An Accused Terrorist's Near-Total Acquittal Raises Questions

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This courtroom drawing shows Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani in court before Judge Lewis Kaplan on November 17, 2010 in New York. Ghailiani faces a minimum sentence of 20 years. (SHIRLEY SHEPARD/AFP/Getty)

Yesterday the first Guantánamo detainee to be tried in a federal civilian court was acquitted of all but one of the charges against him. In total Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani faced nearly 300 charges of conspiracy and murder in the 1998 terrorist bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

We speak with Karen Greenberg, executive director for the Center of Law and Security at NYU, to tell us more about the case, and what it says about the future of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.


Karen Greenberg

Comments [1]


Producing this story via an interview with Karen Greenberg is an exercise in exquisite one-sidedness.

Ms. Greenberg, like her collegues at the Center for Law and Justice, is a partisan in the national debates over anti-terrorism policy. She's involved with the attorneys at NYU who coordinate the defense of Guantanmo detainees. She's been a partisan author of numerous articles attacking Bush Administration policy, and personally attacking Secretary Rumsfeld.

It's okay, of course, if The Takeaway wanted to interview Karen Greenberg for one side of the story (that crimnal justice procedures are the best, and military tribunals are essentially evil), which is what The Takeaway did in this instance.

But the arrogance and the conceit of The Takeaway is to pretend that voices like Karen Greenberg are the only ones worth hearing. Or that she is an unbiased academic. Those presumptions are all lies. Multiply this event times about 1000, and you have what passes for "journalism" on National Public Radio and all of its affiliated network stations and "independent" productions like The Takeaway.

Nov. 18 2010 10:50 AM

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