that our sons and daughters CHOOSE to go through. Like some of them choose to jump out of perfectly good airplanes tied to a big sheet….. Now that is crazy!!!
Permalink Reply by Dara 37 minutes ago
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Bombing a U.S. Embassy is bombing U.S. Soil and is an act of War. A fair trial, yes. A trial in criminal court, no. He should be tried in a military court and sentenced based on the law there. The fact that he is a member of a terrorist organization and not acting on behalf of a specific Country does not change the fact that he engaged in an act of War. For the record, I do not believe anyone suggested he not receive a fair trial, however the question many of us have is whether a non-American citizen should have the same rights under the Constitution as an American citizen have.
Permalink Reply by Kathleen Gose 14 minutes ago

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Amen Dara, my husband was an Army JAG for 20+ years.. they have a system that insures a fair trial and representation. Military court is the place for terrorists.
It looks like most of the right want these sites to be a place for pure venting and for promoting false information and passion.  Perhaps all they want is to inflame public debate?  This is likely to produce stalemate at best and violence at worse.  These actions also suggest that the Tea Party movement is trying to reproduce a kind of racial segregation in the intellectual realm, perhaps in response to the unrelenting integration of their own communities as a result of Latino immigration and minority population increases.  They are trying to circle the intellectual wagons because the demographic picture is becoming too diverse.  I know that Tea Partiers claim that they avoid what they call the “lamestream media” because they think most of the media is liberally biased, but they seem particularly paranoid not just about media but about any kind of debate.  This is even true of their political candidates.  It seems as if they are afraid of letting in any opposing view, let alone facts.  Perhaps they want to remain pure in their anger and resentment?  Perhaps, this is simply a sign of unconscious racism? The New York Times published a  recent article by Charles M. Blow that shows that Tea Party members are more racist than other Americans.  The table below is from that article and shows
 how Tea Party members are much more likely than others to believe that whites are more likely to suffer racial discrimination than blacks.  This nonsense is what fuels the Tea Party’s passionate and myopic resentment of Obama and his policies.  So, they have locked themselves up in their intellectual cocoons.  Perhaps, they need this refuge from a country that appears to be rapidly changing under their very feet?  Perhaps, they are afraid of being brought down to reality by facts and debate?  Whatever the cause, what is very clear is that their gated intellectually community will make it darn near impossible to dissuade them of their false, irrational, and increasingly dangerous ideas.

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