Attorney General Eric Holder testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary
Committee. Holder, who has been at the center of controversies about where to conduct the trial of alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khaleid Sheikh
Mohammed (KSM) and how to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, was
peppered with tough questions from Democratic and Republican Senators.
Here's what he said and what commentators think it all means.
York Trial Fight Still Going The Swamp's Michael Muskal reports, "A
civilian trial in New York for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his
co-defendants in the Sept. 11 terror trial is still a possibility,
Attorney General Eric holder told senators today. ... Holder had
originally proposed trying Mohammed in a civilian court in New York, but
that decision is under review by the White House after New York
officials changed their minds and rejected the idea."
OKs Indefinite Detention? Spencer Ackerman is aghast. "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) leads
the charge against Attorney General Eric Holder’s effort to try Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed in civilian court. But when it comes to indefinite
detention, they found a lot of common ground," he writes. "If I
understand Graham and Holder correctly, what they’re describing sounds
an awful lot like what used to prevail at Guantanamo Bay."
Decision on KSM Trial The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder explains, "The reason why no decision has
been made is twofold: one, the White
House hasn't made a decision about whether they want to support a strong
public push by the Justice Department to try those suspects in federal
courts. Number two, the basic dilemma, as crystallized to me by a senior
administration official last week, is that President Obama hasn't
decided whether closing Guantanamo Bay is a higher priority."
'Dept of Jihad' Controversy Is Over The American Prospect's Adam Serwer concludes, "The
campaign waged by Liz Cheney's group Keep American Safe against
Justice Department lawyers who had advocated on behalf of suspected
terror detainees has seemingly discredited itself by virtue of its own
shameless McCarthyism. Only [GOP Sen.] Chuck Grassley, who had
originally asked for the identities of the Justice Department lawyers,
brought up the issue at all -- and when Holder argued that his concerns
about disclosing those names had been borne out by the 'reprehensible'
efforts of Keep America Safe, Grassley couldn't really argue. He just
- 'Flip-Flop' on Killing Bin Laden Conservative
blogger Michelle Malkin scoffs,
"Holder should have worn an Olympic gymnast’s outfit. After boasting
last month that bin Laden would be killed and that he’d be reading
Miranda rights to his corpse, Holder now says capturing him remains his
preference and goal."
- White House Shutting Out Holder?
NPR's Ari Shapiro thinks so. "The
White House has been working directly with Senator Graham on these
issues, cutting Holder out of the loop. The White House is now poised to
overturn Holder's decision and send the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid
Sheik Mohammed, to military court." However, "Officials at the White
House don't want to look as though they are undermining Holder."
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