The Bush Administration lost a major terrorism case in Florida in the alleged al-Qaida plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. The case follows a familiar pattern with the Bush Justice Department: a huge press conference on a major bust only to have the real evidence undermine its claims.
The jury acquitted one individual, Lyglenson Lemorin, 32, and deadlocked on the others.The jury spent nine days in deliberation and had to be sent back for more deliberations twice the judge.The problem was that the men never actually communicated with Al-Qaida and the defense pointed to an over-zealous undercover officer.
The case seems to resemble the defeats in various cases like the Idaho acquittal of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen. In those cases, the government hoped that a jury would ignore obvious gaps in evidence and played heavily to their emotions. The fact is that the Bush Administration has one of the worst records in terrorism prosecutions in history — it is no wonder that they want to create their own rules and legal system in the military tribunals. They lost major bases in Detroit and Chicago as well. Prior Administration rarely lost such cases. The reason is clear: the Bush Administration tends to pull the trigger on prosecution without developing cases and using prosecutorial discretion. It basically prosecutes them all and lets God (and the jury) sort them out.