KSM Heading Back to a Military Commission?
Wow! It’s not a done deal, but it sure looks like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going back to a trial before a U.S. military commission, the Washington Post reports.
President Obama‘s advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.
The president’s advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some alleged terrorists in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States.
I get the New York City thing, but I am not quite sure that other parts of New York wouldn’t have welcomed the trial. Sure, there are logistical problems, but I wonder if there isn’t also a reversal of principle here. Obama and Holder are going to have to swallow a lot of high-falutin language about the supposed irresponsibility of the Bush Administration on this stuff, if they do reverse themselves here.