In a major about-face, the Obama administration has decided to try avowed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in a military commission in Guantanamo Bay rather than in a civilian court. This afternoon Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce that KSM and four other accused 9/11 plotters will stand before a panel of military officers.
In 2009, the Obama administration vowed to try KSM in a federal civilian court in New York City, signifying a break from the Bush administration's heavy reliance on military courts. At the time, the decision pitted national security hawks, who argued that terrorist shouldn't be afforded the rights of a civilian court, against civil libertarians who longed for a return to due process.
That debate was re-ignited in the blogosphere. On the left, the reaction has been terse anger thus far. The San Francisco Examiner's David Freddoso simply runs the headline "George W. Bush announces running for fourth term," in a post that links to CBS News. Marcy Wheeler does the same with the headline "This Presidential Campaign Brought to You by a Massive Capitulation on Civilian Law." The Atlantic's Andrew Cohen, going into more depth, says the decision will "likely be considered one of Holder's most disappointing legacies at the Justice Department."