Eric Holder would have liked to bring KSM to New York, but Congress sucks

The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 prohibits use of funds to transfer defendants from Guantanamo Bay to the United States. In a file dismissing the indictment of [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammed and the four alleged conspirators sent to the Southern District of New York on Monday morning, members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office pointed to the act as the prohibitive restriction preventing a federal trial.

— From Sam Stein at HuffPo. The whole article is worth reading — the Administration and Congress are in rare agreement that it was entirely the actions of the legislature that prevented a clear, open civilian trial of KSM before the whole world.

Rep. Jose Serrano, though, expressed frustration that New York would not get to try the man who allegedly masterminded the greatest criminal act in the state’s history:

“I felt that if the scene of the crime was New York, why not try him in New York?” Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) said. “I don’t think we should do anything that gives the terrorists the ability to say they’ve disrupted the normal way we do things. Normally, we would have tried [Mohammed] at the scene of the crime.”


UPDATE: Dahlia Lithwick is spitting fire:

[M]ake no mistake about it: It won’t stop here. Putting the administration’s imprimatur on the idea that some defendants are more worthy of real justice than others legitimates the whole creeping, toxic American system of providing one class of legal protections for some but not others: special laws for children of immigrants, special laws for people who might look like immigrants, different jails for those who seem too dangerous, special laws for people worthy of wiretapping, and special laws for corporations. After today it will be easier than ever to use words and slogans to invent classes of people who are too scary to try in regular proceedings.

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