WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain hammered the Obama administration Friday for its decision to try accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in a civilian court in New York.
Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi will all be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York - a short distance from the World Trade Center towers that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
McCain said in a statement that he is "extremely disappointed" by the decision and argued that the suspects "should be treated as war criminals and tried for their crimes through military tribunals."
TOKYO, Japan (CNN) - President Barack Obama, who is weighing whether or how much to boost U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, said his decision will come "soon."
"It's a matter of making certain that when I send young men and women into war, and I devote billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money, that it's making us safer," Obama said at a joint news conference in Tokyo with recently elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
A primary goal, he said, is to be sure that the United States and its allies are not subject to terror attacks.
"The decision will be made soon. It will be one that is fully transparent so that the American people understand exactly what we're doing and why we're doing it and what it will entail," Obama said in response to a question.
"It will also, I think, send a clear message that our goal here ultimately has to be for the Afghan people to be able to be in a position to
provide their own security and that the United States cannot be engaged in an open-ended commitment," he added.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin's memoir has leaked, but the former Alaska governor is telling supporters - and potential customers - to be cautious about the early reviews.
"As you probably have heard, the AP snagged a copy of my memoir, Going Rogue, before its Tuesday release," Palin wrote Friday on her Facebook page. "And as is expected, the AP and a number of subsequent media outlets are erroneously reporting the contents of the book."
"Keep your powder dry, read the book, and enjoy it!," she wrote. "Lots of great stories about my family, Alaska, and the incredible honor it was to run alongside Senator John McCain. We can't wait to hit the road and meet so many on the book tour! See you in Michigan first ... "
(CNN) - A Republican congressman with a reputation for frustrating members of his own party is now saying he's exasperated with the "hard right" element of the GOP.
South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis, who is facing a primary challenge from four Republicans, told the Greenville News on Thursday that the Reagan coalition of social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and moderate Democrats is "running on fumes." He described the struggle now going on within the Republican party as one between the "religious right" and the "hard right," and said he can't identify with the latter.
"I'm concerned about abortion," Inglis told the paper. "It's very much a concern to me. The hard right really doesn't care about abortion. They just want you, government, out of their pocketbook, by golly."
According to the paper, Inglis said "hard-right" conservatives have told him that they are willing to let people who don't have health insurance "die on the steps of the hospital" to make a point about the problem of "free riders."
"As a religious right guy, I'm thinking there was a guy named Jesus who had some things to say about these kinds of concepts," Inglis added. "And I don't want to live in a society that lets a few test cases die on the steps of the hospital. I can't go there."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the first major shakeup among President Barack Obama's senior staff, White House Counsel Greg Craig announced his resignation Friday.
The resignation will take effect on January 3, according to a letter sent by Craig to Obama.
Craig is being pushed out in favor of veteran Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer because of a dispute over plans to close the U.S. military prison in Cuba, CNN learned Thursday.
"I want to tell you how proud I am of all that your legal team has accomplished on your behalf," Craig wrote in the letter. "It has been a busy first year (for the administration), and I feel very lucky to have been part of it."
The move was announced while the president was in Japan at the start a four-nation tour of Asia.
Craig declined to comment and hung up when reached by CNN late Thursday evening.
TOKYO, Japan (CNN) –Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice," President Obama said Friday.
"The American people insist on it, and my administration will insist on it," Obama told reporters at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
He was responding to a reporter's question about media reports that Mohammed will be tried in a federal court in New York, instead of by a military commission.
Obama would not confirm those reports, saying he did not want to preempt an announcement later in the day by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will announce Friday that five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 attacks - including confessed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - will be tried in civilian court in New York, according to an Obama administration official.
Holder's news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET, the official said. He will also announce that five other detainees held at the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be sent to military commissions for trial. No other details on those detainees or their charges were available.
The official was not named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
When asked about the impending announcement on Friday, President Barack Obama would only say that Mohammed "will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice."
"The American people insist on it, and my administration will insist on it," Obama told reporters at a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan, with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee has instructed its insurance company to remove a provision from the committee's health insurance policy that covered elective abortion for employees.
"Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement released late Thursday. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."
In a note accompanying the statement, the RNC said this type of coverage dated to 1991.
The Politico newspaper first reported the story Thursday.
Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn