July 26, 2005

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced Ahmed Ressam, the "millennium bomber" convicted of plotting to blow up Los Angeles airport, to 22 years in prison for conspiracy to commit an international terrorist act, explosives smuggling and other criminal counts. U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour had been expected to sentence Ressam, who stopped cooperating with federal authorities in 2003, to 35 years behind bars...read on

I've acquired his complete statement during sentencing: Click here for full text

The message I would hope to convey in today's sentencing is two-fold: First, that we have the resolve in this country to deal with the subject of terrorism and people who engage in it should be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of their life in confinement.

Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. I would suggest that the message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections...read on

The right wing will go batty over this one...

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