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.
If Obama accepts the likely recommendation of his advisers, the White House may be able to secure from Congress the funding and legal authority it needs to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and replace it with a facility within the United States. The administration has failed to meet a self-imposed one-year deadline to close Guantanamo.
A couple thoughts: First, there is the assumption flying around Twitter that Attorney General Holder made this decision on his own and that Obama will roll the bus over him for this ill-advised decision. Personally, I think President Obama knew and agreed. That doesn’t mean that Holder won’t be the sacrificial lamb. It does mean that Obama’s initial decision to try KSM in New York was political and now, the one to give him a military trial is also political.
Second, I’m not sure that this military trial gets him the prison in Illinois so he can close Guantanemo. The issues still remain: scary terrorists on American soil. Americans don’t want them here. Giving KSM a military trial will only seem like a common-sense solution to a dumb decision in the first place.
Closing Guantanemo is also perceived as a dumb decision. It’s not like a military tribunal changes that for the American people.
Really, what the President needs to do is take big, fat bite of humble pie and just admit he was wrong about this whole situation. Since he likes to blame so much, he can throw allies under the bus and say that no one is willing to bear the burden of housing these miscreants and since America must bear the burden, an island away from American citizens is the place for them.
The American people better understand now the rationale for Guantanemo. The press actively tried to harm President Bush by making the prison look evil, when in fact it was a sensible solution to the problem facing stateless terrorists presents.
With the press on his side, Obama can shift the narrative about Guantanemo Bay. He can say he’s made reforms, yadda, yadda and let it go.
Will the leftist loons be happy? Hell no. But guess what? Obama could use the political win of distancing himself from the nutters. Putting the whole Guantanemo issue to rest would do that.
For what it’s worth, I don’t see Holder leaving. I see him saying that he’s seen the light, i.e. seen it President Obama’s way. And that will be enough for everyone, since no one seems to inclined to question these jokers.
Dan Riehl wonders how this will all happen.
Michelle Malkin reminds everyone of KSM’s confession and much more. She says:
Along with KSM, the Gitmo detainees whom Holder had planned to dump in Big Apple courtrooms were Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni; Walid bin Attash, also a Yemeni; Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar al-Baluchi, a Pakistani who is Mohammed’s nephew; and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a Saudi. They were first arraigned in June 2008.
Michelle notes the pressure that the families put on the administration…and even the people of liberal New York City. This was a disastrous decision when it was made.
Like I said, I keep thinking this administration is smarter…but no.