Obama, Senate Near Deal for Military 9/11 Trials

Deal would close Guantanamo, move KSM case forward
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2010 10:51 AM CDT
Obama, Senate Near Deal for Military 9/11 Trials
President-elect Barack Obama listens as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talks about his recent trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Pakistan, Jan. 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The White House and Senate are near a deal that would close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and pave the way for more of its inmates—including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—to face military tribunals rather than civilian courts. The deal has been in the works for a while, but a broad framework is now firmly in place, a senior Democratic Senate aide tells the Wall Street Journal. “We’re now at the ‘getting serious’ stage.”

The deal is the brainchild of Lindsey Graham, who says he thinks he can deliver two other, unspecified Republican votes. A few sticking points remain: President Obama doesn’t want a hard definition of which detainees will face civil trials and which military, preferring to honor “prosecutorial discretion,” an official says. The deal is a triumph for administration pragmatists like Rahm Emanuel and a huge embarrassment for AG Eric Holder. (Read more Lindsey Graham stories.)

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