Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience in Colorado Thursday afternoon that he still favors trials in a federal civilian court for the five Guantanamo prisoners accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, including the plot’s alleged mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
POLITICO’s Manu Raju, who’s attending the Aspen Ideas Conference where Holder was interviewed by CBS’s Bob Schieffer, says the attorney general was plain about his recommendation. He seems to have been plainer than he has been in public on that point since January, when his first decision in favor of a trial in Manhattan was scuttled by the White House due to local objections.
Holder said no new decisions have been made but that he’s still recommending going the civilian route, Raju reports. The AG said the civilian court system “has proven effective in a wide range of cases over the last 200 years. Why can’t we use that system?”
Asked about holding such a trial in Virginia, Holder said “there are any number of possibilities” that state, local and federal officials are discussing.
Holder also said there is some uncertainty surrounding the availability of the death penalty at military tribunals….