The Washington Post has a big scoop today. It is reporting that Obama’s advisers are going to recommend that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be tried under a military tribunal.
From The Washington Post: 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 terrorism suspects 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 Guantanam
What is interesting to note is that they are doing this for political reasons rather than listening to the will of the people or accepting the logic behind military tribunals. The WaPo story goes on to show that the administration has not completely given up on civilian courts or closing Gitmo.
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…
…Top Obama advisers have been negotiating with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) — a vocal critic of trying the Sept. 11 suspects in civilian court — in pursuit of a deal that would secure his help in closing Guantanamo…
To close the detention center at Guantanamo, the administration needs funding to acquire and refurbish a prison in the United States, probably a state-owned maximum-security facility in Thomson, Ill. Because Congress has barred the transfer to the United States of all detainees except those destined for prosecution, the White House needs legal authority to move prisoners it plans to hold in some form of indefinite detention.
An interagency review of all cases at Guantanamo Bay concluded that about 50 prisoners will have to be held in some form of prolonged detention without trial, because the evidence against them was obtained through the use of harsh interrogation methods or because its revelation in court would compromise intelligence gathering. The government says the detainees are too dangerous to release.
One would think that having to borrow $1.6 trillion for the budget, the idea of spending money to hold civilian show trials would be off the radar. Something tells me that we will be seeing a retreat on this front as well.
The liberals are going to go absolutely bananas over this decision and the WaPo story makes note of that as well.
Privately, administration officials are bracing for the ire of disappointed liberals and even some government lawyers should the administration back away from promises to use civilian courts to adjudicate the cases of some of the 188 detainees who remain at Guantanamo.
Obama is going to have to throw liberals a major bone after this retreat. Liberals have had to sacrifice a lot under Obama. Liberals are not getting a public option in health care reform, no cap and trade legislation, no immediate withdrawal from Iraq or Afganistan and now this. If Obama has wants any hope of liberals being energized for him in 2012, he is going to have to give liberals a major something something soon.
Eric Holder is also not going to like this decision. He was the one who came up with the idea of holding the KSM trial in NYC in the first place. Should Obama override him on this, Holder will look as clownish as Napolitano. This retreat on KSM comes right after having to give up the names of the Al Qaeda 7 too. My guess is that if Holder stays on, we will be hearing far less from him.
Via: The Washington Post