SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

MILLENIUM BOMBER SENTENCED; BRAVO U.S. ATTORNEY McKAY'S OFFICE! Today, the Millenium Bomber, Ahmed Rassam was sentenced to 22 years in jail for his attempted bombing of LA International Airport in December of 1999. Some adept and fortuitous work by border patrol agents spotted the suspicious Rassam as he was entering the country, apprehending him. Undoubtedly, the wonderful work of those agents saved many American lives.

The Western District of Washington is served by a very solid U.S. Attorney in Mike McKay. His office is to be congratulated for their hard work in securing the successful prosecution and sentence of Rassam. In a press release (available through a link, here) U.S. Attorney McKay said the following:

We must not forget why Ressam came here in the first place: to spread death and destruction, to achieve his terrorist goals. Ahmed Ressam's fate is to spend most of his life in a U.S. prison having failed in his effort to kill innocent American men, women and children before September 11th.

U.S. Attorney McKay's resolve in this matter comes in contrast to that of U.S. District Judge John Coughenor--who has served as Chief Judge of the Western District and presided over the case. Hugh Hewitt has some tough words for Judge Coughenor. In fact, Hewitt HAMMERS the Judge in a recent blog post. Judge Coughenor had used the sentencing as an opportunity to give voice to his opposition to military tribunals.

Needless to say, I do not share Judge Coughenor's sentiments. Judge Coughenor is likely sincere in his views, but I think his views are sincerely wrong. His view of the war against terrorism as something that can be treated as a law enforcement matter is wrongheaded and dangerous. Such a view cannot even be merely dismissed as pre-9/11, since our history and constitutional jurisprudence have long recognized that acts of war and transgressions of the rules of war do NOT fall within the domain of federal courts. Our experience also bears out the wisdom of this history and jurisprudence.

Judge Coughenor had previously delayed the sentencing of Rassam, in a move completely surprising to all. While I would have hoped that Rassam had received an even lengthier sentence, I am still pleased that this case is finally in the books, with a terrorist sent up the river for a long, long time.

Heartfelt thanks are once again in order to the Border Patrol agents and to the U.S. Attorney's office.

(Blue Ash, OH)

3 Comments:

  • At 11:30 PM, Blogger DemocracyMarket said…

    Well said:

    "His view of the war against terrorism as something that can be treated as law enforcement matter is wrongheaded and dangerous. Such a view cannot even be merely dismissed as pre-9/11, since our history and constitutional jurisprudence have long recognized that acts of war and transgressions of the rules of war do NOT fall within the domain of federal courts."

     
  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger Josef said…

    I hear King County Councilor (for the 39 Counties) Reagan Dunn had a hand in this...

    Any comment?

     
  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger Coop said…

    That's interesting, Josef. And also a little weird. I'm not sure how Dunn would have had a hand in it. In the end, my only comment is that I have no knowledge about any involvement by Dunn.

     

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