The confessed 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will stand trial for the terror attacks in a federal court in New York, according to reports by AP and other news outlets. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to make the announcement later today.
You would think the Obama administration would have second thoughts about unveiling such a plan so soon after the Fort Hood killings and the ensuing debate about whether the shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, was committing an act of jihadist terror or just garden-variety workplace violence. But apparently the administration is doubling down on the idea that jihadist killings — and surely no one besides the Truthers disputes that that’s what 9/11 was — are a crime like any other, committed by criminals like any others.
Will we be treated to spectacles like the last time these terrorists were asked to attend a hearing, in Guantanamo Bay back in July? Here’s one partial account:
Nearly eight years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others accused of plotting the attacks find small ways to thumb their nose at the U.S.
[Observers] were treated to now-typical tactics. Prison officials said the men first sent word with guards that they were boycotting the hearing. Three then changed their mind and showed up, only to lash out at their lawyers and mock the tribunal system. Their behavior and the resulting legal wrangling managed to consume much of the day.
Mr. Mohammed, who previously has used similar hearings to make outbursts, refused to attend…
Is the administration prepared to have KSM — who also claimed to have personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl — acquitted because jurors are uncomfortable with some interrogation techniques used on him? If he’s acquitted, will he be allowed after the court is adjourned to walk out into the streets in Manhattan like any other free man? If not, on what grounds would he be detained — and would these be legal?
Or is the administration simply placing an enormous and dangerous bet on the notion that no New York jury would ever acquit KSM (and, let’s not forget, four other jihadists)? And if so, is justice really being served better than it would have been in a military tribunal?
This maneuver is like so many others by this administration: Designed to appease a small but vocal minority, but severely lacking in any kind of logic, substance or beyond-the-next-news-cycle thinking.