WASHINGTON — After announcing it would try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged conspirators by military commission rather than in a civilian trial, the Obama administration quickly scapegoated Congress to explain the decision.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that his department was scrapping its November 2009 decision to hold Mohammed’s high-profile trial just blocks from the World Trade Center. Instead, they were moving the venue to Guantanamo Bay. Holder and other administration officials said the policy reversal was due to congressional interference in executive counterterrorism efforts and “needless” drumming-up of controversy.
“The reality is, I know this case in ways that members of Congress do not,” Attorney General Eric Holder said during a press conference. “I have looked at the files. I have spoken to the prosecutors. I know the tactical concerns that have to go into this decision. So do I know better than them? Yes.”