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Tag: civilian court

FBI: Evidence Stacking Against Five Suspects in Benghazi Attacks, But Not Enough for Civilian Court

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents have enough evidence against five men accused in the Benghazi attack to seize them by military force as suspected terrorists, the Associated Press reports.

But the AP reported that the agents don’t have enough evidence to charge the men in a civilian court, which is the Obama administration’s preference.

In the meantime, the men remain at large while the FBI continues to investigate.

The AP wrote that the probe is being complicated by the reduction in U.S. investigators in the region and the restrictions of helping Libyan law enforcement.

Obama has been shifting away from holding terrorists as enemy combatants and holding them at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Sen. Graham Doubts 9/11 Suspects Will be Tried in Civilian Court

Khalid Sheik Mohammad

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The chances of the suspected 9/11 conspirators facing a trial in a civilian court seems to be getting slimmer.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday he probably has the votes in the Senate to block a civilian trial for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others, the Associated Press reported.

Graham said on Fox News that the alleged conspirators should be tried in a military court at Gitmo, AP reported.

The Justice Department was gung-ho about prosecuting the case in federal court in New York. But the backlash has been so strong, it seems to be rethinking its stance.

To date, it appears it’s unlikely the case will end up in civilian court.

To read more click here.

Column: Terrorists Should Face Civilian Courts

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
By Clarence Page
Chicago Tribune Columnist

WASHINGTON — Resistance to political influence is a virtue in a good attorney general. Tone deafness to politics is not, especially when the public fails to understand the virtue in what you’re doing.

That appears to be why, as much as he prefers a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Attorney General Eric Holder has backpedaled just enough to say that he is open to a military tribunal.

In an interview published Feb. 15 in The New York Times, he said, “You have to be flexible.” That’s true, if you can avoid tying yourself up in knots.

Holder and President Barack Obama appear to be bending to the relentless winds of opinion polls and conservative politicians. They may not have much choice. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina has introduced a bill in the Senate to cut off funding for criminal trials related to Sept. 11. He hopes to force cases like Mohammad’s into the military commissions that the Bush administration hastily organized at Guantanamo after the 2001 attacks.

It is easy to understand why our military is a sentimental favorite as a go-to place for handling terrorists. But those who root for the military commissions in Guantanamo should note a few things. The FBI, Justice Department and our federal courts have a better track record for effectiveness, constitutionality and appropriately tough sentencing than Team Obama’s political critics give them credit.

To read full column click here.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says Prosecuting Terrorists in Civilian Courts is “Often More Effective”

Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Ali Soufan was an FBI special agent from 1997 to 2005.

By ALI H. SOUFAN
New York Times Op-Ed

SINCE Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York announced that he no longer favored trying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind, in a Manhattan federal court because of logistical concerns, the Obama administration has come under increasing attack from those who claim that military commissions are more suitable for prosecuting terrorists. These critics are misguided.

As someone who has helped prosecute terrorists in both civilian and military courts — I was a witness for the government in two of the three military commissions convened so far — I think that civilian courts are often the more effective venue.

In fact, the argument that our criminal justice system is more than able to handle terrorist cases was bolstered just last week by revelations that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas bomber, is cooperating with the authorities.

To read more click here.