Accused terrorists are tried all the time in U.S. federal courts with little extra burden on security officers and without incident. Only in the case of the five alleged perpetrators of the September 11 attacks did the plan cause such an uproar that their case was moved to another country.
America must end the Guantanamo boondoggle. That means bringing to justice now those charged with crimes, sending home those who have been cleared, and ensuring that there is no one held without charge or transfer.
By trying Ghailani in civilian courts, he was treated as the criminal that he is, not as a soldier. His sentencing represents both a practical and moral victory for justice, fundamental rights and the rule of law.
Although Ahmed Ghailani's lawyer today made a valiant effort to argue that his client's conviction in November should be reversed, he will have an uphill battle convincing a very skeptical federal judge.
It would almost be funny that lawmakers give more credit to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Liz Cheney and alarmist Fox News anchors than to their own retired senior military leaders -- but only if the consequences weren't so serious.
Many critics have pounced on the recent verdict against Ahmed Ghailani as a blow to the Obama administration's plans to prosecute the 9/11 defendants in civilian court. They have it wrong. The facts show that the administration is on the right track.
The stunning acquittal of Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani on all but one of 284 counts was the first time a jury had not been cowed by the notion that to be accused of terrorism is tantamount to being guilty.
The Ghailani case is significant because it's been viewed as a test of whether the civilian court system can handle the cases of another 35 Guantanamo Bay detainees slated for trial. I'd say that it just passed that test with flying colors.
I've been struck by the contrasts between two ongoing proceedings: The orderliness, professionalism and fairness of the federal court proceedings, and the confusion, uncertainty and inequity that cloud the military commissions.
The military is simply not in a position to conduct the sort of complex criminal investigations that are the FBI's specialty. Soldiers are trained to fight battles in a war zone; the FBI is trained to collect, preserve and analyze evidence in a crime scene.