Back in July of 2008, the NY Times editorial board ran an Op-Ed regarding the Bush Administration designation (and Supreme Court ruling on the right of the President to designate and hold indefinitely an “enemy combatant”) and continuing detention of Ali al-Marri as wrong and should be reversed and released.
The opinion piece opens with this:
“The Bush administration has been a waging a fierce battle for the power to lock people up indefinitely simply on the president’s say-so. It scored a disturbing victory last week when a federal appeals court ruled that it could continue to detain Ali al-Marri, who has been held for more than five years as an enemy combatant. The decision gives the president sweeping power to deprive anyone — citizens as well as noncitizens — of their freedom. The Supreme Court should reverse this terrible ruling.”
The Times considers the detention of the continuation of detention of this terrorist “disturbing” and laments that the President has the power to deny this “citizen or non-citizen” his freedom!
First, let us take a look at what we could expect if this guy was free to roam around the country.
Al-Marri was tasked by Kalid Sheik Mohammed (“KSM” who divulged this guy as a result of “waterboarding”) to investigate various methods of attacks (al-marri was a sleeper cell agent of al qaeda) on US soil involving chemical agents.
As the article in Weekly standard puts it: “In other words, al Marri was in the midst of plotting an attack using a form of cyanide gas on “dams, waterways, and tunnels in the United States” when he was captured but the NY times opinion piece states that he was arrested on “ordinary criminal charges” at his home in Peoria, IL then seized and imprisoned by the military. The article goes on to say “The government, which says he has ties to Al Qaeda, designated him an enemy combatant, even though it never alleged that he was in an army or carried arms on a battlefield. He was held on the basis of extremely thin hearsay evidence.”
We now learn today that al-Marri has agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for a 15 year prison sentence. We also learn that the battlefield that al-Marri was on was United States soil (or Peoria, IL) and his arms was his laptop computer. Here is the details of the plea:“al Marri admitted that KSM had sent him to the United States and that he communicated via coded messages with the master terrorist after the September 11 attacks. And among the evidence accumulated against al Marri was his laptop, which was loaded with al Qaeda propaganda videos, unsent messages to KSM, and research on cyanide and sulfuric acid.” (It is no wonder why Vice President Biden has advised his family against traveling by train, plane and other public transportation venues.)
According to the Weekly Standard:“The defendant researched online information related to various cyanide compounds. The defendant's focus was on various cyanide substances, including hydrogen cyanide, potassium cyanide, and sodium cyanide. The defendant reviewed toxicity levels, the locations where these items could be purchased, and specific pricing of the compounds. The defendant also studied various commercial uses for cyanide compounds. The defendant also explored obtaining sulfuric acid. The defendant agrees that the government would prove at trial that sulfuric acid is a well known binary agent which is used in a hydrogen cyanide binary device to create cyanide gas, and that this is the method taught by al Qaeda for manufacturing cyanide gas. The defendant further agrees that the government would prove at trial that his research into various cyanide compounds is consistent with the type of research conducted by persons trained in camps teaching advanced poisons courses to terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. The defendant also agrees that the government would prove at trial that an almanac recovered in the defendant's residence was bookmarked at pages showing dams, waterways and tunnels in the United States, which is also consistent with al Qaeda attack planning regarding the use of cyanide gases.
In other words, al Marri was in the midst of plotting an attack using a form of cyanide gas on “dams, waterways, and tunnels in the United States” when he was captured”
The ACLU got on the same bandwagon (al-Marri detention) to try to overturn the governments right to declare him an enemy combatant. The plea agreement was made in our US Court System not a military tribunal and buttresses the President’s decision to hold this terrorist as an enemy combatant regardless of the NY Times and ACLU assertions that he was just an ordinary citizen who was wrong held on thin evidence and false assertions.
It is amazing that neither the defendant’s attorney nor the ACLU have accused the government of illegally obtaining KSM confessions or al-Marri through waterboarding and thus was coerced.Here is the 20 page plea agreement:
For now the NY Times have again been exposed for their love affair for terrorist causes and the aptly named “super lawyer” Lawrence S. Lustberg (al-Marri’s ACLU attorney) has failed to free this man onto our streets, at least for the next 15 or so years.