June 9, 2009

Why are politicians such damned cowards? So terrified someone will accuse them of not keeping the country safe! There has never been an escape from the Colorado super-maximum facility. In a country where we've already seen bank robbers with high-tech weapons and armor keep cops utterly helpless, why are we not panicking about that instead of this?ahmed_146f4.jpg

The Obama administration for the first time has transferred a Guantanamo Bay detainee into the United States, flying the suspect to New York early today to face federal charges in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings.

U.S. Marshals took custody of Ahmed Ghailani, a Tanzanian, at the military prison in Cuba and moved him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, officials said. He is expected to appear in federal court later today.

Ghailani faces multiple charges and, if convicted, could face the death penalty for his role in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

"With his appearance in federal court today, Ahmed Ghailani is being held accountable for his alleged role in the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the murder of 224 people," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. "The Justice Department has a long history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system, and we will bring that experience to bear in seeking justice in this case."

The decision to move Ghailani lays down an important marker for the administration, which wants to shut the military prison but has faced congressional resistance to the transfer of any Guantanamo inmates into the United States for resettlement, trial or further detention. A conference committee of Senate and House members of the Defense Appropriations committee has been considering language that would restrict the administration's ability to move detainees out of Guantanamo without a comprehensive plan for where to place them. Lawmakers also want assurance that taking detainees into the United States presents no risk to the country's national security.

Ghailani was indicted in New York before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and four of his named co-conspirators have already been tried and convicted and are serving life sentences in a super-maximum security prison in Colorado.

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