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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

“Weeks, not Months”

Feb 5th, 2011 KSM

In his latest Lawfare blog post February 4, entitled "Weeks, not Months," Jack Goldsmith discusses the problems associated with the Obama Administration's continued attempts to bring Khalid Sheik Mohammed to trial.

He asks, "What is the point of a trial for KSM after such a long military detention and after several failed trial initiatives, especially since, as the government has made clear, and as political reality and national security demand, KSM will remain in military detention even if acquitted or given a non-life sentence?"

Goldsmith closes, noting the following:

"One point is to detain him for the rest of his life fairly and legitimately.  But is a conviction against the background of no possibility of release, after the passage of so much time, with so many false starts, in a novel trial system designed only for non-U.S. citizens, really more legitimate than military detention, which has widespread legal support?  And if this is at all a close question, don’t the enormous costs of trying KSM – including (but not limited to) the financial costs of securing and conducting the trial, the costs of giving KSM a large political platform, and the costs of great legal uncertainty in military commissions – swamp the added legitimacy benefits of trial?  Whatever the answers might be to these questions, I suspect that KSM will remain in military detention for quite a while longer."

For the full text of the article, click here

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