Good Friday, 2012
According to Newscore, defense attorneys had sought to avoid charges that carried the death penalty and wanted the five to face separate trials. The accused terrorists have been provided with additional attorneys with special expertise in death penalty cases, the military said Wednesday.
“The Obama Administration is making a terrible mistake by prosecuting the most important terrorism trials of our time in a second-tier system of justice,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement. “Whatever verdict comes out of the Guantanamo military commissions will be tainted by an unfair process and the politics that wrongly pulled these cases from federal courts, which have safely and successfully handled hundreds of terrorism trials.”
Pakistani intelligence agents apprehended Mohammed in a raid in 2003 and he was soon transferred to U.S. authorities. In 2006, President George W. Bush announced that Mohammed was among the al Qaeda captives who had been held in secret CIA prisons before being transferred to military custody at Guantanamo Bay.
The prosecution should have enough evidence against KSM and the others to convict them. The ACLU is howling that this tribunal is second-tier justice and that KSM should be tried in federal court with a civilian jury. They point out that similar cases, including that of the Blind Sheikh, were tried successfully.
The prosecution also has a bit of a puzzle on their hands. Two hijackers in California were scheduled to fly on a plane on September 11th. Instead, they took an earlier flight home and subsequently disappeared. No one (or almost no one) knows if they had abandoned a scheme that was well in progress at the last minute, which would discredit KSM’s claims of a “second wave” attack, or why they abandoned it.
KSM claims the late Osama Bin Laden felt that trying to hijack more than five planes was risky, hence the second wave plan. Yet, in these 10 and a half years since 9/11, while the terrorists might have attempted a second wave here in America, they’ve been noticeably unsuccessful, something Osama Bin Laden would have known in the weeks prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Even somnolent America would be expected to wake up after such a notorious attack and it did. The U.S. heightened its security. If you’re a terrorist taking a gamble, better to throw all your cards on the table all at once. When you’re a suicide hijacker, what have you go to lose, after all? Why would OBL be afraid? What would he have to fear?
The mystery surrounding the California hijackers indicates something went wrong. OBL is no longer around to tell us (not that he would have) what made him change his mind. Meanwhile, we have an election coming up, and after what will be 11 years, it’s high time the government put KSM on trial through the military.