Terrorism

9/11 Terror Suspects from Gitmo Likely to Face Military Tribunal

|

The government announces it intends to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and five other Guantanamo prisoners for murder and war crimes regarding their alleged role in planning the 9/11 attacks. The trials will be, the Pentagon intends, before a military tribunal, not in civilian courts. The AP report.

Back in 2005 here at reason, Julian Sanchez called for Gitmo prisoners to be tried or released.

Advertisement

NEXT: Varied Reactions to Ron Paul's Scaling Back His Presidential Campaign

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. As satisfying as it would be to kill them (if they are found guilty in a fair trial). I would still find the death penalty abhorrant and oppose it.

    Not for typical liberal feel good BS reasons but out of my distrust for government (See Mr. Balko’s work on Mississippi). No government can be trusted with the death penalty.

  2. What ktc2 said.
    Though I doubt that a fair trial is coming. I doubt everything this administration says and does when they holler “war on terror”. But that’s just me.

  3. Yeah, I have no objection to death as a penalty for murder, so much as I don’t trust the current criminal justice system to mete it out justly.

    Then again, getting tossed in prison for life sux almost as badly, and a lot fewer people are trying to prove the innocence of lifers than death row inmates.

  4. Can a military tribunal of one nation charge private individuals from another with War Crimes? If so, it should make for some interesting blowback when W leaves office

  5. Can a military tribunal of one nation charge private individuals from another with War Crimes? If so, it should make for some interesting blowback when W leaves office

    No government in the world (because it being a military tribunal, it has to be a government) is going to charge the POTUS with war crimes. Private groups might do stuff like try and bring charges before the ICC, but no government would be dumb enough to piss off the US like that.

    And no American politician, even those that hate Bush, would support it anyway. You never know when your guy/girl is going to be accused of war crimes.

  6. Episiarch | February 11, 2008, 2:20pm | #

    Can a military tribunal of one nation charge private individuals from another with War Crimes? If so, it should make for some interesting blowback when W leaves office

    No government in the world (because it being a military tribunal, it has to be a government) is going to charge the POTUS with war crimes. Private groups might do stuff like try and bring charges before the ICC, but no government would be dumb enough to piss off the US like that.

    And no American politician, even those that hate Bush, would support it anyway. You never know when your guy/girl is going to be accused of war crimes.

    so what recourse is there? isn’t there enough evidence that president bush is guilty of war crimes to indict him in some court? shouldn’t he have been impeached by now?

    i’m not saying america needs to go after bush now, or even prosecute bush administration officials after 1-20-2009. i don’t think anything would come of it, since they’re using their power right now to destroy or obstruct evidence of their crimes. i don’t think there is the american public feels they are as guilty as i do, nor has the will to undertake such a massive, wrenching, awful mess as putting the POTUS on trial. the media and the public shot its impeachment load on the previous president. so to speak.

    so, what am i saying? just that some very powerful people will have gotten away with very serious crimes as well as ruinous, bad-faith management of our government and our country, and it sucks.

    also, i question the timing of this announcement. they’re being tried only now? i think the bushies do everything with an eye (sometimes both eyes) towards political gain. are they trying to drum up ‘kill the terrorists’ sentiment in the wake of the growing popularity of obama and setbacks for john ‘war forever’ mccain? just a thought.

  7. btw i am also wary of an ICC or some other foreign body or court having actual power or jurisdiction over our government.

  8. There’s only one way to make Bush and Co. pay for their crimes, because any other way just means the next President, including one from the other party, would just pardon him/them. They would do this no matter what because they know full well they may need the same protection some day. And every politician knows it which is why some lesser candidates or Congresspersons pay lip service to it and that is all.

  9. Do we even need to bother with the kangaroo court miltary tribunal? What’s the point of a show trial, if you don’t do it in public?
    We might as well go directly to the public beheadings, with Bushwa reading the charges and praying for the souls of the heathen savages.

  10. I agree with P Brooks

  11. How can non-military/government personnel be charged with war crimes? Serious question, because I’d really like to find out.

  12. Yeah P Brooks, lets just let KSM go. Maybe we could get him a 403H visa and let him live next to you.

  13. Of course there won’t be a fair trial. LOL. Very rarely does such a thing happen even in the US for US citizens anymore. It’s all just puppet theater.

    Prison for life at hard labor (maybe on a pig farm?) would be better than making them martyrs anyway.

  14. John-

    If the evidence against these guys is so conclusive and overpowering, why do we need to try them in secret?

  15. If the evidence against these guys is so conclusive and overpowering, why do we need to try them in secret?

    Because civilian courts don’t properly appreciate confessions obtained by torture. Nor does some of the public. Military tribunal avoids those sticky problems.

  16. p brooks isn’t saying ‘let him go,’ he’s saying that show trials are pointless; if someone has been summarily pre-judged, why have a trial at all? proceed directly to punishment. but let’s not pretend like we’re applying some impeccable judicial standard of impartial public judgement on the facts. let’s be honest: ‘yeah we tortured them, but we already knew he was guilty before that, so fuck em.’

  17. The Bush administration has put me in a position where I have to say “Yes, they are murders, but…” in regards to senior Al Qaeda figures. I curse them for that.

    In a free, just, and lawful society, I could point to a murder and say “Yes, he is a murderer, and that has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt in an open forum,” and I could be proud of that fact.

    There can be no justice, and no satisfaction that something right and proper and necessary has been done, if people are taken, tortured, held for years without a venue to contest the allegations, and then tried in secret. Not only do fair and open trials protect the innocent, they also provide assurance that the punishment of the guilty was proper. Without fair and open trials, we can have no confidence that justice was done.

  18. If the evidence against these guys is so conclusive and overpowering, why do we need to try them in secret?

    Oh, and yeah: these people might also know things about 9/11 that you and I have not been allowed to know.

    How would you feel if KSM got on the stand and said that Flight 93 was shot down or something like that? You know how it would feel . . . bad.

  19. p brooks isn’t saying ‘let him go,’ he’s saying that show trials are pointless; if someone has been summarily pre-judged, why have a trial at all?

    Last I checked, it’s an election year.

  20. If we’re really in a war, why are there any prisoners at Gitmo in the first place?

    Who flies a planeload of the enemy half way across the world to rot in prison for years?

    It is truly baffling to me, but then again, I am easily distracted.

  21. Who flies a planeload of the enemy half way across the world to rot in prison for years?

    We had German prisoners in the States during WWII. 363,036 to be exact.

    “The camps were almost exclusively set up in the southern states of the the USA. The reasons for this are simple: The mild climate in the south reduced the costs and the isolated situation should prevent acts of sabotage.”

    More here: http://home.arcor.de/kriegsgefangene/usa/index.html

  22. How would you feel if KSM got on the stand and said that Flight 93 was shot down or something like that?

    How would he possibly know anything like that?

  23. They should have a trial shown on Court TV as far as I’m concerned. Any normal American jury would find the bastard guilty anyway and it would be interesting to see him squirm.

  24. I can’t believe what I just read in comments. One person stated that perhaps we need to try them in secret because there may be things about 911 that we do not know. Okay, like what do we not know? And why is the info being kept from us?

    My short answer is this: yes, there are things they know about 911 that we don’t. For instance, it wasn’t done by terrorists, at least not on their own.

    Anyone in the military has to know that. Especially the pentagon. Please. You know better than that.

    In any case all these detainees are being charged on a case that is HINGED on the fact that OBL is guilty of the 911 attacks. Now that’s obvious. However, he has not been tried for that. NO ONE really knows that he did it.

    SO.. it follows (as the day follows the night) that these detainees who are being tried on evidence that they had ties to OBL – well.. so? How can we legally try them on something that we don’t know for fact.

    I will tell you. These hearings, tribunals, kangaroo kourt laughing stock for a legal procedure is naught but show. It’s a show for those of us who are stupid enough not to see the writing on the wall.

    Unless you are willing to let this happen to YOUR children and family members, let them be tried in mockeries of justice like these – I suggest you do something and tell those in charge that YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    Otherwise expect nothing more for you and your loves ones. Our justice system has been flushed down the toilet with the rest of our civil liberties, personal freedoms, right to privacy etc etc etc etc etc…

    Perhaps you don’t care. Perhaps you won’t until one morning when you suddenly awaken to the fact that the USA that our forefathers stood for has now vanished!

    If so, you deserve what you get. My children and grandchildren do not, however, so I will fight to get this country back to where it is supposed to be.

    Linda
    dubyamustgo@gmail.com

    For those of you who DO care about our detainees.. please visit and take action at http://freedetainees.org

  25. How would he possibly know anything like that?

    Same way the passengers talked to their families. If you think that happened.

  26. Anyone in the military has to know that. Especially the pentagon. Please. You know better than that.

    I am in the military, and personally know someone who worked in the section of the Pentagon that got hit (survived, luckily). And I totally agree with thoreau above.

    And you are an idiot.

  27. Oh, and yeah: these people might also know things about 9/11 that you and I have not been allowed to know.

    How would you feel if KSM got on the stand and said that Flight 93 was shot down or something like that? You know how it would feel . . . bad.

    Dave, how would KSM know such a thing? The proposition is absurd.

  28. If we’re really in a war, why are there any prisoners at Gitmo in the first place?

    Who flies a planeload of the enemy half way across the world to rot in prison for years?

    It is truly baffling to me, but then again, I am easily distracted.

    TWC, many, many WWII POWs captured by the allies were flown/shipped to the US for internment. This is nothing new.

  29. I guess I ought to read the whole thread before commenting. Harumph!

  30. Dave, how would KSM know such a thing? The proposition is absurd.

    Look, I am not necessarily saying that KSM knows that Flight 93 was shot down. That was just an evocative example of the type of thing he might know. There are all kinds of embarrassing things that he might know and testify to in court (sincerely of falsely). It doesn’t take that much imagination to think of many, many other possibilities of the type of embarrassing things he could say. Here are 5 more possibilities:

    – I shot down Flight 800.

    – I helped McVeigh load up that truck.

    – I tried to report 9/11 to the US authorities to stop it, and they told me they would take care of it, but didn’t

    – There were US spies who knew about 9/11 before it happened — some of my old co-conspirators turned out to have FBI badges, as I later found out

    – OBL has been in US custody for years

    I am not saying that any one of these things are true. However, they are all possible and they are all things KSM might say if allowed to speak freely in a court at a public trial. These are not the only things he could say, but it illustrates what I mean when I say that KSM might say something that you would not like, Wayne.

  31. Things KSM might say. “I AM Ron Jeremy.”

  32. Things KSM might say. “I AM Ron Jeremy.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.