The Obama administration seems ready to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder and prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, in a military tribunal, the Washington Post reports. The president’s advisers face 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.
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. If Obama shifts course, the White House may be able to secure from Congress the funding and legal authority it needs to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and replace it with a facility within the United States. The administration has failed to meet a self-imposed one-year deadline to close Guantanamo.