"Liz Cheney Thinks Bombing Victims’ Families Disagree With Ghailani Verdict, But They Say It’s ‘Appropriate’"
Last week, a federal jury in New York City convicted al-Qaeda plotter Ahmed Ghailani with conspiracy related the 1998 bombing of U.S. Embassies in Africa, but acquitted him of 279 other charges. Conservatives have been quick to the use the acquittal to claim that the U.S. Justice system simply isn’t good enough to handle terror trials, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In a statement today, Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney, founders of the neo-conservative attack group Keep America Safe even went so far as to suggest that the families of the victims agreed with their hawkish views and were displeased with the trail. “The Department of Justice says it’s pleased by the verdict. Ask the families of the victims if they’re pleased,” the statement read. Luckily, today the Washington Post did. In fact, the families asked that people like Kristol and Cheney not politicize the court’s decision, and said that they did, in fact, prefer a civilian trail for Ghailani:
But Edith Bartley, who lost two family members in the bombings and has emerged as a de facto media spokesperson for other families of victims, tells Adam Serwer in an interview that the families don’t fault the Obama Justice Department’s handling of the case. She also called on critics of Justice’s conduct to stop turning the trial and verdict into a “political issue,” which she denounced as “unacceptable.”
“We thought it was most appropriate,” Bartley said of the decision to prosecute Ghailani in civilian courts. “He was part of the original indictment in 2001, where four members of al-Qaeda were tried and convicted of these bombings. At that time he was at large, he was apprehended obviously years later, so it was most appropriate to have him in federal court.” [...]
“To make it a political issue is not at all the appropriate position for any of our lawmakers or others to take. That to us is really unacceptable.”