1.14.2010

'Memento: the GOP Sequel'

“Memento” (2000) is an absolutely fascinating movie which either won or was nominated for numerous screenplay awards. The film’s main character suffers from short-term memory loss and depends on notes and body tattoos to sort out memory and reality.

If I were casting the sequel I would line up any number of conservative pundits and politicians, putting suddenly chatty Dick Cheney in the lead role. My supporting cast would be the media which allow these memory-starved morons access to microphones.

Since the Christmas Day bombing attempt, Cheney and all his conservative cronies have been out in force, criticizing President Obama’s decision to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in civilian criminal court. Cheney keeps saying our commander-in-chief doesn’t know we’re at war.

Apparently they have forgotten that George W. Bush himself allowed a number of terrorist suspects to be tried in civilian courts, including “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, dubbed the “20th 9/11 hijacker.” Don’t they remember, at the time, a smirking Attorney General John Ashcroft calling press conferences to defend law enforcement and our criminal justice system?

Thanks to The Progress Report of 8 January 2010 for the following quotes about the Moussaoui trial:

ARI FLEISCHER, then White House Press Sevretary: “During his meeting with the attorney general, the president (Bush) asked a series of questions about civilian versus military trial, and asked, if this were to be decided in a civilian court, civilian criminal court, would national security be endangered, would sources or methods be compromised? The president was satisfied that the answers to those questions were ‘no.’ ”

RUDY GIULIANI: "I was in awe of our system. It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial. ... We are a nation of law. ... I think he's going to be a symbol of American justice."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES (1/3/2003): "The decision to try the case in federal court instead of before a military tribunal was made by President Bush, based on what Vice President Richard B. Cheney said was the strength of the case and an assessment that an open trial would not hurt national security."

DICK CHENEY: "There's a good, strong case against him,"

BILL FRIST, then Republican Senate Majority Leader: "Zacarias Moussaoui received what he would deny all of us. Today justice was served."

Mr. Cheney, if you and all your fellow Republicans don’t recall defending civilian trials for terrorist suspects, just do a Web search for your own words.

I would suggest you write them on a Post-It note and stick it to your forehead before going on the talk show circuit. But, then, you would probably forget the note was there.

6 comments:

tiny said...

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! BJ. You tell 'em and keep breathing down their shirt collars. You come up with the greatest. I would encourage you to write the play for our theater group, but I know this neo-con territory would never turn out to see it.

You go girl; you're the greatest.

airth10 said...

Well said! A good admonishment to Cheney and his ilk.

tnlib said...

Excellent, mi Lady. Wonder why we haven't heard anything from Cheney about the Haiti recover efforts.

Frodo, adding info, said...

What is absolutely mind-blowing is the Republican/Faux News/Tea Bagger response. The first allegation is that Reid was not over US Airspace when he attempted to ignite the shoe bomb, therefore the cases are different. Secondly, the argument is made that the requirements for a military tribunal were enacted after the Reid shoe bomb, therefore it was okay to try him in a civilian court, but now the military tribunal is more appropriate.

Horsehockey.

Note that Bob Barr, former Libertarian candidate for the Presidency, former Republican MC, and former US Attorney in Georgia, has endorsed a civilian trial for Abdul Farouk Whatever(note that Frodo is not usually in the business of quoting Barr, but when the issue is "country first," strange bedfellows are often apparent).

Would that Rush Limbaugh someday learn such a lesson.

B.J. said...

This from the cited Progress Report is about the best reason why terrorists should be tried in civilian criminal courts:

“As Judge William Young, who presided over (Richard) Reid's trial said rebutting Reid's claims that he was a ‘soldier’ of Allah, ‘You are not an enemy combatant. You are not a soldier in any army. You are a terrorist. To call you a soldier gives you far too much stature.'"

tiny said...

Tiny agrees with both Judge William Young and Frodo. A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of what air space they occupy.

Cheney occupies empty head space so don't hold your breath waiting for him to comment on Haiti. Those people need help and the Cheney's aren't going to lift a finger to help. He knows only criticism and Haiti is all that's in the media right now.

Cheney would be in Pat Robertson's and Rush Limbaugh's camp on this issue. You know, "birds of a feather ..."

History books are replete with terrorists who claimed to be soldiers for (pick a name for God).
Since God is billed all powerful, I don't think she/he needs anyone to fight her/his battles.

BJ, thanks for the update. You keep us on our toes.