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Upcoming American Show Trials: Obama's and Cheney's "New Normal"?

by David R. Kimball
In an interview in November of 2009, Barack Obama declared that supposed "9/11 mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in his upcoming federal trial, would be "convicted" and "the death penalty... applied to him." A trial with its verdict and sentence predetermined before it occurs is one of the hallmarks of a police state, and is known as a "show trial." Was Obama reminding us that show trials will simply be part of the "new normal" in America that Cheney described in October, 2001?
In the December 1, 2009 issue of the Sacramento Bee, on the Op-Ed page Ruben Navarrette’s syndicated column reported on the upcoming trial of supposed “9/11 mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Attorney General Eric Holder had recently announced his decision to transport Mohammed and other defendants to New York, to try them in federal court. Navarrette reported that when Obama was “asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd if he could understand why many Americas are so offended by the idea of giving Mohammed ‘all the legal privileges of any American citizen,’ the president [said] ‘I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted, and when the death penalty is applied to him.’”[1]

Barack Obama, a former law professor and the current President of the United States, had pronounced a predetermined guilty verdict and sentence of death for an upcoming federal trial. If a Russian premiere had announced such a thing during the cold war, Americans would have immediately and rightfully pointed to this as evidence of a totalitarian police state. A trial with it’s conclusion decided by the government before it occurs is one of the hallmarks of a fascist or communist regime where citizens have no rights whatsoever, and is known by the descriptive appellation “show trial.”[2]

The 9/11 Commission also began with the predetermined conclusion that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and others had arrived at almost immediately following “9/11”, and that was trumpeted by all of the media - the conclusion that we have been told we all have to believe or be labeled “conspiracy theorists,” (i.e. crazy). This predetermined conclusion was that Muslims belonging to “Al Qaeda” and using box-cutters as weapons commandeered commercial jets and flew them into the WTC Twin Towers causing all but the steel in each Tower to erupt into dust in ten seconds. The 9/11 Commission did not research even the possibility that anything other than “fires” from burning jet fuel and resultant “building failure” could have caused each 110-story Tower to explode in ten seconds. Few flames were visible at all when the Towers were leveled; massive quantities of concrete were pulverized to fine particles and multi-ton steel beams hurled laterally hundreds of feet.[3] But facts don’t count when conclusions are already predetermined; in fact, facts are to be avoided. And a past Report with a predetermined conclusion could be helpfully “validated” by a “trial” with a predetermined verdict.

But what was Obama really telling us in his response to Chuck Todd? Was this merely a verbal “fumble”, as Navarrette called it, or could Obama have been deliberately reminding us of what Vice President Cheney told us in October of 2001, when he said that “Many of the steps [the government has] been forced to take will become permanent in American life... I think of it as the new normalcy.”?[4]

If show trials for the accused are part of the “new normalcy” in America, then we are all threatened - not so much by the fictional boogie-man “Al Qaeda”,[5] but by our own government.[6]

[1] Administration takes liberties with definition of civil liberties By Ruben Navarette Jr. 12-1-09
[2] Show trial
[3] The Bush Doctrine & The 9/11 Commission Report: Both Authored by Philip Zelikow By David Ray Griffin 4-10-08
[4] Cheney’s original quote:
[5] Fictional Al-Qaeda
[6] FEMA Executive Orders
Related Categories: U.S. | Police State & Prisons
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