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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Judge Bars Major Witness From Terrorism Trial


Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani

From The New York Times:

A federal judge barred prosecutors on Wednesday from using a crucial witness in the first trial of a former Guantánamo detainee, adding to the fierce debate over whether the government can successfully prosecute terrorist detainees in civilian court.

The trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who faces charges in the 1998 bombings of two United States Embassies in East Africa, has been seen as a test of President Obama’s goal of moving many other detainees, like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, into federal court and, ultimately, closing Guantánamo.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama opposed the Guantánamo detention complex, calling it a recruiting symbol for terrorists. He initially ordered Guantánamo closed by January 2010, and later declared his intention to try terrorism suspects in federal court whenever feasible, igniting a debate over whether the civilian or the military system was better for such cases.

Critics of relying on the civilian system have said that defendants who have been held and interrogated as war criminals could be successfully prosecuted only by military tribunals or courts, with their less restrictive rules of evidence.

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