9/11 suspects will not face civilian trials, officials say
Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is among the suspects expected to be tried at Gitmo.
April 4th, 2011
12:33 PM ET

9/11 suspects will not face civilian trials, officials say

Attorney General Eric Holder will announce this afternoon that the 9/11 suspects will not face federal civilian trials as the Obama administration wanted, two U.S. officials and a government source confirmed.

They instead will be tried before military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, the officials said.

The suspects include alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Monhammed.

Read CNN's full coverage of Holder's announcement on 9/11 suspects
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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Barack Obama • Politics • September 11 • Terrorism • World
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. patrick

    Of course they will use military tribunal. None of the 'evidence' would be admissible in a civilian court.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConsDemo

      There is ample evidence pointing to cupability of the accused.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      No doubt their is plenty of evidence, but that isn't the point. They need admissible evidence that isn't tainted by torture or other crimes committed by agents of the government. And there are other inconvenient rules about disclosure, chain of custody, right to question accusers, right to cross examine witnesses, etc that the gov't just doesn't want to be subject to. The last thing the US government wants is the spectacle of its torturers being cross examined about their methods in a civilian court.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshabcd

      Exactamundo Patrick! In a military tribunal they do not have the same rules of evidence as civilian courts. This announcement, notwithstanding the fact that this is a blatant contradiction of Obama campaign promises, is tantamount to an admission that sufficient evidence to convict these guys in court doesn't exist. Of course some difficult questions about foreknowledge, cover-ups, military non response, 9/11 commission report lies would come up during a real trial. The powers that be would never allow this.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shawn

    They should have been hanged 10 years ago.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat F

      Amen. Or maybe we should treat them the same way they treated Danny Pearl.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      So we should devolve to their level? We don't save civility and the rule of law by throwing it away when it gets in the way of our blood lust.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • De Sade

      RIGHT!
      9/11 didn't happen yet! The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is SEPTEMBER 11, 2011!
      You want to hang them BEFORE anything happened?
      That's just GREAT!
      You and Charlie Sheen should have a show together...

      April 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TonyC

    Another Bush-era decision upheld. Many of his policies are still in place. wth?

    April 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • israel

      because alot of his policies are actually not all that bad, it wasn't the policies it was the people enforcing them and enacting them

      April 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

      Bush never used a military tribunal.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. wlthaya

    Interesting how many Americans have no faith in their own justice system but prefer the military to determine guilt or innocence. Or, as witnessed by the comments so far, they care nothing about guilt or innocence but only the degree of punishment to be inflicted.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Obama Promise Bites the Dust

      It was a war crime, not a civilian crime. Plain and simple!

      April 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      This makes them to be considered 'soldiers' and have the Geneva Convention rules. They are not worthy of this. I cannot understand why the right want to honor them by treating them as soldiers in a war?

      April 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Another Obama Promise Bites the Dust

      A war is fought between soverign nations. We had a handful of individuals crash airplanes into buildings. That's not a war, no matter how much the administration(s) want it to be. If the country (read: military) of China blew up a plane and/or buildings, yes.. That's a declaration of war. If I take my car and slam it into your house, is that a war crime? How about a small plane? How about that small plane into a store? Just because you scale up the crime doesn't necessarily make it a war.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat F

      OUR OWN JUSTICE SYSTEM is for US, NOT for foreign combatants. This was an act of war, however much liberals want to blame America for what happened.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Another Obama Promise Bites the Dust

    Another win for Real Americans! Another promise from the Obama campaign broken. Enjoying your "change" yet?

    April 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ch1985

      Please don't imply that you speak for "real" Americans. Based on your previous comments, I'd rather not be American if that is the case.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fu9l

    good they deserve a milatary trial not spending our tax dollars on them kill em and be done with it .....

    April 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • ch1985

      Um... tax dollars do to support the military as well. You are essentially still paying for the trial and if anything, the military spends more to do everything, so you'll be paying more than in a civilian court to not give someone a fair trial. Regardless of guilt or the crime, sending a non-military person to a military court is wrong.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • SKEE HEE

      Last time I checked, the military gets its money to run stuff from the same pot as the Justice department: U.S. Treasury.
      We'll spend money either place they hold the trial.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • WG

      Military trial won't be nearly as expensive due to less security costs. NYC was going to be a security nightmare and that's where the real costs came in. Obama is a failure.

      April 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Keith

    If we tried these guys in civilian court then the fact that we tortured them would come out, thus making any evidence we gathered during the interrogations inadmissible. That information coming out would also hurt our standing in the world. This decision has nothing to do with "justice" and more about not making the country look bad.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat F

      You're right, Keith. We should never have even brought this garbage to Guantanamo. We should have given them the Daniel Pearl treatment they would have given our guys right on the spot.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      That's probably the most reasonable, logical comment in this thread. What I wonder, though, is do these people have legal representation of any sort? Is that representation civil or U.S. military? This article is, as usual, ridiculously incomplete.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      I agree with you,Keith. It should be brought out that these guys were tortured and brought to the attention of the public but the right-wing thugs in Washington just won't stand for that.

      April 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. EndTheFed

    Keep in mind that KSM was tortured over 200 times and forced to watch his children being tortured before he admitted to anything.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lindsay

      How do you know this (the children part)? Those files would be classified, sealed, and you were not there. I do not believe that our government (no matter how many parts of it I may totally dislike) would torture CHILDREN. Were they his adult children?

      April 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConsDemo

      "watch his children be tortured"? When did this supposedly happen?

      April 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • EndTheFed

      Instead of asking me just use Google. CNN will delete any comments that contain links or truth.

      Google "KSM children tortured"

      April 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lindsay

      Google? Don't rely on everything that appears in your Google search results...

      April 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rsprings

      Were you by any chance abducted by aliens as child. That could be the only explanation for your comment.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      I did as you suggested but none of the resulting links were anything more than politially motivated (and slanted) blogs. All was conjecture, there was no proof that KSM's children were ever mistreated. He may have been threatened with the possibility of their mistreatment in order to coerce him to talk, but as stated, all is conjecture, guessing, surmising, with no proof.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wood

      It happened on "unthinkable" ... didn't you see the movie! ..Endthefed did obviously.

      April 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    Public trial is a corner stone of our society. Public trial should be conducted. I want to see how my tax money has been spent!

    April 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wood

      ah but there is no costly appeal process in this tribunal.

      April 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. obama victim

    somewhere...W is smiling

    April 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin Konicek

    So. Correct me if I am wrong..but when Obama was running for president in 2008..one of his campaign promises was to end the military tribunals, close Git-Mo, and try the suspects in a civilian court. Now..in 2011..he decides to re-nig on that promise, keep the base open..and return the men there for trial. I am confused. Is this a bold faced lie to the American people? Or this out of the control of the president? He is the president after all..

    April 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rsprings

      He just realized Bush had it right!

      April 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JAZZ

    Wow , 35 comments in 14 minutes

    April 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe jarvis

    Good this just proves that Bush was way ahead of the game and he was right and as usual another promise by Obama that can't be met!

    April 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. travis fisher

    Guilty or framed by our govt no matter we should behead them to avenge david pearl.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rsprings

      framed by our govt? Have you not been paying attention.

      April 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    Obama and his cronies have finally discovered a brain cell

    April 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rsprings

      yes, bu it wasn't theirs

      April 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
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