The First Draft: NYC awaits day in court 8 years after 9/11

November 13, 2009

Today seems a day of numbers: 8, 11, 5, 3000, 13. Put another way, more than 8 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the brutally violated City of New York learns that 5 men accused in the deaths of the nearly 3,000 people will face an actual criminal trial — in New York. SECURITY COMMISSION

Oh, yeah, and the news comes on Friday the 13th.

The lead defendant, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, initially confessed to masterminding the 2001 attacks that set the United States on the road to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But he later told a Pentagon war crimes court that the interrogators “were putting many words in my mouth.” He also said he wants to be put to death and become a martyr.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will formally announce later today that KSM and four other defendants will be sent to New York City to stand trial for the attacks.


It’s part of President Barack Obama’s plan to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which has long been a target of human rights allegations against the United States.

The proceedings in New York will be an important test of how a U.S. civilian court might handle cases involving detainees who were subjected to U.S. interrogation techniques that some describe as torture.

“I am absolutely convinced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice. The American people will insist on it. My administration will insist on it,” Obama said in Tokyo where he was on a weeklong trip through Asia. USA/

Survivors of those who died aboard the USS Cole in 2000 have waited longer for their day in court. But they also learned on Friday the 13th that the accused mastermind in that attack will be tried in military tribunals along with other suspects in the case.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo Credits: Reuters/Brad Rickerby (Twin Towers); Reuters/Janet Hamlin (KSM and Waleed bin Attash); Reuters/Aladin Abdel Naby (USS Cole)


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Right then.

America wants justice. But Khalid wants to die as a martyr for his twisted ideology.

So we need to have a compromise. Lock him and his collaborators away for the rest of their lives. On suicide watch if needed. With the best medical treatment a prisoner can get.

America will have its justice. And in the process, Khalid will never get the satisfaction of martyrdom. He will just have the satisfaction of four walls and a door, for the rest of his natural life until old age takes him.

Hopefully, it will be many long decades before he dies. A withered bitter old man, who’s name will have been long forgotten even by those who cheered his actions.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

Let’s give him every legal and constitutional protection anyone is entitled to. Let’s give him a fair, speedy trial, and a jury to pass judgment and sentence.

As a resident of Queens, New York, I hope (if he’s found guilty) that he will be sentence to life without parole in a New York City Firehouse. The guys in the FDNY should ensure he doesn’t serve much time.

Posted by Jeff Myhre | Report as abusive

This is unbelievable. We are going to bring these guys on our shores, give them all our constitutional rights and somehow in all this we think “justice” is being done? Terrorism is not a “crime” it is an act of war and terrorists are not criminals, they are combatants. Why reward them with civil courts? Give them military tribunals, quick appeals, then hang them all within one year. Absolutely unbelievable.

We will lose the war in Afghanistan because we want everyone to play fair, and we can’t help defend OURSEVLES from this because the local government may or is corrupt. If THAT is our dividing line, then all these terrorists will be safe to attack us again and again and again.

Time to impeach Obama for failing to defend this Country.

Posted by RLM | Report as abusive

I agree with RLM. They should have no protections that American Citizen’s have. If they bring them to New York, put them in with the general prison population. No trials will be needed.

Posted by ARNOII | Report as abusive

This is another case of President Barack Nobel Obama having fewer concerns with the cost and consequences of his decisions than the PR goals. And Holder is Obama’s stooge. Holder got his marching orders for this from his boss.

KSM wants to die a martyr. Bet ya five bucks his associates from here and around the world pull out all the stops to help that along, and like Nidal Malik Hasan try and take out as many infidels in the process.

If there is a suitcase nuke or dirty bomb anywhere out there, likely it’s headed for NYC.

A stationary target, in a heavy-traffic area, in a ‘target rich’ collateral environment. The security detail for that couldn’t be any more challenging.

Yeah Bloomberg, I hear ya, NYC has handled trials of terrorists before. But that was before Obama disappointed a considerable number of people in the US — like Nidal Malik Hasan — with the Iraq-to-Afghanistan switch-er-roo of his necessity. And disappointed the whole Muslim world who thought he would be different than Bush, particularly Pakistan.

In addition, a mistrial could be doubly disastrous.

Incidentally, Gitmo, the place Obama the Wonderful wants to close down? That’s where Nidal Malik Hasan should be headed right now.

Hope for the best as always, but I’m avoiding a trip to the big apple while this display of Obama’s imperial arrogance goes on.

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive

The terrorist state is Israel.

They’ve committed numerous acts of war against the USA and their day of reckoning is getting closer and closer.

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

Surely Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to being the mastermind of the 9/11 after 183 sessions of water-boarding torture, blasting 24/7 deafening music on his cell, blinding lights and no sleep 24/7, chained to the floor of his cell and urinating and defecating on himself – from the tactics already known, and who knows what else! I am sure -after all of the above- he would have also confessed of shooting the Russian czar Nicholas and his family on behalf of the Bolsheviks if he was asked, or for having masterminded the assassination of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Anything to stop the torture! Initially the U.S. had claimed that Abu Zubeida was the mastermind, a claim the U.S. admitted later it was wrong. There is a thirst for revenge here, as if all the killing we have done for revenge in Afghanistan doesn’t count for anything.

The upcoming terrorist’s trials in New York are, therefore, are for show, and the feeder for big brouhaha headlines, good only to make us forget temporarily our unemployment, financial stress, and other social ills we are enduring and suffering now. As for the trials, they will actually be meaningless because even if those terrorists are found innocent in federal court, the U.S. will hold them indefinitely as too dangerous to be released.

They, are, therefore, convicted to life in prison by executive order, without the possibility of parole. Their trials then will only make good headlines, and give us an artificial justification to continue the war in Afghanistan, but it will not be about justice. There is no precedent in history of jurisprudence in which a life sentence was imposed by politicians on enemies of the state, and then a judicial proceeding was set up in which the political decision could not be reversed by the court, and if it was reversed, it could not override the political decision as a matter of national security. The Obama assurance, therefore, that those people will be tried with “the most exacting standards of justice” is meaningless because the U.S. political leadership has decided that those people will either be executed or die in prison – regardless the outcome of the trial!

Now, a death penalty on them after a guilty verdict will surely give us a taste of Schopenhauer’s “revenge is sweet” feeling, but that will make them martyrs and surely bring more Muslim suicide attacks and deaths against the U.S. Do we need “more” of “an-eye-for-an-eye” revenge warfare with Muslims, or we would rather have peace with them? I believe that former N.Y. Governor Mario Cuomo was right when he said at his opening speech of the 1996 Democratic Convention: “Peace is better than war, because life is better than death!”

A long term U.S. vision on repairing our relations with the Muslims would have been a better choice to repair the global prestige and image of the U.S. than a brawly trial with the Muslim fanatics, in which the outcome is predetermined. Let’s us not forget that the eyes of the world with be on the trial, and that “We”, the U.S., will be on trial as well! But, more importantly, the focus of the trial won’t be on the “facts” which have already been established. The U.S. focus in the trial will be to water down its torture practices with such euphemisms as “harsh interrogations,” and not mention the predetermined fate of the defendants, while the Defendant’s focus will be to “expose the brutal practices of a global superpower,” and express their willingness to die for, and become martyrs [heroes] for Islam and for the future Muslim generations. And that focus on “who is human, and who is barbarian between the Plaintiff and the Defendants” would certainly increase the hostility between the U.S. and the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Posted by Nikos Retsos | Report as abusive

Wow, let’s run through everyone’s posts thus far,

Anon: Why should we care what level of satisfaction he has in his death once he’s dead? Let’s save the american taxpayer some money and just run him through a trial and execute him.

Jeff: lol, that was good :)

RLM: impeach Obama because you don’t think you’re going to like the eventual outcome of a trial that happens under him? Gosh you must have been screaming for every Republican in office to be impeached on 9/12/2009 right?

Arnoll: let’s not risk them recruiting more people to join their side, keep in mind people in prison most likely hate our gov’t also.

Dom: a suitcase nuke? Boy you’re doing the media and the gov’t a big favor in saving them from having to do the fearmongering themselves. They should just have you volunteer rather than having to pay their group of liars.

Dan: wishing reckoning on Israeli’s because of our government’s policy? That sounds demonic.

Nikos: good post, agree mostly, what was it you were a professor in?

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive