The Obama administration has abandoned efforts to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, and his co-conspirators on trial in civilian courts, saying the suspects will be tried in military tribunals at the Guantánamo Bay prison, which remains in operation despite the president’s vow to close its doors. Benjamin Wittes observes that politics led to the policy reversal, but adds that although it was a tough decision, it was the right one.
The image people often have is plane-loads of these [jihadists] flying out, but that’s the wrong image: It’s people filtering out in dribs and drabs.
What do you do when your allies [like Pakistan] are part of the problem? The desire to turn our backs on these people is there, but then you worry that terrorists will have more operational freedom and it will cost you more in the long run.