Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama Administration Backs Away From Proposed Manhattan Trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Facing increasing opposition from New York City officials, the Obama Administration and US Justice Department backed down Thursday from a proposed trial of suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan Federal Court.

One would think this is good news, but Obama and Holder remain committed to the idea of a civilian trial for certain Guantanamo detainees.

"The President is still committed to trying Mohammed and four other terrorist detainees in federal court," spokesman Bill Burton said Thursday.

"He agrees with the attorney general's opinion that . . . he and others can be litigated successfully and securely in the Unites States of America, just like others have," Burton said.

Other locations in the New York metropolitan area are under consideration:

As you can see, moving the trial out of New York City would basically be a shell game. A change of venue to Governors Island, West Point or Orange County would not change the fact that the architect of the largest mass-murder in this country's history would be afforded the same protections under the US Constitution as a motorist pulled over for doing 37 MPH in a school zone.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the fact that this administration is willing to afford the accused 9/11 mastermind and murderer of Daniel Pearl the same legal recourse as any defendant in the Federal Court system mean that Mohammed and his counsel will have access to sensitive intelligence and military information through the discovery process in preparation of his defense?

Also, as much as I'd love to see KSM's lifeless corpse swinging from the end of a rope, wasn't the whole point of the Obama administration circumventing the military tribunals to show how much more fair and just a civilian trial in the Federal court system would be? If that really was the case, then why do we have White House officials already announcing a 'guilty' verdict?

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and he’s going to meet his maker," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told John King on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning.

Look- I'm no legal scholar, but isn't a White House official going on a national TV network to declare a guilty verdict and death sentence well ahead of any trial for all the world to see and hear grounds for appeal- if not a mistrial?

But that's OK- if New York City doesn't want to host the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial, perhaps this administration can bribe another city into doing so.

The Obama administration is proposing a $200 million fund to help pay for security in cities that host the trials of suspected terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The mayor of the cash-strapped city of Newburgh, NY is interested in holding the proposed KSM trial in the city. Newburgh is on the western shore of the Hudson river about 60 miles north of New York City at the junction of the NY State Thruway (I-87) and I-84. Mohammed would likely be kept at the Stewart Air National Guard base on the outskirts of Newburgh for the duration of the trial.

Alexandria, VA has also been mentioned as a possible venue for a civilian trial.

"And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation - they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them."- Scott Brown (R-MA) victory speech, January 19, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Earlier a former CIA operative said the Obama people are "nothing but Buffoons" when it comes to national security. I think he was being too kind.