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The jury decision to convict one of the accomplices of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Africa, Ahmed Ghailani, on one count of conspiracy to blow up U.S. government buildings has created another round of insanity to break out amongst the usual-suspect conservative fringers.
The trial was held in New York federal court because America is not run by some military junta, but rather by a rule of law. A fact that even the sorry-ass Bush-Cheney administration occasionally recognized as seen in the 20th hijacker and Richard Reid's (shoebomber) trials being held in federal civilain courts.
However, America's rule of law is no longer enough for conservative fringers like Mitch McConnell and nuts like ex-NY Governor Pataki.....or even wild-eyed bloggers like our own King....
This murdering son of a b*tch nearly went free because the Obama administration chose to try him in civilian court rather than the military tribunal system Congress approved to try international terrorists as enemy combatants. I sincerely hope this near disaster puts an end to the debate, and that Ghailani is the last high-level Gitmo detainee tried in civilian court.
The verdict convicted Ghailani on one count of conspiracy to blow up U.S. buildings. 284 other counts were dropped because of the fact that much of the evidence on those counts was accumulated through torture. Sorry W.......America did torture....you ordered it.
That single conspiracy count will result in a 20 year to life sentence in a SuperMax federal prison for Ghailani. That's what the fringers ae calling "nearly" going "free." Odd.
Mitch McConnell wants Obama to...
“admit it was wrong and assure us just as confidently that terrorists will be tried from now on in the military commission system.”
Yesterday, I listened to law professor Jonathan Turley tell conservative fringer Governor George Pataki, who echoed McConnell's foolishness, that the Governor was rejecting civilian trials because he disagreed with the outcome.....outcome based jurisprudence, Turley called it. Pataki really got upset over Turley's razor sharp diagnosis of the conservative fringer's rejection of the rule of law.
This foolishness is like the flu. It comes around every so often whenever Guantanomo, or civilian trials of Muslims, or whenever another extremist plot is exposed and broken up.....and it seems to make conservative fringers sicker than insane dogs. Delirious.
Reviewing: We couldn't close Guantanomo because fringers said it wasn't safe to put detainees in SuperMax prisons inside America. No one has ever escaped from a SuperMax....but fringers were all scared. Then, we couldn't put Gitmo detainees on trial in New York because it would cost too much, New York would become a target for extremists, or a civilian NY court couldn't guarantee the outcome the fringers wanted. Now, fringers don't like the outcome of a 20-to-life jury conviction and want to jettison the entire rule of law in the U.S.
All of this is inexcusable. The U.S. has prosecuted hundreds.....repeat, hundreds....of Islamic extremists in civilian courts. We do it all the time. The U.S., today, is incarcerating hundreds....repeat, hundreds....of Islamic extremists inside SuperMax prisons today...at this very minute. None have ever escaped.
Here's what Morris Davis, former Air Force colonel and chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanomo from 2005-2007, says about the Ghailani trial.....
The Ghailani trial delivered justice. It did so safely and securely, while upholding the values that have defined America. Now Mr. Obama should stand up to the fear-mongers who want to take us back to the wrong side of history.
The conservative fringers are the ones who are on the wrong side of history here. Pataki, McConnell and King refuse to uphold the values of America. The very values which make us great. Instead, these fringers would take us back to the medieval justice of torture, gulags and the untrustworthy, arbitrary rule of men.
From an Obama White House official...
“So, we tried a guy (who the Bush Admin tortured and then held at GTMO for 4-plus years with no end game whatsoever) in a federal court before a NY jury with full transparency and international legitimacy and — despite all of the legacy problems of the case (i.e., evidence getting thrown out because of Bush-Admin torture, etc,) we were STILL able to convict him and INCAPACITATE him for essentially the rest of his natural life, AND there was not one — not one — security problem associated with the trial.”
“Would it have been better optically if he had been convicted of more counts? Sure. Would it have made any practical difference? No."
emptywheel at FireDogLake....
If every time the fearmongers rolled out their dog and pony show, the Obama Administration would go on the attack and focus on how stupid and inhumane Bush Administration policy was, then maybe it would open up enough space to actually move beyond those stupid policies.
And as far as military tribunals, commissions, kangaroo courts....one only needs to read yesterday's excellent Tbomb link from Mother Jones to see why civilian trials are not only demanded by our rule of law....but preferable.....read it conservative fringers, fight that insanity.
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