Breaking: KSM to get military commission trial

posted at 11:44 am on April 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration finally surrendered to political and military reality today.  CBS News reports that Attorney General Eric Holder will announce today that the Department of Justice has given up the idea of trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court for his role in masterminding the 9/11 attacks:

Attorney General Eric Holder today will announce that self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad will be tried in a military commission, CBS News has learned. A source says the commission will be held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

This isn’t the only news on the Guantanamo Bay front, either.  The Supreme Court ruled just minutes earlier to deny requests from three detainees at Gitmo for their release:

The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from foreigners seeking their release after nine years of detention at Guantanamo Bay.

The court on Monday rejected three separate claims asking the justices to review rulings against the detainees by the federal appeals court in Washington.

In 2008, the high court ruled that the Guantanamo detainees have a constitutional right to ask a federal civilian judge to review their cases and suggested that a judge could order their release.

But in a series of cases since, the D.C. Circuit has limited the authority of federal district judges and made it harder for the detainees to challenge their continued confinement.

In both cases, it’s the result of theoretical thinking meeting some hard realities.  The court’s interference in detention of foreign fighters during Congressionally authorized military and intelligence operations is unprecedented, and it had resulted in the curious and dangerous orders for release from district courts — which would have set terrorists free inside the US.  The Supreme Court has decided to keep that thinking theoretical instead of overruling the decisions of the executive branch, which isn’t a bad precedent to set.

For Holder and Barack Obama, however, the decision to send KSM back to a military commission is an unmitigated political defeat.  Obama stopped the commission’s trial of KSM immediately upon taking office even though KSM had indicated he’d plead guilty.  Now that process has to start over, wasting more time and resources for nothing more than two years of grandstanding.  In the end, Obama not only didn’t close Gitmo, he actually showed how necessary it is for dealing with terrorists captured abroad by our military and intelligence assets.

Update: On the Supreme Court decision, no vote was published because the court didn’t take the appeal on the earlier denial of release from the appellate court.  Remember, though, that it takes 4 votes to grant certiorari at SCOTUS, which means that at least one of the liberal justices didn’t want to take the case.


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who gives a sh*t

Dave Rywall on April 4, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Do you want NY to be hit? You don’t care about NY, nor the U.S.?

Plus, Canada is part of America, fyi.

Plus, Canada needs your energy. Focus there.

Plus, things are not going your Utopian socialist ways?…in the U.S. and in Canada? Bad day, indeed.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 2:04 PM

The timing is soooo convenient…

Not to say this is bad news, just way overdue.

Ugly on April 4, 2011 at 2:07 PM

That’s assuming Scalia’s vote was with the conservatives. Remember he wrote a strong dissent with Justice Stevens in one of the early post-9/11 cases (Hamdam or Hamdi I believe).

taney71 on April 4, 2011 at 2:11 PM

HAH! Holder just said

Let me be clear. Let me be very clear”

Obama might have written this speech.

Ugly on April 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Filthbag should have been mined for information, given a quick trial where he plead guilty, and summarily executed.

Way too much time/energy/money has been spent on this subhuman after all intel was gotten from him.

Aquateen Hungerforce on April 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Isn’t BOR too busy these days demonizing BIG OIL PROFITS? I haven’t watched that clown in years but last time I did watch I remember he was in full “FOR THE FOLKS” mode against $4 gas being the fault of Exxon and Shell.

angryed on April 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

BOR hasn’t changed and can’t change, -you can’t fix stupid.

slickwillie2001 on April 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Holder says he knows the case better than congress. That’s a mouthful.

Ugly on April 4, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Aquateen Hungerforce on April 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Should have been executed without trial, right there at first sight.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Holder says his original plan was best but blames bipartisan congressional maneuvering for acquiescing on military tribunals.

Stupid elected leaders! They never let the government just do what it wants!

StubbleSpark on April 4, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Aquateen Hungerforce on April 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM
Should have been executed without trial, right there at first sight.
Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Hogwash. You should always “torture” them for info first.

Vyce on April 4, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Hogwash. You should always “torture” them for info first.

Vyce on April 4, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I know you’re being facetious but hellz yeah

Ugly on April 4, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Hogwash. You should always “torture” them for info first.

Vyce on April 4, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Heh, crr6 said in another thread that Obama got rid of torture. Get with the program, comrade.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I just tell my liberal friends that Obama is Bush on steroids. They go dead quiet and change the subject really fast.

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2011 at 2:47 PM

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I’ll bet. lol

Ugly on April 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The Obama administration finally surrendered to political and military reality today.

Just in time for reelection.

mizflame98 on April 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Heh, crr6 said in another thread that Obama got rid of torture. Get with the program, comrade.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 2:45 PM

crr6 also said that the Left would throw their full support behind O’bama’s War of Choice in Libya.

Del Dolemonte on April 4, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Short trial. Short rope. Long drop. Problem solved.

Sleazy Eric Holder probably wants KSM acquitted by a Noo Yawk or DC jury, declared a Black Panther (all is forgiven), or at worst on death row with three hots and a cot for 25 or thirty years.

viking01 on April 4, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Reading the comments at the NY Times version of this story. Some of those people are insane.

Some examples:

The terrorists set out to intimidate us, that day a decade ago. They sought to prove that our system was too weak, our people too fearful, to stand up the new world terror they would unleash. They sought to prove that our society, including our normal system of justice, was not up to the task.

It appears that they have succeeded.

We had an opportunity to demonstrate the true meaning of justice in a free democracy. Instead, we’re going to convict this guy behind closed doors, and show the world that freedom is just another marketing slogan from America.

A military tribunal hearing is NOT a real trial, it’s a kangaroo court. So much for the rule of law and the Constitution.

I hope the end result is that justice will be served but there’s no reason why we couldn’t have tried him in a civilian court. That is what we did with the terrorist that bombed the World Trade Center back in ’93. I believe someone is serving a life sentence due to that trial.

And my fave:

I voted for you, and I’ll vote for you again.

That said, I’m disappointed with this.

Del Dolemonte on April 4, 2011 at 3:36 PM

who gives a sh*t

Dave Rywall on April 4, 2011 at 1:36 PM

In other words…
“I have no clue whatsoever how to successfully demagogue this issue. I’d better get while the gettin’s good.”

Now go upstairs and change your sheets, boy.

CurtZHP on April 4, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Now go upstairs and change your sheets, boy.

CurtZHP on April 4, 2011 at 3:47 PM

…and your incontinence diapers…

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2011 at 3:54 PM

KSM is an illegal combatant, and is therefore not entitled to a civilian trial. All liberals disagree with this, and want him to be tried in NYC. This is true for Obama, Holder, and Dave Rywall. The reason that Obama won’t try him in a civilian court is because might cost him the 2012 election.

Really Right on April 4, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I’m in favor of capital punishment and I’m not bashful about that but I would rather KSM and bin Laden (if caught) spend their remaining days in a nasty little prison cell. If they get executed, they simply become martyrs for the cause. If they rot away in prison, they don’t even get to die for the jihad. I say let ‘em rot slow and long.

Big John on April 4, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I’m in favor of capital punishment and I’m not bashful about that but I would rather KSM and bin Laden (if caught) spend their remaining days in a nasty little prison cell. If they get executed, they simply become martyrs for the cause. If they rot away in prison, they don’t even get to die for the jihad. I say let ‘em rot slow and long.

Big John on April 4, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I’d agree…life in isolation would be waaaay worse…but I’d want to be assured that they don’t end up in another club-gitmo type environment. Sounds better than most public housing(including the waterboarding).

Tim_CA on April 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Gibe him a fair trial, then immediately take him out and shoot him…

Give him the “General Pershing treatment of the Filipino muslim rebels “treatment”…

Khun Joe on April 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM

I’d want to be assured that they don’t end up in another club-gitmo type environment
Tim_CA on April 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Or in a position where they could recruit additional monsters.

DrMagnolias on April 5, 2011 at 7:09 AM

I’m in favor of capital punishment and I’m not bashful about that but I would rather KSM and bin Laden (if caught) spend their remaining days in a nasty little prison cell. If they get executed, they simply become martyrs for the cause. If they rot away in prison, they don’t even get to die for the jihad. I say let ‘em rot slow and long.

This.
With the slight modification of instead of sitting in a cell, having to work in an ammunition factory hand dipping military 5.56mm shells in bacon grease all day…

Battlecruiser-operational on April 5, 2011 at 1:29 PM

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