[Guest post by DRJ]
The Washington Post reports President Obama will get more involved in decisions regarding the 9/11 terror trials, and military tribunals may still be an option:
“Administration officials said the decision will be made soon.
Obama gave little clue about how the administration will proceed when he was asked Sunday about the trial. But he made clear that, in a shift from last year, he is now part of the decision-making process, saying in a CBS interview that Manhattan was still an option. “I have not ruled it out,” Obama said.
If the White House is unable to find a civilian court where the Mohammed trial can be held, and if the political pressure continues, the administration may be forced to shift to a military commission.”
The report confirmed Attorney General Eric Holder decided to try the 9/11 and other terrorists in civilian court:
“Senior White House officials said that the decision to try Mohammed in New York was Holder’s and that no single person in the administration was responsible for handling the politics of that choice. In an effort to avoid leaks, Holder kept the decision close in the days leading up to his Nov. 13 news conference, calling New York officeholders that day to inform them. Several New York officials said they have dealt exclusively with Holder, first during the rollout of the announcement and more recently as he struggles to find another venue.”
The Obama Administration trotted out its standard explanation for its difficulties to date — that it didn’t talk enough to the American public:
“Officials across the administration recognize that they have been slow to respond, defend and communicate their position, prompting a flurry of forceful comments over the past week.”
However, Attorney General Holder also implicitly acknowledged he did a poor job coordinating his decision with other officials and agencies:
“Holder reflected on his first year as the nation’s top law enforcement official and the nature of his interaction with the White House on counterterrorism, his top priority.
“What I’ve tried to do is re-establish the department in the way that it has always been seen at its best, as an agency that is independent, given the unique responsibilities that it has,” he said. “But to be truly effective in the national security sphere, you’ve got to involve partners outside this building. To make decisions the AG has to make, you have to involve the commander in chief and these other people. I’m part of the national security team in a way that I’m not involved in the environmental resources team, the civil rights team.”
Somehow I doubt Holder will be pilloried for his mistakes the way Bush Administration officials were for theirs.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin skewers the Obama Administration, especially John Brennan, for its ideological approach to national security:
“The problem here, which Sessions, Mukasey, Burck, and Perino (as well as countless others) have spotted, is that the Obami let their lefty lawyers’ ideology go unchecked, interfering with the primary duty of the administration, namely to gather information and prevent further attacks on Americans. That is inexcusable. No amount of fakery or misdirection by Obama’s advisers can conceal that.”