December 6, 2005, - 4:06 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
We’ve been predicting for some time (here and here) that Islamic Jihad founder and chief Sami Al-Arian would walk, and we’re sad to say that we were right. Unfortunately, today, he was acquitted on 8 key terror-related counts, and the jury deadlocked on others (we doubt he’ll be retried on those). His co-defendants had similar results. All will go free.
While we can’t say whether this was an O.J.-style jury, we can say that the “prosecution” team was a Marcia Clark/Christopher Darden-style set of incompetent Assistant U.S. Attorneys and the judge was definitely Dancing Itoh material. This case should set back prosecutors’, including Cherie Krigsman’s, reputation as tough on terrorists–not to mention their careers, which should be over. Ditto for those at Justice Dept. Headquarters in Washington, who seem to screw every terror case up on purpose. Unfortunately, all will keep their jobs, but it sets America back tremendously.
Krigsman and company threw in everything but the kitchen sink in this case, putting several jurors to sleep frequently during the case. They took five months to present her case, when it was strong and could have been presented in a much shorter time with less extraneous matter. The defense didn’t even make a case. They didn’t have to. Prosecutors did it for them.
They–and the rest of the Justice Department–could have taken some lessons from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino, who knew how to win a terrorism case, not how to blow it, like Al-Arian prosecutors did. Unfortunately, the P.C. Justice Department, which really doesn’t want to win these cases and dare upset the Muslim world that hates us, chose to destroy Convertino’s reputation and get his verdict against terrorists overturned. It set the tone for this, the latest in a string of terrorism failures.
The lesson here: An incompetent Justice Department that repeatedly loses jury cases against terrorists should not be entrusted with a vital national security matter. We hope that, once Judge Alito becomes Justice Alito, the Bush Administration will revisit the case of enemy combatants and treating terrorists as a national security case–not a legal matter.
Tags: Al-Arian Clan Krigsman, Al-Arian Walk Watch, Alito, America, attorney, Bush administration, Cherie Krigsman, chief, Christopher Darden-style, Debbie Schlussel, Department of Justice, founder and chief, George Bush, Goes Free Thanks to Incompetent, Islamic Jihad, judge, Laura Bush, Richard Convertino, Sami Al-Arian, terrorist, Washington