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Rule of Law!! - Real America

By jimstaro - Posted on 19 November 2010

A victory for the rule of law

18 November 2010 - The verdict yesterday in the case of former Gitmo detainee Ahmed Ghailani, who stood accused of helping facilitate the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was a victory for the rule of law. Conservatives arguing that the trial was a failure because Ghaliani was acquitted on most of the charges are missing the point -- the integrity of American justice is more important than any single conviction, and, as it stands, Ghailani will very likely spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes.

When President Obama first took office, most of the coverage of the burden left by the prior administration focused on the poor economy. But torture was as toxic to the cause of American justice as bad credit default swaps were to the financial markets, as crushing as the worst recession since Roosevelt. The detention of terror suspects at Guantanamo had been so mishandled that there were no comprehensive case files on many of the detainees. Arguing that the verdict in the Ghailani case is the result of him being tried in civilian court is like saying Obama's bailout of out the banks or the stimulus caused the recession.

It was in this context that the administration did the right thing in bringing Ghailani to trial in civilian court, despite the fact that he had spent two years being tortured at a CIA black site. Conservatives rubbed their hands with glee at the possibility that the case would fall apart when Judge Lewis Kaplan excluded the testimony of a key witness because his identity had been gleaned through torture -- a witness whose own testimony may have been coerced. {read rest}

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