Andrew McCarthy prosecuted the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing and knows whereof he speaks regarding terrorism prosecutions. McCarthy is not impressed by the Justice Department’s resolution of the case against Ali Saleh Kallah al-Marri, the terrorist sent to the United States by al-Qaeda to carry out a second wave of mass-murder attacks.
McCarthy observes that Al-Marri was permitted by the Justice Department to plead guilty to a single count of material support to terrorism, maximum sentence 15 years’ imprisonment with the possibility that al-Marri may simply be given credit for time served and released. He concludes:
The Obama administration has already outright released, with no trial, Binyam Mohammed, an al-Qaeda operative who, like al-Marri, was assigned by KSM to carry out mass-murder attacks in the United States after 9/11. Now, al-Marri has been given a plea agreement that grossly undersells the grave seriousness of his war crimes. If Holder’s objective was to demonstrate that George W. Bush was wrong to detain al-Marri as an enemy combatant and that the criminal-justice system “works,” this sweetheart deal suggests the opposite.
Jihadists were not impressed by our strategy of fighting them in the courtroom through the 1990s. But at least they knew the few of them we managed to apprehend and indict got slammed. I wonder what they’re thinking now.
JOHN adds: It’s really a bit more sinister than that, isn’t it? Obama’s security policies are based on the assumption that September 11 was a fluke, a one-off. So the administration doesn’t want to acknowledge, and doesn’t want Americans to know, that there was a credible, dangerous plot for follow-on attacks. I ascribe Holder’s treatment of these would-be terrorists to policy, not fecklessness.