March 5th, 2010
11:06 AM ET
5 years ago

White House considers military trial for KSM

The U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay houses high value terror detainees.
The U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay houses high value terror detainees.

Washington (CNN) - White House advisers are considering recommending alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed be tried in a military court, not a civilian one in New York, a senior administration official confirmed Friday.

This would be an about face for the Obama administration which has consistently insisted trying Mohammed in civilian court would be a powerful symbol of U.S. rule of law.

In November 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder announced his intention to do just that. But a firestorm of criticism erupted from New York officials who did not want the trial held in Manhattan, and from Republican lawmakers who did not want a civilian trial.

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Filed under: Khalid Sheik Mohammed
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    Two words for Obama: "LET DOWN!"

    March 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Kill Him!!!

    Just line him up in front of a firing squad and kill him? Or how about the President executing him in the Rose Garden? KSM confessed. Under what condtions? I don't know, but frankly I don't care. Kill him and get it over with.

    March 5, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. ThinkAgain

    If KSM is tried in a military court, doesn't that confer upon him prisoner of war status?

    And wouldn't that make us in violation of the Geneva Conventions?

    Better to try him in a civilian court as the common criminal he is. And where our Justice Department has an impressive track record of conviction.

    Show KSM and his cronies what the rule of law looks like up close and personal!

    March 5, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Independent

    Oh yeah big shocker here! It is so sad that the well being of Americas Legal Citizens is now a political football. Politicians rallying against Americas pride and joy, its legal system. I see why other countries laugh at us. America don't you get it We need a REAL REFORMIST to tackle these issues and not someone who will cowar and bow down to Repubs or Dems! Too add to this, we also need to slash the salary, retirement and medical benefits of congress and my God TERM LIMITS!!. We need to get rid of gov't programs that we don't need like the DHS and refine our borders, inforce immigration reform, inforce more broad based security at our airports, bus stations and trains like the body scanner. We need a real REFORMIST to tackle these issues. We don't need someone trying to pander to the left and the right.

    March 5, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. joe

    Time to unload Eric Holder, this decision was an abomination. I work in downtown NYC.... Our attorney general is a radical and a national security risk in the position he's in. But I guess looking at the person who appointed him I see how this came to pass....

    March 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. chris l

    LOL- The job of president is way over the head of OBOZO

    March 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. j

    He should be tried in a civil court.

    March 5, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Tony in Maine

    President Obama – Please stop caving in to the morons. They hate you and will never go with anything you propose simply because you proposed it.

    We are a nation of law. We do not make rules up as we go along – no matter what Palm Beach John, Chinless Mitch or Metamucil McCain shriek.

    March 5, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Darrell

    Please, Mr. President don't listen to the far right wingers and the fears that they spread....The Rule of Law is bigger and stronger than fear. As an Africian-American we won in a legal system that tried to deny us for so many years...because we blieved that Justice is stronger than "human prejustices"...we were right! Please let the world see that Justice is stronger than fear.

    March 5, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Mohammed should be tried in a military court. He is an enemy combatant and not a common civilian criminal. If the military justice system affords the rule of law for our brave soldiers, it is good enough for war prisoners and terrorists like Mohammed.

    March 5, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. once upon a horse

    really doesn't matter how they decide to do it the only thing that will hold to form is that the Republicans won't like it.

    March 5, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Conservative American

    So Bush was right again?

    March 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Dan Holiday

    Yet another reversal by the Obama administration. It is laughable how he chooses one path so adamantly, then backtracks to go down the path the American people and GOP told him to take to begin with. He has no backbone or sand. He, like so many liberals, is just a pathetic neutered cat laying around the house, ignoring what it is told until someone goes BOO! Worst President Ever...behind Wilson...and maybe Carter.

    March 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Tram

    Either way, it's a major win for the American people.

    In a civilian court, "we the people" get to try him. They attacked us the people, not just US the country. We have a right for a measure of justice for what they did on 9/11 to innocent people.

    In a military court, that would prove that we ARE at war with a people, that there are prisoners of war, that Bush's stance on the how and why behind the war was illegal because a military court puts our enemies on the level of wartime enemies. This would also be another notch on the balance of justice when Bush and Cheney are tried for war crimes.

    It's a win for the American people either way, and justice will be served.

    March 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. John

    Wow....

    Bush was right.....

    March 5, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Obama Victim

    Odumbo folding up like a cheap suit

    March 5, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Daniel

    NEWS FLASH: Obama temporarily removed his head from is bottom. The Saints won the Super Bowl. Republican won in Mass. This is the year of "Who'd a thunk it".

    March 5, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    Well, at first the mayor of NY was all for it – Remember??? And then he had a 'change of heart' – maybe it was his conscious – maybe he THOUGHT about it!!!

    If that was the ORIGINAL idea the WH had – that ALSO had to change because the mayor no longer wanted it there and RepubliCAN'T lawmakers!!

    And then you have some American people who also believed the trials should not occur in civilian court – especially the VICTIMS in this case.

    So what else was the WH supposed to do????? Change it's mind – Case and POINT!!! This only PROVES that it is listening to the people – working in a bipartisan way – and getting things DONE!!!

    OH BUT WATCH!!! The RepubliCAN'Ts and the HATERS would use this as a FEAR tactic and have a "Field Day" at the same time!!

    March 5, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. seebofubar

    America 1, Obama 0

    March 5, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. lolly

    i hope O doesnt wimp on this one, use the courts ...be an american

    March 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Sue

    Obama and the White House Advisors are not "considering" this on their own............

    They are "considering" this, because currently their is a Bill being proposed that will FORCE them to do this.

    In other words, Obama will NOT have a choice.

    Therefore, he now wants to make it "appear" as though it is his idea.

    March 5, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    New Yorkers have now been defeated by this scumbag.He has done exactly what he intended to do and that was to scare them to death.

    March 5, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. jules sand-perkins

    The ONLY venue that President Obama should have considered at all was always a military trial. This was an act of war, not a civilian crime.
    No available punishment is severe enough for it.

    March 5, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Sarge in Florida

    Once again that the Democrats are backing down to the Republicans. Get a backbone already..Did they FORGET how many trials were conducted in Federal courts under Bush and none of the Repukalins complained when he did it. I know that there is not one US jury who would find him not GUILTY.....I know that if were sitting on that panel I would find him GUILTY and send him to DEATH. Or life and let the other inmate take care of him.

    March 5, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Mike in MN

    Good, I hope Obama does change KSM's trial to a military trial. He is a war criminal.
    And then Obama should fire most of his left wing, radical, liberal/progressive cabinet and staff. Starting with Holder. Replace them with people who actually have American views and values, unlike the left wing fringe of his current bunch.
    Keep Gibbs though, his spin is flat out funny. I look forward to getting a good laugh every day from the stupid spin doctor.

    March 5, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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