As everyone knows by now:
Ahmed Ghailani, an al Qaeda terrorist who conspired to blow up American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, was acquitted of more than 280 charges, including one count of murder for each of the 224 people killed in the simultaneous attacks. The jury found Ghailani guilty of only one charge: conspiracy to destroy U.S. government buildings.
Over at Hot Air, Allahpundit wonders:
If he had walked, Obama would now be in the excruciating position of having to decide whether to let him go, which would be an utter political disaster, or to re-arrest him and hold him on some sort of preventive detention grounds, which would be a civil libertarian nightmare (and a political disaster among his base).Thomas Joscelyn wants to know:
It is a mystery how the jury could find that these facts failed to add up to a guilty verdict on all of the murder counts. How can a terrorist be guilty of conspiring to blow up two buildings, but then be found not guilty of the ensuing deaths?
The White House is "pleased" with the verdict. Hell yeah, they are. That one "guilty" verdict saved them from a PR nightmare.
Liz Cheney at Keep America Safe has issued this statement:
“Bad ideas have dangerous consequences. The Obama Administration recklessly insisted on a civilian trial for Ahmed Ghailani, and rolled the dice in a time of war. The Department of Justice says it’s pleased by the verdict. Ask the families of the victims if they’re pleased. And this result isn’t just embarrassing. It’s dangerous. It signals weakness in a time of war. The Ghailani trial was supposed to be a test case for future trials of 9/11 terrorists. We urge the president: End this reckless experiment. Reverse course. Use the military commissions at Guantanamo that Congress has authorized. And, above all--accept the fact that we are at war.”
I would agree with the many other pundits this morning who suggest that this puts the final nail in the coffin to holding the KSM trial in NYC. Could the administration risk a "not guilty" on the 9/11 mastermind?
This verdict shows that terrorists need to be tried by military commissions and they need to be tried at GITMO.
Charles Krauthammer said on Special Report last night that he believes this verdict means Gitmo stays open and stays open for good. I'd have to agree, there.
What an amateurish, and nearly costly blunder, by the administration. Children playing where grownups should be.
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