A former Guantánamo detainee went on trial yesterday in New York City. Human Rights First went to the scene of the federal court house in downtown Manhattan to check in on New Yorkers’ reactions.
Watch our video reporting from the scene, interviewing passersby:
Ahmed Ghailani, a former Guantánamo detainee, is charged with plotting with Al Qaeda in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa that killed 224 people. Not a nice guy.
Former Mayor Giuliani says these trials will make New York unsafe, even though as Mayor he supported the federal court trial of the blind sheik who bombed the World Trade Center. Karl Rove said, “we will see that this was an utter unmitigated disaster for the security of the United States.”
Yet, our federal courts have convicted 400 terrorists since 9/11, while Guantánamo has convicted only 4. Politics based on fear rather then national security do not serve the public.
Here was the scene around the federal court house for the Ghailani trial: The streets were not blocked off. There were no legions of helicopters. Those who live and work near the court did not stay away. The police didn’t need an extra dime for added security. New York courts and police have done the drill many times. It is just no big deal.
Help us spread the word about this trial, and the nonevent it turned out to be. Watch our video and forward it to your networks! …and if you missed our previous Keep America Afraid videos, watch them too!
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