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Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Will Never Ever Be Set Free in the United States

Of all the talking points emerging from the conservative side about the 9/11 trials, the prospect of attack architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed getting set free in

Elisa Mueller
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Nov 17, 2009

Of all the talking points emerging from the conservative side about the 9/11 trials, the prospect of attack architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed getting set free in the U.S. is perhaps the most far-fetched, at least until the next round of trials are announced. I didn’t take it seriously enough to debunk, but The American Prospect’s Adam Serwer is evidently made of sterner stuff:

As I reported a few months ago, because the U.S. has declared war against Al Qaeda–and KSM is quite obviously a member of Al Qaeda–they can claim legal authority to detain him even post-acquittal, until the end of hostilities, under the authority granted by the Authorization to Use Military Force. The Bush administration considered doing this briefly with Osama bin Laden‘s limo driver, Salim Hamdan–but because it makes a mockery of the American system of justice, they decided against it. But the options don’t actually end there.

“They have three sources of authority that would allow him to detain him, one of which is the AUMF, because it directly cites the 9/11 attacks in its language–the people who planned the 9/11 attacks are combatants, and are detainable under the AUMF,” Ken Gude, a human rights expert at the Center for American Progress explains. “Under the .000001 chance that they are acquitted, they will have that authority to detain them,” Gude says.

I’m awaiting all the liberty-loving Tea Partiers to start ranting about Obama Show Trials any minute now.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.


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