A verdict was reached in the case of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani on Wednesday. Charged with 285 counts related to the embassy bombings, he was acquitted on all but one, destruction of government property. This verdict will net him 20 years in federal prison, so we can say that any potential terrorist activities that he might be planning to engage in will not happen--at least not with him. The other big piece of news associated with this case, is that New York City did not shut down as a result of this trial. No road closures, no major security issues, and no terrorist attacks resulting from attempts to free Ghailani. Despite the outrage from the right, a satisfactory conclusion--one of about 400--was reached in a civilian court after the trial of a Guantanamo prisoner. How many convictions have been the result of military tribunals, the preferred method of the right? Five. Back on her little soapbox, Liz Cheney rants that families of the victims claim the trial was a "travesty." This is the same Liz who demands that President Obama support the intelligence community that her father tried so hard to co-opt and then damage when they had the nerve to refute his allegations.The same Liz whose organization, "Keep America Safe" is designed to instill fear in all of us in an effort to burnish her father's legacy.
According to Daphne Eviatar, Human Rights First's Human Rights Law and Security Program: Ahmed Ghailani Verdict Makes the Case for Federal Courts posted in Huffington Post, the results do not appear to matter. Liz, her partner Bill Kristol, and others, are having a hissy fit that they did not get their way, that the deeply flawed policies of her father's administration and the war that they lied us into have been brought out into the open and so have to create drama where none exists. Her father set up a system of military tribunals for prisoners at Guantanamo, primarily so that illegal practices could continue to be hidden. The current administration, however, has decided to hold these trials in civilian courts as they should be. Liz is quoted as saying:
"The Obama Administration recklessly insisted on a civilian trial for Ahmed Ghailani, and rolled the dice in a time of war. It's dangerous. It signals weakness in a time of war."Don't you love how she insists on holding to her position regardless of the facts? The trial is over, the defendant was found guilty, he is unlikely to ever be released from prison, the rule of law has been, once again, found to work, and yet, "...it's dangerous" and "...signals weakness."
With the attention today of TSA screening policies that now require either a full scan or a full pat-down, something that the head of El-Al security (the most secure airline in the world) claims is unnecessary, the GOP placement of defense spending in the sacrosanct column, and the inability Liz and others on the right to recognize the success of the Obama Administration in preventing terrorist attacks (the Christmas Day bomber, the recent packages detected prior to their arrival in this country...) it is remarkable to me that people continue to give credence and airtime to this woman or to this subject. What the policies of the Bush/Cheney administration and the demands of Liz and her ilk do accomplish is give the terrorists exactly what they want. The goal of terror is to create a climate of fear. The primary tool of the GOP? Fear. Liz's goal? Fear. I would say that in a significant way, mission accomplished.
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