9/11 Trial Site Is Up in the Air
After the Obama administration said it would try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a Manhattan civilian court, and after Republicans shrieked about the threat of a terrorist attack, President Obama is back to the drawing board amid speculation that he may pull the civilian option and go with a military commission instead.
Mohammed is to be tried with four others accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. –JCL
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The New York Times:
The Obama administration said Friday that a decision on where to prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks would not be made “for weeks,” following a flare-up in the debate about whether that trial should take place in civilian court or before a military commission.
The White House sought to dampen speculation that a decision on where to hold a trial might be imminent. That speculation was fanned by a report Friday that aides to President Obama might recommend that he pull the prosecution out of civilian court and send it back to a military commission, where the Bush administration had planned to hold it.
“No decision has been made,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Friday.
Still, in a conference call with reporters, three retired military officers said Friday that holding a Sept. 11 trial in a military commission would be a mistake. All three supported Mr. Obama last year when he signed an order calling for the closing of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
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