DOJ Test case fails

Ahmed-Khakfan-GhailaniThis was the test case for the Department of Justice.  This case would show how enemy combatants could be tried in civilian courts.  The only problem is that out of more than 280 charges the defendant was convicted of only one.  Ahmed Ghailani  was convicted of conspiracy to blow up a government building while being acquitted of the more serious charges of murder.  Even though Ghailani faces 20 years to life this doesn’t look good for the department of Justice.

Ghailani was instrumental in the bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  In Nairobi 213 people were killed and over 4000 where wounded.  These were mostly locals. 

Last month prosecutors were barred from calling a crucial witness.  This witness directly linked Ghailani to the bombings.  Judge Lewis Kaplan barred the witness based on the claims that the information was obtained through coercion. 

Judge Lewis kaplan wrote in his decision:

The matter now, however, is before the Court on Ghailani’s motion to preclude the government from calling Hussein Abebe as a witness against him on the ground that Abebe’s testimony would be the product of statements made by Ghailani to the CIA under duress.

Abebe was identified and located as a close and direct result of statements made by Ghailani while he was held by the CIA. The government has elected not to litigate the details of Ghailani’s treatment while in CIA custody. It has sought to make this unnecessary by asking the Court to assume in deciding this motion that everything Ghailani said while in CIA custody was coerced.)1 In these circumstances, the Constitution does not permit Abebe to testify in this criminal trial unless the government has sustained its burden of proving that (l) the connection between Ghailani’s coerced statements and Abebe’s testimony is sufficiently remote or attenuated, or (2) there is another basis upon which that testimony properly may be received.

In this case the defendant was acquitted of all murder charges.  So the question is raised once again, why are we trying these enemy combatants in civilian courts when military tribunals are legal and allowed?  Has this hurt the case against Khaled Sheikh Mohammad? 

In one of what appears to be many missteps the DOJ has again failed the United States citizens.  No I’m not surprised.

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4 thoughts on “DOJ Test case fails

  1. Actually this is the best thing that could happen to the country. I think that the administration should continue on this path. Electing Pelosi as minority was also another good move for the country. No tax cuts for small businesses or keeping the corporate tax at 35% is also a very good for the county. More health care regulation, pandering to the unions, awesome. All these will just ensure a short tenure for the fools in charge….

  2. Here’s what everybody’s missing; we interrogate enemy foreign combatants because we need intel on them, their fellow combatants and their TTP’s. We also interrogate them to save American lives and to kill and capture more of them. We for the most part have already caught them with overwhelming evidence of thier guilt. We interrogate criminals to determine their guilt. Two different techniques, two different reasons to interrogate. They cannot be tried in US civillian courts because there is a presumption of innocence and the rules are much, much different for evidence gathering and presentation. More to follow…..

  3. The administration needs to set clear guidelines on what it’s goals are when an enemy combatant or suspected terrorist is captured. If all we’re going for is guilt of said person, then it can be a lot less invasive interrogation. Of course you’re putting troops and the country at risk. Something it seems that the administration is willing to do to pander to the left and show how different he is from the previous administration. For President Bush’s faults at least his priority was to keep us and our troops safe, without worrying about poll numbers.

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