The self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks probably will remain in military detention without trial for the foreseeable future, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing Obama administration officials.
The administration has concluded that it cannot put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial in federal court in New York City because of opposition from members of Congress and local officials, the Post said.
There is also little support within the administration for a military prosecution at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, over concerns it would alienate liberal supporters, the paper reported.
By refusing to try this case (which would probably come apart at the seams under the normal process of American jurisprudence), the US government has institutionalized indefinite detention without trial, just as it has previously institutionalized torture.
And the big ugly stink it appears no one wants to deal with in this case (which is why this guy may rot at Gitmo for the rest of his life), is that Mohammed's "confession" was elicited under torture.
As reported on 23 March, 2007 at:
"In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, it appears that with torture you can get someone to confess to masterminding the entire al-Qaeda attack on the United States. Senior FBI officials are questioning some of Sheikh Mohammed's assertions of guilt and remind us of the FBI's concern about torture techniques used by both the CIA and the US military on prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo, techniques that can elicit confessions just to get the torturers to stop."
Citing the "Laws of War" as an excuse for indefinite detention doesn't work at all in the case of Khalid Mohammed, because, according to the Constitution, only Congress can declare war. Congress did no such thing before the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also, under the rules of law, there is no such thing as an "enemy combatant"; that is something the previous administration made up out of thin air!
There are only prisoners of war, and these prisoners of war should be dealt with under the provisions of the Geneva
Accords, to which the US is still (at least on paper) a signatory.
The US government officials aren't afraid of some terrorist act happening because such a trial would go forward; it is terrified that because Mohammed's confession was obtained under torture, it would be immediately thrown out under normal judicial procedure.