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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.

Op-Ed Reaction to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Military Tribunal

Sunday was ripe for a substantial number of editorials written on the heels of Attorney General Holder's announcement to try September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed by military tribunal.

Writing in the Sunday Washington Post, CLS Executive Director Karen Greenberg argues that while she is disappointed with the decision to hold a military commission at Guantanamo for several accused 9/11 suspects, “[i]t is time to give up our long-standing protest and consider the good that can come from these trials — even if they are held at Guantanamo, and even if they are conducted by the military.”

Ms. Greenberg continues that “[i]f part of the purpose of trials is to bring closure to the open wounds that result from wrongdoing, then the trial matters more than the venue, the jurisdiction or even the system itself.” She also argues that a trial will reveal key details of the 9/11 conspiracy and “probably diminish the powerful mystique that so often surrounds al-Qaeda.”

Op-Ed: Even at Guantanamo, a 9/11 Trial Can Serve Justice (WaPo: Karen Greenberg)

A New York Times report on Sunday looked more closely at the secret indictment from 2009 against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accused co-conspirators that was dismissed and released last week as a result of the change of venue. The Times report analyzes the latest indictment in the context of twelve preceding indictments that began with the first attack on the World Trade Center, “each a superseding one, adding new terror conspiracies, suspects and charges to the federal government’s case.”

The Times quotes Karen Greenberg (see above) with the following: “One big point of these trials is that they present to the public the narrative history that we otherwise wouldn’t have….Symbolically, it has everything to do with understanding the threat we’re under, and how it’s changed over time, and how significant K.S.M.’s role has been.”

Last Unsealed 9/11 Indictment Caps a Narrative of Terror (NYT)

An editorial published in The Los Angeles Times argues that President Obama has adopted what it refers to as the worst of President Bush's anti-terror policies and contends that the failure to try suspects like Mohammed in civilian court thus falls falls to the President.

Editorial: Obama Has Embraced a Few Too Many Bush Policies (LAT)

Separately, David Shipler writes in The Los Angeles Times that “once the [military] commissions gain stature and become the ‘new normal,’ every future administration will have a ready instrument to arrest, judge and sentence wholly within the executive branch, evading the separation of powers carefully calibrated in the Constitution.”

Op-Ed: The Military Trials at Guantanamo Will Create a Harmful Legal Legacy(LAT: David Shipler)

On NPR’s Talk of the Nation, CLS Executive Director Karen Greenberg argues that a military commission for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is better than no trial at all and that “what those of us like myself should do right now is pressure the office of military commissions and the government to make these trials as transparent as possible.” See below for the NPR link. 

Op-Ed: 9/11 Military Trial Better Than None at All (NPR’s Talk of the Nation)


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