Maddow Blasts Republican Opposition To Trying Terrorism Suspects In Federal Court


Jazz Hands! Jazz Hands!MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took Republicans to task Friday night for their hostility to trying terrorism suspects, particularly Osama Bin Laden‘s son-in-law, in federal courts. Maddow pointed to the successful federal prosecution of the first World Trade Center bomber, Ramzi Yousef, and other terrorists like Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman in the mid 1990s.

Maddow walked viewers through a segment with a geography lesson of Manhattan that showed where the World Trade Center is in relation to her MSNBC studio and the federal courthouse where terrorism suspects have been tried. Maddow relayed that the terrorists that go to a court that is “ten blocks” from the site of the worst terrorist attack in American history usually end up in a federal SuperMax prison.

“International terrorism suspect goes in, life sentence comes out,” she said.

The same court that tried Yoused and Abdel-Rahman was again buzzing with activity this week with the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an Al-Qaeda spokesman. He was charged with a the crime of conspiracy to kill Americans.

Hawkish Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham greeted this trial with outrage and Maddow blasted them for not celebrating the capture and trial of a notorious terrorist.

“They said the right decision would have been, of course, to ship this guy to Guantanamo. There argument is that Guantanamo is so much better!” she said.

Maddow shredded their claim that the government couldn’t gain any intelligence from him without sending him to the controversial Cuban prison by pointing to several pages of interviews with Ghaith.

She continued to blast the Republicans in her trademark mocking style.

“But still, everybody freak out! Double Guantanamo! Maybe that will help you get re-elected if you ever have to go back in a time machine to run for office again in 2004,” she said.

Watch below, clip from MSNBC

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Garrett Quinn is the author of the Less is More blog on and a frequent contributor to TV and radio in the Boston market. He covered the 2012 presidential campaign for Reason Magazine, particularly the campaign of Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson.