Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is outraged that convicted terrorist Ahmed Ghailani was just acquitted in civilian court of all but one of the 286 charges against him.
"It's clear to me that Attorney General [Eric] Holder should resign," he
tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview. Gingrich was in Palm Beach, Fla. attending Restoration Weekend, a conservative conference organized by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Gingrich angrily denounced Holder's handling of this and other terror cases.
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Ghailani, 36, the first ex-Guantanamo inmate to be tried in a civilian court, will still serve at least 20 years in jail and could be sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of conspiracy against U.S. property. But the New York jury cleared the Tanzanian national of all but one of 286 charges brought against him for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa.
Gingrich blamed Holder for creating the conditions to enable Ghailani's legal
"His rulings have been wrong. They've endangered our national security. They allowed a federal judge to throw out most of the evidence."
Terrorism cases shouldn't be tried in civilian courts, Gingrich says.
"This is a war," he adds. "You can't bring into this kind of trial the kind
of evidence a military tribunal would have."
The Obama administration refuses to admit we're in a war, he says. "It's
very dangerous to have an administration which refuses to deal with
Gingrich doesn't think much of the new body scanners and pat-down procedures for air travelers.
"It's tragic that the Obama administration refuses to tell us the truth
about our enemies, refuses to design a strategy to defeat them and instead
believes inconveniencing, embarrassing, humiliating millions of innocent
people is better than profiling and addressing intelligence," he says.
In sum, "This is a grotesque overreach of government," Gingrich says.
Gingrich also predicted a difficult time ahead as the new Republican House
faces off against the Obama White House.
As to whether Republicans in Congress should consider shutting down the
government, he says, they should make clear they will do everything they can
to keep the government open, except caving into Obama.
"Then its President Obama's choice," Gingrich says. "If he wants to force a
shutdown, I don't see that they can give him a tax increase to avoid it or
giant spending. They just need to make sure the shutdown won't occur because the Republicans are trying to, but because the president was deliberately manipulating the system."
Gingrich recently co-authored a book titled "Valley Forge" about the fateful events of 1777. He sees parallels between then and now. "George Washington was a person who could face the facts and could change things to meet reality," he says.
"We're in a period where we have to face the facts about America's future — economic competition and people who want to kill us. He'd tell us we better roll up our sleeves and get our house in order."
As a result of the recent congressional elections, and a sweep of new
governorships across the country, conservatives have a chance to create a
positive national movement to help solve America's biggest problems,
"We have to move from rejection conservatism, which is anti-left, to
replacement conservatism, which brings together a vast majority of the
American people and creates a new, more positive government than we've
inherited over the last eight years," the potential Republican presidential
candidate tells Newsmax.TV.
Gingrich is working to do just that through his American Solutions
grass-roots organization. If he is successful in establishing a national
conservative movement through that effort, he says he will consider running
for president in 2012, announcing the decision in March or April 2011.
But, he says: "What's really important for Americans is that we set
ourselves on a new path of working, saving and investment, of being honest
about what we have to do both economically and on national security."
We should also work on "reestablishing American exceptionalism," he says.
"That's the big challenge of our generation."
Gingrich believes that whoever emerges from the Republican nominating
process will have the strength to defeat President Obama in 2012.
"I think President Obama will be a one-term president," he said.
Obama will have a difficult time moving to the center as President Bill
Clinton did after the 1994 elections, Gingrich says. "Under pressure from
the tea parties and American people, the center is moving to the right
pretty dramatically," he notes.
"The country wants much less spending than President Obama, much lower
taxes, much less bureaucracy, much less power in Washington than President
Obama. For him to try to compromise means he would in effect have to
repudiate himself on a scale President Clinton never considered."
Gingrich doubts Obama will face a challenge from Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton in the primaries. "She's in the Cabinet, they have a working
relationship," he says.
"I can imagine someone on the left running against him. If he ends up being
wounded, then I can imagine Secretary Clinton being drawn in once it was an
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