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‘9/11 suspects to face military tribunal’

Yielding to political opposition, the Obama administration has decided to refer 9/11 suspects to military tribunal.



Yielding to political opposition, the Obama administration has decided to refer 9/11 suspects to military tribunal.
At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney referred questions about the decision to the Justice Department, where Holder was scheduled to make an announcement after Carney`s daily briefing. But at one point during the questioning, Carney answered "yes," when asked whether Obama agreed with Holder`s decision.

Republicans wasted no time Monday in criticizing the delay.

"It`s unfortunate that it took the Obama administration more than two years to figure out what the majority of Americans already know: that 9/11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a common criminal, he`s a war criminal," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas.

Republican critics have roundly assailed the administration, first for the decision to try the men in New York City, then for a long delay in deciding to have them face military commission justice instead.

One key senator, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in November he believed he had the votes in the Senate to block Mohammed from a civilian court.

"I think it is a big mistake to criminalize the war, to take someone you`ve held under the law of war as an enemy combatant for six or seven years, then put them in civilian court," Graham said in November. "It is a disaster waiting to happen."

The political fight over where to try the alleged 9/11 plotters is part of a bigger battle in which Republicans want no detainees from Guantanamo Bay brought into the United States.

In December, Congress barred any such transfers to the United States. In several other congressional votes last year, many Democrats joined Republicans in opposing bringing Gitmo prisoners to the US for trial or detention. The administration believes some detainees cannot be brought to trial, in many cases because of evidence tainted by harsh interrogation tactics, and must be held for years.

The Justice Department is requesting $66.9 million in the proposed 2012 budget to house regular federal inmates at a shuttered Illinois prison. Originally, the administration intended for Gitmo detainees to be housed there as part of a plan to close Guantanamo Bay.

Congressional Republicans are suspicious that the administration really still wants to move detainees to the Illinois facility and could put the new request under a shadow despite top-level assurances that the money is for renovations to accommodate traditional federal inmates.

The four alleged co-conspirators are Waleed bin Attash, a Yemeni who allegedly ran an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan; Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni who allegedly helped find flight schools for the hijackers; Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, accused of helping nine of the hijackers travel to the United States and sent them $120,000 for expenses and flight training, and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, a Saudi accused of helping the hijackers with money, Western clothing, traveler`s checks and credit cards.

At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney referred questions about the decision to the Justice Department, where Holder was scheduled to make an announcement after Carney`s daily briefing. But at one point during the questioning, Carney answered "yes," when asked whether Obama agreed with Holder`s decision.

Republicans wasted no time Monday in criticizing the delay.

"It`s unfortunate that it took the Obama administration more than two years to figure out what the majority of Americans already know: that 9/11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not a common criminal, he`s a war criminal," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas.

Republican critics have roundly assailed the administration, first for the decision to try the men in New York City, then for a long delay in deciding to have them face military commission justice instead.

One key senator, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in November he believed he had the votes in the Senate to block Mohammed from a civilian court.

"I think it is a big mistake to criminalize the war, to take someone you`ve held under the law of war as an enemy combatant for six or seven years, then put them in civilian court," Graham said in November. "It is a disaster waiting to happen."

The political fight over where to try the alleged 9/11 plotters is part of a bigger battle in which Republicans want no detainees from Guantanamo Bay brought into the United States.

In December, Congress barred any such transfers to the United States. In several other congressional votes last year, many Democrats joined Republicans in opposing bringing Gitmo prisoners to the US for trial or detention. The administration believes some detainees cannot be brought to trial, in many cases because of evidence tainted by harsh interrogation tactics, and must be held for years.

The Justice Department is requesting $66.9 million in the proposed 2012 budget to house regular federal inmates at a shuttered Illinois prison. Originally, the administration intended for Gitmo detainees to be housed there as part of a plan to close Guantanamo Bay.

Congressional Republicans are suspicious that the administration really still wants to move detainees to the Illinois facility and could put the new request under a shadow despite top-level assurances that the money is for renovations to accommodate traditional federal inmates.

"There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City," Bloomberg said.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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