⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Significance of Ali Al-Marri’s Guilty Plea

Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ statements yesterday that he expects the United States will have to transfer up to 100 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the

Tyrese Griffin
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 02, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ statements yesterday that he expects the United States will have to transfer up to 100 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, where they’d be held indefinitely without trial, was an odd juxtaposition with yesterday’s guilty plea of Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri.

On the one hand, Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday that the guilty plea of Al-Marri, who for almost six years was held without charge as an “enemy combatant” in a Navy brig in South Carolina, demonstrated “The certainty that our criminal justice system can and will hold terrorists accountable for their actions.”

Indeed, Al-Marri, who says he was abused in prison but still pleaded guilty to providing material support to al-Qaeda, is a prime example of how suspects charged with serious allegations of terrorism, even if they’re mistreated, can properly be handled in the federal criminal justice system.

On the other hand, Gates’ statement to the Senate yesterday suddenly illuminated something I’d wondered about when the Obama administration sought dismissal of Al-Marri’s appeal to the Supreme Court. As I wrote then, President Obama seemed eager to hold on to an extraordinary executive power — that is, the power to hold a lawful U.S. resident indefinitely without charge on U.S. soil.  Of course, that would seem to be a flagrant violation of the Constitution. But the Obama administration, by transferring Al-Marri to the criminal justice system before the Supreme Court could hear his case, carefully avoided a high court ruling. (Remember these broad military powers inside the United States, and the suspension of the Bill of Rights, are the kind of thing John Yoo argued for in some of his more infamous Office of Legal Counsel memos.)

Now we understand why Obama wasn’t going to relinquish that right.  Because apparently, according to Gates’ statements, he’s prepared to use them — not on one prisoner, but on up to 100.

So far, Gates and the media seem focused on whether anyone in Congress will let the Defense Department build a new facility to house terrorists in their district. But I’m far more interested in who’s telling Gates that the United States is going to hold these men indefinitely without trial here in the United States, and why Gates — or Obama, or Holder — believe these men can’t be tried in U.S. federal courts.

As I wrote the other day, the emerging consensus among criminal justice experts is that terror suspects ought to be tried in ordinary federal courts, not in any specially-created military commissions, “national security courts,” or even in the military justice system. But then, they weren’t considering the possibility of not trying them at all. Most probably assumed that Obama, who made the grand gesture of announcing he was going to close Guantanamo Bay within his first days in office, wasn’t just going to set up another military detention center to do exactly the same thing here in the continental United States. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how that’s an improvement over Gitmo.

As Human Rights First lawyer Devon Chaffee said today, Al-Marris’ plea agreement “demonstrates that our existing, tried and true federal criminal justice system is where these cases belong. . . . The Obama Administration should follow the example it set in this case and bring Guántanamo detainees suspected of having committed a terrorism crime to justice in existing federal courts.”

Human Rights First in 2008 released a report, based on former prosecutors’ analysis of more than 120 international terrorism cases prosecuted in the federal criminal justice system, concluding that the existing federal criminal system is fully capable of prosecuting suspected terrorists.

Maybe Gates, and whoever he’s conferring with, ought to read that report.

Tyrese Griffin | Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.

Related

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan

Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐