Back in February of this year I wrote a blog about the upcoming terrorists trial that would be taking place in civilian courts. Need a refresher: http://dbwtimes.blogspot.com/2010/02/if-i-said-someone-masterminded.html
Well the very first trial has come and gone, and the results are exactly as I anticipated: Innocent.
Well, to be accurate, Ahmed Ghailani was found innocent on 179 of 180 counts. The one count he was convicted of - conspiracy to destroy government buildings - comes with a minimum sentence of 20 years.
Of course, Obama is being blamed for this failure. Not the fact that this guy was possibly innocent. Not the fact that the evidence against him, if he was guilty, was minimal or circumstantial. Nor the fact that some evidence had to be thrown out because the previous administration used "coercive" means to get that evidence. For those of you that are a bit slow, coercive is another word for torture.
So yes, shame on Obama! Its all his fault that the Bush administration tortured a possibly innocent man to get circumstantial evidence that wouldnt hold up in court. Boo Obama! Boo!
And before this gets too far out of hand, lets get one thing perfectly straight: this isnt about Obama, no matter how bad people want to point the finger at him. The evidence was compiled by the Bush administration and the verdicts were delivered by the American people.
And not just any American people, New Yorkers. Yes, the trial of an accused Middle Eastern terrorist was held in the city that was devastated by Middle Eastern terrorists, and the jurors put aside their potential prejudices and delivered a verdict based on law, on the Constitution, and not on emotion or politics.
As US District Judge Lewis A Kaplan said told the jurors: "You have shown that American justice can be rendered calmly, deliberately and fairly by ordinary people, people who are not beholden to any government, not even ours, and It can be rendered with fidelity to the Constitution.You have a right to be proud of your service in this case."
To those infuriated by the verdict, I have one question for you: what it more important to you, justice or a conviction no matter the truth?
And to those of you who are bitching that the trials should have stayed in military court, I have one question for you: is it your belief that a military court would have convicted him even though the evidence proved he was innocent on 279 of 280 counts?
And lastly, a question to the military court: Would you have convicted him anyway? And if so, shame on you.
Dont misunderstand, I do not wish for the freedom of those who are guilty, but right is right and wrong is wrong and the ends do not justify the means. Were a country built on laws and individual rights, and they extend to all those on our soil, even if that soil is a CIA "black site" in some country thats looking the other way.
Hate Obama all you want, hate the verdict or the process too, but the jurors did the right thing and justice was carried out.
-- DBW --