Since Attorney General Eric Holder announced his decision to move five Guantanamo Bay detainees — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad — to New York for civilian trials on charges related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Fox News personalities have been up in arms. Karl Rove called it a “long-standing plot” by the Obama administration’s “left-wing lawyers who do not love America.”
But last night on Fox, the network’s top legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano — who has been known to disagree with Fox’s right-wing narratives on legal issues — disputed that view, citing the constitutional right to be tried in the place where the crime has been committed. “I don’t care about the Constitution!” host Bill O’Reilly responded. The debate continued:
O’REILLY: So why is he entitled to come to New York City to be tried in the civilian criminal court if he’s arrested in Pakistan?
NAPOLITANO: Because the document you don’t want me to talk about says when the government is going to prosecute you, it must do so in the place where the alleged harm was caused.
Later in the program, Fox analyst Brit Hume said he’d “been scouring the columns of various people opining about this to see if somebody makes a good argument for doing it,” adding, “And I really haven’t heard one.” Hume then noted Napolitano’s opinion and said, “I’m not certain I agree with that.” Watch it:
Holder’s “bold and principled” decision was “a victory for the rule of law and the American system of justice,” the Center for American Progress’ Ken Gude said.
“If you are accused, you get to know what you know what you are accused of, you get to face your accusers, and you get to defend yourself in court, and then you face a trial and a conviction. This is who we are as a system,” said Tom Andrews, director of the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo. “The Taliban? You can get a trial and a beheading in a few hours. That’s not our system of justice.”
Read more about Holder’s decision in today’s Progress Report.