The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Holder: ‘Failure is Not An Option’ in 9/11 Trials

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | November 19, 2009 | Adaline Fritz

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that one reason he decided to try the five suspected 9/11 co-conspirators in federal court is because that was where he would most likely be able to win a conviction. As he said later in the hearing: “Failure is not an option. These are cases that have to be won. I don’t expect that we will have a contrary result.”

Holder was trying to reassure his many Republican critics, who insist that trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged al-Qaeda colleagues in a New York federal court is a “grievous mistake” that will endanger American citizens and undermine the “war on terror.”

But Holder’s statement was also eerily reminiscent of one made during the Bush administration by Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes — a statement which outraged Democrats and contributed to the resignation of the military’s top prosecutor.

In October 2007, Col. Morris Davis resigned from his post as military commission chief prosecutor, saying that he refused to report to Haynes. Davis later testified that he felt there was interference in his cases from Defense Department officials, citing specifically Haynes’ statement that “We can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals. We’ve got to have convictions.”

Haynes resigned several months later.

Davis, now a civilian, is still concerned about justice and the appearance of justice for Guantanamo detainees. He recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal that using both federal courts and military commissions to try terror suspects “is a mistake. It will establish a dangerous legal double standard that gives some detainees superior rights and protections, and relegates others to the inferior rights and protections of military commissions. This will only perpetuate the perception that Guantanamo and justice are mutually exclusive.”

Adaline Fritz | Adaline's upbeat, can-do attitude and nurturing disposition make her perfect for understanding each client's wants and needs and skillfully directing them toward their real estate objectives. Adaline has experience in all facets of the real estate process, having started in the administrative sector and progressed to operations before achieving success in real estate sales. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and Western Oregon University, and returned to the Portland area in 2011 to pursue a career in real estate. She also loves traveling, working out, and spending time on the water during Portland's beautiful summers.

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