Ahmed Ghailani was cleared in federal court yesterday on 284 of the 285 counts against him. Ghailani was implicated in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and was held at Guantanamo Bay. He was the first ex-Gitmo detainee to be tried in a civilian courtroom and the result may mean he was also the last.
President Obama came to office, in part, on the pledge to shutdown the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Calls for its closure were among the best applause lines during the Democratic primaries and gave Democrats a patriotic, if somewhat naïve, claim that they were better suited to defend the Constitution than the Republicans who were trampling on it in the so-called War on Terror. But, the office to which Obama came requires him to defend the country as well as its Constitution and he has not found anyway to make good on his promise.