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11/24/2020

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Obama poised to announce military trials for terrorism suspects

1 min read

Obama poised to announce military trials for terrorism suspects

President Obama’s advisers are poised to announce a recommendation to reverse course on Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to try the admitted architect of the 9/11 attacks in federal court and instead prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a military commission, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

According to high-level sources in the story that spoke on the condition of anonymity, the deliberation over where to try Mohammed and his co-conspirators is in its final stages and the administration could announce its plan before Obama leaves on an upcoming trip to Indonesia on March 18.

Moving Mohammed’s trial from a civilian court to a military proceeding would be a setback for the Justice Department, which has openly pledged to try terrorism suspects in federal courtrooms.

“If President Obama reverses Holder’s decision to try the 9/11 defendants in criminal court and retreats to using the Bush military commissions, he deals a death blow to his own Justice Department,” Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union told the Post.

The flip-flop could also undermine the media’s ability to cover the trials. The commissions, which were created during the Bush administration, have little precedent behind them and it is unclear what journalists should expect.

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