P.J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, lauded the skin-of-the-teeth conviction of terrorist Ahmed Ghailani on just one of 285 charges.
“A jury of 12 Americans convicted Ahmed Ghailani of a terrorist conspiracy. Miscarriage of justice? No, it’s called the rule of law,” Crowley said on his Twitter account. “The Ghailani case shows America practices what it preaches, protecting our national security through a transparent legal system.”
Crowley is one of the first Obama administration officials to publicly defend the verdict, which has angered Republicans.
Crowley was referring to the reaction of incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), who said:
“I am disgusted at the total miscarriage of justice today in Manhattan’s federal civilian court. . . This tragic verdict demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama Administration’s decision to try al-Qaeda terrorists in civilian courts.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), another Republican congressional stakeholder who has been a strong advocate for a robust system of military commissions to try terrorists and other enemy combatants, responded:
“While I respect the judgment of the court, I’m deeply disappointed in the verdict.
“We are at war with Al Qaeda. Members of the organization, and their associates, should be treated as warriors, not common criminals. We put our nation at risk by criminalizing the war.
“Going forward, I once again strongly encourage the Obama Administration to use military commissions to prosecute enemy combatants, particularly the 9/11 conspirators like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”