Obama Shouldn’t Cave on KSM Trial

Over the past week, I've criticized President Obama's decision to reverse his earlier decision and try alleged 9/11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal instead of a civilian court. It’s defensible to shift the trial outside of New York for reasons of security, cost and community opposition.

But this is a complete cave and it makes everyone involved look craven. Like most people, my paramount objective is to get the guy convicted and executed as quickly as possible under the terms of our Constitution. Military tribunals, because they're new, have been tied up in endless appeals. Two of the three Gitmo detainees convicted there have even been released, which is not reassuring, as Colin Powell has pointed out.

Civilian trials by contrast have a one hundred percent conviction rate. Because the prosecutors are experienced, there are fewer appeals to slow everything down. And KSM could be tried without using the tainted waterboarding-induced evidence because he has confessed repeatedly in public.

What drives me crazy is that right-wing radio talk show hosts mention none of these facts. The result of their scare-mongering is an administration betraying its own ideals, a slowing of justice for a mass murderer and a public once more duped by lies.