BLOG: Time to defend Obama

Tom Jackson
Nov 19, 2010

I'm hardly an uncritical admirer of President Obama. But when he does something right, it seems only fair to defend him.

If you follow the news, you know by now that a suspected terrorist named Ahmed Ghailani was acquitted of most of the charges against him. The jury convicted him on one charge and may still serve a very long prison sentence.

The received wisdom from the daily papers claims the outcome as  "a setback for advocates of civilian trials," as this Washington Post piece puts it. Predictably, the Wall Street Journal calls  the outcome of the trial a "fiasco."

Perhaps the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal lament the fact that we haven't become a nation of kangaroo courts. Perhaps they prefer the court system of countries such as North Korea, where the observer may confidently predict the outcome of a show trial by knowing the preferences of the Dear Leader. It seems to me that a fair court system that protects the rights of the accused can be a point of pride for all Americans.

 

Comments

man4451

You FOOLS, ah hahahaha, If YOU do not care if YOU have to work till your 69, I sure don't mind. Go go go, you TEA PARTY'ers, go go go REPUBLICANS. ah hahahahahaha age 69 will be a good age for you to retire. While the Federal government retires after 25 years. ah hahahahahaha

Sam

Using Mr Jacksons logic, of one conviction and 273 not guilty findings for this defendant, the Cleveland Indians with 69 wins and  93 lost were a great team.    With the federal sentencing guidelines and their numerous exceptions there is no guarantee this defendant will be given a long sentence by the same judge who crippled the government's case by his rulings.

goofus

Is this a satire? I hope so. I prefer a military tribunal. One  charge of 273, this has to be a satire. Please be considerate to the many people killed by this loser.

samiam

Cancer discovered in one lymph node out of many still means cancer.  This one conviction is still a felony.  Just because he wasn't convicted doesn't mean he didn't do it.  Hopefully the judge will keep that in mind when sentencing this murderer.

Taxed Enough Already

 and you defend giving a TERRORIST the same rights as an American Citizen?  How utterly foolish.

buckeye15

To any of you whining about this verdict: get the real facts, not the ones Liz Cheney, Keep America Safe, and Fox News are telling you.  The facts are that Ahmed Ghailani will serve a minimum of 20 years in federal prison.  He could have been convicted of 224 murder charges if most of the evidence against him had not been collected by means of torture.

Since 911 federal courts have convicted over 400 people of terrorism charges, while military tribunals have convicted 5.  The real travesty about this whole case is that George Bush, Dick Cheney, John Yoo, etal have not been charged with torture.

VENERABLE VETERAN

Sincerely suggest you visit Bataan Memorial Elementary School in Port Clinton and speak with the students.  They are very knowledgeable about true torture.

Wes Poole

Taxed Enough Already:  So you think we're foolish because we don't support torture.  If you believe torture is a useful tool to obtaining justice, why should citizenship get  murderers a pass?    I take it you support tying the hands of law enforcement from catching violent criminals as long as they are American.             You are the foolish one!!    

6079 Smith W

Torture? Trust me, if I had reason to believe that you had knowledge that would potentially protect my family from death or harm, I'd go medieval on your buttocks and would want the authorities to do the same.

20 yrs. of hardworking taxpayer provided food, clothing, shelter and medical care doesn’t sound like much of a punishment for the crimes of this animal.

After the trial, the Chinese justice system would most likely put a single bullet into the back of his head. Perhaps the U.S. should outsource its prison system to China or Mexico and save some bucks.

-----------

 @ Mr. Jackson:

To my knowledge for the most part, Obama and friends are staying out of the robo-signing foreclosure fiasco - that's about the only thing that I'd potentially compliment him for.

With what did your spouse threaten you to make you write this article? :)

Is she still a true believer?

thinktwice

I didn't read any of this article, just the headline, but either way...

I WILL NEVER DEFEND A PRESIDENT THAT INITIALLY WOULD NOT WEAR THE FLAG, NOT PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE, AND RUN WITH AS MANY CLOWNS AS HE 

I WOULD ONLY DEFEND A PRESIDENT THAT IS WILLING TO SERVE AND DEFEND HIS COUNTRY.

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

 The jury heard hard evidence that Ghailani purchased the truck used in the bombing in Tanzania; obtained some of the oxygen and acetylene gas tanks used in the bombing; stored the electronic detonators used in the attack, one of which the FBI recovered in Ghailani's house along with TNT traces; and gave the actual suicide bomber the cell phone used in plotting the attack.

The jury did not hear evidence from a witness who sold Ghailani the TNT used in the attack because the judge barred it, claiming that Ghailani led federal prosecutors to the witness only after Ghailani was subject to coercive interrogation methods at Guantanamo. But even without this direct testimony, there was more than enough evidence to convict on the more serious charges.

How is it possible that Ghailani conspired to destroy the embassy but is not responsible for the deaths and destruction that occurred when the conspiracy was carried out? Only the jurors know how they managed to defy logic and common sense and ignore irrefutable evidence.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/columnists/2010/11/linda-chavez-ghailanis-trial-reveals-obamas-policy-failure#ixzz15pSHi0wE

brutus smith

 1st of all winnie you wouldn't do anything. You'd pay someone else to do it. 2nd, I would love to see that "Chinese judicial system used on CEO's who had knowledge and approved the poisoning of our air, water and ground. 

Gee, the guy is going to jail for a long time without using a kangaroo court so many of you want. The do as I say not as I do right wingnuts.

Massengill Wins...

Winston says "I'd go medieval on your buttocks"  Sounds like a Log Cabin Conservative to me.  Didn't even need to threaten him with torture to get that confession.

Taxpayer

Guilty on ONE charge??? Out of 273???  WOW!  I feel so safe now.  This entire administration is a FAILURE.  TOTAL FAILURE!!!  Don't like that??  Let's see, there was that free PASS for the New Blank Panther Party by Eric Holder (Gee, I WONDER why?) he promised (Oops!  Lots of PROMISES from this president) this guy would get the DEATH PENALTY (Said by BOTH 0bama and Holder) and what do we have?  A two-bit president BRAGGING how much he did??  Yeah, you crybaby liberals, socialists and freeloaders keep supporting all this FAILURE.  How is that WAR against the southern border states going?  WHO are we supposed to be fighting?  Oh, let's sue Arizona for protecting their borders.  No?  Not the 0bama way?  The southern border states need help and guess what?  NOTHING from our federal government.  Going on a trip over the holidays?  You better drive a Chevy Volt or else get hassled at the airport, compliments of the 0bama administration.  Hey UAW,  how about buying back all that 0bama motors stock that is on fire sale?  No?  Too much of your retirement and health care attached to it?  Come on, BUY AMERICAN, be PATRIOTIC, PROVE you are a loyal American, buy up that 0bama motors stock.  You can DO it!  Ha! Ha!  I have heard for decades about how WE must buy UAW to support YOU!  Well, now is your chance to put your foot into your own big mouths that spewed out open racisim.  Oops, forget about all that??  Ha! Ha!  Hey all you freaks that voted for Marcy Kaptur, you might want to "hope" and pray no tornado touches down near you.  Why?  Because hamas gets BILLIONS.  What do the VICTIM taxpayers get?  BUTKIS.  Support 0bama and his merry band of taxcheats, maoists, marxists, communists, convicted felons, terrorists, elitists, freaks, socialists, and racists.  Wow!  What a wonderful crew.  You can almost BRAG about how wonderful they are.  What a great resume enhancement.  You can all pat yourselves on the back telling everyone how wonderful you are just like all you UNIONS.  I will show my support in 2012.  Ha! Ha!   

Massengill Wins...

"Taxpayer" appears to be on the crazy train!  Wow what an angry rant.  Sounds like he needs to turn off the radio.

SamAdams

Civilian trials are entirely inappropropriate venues for accused terrorists. Not only is the civilian standard of evidence different, there are also any number of things in a trial involving national security matters that can't be presented in a public forum.

We have a president who is either dumb enough, naive enough, or needy enough ("Please like us! Oh, please, oh, please like us!) that he's inclined to kiss Islam's collective a$$, and we have an Attorney General who is on the record as being extraordinarily racially biased (had a white AG refused to deal with white men who intimidated voters, he would have been run out of town on a rail, and rightfully so).

I have no idea how hard prosecutors even tried in this trial, though I do know they weren't too happy that certain evidence and testimony was disallowed. The outcome of the trial is no victory for anyone, least of all national security. I won't blame the judge, the jury, or even the prosecution here who seem to have performed their jobs within the constraints of their job descriptions. The fault lies squarely at the feet of a president and administration who won't even acknowledge that there is a "war on terrorism" let alone that there might be some bad guys out there who are motivated by religion.

Meanwhile, while suspected terrorists get off, American nuns, toddlers, grandmothers, and the disabled get naked pictures taken of them at airports or have their persons violated just to get on an airplane. What's wrong with this picture, eh?

Wanna see a kangaroo trial, Mr. Jackson? Look no further than the one that just concluded.

eriemom

How much torture should be legal and how do you justify it in a civilian or military court. That is the issue. Not what the guy did. Not how many people died. How do you use any information obtained during torture? I might justify it, as the last administration did, to save lives. I would also understand that I would face the consequences of that decision. This is the consequence.

brutus smith

 Do you really believe what you write?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/pol...

DOJ probing claims of voter intimidation by Florida officers.

 

Who did nothing when Blacks were water cannoned and dogs used on them? How about when they were hung? And you are worried about this comical little group?

And he's not getting off. He is going to get a minimum 20 years. Good grief, quit watching hannity.

SamAdams

eriemom, whatever you and I think may be defined as torture, the legal advisors say that waterboarding doesn't qualify. As far as what I do personally believe, I think waterboarding is extreme and, in some cases, demonstrably necessary. If it doesn't cause permanent damage (such as techniques ranging from electrical shocks to starvation), I can't rule it out on any across the board standard. Do you really think that "enhanced interrogation techniques" should be ruled out in all cases? I suspect a single suitcase nuke will disabuse even the most liberal of do-gooders when it comes to that kind of thing! I just don't want to wait 'til one goes off. You?

brutus, yes, I read. And that the DOJ is investigating some allegations of voter intimidation (and it should be) in no way negates the fact it chose not to investigate a serious incident caught on video tape almost entirely because the bad guys were black. I don't frankly care what gender, color, or species the intimidators may be. They're all bad guys who should all be investigated and, when evidence warrants, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Of course, that assumes the law will actually be imposed even-handedly, and that's what hasn't been happening under the auspices of the current AG. Hence my complaints. And one other thing: I don't watch Hannity. He's a little (okay, he's a lot) too tightly wound for my taste.

As far as the comments about history (water cannons and the like aimed), yes, I'm well aware of where the blame lies. Those who encouraged and perpetrated such things were just plain in the wrong. You apparently agree. Now tell me how such racism and government force then means that those ostensibly on the other side of the aisle now are excused?

 

brutus smith

 It took the Feds coming in and stopping that abuse. The "local homegrowns" didn't see anything wrong with it! And don't you have to have a victim in order to press on with charges of intimidation? Nobody was intimidated by these Black "dudes". They thought it was funny sam. Get over it already.

 

And the world, including the USA, has deemed water boarding torture! I can't believe anyone with 1/2 a brain wouldn't think drowning someone and bringing them back to life isn't torture.

Watch this video sam a and tell me what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4...

 

The United States Supreme Court in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "does not of its own force impose obligations as a matter of international law."[181] However, the United States has a historical record of regarding water torture as a war crime, and has prosecuted as war criminals individuals for the use of such practices in the past.

In 1947, the United States prosecuted a Japanese civilian who had served in World War II as an interpreter for the Japanese military, Yukio Asano, for "Violation of the Laws and Customs of War," asserting that he "did unlawfully take and convert to his own use Red Cross packages and supplies intended for" prisoners, but, far worse, that he also "did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture" prisoners of war. Asano received a sentence of 15 years of hard labor.[115] The charges against Asano included "beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward."[182] The specifications in the charges with regard to "water torture" consisted of "pouring water up [the] nostrils" of one prisoner, "forcing water into [the] mouths and noses" of two other prisoners, and "forcing water into [the] nose" of a fourth prisone

 

 

 

Taxed Enough Already

 Bill P you call waterboarding torture?  I suggest you talk to any POW they will explain what real torture is.  But then most that are captured by our enemies are tortured to death so I guess you can't talk to them.  You can talk to every single terrorist that was ever caught and so what you call tortured by us because after a little water in the face they get to live.  In the meantime waterboarding saved many more lives, perhaps even you or someone you know.  HMMMMM 

SamAdams

Brutus, you are apparently confused as to the difference between water boarding and so-called "water torture." In fact, you are apparently confused as to water boarding itself. They do NOT drown people and "bring them back to life." Water boarding creates the SENSATION of drowing, not ACTUAL drowning. No CPR, no mouth-to-mouth, no nada needed to "bring them back" because they don't go anywhere in the first place.

Is it pleasant? Not remotely so. Is it harmful? Well, it probably scares those who've been through it insofar as they don't particularly want to do it again. Is it necessary? Why don't you ask the people who DIDN'T die because it was done? Oh, wait, we don't know how many and who are alive, largely because this is a "war" without a specific target.

Or are you telling me that you'd always choose the bad guy over the un-numbered innocents, every time, if only it'll save the bad guy some discomfort? I won't hold my breath for any kind of a sensible answer. I freely admit I wouldn't be at all surprised that your deep and heart-felt compassion for men who've proved time and again to be enemy operatives outweighs whatever you feel for ordinary working Americans who are minding their own business right up until the moment the world explodes around them...

SamAdams

Brutus, I don't know who or what you've been listening to, but people did NOT think that the "New Black Panthers" and their night sticks were remotely funny (except, I don't doubt, for some other New Black Panthers). And that includes at least some of the people at the DOJ who actually wanted to do their jobs until the Attorney Bigot General stopped them. I ask you again: If John Ashcroft had been presented with an identical situation involving white men, and he declined to either investigate or prosecute, would your opinion be just the same? I doubt it... In fact, you'd be on here screaming "KKK!" louder than anybody, I'll bet! The worst part of it is that, despite the hyperbole, you wouldn't be wrong. On those same exact grounds, that's why you're wrong here.

brutus smith

 Who did they intimidate sam a? And ask the guys who do the torturing how reliable the information is. It's not, that's why they throw it out in courts. If it is so good why did they have to water board Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times?

 

Does it make you feel superior saying that "I choose the bad guy over innocents". Why is it right wingnuts like yourself always think you are more patriotic? Have a debate without questioning someone's patriotism. 

 

And how many times do I have to answer you about the voter intimidation that was done in the Florida election by the Florida State Police under the direction of Bush's brother Jeb?

 

What year does history begin for you? Or if it's not happening now it never happened? I know you are not a history buff, but you have to have a starting place. And do you mean this John Ashcroft?

John Ashcroft was the attorney general of the United States from 2001 to 2005; both the Patriot Act and President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program were implemented during his tenure. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on March 12, 2007.

iamrevolutionary

 I have only glanced over these "comments"...So, if I repeat what someone else has said, I apologize....

Everyone that has come on here and claimed that TORTURE or WATER BOARDING (one in the same) has saved COUNTLESS lives.....Where is your PROOF??!!  Name exact situations, reports, documents, anything that can prove up your claims!  NOT just the party talking points!  NOT, so & so said this, or so& so determined that....REAL, HARDCORE, PROOF of what you claim...

Thank-you... 

Taxed Enough Already

 because of late, the feds received information from suspects they waterboarded and were able to thwart an attack.  It has been on the news over and over again.  The one case being the attack that was being plotted on LA after the 9/11 attacks in NY and DC.  

6079 Smith W
Iamrevolutionary writes:   “Where is your PROOF??!!”   "The enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives," (VP Cheney)   http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-30/politics/analysis.interrogations.report_1_waterboarding-abu-zubaydah-interrogation?_s=PM:POLITICS     Besides, you’re dealing with the CIA and black ops; even their annual budgets are secret.   Heck, some events from WW2 remain classified.   History may eventually reveal details, but perhaps not in your lifetime.  

BTW: Cong. Pelosi was briefed – her brain was just full of botox at the time and she doesn’t remember.  

If it's so important to ya, ask your pal Obie to spill the beans.

 

brutus smith

 Oh, well, excuuuuuuuse me. Darth Vader, I mean Dick Cheney said so. Gee, what was I thinking.

mikel

anyone who thinks beheading their captives isn't torture is crazy..fight fire with fire!  of course i think we should just behead them the same as they do to us.  could go something like this...akbed you have two options (as the "enforcer" stands over him with a sword) speak now or forever hold your peace.  once he fails to speak, chop.  we must make sure we do this in front of all of the other captives so they know we mean business!

Massengill Wins...

Winston is such a comedian.  The proof that torture works is....... Cheney said so!  So when Cheney said that "deficits don't matter" that makes that true as well?

 

 

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