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Captured in Jordan, Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law, “The Mouthpiece of Bin Laden,” Pleads Not Guilty in New York Courtroom

Vice President Joe Biden visits the site where Flight 93 crashed, following a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., Sept. 11, 2012. Pictured with the Vice President, from left, are: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar; Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood; and Patrick White, President of the Families of Flight 93. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden visits the site where Flight 93 crashed, following a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., Sept. 11, 2012. Pictured with the Vice President, from left, are: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar; Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood; and Patrick White, President of the Families of Flight 93. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law pleaded not guilty Friday morning to charges of trying to kill Americans. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who served as an al Qaeda spokesman, was captured and taken to the United States, federal officials announced Thursday. [CNN]

THERE WAS an immediate reaction to the decision to try Abu Ghaith in a civilian courtroom. The Administration has wanted to close Guantanamo Bay for years, so one of their goals is obviously not to add to the population. But it does bring more confusion to a policy that has twisted the White House into knots.

From CNN:

Sen. Lindsey Graham, in a news conference, argued against civilian criminal proceedings. “I think we (are) setting a new precedent that will come back to bite us,” he told reporters. “It’s clear to me they snuck him in … under the nose of Congress.”

The South Carolina senator was joined at the news conference by Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who said, “If you are that close to bin Laden, we want to develop all the information that person has.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, reaffirmed his opposition to U.S. trials of suspected al Qaeda members detained at Guantanamo: “We should treat enemy combatants like the enemy — the U.S. court system is not the appropriate venue.”

But Eugene Fiddell, a prominent military legal expert, said the conspiracy charge is not a war crime and is outside the jurisdiction of a military commission.

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11 Responses to Captured in Jordan, Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law, “The Mouthpiece of Bin Laden,” Pleads Not Guilty in New York Courtroom

  1. Solo March 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Another Obama anti-terror success!

    • jjamele March 9, 2013 at 7:52 am #

      “We arrested someone, which means he’s a terrorist! Yay us! Yay Obama!”

      I bet you wonder why we even bother to hold trials anymore- if the President thinks someone is a terrorist, why- either throw them in Gitmo or drop a drone on them!

      Meanwhile, I seem to recall something about Innocent until Proven Guilty- but of course, that quaint concept was hardly meant to apply to someone as Obviously Guilty as Osama Bin Laden’s Son in Law. So, when is the execution scheduled- before or after closing arguments?

  2. Solo March 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    The depth of your hatred for this President is truly a thing to behold! Given a choice between him and a man we have on video sitting next to Bin Laden acting as his spokesman, you chose the terrorist. For the record he is getting a trial and a civilian one at that in a federal courtroom in New York. Maybe is your zeal to attack this President you missed that bit of info! Thank God Obama didn’t need the votes of the likes of you last November!!!

  3. newdealdem1 March 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    McCain and his cohort stooges, Graham and Ayott need to please for pity’s sake and for the sake of many human beings sanity, to just STFU .

    They are just wrong in continuing to call for captured al qaeda operatives like Sulaiman Abu Ghaithto be tried in Guantanamo before a military tribunal and for erroneous reasons: that the Southern District Courts of NY cannot handle such cases because……………….blah, blah, blah bulldung.

    The Southern District Court of NY has done a splendid job in prosecuting these cases for almost two decades without any of the fevered brain chicken little imaginings of the GOP. We have prosecuted Mafia king pins and thugs for even longer.

    Also, the 9/11 families deserve to be there when these terrorists (yes, I know alleged) are on trial. Just as any other families have the right to be present when the accused murderers of their loved ones are on trial for killing their loved ones. Justice is not being served by severing these trials from those who suffered the most during these attacks: the thousands who were left behind.

  4. newdealdem1 March 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    One other point. These trials need to be open and transparent. If there are so-called national security issues, the Southern District Court of NY can and has handled these issues before and will do so again. Although I am always weary of what is considered national security excuses to not have open and transparent trials. Nevertheless, these concerns whether real or not, have been addressed by the Court in NY for years. There is no other court in the US more able to prosecute these cases fairly and successfully no matter how much the GOP put their collective noggins in the sand and scream like two year olds whilst holding their ears and stamping their feet “no, no, no, we are not able to prosecute these cases in a non-military court”. Wah, wah, wah. They need to exit their collective bubble caves these bobble-headed loud-mouth, know nothing, chicken little pissants.

  5. newdealdem1 March 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    And, before someone steps in to declare that the Obama Administration is just as accountable as the GOP or the Bush Administration was in these matters, let me say clearly and without any qualification, the Obama Administration has been cowardly in caving into these political thugs to not hold these trials in NY but in the military tribunal at Guantanamo which the CIA is overseeing as was explosively revealed in this report:

    http://tinyurl.com/b7gyb9k

    So, yes, the Obama Administration is every bit as egregious as was the Bush Administration in these matters.

    • Solo March 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Really? Obama is just as responsible for Gitmo still being open? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/20/obama-gitmo-congress-veto

      • newdealdem1 March 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

        Just as you are always wont to do, that is only one part of the history here. Of course Congress put up roadblocks (even from Dems:again the incompetent Harry Reid) but it was also Obama’s lack of sustained leadership and retreating from a fight to close gitmo that also played a huge part in why it’s still open and why the inmates are being tried by military tribunals and not in the Federal Courts.

        Obama is not a strong leader when it comes to fighting for what he says he wants to do which has included everything from closing Gitmo to not fighting for a pubic option during the prolonged fight over health care to the debt ceiling fights. LJB he is not who twisted arms and did all he could to pass bills that he passionately believed in and wanted passed for the good of the American people such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act along with Medicare and Medicaid. Major amendments were made to Social Security in 1965 and 1967 which significantly increased benefits, expanded coverage, and established new programs to combat poverty and raise living standards. And, LBJ did all of this in the face of fierce opposition and from his own party as well. He wasn’t afraid to use his political capital and never gave up.

        Obama gives up too easily when faced with political obstacles. Or, wants to forge a bipartisan pact with his enemies and when that happens he practically gives away the entire new deal and great society store (which he is again pushing to get a grand bargain which will to harm to many Americans even though this is not what the American people want).

        Here is a report from the Washington Post: http://tinyurl.com/42djfun

        And, here are the relevant points in that report:

        Start Quote:

        “”This account of the unraveling of Obama’s pledge to close Guantanamo is based on interviews with more than 30 current and former administration officials, as well as members of Congress and their staff, members of the George W. Bush administration, and activists. Many of them would speak about internal or sensitive deliberations only on the condition of anonymity.

        The one theme that repeatedly emerged in interviews was a belief that the White House never pressed hard enough on what was supposed to be a signature goal. Although the closure of Guantanamo Bay was announced in an executive order, which Obama signed on Jan. 22, 2009, the fanfare never translated into the kind of political push necessary to sustain the policy.

        “Vulnerable senators weren’t going out on a limb and risk being Willie Hortonized on Gitmo when the White House, with the most to lose, wasn’t even twisting arms,” said a senior Democratic aide whose boss was one of 50 Democrats to vote in 2009 against funding to close Guantanamo. “They weren’t breathing down our necks pushing the vote or demanding unified action.”

        “The one thing we could never figure out is who was in charge of it,” said a senior Republican staffer on Capitol Hill, whose boss, a senator, was initially supportive of the goal of closing Guantanamo. “Everybody seemed to have a piece of it, but nobody was in charge of it.”

        It was often assumed on the Hill and elsewhere that White House counsel Gregory B. Craig was in charge, but he rejected that characterization in an interview and said he was pushing the boundaries of his office to be as involved as he was.

        “There was a real serious problem of coordination in this whole thing,” Craig said. “No one was coordinating.”

        The White House, often without much internal deliberation, retreated time and again in the face of political opposition.

        “At each turn, when faced with congressional opposition, the instinct was to back off, and the result was not what the White House hoped,” said a senior U.S. official involved in Guantanamo policy. “We kept retreating, and the result was more pressure to retreat more.” “”

        End Quote

        And, that’s the Obama way. “We kept retreating, and the result was more pressure to retreat more.” H\e almost always backs down which makes him a weak and poor negotiator which even many of his supporters acknowledge. Further, Obama doesn’t like confrontation which is one attribute that anyone needs when he/she becomes POTUS. Confrontation is a big part of the job and not retreating no matter how great congressional opposition may be is the key to getting what you want to get done as POTUS. Imo, he never had the temperament for the job and doesn’t enjoy being POTUS unlike FDR, LBJ and Clinton. You can see how miserable he is, it shows.

        I’ve said this a couple of days ago. I’m still stymied why Obama ever wanted to be POTUS and frankly I still don’t think he can answer that question.

    • Solo March 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      It’s like you’ve never heard of Congress!

    • Solo March 10, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Gitmo is still open because of GOP obstruction! http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/suleiman-abu-gaith-republicans-arrest

  6. newdealdem1 March 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    The link I posted above was a mistake. I clicked on the wrong report.

    Here is the report I meant to post from Huffington Post “U.S. Bugged 9/11 Trial In Guantanamo, Was Able To Hear Plotters’ Conversations In Court ” http://tinyurl.com/befo9nr

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