Holder Blames Congress for Forcing Hand on Military Commissions for 9/11 Detainees
Congress tied the Obama administration's hands in trying the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and his accomplices, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday, announcing that he was left without a choice and has referred the cases to the Defense Department for trial.
In stark language, Holder lambasted Congress for imposing restrictions blocking any detainees from being tried in the U.S., saying that the "unwise and unwarranted restrictions" undermine the U.S. in counter-intelligence and counter-terror efforts.
Expressing his disappointment in no uncertain terms, the attorney general said that as a native New Yorker, he knows as well as anyone the federal court's capacity to try the suspects. He added that he's intimately familiar with the cases, much moreso than congressional members -- or the public -- who opposed allowing the cases to be held in the United States.
"Do I know better than them? Yes. I respect their ability to disagree but they should respect that this is an executive branch function, a unique executive branch function," Holder said in a press conference.
As a result, Holder said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006, after being captured in Pakistan in 2003, and four alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators will face prosecution by a military commission in Guantanamo.
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