Attorney General Eric Holder announced that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad will be tried by military tribunal rather than in a civilian court. The commision that will try KSM will reportedly convene at Guantanamo Bay. White House press secretary Jay Carney just told a reporter that the president agrees with this decision. The administration has finally bowed to the wishes of millions of Americans concerned about the national security implications of trying a 9/11 mass murderer in open court in Manhattan.
At the same time, the decision is a setback for civil libertarians who placed their faith in President Obama. On the same day Obama announced his bid for reelection, the president agreed to a military trial he once opposed to be held at a prison he once vowed to close.
UPDATE: Here’s a statement from Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee:
Today’s decision to abandon plans to try admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators in civilian court in New York City is a long-awaited step in the right direction.
As I have been saying since day one, these terror trials belong in a military commission at Guantanamo. I am absolutely shocked that it took Attorney General Holder 507 days to come to this realization.
Today’s reversal is yet another vindication of President Bush’s detention policies by the Obama Administration, and is welcome news to the families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, who will finally see long-awaited justice.
Here’s Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “This means with certainty that the trial will not be in New York. While not unexpected, this is the final nail in the coffin of that wrong-headed idea. I have always said that the perpetrators of this horrible crime should get the ultimate penalty, and I believe this proposal by the administration can make that happen.”