When the verdict on Ahmed Ghailani is reviewed by historians, it will be seen as a dark stain on President Obama’s and Attorney General Holder’s records. Rep. Peter King didn’t mince words when talking about the verdict:
â€œI am disgusted at the total miscarriage of justice today in Manhattanâ€™s federal civilian court. In a case where Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was facing 285 criminal counts, including hundreds of murder charges, and where Attorney General Eric Holder assured us that â€˜failure is not an option,â€™ the jury found him guilty on only one count and acquitted him of all other counts including every murder charge.
â€œThis tragic verdict demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama Administrationâ€™s decision to try al-Qaeda terrorists in civilian courts.
â€œThis case was doomed from the beginning when the judge excluded DOJâ€™s key witness who admitted selling the explosives to Ghailani. Where is the justice for the more than 200 people killed and 4,000 injured in the terrorist bombings of our U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania?
â€œThis is a tragic wake-up call to the Obama Administration to immediately abandon its ill-advised plan to try Guantanamo terrorists like the admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal civilian courts. We must treat them as wartime enemies and try them in military commissions at Guantanamo.
â€œAs the next Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, I intend to hold hearings and conduct the necessary oversight on this critical homeland security issue in the 112th Congress.â€
It’s tragic that Holder didn’t try Ghailani in a military tribunal. That’s what happens when your ideological blinders steer you away from doing the right thing.
This NY Times article brings the damnation to Holder’s decisionmaking:
Of all the potential evidence against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, one thing that was never introduced or considered during his trial was Mr. Ghailaniâ€™s own words about his role in the 1998 bombing of the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
He did not speak at his trial. But he had previously discussed, in a 2007 interrogation while being detained at the prison at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba, how he had gotten caught up in what turned out to be a Qaeda plot.
These statements were never presented to the jury, which on Wednesday acquitted Mr. Ghailani of all but one of more than 280 charges of conspiracy and murder. Mr. Ghailaniâ€™s lawyers, who argued that their client was duped into helping Al Qaeda, said the statements were coerced, untrustworthy and inadmissible.
This should be all that’s needed to terminate Eric Holder. He’s backed himself, and this administration, into a corner. Clarice Feldman explains the dilemma in this article:
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, will probably remain in military detention without trial for the foreseeable future, according to Obama administration officials.
The administration has concluded that it cannot put Mohammed on trial in federal court because of the opposition of lawmakers in Congress and in New York. There is also little internal support for resurrecting a military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latter option would alienate liberal supporters.
The administration asserts that it can hold Mohammed and other al-Qaeda operatives under the laws of war, a principle that has been upheld by the courts when Guantanamo Bay detainees have challenged their detention.
Considering their options, there’s really just one real option in dealing with these terrorists. That’s with military tribunals. Unfortunately, that’s the option this administration has ruled out.
Hopefully, we’ll get a real administration in place in 2 years, one that’s serious about dealing with captured terrorists. The Obama administration has shown a willingness to kill terrorists on the battlefield. Unfortunately, they haven’t shown a willingness to prosecute terrorists.
Unfortunately, I don’t anticipate that day coming anytime soon.