Attorney General Eric Holder parried questions about the fate of five men alleged to be central architects of September 11 during a question-and-answer session in Brooklyn this morning.
“We are still in the administration trying to work through how we will bring to justice those who perpetrated those heinous acts on September 11,” Holder said, after detailing this morning’s crackdown on organized crime. “We’re still trying to determine how we’re going to react to that, but we are still in the process of determining where the trials will be, what form they will be and no decision has been made.”
The Obama administration originally meant to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accomplices in Manhattan, but backed down in the face of unified resistance from public officials and business leaders. The question of how, when and where they will face justice remains unanswered.
When pressed, Holder acknowledged that “nothing’s off the table yet,” including the possibility of trying the men in a military tribunal. The practice of trying terrorism suspects in such tribunals, which fall outside the sphere of the traditional criminal justice system, has been deeply controversial.
Holder also reiterated the Obama administration’s commitment to closing down Guantanamo Bay, saying that intelligence clearly establishes the notorious prison as a “recruiting tool for terrorists” and that it “drives a wedge between the U.S. and our allies.”