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Gen. Eaton: KSM ‘Is a Murderer, Not a Combatant’ « The Washington Independent

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who helped command the training of the Iraqi Army during the early phase of the Iraq war, is distressed to hear that at least some of President Obama’s advisers are urging him to abandon a civilian trial for 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. “I do not see KSM as a combatant,” said Eaton, who is now a senior adviser to the progressive National Security Network. “This guy is a criminal, he is not a combatant. He is a murderer. He is not a combatant.” Combatants could reasonably be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in a courts-martial-like system — which the military commissions are not. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2003, far from any battlefield.

“Putting a military face on the American judicial system is counterproductive for our image abroad,” Eaton continued, recalling his work to convince Iraqi soldiers to obey the rule of law and civilian control of the military. “If you put the judicial system into the military’s hands, that is really a challenge to the premise that civilians and not the military are responsible for guiding and directing military activities. It is really a logic break to try these cases in a military setting.”

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