Former Gov. George Pataki apparently thinks that if you repeat yourself enough times and keep regurgitating the same lies over and over again, eventually that makes you right. Pataki along with a lot of others on the right apparently aren't too happy about the outcome of the trial of now convicted terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani.
A Federal District Court in Manhattan convicted Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani yesterday on one count of of conspiracy for the 1998 terror bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. While Ghailani — the first former Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court — was acquitted of more than 280 other charges, he faces 20 years to life in prison.
On cue, conservatives are outraged at the result of the trial (even though he’ll spend time in a maximum security prison for least 20 years), claiming he should have been tried in a military tribunal. Liz Cheney’s group Keep America Safe claimed that “bad ideas have dangerous consequences. … We urge the president: End this reckless experiment. Reverse course. Use the military commissions at Guantanamo that Congress has authorized.” (The Center for American Progress’ Ken Gude notes on the Wonk Room that military commissions “deliver shorter sentences than civilian courts” and “the minimum sentence that Ghailani can receive is longer than the combined sentences” of three of the four detainees who have been convicted in military commissions.)
The extremely patient Jonathan Turley wrote about the case at his blog as well and Rep. Peter King's similar reaction to Pataki's here to the verdict.
In a truly disturbing response to the verdict, Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) denounced the jury verdict as “a total miscarriage of justice” and insisted “this tragic verdict demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama administration’s decision to try Al Qaeda terrorists in civilian courts.” Of course, no one would accuse New Yorkers as being ambivalent on terrorism.
Nevertheless, Rep. King’s solution to a jury of citizens acquitting an accused person is to rig the system to avoid such juries in the future. It is the most raw demonstration that the interest in the tribunal system is the view that it is outcome determinative and pre-set for convictions. Rep. King appears to be joining the Queen of Hearts that we must have a system that guarantees “sentence first, verdict afterwards.”
Matthews sub Michael Smerconish completely lost control of this interview and allowed George Pataki to control it and talk over everyone. I think Pataki's been going to the same media training school as Ron Christie where they teach you to talk over everyone else, never come up for air, filibuster, feign outrage and hope you run the clock out so the other guests never get a chance to get a word in. This was just a shameless display by Pataki defending torture.
UPDATE: Transcript via Lexis Nexis below the fold.