Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Gitmo

9/11 Defendants to Be Tried in Military Court; Atty. Gen. Says He Still Believes Civilian Court Was Best Venue

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Because Congress has blocked Gitmo detainees from being prosecuted in civilian court, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. said Monday that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others will stand trial in a military court in Gitmo.

The announcement marked a sharp reversal of his announcement in November 2009 that the men would be prosecuted in federal court in New York.

“Unfortunately, since I made that decision, Members of Congress have intervened and imposed restrictions blocking the administration from bringing any Guantanamo detainees to trial in the United States, regardless of the venue,” he said in a statement. “As the President has said, those unwise and unwarranted restrictions undermine our counterterrorism efforts and could harm our national security.”

“After thoroughly studying the case, it became clear to me that the best venue for prosecution was in federal court. I stand by that decision today.

“As the indictment unsealed today reveals, we were prepared to bring a powerful case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-conspirators – one of the most well-researched and documented cases I have ever seen in my decades of experience as a prosecutor.

“We had carefully evaluated the evidence and concluded that we could prove the defendants’ guilt while adhering to the bedrock traditions and values of our laws. We had consulted extensively with the intelligence community and developed detailed plans for handling classified evidence.

“Had this case proceeded in Manhattan or in an alternative venue in the United States, as I seriously explored in the past year, I am confident that our justice system would have performed with the same distinction that has been its hallmark for over two hundred years.

“Decisions about who, where and how to prosecute have always been – and must remain – the responsibility of the executive branch. Members of Congress simply do not have access to the evidence and other information necessary to make prosecution judgments. Yet they have taken one of the nation’s most tested counterterrorism tools off the table and tied our hands in a way that could have serious ramifications. We will continue to seek to repeal those restrictions.”

(Read more of his statement)

Read more »

If Captured Bin Laden Might Go to Gitmo, CIA Head Says

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – After almost 10 years, it seems like nothing more than a lot of “what ifs” and fantasy on the part of the U.S. government when it talks about what to do  with Osama bin Laden if he’s ever captured.

Still, CIA Director Leon Panetta testified Wednesday before a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill that the administration would probably take him to the military prison at Gitmo, the Associated Press reported.

AP’s Eileen Sullivan went on to write “that suggests that, at least under current law, bin Laden would not be transferred to US soil to be tried in the civilian court system.”

Bin laden has been indicted in federal court in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

But the new White House spokesman Jay Carney said, according to AP:

“The president remains committed to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, because as our military commanders have made clear, it’s a national security priority to do so.

“I’m not going to speculate about what, you know, would happen if we were to capture Osama bin Laden.”

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.

NY Juror in Gitmo Case Says She Feels Threatened by Fellow Jurors

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Big Apple.  Big trial. Big headache.

The latest big headache in the federal trial in New York of a Gitmo detainee surfaced Monday when a juror on the third day of deliberations, asked the judge to remove her, saying she felt threatened by fellow jurors because she was at odds with them on a verdict, the Associated Press reported.

“My conclusion is not going to change,” the juror wrote the judge, not indicating her position, according to AP. “I feel (I am being) attacked for my conclusion.”

AP noted that the note from the juror raised the possibility of a hung jury.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan called jurors into the courtroom, reminded them of his instructions and told them to continue deliberating, AP reported.

Juries are deliberating the fate of Ahmed Ghailani who is accused of helping al-Qaida buy a truck and components for explosives used in a suicide bombing in Tanzania in 1998. That, along with a simultaneous bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, AP reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Feds Won’t Appeal Witness Ban in NY Gitmo Trial

Judge Kaplan

Judge Kaplan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Saying they didn’t wish to delay the trial, federal prosecutors on Sunday said they won’t appeal a judge’s ruling that bans a key witness from testifying in the first criminal trial of Guantanamo Bay terrorism suspect, Reuters news service reported.

“The government . . . has decided not to pursue an appeal from the court’s decision,” said a letter from the New York U.S. Attorney’s Office to the presiding judge in the case, Reuters reported.

The letter said the government case is sufficient without the witness.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan cause a delay in the trial when he ruled that the witness, Hussein Abebe, couldn’t be used in the trial against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is accused of conspiring in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

The judge ruled that the government discovered the name of the witness during a harsh interrogation of the defendant in an overseas jail run by the CIA. The government insisted it would have learned about Abebe even without the interrogation, an argument the judge rejected.

Prosecutors had said that the witness told FBI agents he had sold the defendant explosives for one of the bombings.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

For Atty. Gen. Holder: With the Tough Job Comes a Little Glamour

Vogue Magazine
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It hasn’t been all glamour for Eric Holder Jr. as Attorney General. For one, there’s the less than friendly receptions on Capitol Hill from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who seem to enjoy grilling him like a burger at a 4th of July gathering.

Then there’s the  second guessing by the public, the political pundits and others on the Hill.

But there are times when the job does have some glamour.   Enter Vogue magazine. The magazine September issue has dedicated two-full pages of photos and then a two page write up on the guy it labels “Man of the Hour.”

Holder tells the magazine that the job is not easy. In fact, he shares, that his teenage son remarked that he doesn’t smile as much as he used to.

“You have a responsibility to keep the American people safe,” he tells the magazine. “It weighs on you. You literally go to bed and think, Have I done what I can?

He’s gotten grief over Gitmo, Miranda Warnings and the 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But he tells the magazine he’s unfazed by the negativity.

“It’s the reality of being the attorney general,” he says. “When I am dealing with some congressman who is trying to get me to engage so that he can end up on television, I have to think, What do I want people to think about this department 50 years from now?”

And then he offers an interesting perspective on the law.
“The law is not always right. “It kept my people slaves for years, segregate African-Americans, and kept women from voting, but it’s the place you go. You have to have an inner compass that tells you the right thing to do. That’s what I tell the people who work for me. Trust your instincts. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s where yo need to look.”

As for ambition, the magazine quotes former Justice colleague turned D.C. Judge Robert Richter: “Eric was never a particularly ambitious person. His goal was to make a difference, not end up on top.”

His wife, a physician, isn’t so certain, the magazine writes.

“It’s a question I wonder about. When I roll back the time and ask, ‘Did I think I was marrying a nakedly ambitious man?’ I answer no, but, then again, he was a judge at 38. In his case, I think, it’s there; it’s just not particularly offensive.”

Atty. Gen. Holder Questions Whether Terrorists Who Plead in Military Commission Could be Put to Death

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. told Face The Nation Sunday that the U.S. might be able to execute terrorists like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed if they pleaded guilty at military tribunal.

“There’s a real question about that,” Holder said.

Holder said there’s no question Mohammed could be put to death if he pleaded guilty in a civilian court. The issue has the potential to change some views on the matter, particularly conservatives who have insisted the Sept. 11 suspects be tried in a military venue.

Holder originally announced that Moahammed and four other defendants would be tried in a civilian federal court in New York. But the city complained of the cost and the potential danger, and conservative Republicans insisted the military venue was the only way to go.

The matter as to where the trial will be held remains unresolved.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Khalid Sheik Mohammad to be Tried in Fed Court in NY Insteaed of Military CourtAsked

Khalid Sheik Mohammad
Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Some may not agree with this, but frankly it seems like the right thing to do. Americans generally want to have confidence that justice is being carried out fairly and it seems that a trial in the federal court will be more transparent.

By Peter Finn and Carrie A. Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — and four co-defendants will be tried in federal court in New York instead of a military commission, a federal official said early Friday.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole when it was docked off the coast of Yemen in 2000, will be tried at a military commission, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decisions have not yet been formally announced by the Department of Justice.

The long-awaited decisions on prosecution, part of President Obama’s quest to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not affect the vast majority of the 215 prisoners held at the prison.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST