April 30, 2009

Al-Marri Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorism, But This is Another Failure for Lawfare
— Gabriel Malor

The shameful Al-Marri case is nearly played out; he pleaded guilty to a single charge of providing material support for terrorism. Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri was arrested in December 2001 on suspicion of being a sleeper agent. He was then held as an enemy combatant starting in 2003.

He is the poster-child for the failures of the criminal justice system to cope with the War on Terrorism.

In 2002, Al-Marri was charged in Illinois with making false statements to the FBI and to financial institutions, identity fraud, and credit card fraud. Those charges were dropped when President Bush designated him an enemy combatant in 2003. He was moved to the Naval Brig in Charleston.

He then challenged his detention in court. The Fourth Circuit was happy to oblige and ordered that he be released or transfered back to civilian control and charged with a crime. The en banc court realized that was pure, unfiltered insanity--death pact style--and decided to take another crack at it. The result was perhaps the most fractured, incoherent, and embarrassing decision ever issued by a circuit court of appeals. Here's what I wrote at the time. A taste:

An en banc panel of the Fourth Circuit announced its decision in a Guantanamo detainee case, Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli (PDF) today and it is a mindnumbing 216 pages long. The decision itself is per curiam which means the court came to a conclusion without assigning a specific judge to present it. Why? There are nine judges and seven different opinions, including two different 5-4 decisions and four additional decisions "concurring in part and dissenting in part." This is what the War on Terror looks like in the federal courts. It is an unholy mess.

This was the result of the Supreme Court's abandonment in Boumediene v. Bush of over 200 years of constitutional law. Terrifyingly, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Al-Marri's case this term. Before that could happen, the Justice Department (first under Bush and then under Obama) decided that maybe civilian control would be a better idea after all.

On February 27, 2009, he was indicted for providing material support to al-Qaeda and conspiring with others to provide material support to al-Qaeda. He was transferred out of the Naval Brig and back to Illinois, where the whole thing started seven years ago. He initially pleaded not guilty and the case was set for trial.

Today, he pleaded guilty to the material support charge. The other charge was dismissed. The details are chilling:

Papers filed in connection with Al-Marri’s guilty plea paint an unusually detailed portrait of his dealings with Al Qaeda and, in particular, with one of the group’s leaders, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM. Al-Marri admitted to attending terrorist training camps run by Al Qaida and that he traveled to the United States at the direction of KSM, who told him to enter the U.S. no later than September 10, 2001, one day before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The plea agreement says Al-Marri, using the code name “Abdo,” was to keep in touch with Mohammed, whose code name was “Muk,” by sending e-mails to him at a hotmail account, HOR70@hotmail.com. Details of the arrangements and the codes were found at an Al Qaeda safehouse in Pakistan, the plea deal says.

Court papers also say Mohammed arranged for Al-Marri to meet in Dubai with a financier of the September 11 attacks, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, who gave Al-Marri $10,000 to fund his travels to the U.S. Al-Marri entered the U.S. on September 10, 2001 and enrolled at Bradley University in Illinois. After the 9/11 attacks, he made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to contact KSM and al-Hawsawi by phone and e-mail, the documents say.

The plea agreement also says that Al-Marri conducted research on the effect of cyanide gas and on waterways, dams and tunnels where a terrorist attack could have been mounted.

Under the plea deal, the government agreed not to seek to detain al-Marri again, either through criminal charges or military detention, based on his involvement with al- Qaida prior to his arrest in December 2001. Court papers say he has agreed to be deported to Saudi Arabia or Qatar when his sentence is complete—or possibly sooner.

He faces a possible sentence of 15 years, but may receive credit for time served.

AG Holder is crowing that this is a victory for justice and the War on Terror:

“Without a doubt, this case is a grim reminder of the seriousness of the threat we as a nation still face,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement. “But it also reflects what we can achieve when we have faith in our criminal justice system and are unwavering in our commitment to the values upon which the nation was founded and the rule of law.”

Holder is a deluded fool. The American government walks away from this case with its tail between its legs. It was thwarted at every turn by our own legal system. Read back over the details of what Al-Marri was up to and tell me with a straight face that justice was served. The criminal justice system failed us.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:13 PM | Comments (58)
Post contains 890 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Agreed this is a half-a-loaf outcome at best, but I'd argue that the courts were somewhat forced into this by the Bush administration's perpetual diddling around on the rules. They needed to establish consistent standards early on and stick with them, but they did nothing.

Posted by: mrkwong at April 30, 2009 04:17 PM (G8Eo0)

2 Jesus, gabe. You're a lawyer?

What's a little due process among friends, eh?

Posted by: Deputy Dawg at April 30, 2009 04:19 PM (2CFkQ)

3 The upside of lawfare is, these punk ass camel jock's will finally get to be introduced to our fine justice system.

Hey,  Achmed what will you have on your salad tosssing, Ranch or Bleu Cheese ?

Posted by: Blazer at April 30, 2009 04:19 PM (+FzLa)

4 They needed to establish consistent standards early on and stick with them, but they did nothing.

Posted by: mrkwong at April 30, 2009 09:17 PM (G8Eo0)

They were trying to deal with moonbat judges and inconsistent courts.

Posted by: AmishDude at April 30, 2009 04:21 PM (T0NGe)

5 Yeah, it's not like this guy was an actual terrorist, who's now admitted he was a terrorist, intent on killing American civilians.

Posted by: Deputy Dawg is erg at April 30, 2009 04:21 PM (tHvih)

6 Didja ever notice Holder looks like Okra's boyfriend Steadman?

Posted by: Rushbabe at April 30, 2009 04:26 PM (LKkE8)

7 6 Wow you are right!!Could it be he IS?????

Posted by: steevy at April 30, 2009 04:34 PM (/70yu)

8 #6-I said that a long time ago, and one night when Miller was on O'Reilly he said it, and my hubby looked at me and asked was I sending notes to Miller. LOL> Srsly, he looks just like him. I'd rather have Stedman, can we do a swap, ya think?

Posted by: di butler (New and Improved. Now with 20% more boobs!) at April 30, 2009 04:47 PM (qPIRP)


May have failed us. Didn't fail O.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at April 30, 2009 05:04 PM (CSFje)

10 Why is there support for Lawfare over just say, shooting this guy?

Answer: Lawfare does not threaten the cultural, political, social, and economic power held by the SWPL crowd, and shooting this guy does.

Lawfare is not going away. We could lose cities and there'd be mass support for it. Yuppies, and so on win under Lawfare. Lawfare limits the responses to terrorism, and keeps the current elite in power unchallenged along with their social agenda and viewpoints.

Something doing the sensible thing and just shooting these guys out of hand would overturn. THEN power might actually flow to both the people and the socially conservative military. We can't have that.

Posted by: whiskey at April 30, 2009 05:10 PM (L03mw)

11 #6-And another way to think of it, it appears that Oprah and Obama have the same taste in mens.

Posted by: di butler (New and Improved. Now with 20% more boobs!) at April 30, 2009 05:25 PM (qPIRP)

12 What was the nature of the material support he was alleged to have provided? 

Posted by: Adriana Lima at April 30, 2009 05:35 PM (DJjeC)

13 Seems to me there was some discussion on Capital Hill re: connecting dots or something, now it looks like certain persons are not only disconnecting the dots, they're trying to erase them all together.  What would the 9/11 commission think.  My what a difference a couple of months make.

Posted by: SJR2 at April 30, 2009 05:38 PM (mR1TJ)

14 Holder is a fucking retard. This administration is intent on making the country not only vulnerable, but is going out of its way to invite an aggressive response from AQ.

The sheer incompetency, and naivete this pile of assholes shows is staggering.

Posted by: UncleFacts at April 30, 2009 05:41 PM (vZVv7)


Adrianna can't you read?   Or is your understanding is so limited that you cannot grasp what he did.  Or perhaps English isn't your native language.  Could it be your from Ottawa and speak Canadian as our Great and Glorious Leader would say?  Perhaps you're from Tijuana and speak Mexican?



Posted by: Honest Cloud at April 30, 2009 06:03 PM (0Qynq)





 And yes, I'm yelling.

Posted by: di butler (New and Improved. Now with 20% more boobs!) at April 30, 2009 06:09 PM (qPIRP)

17 I'll have to insist somebody show me the material support he is alleged to have  provided.  Insults are great and everything but I'm genuinely curious to see the material support; fifteen years seems a lengthy sentence for enrolling in college, doing a google search on dams and cynanide, and trying (and failing) to email one's handler.  By "show me this material support" I don't mean "call me a Nazi", btw, I mean "show me this material support".

Posted by: Adriana Lima at April 30, 2009 06:38 PM (DJjeC)

18 I wonder if "Ole Wanted Dead Or Alive"will go to Pakistan and "get" OSAMA BIN LADEN now that he ain't so busy with his hard job of decidin'. Of course, if  OSAMA BIN LADEN goes to Europe, Codpiece won't be able to follow him there because of ALL those war crime warrants. India is out, they  don't like Pakistanis. China would be less of an obstacle as them Chinese love ANYBODY that believes in nationalizing banks.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 30, 2009 06:46 PM (8ghIo)

19 Guys, he pleaded guilty and stipulated the facts. No evidence required.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at April 30, 2009 07:25 PM (rWvvO)

20 "19 Guys, he pleaded guilty and stipulated the facts. No evidence required."

I'm not asking to see the evidence, I'm asking to see the basis for the accusation, the difference is nontrivial.

You're smart enough to know that people plead guilty to all kinds of stuff when threatened with a long sentence, in order to procure a shorter sentence.  I think that's what happened here, they just pulled a random charge out of their ass and he took the plea bargain.  Fifteen years though?  Wouldn't, say, three years and a swift deportation suffice?  Stick a chip in him and track him electronically if he's really that much of a threat.  Are you sure you're OK with guys being convicted of crimes they haven't even really been accused of with any basis whatsoever?  Can't they work a plea bargain deal featuring a conviction of something he actually did?  It's just a very weird case from what I'm seeing.

Posted by: Adriana Lima at April 30, 2009 07:58 PM (DJjeC)

21 Ever notice how leftists are always willing to extend terrorists the benefit of the doubt, free of charge and without any counterevidence required, that they would never, under any circumstances, extend to any conservative even if the conservative had reams of corroborating evidence and a hundred witnesses backing him up?


Posted by: Qwinn at April 30, 2009 08:00 PM (/y1J0)

22 "This case . . . reflects what we can achieve when we have faith in our criminal justice system"

"Achieve"? Give the man an Unintentional Irony Award.

Posted by: arhooley at April 30, 2009 08:08 PM (uCQYM)

23 Ever notice how warbloggers call anyone who disagrees with them leftists, even obvious paleo-cons who have expended several megabytes expounding upon their anti-leftist paleo-con beliefs?  Are words deprecated?  Does debate even exist in nature, or is it inherently statist?  I can has World War III to settle the issue once and for all, nao?  Debate seems an insufficiently robust response to the shit I have to deal with these days.

Posted by: Adriana Lima at April 30, 2009 08:16 PM (dlnIP)

24 I'd release him and let him stay with Adriana.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at April 30, 2009 10:23 PM (9Zeza)

25 Are words deprecated?

Posted by: Adriana Lima at May 01, 2009 01:16 AM (dlnIP)

No, but they are Googlable.  Two minutes work leads us to Title 18, Section 2339A of the US Code:

Definitions.— As used in this section— (1) the term “material support or resources” means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials;

He provided his own willing ass. Being a terrorist is providing material support to terrorism. Case closed.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at April 30, 2009 10:31 PM (Ekfjs)

26 O that's right!  You're that racist Derbyshire clone from the other thread.  My apologies.  I actually usually figure that those are leftist mobies looking to post stuff that will let other lefties point fingers and say, "See the racist bastards at Ace?"  I do realize there -are- actual, real, racist Derbyshire clones in the world, but generally they do more harm than good in every possible way, and there's really little harm in mistaking them for mobies or lefties, so actually, I'll retract my apology and continue to treat you like one.


Posted by: Qwinn at April 30, 2009 11:00 PM (/y1J0)

27 Actually, I should take that back... Derbyshire doesn't deserve that comparison.  He's an ass, but I've yet to see him say anything as outrageously racist as Adriana's "You know, I've never met an ethnic who wasn't a leftist" bile.


Posted by: Qwinn at April 30, 2009 11:52 PM (/y1J0)

28 So, um? What? Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, and Pol Pot are socially conservative? No, wait. That's insulting to those fellas. Seems that 'socially conservative' now means, what? A Klebold/Harris approach to life? Lord. Ya know. George Washington, George Marshall, and Dwight Eisenhower, and others would be lined up and drawing straws to see who tried to kick some sense into your psycho ass first. Since when does, in military terms, being Section 8 material qualify someone as 'conservative' and a man of the people? Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.

Posted by: Errol Bagel at May 01, 2009 12:34 AM (5TMbJ)


In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful,

The only recompense of those who wage war against Allah, Allah's messenger, and spread mischief in the earth is that they are killed or they are crucified or their hands and their feet are cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.  That is disgrace from them in this world, and a great punishment in the hereafter, except those who repent before you have power over them;  so you should know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.  (Sura 5:33)

Perhaps your law courts have read the Qur'an and they know this to be true and are moving to Sharia Law slowly.  (Sura 2:29)

Posted by: 7HEAVENS at May 01, 2009 01:21 AM (tX4J/)

30 Gabriel Malor, as a scholar you should read the Qur'an.  (Sura 2:29)

Posted by: 7HEAVENS at May 01, 2009 01:23 AM (tX4J/)

31 What is it with the damn trolls lately? We have no election going so why are they here?

Posted by: Vic at May 01, 2009 01:37 AM (f6os6)


As bad as this is we will soon be getting worse. El Duce has already said they will release the Chinese terrorists in the U.S. and willgive them aid. We all said that was coming.


The question here then becomes “is El Duce giving material support to terrorists?”. This is especially a pertinent question since, not only does it apply to the Gitmo releases, but also to the aid lackage for Hamas.


The silver lining? This may sound harsg, but the people most likely to pay for these outrageous things are the very people in the urban environments who voted for the douch bag. All I can say is, you asked for it, you got it, and it ain’t a Toyota.

Posted by: Vic at May 01, 2009 01:54 AM (f6os6)

33 Take no prisoners will solve this problem.

Posted by: Sgt. Rock at May 01, 2009 02:17 AM (cWg6W)


Debate seems an insufficiently robust response to the shit I have to deal with these days.

Agreed.  Penicillin is probably a better response for the shit you're dealing with.

Posted by: VJay at May 01, 2009 02:51 AM (gQ+XA)

35 sounds like a I hate the United States rant

Posted by: John ryan at May 01, 2009 02:57 AM (wHLW0)


sounds like a I hate the United States rant

Blah blah blah.  Look at me, I'm a cookie-cutter liberal twit with a pathological need to troll conservative blogs and scribble incoherent quasi-sentences that never, ever make any kind of point or address an existing one.


But, you're right, jackass, we "hate the United States" because we don't want to dick around playing ridiculous legal games with people that are card-carrying members of the "hate the United States" club and are eager to visit violence upon it.

Got it.  And DIAF.

Posted by: VJay at May 01, 2009 03:04 AM (gQ+XA)

37 Yeah, we could put a chip in him and track him.  But I would prefer we put a bullet in him... it makes the tracking a hell of lot easier.

Whoever tried to blame Bush for inconsistent rules is an idiot.  The courts had several bites at the apple and changed the rules every damn time.  They even staged a coup and exerted powers that are clearly arrogated to the congress and the president.  We will be dealing with the mess they created for a long time.

Posted by: Ben Franklin at May 01, 2009 03:09 AM (qpkkH)


The criminal justice system failed screwed us, exactly as it has been designed to do by 50 years of diddling by the left.

Posted by: sherlock at May 01, 2009 03:10 AM (L4jPh)

39 The criminal justice system failed screwed us, exactly as it has been designed to do by 50 years of diddling by the left the "adults".


But, but, but the adults are in charge.

Posted by: rockhead at May 01, 2009 04:12 AM (DvaIL)


sounds like a I'm a stupid troll rant

oh, wait...

Posted by: john Ryan at May 01, 2009 04:29 AM (f7A+e)

41 Qwinn, I've had to clean up a few of Adriana's droppings, too. Best policy is to not feed the troll. He'll get bored and wander back to Stormfront eventually.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at May 01, 2009 05:15 AM (ztNrs)


Now this butt monkey gets 15 years (or 8, or 4, or ....?) to recruit American muslims in prison for The Jihad.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

Posted by: chuck in st paul at May 01, 2009 05:24 AM (jDpso)




Do you speak Austrian?  Obviously you're off your meds which I find so sexy.  I do love trannies who express themselves like Obama's teleprompter on LSD.


I bet you look like Lt Whorf too.

Posted by: Honest Cloud at May 01, 2009 06:06 AM (0Qynq)


Ever notice how white males, bitter gun owners, people who cling to their religion persecute trannies like me just because I like four year old girls?  Its so unfair and inhumane.  Ever notice how the people react to people who speak Austrian like me, they envy us because I'm multi lingual, I speak Californian, all 57 varities of languages spoken in the USA, even New Yorkese.  Are words devalued or perhaps inflated or even hyper inflated?  Do you neanderthal cons, chimpie cons not value the truth as only I can know it and explain it due to the voices I heard in my head?

Does debate exist in nature or is it statist or perhaps found in Baskin and Robbins?  Can one franchise it or record it on a DVD?


I bottle World War 21 to settle the issue once and forever, chao.  Debate seems like an insufficently robust response to my chasis job and lube request to all the shit that everyone gives me these days.  You know I really, really hate that sign they have on my cage that says "Do not feed the chimps."

Hell I look as good as Helen Thomas or Barney Frank and am at least as smart as Biden.   Give a trannie a break.


Posted by: Adrianna Lima at May 01, 2009 06:34 AM (0Qynq)

45 Wow, this thread went to troll hell quickly.

Posted by: Dick_Nixon at May 01, 2009 06:57 AM (kaOJx)


Ever notice how warbloggers call anyone who disagrees with them leftists, even obvious paleo-cons who have expended several megabytes expounding upon their anti-leftist paleo-con beliefs? 

If you are any sort of "paleo", it's a paleo-communist. Don't give me this "paleo-con" shit.

Posted by: flenser at May 01, 2009 07:14 AM (N3UAb)



I do realize there -are- actual, real, racist Derbyshire clones in the world, but generally they do more harm than good in every possible way

What's your hang-up with Derbyshire?

Posted by: flenser at May 01, 2009 07:17 AM (N3UAb)


I'll have to insist somebody show me the material support he is alleged to have  provided.

I'll have to insist that you give yourself a sulfuric acid enema. Get back to me with further questions when you're done.

Posted by: flenser at May 01, 2009 07:21 AM (N3UAb)

49 flenser,

If you'll read the post after that one, I do walk back the Derbyshire attack a bit.

I do still think he's an arrogant ass, though.  Step one on why I dislike him is that he was in fact an illegal immigrant himself, which is of course used regularly against us in any debates on the subject, as if we're all happy he did that and we made an exception for him because he's white.  Sigh.

He's also just about as much a dick as Charles Johnson when it comes to evolution debates, and only fractionally less obsessive about it.  And note that I say this as an agnostic.

And then we can add that he's pro-choice, favors euthanasia, sided with the scumbag Michael Schiavo, defended Michael Jackson as harmless, and not infrequently engages in class warfare against other conservatives.

Need more?


Posted by: Qwinn at May 01, 2009 07:41 AM (/y1J0)

50 Definite Article Alert from an incoherent twit. It'd be 'Il' Duce. Not 'El' Duce'. Honest mistake I'm sure since language skills and their corollaries like, say, reasoning are so valued here. God bless.

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