I warned last month that Eric Holder’s decision to try al Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani in a civilian federal court was a mistake and that the government’s case was in deep jeopardy. Well, those chickens have come home to roost:
A New York City jury acquitted alleged Al Qaeda accomplice Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani of all major terrorism charges in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in the first trial of a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner in civilian court.
The Tanzanian was convicted on just one count of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property and cleared of 276 counts of murder and attempted murder in the bombings that took 224 lives, including 12 Americans.
This is an incredible screw up that denies justice to the victims of those killed in the embassy bombings, and it was easily avoidable by using the military commission system set up by Congress for this very purpose. But Holder and Obama, with their hard-Left ideological axes to grind, had to “make a point” and show how they were different from that evil Bush adminstration.
I could go into a long rant here about the lousy situation the Holder and the administration have left us in through their incompetence, but Ed Morrissey beat me to the punch:
The administration is left with three choices in regards to Ghailani: announce that they will release him at the appointed date whenever his sentence ends, announce that they will hold him indefinitely without regard to the court’s ruling on the matter while referring the case back to a military commission despite his acquittals, or refuse to state which they will do and hope the issue falls to the next administration. The first will mean that the US will knowingly release a master al-Qaeda terrorist with more than two hundred murders under his belt; the second will mean that the trial they staged was nothing but a sham. And the third will be a cowardly dodge.
Such is the state in which Holder as Attorney General has left the US. Either the US is so inept that it will eventually release a man who attacked two of its embassies abroad (which was an act of war by al-Qaeda) or that the DoJ may commit an impeachable act by knowingly submitting a defendant to double jeopardy, whether in this administration or a future administration. By committing to the civilian criminal system and assigning judicial jurisdiction where it never belonged, those are the only options left.
Be sure to read the whole thing.
I’m already on record with my contempt for Attorney General Holder. If he had any sense of honor or even decency, he would resign immediately. If his boss had any sense of responsibility at all toward the duties of his office, he would fire Holder. Neither, I fear, is the case, for both are committed ideologues.
It falls, therefore, to the incoming Congress, to investigate the full range of AG Holder’s actions: not just the Ghailani trial, which is bad enough, but the department’s racially biased enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, its attempts to politically smear a sitting governor, the witch-hunt against CIA interrogators – all of it.
And, when the facts are laid bare, the House must bring articles of impeachment against Eric Holder and place him on trial before the Senate. Yes, I know a Democratic-controlled Senate would almost never convict him, but the exposure of his incompetence and misdeeds would almost certainly force him from office, regardless of a trial.
That would be a good thing for the Department of Justice and the nation as a whole.
LINKS: More from my blog-buddy, Sister Toldjah. Power Line discusses the failure option. Fausta is outraged.
UPDATE: From Big Peace, “They came within a hair’s breadth of losing the case entirely.” Jennifer Rubin calls it a debacle.