Obama Will Help Choose 9/11 Trial Venue
President steps in after Manhattan choice sparks backlash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2010 5:41 AM CST
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, is seen in detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   (AP Photo/www.muslm.net, File)

(Newser) – President Obama will help choose the location of the trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-accused, according to administration officials. The move indicates an awareness that the White House mishandled the process in placing the decision in Attorney General Eric Holder's hands, notes the Washington Post, and is a bid to secure congressional funding for the pricey trial before bipartisan efforts to do away with funding gain steam.

While Obama hasn't ruled out holding the trial in Holder's choice of Manhattan, officials admit that they have been slow to respond to criticism. Officials in states where a trial could be held have voiced strong opposition. If a location for a civilian trial can't be found the administration may have no option but to try the men under a military commission. This option, which Holder has left open but made clear he doesn't favor, is supported by 55% of Americans while 37% would prefer a civilian trial, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll.

 

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