Pat Buchanan gives us a brilliant dissertation on the contradictory nature of the Holder KSM civilian trial decision. Excerpts... ___ Are We at War -- or Not? By Pat Buchanan For if we are at war, why is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed headed for trial in federal court in the Southern District of New York? Why is he entitled to a presumption of innocence and all of the constitutional protections of a U.S. citizen? Is it possible we have done an injustice to this man by keeping him locked up all these years without trial? For that is what this trial implies -- that he may not be guilty. And if we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that KSM was complicit in mass murder, by what right do we send Predators and Special Forces to kill his al-Qaida comrades wherever we find them? For none of them has been granted a fair trial. ...When the Justice Department sets up a task force to wage war on a crime organization like the Mafia or MS-13, no U.S. official has a right to shoot Mafia or gang members on sight. No one has a right to bomb their homes. No one has a right to regard the possible death of their wives and children in an attack as acceptable collateral damage. Yet that is what we do to al-Qaida, to which KSM belongs. We conduct those strikes in good conscience because we believe we are at war. But if we are at war, what is KSM doing in a U.S. court? ...When John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, alleged collaborators like Mary Surratt were tried before a military tribunal and hanged at Ft. McNair. When eight German saboteurs were caught in 1942 after being put ashore by U-boat, they were tried in secret before a military commission and executed, with the approval of the Supreme Court. What makes KSM special? Is the Obama administration aware of what it is risking by not turning KSM over to a military tribunal in Guantanamo? How does Justice handle a defense demand for a change of venue, far from lower Manhattan, where the jury pool was most deeply traumatized by Sept. 11? Would not KSM and his co-defendants, if a change of venue is denied, have a powerful argument for overturning any conviction on appeal? Were not KSM's Miranda rights impinged when he was not only not told he could have a lawyer on capture, but that his family would be killed and he would be water-boarded if he refused to talk? ...There have been reports that in the trials of those convicted in the first World Trade Center bombing, sources and methods were compromised, weakening our security for the second attack on Sept. 11. What do we do if the case against KSM is thrown out because the government refuses to reveal sources or methods, or if he gets a hung jury, or is acquitted, or has his conviction overturned? In America, trials often become games, where the prosecution, though it has truth on its side, loses because it inadvertently breaks one of the rules. The Obamaites had best pray that does not happen, for they may be betting his presidency on the outcome of the game about to begin. RealClearPolitics - Are We at War -- or Not?