Five of the key 9/11 plotters were apprehended and imprisoned in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the years right after 9/11, before the War on Terror deteriorated into some ridiculous endeavor to establish girls’ schools in Afghanistan. All of these guys faced the possibility of being put to death. The key word here is “were.”
“On the 21st anniversary of 9/11, CBS News has affirmed that military prosecutors and lawyers for five defendants charged for their roles in the attacks are attempting to negotiate possible plea agreements that could eliminate the possibility of the death penalty and maintain the detention facility at the military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in operation for some time.”
Their trials have been held up by CIA evidence access issues and, more recently, COVID-19 epidemic delays.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described architect of 9/11, is the main defendant, along with Ramzi Binalshibh, Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, and Ammar al-Baluchi.
Although I don’t really support the death penalty, there are some situations where it is necessary due to the seriousness and brutality of the offense. One such incident, in my opinion, is the September 11 attacks.
Boumediene v. Bush, another illegitimate Supreme Court judgment written by Anthony Kenney, is where everything went wrong. In the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Congress had specifically declared that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction in the Guantanamo cases. However, just as Kennedy created the constitutional rights to buggery (Lawrence v. Texas) and the marriage of homosexuals (Obergefell v. Hodges), he also made the decision that he, and not Congress, had the right to decide which cases the Supreme Court heard. Article III, Section 2 of the US Constitution makes it clear that Congress can exclude cases from the scope of judicial review. The wimpy US Congress stepped back instead of trying to impeach Kennedy or tell him to FOAD.
The 9/11 conspirators’ prosecutions have been bogged down in court wrangling and lawyer backstabbing since 2008. The problem now is the “treatment” of the detainees and the source of the secret evidence against them.
On the one hand, it would be beneficial to send Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his companions to a life term in a super-max prison in order to put this incident behind us. On the other hand, I don’t think a serious country should treat terrorists that killed over 3,000 innocent women, men, and children on one bright morning 20 years ago by planning and carrying out 9/11 and again by upending our justice system as they defeated us.