Prosecution of 9-11 Suspects Long Overdue

Response to Decision to Prosecute 9-11 Suspects from Kevin Lanigan, Director of Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program

“The prosecution announced today of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other suspects in the 9-11 attacks is long overdue. But after six years the Bush administration cannot escape responsibility for failing to bring to justice the perpetrators of 9-11.

In fact, the administration still refuses to acknowledge its two greatest self-imposed obstacles to achieving justice for the families and victims of 9-11: the absence of a credible and truly independent system for trying these defendants and problems caused by the use of official cruelty in interrogating them.

The Administration insisted on setting aside the regular civil and military justice systems and creating military commissions as a way to expedite these prosecutions. Regrettably, just the opposite has occurred. Since 9-11 not a single trial has been completed. In fact, the deeply flawed military commissions system and the decision to authorize the use of torture to extract information have prevented successful prosecutions from taking place.”

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Published on February 11, 2008

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