Appearing on Newsmax.com, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich reiterated his call for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, this time for the verdict (acquittal on 284 out of 285 charges) in the government's case against convicted terrorist Ahmed Ghailani.
Gingrich claimed that Holder's “rulings have been wrong” and have “endangered national security.” Gingrich also repeated the claim that testimony excluded by the civilian court would have otherwise been included, something numerous legal experts disagree with. The testimony was also excluded because the witness' name was obtained via “extremely harsh interrogation techniques” (possibly torture) authorized by the Bush administration.
Gingrich said that the American people “are more endangered” as long as Holder is attorney general, but failed to note that the charge that Ghailani was convicted of has a minimum 20 year sentence, with the possibility of life imprisonment.
Earlier this year, the Huffington Post pointed out that Gingrich wasn't nearly as upset with the Department of Justice under the Bush administration when Jose Padilla was charged (and convicted) in a civilian court:
Appearing on Fox News in November 2005, the former speaker said the following when asked whether it was “a loss” for the Bush White House to have tried Padilla in civilian courts after holding him for three-and-a-half years as an enemy combatant:
“Well, I think if they believe they have enough evidence to convict him, going through the process of convicting him and holding him, I suspect, maybe for the rest of his life without parole would not be -- would hardly be seen as a loss,” Gingrich said.
The former speaker went on to note that Bush was “wrestling with what are the real ground rules for dealing with people who are clearly outside of normal warfare” -- suggesting, implicitly, that a criminal setting was appropriate for Padilla because it was the most effective at the time. "[W]e don't have a good set of rules," he declared.
Under Obama, Gingrich finds a civilian trial of a terrorist to be a danger to national security, but under Bush he found that the end result of the process “would hardly be seen as a loss.” His opinion seems to vary wildly depending on the party holding the White House.