Ghailani -- The Embassy Bomber

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Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani
 



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Judge Blocks Key Witness in Embassy-Bombing Case

Chad Bray is reporting that a federal judge barred prosecutors from using a key witness in the trial of a Tanzanian man in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa because the witness's identity was discovered through questionable interrogation techniques used in secret CIA custody.  The decision, which delays the trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani until next week, marks a setback in a case that is seen as a major test for Obama's plan to try detainees who have been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in civil courts rather than before military tribunals.

Ghailani is the first detainee from Guantanamo to face trial in the U.S.  He is facing charges of conspiracy, murder, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and other charges stemming from two bombing attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 that killed 224 people and injured hundreds more. He has pleaded not guilty.

Federal prosecutors want to call Hussein Abebe, another Tanzanian man, to testify in the case.  Prosecutors said they expected Abebe to tell the court that he sold dynamite that was ultimately used in the bombing to Ghailani and that he believed Ghailani planned to use the explosives for mining.

Defense lawyers argued that prosecutors learned of Abebe's identity as a result of statements made by Ghailani while he was in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency.  While in CIA custody, Ghailani was subject to so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which his lawyers have said equated to torture.

"This case will be tried upon lawful evidence," said Peter Quijano, Ghailani's lawyer, in a brief statement outside the courthouse Wednesday.  "Not torture.  Not coercion."

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in a brief order Wednesday, essentially found that prosecutors failed to show that Abebe's potential testimony was sufficiently removed from Ghailani's statements while in CIA custody to be allowed into evidence at this time.
    

"The court has not reached this conclusion lightly, but the Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests.  We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction.  To do less would diminish us and undermine the foundation upon which we stand."

    
We all knew this was going to happen, but it's interesting to note how the judiciary points to the Constitution to support defending our enemies.

Conveniently, the same judiciary forgets all about the Constitution when a certain person's eligibility to serve as Commander-in-Chief is questioned.

You know the rules, mustn't embarrass Obama.

 

 

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