KSM to be tried by a military tribunal / Updated with Eric Holder’s crying

From :


In Reversal, 9/11 Plotter to Be Tried by Military Panel


By Charlie Savage

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, ending a year of indecision with a major reversal, will prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, before a military commission and not a civilian court, as it had once planned.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is set to announce on Monday afternoon that he has cleared military prosecutors at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to file war-crime charges against Mr. Mohammed and four others accused in the Sept. 11 case. Mr. Holder had decided in November 2009 to move the case to a federal civilian courtroom in New York City, but a political backlash shut down that plan.

The move was foreshadowed by stiffening Congressional resistance to bringing Guantánamo detainees into the United States and by other recent announcements clearing the way for new tribunal trials. Still, it is a significant moment of capitulation in the larger collapse of the Obama administration’s effort — begun with fanfare in its opening days in office — to roll back the counterterrorism architecture left behind by former President George W. Bush.

More at the link.

I’d point out here that the eleventy-first Congress, controlled by Democrats, cut off funds for President Obama’s plans to close the detention center at Guantanamo, in May of 2009, and attached a rider to the Defense Appropriations Act passed in December of 2010 prohibiting the use of federal funds to bring Guantanamo detainees to the United States for civilian trials.
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Updated: It seems that Attorney General Eric Holder is upset that our elected representatives had something to say about this.


Eric Holder Lashes Out At Congress Over Decision To Try KSM In Military Tribunal


WASHINGTON — After announcing it would try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged conspirators by military commission rather than in a civilian trial, the Obama administration quickly scapegoated Congress to explain the decision.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that his department was scrapping its November 2009 decision to hold Mohammed’s high-profile trial just blocks from the World Trade Center. Instead, they were moving the venue to Guantanamo Bay. Holder and other administration officials said the policy reversal was due to congressional interference in executive counterterrorism efforts and “needless” drumming-up of controversy.

“The reality is, I know this case in ways that members of Congress do not,” Attorney General Eric Holder said during a press conference. “I have looked at the files. I have spoken to the prosecutors. I know the tactical concerns that have to go into this decision. So do I know better than them? Yes.”

And the Members of Congress know the realities of the situation and their responsibilities to their constituents better than Mr Holder. It’s just so terrible that our elected representatives got in your way, but, gosh darn it all, that’s what happens in a democracy sometimes.

The attorney general said had not arrived at the decision comfortably. Had he had his druthers, Holder claimed, he would have kept the trial in its original setting, but the legislative branch controls the money for transferring the prisoners and securing the site.

The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 prohibits use of funds to transfer defendants from Guantanamo Bay to the United States. In a file dismissing the indictment of Mohammed and the four alleged conspirators sent to the Southern District of New York on Monday morning, members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office pointed to the act as the prohibitive restriction preventing a federal trial.

Well, if the Attorney General is all that upset about it, he can always resign. But, Mr Holder’s sensibilities didn’t cause him to resign in November of 2009, either:

Administration officials say they expect that as many as 40 of the 215 detainees at Guantanamo will be tried in federal court or military commissions. About 90 others have been cleared for repatriation or resettlement in a third country, and about 75 more have been deemed too dangerous to release but cannot be prosecuted because of evidentiary issues and limits on the use of classified material.

Why is the Attorney General upset in the first place? In November of 2009, he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that even if Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was acquitted, he would not be released, but held indefinitely:

Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged on Wednesday a previously unspoken proviso to the controversial decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators in a federal court in New York: even if the defendants are somehow acquitted, they will still stay behind bars.

Holder’s comments at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee would seem to turn the criminal-justice system on its head. The whole point of a criminal trial is to determine guilt—and if the government fails to make its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant walks free.

At least that’s the way the system usually works.

But pressed today by Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, about what might happen “if, by some one in a million fluke, one of the defendants were acquitted,” Holder responded in effect that they won’t be released.

First, he noted, Congress has already barred any Guantánamo detainees from being released inside the United States. But then, pressed again about what would happen “if one of these terrorists” in the future were found not guilty or given a short sentence, Holder agreed that the Justice Department would still retain the authority to lock them up as enemy combatants.

“I certainly think that under the regime that we are contemplating, the potential for detaining people under the laws of war, we would retain that ability,” Holder said.

What the heck is the purpose of whining that the Congress is forcing the military tribunal decision on the Administration, if the Administration has already decided that the prisoners won’t be released regardless of the outcome of the trial?

C’mon, Mr Holder, show us just how committed you are here, and resign with dignity.

If you have any, that is.

29 Comments

  1. While it’s true that Eric Holder made the announcement on the same day Obama announced he’s running for re-election, the two events are absolutely, positively, completely separate and totally unrelated in any way, at all, no matter how cynical and desperate it looks.

  2. Dana, for all that you conservatives talk about the Constitution, you’re ignoring it on this one. There’s no Constitutional justification for using a military tribunal to try KSM. I don’t remember the part of the Constitution where it says that if you commit a big enough crime, you get to be treated like a warrior.

  3. A guy that was tortured into “confessions” and we are supposed to trust our government? Sounds more like Soviet Russia, or Germany circa HITLER.

  4. I don’t remember the part of the Constitution where it says that if you commit a big enough crime, you get to be treated like a warrior.

    I don’t remember the part of the Constitution that states terroristic illegal combatants get treated like criminals.

  5. John, terrorists aren’t warriors. They’ve always been treated as criminals under our law. This was the case throughout most of our history until we collectively freaked out the past few years.

    The only place there is a “war” going on between us and some bizarre monolithic concept of “terrorists” is in the mind of said terrorists. We are no more at war against terrorists than Wachovia is at war against bank robbers.

  6. I don’t remember the part of the Constitution that states terroristic illegal combatants get treated like criminals.

    Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings.

    No PERSON shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses.

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

  7. Except, of course, that PB might agree with his fellow ignorant fuckwit that Muslims are not people, but cockroaches to be exterminated.

  8. Jeff, your quotations regard criminals and not terrorist illegal combatants. You have failed to provide any evidence the Constitution calls terrorist illegal combatants “criminals” whatsoever.

  9. Jeff, your quotations regard criminals and not terrorist illegal combatants.

    Hey, fuckwit – “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.

    Moron.

  10. And, hell, if we bomb their country, and they fight back after we kill their countrymen, how is it that they are “terorists”? Because that “honest” president Bush told us so?

    What would you do if bombs starting falling onto our country, and the ones bombing lied about the reasoning for it? You think that would make you a terrorist in their (those bombing) mind?

    You anti-American pile of feces, Penis Breath!!!

  11. Modern wars kill 90% civilians. Yet you don’t mind. WHO has a criminal mind? YOU do. You support the genocide, you MF, PB!!!

  12. The problem is that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad committed no crime against the United States in any jurisdiction of the United States. He has supposedly confessed to being the primary mover behind the September 11th attacks, but did so on foreign soil, outside our jurisdiction.

    What he actually did was to participate in launching an act of war, in the same manner Japanese aircraft carriers launched the planes which struck Pearl Harbor from outside our territorial waters. As the winning side, we rounded up the top (surviving) Japanese officers and officials after the war, and hanged a few of them.

    We will do now what we did then: convene some sort of war crimes trial, under our own jurisdiction, use military officers or other officials as the jurors, and hang the losers.

  13. The Phoenician seems to think that he scored a point by quoting the Constitution:

    No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

    However, the Constitution grants to the Congress the power to “To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court.” (Article I, Section 8). If the Congress decides to create the military tribunals and establish their rules of procedure, due process will have been followed.

  14. “Combatants” in what, John? You don’t get to be called a combatant just because you really, really want to be called one. McVeigh wasn’t a combatant, right? Well, he and KSM are cut from the same cloth – schmucks who are convinced they’re fighting a war that exists only in their head. You’re buying in to KSM’s little delusion every time you refer to him as an “enemy combatant.”

    Dana, I would agree if there were an actual war going on with terrorists. There isn’t. Our war is against the Taliban, and the terrorists are “enemy combatants” only inasmuch as they are directly helping the Taliban. And when KSM did what he did, we weren’t even at war with the Taliban.

  15. Jeff wrote:

    Dana, I would agree if there were an actual war going on with terrorists. There isn’t. Our war is against the Taliban, and the terrorists are “enemy combatants” only inasmuch as they are directly helping the Taliban. And when KSM did what he did, we weren’t even at war with the Taliban.

    Jeff the Authorization to Use Military Force specifically states that “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” (Emphasis mine.) That would include Khalid Sheikh Muhammed. The part which includes the Taliban government of Afghanistan is the harboring part.

    The next section includes the language which says te War Powers Resolution conditions for authorization have been met.

    I’d also point out that the Constitution grants to Congress the power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” Mr Muhammad would certainly fall under a Capture on Land, and it could be argued that the AUMF was a Letter of Marque and Reprisal, in that it was against persons and organizations more than it was against nations.

  16. 16 comments, seven by consrvatives nine by liberals. Here’s the tally:

    #1. ” Sounds more like Soviet Russia, or Germany circa HITLER.”
    Yes, quickly play the Hitler card.

    #2. “…fellow ignorant fuckwit that Muslims are not people, but cockroaches to be exterminated.”
    Then out comes the charge of extermination along with the ususl “fuckwit”.

    #3 “Hey, fuckwit – Moron.”
    Quickly followed by more low class crap and the “moron” for good measure.

    #4. “You anti-American pile of feces, Penis Breath!!!”
    Not to be out done, she challenges our patriotism and adds her own vulgar name calling.

    #5. “WHO has a criminal mind? YOU do. You support the genocide, you MF, PB!!!”
    Not content with being unpatriotic, he is now a criminal because he disagrees and for good measure he’s a MF and one more vulgar name to boot!

    With the exception of Jeff is every liberal on this blog mentally unhinged? Can none make a good arguement like Jeff does without demonizing their opponants and being just a low class pig?

    BTW, out of the seven conservative responses, not one name called, not one attempt to demonize, not one low class curse. Yep, their words really do speak volumns.

  17. Just remember, John, that when some of our friends on the left use the initials PB and MF, they mean “Positively Brilliant” and “Master of Facts.”

  18. The “Hitler card” like things we do Hitler didn’t do? No, we haven’t done all he did, but enough that I have to recognize the parallels. We kill innocent people, and we torture many innocent people, so how is that okay?

  19. “BTW, out of the seven conservative responses, not one name called, not one attempt to demonize, not one low class curse. Yep, their words really do speak volumns.”

    A rare exception, Hoagie John! When will you be speaking out against the insanity of John Hitchcock, and even the choice of language you yourself use. You are a fine one to speak out against just the language of some on the left, and silent about even worse on the right!

    When one is unable to make a cogent statement about the issues, one resorts to the foul language we see on here. Sometimes it is even an unnecessary adjunct to a cogent statement. Nevertheless, unfortunately what is seen on this blog is symptomatic of what is going on even in the highest levels of what used to be our standard political discourse. No more!!! Civil people do not behave in this manner.

  20. “The “Hitler card” like things we do Hitler didn’t do? No, we haven’t done all he did, but enough that I have to recognize the parallels. We kill innocent people, and we torture many innocent people, so how is that okay/”

    Okay darling, take a deep breath and think. You said “we kill innocent people” then name an innocent person. You said “we torture many innocent people” again, name an innocent person we’ve tortured.

    I hate to point this out but when at war there are no “innocent people”. The object of war is to win and that means killing everybody on the opposite side, men women children pets small farm animals cockroachs, everybody. But only if you want to win. At the risk of being called a genocidist once again, I’ll tell you another little ditty we used in Nam: ” Kill a commie for Christ”. Now, we didn’t think that Christ wanted us to kill anybody, we didn’t even give the saying any real thought, but it does have some validity.

    When you look at the last war we actually won, WWII, and look at the cities in Germany and Japan in 1945, you must realize we killed everyone and then we won. Bluebonnet, the reason people like you don’t fight wars is because people like you can’t win them. In war all the enemy is your enemy not just the guys in uniform, but their wives, children, bosses, everybody. If you don’t approach war in that manner you are doomed to loose. And it is not good to be on the loosing side of a war. Perhaps that’s why we are on a downward trajectory as a nation. We no longer fight to win, we fight to “protect the civilian population”. Sorry, kill’em all let God sort’em out. (Guess that means I’m all in for genocide according to the nut from down under). What that really means is I’m for victory. In war, coming in second sucks.

    Oh, and BTW, our enemy right now is islam. And yes, they are all our enemy and yes they would all kill us if not for men and women ready to kill them instead. Even those innocent, loving, cuddly, sweet little islamic children (who strap bombs on and walk into a Sbaros pizzeria or a Jewish wedding) are the enemy. We (the West) have a choice. We can capitulate and submit or we can win. What’s your choice? MIne is recognizing the enemy, killing him and victory. But again that’s why girls like you don’t fight wars. You believe between victory and defeat there is a middle ground. There is no middle ground.

  21. “A rare exception, Hoagie John! When will you be speaking out against the insanity of John Hitchcock, and even the choice of language you yourself use. You are a fine one to speak out against just the language of some on the left, and silent about even worse on the right!”

    Did you actually say ” even worse on the right”? You’re kidding. Tell you what, if from now on all of us “on the right” refuse to get in the gutter with your side I’ll bet you who starts acting like a shit-head first. My buck is on the crazy NZ’er not Hitchcock. That includes “fuckwit”, moron, idiot, drunk, coward, racist, etc., etc. Hitchcock responds to you because you taunt him, the same way I (used)to respond to Pho. Now, I just pity him, the poor imbicle. Once I realized he was wrong in the head everything came together.

  22. “Hitchcock responds to you because you taunt him, ….”

    That’s BS John; you should know that very well!

  23. “That’s BS John; you should know that very well!”

    Okay, let’s say I’m wrong. How about this: You be civil to Hitchcock and let’s see if he’s civil to you. If he’s not then you are correct. If he is then ….well. ( I hate to take sides in a pissin’ contest cause which ever side you take you still get pissed on.)

  24. You know Perry, it’s kind of funny but on this blog you have your “Hitchcock”, DNW has his “Whistler” and for some ungodly reason I got caught with Pho. I’ll trade ya. And Dana sits there laughing at all of us! (exclamation deliberate)

  25. ““That’s BS John; you should know that very well!”

    Okay, let’s say I’m wrong. How about this: You be civil to Hitchcock and let’s see if he’s civil to you. If he’s not then you are correct. If he is then ….well. ( I hate to take sides in a pissin’ contest cause which ever side you take you still get pissed on.)”

    Hoagie John, that’s been tried often by many, to no avail, to the point where some push back is in order. That said, I will follow your advice.

  26. Hoagie says:
    6 April 2011 at 11:07

    You know Perry, it’s kind of funny but on this blog you have your “Hitchcock”, DNW has his “Whistler” and for some ungodly reason I got caught with Pho. I’ll trade ya. And Dana sits there laughing at all of us! (exclamation deliberate)”

    Dana might be laughing, but some of it must be sardonic laughter directed at his own idealistic views of what he could accomplish with his blog while using a light and inclusive hand.

    I am not certain, but I would be willing to guess, that he thought that policy issues – which is what he is clearly primarily interested in – could be discussed civilly; and, that, if he personally kept the tone largely elevated and impersonal, if occasionally whimsical or needling, he wouldn’t have any need of a Cuss-O-Meter.

    He probably never anticipated that he’d have self-proclaimed trolls from half a world away obsessively arising in the middle of the night just to take issue with him as a pretext for emitting personal abuse.

    By the way, you can have Jeromy and Mike both. It will cost you nothing more than an insignificant amount of time, and the direction of a little emotional charity toward two obviously neurotic boys whose polemical ambitions have out-stripped their intellectual talents.

    In fact, Hoagie, Herren Frick and Frack, are so needy you won’t even have to go and collect them. They’ll gladly deliver themselves to your doorstep merely in return for your now and again dispensing a little of that desperately needed corrective attention they consistently fail to garner at home.

  27. “In fact, Hoagie, Herren Frick and Frack, are so needy you won’t even have to go and collect them.”

    I know that DNW, but I still hold out hope that they will learn and change.

  28. Abandon Hope all ye who refuse to learn from experience. Learning comes only from suffering. Yet, desire is the first principle, change is possible, but only to those who are willing to endure the pain of having their delusions exposed as childish nonsense. Few such individuals are to be found among leftists or among those who identify themselves as members of the so-called “reality based community.”

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