Khalid Sheikh Mohammed killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan 12 years ago but he has never been tried for the crime, or even charged with it, the Journal says. Mohammed, also alleged ringleader of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, sits in prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and it’s unclear when or how he will ever be made to answer for the most horrific death of a journalist on record. The Journal says that reflects “a tangled tale of the troubled terror-justice system America has attempted to establish after 9/11.”
Court rulings undercut military commissions the Bush administration set up to try Mohammed and others. They actually tried to plead guilty in 2008 but weren’t allowed to do so. then the Obama administration tried to move the process to civilian courts but that was a political disaster. Eventually, Mohammed was arraigned at Guantanamo in 2012, but only for his role in the 9/11 attacks—and he still hasn’t gone to trial for that. It’s unclear when he will. After well over a decade, the system set up to mete out justice to suspects in the war on terror has simply failed to do that.