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Al Qaeda Agent To Get Civilian Trial In US

From an overjoyed and relieved Washington Post:

‘Combatant’ Case to Move From Tribunal To U.S. Court

By Carrie Johnson and Julie Tate
Friday, February 27, 2009; Page A01

The Justice Department is preparing to announce criminal charges against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri for allegedly providing material support to al-Qaeda terrorists, sources said, a groundbreaking step that would place the alleged sleeper agent in the purview of the U.S. courts rather than before a military tribunal.

Marri is the last remaining "enemy combatant" in the United States, and he has spent 5 1/2 years in a military brig in South Carolina. Indicting him in a federal district court in central Illinois could avert a Supreme Court ruling that would tie the Obama administration’s hands in dealing with future terrorism suspects

Marri’s prosecution could clear the way for some of the approximately 245 detainees remaining at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be indicted in U.S. courts, though authorities have said significant legal and diplomatic hurdles remain. Among them is whether evidence secured through classified intelligence channels or harsh interrogation techniques is too sensitive or tainted to introduce into the American legal system…

Authorities arrested Marri in Peoria in December 2001, not long after al-Qaeda engineered strikes on New York and the Pentagon. The Qatar native had come to the United States in September of that year with his wife and five children to obtain a master’s degree at Bradley University…

What a great day for our system or justice and national security.

Alas, it is a day we foretold more than two years ago, when the Supreme Court began to grant hitherto unimagined rights to foreign nationals, who also just happen to be terrorists.

Marri’s prosecution could clear the way for some of the approximately 245 detainees remaining at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be indicted in U.S. courts…

There is no “could” about this.

This is going to be the eventual outcome. That is, apart from those terrorists who will simply be released.

What a great day for the ACLU and all of the enemies of our country everywhere.

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “Al Qaeda Agent To Get Civilian Trial In US”

  1. BillK says:

    From an ecstatic AP:

    U.S. to Transfer Al Qaeda Combatant Into Civilian Court System

    The transfer is the first signal of how the Obama administration is likely to handle accused terrorists, a significant shift from the strategy of the Bush administration

    WASHINGTON — An accused Al Qaeda sleeper agent held for 5 1/2 years at a Navy brig in South Carolina will soon be sent to Illinois for trial in civilian court, a move the government has fought for years saying terror suspects caught in the U.S. could be held indefinitely without charges.

    Two people familiar with the case of Qatar native Ali al-Marri said Thursday the government plans to transfer him to the civilian court system. One of them said he would be charged with providing support to terrorists. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s a pending criminal case.

    The transfer could avert a Supreme Court hearing in April and a subsequent ruling that would govern other cases against accused terrorists. Al-Marri’s transfer is the first signal of how the Obama administration is likely to handle accused terrorists, a significant shift from the strategy of the Bush administration.

    Since shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, government lawyers argued that the president has the wartime authority to send the military into any U.S. neighborhood, capture a citizen — or legal resident like al-Marri — and hold him in prison without charge, indefinitely.

    Putting al-Marri into the federal court system follows a similar move made by the Bush administration with another enemy combatant, Jose Padilla. Padilla, once held at the same brig as al-Marri, was eventually convicted of terror-related charges in federal court in Florida.

    The decision on al-Marri was reported separately Thursday by the Web sites of The Washington Post and The New Yorker magazine.

    Al-Marri was the subject of one of President Barack Obama’s first official acts, signing an executive order for “a prompt and thorough” review of al-Marri’s continued detention.

    Now, according to those familiar with the case, <b.that review has resulted in a decision to put him back into the civilian court system.

    Justice Dept. spokesman Dean Boyd declined to comment on the plans for al-Marri.

    “If this is true, it’s an important step,” said Jonathan Hafetz, one of al-Marri’s lawyers. “This is what should have happened seven years ago. Indefinite military detention, without charge, of people with legal residence in America is illegal.”

    Yet such a move may derail the legal challenge Hafetz and the American Civil Liberties Union have brought to the Supreme Court.

    The new administration is facing a March deadline to file papers in the al-Marri case before the court, and transferring him to a criminal courtroom may enable the administration to avoid taking a clear position on enemy combatants.

    “It’s vital for the Supreme Court to review the case and make that clear once and for all,” said Hafetz. “Otherwise the government will be free to do the same thing again.”

    Al-Marri’s case before the high court hinges on whether the president has the authority to detain as enemy combatants people who are in the United States legally, a question that could apply to a U.S. citizen as well as a foreigner.

    The new administration might not want to force the court to decide that issue, thereby preserving the possibility that Obama or future presidents could exercise that power.

    The government says al-Marri is an Al Qaeda sleeper agent who has met Osama bin Laden and spent time at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. …


    Since he’ll be tried in the civilian courts, how long before he’s free on bail?

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I’m so relieved. This administration’s complete lack of understanding of the situation, along with massive ignorance on how the radical muslim mind works, has now combined to form a Play-D’oh like substance called “The democrats version of Constitutional law”. This substance is pliable, comes in all colors but you don’t want to get it in the carpet and it kinda has a funny smell.

    • doctor tecate says:

      Could you please provide us with some insight into how the “radical muslim mind works”?

      ps Maybe Best Name Ever

  3. nascarnation says:

    Guy looks like a late 60s rocker………..

    on a more serious but perverse note……terror may be the only thing that ousts Obama. I’m afraid racial politics and welfare handouts will give him a huge electoral advantage….but another devastating terror event on US soil just might swing the next election back.

  4. pharaohjoe says:

    Seems to me that inane decisions like this simply mean that more and more of these animals will (tragically, yet unavoidably, of course) be killed while “resisting capture.” I think a few more might accidently fall down the stairs while in custody. Several will commit suicide in their cells. A few will no doubt be killed while assaulting security personnel. And a few more while trying to escape. I’m good with that.

  5. Media_man says:

    I suppose this is considered part of the stumulus package in that in will keep thousands upon thousands of defense lawyers employed keeping dirtbags like this out of prison or off the gallows.

    How much easier for FDR who simply gave enemy combatants secret trials in military tribunals & then had them executed.

    Our enemies are laughing at us.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      They haven’t stopped since King O’ Hole assended his throne.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Criminals LOVE gun control .. it makes their job safer ….

      Terrorists not only are laughing at us .. they gotta truly be lovin’ our new o-blah-blah outcomes. They get to spread their terror – kill, maim, and terrorize other folks – and if they get caught .. they get a vacation – rest and relax in sunny Cuba – be fed and get a lawyer .. so’s to be ready to fight again! They gotta be thinkin’ allah is good.

  6. proreason says:

    Was he read his rights?

    Case closed.

  7. brad says:

    If they want to let all these terrorists out, so that they can plot and attack washington d.c., then i guess we will have to just sit back and watch stupid people destroy themselves. . .

  8. Liberals Demise says:

    I was gonna bother a quip………but why bother.
    Me thinks its time to inventory the arms locker……….

  9. VMAN says:

    I figured out a way to get all the dumb masses to care about things like this. We create a new TV show call “The Terrorist Peoples Court”. I would prefer a real life version of “Running Man” or “Who Wants 72 Virgins?”

  10. doctor tecate says:

    I’m not hearing what the alternative should be. Excecution? Eternal ambiguous lock up?

  11. TwilightZoned says:

    “The Military Commissions Act of 2006 gives the president absolute power to decide who is an enemy of our country and to imprison people indefinitely without charging them with a crime.”
    (American Civil Liberties Union : Fact Sheet: Military Commissions Act)

    And the problem here is what…a president who is a weenie when is comes to our protection?

  12. canary says:

    Obama should let the terrorists he releases stay at White House, or Acorn housing. Greatest security our taxes pay for. As oOlahha Obama, Bidenla, Pelosioho,Hillaryoh, preach “love the nieghbor”, show them kindness and they will be rehabilitated. Course mowing the white house lawn, maid serving, or babysitting, might be considered poor conditions. How come the news doesn’t
    suggest this. Trials right in the oval office would be awesome. Put Lincoln’s bedroom to use, like sleak Willy did. Hotel oOllahaBama.

    Dang, that would be a quick, fair, inexpensive, one trial to tell if the good ones from the bad ones.

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