Amnesty International is calling for people to lobby Congress to allow US trials for the 9/11 accused go forward; currently Sen. Lindsey Graham is spearheading attempts to block US trials in favor of military commissions - loose nuke
ONLINE ACTION CENTER: DON'T LET CONGRESS BLOCK TRIALS FOR THE 9/11 ACCUSED
President Obama made the right decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 conspirators in U.S. federal court, but now members of Congress are attacking the President's decision and threatening to block funding for the trial. Senator Lindsey Graham called federal trials a "dumb idea" and wants to use the kangaroo courts known as military commissions, that he and other politicians cooked up at Guantanamo, to ensure convictions and cover up evidence of torture.
By MATTHEW BARAKAT and MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, Associated Press Writers Matthew Barakat And Michael J. Sniffen
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Zacarias Moussaoui was a clown who could not keep his mouth shut, according to his old al-Qaida boss, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. But Moussaoui was surprisingly tame when tried for the 9/11 attacks — never turning the courtroom into the circus of anti-U.S. tirades that some fear Mohammed will create at his trial in New York.
And that wasn't the only surprise during Moussaoui's six-week 2006 sentencing trial here — a proceeding that might foreshadow how the upcoming 9/11 trial in New York will go.
Skeptics who feared prosecutors would be hamstrung by how much evidence was secret were stunned at the enormous amount of classified data that was scrubbed, under pressure from the judge, into a public version acceptable to both sides.
Prosecutors were surprised when they failed to get the death penalty — by the vote of one juror.
No one was more surprised than Moussaoui himself: At the end he concluded an al-Qaida member like him could get a fair trial in a U.S. court.
While prosecuting the Guantanamo "9/11 suspects" in a military tribunal is outside of the normal protections of the U.S. federal court system, at least the suspects will be provided with an adequate defense. Right?
Well, actually . . . no.
According to the Washington Post:
The cadre of civilian lawyers representing terrorism suspects held by the military at Guantanamo Bay are not allowed to meet their clients in private, without video surveillance. All their mail and notes must be turned over to the military. Classified information cannot be shared with their clients. They are not entitled to everything the government knows about their clients.
Congratulations to Lorie and Mr. DeCell for getting coverage on CNN.