Ayloush Qazi: FBI spying on Muslims merits hearings

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Ayloush is executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Area office of CAIR, the Council on America-Islamic Relations. Qazi is the deputy executive director and staff attorney for CAIR-LA.

As Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., launches congressional hearings this week on Muslims and radicalization, we wonder at the expenditure of time to examine an issue whose conclusion has long been self-evident: that American Muslims have worked tirelessly alongside fellow Americans to uphold and strengthen the time-honored values of religious freedom and equality and to protect our nation against all threats. Continue reading

Marc A. Thiessen – The state of our terrorist detention policy

Obama probably won’t mention Ghailani‘s name from the rostrum of the House of Representatives. But the Ghailani case underscores the necessity of his quiet decision to change course and lift the ban he imposed after his inauguration on new military commission trials at Guantanamo. An infuriating New York Times story last week described how Ghailani’s lawyers managed to convince the jury that their client had no idea that he was involved in a plot to blow up two American embassies using explosives-laden trucks. The jury even sent a note asking the judge whether Ghailani needed to know the plot’s specific objectives, or was it enough that he knew something unlawful was going on? The judge told them Ghailani had to know the specific objective of the conspiracies – and later that same day, the jury acquitted him on all but one count.

But Ghailani did know the specific objectives of the plot. In 2007, after being transferred from CIA custody to Guantanamo Bay, he was interviewed by the FBI and provided a confession he acknowledged was completely voluntary. Ghailani told the FBI that he had put “the pieces of the puzzle together” before the attacks and even considered stopping the plot because he believed civilian locations like embassies and hotels were not proper targets for al-Qaeda. Continue reading