Washington – Charges Dropped Against Terrorist Suspect in USS Cole Bombing Trial

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    Washington – As President Obama prepared to order the Department of Defense’s Military Commission to withdraw charges against terrorist suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri on Friday afternoon, the convening authority for the Commission, Susan Crawford, withdrew the charges on her own tonight.

    The charges were withdrawn without prejudice, meaning they later can be reinstated in a military commission or pursued in a civilian court. Al-Nashiri will remain in custody.

    The original plan was for the announcement not to be made until after President Obama meets with the families of victims of terrorist attacks on 9/11 and on the U.S.S. Cole Friday afternoon, where he will assure them that this step was not done to be lenient towards al-Nashiri.

    The move is being done to stop the continued prosecution of al-Nashiri in a court system that his administration may ultimately find illegitimate, not for any other reason, sources told ABC News.

    President Obama has expressed concern about whether the military commissions set up by the Bush administration are the proper way to go forward in pursuing charges against the U.S. detainees, and on January 22 he asked all the judges supervising the trials of detainees for a continuance of 120 days, so a team of administration officials could review the best way forward.

    In almost the cases, that continuance request was granted. But last week the judge supervising the al-Nashiri trial — Army Col. James L. Pohl, the chief judge at the Guantanamo Bay war crimes court — said he would not heed President Obama’s request for a 120-day continuance, or delay, in prosecutions of terrorism suspects. Pohl called the president’s request “not reasonable” and not “in the interests of justice.”

    The arraignment of al-Nashiri is scheduled for Monday, February 9.

    Al-Nashiri has been identified as the former Persian Gulf Operations Chief for al Qaeda and the mastermind of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. In March 2007 he testified in military court  that he only confessed to certain crimes because he has been tortured for the previous five years.

    Asked for reaction to the news, Commander Kirk Lippold (Ret.), former Commander aboard the U.S.S. Cole when it was bombed on October 12, 2000, told ABC News that he was “concerned” about the move.

    “For some reason the administration says what’s been expressed through the legislature is not sufficient,” Lippold said of the military commissions, which he said had “undergone extensive legal and legislative review…They need to allow the process to go forward.”

    The 26-year Navy veteran said he found the decision to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay “disappointing,” but he seemed willing to hear the president out.

    “I’m interested in hearing what his long-term plan is on how he’s going to deal with the detainees because he hasn’t articulated that,” he said. “He may have a clear-cut path that may massage some of the concerns that I know many of the families have right now.”

    In a way, the President tied his administration’s own hands, requiring his Secretary of Defense to drop the charges. The executive order President Obama signed on closing the Guantanamo Detention Facilities states that “all proceedings” in the US Military Commissions must be “halted”:

    “The Secretary of Defense shall immediately take steps sufficient to ensure that during the pendency of the Review described in section 4 of this order, no charges are sworn, or referred to a military commission under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Rules for Military Commissions, and that all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered, and all proceedings pending in the United States Court of Military Commission Review, are halted.”

    Lippold, a Senior Military Fellow with Military Families United, served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and crafted detainee policy in the initial stages of what the Pentagon called the Global War on Terror. He was invited to meet with the President along with the other families tomorrow.

    “I’m looking forward to hearing what the president has to say tomorrow when he meets with the families of the U.S.S. Cole,” Lippold said.

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    23 COMMENTS

    1. “President Obama has expressed concern about whether the military commissions set up by the Bush administration are the proper way to go forward in pursuing charges against the U.S. detainees, and on January 22 he asked all the judges supervising the trials of detainees for a continuance of 120 days, so a team of administration officials could review the best way forward.

      Message to President Obama: The courts already heard this argument and ruled in favor of what the previous adminsitration did.

      We also have no idea what we are going to do with the Gitmo terrorists once BHO closes it down.

      Thank you 52.7% for electing this fool.

        • You mean like ISrael. Whenm will we prosecute the Israli terrorist who attacked American shipd in a false flag operation to blame the Arabs. The there;s the six dancing Israli’s on the roof top the night before 911 filming and then when it happened , they were shouting with joy, partying on the roof top because of their new successfull false flag operation. Yes , we know, millions of us know already. That is why you won’t let us post the truth because you fear your Jewish followers will learn the truth and it will crush them. truth is a hard pill to swallow, especially for Israel

    2. I guess Barak “INSAIN” Obama Is the REAL terrorists!!!! he is following what Osama Binlodin said will happen. he said “WE WILL DISTROY YOU FROM WITH IN”. and barak insain obama is he messenger!!!!

    3. I Voted for President Obama and yet I served in the armed forces as a Marine during war time. My vote had nothing to do with the war, and yet this is insane. These criminals need to be put to justice just like the others that we are holding at Gitmo and it is going to be proven in history this is one of President Obamas biggest mistakes, closing this installation. For the first time I have ever voted in my life I am ashamed of what my Elected President though my vote has done (and I voted for Bush twice). What is next Castro going to be able to put nukes on his soil? Well at least I can say I will not be voting for him in 2012 especially since he is hiring Tax evaders and lobbyist to work in his “transparent” government, while I am struggling to find a job and most likely going to owe taxes because I needed to cash in my 401k to survive and I will find a way to pay my taxes and I am dead broke living off of unemployment insurance and getting ready to loose my house. Historical part out of the way…take two .

        • Because I truly believe that we needed a change from politics as usual and I still believe his message of bi-partisanship amongst our elected officials. To me McCains choice of a VP was not the best that could have been made and was only to counter the historical candidate the Democrats had. I have grown sick of the republican scare tactics of recent years, using a tragedy to instill fear in the public. My track record for voting for the President has been since 1980: Rwin Rwin Rwin Rloss Libloss Rwin Rwin Dwin. I have become more independent over the years because I do not believe in the issues the parties use in unison to keep us separated. I find it funny, liberals believe in abortion (killing) and yet do not want the guns (not killing) and conservatives want the guns but do not want abortion. If we read between the lines on both political agendas we would see that “We the People” are carefully separated so we really do not see what is really going on. The selling out of the American people. The plan is working.

          my 3 cents back to the job hunt wooohooo.

    4. We really need more people to pay attention.

      The charges were dropped without prejuidice. This means that they can be refiled at any time. This is explicitly stated in the article.

      There has been considerable litigation over these courts; and there is a lot of reason to believe (especially given statements from military officers who have been involved with them) that as currently constituted they have serious issues.

      If the case were allowed to proceed, jeopardy would attach. That would mean that if there was a fundamental issue with the prosecutions case, it would be entirely possible that no further charges could be placed.

      In short, the Judge in this case determined that he would not grant the continuance that the prosecution requested. By dropping charges without prejuidice, they get the same result.

      • Stop apologizing for this fool for a president. Open your eyes. What you are writing is all baloney. You have absolutely no sympathy for the families of the victims. How would you feel if it was your father, mother, son, daughter, etc. Would you be supporting Osama.

        • Fair trials and due process for everyone. Especially when the accused are unpopular or reviled. If you don’t think that that value is an important one for Yidden, you’re a fool.

        • Oh I am not sorry, I am just ashamed for a moment. I think gitmo closing a mistake though I knew it was going to happen if he was elected. Dave actually put it into better perspective for me from what he said about “If the case were allowed to proceed, jeopardy would attach.” He is right therefore like I said in my other reply one side using an issue to keep us at each others throats. One thing that needs to happen is stopping the childish name calling, and scare tactics from both sides. I will not even start to go into the religious aspects of keeping us separated. Oh I have lost a lot of friends, brothers and sisters in arms over course of time, the Marnie Barracks in Beriut for one. Have you ever served your country in the armed services Michal or only one to reap the benifits of their protection of your freedom? We see more than most can handle.

    5. I am very afraid for this country. It appears to me that Obama’s true religion is being revealed. He is a muslim through and through. I feel so sorry for the families of the victims. They must be in so much pain. We should all protest by calling the whitehouse.

    6. “President Obama has expressed concern about whether the military commissions set up by the Bush administration are the proper way to go forward in pursuing charges against the U.S. detainees, and on January 22 he asked all the judges supervising the trials of detainees for a continuance of 120 days, so a team of administration officials could review the best way forward.” Considering that President Obama wasn’t elected by the detainees but by American citizens much more closely affected by the 9/11 WTC attack and USS Cole bombing, perhaps he should express concern for the constituency that he is supposed to be representing instead of the people who have sworn to kill us currently imprisoned in Guantanamo.

    7. I guess Barrack Sadaam Hussien is showing his true colors. Why should any terrorist be afriad of the war on terror when the leader of the free world is a muslim and a terrorist sympathizer.

    8. just put out the welcome mat for any lunatic that wants to blow up America. We are so deep in dog doo that there wont be anything left by the time our Pres. is voted out of office!!

    9. Did anyone doubt that this Socialist fool will do what he is doing. Only stupid liberals may have been deceived. People, be ready for a rocky ride. Hopefully these liberal nut jobs will not do too much damage until we can change the Congress in 2010 and send Hussein Obama back in 2012 to do the only thing he knows how to do and that is be a street thug.

      • No one has been freed. No one has been released from anything. All that has happened is that the trial is delayed while the Administration makes sure that the trial will be fair, and won’t run into more issues later.

    10. This decision is completely meshugah. President Obama is clearly an appeaser of Muslim Terrorists. We as Yidden can already testify that “Peace in our time” style appeasement didn’t work with the Nazis YMSVZ, nor will it work with the Muslims. America must fight the Islamic Nazis hard or we will be hurt by them. They must be defeated on the battlefield. This is meshugah and I feel so badly for the families of the Cole sailors that were murdered and the people in the Military who worked so hard to put these animals in jail and bring evidence against them to stop them. May the Riboni Shel Olam protect us from the Muslim beasts and punish them for murdering the innocent and bringing pain to their families. Amen

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