Washington: Asserting that the trial of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad needs to happen and the Guantanamo Bay detention centre needs to be closed, US President Barack Obama on Friday said he had full confidence in the American judiciary system.
"Well I think it (Khalid trial) needs to happen. And we're going to work with members of Congress -- and this is going to have to be on a bipartisan basis -- to move this forward in a way that is consistent with our standards of due process, consistent with our Constitution, consistent also with our image in the world of -- of a country that cares about rule of law,” Obama said at a White House news conference.
"You can't underestimate the impact of that," Obama said in response to a question when asked if the trial of Khalid Sheikh will happen.
When asked about the closer of Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention centre, Obama acknowledged that he has missed the deadline and said its closure is crucial for the national security of the United States.
"Al Qaeda operatives still cite Guantanamo as a justification for attacks against the United States -- still, to this day. There is no reason for us to give them that kind of talking point when, in fact, we can use the various mechanisms of our justice system to prosecute these folks and to make sure that they never attack us again,” Obama said.
He said even as he had succeeded on delivering a lot of campaign promises, he had "fallen short" of closing Guantanamo.
"I wanted to close it sooner. We have missed that deadline. It's not for lack of trying. It's because the politics of it are difficult,” Obama said.
He was convinced that the American justice system is strong enough to be able to convict people who murdered innocent Americans.
"We should be able to lock them up and make sure that they don't see the light of day,” he said.
He said the country is resilient. "We can't be frightened by a handful of people who are trying to do us harm, especially when we've captured them and we've got the -- the goods on them," he said.
“So what I've have said is, the military commission system that we set up, where appropriate, for certain individuals that would make it would be difficult to try in Article III courts, for a range of reasons, we can reform that system so that it meets the highest standards of due process and prosecute them there," Obama said.
First Published: Saturday, September 11, 2010, 10:35