New York City may be spared Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s trail, but the country may get Gitmo detainees in the 48 states? What a deal!
Obama advisers set to recommend military tribunals for alleged 9/11 plotters
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.
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.
Apparently the Obama administration is seeking the support of Lindsey Graham,
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. Graham has sought the creation a legal framework that would spell out how the government would detain and try future captives, but an administration official warned that a “grand bargain” is not likely in the immediate future. The official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the talks with Graham have been mostly about “limited issues” involving the Mohammed trial and the future of Guantanamo.
One can only hope Graham and the Republicans will have the gonadal fortitude to prevent the transfer of terrorists to the US. As Dan Riehl points out,
But given that the plan is still to bring them into the US, how are they going to avoid the civilian courts? Once they come into the country, their lawyers will go hog wild. Add to that that some of their former representation now works at DOJ, how this doesn't end up looking like a colossal circus is above my pay grade.
Senator Graham and others will tell you such an outcome will be a great victory for national security conservatives who think terrorists should be tried by commission. Don’t buy it. The deal would be a great victory for the terrorists. As I argued here, it would significantly increase the threat to U.S. military bases and geometrically increase the likelihood that federal judges will order that trained terrorists be released in the United States. There is no excuse for taking on these risks given that Gitmo is a top-flight, completely secure facility. It makes no sense to horse-trade when Obama was being pushed toward military commissions by reality.
Proponents will call frame the compromise floated by the Post as a triumph for bipartisanship. In reality, it will be a defeat for national defense.