Attorney General Eric Holder today will announce that self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad will be tried in a military commission, CBS News has learned. A source says the commission will be held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Holder is expected to announce the decision in a news conference today at 2 p.m.
Trying Mohammed in a civilian court and closing the Guantanamo prison were once some of the Obama administration’s top priorities, but political realities have hamstrung both goals.
You know, at the center of Barack Obama’s run for the presidency was this idea that George W. Bush was irresponsible for keeping matters such as the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial out of American civilian courts. Supporters of Obama on the left wanted Bush and Dick Cheney’s head on a platter for war crimes because of that purported irresponsibility. Even after Obama took office, his very first action was the issuance of an executive order shutting down the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay. Soon thereafter, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he wanted KSM tried in lower Manhattan.
Backtracking on both the closure of Gitmo and the KSM trial were, by all means, the right thing to do. If Obama and Holder truly want to do the right thing, however, they should publicly apologize to Bush for doing his job in light of the harsh realities of war.
Now, in the context of today’s announcement, if you’re looking for more reading from AR regarding KSM, see Samuel Fain’s excellent piece from back in December 2009, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed v. Lady Justice. Another favorite of mine here is Rick Saunders’ Read the Rulebook, Shankapotamus – it’s classic Saunders. My own treatise (or one of them, at least) on the KSM trial can be found here: Justifiable Anger.