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Charges Dismissed Against USS Cole Suspect

By Wyatt Earp | February 6, 2009

OBAMA-COMMISSIONS/AL-NASHIRIRemember when the military was set to seek the death penalty for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (left) for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole? Well, it appears that that threat – and the entire case – is on hold indefinitely.

With the dismissal of charges, this entire case now hangs in jeopardy.


MIAMI/WASHINGTON – The judge overseeing U.S. war crimes court at Guantanamo on Thursday dismissed the charges against a Saudi prisoner accused of plotting the bombing of the Navy warship USS Cole, the Pentagon said.

Oh yeah, 17 American sailors were murdered in that attack. In case you missed it.

The move avoided a showdown between the U.S. military and President Barack Obama. It canceled a hearing that had been set for Monday in the Guantanamo war crimes court, despite the fact Obama had ordered a freeze in proceedings there.

This is a perfect example of separation of powers (U.S. Constitution, Article I Section 8.). Until Obama had the charges dismissed, the judge was well within his rights to continue the proceedings.

Susan Crawford, the retired judge who oversees the commissions, issued a ruling dismissing without prejudice all charges against Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, said Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander J.D. Gordon.

Oh, this is just fantastic. And it shows where the priorities of the Obama administration lie.

Nashiri is accused of plotting the attack on the Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000.


The USS Cole, days after the attack.

The dismissal of the charges eliminates the need for Monday’s hearing but al-Nashiri would remain in U.S. custody and could be recharged under the commissions system or a replacement drawn up by the Obama administration.

He could be recharged, but considering Obama’s feelings about Club Gitmo, one has to wonder if charges ever will be refiled.

The White House said Obama would meet on Friday with families who lost loved ones in the Cole bombing and the September 11 attacks in order to discuss his plans for the Guantanamo. (H/T – )

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that meeting. I can guarantee those folks will not be pleased with the president.

This incident will undoubtedly open a Pandora’s Box of defense arguments when (and if) charges are ever refiled. There will be defense motion after defense motion arguing that al-Nashiri was the victim of double jeopardy and that the US violated al-Nashiri’s habeus corpus rights. While on the surface, these arguments would seem groundless, they may be just the loophole al-Nashiri needs for his freedom.


Topics: War On Terror | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Charges Dismissed Against USS Cole Suspect”

  1. B.C. Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    This incident will undoubtedly open a Pandora’s Box of defense arguments when (and if) charges are ever refiled. There will be defense motion after defense motion arguing that al-Nashiri was the victim of double jeopardy and that the US violated al-Nashiri’s habeus corpus rights.

    If it’s a military tribunal that rehears the case (if Teh One™ doesn’t order his soul mates to be released), I doubt that there would be any trouble getting a conviction. The rules for military tribunals are different than civilian courts in the US. Even regular ol’ US military trial rules are completely different than you’d see in civilian court. (I know from firsthand experience. I was involved in a very serious general courts martial during my time in the USAF. No, I wasn’t the one on trial, but it sure as Hell felt like it during the Article 31 hearing!)

    All that being said, Obambi choosing this flying c*nt to be in charge of the overseeing Gitmo trials is like asking Mullah Omar to oversee the punishment of Splodeydopers™ caught before completing their mission. IOW’s, a bad idea all around. But, after seeing the rest of his picks over the past few weeks, it’s pretty much par for the course.

  2. sheik yer'mami Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    They only want to give him a chance to fight the jihad on the battlefield for another day.

    He will be killed and he will die for Allah like a good Muslim, because that’s what good Muslims do.

    When will that be understood in America?

  3. Old Soldier Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I fear this is only the start of what obama is going to destroy in our country. I have been sick and offwork for the past 8 days, and with nothing to do but watch TV, Fox etc. I have an overload of bullshit. I now know more than I needed to know about the true calling of obama and him minions. We are in deep crap.

  4. Ky Person Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I hoped that maybe when he got in office and saw the Super Secret Stuff, he’d realized that there are bad guys out there who want to blow things up and kill us.

    I was wrong.

    We are so screwed.

  5. Jason Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    One would think that an intellectual of HopeyChange’s caliber would realize that freeing these animals will lead to more terrorism.

    Then again, with the recycling of the Clinton burnouts, surrender is only a press conference away…

  6. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    B.C. – My hope is yours: the a military tribunal is chosen here. If it’s a civilian court, God help us.

    Sheik – I’m all for that. Hell, I’m for all radical Muslims meeting Allah real soon.

    Old Soldier – Well, the good news is that you don’t have to pay taxes. At least, as long as you get a position in his administration.

    Ky person – Maybe he has a master plan that borders on genius. If he does, I haven’t seen it yet. Although the former C.O. of the Cole said he was “pleased” with his meeting with Obama. Unfortunately, he also said he didn’t understand why he was closing Gitmo.

    I don’t understand it either. Like some other President, Obama decided to close Gitmo without an exit strategy. Does anyone even know what he is doing with the detainees yet? I didn’t think so.

    Jason – All this will do is make the choice between “arrest or shoot” much easier for our troops. What’s the point in taking prisoners if they won’t face justice?

  7. USA_Admiral Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I guess this is the Change part of the Obama platform.

  8. JumpOut Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Yeah, admiral, he has had the most effective presidency ever. He promised us all hope and change. He changed the nations stance on terrorism, and now we all hope the country will survive.

  9. Alan B Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Pity that Gitmo was used at all. As far as I can work out some () were seized as fighters pretending to be civilians and not in uniform in a war zone. As such, the Geneva Concentions do not apply. Why some at least were not tried by military tribunal as soon as they were caught and where appropriate shot I have no idea.

    Soldiers in uniform under military discipline is one thing. Terrorists attacking and killing in disguise as civilians and using civilians as human shields is another thing altogether.

  10. Rick Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    The Obamanation is looking out for his muslim brothers

  11. Lergnom Says:
    February 8th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    What to do with the Gitmo detainees? How about Alcatraz?