Obama's stubborn insistence on trial for 9-11 terrorist

NY Times:

For much of President Obama’s first year in office, his national security team worked to devise a secure plan to send dozens of Yemeni detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — the largest single group at the prison camp — home to Yemen, perhaps to a rehabilitation program.

Then came the Christmas Day airliner bombing attempt, which was planned in Yemen, and the president put all transfers there on hold.

Since November, the administration had been preparing to move the highest-profile Guantánamo prisoners — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accomplices accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — to Manhattan for a federal criminal trial.

But overwhelming opposition from New York politicians concerned about costs, disruptions and security now has the Justice Department scrambling to come up with a Plan B, even as Congress threatens to block money to pay for a criminal 9/11 trial altogether. That could force the administration to revive the very option that the president and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had rejected: military commissions at Guantánamo for the 9/11 plotters.

For a president who campaigned on a promise to close Guantánamo, and who just missed a self-imposed one-year deadline to get the job done, the meltdown of a potential Manhattan 9/11 trial is the latest measure of the stubborn complexity of his national security inheritance.

“It’s obviously proven a lot more difficult than a lot of us expected to close Guantánamo,” said Sarah E. Mendelson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, who has studied the issue intensively. She called the turnaround of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other New York officials “disappointing” and the costly security plan they proposed for Manhattan excessive, given the major Al Qaeda trials held there in the past with far less disruptive procedures.

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The administration claims that the fact that we have had trials for other terrorist is some reason why we should tried these guys. When you consider the fact that these trials did nothing to deter the largest act of mass murder in history, it is hard to see why they think it is so important. When you add the fact that they turned down guilty pleas in the military commission in order to go to the trouble and extreme expense of giving these guys a platform for their propaganda it is inexplicable.

They have yet to show any tangible benefit to the US in having a trial as oppose to a military commission. Al Qaeda is not going to be impressed with either nor will the rest of the religious bigots making war against us.

The administration is also taking a political hit with everyone outside of its kook base. That maybe the only good news to come out of this fiasco.

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