November 18, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Yesterday Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, was convicted on a single charge of conspiracy [on a 284 count indictment] to destroy property owned by the U.S. government, in this case our Kenyan embassy which was destroyed in an al-Qaeda bombing plot.
224 individuals were killed in the massive August 8, 1998 explosion, including 12 Americans. The attack took place on the same day that the U.S. embassy in Tanzania was attacked. The twin bombings injured approximately 5,000, most of them Africans.
Lewis Kaplan, a 1994 Harvard trained Clinton appointee, presided over the case. Kaplan made what many consider an ill-considered decision in which he refused to permit perhaps the key prosecution witness to testify, because his whereabouts had been obtained from Ghailani under what might have been enhanced interrogation.
The failure to convict Ghailani is being seen as a major setback for team Obama and a rejection of the administration's policy of prosecuting terrorists as criminals. The first casualty of this decision will probably be AG Holder's announced decision to try 911 ringleader and confessed terrorist Khalid Sheik Mohammed in an American courtroom. Instead, doing a 180 on his 2008 campaign pledge to close GITMO, Obama will most likely be forced to keep KSM there indefinitely because of his threat as a clear a present danger to national security.
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