The Pentagon's plans for death-penalty prosecutions of six men accused of plotting the 2001 terrorist attacks were criticized by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who said capital punishment is appropriate for such crimes but that military tribunals are the wrong forum for the case....Oops, sorry. That was Feb. 13, 2008. Let me try that again. [Ahem.]
"These trials will need to be above reproach," the Illinois senator said in a statement Monday. "These trials are too important to be held in a flawed military commission system that has failed to convict anyone of a terrorist act since the 9/11 attacks and that has been embroiled in legal challenges."Obama said the men should be tried either in a U.S. criminal court or by military court-martial, either of which would "demonstrate our commitment to the rule of law."
Laura Jakes reports for AP:
President Barack Obama said Friday he would reform and restart the military tribunals he once reviled for Guantanamo Bay detainees, jeopardizing his timetable for closing the prison by January and dismaying many supporters who suggested he was going back on campaign promises.
"This is the best way to protect our country, while upholding our deeply held values," Obama said, announcing his decision to renew the tribunals in a three-paragraph White House statement. The administration said he was not embracing the Bush-era system because it would be so significantly changed.