Gitmo detainee tried in civilian court convicted of just one charge — out of 280

posted at 7:33 pm on November 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

This was the guy whom Obama and Holder lined up as their test case to prove that, yes indeed, we can convict Gitmo jihadis using good old-fashioned civilian court procedures. All was well until last month, when the district court judge barred the feds’ blockbuster witness from testifying, even though he was prepared to tell the jury that he sold Ghailani the explosives used to destroy the U.S. embassy in Tanzania in 1998. The feds had only learned of the witness’s identity during enhanced interrogation of Ghailani, and since the interrogation was deemed illegal, evidence derived from it was inadmissible. Without that testimony, the case collapsed. And now, a month later, we have a full-blown fiasco on our hands.

He was the first Gitmo detainee they sent to civilian court. And thanks to today’s verdict, now he’ll probably be the last.

The defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. He was acquitted of six counts of conspiracy, including conspiring to kill Americans and use weapons of mass destruction.

When the judge’s clerk asked how the jury found on counts 11 to 223, which were all counts of murder, the jury foreman replied, “Not guilty.”

Mr. Ghailani faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison…

He helped to buy the Nissan Atlas truck that was used to carry the bomb, and gas tanks that were placed inside the truck to intensify the blast, the evidence showed. He also stored an explosive detonator in an armoire he used, and his cellphone became the “operational phone” for the plotters in the weeks leading up to the attacks, prosecutors said.

The defense claimed he was just a dopey errand boy in Al Qaeda’s sinister plot, even though he allegedly served as a bodyguard for the jihadi-in-chief himself. The Times piece tries to put a happy face on this for the White House, noting that the court sided with the feds in rulings before the trial that detention at Gitmo didn’t violate Ghailani’s right to a speedy trial and that enhanced interrogation didn’t warrant dismissal of the charges. In theory, that clears the way for trying other terrorists in civilian court. But in practice, it’s purely academic: Ain’t no way, no how, no chance the DOJ will risk an acquittal by bringing another high-ranking terrorist to trial in a district court. They might do it for no-name operatives, where the fallout from a “not guilty” verdict wouldn’t be totally disastrous, but the great national debate about whether to try KSM in a military court or in Manhattan is now well and truly over. In case it wasn’t already.

Over at Ace’s site, DrewM is aghast that the DOJ has released a statement claiming that they’re “pleased” with Ghailani’s conviction on just one of the hundreds of counts against him. Yeah, of course that’s mostly face-saving spin — but not entirely. 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). This, in a nutshell, is why they now favor simply leaving KSM in legal limbo and not trying him anywhere — because, even in a military tribunal, there’s at least a (very) small chance that he’ll be acquitted and Obama will face this same impossible dilemma on an epic scale. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Holder’s office right now.


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I’d like to know what the defense was.

Skandia Recluse on November 17, 2010 at 8:54 PM

They played a clip of Dead Man Walking and showed a diagram of Sean Penn plugging the hole in his boat during Katrina.

Limerick on November 17, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Very shortly we will be battered with platitudes from our resident Constitutional Scholar in the White House.

THE SYSTEM WORKED!

GarandFan on November 17, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Holder and the DOJ are a disgrace and an utter and total failure. They should all be tried as co conspirators.

Viper1 on November 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Peter Kind and Liz Cheney blast Obama…

d1carter on November 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Hugh said it best, while our Federal Government is banning drinks, trying to figure out ways to scramble cell phones in cars, is taking over health care, etc. they are letting Terrorists go.

Obama and Holder should both resign. First thing tomorrow morning. Just when I thought this Presidency couldn’t get any worse, it rears another ugly head.

jawkneemusic on November 17, 2010 at 8:48 PM

VERY WELL SAID and pithy.

I dunno, it’s getting discouraging. Peeps just wanna watch Dancing With The Stars, crap on about a royal wedding and make SP out to be the worst person in the world.

Glenn Beck has been very spot on about the sinister intracasies of this administration, but I feel that he is not being heeded due to his maudlinism, 99 billion books and his religious bent (which does not trouble me but I cringe when I hear it as I can feel peeps shutting him off).

THANKS IDIOTS WHO VOTED THIS STUPID MONSTER IN TWO YEARS AGO!!

Gob on November 17, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I’m not sure this poor sick Republic can last through another two years of Obama and Holder.

rplat on November 17, 2010 at 10:04 PM

He’s out in ten years
Lots of time to kill again
Allah will be pleased.

Little Boomer on November 17, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Despicable.

Now if someone is willing to indulge me, can they explain why civilian trials were insisted on instead of military tribunals in the first place? I did not really understand from before.

Shogun144 on November 17, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Now if someone is willing to indulge me, can they explain why civilian trials were insisted on instead of military tribunals in the first place?

Oh gosh, what could it be? Could it be that Obama was raised as a … ? If it walks like a duck… .

Basilsbest on November 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Couple of thoughts.

The Feds, as well as the states, over-charge every single criminal defendant. The majority of the charges against Ghailani were individual murder charges for each person who died as a result of the explosion. Essentially, there were only two charges: murder and conspiracy. He was found guilty of conspiracy and will be sentenced a minimum of 20 years.

Now, twenty years in the Fed is pretty much 20 years. (Up to 52 days off for good behavior; he’ll be in for at least 16 years.)

Let’s see if the judge has some fortitude and gives him life.

BigAlSouth on November 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Now if someone is willing to indulge me, can they explain why civilian trials were insisted on instead of military tribunals in the first place? I did not really understand from before.

Shogun144 on November 17, 2010 at 10:09 PM

This is a desired result for Obama. I told my friends this was going to happen back in June when the key witness was not allowed to testify. I’m not a lawyer, Obama was a law professor. How could he or Holder not see evidence getting tossed due to how it was collected or handled by those not in law enforcement and trained how to handle evidence. I’m frankly suprised the whole case was not thrown out because we weren’t reading Miranda Rights to these turds when we caught them.

This is why military tribunals are the only answer.

Hog Wild on November 17, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Oh gosh, what could it be? Could it be that Obama was raised as a … ? If it walks like a duck… .

Ah, its because Obama is a Marxist and hates the military (along with everything else in America). Should have known it was something simple.

Shogun144 on November 17, 2010 at 10:17 PM

In theory, that clears the way for trying other terrorists in civilian court. But in practice, it’s purely academic: Ain’t no way, no how, no chance the DOJ will risk an acquittal by bringing another high-ranking terrorist to trial in a district court.

And when they do how will you explain it?

KittyLowrey on November 17, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Well, how did I mess up the blockquote thing?

Anyway…I guess my point is clear.

KittyLowrey on November 17, 2010 at 10:32 PM

When you are trying to pick up the pieces of your children from a terrorist bomb that just went off at their school…

… I truly hope you come to realize who actually made your worst nightmare come true.

Sleep well…

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Obama is a disaster to the world.

Schadenfreude on November 17, 2010 at 11:18 PM

The ONLY ones who need to fear prosecution in our legal system are natural born American citizens. All others, including illegal foreign invaders and terrorists needn’t worry. G0ddamn ACLU jerk-0ff scumbags will ensure their right to destroy America from within.

bannedbyhuffpo on November 17, 2010 at 11:31 PM

No doubt he would have gotten 20 convictions if he had a pack of cigarettes on him.

Good work on the part of the jury. The best way to get rid of bad legal decisions is to enforce them.

pedestrian on November 17, 2010 at 11:42 PM

I know it may all be make believe…. but I prefer the Mitch Rapp style of counter-terrorism. We can leave the McDonald’s Hot Coffee trials to our well reasoned Justice system, and move the terrorist cases back to military tribunals.

juanito on November 17, 2010 at 11:52 PM

To Obama and Holder in regards to civilian trials: “Told You So!”

What idiots.

EliTheBean on November 18, 2010 at 12:02 AM

Memo to anyone capturing any terrorists. DON’T.

MaiDee on November 18, 2010 at 12:16 AM

LOL! To the libs, a Jihadi wearing a man-dress and bent on the the killing of Westerners and Americans, is no different than your local-thug trying to rob a Fast-Mart…

They have declared war on us and we have decided to grope nuns, grandmas, and children standing in line for flights.

Wow! Only in America will we send battalions of lawyers to fight suicide bombers.

shorebird on November 18, 2010 at 12:30 AM

When the Obama regime is kicked from office, the miserable legal pigmy who agreed to prosecute this case should be charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and a movement commenced to have the little swine disbarred. What kind of filthy shyster would agree to act on behalf of the DOJ in a case of this nature? For a start, the name and picture of this scumbag should be posted throughout the internet! The DOJ itself has, of course, become a vast house of ill repute. The grotesque Holder is little more than a common criminal!

John Adams on November 18, 2010 at 12:39 AM

“The feds had only learned of the witness’s identity during enhanced interrogation of Ghailani, and since the interrogation was deemed illegal, evidence derived from it was inadmissible.”

Whom deemed it “illegal”…?

… And as a reminder, we “enhance interrogate” our Special Forces Soldiers on a daily basis during training.

I want to know who “deemed” this name, face, address, where they live, and I want to see a naked TSA picture of them on Internet tomorrow…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on November 18, 2010 at 12:55 AM

So now we know what the H. in Barack H. Obama really stands for.

Halfwit.

profitsbeard on November 18, 2010 at 1:54 AM

If you bat 280 times and only score once, I get worried.

That a judge blocked the biggest witness, is another reason to worry.

amazingmets on November 18, 2010 at 1:58 AM

Common sense tells everyone that this strategy of the the Obama Administration is IDIOCY AND STRICTLY A MOCKERY OF THE AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM!

TheAlamos on November 18, 2010 at 2:20 AM

This DOJ will be SHOCKED at these verdicts. I bet it never occurred to them that a jury would look at the evidence presented (or not presented in this case) and not return the Obviously Guilty verdict they were expecting.

They really had no idea that regular people do not fabricate evidence in their own minds to fit the outcome they want despite the facts that are presented to them.

Lily on November 17, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Cos you think the guy is innocent? Or you’re just happy he got off on a technicality?

The guy was accused of blowing people up.

How is this justice? How do his alleged victims’ families feel today? Do they feel they have justice for their loved ones?

And if he is innocent, then how has he had justice?

Hope on November 18, 2010 at 3:47 AM

I know it may all be make believe…. but I prefer the Mitch Rapp style of counter-terrorism.
juanito on November 17, 2010 at 11:52 PM

2nd that….

this is a travesty….

just listened to a little of hugh hewitt, he’s absolutely speechless on this verdict and so should the rest of america be outraged….

cmsinaz on November 18, 2010 at 6:18 AM

The feds had only learned of the witness’s identity during enhanced interrogation of Ghailani, and since the interrogation was deemed illegal, evidence derived from it was inadmissible.

..because the supah smaht law professor never heard of the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine in the Exclusionary Rule that every other 1st year law student wrestles with.?????

Alden Pyle on November 18, 2010 at 6:27 AM

Obama: “What?! Convicted on one account? Now I’m gonna have to pardon the brother.”

Alden Pyle on November 18, 2010 at 6:31 AM

Well, I would say that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is now qualified to teach at the University of Illinois at Chicago and serve on the Annenberg Foundation.

Note to Axelrod: future Democratic presidential material.

Stepan on November 18, 2010 at 6:38 AM

Wow. Just when you think ODumbAss and his clown posse couldn’t get any dumber, they really dig down and pull it off.

Or do you think they threw the case intentionally? Holder as you may remember used to defend the terrorists before he became attorney general.

Don’t say out of hand this idea is implausible. We don’t want to believe the government is our enemy, but we need to wake up.

dogsoldier on November 18, 2010 at 6:53 AM

Let’s see how Holder, the DoJ and the Oabama regime in general spins this.

Ahmed Ghailani’s attorney has already stated that an appeal on the one conviction is planned (as expected) and many legal experts say he has a very good to excellent chance of getting the sole conviction overturned. So the odds of Ahmed Ghailani walking is quite good.

Way to go Obama! <– for all those liberals too stupid to figure it out, that was sarcasm

Carl on November 18, 2010 at 7:47 AM

No chance that they’ll proceed w/ other trials?

Remember that Leftists are unaffected by reality. They are True Believers. Don’t be surprised if they try others as well..

ksm on November 18, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Is anybody surprised? Seriously, I can’t think of anybody I know that didn’t expect them to screw this up. You’d have to be living in a cave for the last two years not to know this was EXACTLY what was going to happen.

The best we can hope for is that they’ll do nothing going forward until we can get a smarter president installed in 2013, one who won’t choose an utter imbecile for Attorney General.

Murf76 on November 18, 2010 at 8:03 AM

So can we say “we told you so!” yet? None of this should be remotely surprising to anyone who took a few minutes to look into the Young President and his background before the election.

jnelchef on November 18, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Ain’t no way, no how, no chance the DOJ will risk an acquittal by bringing another high-ranking terrorist to trial in a district court.

Ditto for KittyLowry.

Allah, there is no way in hell that you can give a statement like this. Who in their right mind would have brought these cases to civilian court in the first place?!? Holder would have risked freeing KSM if he had his way, only the public and local government outcry putting pressure on the DoJ (probably) made him back out…I wouldn’t put ANYTHING past this administration, they will spin this as a ‘win’ and see what kind of reaction they get from their base and the public.

Holder is a moron.
The CinC is no scholar and is going to need convincing to put reins on Holder.

Geministorm on November 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Holder said that Failure is not an option. Nobody told the jury.

kingsjester on November 18, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Why is everyone blaming Obama instead of the 12 jurors ????

LODGE4 on November 18, 2010 at 9:31 AM

As soon as Bush said he would use military tribunals the commies showed their stripes and used it as an issue

military tribunals were the perfect answer for these scum

the military is payed for so no extra cost

no grand standing for the fifth column press

they don’t take very long

civilian cities wouldn’t be turned into terminal zones and our lives disrupted more

sensitive assets wouldn’t be compromised

And when convicted following the swift and just execution they could be deposited on the bottom of the ocean

it’s clear to see why the commies don’t like this, they would be prevented props for their maniacal grandstanding

Sonosam on November 18, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Why is everyone blaming Obama instead of the 12 jurors ????

LODGE4 on November 18, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Because George Soros paid them to.

mmnowakjr85 on November 18, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Conviction with a minimum of 20 years and possibly a life term.
In a real, legal US trial in a real, legal US courtroom.

after all the bs of the last few years.

quit crying wolf.

audiculous on November 18, 2010 at 1:32 PM

1/280 = 0.36%

I think that’s a little below a score that would earn you a “Solid B+”.

Scrappy on November 18, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Holder and his incompetent cadres get full credit for this BS–how, exactly, can you be guilty of conspiracy to commit 279 other criminal acts, including nearly that many murders, which actually occurred (i.e., the object of the conspiracy was completed), yet not be guilty of the crimes themselves?! Only by having a prosecution that was so lame they couldn’t get that simple point across to the jury. Then again, the jurors were denied much of the most damning evidence by the gummint’s further incompetent missteps–the first one being trying this war criminal in a U.S. civilian court. They could’ve and should’ve tried him in Tanzania–if that’s like any of the other African nations I’m aware of, they take a very dim view of such miscreants and dispense the death penalty quickly and effectively for common violent crimes, like robbery. So under <0 and Holder, we have less legal capability, less security than would be available in Tanzania. Nice job, douchebag fiddy-2ers.

Ay Uaxe on November 18, 2010 at 3:49 PM

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses and their emissions are climbing at a steepening rate. The US, on the other hand, has no growth in greenhouse gas emissions. So who should be nuking who?

And we won’t even get into the fact that nobody has proved that CO2 emissions are harmful in any way or that the current “warm” spell is any different than many other such warm periods during the Holocene.

A crock.

crosspatch on November 18, 2010 at 4:17 PM

It’s on record now exactly what Holder meant when he guaranteed to convict the 9/11 terrorists in civilian court,

convicted on a misdemeanor.

maverick muse on November 18, 2010 at 4:38 PM

maverick muse, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. think you’d be able to do a minimum of 20 year, maverick, in the type of herd waiting for you in a federal pen ?

audiculous on November 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Joe Biden on Larry King tonight:

When you go to the so-called Article III courts, that is try in federal courts, all the stuff was “You can’t try him in federal courts. They’re not going to get sentenced.” He’s getting a longer sentence. He’ll be in jail longer than if any other method were tried. Same thing George Bush did with the shoe bombers; same thing he did with the 24th Hijacker.. . .

There’s no reason not to go with civilian courts based on this case, at least.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

flataffect on November 18, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Why is everyone blaming Obama instead of the 12 jurors ????

LODGE4 on November 18, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Because, simpleton, were it not for Ojesus and his stooge Holder, it would have never reached 12 civilian jurors.

Get it?

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 12:46 AM

Why is everyone blaming Obama instead of the 12 jurors ????

LODGE4 on November 18, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Also, there is the inescapable fact that Holder’s Justice Dep’t., and by extention, Ojesus, were responsible for competent prosecution of the case.

EPIC, CATACLYSMIC FAIL.

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 12:49 AM

maverick muse, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. think you’d be able to do a minimum of 20 year, maverick, in the type of herd waiting for you in a federal pen ?

audiculous on November 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Are you a descendant of Nero, perchance?

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 12:52 AM

quit crying wolf.

audiculous on November 18, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Yes, crying “wolf” would be rather silly when it is in fact a fox in the hen-house.

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 12:57 AM

billyjim, old boy,

they got the conviction. the guy’s going to be in jail a real long time. he ain’t gonna be fiddling about anybody’s hen-house no more, is he now?

so you jes’ tip your jug a give it a rest.

audiculous on November 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM

they got the conviction.

audiculous on November 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM

Yes, and they did it SO WELL.

the guy’s going to be in jail a real long time. he ain’t gonna be fiddling about anybody’s hen-house no more, is he now?

Will he or won’t he? Who the hell knows with the appeals process now open to him and the activist arbiters of justice run amok that we have infesting our judicial system.

A textbook case, I’m sure we all agree, of how NOT to protect these United States.

so you jes’ tip your jug a give it a rest

Stereotypical stereotyping by a stereotypical liberal loose-mouthed lout. (Not to be redundant or nuthin’)

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 8:03 AM

Billy-boy Ayers must be SO proud.

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Are you a descendant of Nero, perchance?

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Ever heard of a comedy routine trio that called themselves The Three Stooges? Sheesh.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Ever heard of a comedy routine trio that called themselves The Three Stooges? Sheesh.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Ever heard of a batshit-insane emperor who fiddled while Rome burned? Sheesh.

hillbillyjim on November 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM

hillbillyjim

here ya go

audiculous on November 19, 2010 at 5:50 PM

your type of justice ain’t fitting for everyday life in the big city.

audiculous on November 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

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