Must-read of the day: Ed Morrissey on the Ghailani decision

Posted by: ST on November 18, 2010 at 10:44 am

The post title – Time for Holder to go – says it all, but make sure to read the whole thing. He expresses what a lot of us are feeling this morning in light of the civialian trial of Gitmo detainee and admitted terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, in which the verdict was announced yesterday. Via the WaPo:

The first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in federal criminal court was found guilty on a single conspiracy charge Wednesday but cleared on 284 other counts. The outcome, a surprise, seriously undermines – and could doom – the Obama administration’s plans to put other Guantanamo detainees on trial in U.S. civilian courts.

After deliberating for five days, a jury of six men and six women found Ahmed Ghailani, 36, guilty of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property but acquitted him of multiple murder and attempted-murder charges for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.

The Obama administration had hoped that a conviction on most, if not all, of the charges would help clear the way for federal prosecutions of other Guantanamo detainees – including Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The administration did not want to rely exclusively on the military commissions that the George W. Bush administration had made a centerpiece of its detention policy.

President Obama’s strategy, however, has run into fierce, cross-party opposition in Congress and New York, in part because of concerns that it would be harder to win convictions in civilian court.

The failure to convict Ghailani, a native of Tanzania, on the most serious terrorism charges will bolster the arguments of those who say the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be kept open, both to host military commissions for some prisoners and to hold others indefinitely and without trial under the laws of war.

“You deserve a lot of credit,” U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan told the jurors after the verdicts were announced. “You have demonstrated also that American justice can be delivered calmly, deliberately and fairly, by ordinary people – people who are not beholden to any government, including this one.”

WTH? This is maddening.

I wrote a Cliffs Notes version of a response to the verdict on Twitter last night, which I’ll repost here. Because each post can only contain 140 characters, I had to get creative with spellings:

Thnk God GWB was prez for 8 yrs rather than 4, bc we know John F. Kerry wlda treated terrorism as law enforcement issue like BO does now

How’s that “system” workin’ out for ya, Mr. Prez? #NotSoGood

The “BO Way” of dispensing justice to terrorists is the “BS Way” – this prez wants to try terrorists in civilian courts to show that …

US justice system is fair, but this is a sham bc Holder has already said that, guilty or not, the likes of KSM wld be held indefinitely

This admin is abt symbolism over substance, & “soft diplomacy” over strength. It’s way of “doing biz” that is unbefitting of a prez ..

…at any time, but especially during WARTIME. We need REAL leadership, not hand-holding and footsie-playing. Thank you.

Eric “Hold ’em” Holder has lots of legal cards he can play, but sadly, neither he nor his boss R playin’ w/a full deck #KnowWhatIMean?

I’d write more, but I have a full plate today so this will have to do. Ed’s post is far more detailed, and far more scathing. Make sure to read the whole thing.

Also, make sure to read a post my co-blogger wrote about this case a little over a month ago and how the administration more or less tried to convince the American people that the verdict would be a slam dunk for the DOJ.

Phineas jumps in: ST’s ably covered this mess (and thanks for the link, boss!), but I thought I’d provide a link to a post I wrote this morning in light of the Ghailani verdicts, one with a simple message: Impeach Eric Holder.

UPDATE (Phineas): From Big Peace, “They came within a hair’s breadth of losing the case entirely.”

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5 Responses to “Must-read of the day: Ed Morrissey on the Ghailani decision”


  1. Carlos says:

    But the trial was successful, ST. It showed that, despite the verdicts in all but one count, the hearts of our idiot-in-chief and his intelligencia staff were in the right place, and that’s all that counts.

    Results mean nothing. Never did, never will. That’s what people voted for in 2008, that his stated intentions were good; they didn’t stop to think what those intentions would actually do.

  2. Kate says:

    Yes, the judge definitely got it right…..the jury did exactly what BO and HOlder wanted….it’s called prosecution-light, looks like a prosecution of justice,but light on substance and determination to win.

  3. Mad Monica says:

    I’ve been soundly chastised in other blogs for saying this but I believe it. This president and his cronies have absolutely no problem with losing a few American lives if it means they can suck up to the muslim world.

    They do not consider terrorism to be a real threat and think they can dissuade those who want to destroy this country by kissing their butts and bending over to forgive them for EVERYTHING.

    Mark my words, this is the beginning of some really dangerous times for this country. This can be seen as NOTHING but weakness.

  4. Jo says:

    Again, depressing. These ‘We Are The World’ bozo’s are actually harming our nation and bringing it low in the eyes of the world but isn’t that what Odumber evidently intended? To punish America for its greatness, its exceptionalism? Well, I’m sure all of his slobbering Libtard supporters, so eager to bring this nation down a few notches, will rest easy now. Their form of justice was met. God, help us.