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Holder: KSM Trial Is ‘a Very Close Call’ and ‘No Decision Has Been Made’

Here’s what Attorney General Eric Holder said in his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s prospective trial, after he defended the Justice Department’s numerous 2009 and 2010 steps to try terrorists in civilian court. (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, for instance, provided “not just valuable, but actionable” intelligence thanks to his criminal prosecution.)

I know you all have questions about the prosecution of those charged with plotting the 9/11 attacks. No final decision has been made about the forum in which Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants will be tried.

As I’ve said from the outset, this is very a close call. It should be clear to everyone by now that there are many legal, national security and practical factors to be considered here. As a consequence, there are many perspectives on what the most appropriate and effective forum is. In making this decision, I can assure you that this Administration has only one paramount goal: to ensure that justice is done in this case. In the pursuit of justice, we will enforce the law and protect the American people.

“This administration will use every tool available to fight terrorism,” he continued, repeating “every tool available” for emphasis. “That includes both civilian courts and military commissions. “

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