Obama Advisers Push Flip to Military 9/11 Trials

Switch would pave way for bipartisan deal on Guantanamo
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2010 6:58 AM CST
Updated Mar 5, 2010 7:47 AM CST
This March 1, 2003 file picture shows Khalid Sheik Mohammed, shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s top advisers want him to reverse Eric Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the other 9/11 conspirators in civilian court. The president has personally favored civilian trials, but thanks to the popular outcry against them, he’s likely to accept their recommendation, the Washington Post reports. Changing course would be part of a bipartisan deal, brokered by Lindsey Graham, to get funding to close Guantanamo Bay and move the detainees to US soil.

Graham had hoped to also create a legal framework for detaining terror suspects, but the administration says that no such “grand bargain” is likely. If Obama proceeds, the military must re-arraign Mohammed, reconstituting its case. “You start back at square one, but it wouldn’t take long to catch up,” says one military official. More problematic could be the liberal outcry; the ACLU says it would be a “death blow” to Obama’s own Justice Department.

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