Terror Trials In New York!!!

I am going to make this shorter than I originally planned on when I started it earlier today, because I have some Trash to take out. But, as Bob Schacht pointed out, not that anybody would know it, but there has been a terror trial going on all week in a real live Article III courtroom in the heart of Manhattan. Exactly like all the Republicans with vapors and trembling Democrats said could not be safely done.

Jury selection started Wednesday September 29th and today the trial in chief, expected to start Monday, was tentatively postponed until next Wednesday pending determination of admissibility of evidence and testimony from an important prosecution witness, Hussein Abebe. From Bloomberg:

The federal judge presiding over the trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian charged with taking part in the bombing of two American embassies in Africa, delayed the case by two days until Oct. 6.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York today granted a prosecution request to postpone the trial, for which jury selection started Sept. 29. Kaplan said he may grant a delay if he rules a key prosecution witness, Hussein Abebe, can’t testify. The adjournment would give the government time to appeal that ruling before the trial.

……

Prosecutors want to call Abebe, 46, a Tanzanian who is former miner, to testify that he sold five crates of dynamite to Ghailani before the blast. He would provide a first-hand account of Ghailani’s role in the attacks, the government says.

Abebe, who hasn’t been charged, is a “giant” witness, according to prosecutors. The judge said earlier he may not decide until after opening arguments whether the jury should hear Abebe’s testimony.

…..

Ghailani’s lawyers argue that Abebe’s testimony should be excluded because the government learned of his involvement through a coercive interrogation of Ghailani by the CIA. Abebe also was coerced into cooperating with authorities, according to the defense attorneys, led by Peter Quijano and Steve Zissou.

Motions in limine and other evidentiary motions are always at issue in big criminal trials and brief delays and provision for interlocutory appeals are certainly common. So, what you see here is another criminal trial. Ho hum and yawn. Certainly not the unholy hell Baby Dick Cheney, Rudy 9/11 and the other cowering fearmongers predicted is it? The attached video from Human Rights First sums it up perfectly. Here is Human Rights First’s press release on the issue:

Despite repeated warnings that trying Guantanamo detainees in New York would result in chaos, mayhem, kidnappings, astronomical security costs, a police take-over of Lower Manhattan, snarled traffic, street closures, and “utter, unmitigated disaster,” New Yorkers interviewed by Human Rights First are going about their daily business within blocks of the federal terrorism trial of a former Guantanamo detainee.

In an exclusive video released today, the group reveals that many New Yorkers are not only failing to fear, they do not even realize that accused terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani’s trial is underway. Some, despite the urgent warnings from those trying to “Keep America Safe,” even expressed pride that the prosecution was happening in New York City.

“We have trials like that here all of the time,” one woman observed as Human Rights First correspondent Reagan Kuhn interviewed her near the federal courthouse in Foley Square.

Despite the best efforts of Liz Cheney, Deborah Burlingame, Rudy Guiliani, and Karl Rove to spread panic, many naïve New Yorkers seemed completely uninformed about the chaos that was supposed to reign. Some even observed that “everything seems pretty normal,” “I haven’t noticed anything,” and “I’m sure everybody knows what they are doing.”

As the Ghailani trial proceeds this week and in the weeks ahead, Human Rights First will continue to monitor New Yorkers’ failure to fear federal prosecution of this case. It will also continue to send representatives to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where military commission proceedings are set to commence next month. For those keeping score, U.S. federal courts have convicted more than 400 terrorists. Military commissions have secured only four convictions.

They have been holding terrorism trials of the highest order for years in New York City. SDNY is where the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman was tried for the first World Trade Center Attack. There is not a better secured and more appropriate place in america to try the 9/11 terrorism suspects. That is what we do in America, and what we do as Americans. Giving in to the fear and bed wetting of the Cheneys, Rudy Guiliani, Lindsey Graham, Lieberman and others of their ilk is giving up on our principles and giving in to the terrorists themselves. Besides, NYC is always a target of terrorists and would be even if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four 9/11 suspects were tried in Gitmo.

Put the trials where the crimes happened and deal with it.

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  1. bobschacht says:

    Thanks for posting about this, bmaz. It is interesting that this is happening right before an election, and it is not even a campaign issue. (Yawn). Ho hum. When’s the next trial?

    What’s the status of those other trials that Holder wanted to be tried in NYC but were put on hold by skittish WH folks who were cowering in fear of the clamor of the Boeotians?

    Bob in AZ

    • bmaz says:

      That is exactly what they are doing; won’t even mention it with the elections looming and are praying the Republicans don’t. It is pitiful.

  2. newz4all says:

    The director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has quit, telling the governor that he made the decision after reflecting on the uproar over anti-terrorism bulletins that tracked the actions of peaceful citizens’ groups.

    James F. Powers Jr.
    submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Ed Rendell on Thursday. Rendell, who has apologized for the monitoring reports that were widely disseminated among law enforcement, said Powers will work one more week.

    The reports included items on the activities of those opposed to natural gas drilling, and were sent to companies involved in the drilling. They also included information about an anti-BP candlelight vigil, a gay and lesbian festival and other peaceful gatherings.

    Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne, agreed with Powers’ decision.

    “Given the troubling revelations about the security contract and his continuing defense of it, his position was untenable,” Baker said.

    “His decision to resign is the right one. His departure opens the door to some badly needed changes, but restoring credibility to the operation now looks to be a monumental task.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iKpRK5xMZ4yGS4sjsSVLuYoR_qMQD9IJ5OFO0?docId=D9IJ5OFO0

    http://news.google.com/news/more?pz=1&hdlOnly=1&cf=all&topic=n&ncl=djLSEjbKM8XxLSMWpXYJBee8P9lUM

  3. DWBartoo says:

    Thank you, bmaz.

    Appreciation to the good people of New York City.

    And Boo! To the “frightened” and “political” games-players, who have been unable to spread that fear.

    What, if anything, do you know about the government’s prosecution team, bmaz?

    Also, do you imagine that Abede’s “evidence” and potential “testimony” has been sufficiently tainted by “coercion” that Judge Kaplan will not allow it?

    And, if he does determine the evidence and testimony was coerced sufficiently to toss it, how “strong” a case will the prosecution be left with?

    It is wild, raw speculation I’m asking of you, of course, bmaz, and you needn’t engage, however, any “readings” or “senses” about this trial that you have and might share, if you have the time, would be very much appreciated.

    DW

  4. alinaustex says:

    [email protected]
    Perhaps Team Obama is trying to depolitize our courts proceedings regarding terrorist trials. Perhaps given the supercharged atmospherics of the mid term elections taking the politics out of trying a mass murderer who killed scores of innocent Americans and Kenyans is exactly what the Holder DOJ should be doing – this trial will the best answer to the indecent & unAmerican neocons who wish to hold us hostage to fear .

  5. onitgoes says:

    I did hear about this trial, as I believe there was a mention of it on NPR, plus a brief newspaper article. I, too, wondered what the differnece was between a trial like this and all the hand-wrining and bed-wetting that ReThugs indulged themselves in over possible Gitmo detainee trials in NYC.

    Well political grand-standing as ever been a popular sport especially in these hyped up overwrought stupidity times.

    Thanks for the update; keep up the good work (and take out the trash already).

  6. ducktree says:

    Ghailani’s lawyers argue that Abebe’s testimony should be excluded because the government learned of his involvement through a coercive interrogation of Ghailani by the CIA. Abebe also was coerced into cooperating with authorities, according to the defense attorneys, led by Peter Quijano and Steve Zissou.

    This argument seems a lot like the reason Oliver North’s conviction in the Iran/Contra arms scandal was reversed. The government used information gathered from witnesses whose names North had given while holding immunity in the Grand Jury investigation (not at all the “coercive” measures used against Ghailani and Abebe) to later prosecute Ollie. Thus, the lower court’s conviction against him was nullified and North walks a free war criminal to this day.

    Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Ollie. (;>

  7. spanishinquisition says:

    I am going to make this shorter than I originally planned on when I started it earlier today, because I have some Trash to take out. But, as Bob Schacht pointed out, not that anybody would know it, but there has been a terror trial going on all week in a real live Article III courtroom in the heart of Manhattan. Exactly like all the Republicans with vapors and trembling Democrats said could not be safely done.

    Said trial undermines Obama’s assassination gambit.

  8. cregan says:

    This is interesting, but I just so surprised that no one has mentioned the high terror threats being issued just prior to an election.

    They used to fret about this all the time when Bush was around, implying that it was all trumped up.

    No, I don’t think Obama trumped them up anymore than I thought Bush did. But, just worth noting that the former hot interest in terror warnings before elections seems to have gone into apathy.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, I could be wrong but I don’t think the actual terror alert level has changed in a very long time – yellow (elevated) generally and orange (high) for airline travel. There seems to be more noise/chatter coming out lately, but the actual level has not changed. Under Bush, they did often crank it up to orange and even Ridge admitted it was often political.

  9. fatster says:

    CIA backed by military drones in Pakistan

    “The merging of covert CIA operations and military firepower is part of a high-stakes attempt by the Obama administration to deal decisive blows to Taliban insurgents who have regained control of swaths of territory in Afghanistan but stage most of their operations from sanctuaries across that country’s eastern border.

    “The move represents a signification evolution of an already controversial targeted killing program run by the CIA.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/02/AR2010100203887.html

  10. fatster says:

    Keep ’em comin’:

    Britain held secret war talks with U.S. general 11 months before Iraq invasion
    . . .
    “Details of the classified meeting, held at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, suggest Tony Blair’s Government was involved in detailed discussions about toppling the Iraqi dictator earlier than previously disclosed.

    “American General Tommy Franks flew in to the base in April 2002 to attend a summit meeting called by the then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon.”

    LINK.