‘Unprecedented,’ except for all the other times

‘UNPRECEDENTED,’ EXCEPT FOR ALL THE OTHER TIMES…. Joe Scarborough argued this morning that it’s “unprecedented” for the U.S. to try foreign terror suspects in our federal judicial system. That might be true, if it weren’t for all the other foreign terror suspects that have been tried, convinced, and imprisoned through our federal judicial system.

Bush administration used federal justice system to bring several foreign terrorism suspects to justice. During the George W. Bush administration, several foreign terrorists were brought to justice through the federal justice system, including 9-11 conspirator Zacarious Moussaoui, “Shoe bomber” Richard Reid and East African embassy bombing perpetrators Wahid el-Hage, Mohammed Sadiq Odeh, Mohammed Rashed al-Owhali, and Khalfan Khamis Mohammed.

Clinton administration also used federal justice system to bring foreign terror suspects to justice. During the Clinton administration, 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and “urban terrorism” plotters Sheik Oma Abdel Rahman and others were brought to justice through the federal justice system.

There are already 216 international terrorists in U.S. prisons. A May 29 Slate.com article reported that according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, “federal facilities on American soil currently house 216 international terrorists and 139 domestic terrorists. Some of these miscreants have been locked up here since the early 1990s. None of them has escaped. At the most secure prisons, nobody has ever escaped.”

Now, maybe Scarborough doesn’t know anything about this subject. Maybe he forgot all the examples that prove how wrong he is. Maybe he just doesn’t care.

But given the apoplexy, you’d think the KSM trial was something extraordinary. Indeed, it’s no doubt what prompted Scarborough to assume it’s “unprecedented.” After all, with so many conservatives freaking out, it stands to reason the Obama administration is breaking all the rules. In reality, that’s absurd — the trial is actually routine.

It’s also a reminder of how weak the right’s complaining has been the last several days. If there’s a strong case that terror trials are a bad idea, conservatives seem unable to make it.