No Guilty Verdicts in Liberty City Seven - Sears Tower Terror Trial

In a "stinging defeat" for the Bush Administration, the judge in Florida's Liberty City Seven-Sears Tower terror trial finally declared a mistrial today after jurors were still deadlocked after nine days of deliberation. They were deadlocked since day four but she made them keep deliberating. One defendant was acquitted on all counts, the jury couldn't reach a verdict on the others.

The defense portrayed the seven men as hapless figures who were either manipulated and entrapped by the FBI or went along with the plot to con "Mohammed" out of $50,000. The group never actually made contact with al-Qaida and never acquired any weapons or explosives. Prosecutors said no attack was imminent, acknowledging that the alleged terror cell was "more aspirational than operational."

But then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said after the arrests in mid-2006 that the group was emblematic of the "smaller, more loosely defined cells who are not affiliated with al-Qaida, but who are inspired by a violent jihadist message."

Let's hope it's a lesson to the FBI that they can't just send out informants to create crime plots and entrap people not otherwise predisposed into signing on.

Update: Time Magazine has a lengthy article calling it a Grade B Movie Trial.

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    i wouldn't bet on it jeralyn: (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:09:42 AM EST
    Let's hope it's a lesson to the FBI that they can't just send out informants to create crime plots and entrap people not otherwise predisposed into signing on.

    as long as there is political pressure to do so, it will continue. whether it's the "war on terrorism", the "war on drugs" or whatever other "war" is declared, the FBI will always be available to be used in its name. it started with prohibition, and has continued unabated since.

    what makes you think that's going to change?

    I'll bet that if they tortured the suspects (none / 0) (#1)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 07:01:05 PM EST
    They could have had confessions and saved the expense and embarrassment of the trial.

    After all, they were terrorists, right?  They might have known about a ticking bomb, and this was no time to take chances.

    exactly (none / 0) (#2)
    by tnthorpe on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 07:24:17 PM EST
    sure am glad that Patriot Act was expanded so we can have more of these great successes in the future.

    Just speculating, with the available evidence. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Aaron on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 07:55:52 PM EST
    It's interesting that the Bush administration feels the need to push the FBI into manufacture terrorists, when their own spokespeople have said that there are Al Qaeda cells within the United States.  So what are they waiting for, a conveniently timed attack around September or October of next year before they pounce?

    This administration has been playing politics with terrorism and dead Americans since 9/11, and I imagine they will continue to do so since the record has proven its effectiveness.

    Those CIA tapes which were supposedly destroyed, I wonder who gave the order destroy that evidence.  I wonder what those suspects revealed when they were under torture. Perhaps they said things that some in this government don't want revealed.

    The Republicans in Congress, as well as in the propaganda arm of the right-wing media, have no problem throwing our intelligence people under the bus whenever it suits their purposes, as evidenced with the recent NIE, Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities report that was compiled with the approval of the ODNI under the direction of Director of National Intelligence, retired Vice Admiral John Michael McConnell (a friend and associate of Dick Cheney who was hand-picked by the Bush administration just this year for his position), a report that confirms what I imagine our intelligence people have known for some time, that Iran stopped actively pursuing nuclear weapons in 2003.  And suddenly the conclusions as well as the motives of this trusted arm of the Bush of administration has been brought into question.  Something is going on within this White House, it seems that there are factions in conflict.

    And then I read garbage like this article in the New York Times, Pssst: Some Hope for Spycraft by an author who apparently is making a living publishing books describing how the CIA failed the Bush White House in the run-up to the war in Iraq, an article which conveniently but not so subtly shifts the blame for the invasion to a failure by our intelligence people, and not a failure of our leadership.  As if it was all a big mistake and not part of a wider plan.

    Failure?  No I don't think it was a failure at all, I think that the Bush administration was quite successful in doing exactly what they set out to do, and now they apparently have revisionist history writers, posing as journalists, cleaning up after them in the New York Times.  There's something really rotten about all this, a corruption that seems  pervasive and far-reaching.

    These people need enemies, at home and abroad, and when they can't find real ones to fit the needs of their agenda, they manufacture them in the courts and with their media machine. It makes me wonder what those alleged Al Qaeda operatives confessed to when they were under torture, perhaps things that our intelligence people felt duty-bound to keep hidden, confessions that might threaten the very foundations of the Republic.