The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

October 16, 2013

U.S. courts convict terrorists drag on

(Continued)

But in the midst of a major budget debate in Washington, the matter got little attention.

The White House, which once fought back against such criticism, now shows little interest in renewing a debate that proved to be a political distraction.

So the administration said nothing when al-Libi arrived in the United States on Saturday. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, issued a two-sentence statement Monday, saying only that al-Libi was due in court to answer charges dating back more than a decade.

Al-Libi, whose full name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, is accused of helping plan and conduct surveillance for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

“A federal civilian criminal trial is by far the safest and the one that would raise the least complex set of legal problems for the administration,” said Steve Vladick, a professor at American University law school.

That’s because al-Libi was indicted more than a decade ago, which meant the government did not need any evidence it gathered against him during his interrogation.

Intelligence officials questioned him for a week aboard the USS San Antonio. Interrogations at sea have replaced CIA “black sites” as the U.S. government’s preferred method for holding suspected terrorists and questioning them without access to lawyers.

Al-Libi’s al-Qaida ties date back to the terrorist group’s early years, according to court documents. That would make him a valuable source of information about the group’s history.

In an interview last week on the PBS program “NewsHour,” Lisa Monaco, the president’s homeland security adviser, said the first priority in capturing al-Libi was to get intelligence.

“I think what it shows is a very clear strategy by the U.S. government to use all the tools, frankly, in our toolbox to disrupt threats, to go after — consistent with the rule of law — individuals who pose a threat, to get intelligence and then ultimately to make a decision about what the best disposition is,” Monaco said.

So far, in every instance that the Obama administration has had a terrorist suspect in custody, it has found the best disposition was the federal court system.

Text Only
National News
  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 24, 2014

  • Arizona high court delays planned execution

    Arizona's highest court on Wednesday temporarily halted the execution of a condemned inmate so it could consider a last-minute appeal.

    July 23, 2014

  • Obama declares Washington wildfire emergency

    Wetter, cooler weather has helped firefighters make progress in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control.

    July 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers face long to-do list, uncertain success WASHINGTON (AP) — A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation’s immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it’s time to see whether it can just do th

    July 23, 2014

  • 2008 law at center of border debate WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalls turning on her television and seeing a young Chinese girl crying before a judge, without even an interpreter to help her after surviving a harrowing journey to the U.S.That was the genesis of a law six

    July 23, 2014

  • SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry — the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds — at least for some money funds used by big investors.The idea is to minimize the

    July 23, 2014

  • Working-class whites lose voting dominance in Ohio COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — For the first time, working-class whites make up less than half of Ohio’s eligible voters, part of a demographic shift in a key Midwestern swing state that is pushing political parties to widen their appeal beyond the once-domin

    July 23, 2014

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

AP Video
Facebook