How much angst has been endured as we watched the Obama administration threaten to bring 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (Pakistan) and his cohorts into our communities in civilian courtrooms? Today there is news that KSM will be tried in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. UPDATE 4-4-11 1:13 pm CDT: Holder is on television this minute saying he still plans to close Guantanamo Bay, and he says (paraphrasing): I stand by my original opinion that these trials could still be tried in New York City, and NYC is the best place for them. Holder also said this was an “executive decision,” apparently meaning an Obama decision. See an update below.
On Fox News a few minutes ago, U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan’s name was mentioned in connection to the KSM trial. Sullivan prosecuted shoe-bomber Richard Reid in federal court in Boston. As more information on the tribunal becomes available, I will update.
The four alleged co-conspirators are:
Waleed bin Attash, a Yemeni who allegedly ran an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan;
Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni who allegedly helped find flight schools for the hijackers;
Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali [Pakistan], accused of helping nine of the hijackers travel to the United States and sending them $120,000 for expenses and flight training, and
Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, a Saudi accused of helping the hijackers with money, Western clothing, traveler’s checks and credit cards.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will announce his failure to proceed with civilian trials sometime this afternoon.
UPDATE from Fox News: During the press conference today, Holder wasn’t shy about expressing his disdain for trying terrorists in a military venue, and admitted he was forced to do so by Congress:
“Do I know better than them? Yes. I respect their ability to disagree but they should respect that this is an executive branch function, a unique executive branch function,” Holder said in a press conference.
Holder said the President wants the charged to be brought to justice as swiftly as possible, making no comment about the fact that we are now 9 years and almost months after 9/11/01. Two members of victims families spoke out today:
“I am frankly shocked by the attorney general’s comments,” said David Beamer, the father of Todd Beamer, who is credited with preventing United Flight 93 from hitting its target. The plane instead crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa.
“I guess one of my reactions is is I’m thankful there are three branches of government because the last thing I want to see is KSM returning to New York City for a civilian trial,” Beamer said.
Debra Burlingame, head of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, said the group is “relieved” Obama “abandoned his plan” to bring the conspirators to U.S. soil.
“We are grateful to the president for reversing his decision, conveyed to the families just last month, to go forward with civilian trials and seek repeal of congressional legislation that stripped funding for that effort,” said Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot aboard American Airlines Flight 93