Trying 9/11 Suspects in New York Fraught with Peril

November 15, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The trial of Mohammed Khalid Sheikh, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and four other suspects accused of plotting the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon is seen as an important step in President Obama’s plan of eventually closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center. But the Obama administration is running the legal and political risk that the Justice Department will fail to secure a conviction and in the process put the Bush administration on trial.

The trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed would not seem to make for riveting drama given his admissions in a 2007 military tribunal hearing, where he made a 31-point written statement affirming that he was “responsible for the Sept. 11 operation, from A to Z.” That he had planned future attacks with biological and radiological weapons on behalf of Muslims everywhere “oppressed by America,” and had “personally decapitated with my blessed right hand” Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

But in deciding to hold the trial of Mohammed in New York City, instead of a military tribunal, Attorney General Eric Holder will be forced to publicly navigate difficult issues relating to intelligence and torture, ultimately giving the defense the chance to put the Bush administration and its anti-terror policies on trial. Because many of the detainees were questioned while under duress, and some testimony against them was elicited through torture, the prosecution faces the possibility that some of the evidence will be thrown out. A Justice Department admits in a 2005 memo that CIA interrogators subjected Mohammed 183 times to waterboarding, a near-drowning technique described by Obama officials as illegal torture. The defense can also argue that Mohammed’s six years in detention have already violated his right to a fair trial, and whether it’s possible to get an impartial jury in New York where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11. Holder remains confident that the untainted evidence, including a confession from Mohammed himself, is strong enough to ensure a conviction. “To the extent that there are political consequences,” said Holder, “I’ll just have to take my lumps.”


Comments

2 Responses to “Trying 9/11 Suspects in New York Fraught with Peril”

  1. About trial, sept., khalid sheikh mohammed, york | Find me About on November 15th, 2009 3:07 pm

    […] (ChattahBox) — The trial of Mohammed Khalid Sheikh, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and four other suspects accused of plotting the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon is seen as an important step in President Obama’s plan of …Read Original Story: Trying 9/11 Suspects in New York Fraught with Peril – ChattahBox […]

  2. About sept., federal, mohammed, khalid sheikh, trial, york, mastermind | Find me About on November 15th, 2009 3:52 pm

    […] (ChattahBox) — The trial of MohammedKhalid Sheikh, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and four other suspects accused of plotting the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon is seen as an important step in President Obama’s plan of …Read Original Story: Trying 9/11 Suspects in New York Fraught with Peril – ChattahBox […]

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