When, in the fall of 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration would be trying terrorists in civilian courts instead of military ones, the public outcry was immediate.
Surely you remember the anger Americans felt when told that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) would be tried in a federal court in New York City--the very city in which the plot he allegedly masterminded had reduced the World Trade Centers to rubble and cost us nearly 3,000 American lives.
But today, the Department of Justice announced KSM will not see the inside of a civilian court. Instead, the DOD announced that charges against KSM and four other terrorists have been referred to a military commission, where the five will stand trial before a Military Commissions Judiciary, according the rules of the Military Commissions Act.
The case, “United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi,” is now out of Holder’s incapable hands and moving forward “in accordance with Military Commissions rules and procedures.” All five men “will be arraigned at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”
The charges include, “terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war.”
In all likelihood, a guilty verdict will result in death.
Ten or even five years ago, this victory for justice would have never happened. The mainstream media would have praised Obama and Holder for a "balanced" and "compassionate" approach to trying Mohammed, which would have insulated them from the overwhelming public pressure to change their decision displayed in 2009.
Also, kudos to former Vice President Dick Cheney for standing against Holder’s decision to use civilian courts in the first place. As a result of Cheney and those of us in New Media who put pressure on the DOJ, KSM and his co-conspirators are going to be tried in a manner befitting the acts of terrorism they are charged with committing.