Fake outrages are not just a right wing phenomenon. Adam Serwer deftly debunks a fake outrage of the leftist kind: The Defense Bill Passed. So What Does It Do? | Mother Jones:
So what exactly does the bill do? It says that the president has to hold a foreign Al Qaeda suspect captured on US soil in military detention—except it leaves enough procedural loopholes that someone like convicted underwear bomber and Nigerian citizen Umar Abdulmutallab could actually go from capture to trial without ever being held by the military. It does not, contrary to what many media outlets have reported, authorize the president to indefinitely detain without trial an American citizen suspected of terrorism who is captured in the US. A last minute compromise amendment adopted in the Senate, whose language was retained in the final bill, leaves it up to the courts to decide if the president has that power, should a future president try to exercise it. But if a future president does try to assert the authority to detain an American citizen without charge or trial, it won’t be based on the authority in this bill.
So it’s simply not true, as the Guardian wrote yesterday, that the the bill “allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.” When the New York Times editorial page writes that the bill would “strip the F.B.I., federal prosecutors and federal courts of all or most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hand it off to the military,” or that the “legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial,” they’re simply wrong.
Just in time for the weekly news cycle, a new batch of classified documents from Guantanamo Bay has been released by Wikileaks, with details on the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leaders on 9/11.
The argument that terrorism cases can’t be successfully tried in civilian court is now officially defunct.
The right wing blogosphere and media are gibbering in unison again, over the outcome in the trial of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani. Some quotes: “a major fail,” “the shame of the terror-appeasing left,” “the latest blow to Team Obama,” “a full blown fiasco,” etc.
All this raging is because Ghailani, who was on trial for his role in the 1998 terrorist bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was acquitted of more than 280 counts, but convicted of only one count of conspiracy.
I’m puzzled why they think this is such a fiasco, though, since that one charge alone carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison, and there’s a very good chance he’ll get life. I don’t see how that translates to a “major fail” for the government, and I seriously doubt Ghailani considers a 20-year minimum sentence a “major win.”
And we should note that there’s a reason why Ghailani was acquitted of the other charges: because the evidence was obtained during the Bush administration, while Ghailani was at Guantanamo Bay.
By torturing him.
So it was excluded.
Speaking of “fiascos” and “major fails.”