White House Reverses Civilian Trial Plan for Detainee

AG Blames Congress for Obama's Decision to Move Trial to Gitmo

Heavily tortured Guantanamo detainee Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was supposed to be the most “slam dunk” case the Obama Administration had to present to the civilian courts. He was, after all, the confessed “mastermind” behind the September 11 attacks.

But underscoring the administration’s newfound faith in sham trials as a substitute for actual trials, the White House has reversed its decision and is now planning to try Mohammed at Guantanamo Bay, in a military tribunal.

Apparently averse to abandoning the pretense that they are in favor of something resembling fair trials, however, Attorney General Eric Holder blamed Congress for the president’s decision, saying that it “couldn’t allow a civilian trial to be delayed while working to repeal congressional restrictions.”

His sudden interest in a speedy trial at the expense of a fair trial is susprising, because Mohammed has been in custody since 2003 and charged since February 2008 without seeing the inside of a courtroom, and it never seemed to bother the administration before today.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.