Notwithstanding the dozens of Islamist plots uncovered in the United States since 9/11, the criminal-law paradigm is again limiting the U.S. response. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, was supposed to be tried before a military commission at Guantanamo last summer. Instead, on a summer Friday afternoon, the Justice Department filed a brief in another case disclosing that there are no charges pending against al-Nashiri, which is to say the military commission proceedings against him have been halted.
Although the White House promised to disclose the forum in which Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 plotters would be tried, after their initial choice of New York was hooted down, subsequent announcements remained inconsistent for a time. Faced with legislation that barred the use of federal funds to try Guantanamo detainees in the United States, Attorney General Holder announced reluctantly on April 4, 2011, that KSM and others would be tried by military commission after all. However, in July 2011, he disclosed that a Somali suspect, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, who had been captured abroad and held on naval vessels rather than at Guantanamo, would be brought to the United States and tried in a civilian court. Notably, Warsame, unlike Shahzad and Abdulmutallab, was reportedly debriefed extensively following his capture by the high-value interrogation team promised at the time the CIA interrogation program was abandoned in 2008. The interrogation techniques, however, are still limited by the Army Field Manual.
Keep reading this post . . .