Twenty years. That could well be the sentence handed down to Ahmed Ghailani after a New York City jury decided that the Al Qaeda member on trial for the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya should be acquitted on 284 of 285 counts.
The bombings, massive coordinated explosions that killed 224 people (including 12 Americans) and wounded over 4,000 were carried out by Al Qaeda because of U.S. involvment in the first Gulf War and continued involvement in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
President Obama, crack crimefighter Eric Holder and leading members of the fading Democratic party all crowed -- prior to the trial -- that Ghailani's case would serve to show the world that civilian trials are just the ticket for fighting terrorists. Seriously.
So what happened? First, it was decided by folks involved to take the death penalty out of consideration --so even if Ghailani had been found to be guilty of all 285 counts, including 224 counts of murder, he couldn't have received the death penalty. This was simply a nod to reality... no New York jury has had the guts to hand down a death penalty since Captain Hudson sailed up the river and decided Manhattan would be a perfect safe haven for liberals. -- My history's a little weak so don't quote me on that one. Point being, the chances of securing a death penalty verdict in Manhattan rest somewhere between nada and bupkus.
Next, the judge in the trial ruled that a key witness for the prosecution couldn't be used because he had been held by the CIA and so, according to liberal doctrine, his statements must have been coerced. The witness, a local purveyor of mining accoutrement, reported that he had sold Ghailani 5 crates of TNT. But nevermind.
The defense's argument was that Ghailani is a moron. Wait, I think the term they used was "dupe." That's it. Ghailani, who bought the TNT, also was apparently duped into buying several large tanks that he filled with acetylene and oxygen. This guy, who the defense paints as the equivalent of Curly to Bin Laden's Moe, also was duped in to keeping PETN explosive and a detonator at his home, and, can you believe it, he was in contact with Al Qaeda members just before the attack. How unlucky can one dupe be? This guy's not just a dupe, he's the Grand Dupester of Dupestinia.
So, the jury found him guilty of destruction of U.S. property. Let me repeat that. The jury found him guilty of destruction of US property. That's the one count out of 285.
They also reportedly noted on one of their jury forms that they acknowledged he was responsible directly or otherwise for the death of individuals other than co-conspirators. Apparently they weren't sufficiently upset to then actually tick the box that says "guilty of murder." I believe the legal term for this particular decision is known as the "ol' guilty but not guilty dipsy-do." If you haven't studied law it can be confusing.
What's my point? Hmmm...how about this; Because the self-righteous Obama administration decided it was more important to show how understanding we are to the world than to use the military system already established -- and through which all witnesses and evidence could have been presented -- a despicable person directly involved in the deaths of 224 people has the chance to walk in 20 years.
My math is shaky but that's about one year of prison for every 12 lives he took. So who's the dupe now?
Yes sir, Mr. Holder... civilian trials....that's the ticket.
Hey, how soon can we get KSM on the docket?
Mike Baker served for more than 15 years as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, specializing in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and counterinsurgency operations around the globe.
Since leaving government service, he has been a principal in building and running several companies in the private intelligence, security and risk management sector and has recently returned to Diligence LLC, a company he cofounded in 2000, as president.
He appears frequently in the media as an expert on counterterrorism, intelligence and homeland security.
Baker is also a partner in Classified Trash, a film and television production company. Baker serves as a script consultant, writer and technical adviser within the entertainment industry, lending his expertise to such programs as the BBC's popular spy series "Spooks," as well as major motion pictures.