Over on NBC's Today, the four hour morning program devoted a scant 40 seconds to the topic. But even in that short amount of time, reporter Ann Curry was more definitive than CBS. She at least allowed, "But, the decision could undermine President Obama's plan to put other Guantanamo Bay detainees on trial in civilian courts."
Good Morning America correspondent Jake Tapper was more direct. He explained that Ghailani, who was accused of plotting a 1998 al Qaeda bombing in Africa, "will go to prison. But, he could do as few as 20 years for his role in 224 deaths."
Tapper also highlighted Republican opposition, citing Representative Peter King: "The verdict is a, quote, 'a, total miscarriage of justice,' said the incoming House Homeland Security committee chairman Republican Peter King. Saying it, quote, 'demonstrates the absolute insanity of the Obama administration's decision to try al Qaeda terrorists in civilian courts.'"
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham pointed out on October 14 how journalists were ignoring a judge's decision throwing out evidence in the case:
In the Obama Justice Department's first showcase attempt to try a Guantanamo terrorist suspect in civilian court, a Clinton-appointed federal judge barred a witness in the case of Ahmed Ghailani, accused of aiding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in 1998. CBS Evening News offered an anchor brief, with Couric calling it a "big setback for federal prosecutors," not for the Obama administration. ABC and NBC skipped it.Early Show, to its credit, did mention this on Thursday.
A transcript of the November 18 GMA segment, which aired at 7:11am EST, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to go back to Washington now. This has been the roughest month of the Obama presidency. And the latest setback came late yesterday, when a jury cleared an al Qaeda operative from Tanzania an all but one of the 300 charges against him, for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Jake Tapper joins us now from Washington. Jake, this is going to complicate the Obama administration's efforts to try Guantanamo detainees in civilian court.