Beyond Politics

Ambers take on giving US trials to KSM and other terrorists:

If this is politics, it's really dumb politics. And that's why it's probably not politics. Occam's razor applies. Obama and Holder are sincerely -- perhaps naively, but that's something we won't know for a while -- attempting to change the way the American people and the world think about counterterrorism.

They want to change the narrative from a "strength/weakness" metaphor to an "example/rule of law" metaphor. This sounds a little PoMo, but it's the mark of a president who, on this issue in particular, does not believe that the old ways of thinking make America any safer. Certainly, they don't contribute to a national security politics of consensus.

This will be a hard sell. The chief GOP arguments -- that terrorists don't deserve the same rights as Americans -- even common criminals -- and that the 9/11 terrorists are inherently of a different and more nefarious breed of species than people who break the law -- are generally supported by Americans.