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Still Waiting for Justice, 11 Years from 9/11

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, military commissions were set up to deliver swift justice to the profoundly evil perpetrators of the attacks.  Some delays were inevitable, but few thought we would still be waiting for justice 11 years later.

The first priority upon capture of al-Qaeda honchos, of course, was extraction of crucial intelligence.  Through severe but nontorturous methods such as waterboarding, we obtained the information to prevent further attacks and eventually kill the head honcho, Osama bin Laden.  There were further delays from legal challenges, and Congress had to act more than once with legislation on detainees and commissions.

Then in 2009, we were hit with a huge and completely unnecessary delay.  The incoming Obama Administration came up with its disastrous scheme to drop the commissions and try the detainees in civilian court in New York.  Congress pushed back, to its credit, and we were back to the commissions.

Yet the process drags on.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammad is still alive, despite the lack of any question that he committed the crime or that the crime warrants death.  He has been detained so long and already spilled so much that it is highly unlikely he has any useful information left to disclose.

Military commissions are under the control of the commander-in-chief.  Does he put any priority on carrying out justice in these cases?  Not that I can see.

Eric Holder once said of these cases that "failure is not an option."  The Administration has already failed.  Excessive and unnecessary delay of justice is failure.

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