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March 27, 2010

Holder's "Hundreds" of Successful Terror Prosecutions Claim Crumbles

Yesterday afternoon I tweeted:

Friday document dump. DOJ releases terror prosecution stats: #tcot

Because I just knew that if DOJ was going public with the information late on a Friday afternoon, it would be bad for AG Holder. The Obama Administration has had a Friday document dump almost every week for a year, where they try to bury bad news. Yesterday's was no different.

But the claim that there are 403 terrorists in custody is absurd. DOJ arrives at this figure by counting what it describes as two categories of case. The first involves real terrorism charges. Sounds fair enough, but what types of "terrorism charges" are they counting? Well they include, for example, convictions under statutes barring "Animal Enterprise Terrorism," "Narco-terrorism," "crimes against internationally protected persons" (which can be terrorism-related but are not necessarily), hostage-taking (ditto), and offenses like harboring terrorists and material support to terrorism (which are surely terrorism-related, and involve assistance provided to terrorists, but are charges generally brought against facilitators, not actual terrorists).

Not exactly KSM. But these Category I cases, though they blatantly goose up DOJ's numbers, don't account for most of DOJ's claimed 403 terrorists. Over sixty percent belong to "Category II," which Justice, without a hint of apology, describes as follows:

Category II cases include defendants charged with violating a variety of other statutes where the investigation involved an identified link to international terrorism. These Category II cases include offenses such as those involving fraud, immigration, firearms, drugs, false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice, as well as general conspiracy charges [i.e., cases that charge other kinds of conspiracies, not terrorism conspiracies].

So Holder's idiotic claim that the criminal justice system is suited to trying Al Qaeda terrorists, particularly the Guantanamo Bay detainees, comes crumbling down. Unless they're planning to charge KSM with perjury, they'd be better off sticking with military tribunals.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:41 PM

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