I think it more likely Mohammed, known within American intelligence circles as KSM, will sit in a solitary jail cell until his carefully tended, henna-red beard turns snow white, he shrivels into old age, and passes on to whatever afterlife awaits him.
The reasons have nothing to do with the crimes committed or even with the viability of the military commission system under which he is intended to be tried. The hard issues in this case arise solely from what has happened after KSM and his four codefendants were caught. This began with their capture and torture, but doesn’t nearly come to an end there…
The commission system could probably work if it were ever given a chance. That’s not to say the trials shouldn’t be in federal court—they should. The federal courts have been trying crimes just like this for a quarter century. A competent, experienced, federal judge, had one been allowed, would have finished this trial years ago. But the Guantánamo commissions are condemned to flawed circumstance, perhaps fatal.
Pohl, who appointed himself to the trial, is having to make up the rules of his court as he goes along.