The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Obama Administration On Verge Of Reversing Decision On 9/11 Prosecutions

Advisers To Recommend Abandoning Promise Of Civilian Trials For Military Commissions


to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is on the verge of
reversing itself on its earlier decision to prosecute the 9/11 suspects
in federal criminal courts, opting for the military commissions system
instead. The report indicates that the president's advisers will soon
recommend to him that he overturn Attorney General Eric Holder's
November decision to use civilian trials for the cases, and that an
announcement could come in the next two weeks.

to the American Civil Liberties Union, this regrettable reversal under
political pressure will strike a blow to American values and the rule
of law and undermine America's credibility.

have been over 300 terrorism-related convictions in the federal courts,
while there have been only three in the military commissions, two
resulting in sentences of less than a year.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

this stunning reversal comes to pass, President Obama will deal a death
blow to his own Justice Department, not to mention American values.

the president flip-flops and retreats to the Bush military commissions,
he will betray his campaign promise to restore the rule of law,
demonstrate that his principles are up for grabs and lose all
credibility with Americans who care about justice and the rule of law.

with recent improvements, the military commissions system is incapable
of handling complicated terrorism cases and achieving reliable results.
President Obama must not cave in to political pressure and
fear-mongering. He should hold firm and keep these prosecutions in
federal court, where they belong."

More information on why terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian courts can be found online at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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