06 March, 2010

Obama Leans Toward Switch to Military Trials on 9/11

Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration now favors trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged Sept. 11, 2001, plotters in a military tribunal, officials said, yielding to opposition from Congress and local governments that was stymieing the Justice Department's plans for a civilian trial.

Members of Congress have moved to cut off funds for a civilian trial, while local governments have expressed reluctance to play host to such a trial. No decision has been reached, and a White House official said President Barack Obama wouldn't make his announcement for weeks as a review continues.

A reversal on the 9/11 trial would represent the latest backtracking on an issue that has bedeviled the Obama administration from nearly the outset. In his campaign, Mr. Obama asserted that Bush administration detention policies had damaged America's standing in the world. Two days after taking office, Mr. Obama signed an order pledging to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, where Mr. Mohammed is held, within a year.

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