War on terror - When Ashcroft met his match

According to:

when the FBI was asked to justify its accusations of terrorist activities against Lofti Raissi, its case fell apart in front of an independent judicial system:

'An Algerian pilot accused by the United States of training some of the September 11 hijackers walked free from court yesterday after a British judge ruled that charges against him were unsubstantiated. He is now considering suing for damages.

'Lotfi Raissi, 27, who was originally told he was likely to be charged with conspiracy to murder and could face the death penalty in the US, smiled as the judge said that there was no evidence whatsoever to support allegations of involvement in terrorism. His family clapped and outside the court he and his wife Sonia wept as they realised that an ordeal that has lasted seven months was finally over.

‘The man who was the first person to be accused of participating in the attacks on the World Trade centre and the Pentagon - and who was said to be the key suspect in the biggest investigation in criminal history - was free to go.’

Given that Ashcroft was certain that this man helped train the 9/11 terrorists, yet cannot justify this before an independent tribunal, what does this say about similar allegations against the inhabitants of Camp X-Ray and the ‘dissappeared’ (those people held incommunicado after 9/11, mostly Arab-American) who have been similarly accused of terrorism or supporting terrorism, but have not had their cases heard by an independent tribunal.

It does seem very strange that if Ashcroft believed in September 2001 that:

“He was a lead instructor of four of the pilots that were responsible for the hijackings,” prosecutor Arvinda Sambir told the court. “The one that we are concerned about is the one that went into the Pentagon.”

that it cannot be made to stand up in court.

(from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4266533,00.html)

I wonder how many of the questionably detained in Camp X-ray and in the US would fare if they had access to an independent tribunal as happened accidentally to Lofti Raissi- accidentally that is because he was arrested in the UK and not in Afghanistan or the US.

This is why those secret military trials make me very, very uncomfortable.

Yep, I saw it a couple days ago at CNN and thought the same thing. It seems the US tried the bigger charges and when those didn’t stick they tried some minor stuff and that didn’t stick either. If a British judge decides there is absolutely no evidence or probable cause, what was Ashcroft smoking? The defendant was lucky he was arrested in the UK or he’d be locked up in Gitmo with much bleaker perspective.

“Hysterical fantasies of lost liberties” indeed.

A question forGuinastasia, sailor, Revtim, Pjen

Based on all you know, how certain are you that he’s not a terrorist?

Do you have evidence saying he is?

Doesn’t the term “unsubstantiated” mean anything to you?

If the FBI couldn’t make their case, then he goes free.


um december cause when the US was asked to demonstrate that there was even sufficient reason to believe that he should be extradicted (let alone tried and convicted), they were unable to satisfy this judge’s asssesment.

Proven innocent. Repeatedly. In a court of law. As a terrorist Against the might of a department of justice whose greatest focus right now is terrorism.

Not only innocent, but spectacularly so.

Word up.

Apparently my question was unclear. I don’t question that the judge ruled properly, based on the evidence before him. But, if this guy really is a terrorist, he may go out and kill some people. You and I wouldn’t be happy if Raissi commits some horrible act.

So, my question is, how certain are each of you in your own mind that he’s not a terrorist? Are you positive? Is it 50-50? Do you think he probably does have some connection with al Quaeda? What do you think?

december - and exactly why would you suspect that he is a terrorist? 'cause Ashcroft said so? Ashcroft wasn’t able to convince the judge.

Or are you suggesting that mere suspicion be the new standard for incarceration?

it isn’t?

No kidding. If he’s a terrorist he “may” go out and kill some people? I’m thinking there’s a possibility that any of us might go out and do that . . . better lock us all up, or we’ll feel guilty if someone commits some horrible act!

If you think the judge made the correct decision (i.e., that there wasn’t even enough evidence for extradition) then you should agree that he must be let go. If the Justice Department finds more evidence later, then all bets are off.

Yes, I agree that the judge made the proper decision, given the evidence before him. However, it also matters to me whether he’s actually innocent or guilty. So, I ask for the 3rd and last time:

How certain are each of you in your own mind that he’s not a terrorist? Are you positive? Is it 50-50? Do you think he probably does have some connection with al Quaeda? Do you feel certain that he is a terrorist?

Answering my own question, I think it’s more likely than not that he is a terrorist.

What do you think?

I see no evidence for him BEING a terrorist.

december-what evidence do you have that he IS?

Other than he was suspected.


So, is it fair to say that in your mind, Guinastasia, Lotfi Raissi is no more likely to be a terrorist than some random person selected from the phone book?

What exactly are you proposing december? that anyone that Ashcroft thinks or suspects to be a terrorist should be incarcerated simply because we don’t want to run the risk of them being guilty?

that’s why we have standards of evidence. This man was held (apprently wrongfully) for a significant period of time.

gee - you know, you look kinda suspicious to me. I think it’s entirely possible that you might do something bad in the future. I don’t have any proof, mind you, but gosh, if I’m right, then we’d really be in trouble. Just to be on the safe side, I think we should lock up all posters who’s screen names start with the letter “D” (lower or upper case)>

I’m proposing that you answer my question. :wink:

Why is that? Based on the two articles linked to, he seems more like just a pilot than a terrorist; if you have access to other information, I’d love to see it. I’m not at all certain that he’s not a terrorist, but that doesn’t in the least make me think he is. Based on what I’ve seen, though, I don’t think he’s a terrorist.

The Feds have perfectly fine cases against other people, like Moussaoui. If they pull stunts like this, I’m concerned that it might hurt their credibility, which is especially important when many Arabs don’t even believe that al Queda was behind the attacks.

OK december, what is there to suggest that you aren’t the Unabomber?

december Your question is, apparently

“should we have completely different standards of justice, evidence, proof for people Ashcroft suspects are terrorists than for any other situation” and my answer is emphatically no.

Do I feel ‘bad’ when some one who once was in custody commits a crime? yes. However, my sense of justice requires a certain amount of consistency. And changing the rules of evidence, proof, standards for guilt etc would be, IMHO, dismantling our system of justice and freedom.