Bowing to public pressure from angry New York residents, the police commissioner, state and local politicians, and Mayor Bloomberg (who withdrew his original support last Wednesday), the White House has asked the Department of Justice to look for alternative locations to try 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants. Despite the change in venue, however, the White House still plans to try Mohammed and the other detainees in civilian court.
If the Obama administration would like to continue in the direction of listening to public concern (as it seems they did with NYC), they would do well to heed this: a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports indicates that 44 percent of voters in the U.S. believe all terrorists suspected to have been involved in the September 11th terrorist attacks should be tried at Guantanamo Bay, compared to 33 percent who are opposed.
Wherever Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ends up being tried, a large majority (74 percent) of U.S. voters agree on this: suspected terrorists do not possess the same legal rights as American citizens. 67 percent favor a military tribunal for Guantanamo prisoners rather than being tried in a civilian court. Guantanamo Bay, already equipped to handle military tribunals, should not be thrown out as a viable option.