Recently, the Obama Administration’s plan to bring Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, characterized as “the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks,” from Guantánamo and try him and several others in a Federal Court in New York City has made headlines. Those on the right have attacked this decision claiming, among other things, that Mohammed should be kept in Guantánamo, that he does not deserve constitutional rights, and that such a trial will expose New York City to further attacks.
I have been overwhelmed by the dozens of responses to my last posting. I have also been very impressed with the level of discourse. This reinforces what I’ve noticed at dozens of RFC events I’ve attended over the years – the RFC has attracted a great community of support, and it is a pleasure to know you!
Despite the headline, I’m not really arguing that we should free Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), the self proclaimed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Once again, however, the debate rekindled by Attorney General Holder’s decision to bow to political pressure and try KSM by military commission at Guantanamo leaves me tearing out what’s left of my hair.
Is it possible for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), his co-defendants and the victims of their alleged crimes to receive justice? Can their torture and harsh conditions of confinement be ignored at the defendants’ trial? The Obama administration answers both questions affirmatively.