Obama withdraws charges against Nashiri, for now

posted at 9:14 am on February 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When President Obama demanded 120-day continuances of all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, he said he wanted time to review the best possible course of action while he planned Gitmo’s eventual closure.  The trial judge for the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing refused to grant the continuance, telling prosecutors that he couldn’t base decisions on trials based on how the law might change in the future, and practically daring the government to withdraw charges instead.  Obama did just that yesterday, while planning to meet with some of the victim’s families (via The Anchoress):

President Obama will meet today with victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the USS Cole bombing and their families as his administration reviews how to handle detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The meeting comes as the judge overseeing military trials at Guantanamo ordered charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri withdrawn, overturning an earlier ruling that the case against the alleged organizer of the Cole bombing should go forward Monday as scheduled.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Judge Susan J. Crawford overruled the decision, bringing the case into compliance with an order Obama issued in his first week in office to suspend Guantanamo cases.

Unfortunately, this was all too predictable.  Obama had no intention of prosecuting the Gitmo detainees in the first few days of his administration.  The delay may have made it palatable for them to continue later, with a little spin, but Obama’s likely intent was to inure himself against criticism from the Right on the prosecutions by delaying and dragging out the Gitmo closing process.

This decision puts Nashiri into the very status to which Obama and the Left objected so strenuously: held without charge.  That was the status that Congress and the Bush administration worked hard to change twice in passing legislation that established the military tribunal system.  The last time, in 2007, Democrats joined Republicans in creating a system with more safeguards for defendants than our own military personnel get under the UCMJ, complete with access to the federal court system on appeal.

Andy McCarthy, who sharply criticized the judge in the Nashiri case for forcing Obama’s hand, says that Obama may not be done dropping charges, either, and welcomes back September 10th America:

On that score, it is noteworthy that, before the appointing authority acted this evening, Obama had scheduled a meeting for tomorrow afternoon with victims and families of victims not only of the Cole bombing but of of the 9/11 attacks.  At a minimum, he appeared poised to announce he was dropping the Cole charges against Nashiri.  All evening, however, it has been floated from several knowledgeable sources that the president was prepared to announce the dismissal of all the commission cases — i.e., not only against Nashiri but against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 plotters.  That suggestion is supported by the fact that the 9/11 families were invited to the White House meeting:  there would have been no need to invite them to discuss an announcement that impacted only the Cole case.

Dismissals, if they happened, would surely be couched as “without prejudice.”  That is, Obama would be able to tell the families — whether he meant it or not — that he could always re-file military commission charges if he ultimately decided that commissions, rather than civilian trials, were the best way to go. …

Such dismissals would get the administration out from under the four-month deadline its adjournment request would have imposed.  That is, the cases would be gone instead of suspended.  Nothing further would ever have to happen, and nothing further would happen, unless and until Obama decided what to do about all the detainees remaining at Guantanamo Bay.  Maybe his ultimate decision would be to transfer the war-crimes detainees for trial in civilian court, maybe it would be to ship them to some country willing to take them, or maybe it would be to continue detaining them without trial under some new legal system.  But you could bet the ranch that war crimes defendants would never again be charged in military commissions.  Obama’s antiwar base, which rejects the premise that we are at war, cannot abide such military prosecutions.

From Obama’s rhetoric and actions, it looks like Andy’s correct; we’re going back to the law-enforcement model, which failed so miserably to protect our country during the Clinton adminstration.  Andy knows this from personal experience, as he prosecuted the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, and his terrorist network for the first World Trade Center bombing.  For almost a decade afterwards, we pursued terrorists as though they were burglars, unwilling to grab them before they killed Americans, and obsessing over their legal status.

Will Obama drop charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 9/11 plotters, too?  What makes them different from Nashiri and the others whose plots ended in American deaths?


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Comments

saiga on February 6, 2009 at 10:33 AM

I just bought another thirty dollar magazine for my Beretta and it cost me fifty dollars.

Johan Klaus on February 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Whats amusing to me is that he thinks, that for the families, that a meeting with him will make it all better….

Wow…. Hubris… and buying into his own Press.

Romeo13 on February 6, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Blame torture.

getalife on February 6, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Did you forget the sarc tag or are you really that simple?

hawkdriver on February 6, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Johan Klaus on February 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Johan, go to Gun Shows. They’re much cheaper. I’m going this weekend and buying all the .223 30.06 and 9mm I can load in my brand new truck. No limit.

I’m also going to buy every container of Accurate 2230, .224 HMJ bullets and brass I can find.

Arsenal baby, arsenal.

Cache!

hawkdriver on February 6, 2009 at 10:44 AM

FMJ bullets…

hawkdriver on February 6, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Hes a traitor and a terrorist enabler. This country is lost.

Viper1 on February 6, 2009 at 10:48 AM

fool.

kirkill on February 6, 2009 at 10:48 AM

I did not vote for this guy. Too green, too political. I actually fear him now.

FireBlogger on February 6, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Clinton also met with the families of the dead and wounded Sailors of the USS Cole just before the memorial service. He lied to them. He said we would mete out justice to those responsible. He did nothing. I have no doubt that BHO will do likewise. Democrats do not take national security seriously.

MCPO Airdale on February 6, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Its time the “People” took their country back from the traitors who have hijacked it, and for those who stand in the way God rest your souls.

Viper1 on February 6, 2009 at 10:57 AM

treason

urbancenturion on February 6, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Hell, Obama will probably put them in a cabinet position, or let them participate in writing the stimulus bill.

I’m sure they would easily sail through the vetting process.

TexAz on February 6, 2009 at 11:07 AM

This decision puts Nashiri into the very status to which Obama and the Left objected so strenuously: held without charge.

This also puts them in a better position to be sprung on some sort of habeas corpus, human rights basis. With this administration, I think it is a safe bet they will go along with that reasoning.

PattyJ on February 6, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Johan Klaus on February 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Of course. They were paid by Iran so they wouldn’t have to legally claim any US taxes.

hawkdriver on February 6, 2009 at 11:17 AM

We are in deep, deep trouble. Hussein is a complete blundering incompetent.

dogsoldier on February 6, 2009 at 11:20 AM

I don’t blame the Judge for ‘forcing’ Obama’s hand. I thank him. Obama probably thought he could just let four months go by and quietly implement this pro terror September 10 policy. The Judge called Obama out on this. Now the major question is whether the terrorist defense lawyers will be filing additional habeus petitions to free the GITMO 260, since Mr. Obama has scuttled the only lawful grounds for keeping these terrorists incarcerated and has created an arbitrary and capricious decision making process for holding them in GITMO?

eaglewingz08 on February 6, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Yes, it is as bad as our worst fears.

It’s like the donks actually want another attack on our soil.

jukin on February 6, 2009 at 11:25 AM

BTW and OT: My very good, (seriously very good) liberal friend that I work in the same staff section with, is getting noticably defensive and at times loud and argumentative about his boy during what would have used to have been polite political discussions over staff huddles in the morning. I just said I didn’t think the first month was starting off “all that great” and he launched on me. I thought it would take a while for them to get to that point. Anyone seeing lib friends acting wierd already.

But we have a saying in my office. Get mad, then get over it. And we do. Taking the butthead to the gun show here in Fayetteville with me tomorrow.

hawkdriver on February 6, 2009 at 11:26 AM

eaglewingz08 on February 6, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Key is that the Judge was right.

Obama does not get ignore the law, just because “I won”.

The Military tribunals were passed by Congress, signed into Law, and vetted by the Supreme Court…

Now, Barry, by Fiat overrides not only the law, but if these guys do have Constitutional Protections (as the left wants them to have) both due process and right to a speedy trial?

We are supposed to live in a REPUBLIC… where the LAW is supreme. Just because he won an election, it does not mean he can ignore existing law.

Romeo13 on February 6, 2009 at 11:47 AM

O/T ETTA JAMES rips Beyonce and Obama a big one:
Etta James, as reported speaking to an audience at a recent concert:

“You guys know your president, right? You know the one with the big ears?” she said to the crowd, unsure of what lay ahead. “Wait a minute, he ain’t my president, he might be yours, he ain’t my president. You know that woman he had singing for him, singing my song — she’s going to get her ass whipped.”

Beyonce played James on the big screen recently, in ‘Cadillac Records.’
Now, we have an idea what the elder singer thinks of her movie version. She continued at the concert:

“The great Beyonce. I can’t stand Beyonce,” she told the crowd. “She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol’ president day, gonna be singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.”

James is best known for ‘At Last,’ released in 1961 on Chess Records, but she has scores of other hits including ‘Trust in Me’ and ‘Fool That I Am.’

Beyonce has also ruffled the sequins of another diva last year when at the Grammy Awards she introduced Tina Turner, and not Aretha Franklin, as “The Queen.” Her royal highness the Queen of Soul was not pleased by the diss, and called it a “cheap shot.”

Priceless

eaglewingz08 on February 6, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Obama is a child………..

…………. those who covered for him, the MSM, and those who voted for him are just as responsible for this as he.

When we get hit again…….

………. we will know who to blame.

Seven Percent Solution on February 6, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Ed, I don’t know military law procedure, but in the civil law sector, dismissals after a certain point in time are only WITH prejudice (ie, case may not be refiled), unless both sides stipulate that the case may be refiled. Obviously, there is no incentive whatever for these defendants to agree to a ‘without prejudice’ dismissal. Me, I think the suggestion that the dismissal of these charges is without prejudice is likely a fraud.

Also, you say

This decision puts Nashiri into the very status to which Obama and the Left objected so strenuously: held without charge.

But that status won’t/can’t last long. Per Anthony Kennedy and 4 other Super C-I-Cs, they must be tried or released.

In short, dismissal “without prejudice” =release.

And, enjoy your Change!

james23 on February 6, 2009 at 12:16 PM

james23 on February 6, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Bingo… and since the Government had a legal process in place for trials… and then chose not to use it for political reasons….

Habeus in 5… 4…. 3…

Because part of being a REPUBLIC is you don’t get to play politics with existing Law…

Romeo13 on February 6, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Team “O” Will Release Dirty Bomber Trainee From Gitmo

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/02/obama-team-to-release-suspected-dirty.html

Mercy4Me on February 6, 2009 at 12:34 PM

I blame Bush…

Did I do that right?

Sorry, needed to practice that phrase, prior to re-education camps.

(The Internet Warrior)

Mark Garnett on February 6, 2009 at 12:40 PM

The president has defended that decision, saying that closing the facility will make the country safer by putting an end to one of the most controversial symbols of U.S. efforts to fight terrorism, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He will make us safer by releasing all the detainees.

Wonderful.

I am putting down a marker right now, right here.

drjohn on February 6, 2009 at 12:41 PM

And New Yorkers helped elect this idiot radical Messiah. Screw you guys in NY if you allow this to stand… America will DESERVE what it gets from here on out… We elected this abortion as CIC and we are ALL in grave danger…

Mark Garnett on February 6, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Amen!

Mercy4Me on February 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Romeo13 on February 6, 2009 at 11:47 AM

+100

Healing we are feeling!

dmann on February 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM

It’s ironic but fitting that a post about Obama withdraws charges against a terrorist is back to back in Top Picks about the post President Obama, infanticide happens.

They really tell you what you need to know about the man.

INC on February 6, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Anyone got a spare pitchfork?

Fuquay Steve on February 6, 2009 at 12:58 PM

D2Boston on February 6, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Thank you for the Krauthammer link.

INC on February 6, 2009 at 1:03 PM

On the day this gets announced, isn’t Obama meeting with families who lost loved ones in 9/11 and the U.S.S. Cole?

I’d kick him in the groin and when he’d bend of forward, I’d knee him in the jaw and nose.

Ed, you need an update with a picture of Obama gladhanding the survivors.

BuckeyeSam on February 6, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I will not piss on the Obama-voters to quench the jihadi-fires on their backs. I hope they burn in their narcissism, stupidity and arrogance.

LimeyGeek on February 6, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I just saw Gateway Pundit and he had the same idea:

It’s Friday… Time For Obama To Free the Terrorists & Kill The Unborn

INC on February 6, 2009 at 1:10 PM

CPT

redrock on February 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I used to think Michael Savage was wrong when he said liberalism is a mental disease.

Liberals believe that giving blood and treasure to support the establishment of a democracy in Iraq creates more terrorists but apparently driving them out of their sanctuary in Afghanistann didn’t?

Liberals also believe that imprisoning terrorists only creates more terrorists but apparently killing them doesn’t.

Obama is a liberal and Savage was right.

Basilsbest on February 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Obama supports embryonic stem cell research because it destroys innocent human life and it doesn’t work.

Basilsbest on February 6, 2009 at 1:21 PM

He gets tested……..we pay the price.

Eagle 1

Eagle 1 on February 6, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Biden was right.

Limerick on February 6, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Those are scary words to look at on a screen.

I mean for a guy who thinks (barely) with his mouth wide open, this Biden’s sentiment may be strangely prescient.

Somehow Baalam’s Ass comes to mind…lol…in more ways than one.

bluelightbrigade on February 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM

This is too sick to even be called a joke. This clown, we have in the White House, is playing games with the justice that is deserved of these killers, just so he can please his far left wacko base. It’s sick.

oakpack on February 6, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Obama withdraws charges against Nashiri, for now

Barack “Hussein” Obama = Soft on Terrorism

byteshredder on February 6, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Obama and the democrats will never
DEFEND the united states of america..

Sorry their agenda is becomming all to clear now..

Obama and the dems want to
Build detention camps
Release all of the criminals
and Jail ANY american who dares
Oppose the messiah
Oppose pelozi or the dems
owns a gun
goes to church.

these rules and exectutive orders are all designed to do one thing..

Reward all the enemies of the united states of america by
arresting american citizens and putting them into
Forced religious conversion training camps…

IE pelozi and obamas re-educatuion facilites..

I warned you morons..
but nooooo
you liberals elected this idiot..

jcila on February 6, 2009 at 2:30 PM

From Big Hollywood, a joke from Gary Graham:

Q: HOW MANY LIBERALS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A LIGHTBULB?

A: SEVENTEEN.

TWO, to notice that there is no light by bumping in to each other, debate whether the collision was due to a sudden increase in the amount of prevailing darkness, or rather, an uptrend in the known absence of illumination…and then blame it on George Bush as part of the 9/11 Conspiracy.

ONE, to start a website that links the dead light bulb as further proof of Global Warming.

FOUR, to set up a mobile texting network to demand a United Nations tribunal investigating Bush/Cheney’s collusion with Halliburton, the Trilateral Commision, the Skull and Bones Society, the NRA, the CFR, NASCAR, the Boy Scouts of America, Lyme disease, and Satan.

NINE, to establish an emergency bi-partisan Congressional Committee to Study the Crisis, spend seventy-five billion dollars as quickly as humanly possible, and eventually arrive at the conclusion that the only thing the government does that’s worth a damn is found in the U.S Military. So they send in…

ONE brave serviceman to enter the darkness and climb up and screw in a new light bulb.

INC on February 6, 2009 at 2:35 PM

…Obama’s likely intent was to inure himself against criticism…

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Tzetzes on February 6, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Welcome back to the “Speed Trap on Terror.” If you’re caught red-handed committing an act of terrorism, we’ll prosecute you, meaning getting you a lawyer, accusing the arresting officer of improper conduct, and finally releasing you with a heartfelt apology for your mistreatment at our hands.

hawksruleva on February 6, 2009 at 4:10 PM

hawksruleva on February 6, 2009 at 4:10 PM

You missed the opportunity for a major lawsuit against the US for false imprisonment. Maybe even a huge book deal or a round of TV appearances all paid of course.

kanda on February 6, 2009 at 4:59 PM

IMPEACH OBAMA NOW FOR AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY.

Pusbag.

seejanemom on February 6, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Capt. of the Cole is talking to his Barrackness now… gonna be on Beck as soon as he gets out…

Will be… interesting.

Romeo13 on February 6, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Diane McDaniels, mother of James McDaniels of the Cole, on Neil Cavuto of Fox, just called for the impeachment of Obama.

technopeasant on February 6, 2009 at 5:39 PM

And Ms. McDaniels voted for the Messiah.

technopeasant on February 6, 2009 at 5:40 PM

“trial judge for the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing refused to grant the continuance, telling prosecutors that he couldn’t base decisions on trials based on how the law might change in the future

Key is that the Judge was right”.

Of coarse the Judge is right.
Lets run Obama’s logic through some hypothetical’s.

Should we free all rapist, cuz at sometime in the future the law MAY CHANGE?
Should we free all robbers, cuz at sometime in the future the law MAY CHANGE?
Should we not enforce traffic laws, cuz at sometime in the future the law MAY CHANGE?
Should we not prosecute tax cheats, cuz at sometime in the future the law MAY CHANGE?
Should we not,

Oh wait tax cheats, uhmm never mind.

DSchoen on February 6, 2009 at 6:12 PM

wait until they transfer these terrorists to Riker’s Island , in NYC. You think waterboarding is bad, wait until they meet bubba and the crips.I couln’t think of better punishment than having them made into bubba’s bitches, and their stinking corpses thrown out like yesterdays garbage.

I stll really despise them being on American soil, even under the circumstances i just described

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on February 6, 2009 at 6:20 PM

He will be declared mentally unfit within six months, Biden will be in jail for terminal stupidity and we will be roled by a true Baltimore hack, San Francisco Nan

Amazed on February 6, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Interesting how quiet the trolls are on this thread.

Jamson64 on February 6, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Jamson64 on February 6, 2009 at 7:02 PM

They just haven’t formulated a catchy bumper sticker slogan yet. Cut them a little slack.

Zorg on February 6, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Another sign of Obama’s weakness… Pakistan just released their terrorist-enabling, nuke-proliferating, Western technology thieving “scientist” A. Q. Khan, the “father of the Islamic [stolen] bomb” from “house arrest”.

There’s only one answer:

RENDITION.

(Or a predator drone, if they want to be more overt.)

Maniac scum.

profitsbeard on February 6, 2009 at 7:14 PM

Meanwhile, as Obama tries to play schoolyard bully to any and all who oppose his grandiose ideas for America, the real bullies are “manning up,” totally unimpressed by this novice from Chicago. Putin and Medvedev are pushing a lot of military buttons lately, to our detriment, while Obama is fixated on his bailout/stimulus package.

According to the Financial Times, Russia is expanding its military presence in Europe and in many former Soviet republics as a counter to NATO…and to get Russians minds off the terrible economic condition they are in, I’d guess.

coldwarrior on February 6, 2009 at 7:47 PM

He dismissed the charges against our sons killers. We had our bags packed to attend the trial. We were to leave this afternoon and then his aide calls me and wants me to go see Obama. Why? We knew he would pull this crap. And yes I do believe that liberalism is a mental disease. These people murdered his fellows americans! And we waited 8 darn years for this. All the while watching Saleh of yemen set our sons killers free over there. And now the same thing is happening in America. Ths is all a bad waking dream. That never ends. I will fight this till the day I die. i just hope that i can find a lawyer to represent us. Every time I get a lawyer on the phone they think I am a friking terrorist at Gitmo and get all excited. Then it dawns on them that I am a real victim of terrorism calling for my murdered son. Click!! End of conversation. To be this powerless in America the land of individaul rights! yeah. For our enemies.

bobster67 on February 6, 2009 at 8:49 PM

If Obama meets with families of sailors killed on the U.S.S. Cole under these circumstances, it seems one of his braver advisors would be prudent to explain to him, perhaps very delicately and very indirectly, that he should brace himself to be called a name normally uttered to no one bigger.

Kralizec on February 6, 2009 at 10:31 PM

Hey, take it easy on Barry, wait till he finds how unpleasant it will be in 2011, when he has a hostile congress.

Little Boomer on February 6, 2009 at 11:18 PM

I’m a little late to this party, but on Glenn Beck’s Fox show on 2/5 he was supposed to interview the CO of the Cole as well as the father of a sailor killed in the attack, after they met with Obama. The interview was supposed to be held at the Fox news studio on the grounds of the WH. However, when the meeting with Obama was concluded, the CO and the dad got the bum’s rush- they were put outside the WH gates and not allowed back in for the Fox interview. Glenn says he will continue to try to get them in for an interview.
Transparent administration, my aunt Fanny.

abcurtis on February 7, 2009 at 8:43 AM

To be this powerless in America the land of individaul rights! yeah. For our enemies. bobster67 on February 6, 2009 at 8:49 PM

There’s not always justice this side of heaven but there’s always justice.

Mojave Mark on February 7, 2009 at 10:49 AM

This dude won’t last 2 years in the WH…remember my words. Too many mistakes in 2-3 weeks?

ProudPalinFan on February 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM

I’m just curious, which American court is it that has jurisdiction over crimes committed on a battlefield in another country and under what authority??? If you’re thinking the Geneva Convention, better read it. According to that document, non-uniformed combatants are to be shot on sight. Fact is, our politicians have really lost it, we are actually breaking the GC by doing what we are.

Our government is getting way too big for it’s britches!

Bikerken on February 7, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Not even a month in office and BO already stinks to high heavens!

miron on February 8, 2009 at 1:02 AM

kanda on February 7, 2009 at 3:29 AM

What did she think he was going to do when she voted for him?

Disturb the Universe on February 8, 2009 at 1:32 PM