The NY Times has joined the dance being performed by Team Obama, which has decided to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a Manhattan Federal Court - the accused is now a "suspect":
Key 9/11 Suspect to Be Tried in New York
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
WASHINGTON — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and four other men accused in the plot will be prosecuted in federal court in New York City, a federal law enforcement official said early Friday.
By way of contrast, the WaPo is going with "Accused 9/11 mastermind". Let me ask a silly question - is the 9/11 Commission report prejudicial? I don't see the word "alleged" being tossed around in their description of KSM's background and activities. So what would a fair trial look like - any juror in Manhattan familiar with the 9/11 attack and the ensuing government investigation would be barred? Who would that leave in the jury pool - the utterly clueless and people who are familiar with the 9/11 Commission results but figure the government lies all the time? Great news for prosecutors.
The PowerGuys ask a much better question:
Ask yourself this question: suppose that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's trial results in an acquittal or a hung jury. Would the Obama administration really let him go? If so, they are crazy. If not, why are they holding the trial?
That is a good question! So good, in fact, that Obama was asked just that while speaking with the press in Japan:
Q Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister. President Obama, how can you assure the American people that a trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now that your administration has now decided will take place in a civilian court in New York, will be safe and secure, but also not result in an innocent verdict for him?...
PRIME MINISTER HATOYAMA: Mr. President?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, I believe that the Attorney General is going to be making an announcement this morning in the United States, this evening here. I don't want to preempt his news conference. This is a prosecutorial decision as well as a national security decision.
Here's the thing that I will say. I am absolutely convinced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice. The American people will insist on it and my administration will insist on it. And I'm sure we'll have additional things to say after the Attorney General's press conference.
Hmm. The Administration hinted at a post-acquittal detention policy last summer - do the American people insist on show trials where an acquittal means nothing? Or is Obama going to let some poor fool at Holder's press conference walk us through the show-trial aspect and deliver the assurance that an acquittal won't set KSM free?
And what are these trials going to look like? As the Times and WaPo explain, a lot of the evidence may not be admissible under normal Federal rules. Do we ignore the rules, or acquit KSM on technicalities? And will the typical voter gain confidence in Obama's commitment to keeping us safe as evidence is tossed and the CIA is denounced?
Beyond that, Ann Althouse wonders whether New Yorkers want to become the most high-profile terror target in the world?
Team Obama has to postpone these trials until after the 2010 elections or this will go down as the biggest "own-goal" of the century millenium.
OH, MAN: The Baseball Crank tells us what he really thinks in an epic tirade; a flavor:
It's impossible, really, to caricature this White House; even Josiah Bartlett didn't run through this many liberal stereotypes in his first season. Obama needs new writers. Blow up the World Trade Center and kill 3,000 Americans? Jail! Don't buy health insurance? Jail! Win the Nobel Prize for doing jack squat. Travel to Copenhagen to beg and grovel unsuccessfully for the Olympics, and pledge to go visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but blow off traveling to Berlin to commemorate the victory of freedom over Communism (then give a tepid speech on the subject that refuses to acknowledge Ronald Reagan). Commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland by unilaterally abandoning missile defense installations in Poland. Insult and disdain one faithful ally after another - Britain, India, Israel, Poland, Colombia, you name it - and cozy up to our enemies, with nothing to show for it - nothing to show for anything he's done in foreign affairs.
I left out the really harsh stuff.