If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Is Acquitted Will He Be Released?

Here’s an exchange between White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and ABC Senior WH Correspondent Jake Tapper:

Granted: Gibbs is not Obama.

But it seems to me that based on one of the cornerstones of Obama’s campaign promises, the answer to this question should be pretty easy. My reaction is that Gibbs is dodging it because President Obama has no intention of releasing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed if there’s an acquittal.

Project much? :dubious:

The hypothetical is the acquittal itself. Not gonna happen, no matter how many rights and procedures your guy Gonzales decided to ignore.

If it’s not going to happen, then why have the trial?

Jack Reed (D-RI) noted this weekend on Chris Wallace’s show that we could still detain them if they are found not guilty because they are a danger to the US. He’s not Obama, but he’s got a law degree from Harvard, so he should have some knowledge about the legal system.

I’m not sure I’m following the first point – I know that Obama said he wanted to put terrorists on trial, but I’m not aware of a “cornerstone” campaign promise that acquitted terrorists would be freed. Can you clarify?

He’s going to be convicted. But that aside, they would get killed in the press and public sphere for either answer - “he will be released if acquitted” or “he will be kept in U.S. custody if acquitted” - so Gibbs won’t answer the question. That’s too bad but I hold the public partly responsible, not just the administration. You might remember that a year ago, most people were in favor of closing the Guantanamo camp, but as soon as the idea of moving them to U.S. prisons came up, a lot of people lost interest. Same thing here.

If he were really acquitted, I expect he would be sent to a country that would keep him under more or less permanent house arrest, probably with quiet U.S. help.

Isn’t freeing someone found innocent sort of implied by the word “trial”? Otherwise, the trial would be a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.

He’s going to plead guilty. They’re not going to put anybody on trial that might be found innocent, this issue is just more manufactured outrage from the right. This is just part of the GOP/Fox News attempt to terrorise Americans over the prospect of “letting these people into the country”, etc. etc. The GOP are using terrorist tactics on their own people either for cynical political ends or because they don’t have faith in the institutions of democracy and would prefer a more authoritarian system. Probably a bit of both.

I am sure legal experts went over the evidence carefully before they decided to do the right thing. You can not take the political ramifications out of having a trial. They have to find him guilty.I am sure they will. At last a little sunlight will fall on our mistreatment of suspected terrorists.

We have trials for people who are obviously going to be convicted entirely routinely. It’s part of being a nation of laws, not of people, and showing the world and ourselves that that is so. The last administration couldn’t be arsed, of course.

Under what law?

He’s a politician now, and can be expected to speak like one.

Bush’s Harvard MBA didn’t mean he knew anything about management, ftr.
gonzomax is right - there probably wouldn’t be a trial if the evidence weren’t going to be admissible.

Bullshit. It’s a perfectly legitimate issue, with significant legal ramifications. Obama is going all-in on this one. Granted, he’s holding a strong hand, but there is a real chance that one or more defendants could be found not guilty. The time to plan for that possibility is now.

We won’t put him on trial if there’s a chance he might actually be acquitted.

And this is manufactured outrage from the Right?

Um… huh?

The “manufactured outrage” is about his being released. The crap you were peddling in your OP, if you’ll recall.


It certainly seemed to me that this was a cornerstone of Candidate Obama’s criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of Gitmo detainees. Along with the actual closing of the base prison, which as Marley23 notes seems to have died a quiet death too.

I’m confused. Is he a citizen? Does he have residency? If he’s acquitted, who is claiming that he’ll get twenty bucks and a Greyhound Bus ticket? This says nothing about releasing him to X, Y, or Z othercountry, but is there a serious suggestion that an acquittal would see him released into the US?

Your OP was based on that claim. You need to support it.

Put up or shut up. You know the drill.

The question was also raised in the “Live from New York” thread, with a twist. As KSM’s defense counsel, what exactly do you ask for in the event of a not guilty verdict? You don’t want your guy released on the spot, he likely would not make it to the end of the block. Still, you’re going to have to demand his release somehow…under some condition. Law students are going to be studying various parts of this case for the next century. Maybe longer.

The manufactured outrage would come, a few moments after Gibbs’ admission that yes, there is a possibilty of this defendant going free if found not guilty, in the form of a screamer headline reading


That said, words cannot adequately describe my loathing for the “won’t discuss hypotheticals” trope, and it’s very saddening to hear that coming from Obama’s mouthpiece.

From this PDF.

Granted, there is no mention of “cornerstone.” :rolleyes:

So perhaps it was simply an ordinary promise, utterly forgettable after the election, and not a “cornerstone” promise as I thought, which status would of course meant it would actually be remembered and executed.

Gibbs just didn’t want to provide them with another bullshit headline. He knew that he’d be pitted by the press for being evasive and vague, but that’s better than. “Obama administration plans to free the mastermind of 9/11!!!” that would be the cover story in the New York Post if he’d answered the question.

Nor was that the key word. :rolleyes:

You were expressing outrage at the notion that this President might have a commitment to following the law. Now THAT deserves all the :rolleyes:'s the SDMB’s servers can handle.

Do you even fucking read your own cites?