"He could have well been acquitted on all counts -- that is pretty much obvious," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told ABC News. "To try a military combatant, any soldier combatant who is at war with the United States, in the civilian courts is not correct. It is not the right policy."
But supporters of the civilian trials note that the case against Ghailani was compromised because the defendant was interrogated by CIA officers using methods commonly considered torture -- "enhanced interrogation techniques" sanctioned by the Bush administration.
"Despite the fact that torture went on, this skillful prosecution still was able to get a jury to come to guilty. That's the important thing," said Rep. Anthony Wiener, D-NY. "This was a very difficult case, it was skillfully prosecuted and at the end of the day, the guy who did these dastardly crimes will be rotting in jail...that's what we should keep focused on."
ABC News' Matt Jaffe and the Associated Press contributed to this article.