Ethics Tip To President Obama Regarding the Mohammed Trial: Please Shut Up!

This is something of an addendum to the previous post, which should probably be read first.

Politico reports that in response to a question from NBC’s Chuck Todd about those who find it offensive that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the terrorist mastermind, will receive  the same rights accorded to U.S. citizens when they are charged with a crime, President Obama said,

“I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.” 

American citizens, who are, in the eyes of the justice system, considered innocent until they are duly proven guilty in a court of law, have the right to noy have the President of the United States suggest that their conviction and execution is a foregone conclusion. The President’s comment is at best irresponsible, and at worst an endorsement of state-sanctioned political executions, using juries who have received their marching orders from the nation’s leaders. Obama’s comment, coming from a former constitutional law professor, either shows an appalling lack of commitment to the basic tenets of American justice, or a lack of respect for them. Neither is acceptable in a U.S. President.

If  Mohammed is going to be tried, he must be tried fairly. If that is to happen, then the President of the United States, U.S Senators and the Attorney General (see the previous post)  have a duty to shut up about his prospects of conviction.

2 thoughts on “Ethics Tip To President Obama Regarding the Mohammed Trial: Please Shut Up!

  1. Let’s see how the press handles this. I believe Richard Nixon was pilloried in the press when he wasn’t careful enough to call Charles Manson the “alleged” mastermind of the Tate/LaBianca murders in the late ’60s. Will the press today give Obama a pass? Probably.

  2. It already has, I think. The quote has not been widely reported: James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal also recalled the Nixon gaffe, which was also corrected by the Justice Department, and he is one of the very few who commented on Obama’s quote at all. (In fact, his blog is where I first learned of it.)

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