Holder DOJ reversal in the works on civilian trial for KSM and other 9-11 co-conspirators?

Fox News is among the multiple news outlets reporting that the US AG Eric Holder has reversed course and will announce later today his decision to have confessed 9-11 terrorist mastermind KSM and other hardcore 9-11 Gitmo detainees tried in front of a military commission rather than in civilian courts:

The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S. will be referred to the Defense Department for trial, three sources familiar with the case told Fox News on Monday. 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006, after being captured in Pakistan in 2003, and five alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators will face prosecution by a military commission in Guantanamo, a Justice Department official said. 

A formal announcement is expected by Attorney General Eric Holder later in the day. The decision is a turn-around after Holder said in November 2009 that he had decided the conspirators — Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi — should be prosecuted in civilian court.

At the time, President Obama said he left the decision to Holder. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the decision to reverse himself remained with Holder, but he didn’t want to get ahead of the announcement. 

“The president’s primary concern here is that the perpetrators …  of that terrible attack on the American people be brought to justice as swiftly as possible and as fairly as possible,” he said. 


J.D. Gordon, a former Defense Department spokesman for secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, said Mohammad and the other co-conspirators were already going through the military commission process before the Obama administration halted the case. He said the administration must have realized that popular opinion was against using civilian courtrooms in the United States.

“I think they ran into the buzz saw of reality where the American public didn’t see it in their best interest to hold Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian trial where he could theoretically be acquitted there and also where he’d have a chance to have his rhetoric used against us,” Gordon said. 

“I think that to trust the civilian jury with some of the most dangerous terror suspects is really a flawed mistake,” Gordon added.

With the case now returning to the military commission, the process will start all over again. After the administration announced in 2009 it planned to move the trials to federal court, the military withdrew its charges without prejudice — an action that effectively allowed it to preserve its legal position so that if the cases returned to the commissions in the future, the men could be charged again. 

Anyone else think it’s not a coincidence that this announcement will come on the very day President Obama has officially launched his re-election campaign?  It would be kinda hard for our celebrity President while on the campaign trail to defend his indefensible position on supposedly wanting to demonstrate to the world the “fairness” of our justice system when his own AG, not to mention his former spokesdude Robert Fibbs, had already declared KSM guilty before trial.    Not only that, but Holder himself made it clear in the middle of all this that no matter whether KSM was found guilty or not, that the US would still hold him indefinitely.  Even Obama’s best spinmaestros would have a hard time trying to find a way for him to credibly wiggle out of that one.

This is a first of sorts for President Obama, as far as I can recall.  As a Senator, he was for a military trial for KSM before he was against it – before he was, apparently, for it, if news of today’s announcement holds true.  With the official launch of his re-election campaign this morning, expect more of this in the months to come as the President tries to pull one Bill Clinton triangulation move after another in his quest for four more years in office.  He’s fooled the masses once before – don’t think he won’t try to do it again.

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