The latest version of the 'Trial of the Century'

Talk about a feeding frenzy, the latest incarnation of the "Trial of the Century" will take place in New York City and feature all the elements that the cable nets find irresistible; high drama, low comedy, and a ready made, real life villain of extraordinary evil.

The mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be tried for his crimes at a criminal trial in New York City, according to Evan Perez of the Wall Street Journal:

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and four others accused in the attacks will be put on criminal trial in New York, Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce later Friday.

The decision, described by people familiar with the matter, is part of wider announcement planned on how to bring to justice detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison. It's the first set of decisions before a Monday deadline on how to deal with the more than 200 prisoners remaining at the facility, which President Barack Obama has ordered closed.

Also expected in the announcement Friday will be plans to hold a military tribunal for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, alleged to have planned the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

Mr. Mohammed's trial in New York was widely expected since the Obama administration announced a preference to hold criminal trials, instead of military commissions for terror suspects held at Guantanamo. New York's Manhattan U.S. attorney competed with the district in northern Virginia, home to the Pentagon, to prosecute the 9/11 accused and senior al Qaeda leader. A team of prosecutors from both districts will handle the government's case, people familiar with the matter said.

Formal charges aren't expected to be announced for another few weeks. Mr. Mohammed has claimed authorship of the attacks, but he has also accused U.S. interrogators of torturing him. U.S. officials have acknowledged the use of harsh tactics, including water boarding, a technique intended to simulate drowning, which Mr. Obama and other government officials have called torture.

Criminal trials for those who make war on the United States? Still trying to be the "anti-Bush," Obama is an idiot for trying this.

Where to begin in criticizing this idiocy? If you thought the OJ Simpson trial was a circus, you'll love KSM's coming extravaganza. Lawyers, salivating over 7 figure advances for book contracts. Ditto the judge. Ditto the prosecutors. Double dittos for the jurors.

So many books are going to be written by people involved with this trial that someone would be able to open a small library to house them.

Does that matter? Only if you think the principles will act in such a way that makes for better narrative in a best seller than in the interests of justice.


The whole point in trying these monsters through a military tribunal was to avoid all this hoopla, this modern day serial soap opera. It will no doubt be televised (there isn't a judge in the country who would deny the people their spectacle).

Another danger - a real one - is that classified information, including testimony from informants, will no doubt find its way into the media. There are many ways in which we gathered evidence against KSM including the use of "national technical means" - a euphemism for satellites and other top secret technologies, and buying off small fry al-Qaeda members to fill us in on KSM's activities.

Prediction; the trial will take 2 or more years and there is a good chance KSM will be acquitted. So much evidence will be thrown out that unless the charges are broadly drawn to include other activities of KSM against the US, he may very well skate.

I also predict George Bush will be vindicated in his decision to try these evil doers out of the public eye.