Back to the Tribunals

This is just depressing:


President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City. 

 The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some terrorism suspects in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States.

The saddest thing for me is that my condemning hand is actually stayed by the political logic. Basically the administration really wants to close Guantanamo and try KSM in our courts. But politically, they simply can't muster the support to do both. I think it's going to be a long time before we recover from 9/11. Not from the attack, but from our response to the attack. We haven't been the same since. No? Maybe this is who we always were.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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