I Thought It Was A Joke

…when I heard that the administration actually plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York criminal court. But it’s true. Tom Maguire is as flabbergasted as I am. And as the Powerline guys ask:

…suppose that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial results in an acquittal or a hung jury. Would the Obama administration really let him go? If so, they are crazy. If not, why are they holding the trial?

It’s a show trial. There are regimes that have show trials. They don’t tend to be democratic.

And will evidence from his own testimony be excluded, seeing as how it was obtained under “torture”?


[Update a few minutes later]

Andy McCarthy is appalled as well:

We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America. Since that will be their “defense,” the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America’s defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.

Hey, but other than that, it’s a great idea.

[Update a few minutes later]

Who are they going to find willing to sit on that jury? I sure as hell wouldn’t. No civilian should be expected to. How are they going to find anyone impartial, particularly in that location? I predict, at a minimum, their attorney will petition for change of venue, because he can’t get a fair trial in New York. Just watch.

[Afternoon update]

Why bring KSM to the US? A question by Congressman Hoekstra.

None Of The Above, Continued

That remains my choice among NASA’s heavy-lift options. Doing a new Saturn V seems particularly crazy to me.

[Update a few minutes later]

More over at the Orlando Sentinel space blog. It’s an interesting point that one of the (many) issues with solids is that they are a lot harder to transport to the pad. And I don’t think that the human spaceflight program should be held hostage to the Pentagon’s need to keep ATK in business for military solid work. If it’s important to national security to have a solid manufacturer available, then let them pay for it, instead of perverting NASA’s launch systems and budget.


…through dithering:

OK, I get that the political piece is vitally important, and for Eikenberry, up to his armpits in scheming warlords and bureaucrats in Kabul with his frontline diplomats daily engaged in pitched and desperate note-passing against an entrenched corruptancy, the light at the top of his own well probably is awfully dim and far away. This is a highly complex situation. Thinking outside the box, maybe it does make sense to put the cart ahead of the horse. It is intriguing, though, that in the middle of a hot war in which a determined, murderous enemy is making gains, there are ”options beyond military planning” that are so pressing that they actually trump military planning. Sounds like the president, in a show of resolve, wants to signal more firmly to Karzai and the scheming warlords that the United States is prepared to hold its breath until the Afghan people turn blue, or that the United States might even take its bat and ball and go home. Also, to signal to the United States military that he won’t be pushed around if it kills them.

One bright spot, in the Vietnam avoidance agenda. Remember how they accused LBJ of picking targets from the Oval Office? Can’t accuse Obama of that. He’s actively not picking targets from the Oval Office.


This Is Like A Bad Joke

Time has named the Ares-I the “Invention of the Year“:

TIME’s best invention of the year may send Americans back to the Moon and put the first human on Mars.

Do they even know that it can’t deliver people beyond earth orbit? On the other hand, it is really tall…

This kind of technological illiteracy is pathetic, but it’s what I’ve come to expect from the likes of Time.

[Mid-morning update]

From a reader:

My company was selected for a Time “Invention of the Year.” Hooray, we thought. Then the phone calls from Time started. A bored 20-something with a false Valley girl accent called to talk to the inventor of the thing we had been nominated for. We responded that there was no one person, it was a company-wide effort. It took, and I do not exaggerate, at least 30 minutes to get it through her head that “company” meant “more than one person.” Then the so-called fact checker wanted to know how the one person got the idea for the invention. We patiently explained that it was the company’s job to make such products and that more than one person had contributed to the idea and the building of our nifty little gadget. The fact checker did not know the difference between a pound and a kilogram, had no knowledge of basic chemistry, had never heard of the founders in our field, and didn’t even know what our gadget looked like. Subsequent calls did not remove the impression of careless indifference. Time never did get the story right.

Since that day I have never trusted a single story from Time. Not one. If the writers and editors can’t understand the difference between a pound and a kilogram, what else are they missing?

A lot. It’s a lot easier to just grab a press release from NASA PAO than to have to actually understand what the hell you’re talking about..

[Mid-afternoon update]

More thoughts on the cluelessness of this from Keith Cowing.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!