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Officials Consider Military Commissions over 9/11 Trials

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By Kamika Dunlap on February 12, 2010 11:50 AM

Discussions about where to hold the upcoming 9/11 trials are continuing to unfold.

The Obama administration is weighing the pros and cons of trying professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court lower Manhattan.

The administration is looking at abandoning a civilian 9/11 trial.

According to the Associated Press, Attorney General Eric Holder is now open to other possibilities for hosting terror trials before a military commission instead of the civilian trial originally planned for New York City.

As previously discussed, strong opposition by lawmakers, and New York City business and community has caused the Obama administration to rethink its plan.

Officials are looking at the risks a high-security trial would pose on New Yorkers and future attacks. In addition, Holder is now considering that Mohammed's trial could be switched to a military commission, although a civilian trial would be his legal and personal preference.

Holder does not deserve all the blame for the political problems, officials said. Managing the politics of terrorism has not been assigned to one person.

According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 55 percent of voters say military tribunals should be used to try suspected terrorists, compared with 39 percent who say the civilian court system should be used

Discussions are now underway between the White House and the Justice Department as they look into ways to use the Mohammed trial to prod Congress to act on a range of detainee-related issues.

If the White House is unable to find a civilian court to host the 9/11 trials the administration may be forced to switch to a military commission.

 

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