Guy Benson
Question: Which of these five reactions to the Ghailani trial outcome most closely reflects the majority view of the American people?  (Emphasis mine):

DOJ: Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, "We respect the jury's verdict and are pleased that Ahmed Ghailani now faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and a potential life sentence for his role in the embassy bombings."


State Department: "A jury of 12 Americans convicted Ahmed Ghailani of a terrorist conspiracy. Miscarriage of justice? No, it's called the rule of law," [State Department spokesman PJ] Crowley said on his Twitter account. "The Ghailani case shows America practices what it preaches, protecting our national security through a transparent legal system."


Center for Constitutional Rights: "If anyone is unsatisfied with Ghailani's acquittal on 284 counts, they should blame the CIA agents who tortured him," the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement. "CCR questions the ability of anyone who is Muslim to receive a truly fair trial in any American judicial forum post-9/11. Both the military commission system and federal criminal trials have serious flaws. However, on balance the Ghailani verdict shows that federal criminal trials are far superior to military commissions for the simple yet fundamental reason that they prohibit evidence obtained by torture."


"Senior White House official": "So, we tried a guy (who the Bush Admin tortured and then held at GTMO for 4-plus years with no end game whatsoever) in a federal court before a NY jury with full transparency and international legitimacy and -- despite all of the legacy problems of the case (i.e., evidence getting thrown out because of Bush-Admin torture, etc,) we were STILL able to convict him and INCAPACITATE him for essentially the rest of his natural life, AND there was not one -- not one -- security problem associated with the trial."


Rep. Pete King (R-NY): "I am disgusted at the total miscarriage of justice today in Manhattan’s federal civilian court," Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement Wednesday. "This tragic verdict demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama Administration’s decision to try al-Qaeda terrorists in civilian courts."

Conservatives believe the government's failure to secure convictions on 284 out of 285 charges against a confessed terrorist with the blood of 224 innocents on his hands is an outrageous injustice.  Liberals within the administration view the situation as a "pleasing" triumph of the "rule of the law," that was achieved despite the "torture" inflicted by the Bush administration.  Leftists in the fever swamps, meanwhile, have seized on the lone conviction as proof that no Muslim can ever expect a fair trial in America post-9/11. 

The Left will surely counter that public opinion doesn't matter when it comes to protecting our sacred American "values."  As they imagine it, upholding American "values" entails extending citizenship rights to foreign terrorists -- who explicitly don't play by the rules and target innocent civilians.   To the Left, a remorseless slaughterer of hundreds can avoid conviction on every single murder count against him, yet his trial is seen as a big success because he didn't get off scot free. 

The modern Left is incapable of effectively protecting our national security, and is unworthy of that duty. 

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography



TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP