The decision in the Ahmed Ghailani trial has re-sparked the debate concerning terror suspects receiving civilian trials in federal court. Byron York hits the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned as to why these trials are so problematic: Holder ignored risks of civilian terror trials
A spokesman pronounced the Justice Department “pleased” with the verdict, although it seems a stretch to say that prosecutors who accused a defendant of killing 224 people were happy when he was acquitted of every single murder charge.
Ghailani could be sentenced to as little as 20 years in prison and to as much as life. If he had been fully acquitted, administration officials hinted, they would have kept him in custody anyway.
That’s right: Holder and the president are so eager to restore the primacy of the Constitution in our handling of accused terrorists that they promise that acquitted defendants will remain imprisoned, possibly for life. In addition, Holder and Obama are so anxious to close Guantanamo that they are searching for a way to hold civilian defendants inside the United States indefinitely without charges or trial. And it’s all in the name of greater fealty to the Constitution.
The problem with this scenario should be apparent. After espousing the federal court system as the mechanism by which to deal with these suspects, the Obama administration would then completely ignore the results of that very system, thus turning a federal court into a kangaroo court and invalidating the American justice system for the entire world to see. This wouldn’t be upholding justice, it would be making a mockery of it.