9/11 plotters' guilty plea solves big problem for Obama

Thomas Lifson
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantánamo detainees have issued guilty pleas and asked the military court trying them for the 9/11 plot to accept their confessions. Barack Obama is the big winner.

Obama has indicted he will close down the military commissions currently trying the defendants, so the cases would be heard in civil court. That could have been a major embarrassment, as the rules of evidence in court could preclude the conclusive evidence of guilt. Following through on that pledge could have led to a farce. This would be the most closely watched trial in world history, albeit not televised, as federal courts ban cameras. Still, watching a government case founder in civil courts could have been a trying ordeal for Americans.

The guilty pleas, if accepted, would short circuit that eventuality.

William Glaberson of the New York Times writes:

The unusual events were not a complete surprise. There had been indications for months that the detainees were resisting working with the military lawyers assigned to represent them. In addition, a move to cut short the proceedings had been seen by some lawyers working in the system here as a way Mr. Mohammed and the other men could draw maximum public attention to their cases and, potentially, to make statements about their political views without the government having the opportunity to detail their acts, including the specifics of the plot that caused the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, in court.

All true, no doubt. So Barack Obama really is one lucky guy. Problems just magically go away.  

Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantánamo detainees have issued guilty pleas and asked the military court trying them for the 9/11 plot to accept their confessions. Barack Obama is the big winner.

Obama has indicted he will close down the military commissions currently trying the defendants, so the cases would be heard in civil court. That could have been a major embarrassment, as the rules of evidence in court could preclude the conclusive evidence of guilt. Following through on that pledge could have led to a farce. This would be the most closely watched trial in world history, albeit not televised, as federal courts ban cameras. Still, watching a government case founder in civil courts could have been a trying ordeal for Americans.

The guilty pleas, if accepted, would short circuit that eventuality.

William Glaberson of the New York Times writes:

The unusual events were not a complete surprise. There had been indications for months that the detainees were resisting working with the military lawyers assigned to represent them. In addition, a move to cut short the proceedings had been seen by some lawyers working in the system here as a way Mr. Mohammed and the other men could draw maximum public attention to their cases and, potentially, to make statements about their political views without the government having the opportunity to detail their acts, including the specifics of the plot that caused the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, in court.

All true, no doubt. So Barack Obama really is one lucky guy. Problems just magically go away.  

Hat tip: Ed Lasky